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Headlines for Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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

Kansas City, Kansas Police Officer Shot and Killed While Responding to Call

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The latest on the shooting of a police officer in Kansas City, Kansas (all times local):

5:20 pm

A spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the agency has about 20 agents on the scene of a fatal shooting of a Kansas City, Kansas, officer. Spokesman John Ham said the ATF will provide help with ballistics if required, but are currently assisting with the investigation. Ham also called it a "large crime scene." Authorities say 46-year-old Capt. Robert Melton was shot multiple times in his vehicle on Tuesday afternoon when he pulled up to a person who matched the description of a suspect. A suspect in Melton's shooting was taken into custody. Asked whether there's evidence that the officers on the scene were ambushed, Ham said he didn't know, adding, "The investigation needs to play out before that can be determined."


5:15 pm

Authorities say a person who is believed to have pulled the trigger in the fatal shooting of a Kansas City, Kansas, police captain is in custody. Police spokesman Tom Tomasic also said Tuesday that authorities think they have all suspects in custody in the officer's shooting, as well as from an earlier report of shots fired. Tomasic says a suspect was taken into custody around 2:04 p.m. about a block away from where 46-year-old Capt. Robert Melton was shot in his patrol car. Tomasic says Melton did not respond to the scene of an earlier report of shots fired, but was looking for suspects in an area about 20 blocks away when he pulled up to a person who matched a suspect's description. He says the man opened fire before Melton could get out of his vehicle. Tomasic says he has been told a fourth person that police thought was a suspect might not have been involved.


4:25 pm

Kansas City, Kansas Police Chief Terry Zeigler says the officer who was shot and killed came after officers responded to a drive-by shooting. Zeigler says the suspected vehicle fled at about 2 pm Tuesday and led police on a chase. That chase ended when Capt. Robert Melton arrived and the suspects jumped out of the car and opened fire, hitting Melton multiple times. Melton was declared dead at a hospital. The chief noted at a news conference that the community is still recovering from the shooting death of Kansas City police detective Brad Lancaster, who was gunned down near Kansas Speedway in May.


4:10 pm

A surgeon in the Kansas City, Kansas area says that the officer who was shot multiple times by suspects in an earlier shooting has died. University of Kansas trauma surgeon James Howard says the officer, Capt. Robert Melton, arrived just before 2:30 p.m. and that resuscitation efforts did not work. The officer was shot Tuesday afternoon in his car as he approached people matching the description of suspects in an earlier shooting.


3:45 pm

Police in Kansas City, Kansas say a ranking officer was in his patrol car when he was shot multiple times by suspects in an earlier shooting. Spokesman Tom Tomasic says officers responded around 1:30 pm Tuesday to a report of an armed disturbance involving shots fired at a person from people in a car. He says three or four suspects jumped out of the car after police arrived at the scene. One person was taken into custody there, and a second was apprehended later. About a half-hour after the initial report, an officer saw people matching the suspects' description 20 blocks from the original scene and approached them in his patrol car. Tomasic says the officer was shot multiple times and his wounds are considered life-threatening, but he couldn't say where on the body the officer was shot.


ACLU Files Lawsuit over Planned Two-Tiered Elections

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a two-tiered election system that require Kansas election officials to throw out thousands of votes cast in state and local races by people who registered at motor vehicle offices or used a federal form without providing documentary proof of their U.S. citizenship. The class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in Shawnee County District Court comes a week after a state board approved the temporary measure. The board's decision was made a day before advance voting began for the August 2 primary. The rule was sought by Secretary of State Kris Kobach and will be in effect through the Nov. 8 general election. A federal judge in May ordered the state to allow people who registered at motor vehicle offices to vote in federal elections.


Kansas Set to Lose Around $800,000 in Arts Funding 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is set to miss out on about $800,000 in arts funding this year because state spending doesn't meet a minimum set by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Wichita Eagle reports that the state is about $250,000 short of the minimum needed to receive federal matching funds for the NEA. Kansas allocated $191,000 in arts funding for this fiscal year. The executive director of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission says losing more than $400,000 in federal matching funds will limit the amount of grants the commission can award this year. The loss of NEA funding has resulted in the loss of other arts funding, bringing the total to $800,000. The Mid-America Arts Alliance announced it would suspend Kansas's memberships earlier this month. One of its requirements is that states must meet the NEA minimum.


Roberts Endorses Trump at Republican National Convention 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas has endorsed Donald Trump in a short speech at the Republican National Convention. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Roberts denounced presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a five-minute speech Monday on the opening day of the convention in Cleveland. He also lavished praise on vice presidential pick Mike Pence, although he had fewer words to say about Trump himself. Roberts says Americans don't have patience for "things just as they are." Roberts said Clinton and the Democrats have taxed and regulated Americans, and destroyed the health care system and harmed the economy. Roberts had backed Senator Marco Rubio during the primaries. Roberts later said he would support the Republican Party nominee.


Kansas Delegates Split over Questions About Melania Trump Speech 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some Kansas delegates to the Republican National Convention are dismissive of questions about whether passages from Melania Trump's speech were plagiarized. But delegate and State Treasurer Ron Estes said Tuesday that the issue is an unfortunate distraction from the positive message Mrs. Trump was trying to present. Several delegates said in telephone interviews from the convention city of Cleveland that Mrs. Trump gave a strong speech that showed she would make a good first lady. Estes agreed but said Mrs. Trump's remarks are being overshadowed by questions about whether two passages were lifted from a speech by Michelle Obama to the 2008 Democratic convention. But delegate and former State Treasurer Tim Shallenburger called the issue "somewhat bizarre." He said Mrs. Trump was expressing common ideas with common language.


KCMO Man Identified as Baton Rouge Police Shooter Claimed He Was 'Sovereign Citizen' 

CHICAGO (AP) — The former Marine who killed three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers in an ambush-style attack identified with a growing sovereign citizen movement whose adherents believe they're immune to most federal and state laws, including paying taxes and getting driver's licenses. Twenty-nine-year-old Gavin Long of Kansas City, Missouri, filed documents last year declaring himself a member of the United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah, a group that believes black people were the original inhabitants of the U.S. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says nothing in that group's ideology calls for violence, but that some people who have declared themselves sovereign citizens have become violent. That includes deaths of several law enforcement officers during traffic stops. He says the sovereign citizen movement grew out of a violent anti-government, anti-Semitic and anti-black group.


Former Kansas Transportation Secretary Takes Job at Murphy Tractor 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The former Kansas transportation secretary will be a regional director for a John Deere construction equipment dealer. The Wichita Eagle reports that Mike King has joined Murphy Tractor & Equipment Co. Governor Sam Brownback's office announced King's departure last month. King had worked in the construction industry for more than three decades and was owner of a McPherson company when Brownback named him transportation secretary in March 2012. During his tenure, King ran a department with about 2,500 employees and an annual budget of over $1 billion. But also during his tenure, the state has repeatedly diverted highway funds to other parts of state government to balance its budget.


Former Kansas Casino Worker Sentenced to 5 Years of Probation 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A former tribal casino employee has been sentenced to five years of federal probation for embezzlement in a scheme involving fake "players cards" at a northeast Kansas casino. The U.S. attorney's office says 32-year-old Donald M. Collins, of Wetmore, was sentenced Monday for embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal organization. The embezzlement occurred while Collins worked as players' club manager at the Sac and Fox Casino, which is owned by the Sac and Fox Nation of Kansas and Nebraska. Collins is accused of making counterfeit cards valued at about $13,326. The cards allow bearers to play various casino games. Prosecutors allege that about $17,443 was fraudulently won by people using the cards.


Chief Says Police Officer Shot in Kansas City, Kansas 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The police chief in Kansas City, Kansas, says an officer has been shot and he's asking the community for prayers. Police Chief Terry Zeigler tweeted that the officer was shot Tuesday afternoon. He says the officer's condition is unknown, but he tweeted "start prayers." The Kansas City Star reports that police radio traffic indicated that multiple suspects ran from the scene. No other information was immediately available. Tuesday's shooting was the second of a Kansas City, Kansas, police officer since early May, when a police detective was shot and killed near Kansas Speedway.


Office Manager Pleads Guilty Theft from Lawrence Company

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a former office manager for a Lawrence property management company has pleaded guilty to embezzlement. The U.S. attorney's office says 44-year-old Candy Gunderson, of Lawrence, admitted Monday to one count of interstate transportation of stolen funds. Gunderson admitted to stealing from Garber Enterprises in Lawrence from 2007 to 2015 while working as an office manager. She faces a penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. A judge will determine the amount of the loss and the restitution at her November 7 sentencing hearing.


Kansas Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Kansas, man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing the mother of his child. The Wyandotte County prosecutor's office says 27-year-old Lee Williams won't be eligible for parole for 25 years under the sentence imposed Monday for first-degree murder. Jurors convicted him in May of shooting 20-year-old Ty'Shai Carvin to death in 2013 in front of the couple's 2-year-old son. He also was convicted of being a felon in possession of a handgun because he had a previous robbery conviction. After the shooting, Williams boarded a bus and was arrested in Detroit while trying to enter Canada using a fake identification. 


Woman Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for Child Porn

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A Dodge City woman has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for creating a video of herself engaged in a sex act with a child under 5 years old and uploading it to the internet. The sentence was handed down Monday for 25-year-old Ashley Marie Kelly, who pleaded guilty in March to one count of producing child pornography. She admitted using a smartphone to record the sex act and posting it to her Google Drive account. Google discovered it and notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


Black Lives Matters Protest Changed to Cookout with Police 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Residents and police in Wichita broke bread together after a planned Black Lives Matter protest was turned into to a free community cookout amid racial tensions across the country. After a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest last week, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay met with local activist leaders to discuss replacing another planned protest with the Sunday cookout. The cookout's goal was to open a dialogue and build trust between police and citizens. Smaller conversations between community members and police turned into a public forum later that evening where residents were able to ask Ramsay questions. The earlier protest came in the wake of recent fatal police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.


Feds Remove Lesser Prairie Chicken from Protection List 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. government has announced it is removing the lesser prairie chicken from a federal protection list under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday the move follows recent court rulings in Texas that stripped the lesser prairie chicken of federal protection. However, federal officials say the removal didn't mean authorities had concluded the lesser prairie chicken didn't warrant federal protection for biological reasons. The rulings found that Fish and Wildlife failed to make a proper evaluation of a multistate conservation plan when it listed the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. Oil and gas groups had strongly opposed the threatened listing, saying it would cost companies millions. The lesser prairie chicken lives in Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado.


Woman Accused in Kansas Factory Shooting Plans Plea Change 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal court records indicate a woman accused of giving her former boyfriend guns that he used in a shooting at a Kansas lawn equipment factory is planning to change her plea. The Hutchinson News reports that a Monday court filing shows a jury trial for 28-year-old Sarah Jo Hopkins has been cancelled and a plea change hearing set for August 19. Hopkins pleaded not guilty in March to one count of transferring weapons to a prohibited person. She is accused of giving Cedric Ford a semi-automatic rifle and a .40-caliber handgun that he used in the February 25 attack at Excel Industries in Hesston. Four people were killed, including Ford, and 14 others were injured. Court records say she gave Ford the guns after he threatened her.


Man Convicted in Shooting Death of Bride on Her Wedding Day

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A second man has been convicted in the shooting death of a Kansas bride as she headed to her reception in her wedding gown. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that jurors found 39-year-old Thomas Earl Brown Jr. guilty Monday of premeditated first-degree murder in the death of 42-year-old Tiffany Davenport-Ray of Topeka. Prosecutors say shots were fired in May 2014 at Davenport-Ray and her husband, Melvin Ray, from a sport utility vehicle in which Brown and two others were riding. Prosecutors say Melvin Ray returned fire, but wasn't wounded. Defense attorney Kevin Shepherd said Brown wasn't present. Sentencing is set for September 30. Co-defendant Awnterio Dwan Lowery was sentenced previously to life in prison, while the third SUV occupant was shot to death about three weeks after Davenport-Ray's killing.


Company Hopes to Open Dinosaur Adventure Park in Derby 

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A company is hoping to open a dinosaur adventure park in Derby. The Wichita Eagle reports that Field Station: Dinosaurs wants to replicate its park on the East Coast on the north side of the city. The $39 million park would include life-size animatronic dinosaurs, a three-dimensional theater, dig site and interactive paleontology lab among other features. The Derby City Council is scheduled to vote on the project later this month. Derby city manager Kathy Sexton says she plans to recommend that the council approve the project. Mayor Randy White says he values the concerns of some residents who do not like the idea of a dinosaur park and will keep an open mind about the idea. The state must also approve the plans.


Royals Rally in 8th Inning to Top Indians, 7-3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jarrod Dyson hit a grand slam that capped a seven-run rally in the eighth inning as the Kansas City Royals broke loose late in the game defeating the Cleveland Indians 7-3 Monday night. The Royals' Luke Hochevar worked a scoreless eighth to pick up the victory. The Indians' Francisco Lindor homered off Royals' starter Edinson Volquez in the first inning and is hitting .439 with three home runs against the Royals this season.


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