Two Arrested in Kidnapping, Assault of Kansas Sheriff's Deputy
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say two people have been arrested in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a Kansas sheriff's deputy as she headed to work. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office identified the two as "persons of interest" and said they are in custody in Jackson County, Missouri. The release also said that a car thought to be involved in the abduction has been located. Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning has scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference to discuss the case. The department said previously that the deputy wasn't in uniform when she was followed late Friday from a convenience store to the detention center in Olathe, where two men snatched her in the parking lot. She was sexually assaulted and released about two hours later in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
Johnson County Sheriff Says Deputy's Abduction Not Targeted Attack
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says the abduction of a sheriff's deputy as she headed to work at the county detention center apparently wasn't a targeted attack. The Sheriff's Office says the deputy was not in uniform when she was followed late Friday from a convenience store to the detention center in Olathe. The Kansas City Star reports that two men kidnapped her in the parking lot of the jail. She was sexually assaulted and released about two hours later in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Sheriff's Captain Brian Hill says the abductors may not have targeted the deputy specifically, but it appeared they were looking for a victim. Sheriff Frank Denning said the abduction was "quick," and he likened it to an "ambush."
Topeka Woman Abused Mentally-Challenged Men
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ A Topeka woman has pleaded no contest to abusing two mentally challenged men. Twenty-one-year-old Brooke Shinn entered her guilty plea today (TUE) to two felony counts of attempted mistreatment of a dependent adult. Shinn worked for ResCare in 2015 and cared for the two men in a home where they lived in Lawrence. An arrest affidavit says that for several months, Shinn beat the men, locked them in their rooms for days and locked one in a small closet. Prosecutor Amy McGowan recommended that Shinn be sentenced to two years probation. She also recommended Shinn serve 10 days in jail and several other conditions. Shinn, who no longer works for ResCare, will be sentenced November 21.
Kansas Legislature Plans for an Extra 10 Work Days in 2017
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Republican leaders are already conceding that the Kansas Legislature won't be able to stick to a traditional 90-day schedule for its annual session next year. The GOP-dominated Legislature's top seven leaders decided today (TUE) to budget for an additional 10 days in session for 2017, for a total of 100 days. Democrats opposed the move. Legislators expect to wrestle with difficult budget decisions and to write a new formula for funding the state's public schools. However, to control costs, legislative leaders also agreed to budget for only an 80-day session in 2018. The moves shift roughly $500,000 in costs to 2017. The 2015 session lasted a record 114 days as lawmakers struggled to balance the budget but this year's session lasted only 73 days.
Kansas Traffic Fatalities Increase 16% So Far in 2016
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas transportation officials say more than 300 people have died in traffic accidents this year, a 16 percent increase over the same period in 2015. Kansas Department of Transportation traffic safety manager Chris Bortz says there was a 25 percent increase in traffic fatalities last year, with nearly 360 deaths.
Bortz says the increase is a national phenomenon and that distracted driving is likely one of the causes. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports 50 percent of traffic fatalities in Kansas involve people who weren't wearing a seatbelt. About a third involve people driving while distracted, and another third involve people driving while drunk or otherwise impaired. Interim transportation secretary Richard Carlson says that even looking down at one's cellphone for what seems like a short amount of time is dangerous.
Haskell Employee Sues over School's Treatment of Rape Victim
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ A Haskell Indian Nations University employee alleges in a lawsuit that she was demoted from her job as a student counselor after trying to help a student who said she was raped. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Angelina Adams filed suit yesterday (MON) in Douglas County District Court. Adams says Haskell leaders improperly expelled the female student after she became involved in an altercation with a male Haskell student in March. Adams protested and said the female student hadn't been given due process. The female student said she was a 19-year-old freshman when she was raped last November in a university dorm. Both of her accused attackers also were expelled, and their trials ended in hung juries. A school spokesman, Stephen Prue, didn't immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.
University Areas Containing Combustibles Must Allow Handguns
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas attorney general says the University of Kansas can't ban handguns from areas on campus that contain combustible materials. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the University Senate last week that it would be "disastrous" if a weapon fired in some high-security laboratories and other areas. But she says Attorney General Derek Schmidt told the university it can't make those places exceptions to a state law allowing concealed weapons on campus. The Lawrence Journal-World reports state universities currently are drafting policies to address the law that will allow concealed guns at the schools beginning in July 2017. Buildings with security measures to keep all guns out will be the exceptions. The Kansas Board of Regents is scheduled to consider the universities' proposals in October and November meetings.
Man Pleads Not Guilty to Raping, Killing Daughter in KC
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped and suffocated his daughter, a high school honor student, at a Kansas City motel. Forty-year-old Jerry Bausby pleased not-guilty in Jackson County, Missouri to charges of first-degree murder, sodomy, incest and sexual abuse in the March death of 18-year-old Daizsa Laye Bausby. Her body was found March 22 in a Kansas City motel room. A medical examiner concluded the teenager died of asphyxia by smothering.
Blue Bell Recalls Ice Cream in Kansas and 15 Other States
BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — Blue Bell Creameries is recalling all of its ice cream products that contain cookie dough from an Iowa-based supplier. The move comes after the cookie dough supplier, Aspen Hills, recalled dough supplied to ice cream makers after finding potential listeria bacteria contamination. The Blue Bell recall involves half-gallons and pints of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Blue Bell Cookie Two Step and three-gallon packages of Blue Bell Blue Monster, Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie and Blue Bell Krazy Kookie Dough. They were produced between February and September and distributed in Kansas and 15 other, mostly southern and mid-western, states. Listeria can cause serious, sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and those with weakened immune systems.
Cherryvale Cops Use Facebook to Find Drug Owner
CHERRYVALE, Kan. (AP) - Police in the tiny town of Cherryvale, Kansas, looking to track down the owner of an abandoned gram of crystal meth have taken their case to social media. A bag with methamphetamine was found Sept. 29 at a convenience store in the southeast Kansas community of 2,300 people. So Cherryvale police politely posted about it on the department's Facebook page, hoping to find the owner.
Many Kansas Lawmakers Benefit from Business-Tax Cuts
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A state business income tax exemption has been a windfall for many Kansas lawmakers. The Wichita Eagle reports that nearly 70 percent of lawmakers or their spouses own a business that allows them to benefit from the exemption. Governor Sam Brownback and his wife, Mary, also stand to benefit from the law, which was passed in 2012 at the governor's urging. Brownback would not discuss his family's taxes when asked last month. The law exempts the owners of limited liability companies, S-corporations, limited partnerships, family farms and sole proprietorships from paying state income tax on their non-wage business income. The law also extends to other sources of pass-through income, such as rents, royalties and trusts.
State Attorney General: Colorado Pot Flooding into Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Attorney General says marijuana from Colorado is "permeating" every part of Kansas. Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he surveyed 320 law enforcement agencies and 70 prosecutors' offices in the state. Schmidt says the results indicate that Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana has led to high grade pot from that state largely replacing lower grade marijuana from Mexico and home grown marijuana in Kansas. Schmidt says the study by his office also found a "significant rise" in marijuana edibles, waxes and oils coming into Kansas from neighboring Colorado. The attorney general criticized the federal government for not keeping its promise to prevent Colorado marijuana from moving into nearby states.
Corn Disease Affects Kansas Crop Yields
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A corn disease that is new to the heartland is infecting Kansas crops. The Hutchinson News reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of the bacterial leaf disease in an area of south-central Kansas stretching from Pratt County to Edwards County. Justin Gatz, a Preston-area farmer and crop consultant, says the disease probably contributed to this year's decline in corn yield, but that weather was also a factor. Kansas State University researchers said that the USDA began a survey of cornfields across the region after the disease was discovered in samples submitted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014. It's unknown how it entered the U.S. The disease has been found in about a dozen states, including Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma.
Kansas Driver Swerves to Avoid Deer Before Train Hits Car
AUGUSTA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas teenager had to flee from an approaching train after he swerved his car to avoid hitting two deer on the road then became stuck on a stretch of railroad tracks. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the 18-year-old driver initially attempted to drive his car down the tracks Sunday night about two miles northeast of Augusta. But his car became stuck and wasn't able to continue. The driver bailed and took off on foot when he saw the train coming. No one was hurt when the train crashed into the car.