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Headlines for Thursday, May 22, 2014


Wakefield Files to Challenge Jenkins in Kansas 2nd Congressional District

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence Democrat has officially jumped into the race to challenge Republican incumbent Representative Lynn Jenkins for the Kansas 2nd District seat in the U.S. House. Margie Wakefield, a divorce attorney and longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, on Thursday filed the paperwork and paid the fee to put her name on the ballot. The 56-year-old Wakefield later held a rally at the former Overland Station in Topeka. Jenkins was first elected in 2008 after serving as state treasurer and in the Kansas Legislature. She is originally from Holton and serves as vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference. Jenkins's campaign issued a statement Thursday noting that telephone calls placed by Wakefield's staff announcing the Topeka rally did not contain federally required disclaimers that they were paid for by the Democrat's campaign.


Roberts Starts New Ad in Kansas US Senate Primary

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Senator Pat Roberts is running a new campaign commercial ahead of the Kansas Republican primary, touting his conservative credentials and service as a Marine. The 30-second TV spot began running this week in the Wichita and Topeka markets and in the Kansas City metro area, home of Roberts's tea party challenger, Milton Wolf. Roberts campaign spokesman Leroy Towns said Thursday the ad is meant to highlight differences between the three-term incumbent and Wolf, a radiologist from Leawood making his first run for political office. Wolf's campaign has unsuccessfully challenged whether Roberts is a legal Kansas resident and eligible to be on the ballot. Wolf spokesman Ben Hartman says the latest Roberts ad is an attempt to reintroduce the senator to Kansas residents after his years in Washington.


Legislator Won't Seek Re-Election: Will Deploy to Kosovo

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A state House member from northeast Kansas has decided against running for re-election as she prepares to deploy to Kosovo with the 35th Infantry Division. Democrat Melanie Meier, of Leavenworth, is a lieutenant colonel in the Kansas Army National Guard. The Leavenworth Times reports that Meier was recently notified of her pending deployment to Kosovo as part of the National Guard's ongoing mission in NATO peacekeeping operations. Meier said in a news release it would be unfair to voters if she won re-election knowing she would miss the 2015 legislative session. Meier was first elected to the Kansas House in 2008 but mobilized in early 2009 for a yearlong deployment to Iraq. She resigned her seat but regained it in a special election upon her return.


Officials to Determine Validity of Test Results

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Education officials plan to discuss this week if results from troubled school tests will be considered valid. The annual math and reading tests at Kansas schools were disrupted this year by problems with the state's new test delivery system. When those problems eased, the tests were hit by cyber-attacks. The state's students finished the tests last week. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the problems have raised questions about whether Kansas would have enough testing data to release accurate results, and whether individual test questions were valid. Marianne Perie, director of the University of Kansas Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, said she believes the state-level aggregate results will be valid, but it's unclear whether the results will be valid for individual districts, schools and students.

559 Gallons of Gas Stolen from Sedgwick County

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department says someone stole thousands of dollars in equipment and 559 gallons of gas from the county's maintenance facility. It's the fifth time the plant has been broken into since last March. The sheriff's office says the latest theft occurred sometime during last weekend. The loss was estimated at more than $16,000, with another $1,300 in damage. The thieves used a tractor to move concrete barriers to get into the property. They stole generators, saws, nailers, a flat-bed truck and the gas. KWCH reports that investigators aren't sure if the thefts are related. No arrests have been made in any of the cases.


2 Charged in Thefts of Classic Cars

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Two men are in custody and a sheriff says more arrests are possible in the thefts of five classic cars in rural Saline County. KSAL-AM reports that the owner called authorities April 7 after discovering that someone had stolen the vehicles from a collection he had lined up under a hedgerow. Sheriff Glen Kochanowski says a 53-year-old Herington man and a 47-year-old Hope man were arrested Wednesday. The arrests followed a joint investigation by the Saline County sheriff's office and Dickinson County detectives. Kochanowski says investigators believe the cars were cut up and sold for scrap. The vehicles included a 1939 Plymouth sedan, a 1949 Studebaker coupe and a 1950 Studebaker four-door. The sheriff says the investigation is continuing.


Former Manhattan Mayor to Challenge Huelskamp

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A second Democrat has filed to run for Congress in Kansas' 1st District. Jim Sherow is a Kansas State University professor and former Manhattan mayor. The seat is currently held by conservative Republican Representative Tim Huelskamp, who is seeking a third term. Sherow will face Bryan Whitney of Wichita in the Democratic primary. Huelskamp is being challenged in the Republican primary byAlan LaPolice of Clyde. The 1st Congressional District is the state's largest, covering all of western and most of central Kansas. Sherow says he would promote cooperation in Congress and represent the district's agricultural interests.


Kobach to Face Primary Challenger

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will have a primary challenger as he seeks re-election. Republican Scott Morgan of Lawrence filed to run for the office yesterday at the state capital. Morgan says Kobach is a "bully" for pushing new state laws on voter registration. Kobach says he's confident the citizens of Kansas appreciate the photo ID and proof of citizenship laws.


Leawood Man Files to Run for KS Insurance Commissioner

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Ken Selzer of Leawood has filed papers to run for state insurance commissioner. He will join Beverly Gossage of Eudora and David Powell of El Dorado in the Republican primary in August. Democrat Dennis Anderson of Overland Park also is trying to succeed Sandy Praeger, who isn't seeking a third term as insurance commissioner.


More Than Half of Kansas in Drought Emergency

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Drought conditions are continuing to worsen in Kansas despite recent rain, prompting Governor Sam Brownback to declare half the state in a drought emergency. All 105 counties are now under some type of drought status. Brownback issued an updated declaration Wednesday putting 56 counties in the most serious emergency category. Twenty-six have been placed under warning status, and 23 in a watch status. The emergency designation makes counties eligible for use of water from certain lakes. Brownback says in a news release Kansans need to know that no matter where they live in the state, the drought is not over. He says some areas have been in drought for almost five years. The lack of precipitation is depleting soil moisture, drawing down reservoir levels and slowing stream flows.


Saline County Rejects KDHE Grant

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - The Saline County Commission has rejected a grant for contraceptives after a commissioner likened intrauterine devices to murder. Commissioner John Price says he opposes the use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs. The $6,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment would fund the purchase of IUD's for the Saline County Department of Health. Price says he's not against birth control but that he considers IUDs an abortion issue.He said in his view, it's "murder" to take money from the state for IUD's. Jeanette Peroli, a nurse practitioner with the Saline County Health Department, said she gave Commisioner Price information illustrating that IUDs are contraceptives and do not abort a pregnancy. But the commission approved Price's motion and turned away the money.


Muslim Group Asks KS County to Cancel Program

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A national Muslim organization is asking the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office to cancel a training program by a former FBI agent because it is afraid his message will lead to bias against Islam. The Wichita Eagle reports the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington considers John Guandolo an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist. Guandolo is to give a two-day training program next week. The training program in Wichita is expected to draw law enforcement officers from across Kansas. One of Guandolo's main focus areas is the Muslim Brotherhood. Sheriff's spokesman Lieutenant David Mattingly says the department has no intention of canceling the course, which is not mandatory.


Case Dismissed Against Lawrence Store Owner

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has dismissed an indictment against a Lawrence man who was charged with selling stolen goods from his secondhand store. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia this week dismissed a 19-count indictment against Guy Neighbors, who was charged in 2007 along with his wife. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Murguia ruled several delays violated Neighbors' right to a speedy trail. Neighbors was found incompetent to stand trial and hospitalized in 2009. The judge said some of the delays could have been prevented by changes in his treatment. Neighbors was released on bond in September 2011, but his case was delayed for nearly two more years because of his lawyer's health issues. Neighbors's wife, Carrie, was convicted in 2010 and is serving an eight-year prison sentence in West Virginia.


Las Vegas, Cincinnati Out of Running to Host GOP Convention

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two cities in the mix to host the next Republican National Convention are out of the running. Republican Party officials say Las Vegas and Cincinnati are no longer being considered for the 2016 event. That leaves Dallas, Denver, Cleveland, and Kansas City, Missouri, under primary consideration. Dallas is believed to be a major player in the competition, in part because of its coalition of wealthy donors with ties to the Bush family and the oil industry. In a letter to the Republican National Committee, Las Vegas cites scheduling and facility problems in withdrawing its convention bid. Las Vegas was thought to be a leader in the competition to win the convention, although some party officials worried that the city's reputation for excess could overshadow the event.


UPDATE: Wichita Police: Family Wasn't Living in Storage Unit

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Wichita say a report of a woman and her grandchildren living in a commercial storage unit was incorrect. KAKE-TV reports that after talking to the children's father, police said Thursday the grandmother had taken them to the unit while she was doing some work there. The incident began Wednesday morning when a driver reported seeing an unattended child outside the unit at Security Self-Storage in south Wichita. Police went to the business and found the 38-year-old grandmother and three children, ages 1, 3 and 4. Based on the grandmother's statements, officers initially believed the group had been living in a storage unit and took the children into protective custody. The children were returned to their father Thursday, and no charges will be filed.


Kansas Woman Sentenced in Brother's Death

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas woman was sentenced to more than nine years in prison for killing her brother and leaving his body in the backyard of her home. Fifty-five-year-old Susan L. May was sentenced Wednesday to nine years and one month in prison for killing her 55-year-old brother, Richard Hrejsa. His decomposing body was found last October in the backyard of May's rural Butler County home. Authorities believe he was killed about a month earlier.  May was originally charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty in January to reckless second-degree murder. Two counts of interference with law enforcement and one count of criminal desecration of a body were dropped as part of the plea deal.


Salina Police Return Fire at Armed Man

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - Police in Salina say a man is hospitalized after exchanging gunfire with officers investigating a domestic disturbance. The incident happened Wednesday afternoon. Police Capt. Mike Sweeney says the officers were talking with a woman at a park across the street from the house where the disturbance was reported. Sweeney says a man approached with a rifle and began firing at the officers. Two officers took cover as a third returned fire at the man, who was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. None of the officers were hurt.


Bondsman's Trial Delayed Again

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - There has been a fifth delay in the jury trial for a Hutchinson bondsman accused of seeking sex from women in exchange for bonding them out of jail. Dwight Jurgens is accused of coercing woman he bailed out of Reno County Jail to have sexual contact with him between February 2010 and September 2012. He posted a $100,000 bond after he was arrested. Charges against him include aggravated human trafficking and rape. The Hutchinson News reports the trial was scheduled to begin in late September 2013. Defense lawyers asked for the first three continuances. Deputy District Attorney Tom Stanton asked for the latest two continuances, the latest on May 20th. Jurgens' trial has been rescheduled for June 3.


Nebraska Teen Ruled Fit to Stand Trial for Stabbing

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A girl has been judged competent to stand trial in the stabbing attack of another student at Lincoln Pius X High School. Judge Steven Burns made the ruling on Wednesday in Lancaster County District Court in Lincoln after reviewing a letter from a psychiatrist. Burns didn't release the letter for public view. Prosecutors had sought the evaluation. Lincoln police say the girl attacked 17-year-old Ellen Kopetzky at the school on October 7, using a knife and hammer. The girl was arrested the next day in Yates Center, Kansas. The judge has already rejected a defense request to have the case moved to juvenile court. The girl is 17 now and has pleaded not guilty to felony assault and weapons charges. The Associated Press generally doesn't identify juveniles accused of crimes.


NCAA Men's Golf Championships Head to Kansas

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Stanford University junior Patrick Rodgers heads to wind-swept Prairie Dunes for the NCAA golf championships this weekend knowing that a victory would put him in a class by himself. Rodgers is tied with Tiger Woods for the most individual wins in school history. The tournament begins Friday with teams playing 54 holes of stroke play to qualify for the eight-team championship playoff, which will be conducted in a match-play format. Those eight will be whittle down Tuesday to two teams playing for the title Wednesday. Meanwhile, the individual title will be decided Monday after 72 holes of stroke play. Alabama will be trying to win its second straight team title, but will have to contend with a loaded field that includes Oklahoma State, Georgia and Stanford.


Jayhawks Eliminated from Big 12 Baseball Tournament

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Joe Sabatini had two hits and knocked in a run to help Baylor defeat the University of Kansas 4-3, eliminating the third-seeded Jayhawks from the Big 12 baseball tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. Lawton Langford, Grayson Porter, Aaron Dodson and Logan Brown each had a hit in Thursday's game for the number-7 seeded Bears (25-30). Winning pitcher Drew Tolson went six innings and gave up three runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked one. Daniel Castano and Josh Michalec combined for three innings of scoreless relief. Ka'iana Eldredge had three hits and Connor McKay drove in two runs for KU (34-24). Baylor scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. KU scored twice in the top of the sixth.


Derrick Thomas Selected for College Football Hall of Fame

Late University of Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, highlighting a class of 14 players that also includes LaDainian Tomlinson, Sterling Sharpe and Tony Boselli. Thomas was one of the Hall of Fame's most obvious omissions and Alabama fans had been growing increasingly annoyed by the wait in recent years. He played for the Tide from 1985-88, and won the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker as a senior when he had 27 sacks. He finished his career with 52 sacks, a school record. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs and made nine Pro Bowls. Thomas died in 2000 after an automobile accident left him paralyzed. He was 33. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.


Royals Send Slumping Moustakas to Triple-A Omaha Club

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Royals sent third baseman Mike Moustakas to Triple-A Omaha on Thursday in their latest attempt to break one of their franchise cornerstones out of his prolonged slump. The team announced the move in a brief statement while traveling from Kansas City to Anaheim. The Royals open a three-game series against the Angels on Friday. Utility man Jimmy Paredes was recalled from Omaha in a corresponding move. Moustakas had slowly lost playing time to Danny Valencia. The former No. 2 overall pick heads to Omaha toting a .152 average with four homers and 17 RBIs in 40 games. Moustakas has been the everyday third baseman the past two seasons, but he's struggled to live up to expectations. He hit.233 with 12 homers and 42 RBIs a year ago.




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