Heavy Rains Extensively Damage Kansas High Court Building
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Rainwater has seeped into the building that houses the Kansas Supreme Court, causing extensive damage and forcing some employees to temporarily relocate. The Kansas Judicial Center's leaking roof, which was in the process of being fixed, was inundated by heavy rains on September 13. A court spokeswoman, Lisa Taylor, says the most significant water damage occurred on the third and second floors. The Office of the Judicial Administration, which is housed on the third floor, was also damaged. Fifty people -- including all seven justices (five of 14 court of appeals judges, their staffs and other court employees) -- were moved from their offices to other spaces in the building.
Sedgwick County Sheriff's Deputy Arrested After Domestic Disturbance
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas sheriff's deputy has been arrested after a domestic disturbance at the deputy's home. The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that the deputy was booked into jail yesterday (WED) on suspicion of battery. A criminal investigation is underway and that the findings will be presented to prosecutors for consideration of charges. A professional standards unit of the sheriff's department also is looking into what happened.
Concealed Weapon Disagreement Leads to Overland Park Shooting
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a 59-year-old man who was upset that another man was carrying a concealed weapon disarmed the man and shot him in the leg in suburban Kansas City. Overland Park police say shooting happened around 5:30 yesterday (WED) evening. Police said the suspect also pointed the weapon at a second man before the shooting. The suspect was taken to jail, and the victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury.
Nearly 6% of KU Freshmen Entered School Through Alternative Route
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Nearly 6 percent of University of Kansas freshmen were admitted through an alternative process after failing to meet the school's new and tougher standards. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the more exacting standards took effect this semester. A committee reviews applications from students who don't meet the criteria for automatic admission. The change led to concerns that minority enrollment would drop. But university data shows 47 percent of the 750 students admitted through the committee process were minorities. Among those committee-admitted students, 243 enrolled this fall, and they made up 5.7 percent of the overall 4,233-student freshman class. Enrollment official Matt Melvin says most of the students admitted through the new committee process would have had high enough test scores and grades to be admitted under the old standards.
Kansas Moves Forward with Proof-of-Citizenship Requirement
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has taken a step toward allowing the state to enforce its proof-of-citizenship requirement for some new voters. An attorney for Secretary Kobach has filed a formal answer to a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that requires new voters to provide proof-of-citizenship documents when registering to vote. The lack of a timely response prompted a court clerk to enter a default judgment for the prospective voter suing Kobach. Previous court rulings have temporarily narrowed the rule so it doesn't apply to people who use a federal registration form or those who register at state motor vehicle offices. It's not clear whether U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson will accept Kobach's filing, but attorneys challenging the law's constitutionality said judges often do. Attorneys for a prospective voter asked the judge yesterday (WED) to reject Kobach's formal answer because he has also been late with his filings in the past..
Judge Names Expert in Kansas Prison Recordings Case
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ A federal judge in Kansas has appointed an Ohio attorney to investigate whether recordings of attorney-client conversations at a for-profit federal prison violated the constitutional rights of inmates. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson has appointed David R. Cohen as special master to inspect confidential information contained in recordings made at the Corrections Corporation of America facility in Leavenworth. The judge's order says Cohen's duties will not include investigating whether federal prosecutors violated any rules or laws by requesting the recordings - at least for now. The Cleveland attorney recently served as a special master in a Kansas class-action lawsuit against Sprint Nextel Corp. Public defenders in Kansas and Missouri say recordings of their meetings and phone calls violated their clients' constitutional right to a fair trial.
Sedgwick County Courthouse to Install Gun Lockers
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County will provide gun lockers for visitors to stow their weapons while visiting the county courthouse. The county commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to spend about $64,000 to install 20 gun lockers in the courthouse. The public isn't allowed to take weapons into the courthouse in downtown Wichita but commissioners who supported the lockers said people who legally carry guns should be able to bring them to the building and have a place to store them while conducting their business. The two commissioners who opposed the lockers said it wasn't an essential service and the lockers weren't a good use of county funds. The lockers won't be available until at least next spring.
Kansas Deputy Rape Suspects May Have Attacked Others
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe says two Missouri men charged in the kidnapping and rape of a Kansas sheriff's deputy may have attacked others. Howe says he hopes more victims will come forward now that 24-year-old William Luth and 21-year-old Brady Newman-Caddell are in custody. They are jailed on $1 million bond on charges of rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sodomy. The suspects are charged in the attack on a deputy who was abducted from a parking lot in Olathe last Friday night. She was released about two hours later in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
Two People from Guatemala Die in Wrong-Way Crash in Southwest Kansas
LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) _ Authorities say two men from Guatemala have been killed in a wrong-way crash in southwest Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the crash happened when a tractor-trailer collided head on with a sport utility vehicle that was traveling in the wrong direction on U.S. Highway 54 in Seward County. The patrol says the truck was pulling two trailers. Although the rig's driver swerved to avoid the oncoming vehicle, he wasn't able to avoid the crash. The patrol identified the victims as the SUV's driver, 36-year-old Marcos Morales-Lux, and his passenger, 29-year-old Encarnacion Perez-Gutierrez. The tractor-trailer driver was taken to a hospital, but his passenger wasn't hurt.
Kansas Farmers Harvesting Record Corn and Soybean Crops
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas farmers are harvesting what are expected to be record corn and soybean crops. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that the 713 million bushels of corn forecast in Kansas is a 23 percent increase compared to last year's production. The federal agency is also projecting a record soybean production of 180 million bushels in Kansas. That is up 21 percent more than last year. Sorghum production is forecast at 264 million bushels, down 6 percent from a year ago.
Concealed Weapon Disagreement Leads to Kansas Shooting
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a 59-year-old man who was upset that another man was carrying a concealed weapon disarmed the man and shot him in the leg in suburban Kansas City. Overland Park police said in a news release that the shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Police said the suspect also pointed the weapon at a second man before the shooting. The suspect was taken to jail, and the victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of an injury that wasn't life threatening.
Flood Destroys Historic Cowley County Bridge
DEXTER, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas floodwaters have destroyed an historic stone bridge in Cowley County. The Wichita Eagle reports that flooding over the weekend caused the 105-year-old Fox Bridge over Grouse Creek to collapse. County officials say the bridge was weakened by the creek's cresting over it and heavy currents slamming against it. The area is known for its stone bridges, which were built by Russian and German artisans from around 1890 to 1917. The bridges range from one to three arches. Steve Tredway, who is working on a book about the stone bridges of Cowley County, says the Fox Bridge was built by Abe Finney.
Chiefs' Justin Houston Cleared for Workouts
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston has been cleared to resume football activity for the first time since having surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee in February. Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder says that Houston was given clearance to do football-related workouts. The Chiefs were off last week. Houston cannot be removed from the physically unable to perform list until next week, so the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker must continue to do his workouts away from the rest of the team. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he will evaluate Houston on a day-by-day basis, but acknowledged he could join practices next week. There still is no timetable for his return to games.