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Headlines for Tuesday, May 26, 2014


Kansas Expanding Mental Health Programs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and his administration are investing $9.5 million in state and federal funds to expand mental health services and agency coordination. Brownback said Tuesday the goal is to address the causes of mental health problems and provide treatment to people who use state services or are in the corrections system. The governor said the state will put $7 million in federal funds from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program toward helping families with members who have behavioral health problems. Law enforcement will also use state funds to improve training for officers to identify people in crisis. The expansion of services was recommended by a mental health task force formed by Brownback in July 2013.


Kansas Atty General to Convene Meeting About New Gun Law

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is convening a meeting Wednesday to discuss new regulations for signs that business owners and others must post to keep guns off their premises. Schmidt's office said Tuesday it is soliciting public input about what should be required for no-gun signs under a new state law taking effect in July. The new law bars cities and counties from regulating firearms. It will ensure that the open carrying of firearms is legal statewide. But businesses, churches and others still will be able to bar concealed and unconcealed guns from their premises if they post signs. The attorney general's office must say what goes on the signs. Wednesday's meeting takes place at 3 pm in the Topeka building housing the attorney general's office.


GOP's Jenkins Files for Re-Election in Kansas 2nd District

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican congresswoman Lynn Jenkins has filed for re-election in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas, and both she and her presumed Democratic challenger say they're eager to debate issues. Jenkins filed the necessary paperwork Tuesday at the Kansas secretary of state's office and paid a $1,760 filing fee. Lawrence attorney Margie Wakefield filed to run for the Democratic nomination last week. Jenkins is seeking her fourth, two-year term. Wakefield's campaign issued a statement saying the Democratic candidate wants to have frequent debates so that voters see the contrast between her and Jenkins. Campaign manager Mark Sump said Jenkins's staff has engaged in what he called tired political spin. Jenkins responded that she's eager to talk about issues and called Wakefield too liberal for the GOP-leaning district.


Eastern Kansas Facing Water Supply Shortages

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - While most discussion about water shortages in Kansas focuses on western parts of the state, officials say the eastern region also needs to address looming water shortages. The state is planning a $20 million project to dredge sediment from the John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington. But researchers say by the end of the century, the state's 24 federal reservoirs will have lost more than half their original capacity, and dredging won't be possible. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Governor Sam Brownback has directed state agencies to develop a 50-year plan for sustaining the state's water resources. Much of the work so far has been on western Kansas, where the Ogallala Aquifer is a primary source of water. The aquifer is rapidly being depleted, mostly by irrigation.


Former Kansas Congressman Bill Roy Dies

William "Bill" Roy, a former Democratic member of Congress, died Monday at the age of 88. Roy’s family says the retired lawmaker and physician died from complications after heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic. Roy served two terms in the House of Representatives in the early 1970’s. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Congressman Roy he took a special interest in health care issues and was instrumental in creating a nationwidestandard for emergency medical services. He ran for the Senate twice but lost both of those races to Republicans Bob Dole in 1974 and Nancy Kassebaum in 1978. Roy’s family says he grew up on a farm in central Illinois during the Depression. He earned his MD from Northwestern Medical School in Chicago and his law degree from Washburn University’s School of Law. He practiced medicine in Topeka from 1955 until he retired in 1989 and his family says he delivered more than 8,000 babies during the course of his medical career. Roy’s wife Jane died in 2010. He leaves six children and 10 grandchildren.


Fort Riley Soldier Found Dead in Apartment

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — A soldier from Fort Riley has been shot to death in an off-post apartment. KJCK-AM reports that Junction City police went to the apartment Monday and found the 26-year-old soldier dead of a single gunshot wound. The soldier's name had not been released Tuesday while authorities notified relatives. Police were continuing to investigate.


Topeka Homicide Victim Identified as Wichita Woman

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The victim in a fatal weekend shooting in Topeka has been identified as a Wichita woman who had been married just hours earlier. Police on Tuesday released the identity of 42-year-old Tiffany Davenport-Ray. She was shot about 1:30 am Sunday at an intersection south of downtown Topeka and died several hours later at a hospital. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a 30-year-old man arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder had his bond set at $1 million during a court appearance Tuesday. Police said earlier that officers who responded to the shooting also found a traffic accident had occurred. A friend of the victim told the Capital-Journal that Davenport-Ray had lived in Wichita for the past 10 years working at Beechcraft and had just returned to Topeka for her wedding Saturday.


Emporia Woman Sentenced for Embezzlement

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The former chief financial officer of an eastern Kansas company has been sentenced to four months of home confinement for embezzling $266,000 from the firm. The U.S. Attorney's office says 58-year-old Sandra Moore, of Emporia, must also pay full restitution under the sentence she received Tuesday in federal court. Moore was an executive of Sauder Custom Fabrication, a manufacturing firm in Emporia. She pleaded guilty in December to one count of embezzlement and faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. In her plea, Moore admitted that starting in 2008, she made unauthorized transfers from a company account to her personal account. She also admitted writing unauthorized company checks and putting them in her own account, and writing unauthorized checks to repay loans she took from her 401K account.


Charges Added in Shootings at Kansas Jewish Sites

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) -- A southwest Missouri man accused of killing three people in a shooting rampage outside Jewish facilities in northeast Kansas is facing additional charges. The Kansas City Star reports that Johnson County prosecutors on Tuesday filed three counts of attempted murder against 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross, of Aurora, Missouri. The charges allege Cross tried to kill additional people during the April 13 rampage in Overland Park, Kansas. Cross remains held on $10 million bond. He's charged with capital murder in the deaths of 69-year-old physician William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, outside the Jewish Community Center. He's also accused of first-degree murder in the shooting of 53-year-old Terri LaManno, of Kansas City, Missouri, outside a Jewish retirement facility where her mother lived. Cross's next court appearance is Thursday.


Kansas Rural Center to Host Pollinator Workshop

WHITING, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Rural Center is hosting a workshop aimed at conserving and increasing habitat for bees and other pollinators. Conservation experts will talk about habitat design and plant selection, planting techniques for wildflowers and shrubs and Agriculture department programs for pollinator habitats, among other topics. The event runs from 9 am to 3 pm on June 13. The morning session is at Stull United Methodist Church in Lecompton. In the afternoon, attendees will tour pollinator habitat plots in northwestern Douglas County. The workshop is free. A $15 lunch will be offered for those who do not bring their own.


Fort Riley Soldiers Receive New Army Carbines

FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) — Soldiers of the Army's 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley are converting to a new model of the M4 carbine used in combat. The division is the first in the Army to begin converting to the new weapons. The Army expects to replace about 500,000 carbines through 2020. Fort Riley soldiers are expected to continue converting to the new model through June. Fort Riley officials say the new version, called the M4A1, has a slightly heavier barrel that withstands heat and gives soldiers a longer rate of fire. The newer version weighs slightly more than the standard M4 which is attributed to a backup sight, forward pistol grip, empty magazine and sling. The M4A1 has been used by the U.S. Special Operations Command since 1994.


K-State Grants Women's Hoops Player Romero Release

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University has granted a release to women's basketball player Leticia Romero after amending its transfer policy, ending an embarrassing spat that had generated national attention. The school said Tuesday that Romero will be allowed to transfer to any school outside the Big 12 after the Athletics Board of Directors approved the policy change. Romero, who led the Wildcats in scoring as a freshman, had been seeking to transfer after coach Deb Patterson was fired. The school denied her request amid concerns that members of the previous staff were trying to persuade her to follow them to another school. An appeals committee upheld the decision, and pundits ranging from Dick Vitale to fellow college basketball analyst Jay Bilas took to Twitter in Romero's support.


Sampling to Begin at Former Schilling AFB Site

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - Workers will begin taking samples next week from underneath eleven buildings in and around the former Schilling Air Force Base in Salina. Technicians will collect soil gases to determine the level of pollution. A Michigan engineering company was hired to investigate the contamination which is a possible threat to Salina's water supply. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is supervising the work. The Salina Journal reports that plumes of pollution, primarily the solvent TCE, have been found in the soil and in groundwater that is moving toward city water wells. TCE was used to wash aircraft and weapons at the base.


Body Pulled from Hillsdale Lake Identified

PAOLA, Kan. (AP) - Friends of a man who apparently drowned at Hillsdale Lake while boating with his children say he was a devoted family man and respected kickboxer. Authorities say 45-year-old Mark Selbee drowned at Hillsdale Lake on Saturday. His body was recovered Sunday evening from the lake in Miami and Johnson counties. Someone who saw two young children alone on the boat called for help. Selbee won four championships with the International Kickboxing Federation between 2002 and 2006, when he retired from competition. Authorities say it is unclear why Selbee went into the water. An autopsy will determine exact cause of death. A celebration of Selbee's life is scheduled for 11 am to noon Friday at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.


Eisenhower Center to Mark D-Day Anniversary

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) – Staff members at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene are gearing up for two days of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in France. The events on June 6th and 7th are an extension of a three-year exhibit at the complex to tell the story of World War Two. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme Allied commander of Europe in World War II who led the invasion in 1944 that would lead to Germany's surrender less than a year later. The director of the Eisenhower library says the events are meant to explain the significance of World War II to younger generations.

KCMO Police Increase Traffic Enforcement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Drivers in Kansas City beware. Police are warning that officers are increasing traffic enforcement, and the number of tickets has increased dramatically. The Kansas City Star reports that  officers wrote more than 6,000 speeding tickets in April — more than double the number in April of last year. Tickets for all traffic violations increased nearly 50 percent in April when compared to last April. Those numbers don't count tickets written by a new traffic enforcement squad that began operating May 19. City officials say officers have written a low number of traffic tickets for years, and they have considered several ways to improve traffic safety. Others note that the increase comes after courts forced the city to end its red-light camera program, which generated more than 31,000 tickets annually.


Garden City's Big Pool Opens for Summer

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) - One of Garden City's biggest attractions is open for the summer. The Big Pool is filled with more than 2 million gallons of water and ready to accommodate swimmers - hundreds of them. The Garden City Recreation Department says the pool draws anywhere from 500 to 1,500 swimmers a day during the summer months. Built in the 1920s, the pool is one of the largest municipal swimming facilities in the country. It’s so big that , as a promotional stunt, a small motorboat once pulled a couple of water skiers around the surface. Western Kansas remains in a deep drought, but Garden City officilas say the water from the huge pool is the water is filtered and recycled.


Spirit Seeking Military Contracts

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Wichita aircraft parts maker created when Boeing spun off its commercial airplane business is looking to expand its work for the military. Phil Anderson, senior vice president of defense and contracts, says Spirit AeroSystems is exploring the potential of the unmanned aerial vehicle market and work on the F-35 fighter jet.


Kansas City Group Fights Mental Illness Stigma

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new group of Kansas City-area organizations is fighting to remove the stigma felt by many people who suffer from mental illness. About a dozen health agencies last week announced the creation of the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition, and an expanded effort to help those with mental illnesses. The Kansas City Star reports the campaign will include video testimonials from people with mental illness. It also will provide banners, posters and post cards with messages encouraging people to talk about their illnesses without shame. Don Goldman, executive director of Jewish Family Services, said his organization started the campaign last September. He says advocates believe removing the stigma from mental illness will encourage people to seek assistance while also promoting understanding.

Report: Housing Market Tight in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita home sales rebounded slightly last month, though the housing marking remains tight. The latest monthly totals from the Wichita Area Association of Realtors show it's a seller's market, with a low housing inventory slowing a sales rebound. The Wichita Eagle reports that this is the second-tightest April housing inventory in the area since the start of record keeping in 2001. Wichita-area home buyers bought 754 homes in April, more than in March but a drop of 10 sales compared with the same month a year ago. Of those, 709 were existing homes and 45 were new homes. So far this year, the real estate association has reported about 5.3 percent fewer sales than through the first four months of 2013.


New Safety Requirements Set for Keystone Pipeline

WASHINGTON (AP) — Safety regulators have quietly placed two extra conditions on construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline after learning of potentially dangerous construction defects involving the southern leg of the Canada-to-Texas project. The defects involved high rates of bad welds, dented pipe and damaged pipeline coating — and they've been fixed. But the Obama administration wants to make sure similar problems don't occur during construction of the pipeline's northern leg. That segment, between Alberta, Canada, and southeastern Nebraska, is on hold pending a decision by the administration. One condition requires TransCanada to hire a contractor chosen by the U.S. government to monitor construction and make reports about whether the work is sound. The second requires TransCanada to have a quality management program to ensure that the pipeline meets "the highest standards."




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