Kansas Taxes Nearly $13 Million Less Than Anticipated in October
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas says its tax collections fell nearly $13 million short of expectations in October for the state's sixth consecutive monthly shortfall. The state Department of Revenue's report Tuesday came a week before the election with allies of Republican Governor Sam Brownback facing a backlash in legislative races over the state's budget problems. The state collected $447 million in taxes last month when its official projection was nearly $460 million. The shortfall was 2.8 percent. Since the current budget year began in July, total tax collections of $1.8 billion have fallen more than $80 million short of expectations for a shortfall of 4.2 percent. Brownback said a rural recession is responsible for the monthly revenue shortfalls. His critics blame personal income tax cuts he pushed to help stimulate the economy.
PAC's Funds Tie Brownback to Effort to Oust Kansas Justices
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Governor Sam Brownback is tied to an effort to oust a majority of the Kansas Supreme Court's justices through his PAC despite publicly distancing himself from the campaign. A campaign finance report for the Road Map PAC showed that it donated a total of $65,000 to Kansans for Life in September and October. The Wichita Eagle reported that Executive Director Mary Kay Culp confirmed Tuesday that the anti-abortion group will use the money for its campaign to remove the justices in next week's election. Abortion opponents want to oust four of the seven justices ahead of a ruling in a pending abortion case. The four were appointed by moderate GOP Governor Bill Graves and Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Brownback said last month that he would not weigh in.
Elections Official Says Ballot Selfies Are Legal in Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An official with the Kansas secretary of state's office that ballot selfies are legal in the state after all. Elections Director Bryan Caskey said Monday that the office has re-examined a state law that makes it a felony to disclose a ballot's contents and concluded it applies to election officials but not voters themselves. Ballot selfies are illegal in some states but federal judges have struck down bans in Indiana and New Hampshire. A secretary of state's office spokeswoman said earlier this month that taking selfies at a polling place is legal but "a picture of the actual ballot violates Kansas law." Caskey said repeated questions led the secretary of state's office to further review the law.
Suspect in Kansas Bombing Plot Calls Hearing 'Ridiculous'
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man accused of plotting to bomb a western Kansas apartment complex where 120 Somali immigrants live says federal prosecutors didn't share their evidence with his defense attorney until 10 minutes before a detention hearing. Patrick Stein called The Associated Press from jail on Monday. Stein said he could not now respond to the government's accusations until he talks with his attorney because jailhouse calls are monitored and recorded. The government presented text messages and other evidence during an October 21 detention hearing. Prosecutors say that information was provided to the defense as soon as it was available. Stein and two others, allegedly members of an anti-government, racist, militia group, have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in a plot to bomb the Garden City apartment complex.
GOP's Yoder Raises $508K in October in Hot Kansas 3rd Race
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Republican U.S. Representative Kevin Yoder raised more than $508,000 in cash contributions in October for his re-election in the 3rd Congressional District of Kansas. The fundraising came as the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was spending nearly $1.1 million to help Democratic challenger Jay Sidie. Federal Election Commission reports also showed Monday that a Republican super-PAC has spent more than $734,000 to help Yoder. But Yoder also is fundraising aggressively. He's raised about $328,000 since October 20, and the total includes more than $67,000 from fellow Republicans in the House or Senate. Sidie has raised more than $105,000 in October. His total includes $15,000 from House Democrats. Democrats see Yoder as vulnerable because he's backing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and because Republican Governor Sam Brownback faces a political backlash.
Authorities Identify 3 Victims Found Dead at Rural Kansas Home
HESSTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a couple who were shot to death along with another man in rural central Kansas was facing drug and child endangerment charges. The Harvey County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday identified the victims as 33-year-old Travis Street, 37-year-old Angela Graevs and the couple's Newton friend, 52-year-old Richard Prouty. Their bodies and the couple's unharmed 18-month-old were found Sunday outside a home in a rural area south of Moundridge. The Wichita Eagle reports that Harvey County prosecutors in April filed eight charges each against Street and Graevs for alleged crimes occurring in June 2015. Seven charges were drug related and the eighth was aggravated child endangerment. Records show Street had earlier drug, theft and burglary convictions in Harvey and McPherson counties. Investigators have said the deaths were targeted homicides.
Midwest Economic Survey Suggests Slowdown to Continue
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of business leaders suggests the economy will continue slowing in nine Midwest and Plains states, in part because of manufacturing weakness. The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report released this (TUE) morning says the overall economic index for the region dropped to 43.8 in October from September's 45.5. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says "weakness among manufacturers linked to agriculture and energy continue to weigh on regional economic conditions." The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Brother Sues Over 2014 Fatal Police Shooting in Kansas
OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas man alleges in a lawsuit that police fatally shot his unarmed brother even though relatives warned that the brother was suicidal and trying to bait officers. The Kansas City Star reports that Chris McHenry, of Kansas City, Kansas, filed the lawsuit last week in federal court. He alleges that police were "reckless and careless" in the 2014 shooting of his brother, 18-year-old Joseph Jennings, in an Ottawa parking lot. The shooting was deemed to be justified. The Franklin County attorney determined that Jennings was shot after pointing a dark item, which turned out to be sunglasses, toward officers. The lawsuit says two family members at the scene told officers that Jennings was trying to goad the officers into shooting him. Jennings had attempted suicide the night before.
Lawrence Teenager to Be Tried as Adult in Grandma's Death
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ A Lawrence teenager accused of killing his grandmother will be tried as an adult. Douglas County District Court Judge Kay Huff ruled Monday that 17-year-old Jaered Long will be tried as an adult on a first-degree murder charge. He is suspected of stabbing his 67-year-old grandmother, Deborah Bretthauer, to death at her apartment in December. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Long was 16 when his grandmother died. As an adult, Long faces a life sentence if he is convicted.
Prosecutors Charge Missouri Man Wounded in Police Shooting
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) - Prosecutors have filed charges against an Independence, Missouri man accused of lunging at police with a screwdriver before an officer shot and wounded him. Twenty-six-year-old James Brisbin was charged Monday with second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action. Bond is set at $50,000. No attorney is listed for him in online court records. Prosecutors said in a news release that the shooting happened Friday after officers responded to a report that a man was hitting a woman. The release says Brisbin reached into a backpack and grabbed a screwdriver when officers approached. The release says he ignored orders to drop the screwdriver before he was shot. Brisbin was taken to a hospital for treatment. He has past burglary and assault convictions.
Group Wants More People to Buy 'I Like Ike' License Plates
ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — The Eisenhower Foundation is hoping that people still like Ike enough for Kansas to continue production of "I Like Ike" specialty license plates. The Salina Journal reports that 300 of the license plates with the slogan from the 1952 U.S. presidential campaign for former President Dwight D. Eisenhower need to be purchased by May 2017 for production to continue. The license plates are available in all counties in Kansas. Foundation executive director Meredith Sleichter says every plate that is sold and renewed sends $50 to benefit the foundation. Sleichter says the Kansas Legislature approved the tags and part of the statute requires that 500 plates be purchased in two years for production to continue.
6 Missourians Indicted in Online Scam to Set Up Robberies
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors say six Kansas City-area residents are facing federal charges for allegedly using online dating advertisements to set up armed robberies. The Kansas City Star reports that three of the defendants were charged in June. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted those three and three others. Prosecutors say the suspects placed ads on sites such as Craiglist, Backpage and Skout. People who answered the ads were robbed at gunpoint. Those indicted were 32-year-old Kenneth Sexson and 33-year-old Nicole Covey, also known as Nicole Waguespack or Nicole Preston, both of Sugar Creek; 35-year-old Sage Harrison, 21-year-old Devon Davis-Aumua, and 23-year-old Serina Campos, all of Independence; and 34-year-old Ray Mahurin, of Blue Springs. They are charged in an 11-count indictment from armed robberies in the Kansas City area.
Kansas City 3-Year-Old Accidentally Shot to Death by 5-Year-Old Brother
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say a 3-year-old boy who died last week was accidentally shot by his 5-year-old brother. Police say Jermone L. Green was shot Thursday at the townhouse where he lived. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Investigators are trying to determine how the 5-year-old got access to the gun. Several adults were inside the residence when the shooting occurred. The Kansas City Star reports that the case has been forwarded to the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office, which will determine whether criminal charges will be filed.
Prosecutors Drop Remaining Charges Against Serial Rapist
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jackson County (Missouri) prosecutors are dropping charges against a man already in prison for a series of rapes that frightened the Kansas City area in the 1980s. Bernard Jackson is serving 18 consecutive life sentences for those crimes. Jackson, who is 58, was convicted of crimes committed against five women in 1983 and 1984. He was paroled in 2008 and became a suspect when similar crimes were reported soon after his release. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Tuesday her office decided to drop 22 charges in crimes in 2009 and 2010 that Jackson allegedly committed. Peters Baker says the charges were dropped because Jackson likely will spend the rest of his life in prison. She says the victims of the later crimes agreed with the decision.
Chiefs Defend Treatment of Alex Smith's Injuries
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs defended their treatment of Alex Smith after their quarterback twice had his head slammed into the turf in Indianapolis. Chiefs officials said Monday that Smith passed concussion tests both times. Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said that Smith passed a battery of sideline tests and additional tests in the locker room following the first blow. When Smith returned to the game and was wobbly after another hit, he again passed all of the standard concussion tests. The training staff decided at that point to keep Smith from the game anyway. Running back Spencer Ware did not pass the concussion protocol and was ruled out after taking a similar hit, which has prompted some to question the hardness of the turf in Indianapolis.
KU Loses LB Dineen for Season to Hamstring Injury
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — University of Kansas junior linebacker Joe Dineen was officially shut down for the season on Tuesday after battling with a nagging hamstring injury. Dineen, one of KU's three captains, played in the first three games of the season before being relegated to the bench because of his injury. Last season, Dineen amassed total 86 tackles in the Jayhawks' 0-12 season and had four games with double-digit tackles. He was second to only Fish Smithson in total tackles on the season. Dineen is one of five KU players sidelined for the year. Running back Ryan Schadler is out for the season with a non-football related illness, both cornerback Shola Ayinde and long snapper John Wirtel sustained ACL tears and offensive lineman Jordan Shelley-Smith retired due to multiple concussions.