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Headlines for Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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

Kansas Supreme Court Again Weighs School Funding 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is weighing whether state legislators boosted spending on public schools enough this year to provide a suitable education to all children, as the high court had ordered. The justices heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys about a new school finance law but appeared skeptical that the funding plan offers enough money for education. That law phases in a $293 million increase in education funding over two years. The justices ruled in March that the state's then-$4 billion a year in aid to its 286 school districts was inadequate. School districts suing for more funding say the state needs to add nearly $900 million over two years for funding to be adequate. But an attorney for the state countered that the new law vastly improved the previous way schools were funded.


Disciplinary Board Investigates Kansas Secretary of State

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A disciplinary agency that oversees attorneys has opened a formal investigation against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for alleged misconduct in voting rights cases. A letter obtained by The Associated Press shows the Office of Disciplinary Administration decided to investigate Kobach following a complaint brought by Washburn University student Keri Strahler. Kobach's office says they are reviewing it and have no comment. Each year the disciplinary agency receives about 800 complaints against attorneys and opens investigations in about one-third of them. Among the allegations cited in the complaint is a recent decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge James O'Hara, who ruled Kobach's "deceptive conduct and lack of candor" warranted sanctions. O'Hara fined him $1,000 and ordered Kobach to submit to a deposition.


Kansas Board Revokes Doctor's License Again in Abortion Case

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas medical board has, for the third time, revoked the license of a doctor whose second opinions allowed the late Dr. George Tiller to perform late-term abortions more than a decade ago. The Board of Healing Arts acted against Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus again over what it concluded were inadequate records for 11 patients aged 10 to 18 who sought abortions in 2003. Kansas law required a second doctor to say continuing a pregnancy would permanently harm a patient's physical or mental health. The board's order earlier this month said poor record-keeping could jeopardize patients' future care. The board revoked the Nortonville doctor's license in 2012 and again in 2015. Each time, a Shawnee County judge overturned its action and ordered the board to reconsider. Tiller was murdered in 2009. 


Kansas 18-Year-Old Gets Prison Term for Causing Deadly Crash 

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A central Kansas 18-year-old has been ordered to spend four years in prison for causing a several-vehicle crash that killed one of the other drivers. The Salina Journal reports Hunter Burns was sentenced Monday to three years and five months in prison on an involuntary manslaughter count while under the influence and six months for aggravated child endangerment. Burns pleaded no contest to both felonies in May. The judge also ordered Burns to pay $4,500 in restitution to the family of Diane Boos, the 53-year-old Salina woman fatally injured in the crash in August of last year. Burns's attorney told the judge his client "was really sorry for what he has done," that he accepts responsibility and "will try to change his life in a positive manner."


Bethany College Has Probation Lifted over Finances 

LINDSBORG, Kan. (AP) — Bethany College in Lindsborg no longer is on probation over its finances. The Salina Journal reports the college was notified Monday that the Higher Learning Commission's governing board has removed it from probation and reaffirmed the college's accreditation. The college received probation in mid-2015 for noncompliance with criteria relating to finances and operational processes. The school still remained fully accredited. The college's president, William Jones, said the lifting of probation "allows us to move forward without an albatross around our neck." The college's latest audit showed a positive balance for the first time in eight years, with a total change of net operating assets from a nearly $5.5 million loss in fiscal year 2015 to a gain of more than $77,000 in fiscal year 2016.


Kansas Priest Suspended as Conduct Probe Unfolds 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas says an associate pastor at two churches is suspended as state child-welfare workers and the archdiocese investigate his conduct, in one case involving a juvenile. The archdiocese said Tuesday that Father Scott Kallal was suspended from public ministry duties after two sources accused him of "boundary violations." Archdiocese spokeswoman Anita McSorley declined to elaborate. The archdiocese says Kallal's suspension was announced last weekend during Masses at two churches he served — Overland Park's Holy Spirit Church and St. Patrick Church in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas Department for Children and Families declined comment Tuesday. Messages left with police in Overland Park and Kansas City, Kansas, weren't immediately returned. Kallal does not have a listed telephone number and couldn't be reached.


Police Say a Victim Shot a Robbery Suspect in Kansas City 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a robbery victim has fatally shot an armed man at a gated apartment complex in south Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports that police responded to the shooting just before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Police say two men were loading items into their car when the robber approached them demanding the items. The victims initially complied. But one of the men pulled out a handgun and shot the robber when he tried to force the men inside their apartment. Police say the robber ran before collapsing moments later and dying. Police didn't say what the men were loading into their vehicle when they were robbed or whether the gates to the complex were closed. The identity of the man who died wasn't immediately released.


Semi-Pro Football Player Dies in Wichita Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Authorities have arrested one suspect in the weekend shooting death of a semi-pro football player in Wichita and continue looking for two others. KAKE-TV reports that police have identified the victim as 19-year-old Timothy Golden, who was a tight end for the Kansas Cougars. Police say Golden was found dead Saturday afternoon inside an apartment building and that an 18-year-old suspect was arrested that day. The man was booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder early Sunday. Cougars Head Coach Darrell Nave described Golden as a "very energetic kid." Nave said he had anticipated that Golden was going to have a "breakout season" because he "just wanted to be a better athlete." Police declined to discuss a motive because two of the suspects haven't yet been arrested.


Olathe Woman Charged with Leaving 2 Children in Hot Car

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - A woman has been charged with leaving a 3-year-old and an 11-month-old in a hot car at a suburban Kansas City mall. Neither child was seriously hurt. Thirty-two-year-old Sara Fite, of Olathe, Kansas, was charged Monday in Johnson County District Court with two felony counts of aggravated child endangerment. She appeared in court Monday afternoon and was released from custody after posting a $2,500 bond. The Kansas City Star reports that paramedics checked the children as a precaution after they were found Saturday in the car outside Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kansas. Police say the temperature early Saturday afternoon was 87 degrees


Health Officials Confirm Measles Case in Sedgwick County
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Health officials confirm there's been a case of measles in southern Kansas. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Sedgwick County Division of Health say that a number of people may have been exposed to the contagious illness. The state health department has created a list of Wichita-area locations and dates where people may have been exposed. It asks residents who were in those areas to call the department for further evaluation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says infected people can spread measles to others from about four days before the rash appears to four days after. The CDC says infants younger than 12 months, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at high risk of complications from measles.


2 Killed in Kansas After Driver Crosses into Oncoming Traffic

LOUISBURG, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say two people have died in a head-on crash south of Kansas City. The Kansas Highway Patrol identified the victims as 42-year-old Samuel Deal, of Archie, Missouri, and 24-year-old Tiffany Maimer, of Paola, Kansas. They were killed Monday morning when Deal crossed into oncoming traffic on Kansas 68 west of Louisburg, Kansas. Deal's sport utility vehicle collided with the car that Maimer was driving.


Kansas Man Sentenced to Prison in Missouri Shooting Death 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas man has been ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison after admitting he killed a woman in a Missouri apartment where officers found three children cowering under a blanket. Thirty-two-year-old Derrick Williams of Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced Monday in Kansas City, Missouri, after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and three counts of armed criminal action. Williams was sentenced to 28 years on the murder count and 15 years on each of the other charges, with the terms to run simultaneously. Williams admitted he killed 32-year-old Denise Gayle in July of last year. Court records say officers responding to a report of gunfire and screams found a naked Williams outside the apartment. Gayle's body was found in a bathroom.


Kansas Woman Charged with Leaving 2 Children in Hot Car 

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A woman has been charged with leaving a 3-year-old and an 11-month-old in a hot car at a suburban Kansas City mall. Neither child was seriously hurt. Thirty-two-year-old Sara Fite of Olathe was charged Monday in Johnson County District Court with two felony counts of aggravated child endangerment. She appeared in court Monday afternoon and was released from custody after posting a $2,500 personal recognizance bond. She doesn't have a listed phone number, and no attorney is listed for her in online court records. The Kansas City Star reports that paramedics checked the children as a precaution after they were found Saturday in the car outside Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. Police say the temperature early Saturday afternoon was 87 degrees.


Kansas Businesswoman Gets Prison Term in IRS Case 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A Kansas City-area businesswoman has been ordered to spend a year and a half in federal prison for lying about her Cayman Islands interests used in a scheme to hide millions of dollars in secret offshore accounts. Sixty-six-year-old Verna Cheryl Womack of Mission Hills, Kansas, was sentenced Monday in Kansas City, Missouri. She paid the $1.7 million in taxes that her attorneys and the U.S. government agreed she owed. Womack pleaded guilty last year to a count of attempting to interfere with the administration of U.S. internal revenue laws. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped nine other counts. Court documents allege that Womack failed to report her offshore holdings as required by law in an effort to hide more than $6 million in income.


Kansas 18-Year-Old Convicted of 2016 Shooting Death

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas 18-year-old accused of having a role in the shooting death of a man in Topeka has been convicted of first-degree murder. A Shawnee County jury found Christopher Patillo Jr. guilty Monday after a six-day trial. Patillo, who was 16 at the time of 20-year-old Brian Miller's death in April of last year, had been certified to stand trial as an adult.  Patillo faces a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Prosecutors argued that Patillo drove a van from which a gunman fired shots. Patillo also was convicted of criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated child endangerment.  A sentencing date was not immediately scheduled. 


Kansas Man Gets 2 Life Terms for Sex Misconduct with Boys

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 62-year-old Wichita, Kansas, man with a previous conviction of sexual misconduct involving a boy has been sentenced to two life terms for sex offenses involving two more children. A Sedgwick County judge last week ordered Danny Alexander to serve the life sentences one after the other. Alexander must serve at least 40 years in each case before becoming eligible for parole. Jurors convicted Alexander in May of two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Authorities say Alexander molested a boy who was 4 to 5 years old in 2007, and a 9-year-old boy in 2015. Alexander's background included a 1992 conviction of aggravated sexual battery involving a 5-year-old boy.


'Little House on the Prairie' Log Cabin to Be Rebuilt 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The deteriorating log cabin at the "Little House on the Prairie" site in Kansas is expected to soon get a makeover. The Wichita Eagle reports that the current cabin was re-created and built near Independence in 1977 at the television series' peak of popularity. The show is based upon Laura Ingalls Wilder's books centered on her childhood in the country's Midwest. Wilder spent a year with her family at the Kansas site in 1869. Cabin owners Bill Kurtis and Jean Schodorf say that four decades of weather has worn down the house. They want to rebuild the house as well as add a barn. Schodorf says more than 20,000 people visit the site each year. She says construction in October and November.

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