Kansas Governor Vetoes $1.2B Income Tax Increase
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Governor Sam Brownback has fulfilled his promise to veto an income tax increase approved by Kansas legislators to fix the state budget and provide additional funds for public schools. The governor announced his action Tuesday afternoon on Twitter. Legislators are expected to try to override his veto, and their votes could come as early as Tuesday night. The bill would have repealed or rolled back past income tax cuts championed by Brownback as pro-growth policies and undone a political legacy that's brought him national attention. The bill would have increased income tax rates and end an exemption for 330,000 plus farmers and business owners. Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019 and the state Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate.
Governor Brownback Says He Can't Recall Taking Position on Kansas Gun Bill
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback says he can't recall making definitive statements in talks with Kansas legislators about his plans for a bill designed to keep concealed guns out of public health facilities. Lawmakers passed the measure last week and delivered it Monday to the governor. He has until June 15 to act on it. Kansas law now says that starting in July, state hospitals, other public hospitals, mental health centers, other health facilities and universities must allow concealed guns into buildings without extra security such as guards or metal detectors. The bill gives public health facilities a permanent exemption. Gun-rights advocates wanted a narrower bill and several Republican legislators predicted that Governor Brownback would veto the measure. The governor told reporters that it's possible he made statements that could be interpreted either way.
Kansas Struggles with Osawatomie State Hospital's Future
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are struggling with short-term and long-term problems as they try to determine the future of the Osawatomie State Hospital and the people treated there. The hospital lost its federal Medicare certification more than a year ago after a patient was accused of raping a staff member in late 2015. It houses its patients in buildings that are decades old and suffering from neglect. Many other buildings on the campus are vacant. The Kansas City Star reports the hospital can house 206 patients, but the population is capped at 146 because of short staffing. Options being discussed include partnering with a private company to build a new hospital, spending millions on remodeling that would extend the hospital's usefulness for a few years, or continuing the current care.
Officer Hurt After Vehicle Strikes Stopped Patrol Cruiser
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Police say a Lawrence officer was taken to a hospital after his patrol vehicle was struck while it was stopped at the scene of a rollover crash. KSNT-TV reports that the officer's injuries were believed to be non-life threatening. Police say the 8-year veteran of the department was in his vehicle Tuesday when another vehicle collided with it. The crash briefly stopped traffic while officials investigated.
Eastern Kansas Teen Injured in Accidental Shooting Dies
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say an eastern Kansas teen who was critically injured in an accidental shooting last week has died. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Lieutenant Colleen Stuart identified the victim as 16-year-old Angel Quinones. Quinones was taken to a local hospital Wednesday night in a private vehicle. Police officers who arrived at the hospital found him with a life-threatening gunshot wound. Police investigated the shooting scene in central Topeka and found that the shooting was accidental. Topeka Unified School District 501 spokeswoman Misty Kruger says Quinones wasn't enrolled in any of the district's schools.
Jordanian Soldier Faces Murder Charges in Deaths of 3 US Troops
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A government official says a Jordanian soldier faces murder charges in the shooting deaths of three U.S. military trainers at a Jordanian air base He says the soldier will be tried by a military court, starting Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters. The U.S. Army Green Berets were killed November 4 at the al-Jafr air base in southern Jordan. They came under fire as their convoy entered the base. Jordanian officials initially said the trainers sparked the shooting by disobeying orders from Jordanian soldiers. The slain Americans were 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, of Lawrence, Kansas; 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas.
Wichita Gives Initial OK to Some Lower Marijuana Penalties
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — More lenient penalties for first-time marijuana offenders in Wichita are a step closer to reality. The Wichita City Council on Tuesday unanimously gave initial approval to an ordinance that would reduce some marijuana penalties. The council will have to give the ordinance final approval at a later meeting. Among other things, the ordinance would require a $50 fine for first-time offenders, who will not have to undergo drug-related counseling if they are over 21. A second marijuana conviction would bring a fine not to exceed $2,500 and one year in jail. The Wichita Eagle reports that Wichita voters approved more lenient penalties in a 2015 special election. The Kansas Supreme Court invalidated the election because of a technicality in the petition-gathering process.
Kansas Man Sentenced After Armed Carjacking
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 27-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, man was sentenced to nearly 13 years in federal prison for an armed carjacking that ended with the victim's dog dying in a wreck. Prosecutors say Stephen Bagley was sentenced Tuesday for carjacking. The Kansas City Star reports prosecutors say in June 2014 Bagley pulled a gun at a convenience store, demanded a woman give up her vehicle and sped away with a dog named Mister in the car. The car wrecked a few minutes later. Police found Mister dead inside the vehicle and recovered a spent .40-caliber shell casing. The dog's body was not examined to determine how he died. Bagley was released from prison a few months before the carjacking after serving time for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
1 Killed, 1 Injured in Altercation at Western Kansas Motel
QUINTER, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says a 24-year-old man is in custody after a man was killed and a woman was injured during an altercation at a western Kansas motel. The Gove County Sheriff's office was called to the 1st Inn in Quinter early Tuesday after a dispute between two males. The KBI says 24-year-old James "Dalton" Brown of Hoxie was found with several stab wounds. He was taken to the Gove County Medical Center where he died from his injuries. A woman, 23-year-old Jordyn O'Neal, of Quinter, was taken to a Wichita hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The second male was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Quinter. He was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and booked into the Trego County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Wichita Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Fatally Shooting Son
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for the shooting death of his son. Forty-one-year-old Glen Farrow was sentenced Monday for killing his 17-year-old son, Michael, in March 2017 during an argument over school. Farrow pleaded guilty in April to voluntary manslaughter. KAKE-TV reports an arrest affidavit says Michael messaged someone before the shooting saying he was arguing over when he had to return to school after spring break. Officers who went to the home found Michael in a nearby alley suffering from a gunshot.
78-Year-Old Kayaker Found Dead at Kansas Reservoir
HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 78-year-old kayaker has been found dead at a Kansas reservoir. Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse said in a news release that the body of Dan Mehringer was discovered near the kayak around 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon at the Banner Creek Reservoir west of Holton. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Holton man was wearing a life jacket. A county coroner pronounced him dead at the scene. Mehringer's body was sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Morse says Mehringer "is remembered as a kind and caring person, who helped others and always had something positive to say."
Kansas Program to Help Immigrants Navigate Driving Exams
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is launching a project to help immigrants get driver's licenses in Garden City. Meatpacking plants are the largest employers in western Kansas and have drawn a diverse population to the region. But the state offers exams only in English or Spanish. Starting June 21, a pilot project will offer free translators when people take their written and behind-the-wheel driver examinations in Garden City. The translators will help prospective drivers take the tests in Somali, Arabic, Sudanese, Burmese, Swahili, Filipino and Ethiopian. The project costs the state nothing because translators are volunteers. State officials say it will help bolster safe driving.
Kansas City Police Visit Aspiring Officer's Lemonade Stand
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dozens of police officers in North Kansas City have made a surprise visit to the lemonade stand of a 3-year-old girl whose dream is to be an officer. The Kansas City Star reports that Hannah Pasley held a lemonade stand last Friday and Saturday to raise money for her own police uniform. After buying it Saturday morning with her aunt, Ashly Rooks, Hannah continued her lemonade stand in the afternoon wearing her new uniform. When no one was stopping by the stand, Rooks and her friend Sierra Moore posted to Facebook to encourage an officer to visit. Moore wrote another post later saying "50 plus police officers" showed up to buy lemonade. Hannah was given a Kansas City Police Department patch and a Clay County Junior Deputy badge.
1st Farmer Lawsuit Begins Against Syngenta over China Trade
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The first of tens of thousands of U.S. lawsuits over Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta's introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed variety is underway in a Kansas federal courtroom. The trial that began Monday in Kansas City, Kansas, involves four Kansas farmers representing about 7,300 farmers in the state. Another trial involving about 60,000 cases begins next month in Minnesota. The lawsuits allege Syngenta introduced the seed variety to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports, wrecking an increasingly important export market for U.S. corn and causing price drops. Syngenta denies it caused farmer losses. The Kansas trial is the first test case. It and the Minnesota trial will provide guidance for how the complex web of litigation in state and federal courts could be resolved.
Mansion Built by Former Kansas Governor Sells for $2.3M
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A mansion owned by a denounced former leader of a Topeka electric utility and built by a former Kansas governor has sold for $2.3 million. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Michael and Kathryn Franklin purchased the 20-room, 12,000-square-foot colonial mansion in late May. Kansas Governor Alf Landon built the house after his failed presidential bid against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. Landon's daughter, former Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker, told the newspaper in 1998 that her father wanted to build a replica of the White House. The Landon family sold the home in 1998 to David Wittig, a Wall Street mogul who took over as CEO of Westar Energy. He later served time in federal prison for money laundering.
Child Found in Hot Car in Wichita Improving
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a child who was hospitalized in critical condition after being found in a hot car in Wichita is improving. Sgt. Jesse Hancock says the girl and her siblings apparently were playing hide and seek Monday before her father found her in the car. The Wichita Eagle reports police spokesman Officer Paul Cruz said Tuesday investigators are still trying to determine what happened. The girl's condition was improving Tuesday but no other details were released. The National Weather Service says the temperature in Wichita was 88 degrees just before the girl's parents called 911 at 5:20 pm. Meteorologist Jan Null says the inside air temperature of the car could have been in excess of 135 degrees.
Houston Astros Beat Royals in First of Four Game Series
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Houston Astros beat the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on Monday night for their 11th straight win. It's the longest winning streak in the majors this season and one win short of the Astros' record. They won 12 straight in 1999 and 2004. Houston has also won 11 consecutive road games, which is a franchise record. Brian McCann homered in the fourth after Marwin Gonzalez walked to lead off the inning. Houston's Yuli Gurriel hit a three-run homer in the ninth. He has gone deep in back-to-back games and has 10 RBIs during a six-game hitting streak. The Royals' Ian Kennedy (0-6) took the loss.