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Headlines for Thursday, September 14, 2017

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Public Forum Scheduled on Tyson Food Proposal in Tonganoxie 

TONGANOXIE, Kan. (AP) — Three state lawmakers who represent parts of Leavenworth County have scheduled a public forum to discuss a proposal from Tyson Foods Inc. to build a massive poultry processing complex near Tonganoxie. The forum comes amid opposition to the plant from Tonganoxie residents. The $320 million plant is expected to bring 1,600 jobs to a town of about 5,000 residents. Opponents say the plant could also bring noxious odors and environmental problems. The children of workers at the plant could possibly double the size of the school district. Many Tonganoxie residents say they are also upset that discussions about the proposal were kept secret until it was announced last week. Senator Tom Holland and Representatives Jim Karleskint and Willie Dove will co-host the forum at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Cheiftain Park in Tonganoxie.

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Kansas Leaders Concerned About New Drivers' License System

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers and auditors worry about potential technical problems with the planned launch of a multimillion-dollar computer system for issuing and tracking 2 million driver's license records that's five years behind schedule. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Kansas Department of Revenue plans to launch the computer system in January. The department's previous vehicle registration system introduced in 2012 had performance problems. Issues included computer malfunctions and long lines for customers getting license tags. Officials say avoiding similar problems with the new computer system is going to be a challenge. A spokeswoman for the secretary of the revenue department says the agency's current leadership will make sure the project is managed "so that key milestones are met."

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University of Kansas Hospital Sued for Neglecting Harassment

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas Hospital Authority is facing a lawsuit from a former cafeteria worker who says the hospital's human resources department neglected to stop sexual harassment by a co-worker. The Kansas City Star reports that the sexual harassment lawsuit was filed in federal court Tuesday. The suit alleges Demi Trimble began working as a hospital cook in May 2016 when another cook began sexually harassing her that same month. Trimble alleges she told human resources about the harassment, but the issues were never addressed and the harassment continued. She resigned a month after starting. The complaint is one of three employment-related lawsuits pending against the hospital in the wake of a high-profile whistleblower lawsuit by another employee that's since been dropped. The hospital denies the allegations in Trimble's lawsuit.

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Kansas Education Board Struggles with Teacher Shortage 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas State Board of Education panel is recommending a new licensing system to reduce the shortage of teachers in the state. The state education department said Tuesday there are 90 elementary school teacher openings in Kansas and more than 80 vacancies for special education teachers. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a teacher vacancy committee has recommended an elementary licensing process that would require a district to identify people with "great potential" to be a teacher. The person must have a bachelor's degree and be enrolled in an approved elementary education preparation program. The process to become a licensed elementary school teacher would take two years. Board member Janet Waugh says the board hasn't acted on those recommendations because it didn't have the latest teacher vacancy data.

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Fort Riley Soldier Killed During Training Exercise in Texas

KILLEEN, Texas (AP) - Officials say a soldier from Fort Riley has been killed while participating in medical helicopter evacuation training at the Fort Hood U.S. Army post in Texas. Army officials say the aircraft crew was doing hoist training when the soldier was killed Tuesday night on a range south of an airfield at the post in Killeen, Texas. Officials say the HH-60M aircraft and crew were from the 1st Infantry Division based at Fort Riley, Kansas. Additional details were not immediately released.

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White Nationalist Posters Found on Kansas State Campus

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas State University officials are speaking out after posters promoting white nationalism were plastered around on campus. The Manhattan Mercury reports that university spokesman Steve Logback says the posters that appeared Wednesday don't reflect Kansas State values and are unwelcome. Student body president Jack Ayres said in a tweet the student government was working on putting together a demonstration. He wrote, "Absolutely NO place for this on our campus." Student Seth Peery called the posters "heartbreaking" but "not entirely surprising." He says not enough has been done to promote "understanding and empathy regarding racial diversity." The university also found several racist messages on campus during the spring semester, including a noose hanging in a tree. Kansas State denounced the posters and created two new diversity and inclusion administrative positions over the summer.

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Western Kansas Man Blames Others Accused in Bomb Plot 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man accused of planning to bomb a Kansas apartment complex that houses Somali refugees says he was unaware his co-defendants intended to carry out the attack. Gavin Wright made the argument in a court motion filed Wednesday that offers the first details at his defense strategy. His attorney filed the 93-page document and asked that Wright be released pending trial. The judge hasn't ruled on the request. Wright and co-defendants Patrick Stein and Curtis Allen are charged with conspiring to detonate truck bombs at an apartment complex in Garden City about 200 miles west of Wichita. They've all pleaded not guilty. Wright's motion portrays him as a lonely man desperate to find friends after moving to rural western Kansas. It contends Wright believed the talk about surveillance of the Somali Muslim refugee community was only hyperbole.

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Counterfeit Laundry Soap Case Dropped Against Kansas Man

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped their case against a Kansas man accused of representing the bulk laundry detergent he was selling as Tide-brand detergent. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Brian Glenn had been scheduled to go on trial next week on a felony counterfeiting charge. But a deputy attorney general with the Kansas Attorney General's Fraud and Litigation Division said in a motion dated Thursday that more testing is needed. The case was dismissed in a way that allows it to be refiled later. Law enforcement agents and Proctor & Gamble representatives raided Glenn's home last year. Glenn's attorney, Cooper Overstreet, said his client "made no representations that he was selling Tide soap." Glenn told an agent that when he sold the soap, he described it as "Tide like" or "Tide type."

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Authorities: Butler County House Explosion Caused by Propane 

ROSE HILL, Kan. (AP) — Butler County authorities say an explosion that destroyed a rural home and critically injured a man was caused by a propane leak. The home near Rose Hill exploded on Monday. KAKE-TV reports a 67-year-old man suffered severe burns. Andover Deputy Fire Chief Mike Roosevelt said investigators are sure propane caused the explosion but are still investigating the exact ignition source. Propane is a common home fuel source in rural Kansas. A family member said the injured man remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

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Former Pittsburg Officer Charged with Misconduct

GIRARD, Kan. (AP) — A former Pittsburg police officer is charged after he allegedly coerced a woman he had arrested into improper sexual contact in exchange for helping her in her legal case. Twenty-two-year-old Jessie Edward Loren Davis, of Carthage, Missouri, surrendered at the Crawford County jail Tuesday. He is charged with aggravated sexual battery and official misconduct. The Pittsburg Morning-Sun reports investigators say Davis was taking a woman involved in a domestic disturbance to jail on Aug. 26 when he allegedly told her he would help her with in the case if he could touch her breasts. The woman told investigators she allowed Davis to touch her out of fear about what would happen if she didn't. Davis was fired after the incident was reported. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney.

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Explosion Damages Wichita Barber Shop, 2 Suspects Sought 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are looking for two suspects after an explosion damaged a barber shop. Police were called to the Slice City barber shop in Wichita late Wednesday to assist firefighters. Officer Charley Davidson says witnessed told police the explosion happened after two people approached the business and left a short time later. The barber shop was closed at the time. No injuries were reported but the business was damaged.

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Holistic Doctor Stabbed to Death in Kansas; Suspect Arrested

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A doctor has been stabbed to death at his holistic practice in Kansas and a suspect is in custody. The Wichita Eagle reports that the doctor was stabbed multiple times shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and left dying in behind the Holistic Psychiatry Services clinic in Wichita. Authorities on Thursday identified the doctor as 57-year-old Achutha Reddy. Police Lieutenant Todd Ojile says the suspect and Reddy were seen entering the clinic together. The suspect left and came back later. An office manager found him assaulting the doctor. The suspect then followed Reddy to the office's alley where the doctor was stabbed multiple times. The 21-year-old suspect was arrested when a security guard at the Wichita Country Club called police after seeing a bloodied man sitting in a car nearby.

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Kansas City Man Pleads Guilty to Passport Fraud 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man pleaded guilty to passport fraud in a case that prompted an FBI terrorism investigation. Federal prosecutors say 22-year-old Isse Aweis Mohamud admitted Thursday that he lied about his travel plans last year when he applied for a passport. The Kansas City Star reports that Mohamud said on his application that he was traveling from Kansas City to Canada but he didn't intend to make the trip. Instead, he traveled several months later to Egypt. His family reported him missing and said they were worried he went overseas to "engage in jihadist activities." Mohamud was arrested in Egypt and voluntarily returned to the U.S. The agreement acknowledges that the government has no "direct evidence" he was involved in terrorism but it allows the government to continue investigating.

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Missouri Man Admits Creating Thousands of Fake IDs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri man pleaded guilty to federal charges after police officers found thousands of fake driver's licenses at his home. Prosecutors say 27-year-old Tracy Allan Ford, of Lee's Summit, entered his plea Wednesday to one count of producing fraudulent identification documents. During a search in September, 2015, Lee's Summit police found more than 2,300 counterfeit Missouri driver's licenses in various stages of production at his home. They also found equipment needed to make the licenses. Ford told investigators he had produced fake Missouri driver's licenses for three years, using specialized materials he ordered online, including holograms from a company in China. The investigation began after a Lee's Summit officer saw an underage woman buy liquor and she admitted using a fake license provided by Ford.

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Former Kansas Sheriff's Lieutenant Charged with Theft 

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — A former central Kansas sheriff's lieutenant is charged with stealing cash that was seized as evidence. The Salina Journal reports that Greg Swanson will make his first appearance next month on felony charges of theft, official misconduct and criminal solicitation. The complaint filed last month alleges that he stole between $1,500 and $25,000 from 2012 through January. Swanson began working for the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office in 2009 after 19 years with the Saline County Sheriff's Office. Dickinson County Sheriff Gareth Hoffman didn't immediately respond to phone or email inquiries from the newspaper about how the accusations against Swanson might affect cases in which the former drug task force agent was expected to testify or has testified. 

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Missouri Man Who Conned Women in Porn Scheme Sentenced 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City-area man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for persuading two dozen women to have sex with him by saying they were rehearsing for pornographic movies. Mario Ambrose Antoine, of Raymore, was sentenced Wednesday for wire fraud. Prosecutors said most of Antoine's victims were in financial trouble and he promised to pay them thousands of dollars to appear in porn films that would be available only on private websites overseas. The Kansas City Star reports that Antoine told the women they had to "audition" first. None of the women was ever paid. If the woman complained, Antoine threatened to send compromising images of them to their family or friends. In some cases, he did send the images to friends, boyfriends or employers.

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3 Kansas State Fair Workers Facing Charges over Ticket Sales 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Three Kansas State Fair employees are facing charges after allegedly selling fair gate tickets for their own profit. The Hutchinson News reports the employees were arrested Tuesday and accused of approaching people who were walking toward the fair, selling them tickets and keeping the money for themselves. Two of the men, Leeon Virgil Gould Jr., and Charles Scott, both 47 and of Hutchinson, made a first court appearance Wednesday and were ordered to return next week. The third suspect, Brett Ezra Thomas, bonded out of jail and did not make his first appearance. Reno County Magistrate Judge Cheryl Allen said another fair employee reported the sales to authorities.

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O Bluetiful: Crayola Announces Name of New Blue Hue 

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — Hello, Bluetiful. Crayola announced the name of its new blue crayon Thursday. Bluetiful was the top pick of fans during two months of online voting, beating out Dreams Come Blue, Blue Moon Bliss, Reach for the Stars and Star Spangled Blue. The Easton, Pennsylvania-based crayon maker received nearly 90,000 name submissions before narrowing it down to five. Bluetiful will make its debut later this year. It's replacing the recently retired dandelion. Scientists at Oregon State University accidentally discovered the brilliant blue hue while experimenting with materials for use in electronics. Crayola is a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards Inc., headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

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White Sox Rally in 9th to Beat Royals, 5-3 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia drove in runs in the ninth inning as the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Wednesday. Abreu's sacrifice fly scored Tim Anderson, who led off the inning with a single, took second on a wild pitch by Scott Alexander (4-4) and stole third. Garcia's single to center scored Yoan Moncada with the second run.  The Royals tied the score at 3 in the eighth. Alcides Escobar singled in one run, while pinch runner Terrance Gore scored the other on an Alex Gordon groundout. The White Sox' Juan Minaya (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory. Chicago won two of three in the series. Royals starter Eric Skoglund lasted only three innings and 66 pitches, giving up three runs on five hits. White Sox starter Lucas Giolito yielded only one run, a homer by Salvador Perez in the sixth inning, in 6 1/3 innings.

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