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Headlines for Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Here's a look at area news headlines from the Associated Press, as compiled by the KPR News Team.

Cargill Plans to Keep Several Operations in Wichita 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Agribusiness giant Cargill says it is keeping several of its operations in Wichita, Kansas, and is searching for a new facility to house them. Cargill corporate vice president Brian Sikes made the announcement Tuesday during a news conference with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and other officials. The company is headquartered just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wichita is home to its beef business and its turkey and cooked meat business, which includes deli meats. Its value-added protein services such as its North American egg business and its food distribution also are located in Wichita. The company had been considering moving the operations to another location, citing workflow issues with having people in multiple buildings. Most of the 900 employees that work in its Wichita-based operations are housed in a 10-story building.


Kansas Lawmakers Expect to Consider Transgender Restroom Use

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers say they anticipate taking up the issue of transgender school bathrooms upon reconvening next week.  The issue gained attention after the Obama administration's recent guidance that transgender students at public schools be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Representative John Whitmer says he and other conservative lawmakers will try to run a resolution that would express the Legislature's displeasure. The Wichita Republican says the plan is to send the resolution to federal officials.  A bill introduced in the Kansas Legislature this year would have ordered schools to require transgender students to use the facilities corresponding to the sex determined by their chromosome makeup as recorded on their birth certificate. But that bill stalled in committee.


Kansas Woman Gets Probation for Aiding in Kidnapping and Rape of 8-Year-Old Girl

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas woman has been placed on three years of intensive supervised probation for aiding a man convicted of abducting, drugging and raping an 8-year-old girl.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 24-year-old Michelle Lee Harris, of Topeka, was sentenced Monday for attempted kidnapping and obstruction of a felony.  She testified at the trial of Jeremy James Lindsey. He was sentenced to three consecutive life terms for removing a sleeping girl from her Topeka home in 2014 and transporting her in a car trunk. He raped her twice before calling Harris, who gave him and the girl a ride. Lindsey raped the child again before she managed to free herself and escape.  Harris says she didn't question Lindsey because he sometimes became violent. Lindsey and Harris have a child together.


Missing Kansas Baby's Father Admits to Removing GPS Tracker

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The father of a Wichita baby not seen since last summer has pleaded guilty to cutting off a GPS tracking device.  The Wichita Eagle reports that 24-year-old Gary Moore Jr. entered the plea Monday. Prosecutors will recommend a 34-month prison sentence. Moore had been ordered to wear the tracking device as a condition of his probation in a 2014 battery case.  No one has been arrested or charged in the disappearance of Moore's 5-month-old son, Vincent Moore. The child was last seen leaving a house with his father July 11. When officers stopped Moore on July 29, his 2-year-old child was with him but the baby wasn't.  Moore has been in jail since July because of the charge and a yearlong sentence ordered served because of probation violations.


Kansas Man Pleads Guilty to Aiding Foiled Bomb Plot

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka man has pleaded guilty to conspiring in a foiled plot to bomb Fort Riley army base on behalf of the Islamic State group.  Alexander E. Blair changed his plea to guilty Monday in a Topeka federal court.  Prosecutors say Blair helped 21-year-old John T. Booker in his plot to plant a 1,000-pound bomb at the Fort Riley military base to aid the Islamic State group. Blair admitted in court that he loaned Booker $100 to secure a storage space for the explosives and failed to inform law enforcement of the plot.  A court document states that Blair decided to change his plea because he believed that the government had collected enough evidence to convict him.  Booker has pleaded guilty and admitted to the plot.


Latest Suit Against VA Physician Assistant Brings Total to 7

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A veteran who served in Iraq is the latest person to file a lawsuit accusing a former physician assistant at a Veteran's Administration hospital in Kansas of sexual abuse. The Kansas City Star reports that the suit filed Monday in federal court is the seventh this year against Mark E. Wisner. He is accused of performing unnecessary and improper genital examinations at the Leavenworth VA Medical Center. The hospital has said it stopped Wisner from seeing patients and began an investigation after the allegations surfaced. Wisner surrendered his medical license last year after at least seven patients accused him of abuse. Criminal charges that include sexual battery are pending in Leavenworth County. Wisner is seeking to have the civil proceedings stayed until the criminal case is resolved.


Man Gets More Than 20 Years Prison in Kansas Double Slaying
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old man has been ordered to spend more than two decades in prison in the shooting deaths of a man and woman at a Topeka apartment. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Nicholas Storm Phillips of Topeka pleaded guilty in March to two counts of reckless second-degree murder. Phillips also pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. Prosecutors say he fired multiple shots through an apartment door last December, killing 20-year-old Daquhan Jackson and 29-year-old Mary Thomas. Phillips told a detective he was upset because the victims were stealing his clothes, which had been thrown into a grassy area after he fought with a girlfriend. As part of his plea agreement, two counts of felony first-degree murder were dismissed.


Kansas City, Kansas, Police Identify Fatal Shooting Victim

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police say an 18-year-old man was the victim of a fatal Kansas City, Kansas, shooting.  The Kansas City Star reports that police identified the man Monday as Stephon Egans of Kansas City, Kansas. Police say he was shot Saturday night and died later at a hospital.  The man's death is the city's 13th homicide for 2016.


Police: Kansas Man Run Over, Killed by Own Car

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Kansas, say a man is dead after being run over by his own car outside his home. Authorities say the man was getting to leave for work shortly after 6 am Tuesday when he tried to adjust something with the engine to get the car running. Police say that's when the vehicle popped into gear and ran over him. His name was not immediately released.


US House Rejects Cellphone Tracking Measure

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. House has voted down legislation that would require cellphone carriers to provide call location information to law enforcement in dire situations without a search warrant. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the measure rejected Monday is similar to laws enacted in more than 20 states since the 2007 abduction and murder of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith, of Overland Park. Cellphone signals helped lead police to her body in a wooded area of Missouri four days after her abduction from a Target store parking lot. Smith's parents have pointed to a delay in getting their daughter's cellphone provider to cooperate with police. The couple has said they don't believe their daughter's life would have been saved had the information been released quicker, but they say it could help others.


Missouri Man Gets 17 Years for Role in Kansas Bank Holdup

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri man has been ordered to spend 17 years in federal prison for his role in a Kansas bank robbery that injured employees and a customer.  Fifty-four-year-old Clifton Cloyd of Kansas City, Missouri, was sentenced Monday. He pleaded guilty to one count each of bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a robbery.  Authorities say Cloyd and another man robbed a Bank of America branch in Overland Park in October 2014.  Cloyd admits he helped hold five bank employees and a customer at gunpoint, dragging one of the female workers by her hair and scarf before hitting her in the face with a gun. He also acknowledged he hit a customer, knocking off her glasses, and a male bank worker, causing his head to bleed.  A co-defendant awaits sentencing.


Bennington Woman Pleads Guilty in Salina Embezzlement Case

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A Bennington woman accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from the Salina real estate company where she worked has pleaded guilty.  Forty-two-year-old Janetta Buttery pleaded guilty Monday to one count of interstate transportation of stolen funds.  U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a news release that Buttery was accused of taking more than $109,000 while she worked as a secretary, bookkeeper and executive assistant at Realty Associates of Salina.  Authorities say Buttery used her access to the company's credit cards, bank accounts, books and records to divert the company's funds to herself, her mother and her husband.  Buttery is set to be scheduled August 22. She faces up to 10 years in federal prison.


Independence, Missouri Man Sent to Prison for Embezzling $247,000 from Company

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A former financial comptroller for a North Kansas City company has been sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison for embezzling more than $247,000.  Forty-eight-year-old John Kruse, of Independence, Missouri also was ordered Monday to pay restitution. The U.S. attorney's office said in a news release that he stole the money over a four-year period while working at BCC Merchant Solutions. The release said the money was used to pay for trips to Las Vegas and Disneyland as well as for personal expenses, including gasoline, groceries and entertainment.  Prosecutors said he falsified records to cover up the embezzlement.  Kruse resigned in July 2014 and pleaded guilty in November to a wire fraud charge.


2 Men Plead Guilty to Interstate Burglary Spree

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Two men prosecutors say stole nearly $2 million worth of merchandise from stores across the U.S. have pleaded guilty.  Federal prosecutors in Connecticut say 40-year-old Alionis Perez, a Cuban citizen who most recently lived in New Jersey, and 30-year-old Yoandrys Cue, a Cuban citizen who most recently lived in Florida, pleaded guilty Monday to burglary charges.  Authorities say in 2013 they stole $250,00 worth of watches from a Fossil store in Clinton, Connecticut; $750,000 in watches from a Fossil store in Hagerstown, Maryland; $500,000 worth of watches and bags from a Michael Kors store in Lee, Massachusetts; and almost $200,000 in watches from a Fossil store in Grove City, Pennsylvania.  Perez also pleaded guilty to burglaries at stores in Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee.  They're scheduled to be sentenced in August.


Kansas City Streetcar Running Again After Derailment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City's fledgling streetcar operation is running again after experiencing its first major glitch.  The Kansas City Star reports that no one was hurt when several wheels of a streetcar came off the tracks Monday. The derailment happened while the streetcar was unloading passengers at Union Station. About 10 riders were on board.  While the service was down, buses were called in to ferry passengers along the streetcar's 2.2-mile route through downtown.  Kansas City Streetcar Authority spokeswoman Donna Mandelbaum says the shutdown looked to be triggered by a problem with a switch. The streetcar that came off the tracks did not appear to be damaged.  The streetcar starter line began operating earlier this month. The project cost $102 million, including $37.3 million in federal funding.


Appeals Court Tosses Kansas Home Owner's Drug Conviction

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Court of Appeals has overturned an Emporia man's drug convictions and faulted a prosecutor for "flagrant" errors.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that three judges agreed Friday with defense arguments that there was a lack of evidence to convict Matthew Judd of three drug charges. He was acquitted of two charges, including the most serious. He'll also receive a new trial in Lyon County on the third charge.  The charges stem from a 2013 search of his mobile home. The judges found that the presence of drugs in a common area isn't sufficient evidence to convict all occupants in a home of possession.  The judges also said that an assistant county attorney wrongly suggested to jurors that the owner of a house is responsible for the drugs inside.


Former Missionary Recalls Hostage Experience 15 Years Later

ROSE HILL, Kan. (AP) — A former missionary held hostage for more than a year is recalling the experience as the 15-year anniversary of her abduction approaches.  Members of the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militant group kidnapped Gracia Burnham and her late husband, Martin, on May, 27, 2001. The Kansas couple had been celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at a Philippines resort.  Gracia Burnham was wounded and her husband died in the June 2002 rescue effort that freed her.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Gracia Burnham still travels about 100 days a year, talking about her captivity.  A few weeks ago, Gracia moved back into the house that the south-central Kansas town of Rose Hill built for her and her family. One of her three children had been living there after a missionary pilot stint.


Wichita State Gets $1 Million to Help Modernize Aerospace Building

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A $1 million gift will help Wichita State University renovate the aerospace engineering building on campus.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the university foundation made the announcement Monday. The money comes from the Dwane and Velma Lunt Wallace Foundation. The late Dwane Wallace is a Wichita State graduate who once served as the president, chairman and chief executive of Cessna Aircraft. He died in 1989, while his wife died in 2012.  The money will pay for part of the modernization of Wallace Hall, the campus building that bears the couple's name. It hasn't been significantly upgraded since it was built in the 1970s.  Foundation spokeswoman Belinda Venters says the total cost of the project isn't known. The university has agreed to provide some funding for exterior and interior work.


German Chemical Firm Bayer Makes $62 Billion Offer for Monsanto

BERLIN (AP) — German drug and chemicals company Bayer AG says it has made a $62 billion offer to buy U.S.-based crops and seeds specialist Monsanto Company.  Bayer said Monday that the all-cash offer values Monsanto shares at $122 each. It said in a statement that the acquisition "would be a compelling opportunity to create a global agriculture leader, while reinforcing Bayer as a life science company with a deepened position in a long-term growth industry."  Bayer had said on Thursday that its executives met recently with their Monsanto counterparts "to privately discuss a negotiated acquisition" of the specialist in genetically modified crop seeds.  Monsanto is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.


Winter Wheat Coloring as Harvest Draws Closer in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The latest government report shows winter wheat in Kansas is turning color as harvest draws closer.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 96 percent of the wheat has headed, with 16 percent now coloring.  Wheat condition is rated as 8 percent poor to very poor while 33 percent is in fair shape. The agency says 51 percent is in good condition and 8 percent is in excellent condition.  Meanwhile, spring planting made some progress last week despite some rainy days that kept farmers out of fields.  About 90 percent of the corn has now been seeded in Kansas, along with 21 percent of the soybeans and 6 percent of the sorghum.  The agency says 72 percent of Kansas pastures and ranges are in good to excellent condition.


Freed Man Says Kansas Should Get Rid of Death Penalty

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A man who spent nearly 16 years in prison for a rape and killing to which his brother confessed wants Kansas to pull the plug on the death penalty.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 39-year-old Floyd Bledsoe shared his story over the weekend in the basement of a Lawrence church.  Bledsoe never faced the death penalty himself. But he was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of raping and killing 14-year-old Camille Arfmann. He was released in December after a DNA test and suicide notes indicated his brother, Tom Bledsoe, killed Arfmann.  Bledsoe says the court system is flamed and questioned what would have happened if he had been sentenced to death.  Kansas hasn't executed anyone since it reinstated capital punishment in 1994.


KU Teacher Who Used Racial Slur in Class Fired

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A white University of Kansas assistant professor who used a racial slur during a class discussion on race will not have her contract renewed after the next academic year.  Andrea Quenette, an assistant professor of communication studies, told The Lawrence Journal-World on Monday that the university told her last week that she wouldn't be reappointed to her position at the end of the spring 2017 semester.  Some graduate students complained about Quenette after she used the racial slur in November, a day after the university held a contentious forum on race and discrimination.  A school review concluded in mid-March that Quenette didn't violate the university's nondiscrimination or racial and ethnic harassment policies.  A university spokesman wouldn't confirm or deny Quenette's employment situation, saying it is a personnel matter.


Chimp Housed at Sedgwick County Zoo for 17 Years Dies at 44

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A chimpanzee housed for more than 17 years at the zoo in Wichita has died at the age of 44.  Sedgwick County Zoo officials say the chimp named Tammy died Sunday after several days of failing health. A post-mortem examination is planned.  The animal was diagnosed in February of last year with heart disease and had her right arm amputated because it had become dislocated and un-fixable.  Tammy had been at the zoo since early 1999.  The zoo still has seven chimpanzees.


Salvador Perez Has 5 Hits as Royals Beat Struggling Twins 10-4

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Salvador Perez had a career-high five hits, including a double, a triple and an RBI, to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 10-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.  Paulo Orlando added three hits and two RBIs in the rain-delayed game for the Royals, who put All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon on the disabled list on Monday with a fractured right wrist.  Ricky Nolasco (1-3) gave up six runs on eight hits and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings for the Twins (11-33), who have the worst record in the majors.  Peter Moylan (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Ian Kennedy, who gave up two runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of a start that had to be cut short thanks to the 41-minute rain delay in the third inning.


Royals Place Gordon on DL with Fractured Right Wrist

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas collided while chasing a foul ball on Sunday, the Kansas City Royals gasped at the prospects of losing two All-Stars on one play.  A day later, the news could have been much worse.  Gordon was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a fractured right wrist, but will not need surgery. Moustakas was held out of the series opener in Minnesota, but is considered day to day with a bruised knee.  The break in the scaphoid was non-displaced. Gordon is expected to miss three to four weeks.  The All-Stars were injured in a loss to the White Sox in Chicago on Sunday when they slammed into each other while chasing after a fly ball in foul territory.  The Royals recalled infielder Cheslor Cuthbert to take Gordon's place on the roster.


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