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Headlines for Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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

Colyer Confirms Bid for Full Term as Kansas Governor in 2018 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer has confirmed that he will seek a full, four-year term as Kansas governor in 2018 after assuming the office upon Governor Sam Brownback's departure. Colyer announced Tuesday that he appointed a treasurer for his campaign for the Republican nomination. He said in a statement that he is committed to doing the work necessary to win. Brownback has been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Brownback has not set a date for stepping down as governor. Both Brownback and Colyer are conservative Republicans who ran together on a single ticket in 2010 and 2014. The race for the GOP nomination already is crowded with six other candidates that include Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer.

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Kansas Governor-in-Waiting Names GOP Official as Assistant 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer has hired a state Republican Party official as a special assistant and named a new press secretary in preparing to become governor. Colyer announced that Clay Barker began working as his special assistant Monday after having been the Kansas GOP's executive director for six years. Colyer also announced that Kara Fullmer joined his staff July 31 as press secretary. She is a former reporter with WIBW-TV in Topeka and has been operating her own business in recent years. Governor Sam Brownback plans to resign to become U.S. ambassador-at-large for international freedom but hasn't set a date. President Donald Trump nominated Brownback last month. Brownback spokeswoman Melika Willoughby confirmed that Laura McCabe had left Colyer's office after serving as his press secretary.

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Kansas Insurance Regulator Files to Run for GOP Gubernatorial Nomination

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer has appointed a treasurer for a campaign for the Republican nomination for governor next year. Selzer filed the form last week with the secretary of state's office. Appointing a treasurer allows him to legally accept contributions. Five other Republicans have appointed treasurers. They are Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former state Senator Jim Barnett of Topeka, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Leawood businessman Patrick Kucera and former state Representative Ed O'Malley of Wichita. Pro-marijuana activist and Wichita businesswoman Jennifer Winn still has an active campaign committee from her unsuccessful 2014 bid for the GOP nomination. Four Democrats have appointed treasurers. They are ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, former state Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty, Olathe physician Arden Andersen and Wichita high school student Jack Bergeson.

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Topeka VA's Hospital to Expand Emergency Room

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Topeka Veteran Affairs' hospital is planning a $4.5 million modernization project this fall.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports internal emails it obtained show the project entails expanding the emergency department, including private patient bays, a central physician and nursing hub, and a dedicated waiting space for families.  Chief of staff Alexander Hallock says funds have been allocated for the two-year project.  The project comes as the hospital struggles with a staffing shortage. The emergency room was closed from January 2014 to late June 2015 because of the staffing shortage.  Last month, the eastern Kansas VA system initiated the Physicians Ambassador Program, which uses volunteer, retired doctors.  The women's health department also is being upgraded through a grant. The project is expected to double services for female veterans.  

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Inspection Backlog Reduces Use of Kansas Kidney Dialysis Clinics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Eight nearly new kidney dialysis clinics are mostly unused because the state of Kansas is more than two years behind inspecting and certifying for the clinics. And another four clinics are unable to expand because they are waiting for state inspections. Federal funding for inspectors was reduced in recent years and Kansas has not made up the difference. That's caused turnover in the health facility inspection force. The backlog for new dialysis centers are by federal law a lower priority than inspections of other types of facilities and existing dialysis centers with problems. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services contracts with state health departments to do the inspections. Without inspections, dialysis centers can't bill Medicare, which covers 85 percent of Americans in kidney failure.

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Man Convicted of Fire Attack at Fort Leavenworth 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a former civilian employee of charges that he set a supervisor on fire and attacked her with a straight razor and scissors at a health center at Fort Leavenworth. Jurors in Kansas City, Kansas found 55-year-old Clifford Currie guilty Tuesday of one count of assault with intent to commit murder. Prosecutors allege during the Leavenworth man's trial that in September of last year, Currie threw a flammable liquid on his female supervisor, ignited her and assaulted her with a straight edge razor and scissors. Authorities say another worker was injured when she tried to stop the assault before other hospital employees subdued Currie. Currie faces up to 20 years in federal prison and possibly as much as $250,000 in fines when sentenced October 31.

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Police: Mother, Daughter Found Slain in Kansas Home 

NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — Police in  Newton say a man suspected in the slayings of his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter has been arrested in Texas. Authorities say 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and daughter Zaylynn Paz were found dead shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday by Runyon's ex-boyfriend in bedrooms in the victims' duplex. Police said the girl had been fatally stabbed and that her mother strangled. Police said the suspect was arrested shortly before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Taylor, Texas, where he allegedly was found driving Runyon's vehicle when he arrived at a relative's home. There was no immediate word about any charges. Police Chief Eric Murphy said the suspect has been previously arrested and has been known to law enforcers in and around 19,000-resident Newton. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting.

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Kansas Marine Among 3 Killed in Australian Plane Crash

SYDNEY (AP) — U.S. military officials have identified the three Marines who were killed after their aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia. The three men remain missing and were declared dead by the military this (TUE) morning. 21-year-old Corporal Nathaniel Ordway of Sedgwick, Kansas was among 26 people on board an MV-22 Osprey that crashed off the coast of Queensland state on Saturday. The U.S. Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said the other 2 victims were 26-year-old 1st Lieutenant Benjamin Cross of Oxford, Maine; and 19-year-old Private Ruben Velasco of Los Angeles. The Australian navy found the wreckage of the aircraft on Monday.

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Kansas Board of Regents Awaiting Word on 3 Members' Seats

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — As the Kansas Board of Regents begins its first meeting of the 2018 fiscal year today (TUE), the board is still awaiting word on whether Governor Sam Brownback will replace three members whose terms have expired. Kansas law allows the three to continue serving until their replacements are named. The Board of Regents will begin their 3-day budget workshop and retreat this (TUE) morning in Topeka. Brownback hasn't named anyone to replace Regents Shane Bangerter, Ann Brandau-Murguia and Helen Van Etten. Their four-year terms expired at the end of June. They also are eligible to be appointed to a second term. The governor appoints members of the board and their appointments are approved by the state Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee. Board spokeswoman Breeze Richardson says it is still waiting on word from Brownback's office.

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Man Accused of Causing Deadly Wreck in Kansas City Suburb 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 24-year-old man is accused of drunkenly causing a two-vehicle crash that killed a woman in suburban Kansas City, Missouri. Jackson County (Missouri) prosecutors charged Carl-Dakota A. Young of Independence with a felony count of driving while intoxicated as a habitual offender. Court filings allege that Young was intoxicated while driving early last Saturday in Independence when his pickup truck entered oncoming traffic and collided with a car, killing one of its passengers, 45-year-old Patrice Lee of Independence. Prosecutors have requested a $150,000 bond for Young. Online court records don't show whether he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

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NTSB: Mechanical Failure Unlikely as Factor in Kansas Crash 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Federal investigators say mechanical failure likely didn't play a role in a plane crash that killed a pilot and flight instructor near an airport in Topeka, Kansas. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the National Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report that investigators found "no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation" of the 1965 Piper PA-30 before it went down July 31 near Philip Billard Municipal Airport. The crash killed 61-year-old pilot William Leeds of Topeka and 55-year-old flight instructor James Bergman of Leawood. The newspaper reports that Leeds was an experienced pilot who was working on a new multi-engine land airplane rating for his pilot certificate, and that the crash happened during a practice flight a day before his scheduled examination.

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Kansas Native Among 3 Marines Killed in Military Plane Crash

SYDNEY (AP) — U.S. military officials have identified the three Marines who were killed after their aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia. The three men remain missing and were declared dead by the military on Tuesday. They were among 26 people on board an MV-22 Osprey that crashed off the coast of Queensland state on Saturday. The U.S. Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said the victims were 26-year-old 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross of Oxford, Maine; 21-year-old Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway of Sedgwick, Kansas; and 19-year-old Pfc. Ruben Velasco of Los Angeles. The Australian navy found the wreckage of the aircraft on Monday.

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Kiowa Cleanup Begins After Wind Damage 

KIOWA, Kan. (AP) — A small Barber County town is cleaning up after strong winds, hail and heavy rain left severe damage over the weekend. Barber County authorities say the storm damaged 42 homes, leaving 17 uninhabitable. About 15 businesses in Kiowa were damaged and the town of about 1,000 people was left without power after utility poles were downed. The town's heavily used swimming pool was closed after being damaged and some damage was reported at South Barber High School. The Wichita Eagle reports no one was injured when the storm hit Saturday. City administrator Lou Leone says cleanup and repair will cost about $2.9 million. It's the second storm to hit Kiowa in a month. Leone says the cleanups will be a big hit to the town's budget.

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Man Dead After Officer-Involved Shooting in Junction City

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating after a Junction City officer fatally shot a man. Police spokeswoman Trish Giordano says the shooting occurred early Tuesday when officers were called to make a welfare check on the west side of Junction City. One man was killed. No officers were injured. Further information was not immediately available.

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PenAir Announces Reorganization, Termination of Liberal & Dodge City Air Routes 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An air carrier based in Alaska says it's filing a Chapter 11 reorganization plan. PenAir announced Monday it's closing its Denver hub pending approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The move would end essential air service routes between Denver and Liberal and Dodge City, Kansas, and North Platt, Kearney and Dodge City, Kansas. The company says a transition to a new carrier usually takes 30 to 90 days. PenAir had previously announced it was ending Portland, Oregon, regional routes. All but an essential air service route between Portland and Crescent City, California, are to be shut down after Monday. Operations in Alaska and Boston will not be affected. PenAir CEO Danny Seybert in the announcement says the reorganization will allow the company to emerge as a stronger airline. 

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Police: Bones Found at Kansas City Construction Site Are Human 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, say bones found Monday at a downtown construction site are human, and the county's medical examiner and archaeologists are investigating. A police statement Tuesday offered no additional details about the bones unearthed by construction workers the previous day beneath a former Kansas City Star building, which is now vacant but being renovated. Police are unsure how the bones came to be there or how old they are.

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Wichita Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wichita restaurant owner has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking from his business and his home. Federal prosecutors say 62-year-old Gerald Beasley pleaded guilty Monday to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and unlawful possession of a firearm. He agreed to forfeit the building where his restaurant, Tiara's Place, was located. He'll also forfeit his Andover home, several real estate properties, bank accounts, $75,000 in cash and other assets. Two co-defendants also pleaded guilty Monday. Terry Beasley, of Wichita, pleaded guilty to money laundering, and Brandon Smith, of Wichita, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Sentencing for Gerald Beasley is scheduled for October 30. Terry Beasley will be sentenced November 6 and Smith will be sentenced November 13.

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Man Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting death of a man by a Wichita police officer. Wichita police chief Gordon Ramsay says the 29-year-old man was shot Monday after officers responded to a domestic violence call. Ramsay says the suspect had a knife and was holding his 42-year-old girlfriend against her will when officers arrived at the home. The chief says four officers entered the home after hearing the woman scream. One officer believed the woman was being stabbed and fired one round. The woman was treated at the scene. Two women and four children inside the home were not injured. The officer who fired the shot is an 18-year veteran of the force.

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Cardinals Beat Royals 11-3 in First of 4-Game Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter hit a three-run homer in a six-run fourth inning as the Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 11-3 on Monday night. Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong also connected for the Cardinals, who returned to .500 at 56-56. Carlos Martinez (8-9) pitched eight innings of two-run ball for just his second win in his last nine starts. St. Louis also got some help from the Royals during its outburst in the fourth. Ian Kennedy (4-8) walked No. 9 hitter Greg Garcia on five pitches with the bases loaded, and shortstop Alcides Escobar and catcher Drew Butera each committed an error. The Royals and Cardinals play again at Kauffman Stadium tonight (TUE) before the inter-league series travels east along I-70 to St. Louis for two more games.

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Chiefs' Len Dawson to Retire After Final Season in Broadcast Booth 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hall of Fame quarterback-turned broadcaster Len Dawson, who led the Kansas City Chiefs to three AFL titles and their only Super Bowl, will retire from the radio booth after the upcoming season. The Chiefs and their radio network announced Dawson's decision in a joint statement Tuesday. Dawson joined the Dallas Texans in 1962 and led the franchise to its first AFL title, then stayed with the organization when it moved to Kansas City. The Chiefs also won titles in 1966 and 1969, when they beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl and Dawson was the game's MVP. He began broadcasting in 1966, while he was still playing, and joined the Chiefs' radio network in 1984. Dawson then joined Dan Dierdorf and Frank Gifford in 2012 as the only people to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as both a player and broadcaster.

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Trial over Security at Chiefs Games Begins 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A trial has begun over a Kansas City man's claims that he was attacked during a Chiefs game because of lacking security. The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that the Chiefs deny the claims and are fighting them during the civil trial this week. Adrien Caye's lawyers say he was at an October 2013 game at Arrowhead Stadium when a man in front of him started fighting. Caye's attorney, Ken McClain, said that the other man sent Caye flying down 20 concrete stairs before punching him several times. The man has been dismissed from the lawsuit. Caye says security wasn't there to help. A Chiefs' attorney told jurors that the team has hundreds of off-duty police and private security guards at home games and fans can easily get help.
 

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