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Headlines for Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Here's a look at the latest Kansas news (and some Missouri) headlines from the Associated Press.

Kansas Congressman Pompeo Evades Questions About Senate Run

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo has repeatedly evaded questions about whether he is mulling over a primary challenge to Kansas Senator Jerry Moran.  Speculation has been fueled by an unusual and at times demeaning, written statement Pompeo put out earlier about his Kansas colleague's shifting positions on whether the Supreme Court nominee should have a hearing.  Pompeo says he never comments on campaign activities they are engaged in.  He told The Associated Press he did not realize the political speculation his written statement had generated until contacted by media outlets.  Moran says in an email that he is not surprised Pompeo has suggested he is not running for the U.S. Senate. Moran says he wouldn't have expected him to run against him without the courtesy of a conversation.


Authorities: Man's Fody Found in Lake Shawnee

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in Shawnee County are investigating the death of a man whose body was found in Lake Shawnee, south of Topeka.  Sheriff Herman Jones says someone in a sailboat spotted the body Monday afternoon about 25 yards from a yacht dock and summoned authorities.  A wildlife park department worker put a boat in the water and retrieved the body.  The man's identity was not immediately released.


Kansas Governor Names New Corrections Secretary

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Federal Bureau of Prisons official has been appointed to lead the Kansas Department of Corrections.  Governor Sam Brownback announced Monday that Joseph Norwood is his pick to replace Ray Roberts, who retired in December.  Norwood currently works as a regional director for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and has over 30 years of correctional experience. He will begin his position as the secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections on May 30 if the state Senate confirms the appointment.  Norwood said in a news release that his focus would be on "sound administration" and "effective security practices."  Johnnie Goddard has been serving as the interim secretary of the department. He is returning to his role as the Deputy Secretary for Facilities Management.


Kansas High Court to Rule on Military Spouses' Law Licenses

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is expected to consider a measure that would reduce law licensing barriers for military spouses who've passed the bar in other states.  Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sent a letter to the Kansas Board of Law Examiners in February urging the group of 10 lawyers and judges to license military spouses who are eligible to practice in other states.  Four military leaders in the state support the proposed rule.  The Board of Law Examiners, which oversees law licenses in the state, will make a recommendation to the Kansas Supreme Court.  A spokeswoman for the high court says this rule change has been a priority for several months and that a decision is expected soon.


Man Denied New Trial in Kansas Attack of 8-Year-Old Girl

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka man convicted of kidnapping and repeatedly sexually attacking an 8-year-old girl has been refused a new trial.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a Shawnee County judge last week rejected 30-year-old Jeremy James Lindsey's push for a new trial. He's to be sentenced April 21.  Lindsey's two-week trial ended with his January convictions of three counts of rape and two of aggravated burglary. He also was found guilty of single counts of aggravated kidnapping, battery, child endangerment, felony criminal property damage and unlawful drug administration.  The victim disappeared from her home in September 2014 and was held captive, bound with a telephone cord, before freeing herself and seeking help from a nearby home.


Ellis County Man Dies When Tree Falls on Him

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a western Kansas man has been killed while cutting down a tree.  The Salina Journal reports that 39-year-old Jarrod Depenbush, of rural Ellis County, died Saturday when the tree fell on him. The Ellis County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that his death is under investigation.


Kansas Man Pleads Guilty in Investment Fraud Scheme

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been sentenced to five years of probation in an investment fraud scheme.  Kansas Securities Commissioner Josh Ney announced in a news release Monday that 44-year-old Jeffrey Williams, of Wichita, pleaded guilty in Sedgwick County to charges that included felony securities fraud.  He was ordered to repay $55,150 in restitution. Williams also is barred from dealing in securities and financially advising clients.  Ney's office said in a news release that Williams defrauded at least three Kansas investors out of thousands of dollars by selling what he purported to be interests in third-party life insurance contracts. But the release says Williams didn't own the interests in the policies he sold to them.  Williams operated under the name Hybrid Asset Management.


Keystone Pipeline Could Shut Down Rest of the Week

FREEMAN, S.D. (AP) — TransCanada Corp. says the Keystone pipeline is likely to remain shut down the rest of the week while officials investigate an apparent spill in southeastern South Dakota.  Oil was discovered on a 300-square-foot area in a field ditch near a Freeman-area pump station. About 100 workers are at the site removing soil and determining where the oil originated. A company spokesman says crews haven't found any pipeline damage.  TransCanada hasn't released the amount of oil or speculated on cleanup costs.  TransCanada says it has found no significant harm to the environment. State environmental officials are monitoring the cleanup to make sure it's handled properly.  The existing Keystone pipeline runs from the Canadian province of Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, passing through the eastern Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.


Wichita Police: Man Stabbed After Trying to Intervene in Argument

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police are investigating after they say a man was stabbed while trying to intervene in an altercation in Wichita.  Wichita police Lt. James Espinoza said that three people were with a teenager Sunday night, when one of them began arguing and accusing the teen of owing them money. Espinoza said a 42-year-old man tried to intervene and a fight ensued, during which he was stabbed in the back.  The Wichita Eagle reports the man was taken to a hospital and was in serious condition as of Monday afternoon.  According to Espinoza, police are looking for the three people as well as the teenager.


Ex-Husband of Kansas Lawmaker Sues over Family Business

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The ex-husband of state Representative Kasha Kelley alleges in a lawsuit that a family business owes him money.  Scott Margolius filed the lawsuit against his former spouse, Representative Kasha Kelley, and her mother, Diana Williams, last year in Cowley County. Williams is the owner of First Intermark Corp. and Kelley is the chief executive officer. The retail consulting company follows up on sales, mainly of motorcycle dealers.  The suit claims that Kelley and Williams knowingly withheld more than $60,000 from Margolius, a former employee. Williams and Kelley claim in a court filing that that Margolius was using company resources to operate his own business.  Margolius is seeking $225,000 in the lawsuit. Williams, Kelley and their company are demanding the same amount from Margolius.


Police Investigate Fatal Shooting in Kansas City Parking Lot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police are investigating a fatal shooting in the parking lot of a Kansas City shopping center.  Police said in a news release that an off-duty officer walked outside Sunday night after hearing gunshots and noticed 39-year-old Jacob Brantner on the ground. Emergency personnel responded and declared Brantner dead at the scene.  Authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward.


$4.2 Million Primary Care Clinic Planned in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Construction is expected to begin next month on a new $4.2 million primary care facility in Pittsburg.  Officials from Via Christi Hospital and Joplin's Mercy Medical Center announced plans Monday for the 13,500-square-foot facility. The Pittsburg Morning Sun reports that it is being built through a joint partnership.  Via Christi Senior Administrator in Pittsburg Randy Cason says the partnership includes a 51 percent share for Via Christi and 49 percent for Mercy.  The facility will be located at the Via Christi Pittsburg campus. Cason says it should initially house four primary care physicians and support staff, with the capacity to eventually house up to nine physicians.


Kansas City, St. Louis Voters Revisit Earnings Tax

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Voters in Missouri's two biggest cities are headed to the polls to decide whether to renew the decades-old earnings tax.  The tax requires those who work in Kansas City or St. Louis to pay a 1 percent tax on their pay.  Voters overwhelmingly embraced renewing the tax five years ago.  Supporters in both cities say losing the revenue would mean cuts in services including police and fire protection, road upkeep, trash pickup and criminal justice. Opponents counter that the tax is unfair and drives businesses and workers to the suburbs, and that eliminating it would force the cities to weed out fraud, waste and redundant services.  Voter rejection of the tax would phase it out over a decade by one-tenth of a percent each year.


Kansas City Gets New School Superintendent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The incoming superintendent of Kansas City, Missouri, public schools says he has begun drafting a 100-day transition plan to ease into his new job that begins in July. Forty-one-year-old Mark Bedell signed his contract, then spoke with community leaders, students and district leaders. He talked off collaborating with community and business leaders, building trust among his staff and parents, and instilling a sense of hope in district students. Bedell is currently an assistant superintendent of high schools in Baltimore County, Maryland.


Judge Disqualifies Missouri Council Candidate from Election

A Jackson County, Missouri, judge has declared a man seeking a city council seat in the suburb of Lee's Summit ineligible because of a felony car theft conviction.  Circuit Judge James Kanatzar disqualified Franklin Tatro after a hearing Monday, a day before the election.  Kanatzar concluded that Tatro would be barred from being sworn in if elected, and the judge ordered the county's election board to not release any information showing the number of votes ultimately cast for Tatro.  Tatro served four years in prison in the 1990s for stealing a car. Under state law, convicted felons can't be elected or appointed to public office.  Tatro moved to Lee's Summit in 2010. He says he hopes to have his criminal record expunged and run for office again.



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