Carlson to Remain as Kansas Transportation Chief
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback says former state legislator Richard Carlson will be staying on as Kansas transportation secretary. Brownback announced Monday that after three months as the Department of Transportation's interim secretary, Carlson has been elevated to acting secretary. The appointment will require state Senate confirmation after the Legislature convenes in January. The 72-year-old Carlson began serving as interim secretary in July after Secretary Mike King stepped down. Carlson was previously was the legislative liaison for the Department of Revenue. He is a Republican from St. Marys who served in the Kansas House from 2005 through 2014.
Missouri's American Royal Horse Exhibition Moving to Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the American Royal's move to Kansas (all times local):
The new Kansas home for the American Royal horse and livestock exhibition is being planned as a $160 million project that includes arenas, a museum and an agricultural education center. American Royal officials and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced Tuesday that the Royal plans to move from Kansas City, Missouri, to the Kansas side of the metropolitan area. They're hoping the development near Kansas Speedway attracts a new hotel. Officials say the state is committing to authorizing $80 million in bonds backed by sales tax revenues collected in the area. Plans call for the American Royal site to have an exposition center and two arenas with 5,000 and 8,000 seats. Brownback called the project "an important growth opportunity."
Some Kansas state officials are praising the announcement that the American Royal horse and livestock exhibition will move from Missouri to Kansas. Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey said in a statement after the move was announced Tuesday that the organization is a perfect fit for Kansas because of the state's rich and long agricultural history. She says the state and American Royal are both dedicated to working to promote the future of agriculture, which will require innovation, new production practices and new technologies. Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soave says the American Royal's tradition of excellence is "perfect" for Kansas, its business climate and its quality of life.
A prominent Democrat in the Kansas Legislature says she has mixed feelings about an announcement that the American Royal horse and livestock exhibition plans to move to Kansas from Missouri. State Senator Laura Kelly of Topeka said Tuesday that it's exciting that Wyandotte County on the Kansas side of the Kansas City area has attracted a major project and new jobs. But Kelly added, "It's sort of more of the same of just stealing from Missouri rather than trying to grow that region altogether." American Royal officials and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced that the exhibition would be moving from Kansas City, Missouri, to a site near Kansas Speedway with a new arena, museum and education center.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James says he wishes the American Royal well as it ends its long association with the Missouri city and moves across the border to Wyandotte County, Kansas. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and American Royal officials announced Tuesday that the horse and livestock exhibition is moving to a new home near the Kansas Speedway. James says in a statement that he appreciates the American Royal's' long partnership with Kansas City and looks forward to seeing what the future holds for the organization. He also vowed to work with other city leaders to make the West Bottoms, the longtime home of the American Royal, into a vibrant and lively area of the city.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The annual American Royal horse and livestock exhibition in Kansas City is moving to Kansas from Missouri. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and American Royal officials announced the move Tuesday during a news conference at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Brownback's administration has been working for months to lure the full, weeks-long exhibition to the Kansas side. The 117-year-old American Royal is one of Kansas City's most fabled cultural institutions, drawing nearly 100,000 people. American Royal officials have already moved the exhibition's signature barbecue competition that begins Wednesday to the speedway. Some Kansas legislators have voiced concern that to lure the American Royal, the state would promise a major development project on the Kansas side and finance it with bonds backed by sales tax revenues.
SUV Strikes, Kills Pedestrian on I-470 in Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Highway Patrol says a sport utility vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian on Interstate 470 in Topeka Monday afternoon. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the man was hit in the westbound lanes. A Highway Patrol spokesman says the man had been in the same location on the interstate about 30 minutes earlier and Topeka police had moved him because pedestrians aren't allowed on the interstate. The man apparently returned to the interstate a short time later and was struck by the SUV. The man, whose name hasn't been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Kansas Zoo Put on Lockdown After Report of Orangutan Escape
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Sedgwick County Zoo says an orangutan who briefly escaped its enclosure found a weakness in the wire mesh of its enclosure. Zoo officials say a 11-year-old Sumatran orangutan named Tao appears to have unwoven the mesh enough to slip through the hole and escape into a public area. She went back into the enclosure on her own, and all orangutans were secured indoors within 11 minutes. Zoo spokeswoman Melissa Graham says a guest reported the possible orangutan escape at 10 am Tuesday, and zoo officials quickly escorted visitors to places of safety. No one was hurt. The outdoor area for the Orangutan exhibit will remain closed until further notice while it is evaluated and secured.
Federal Prosecutor on Call for Kansas Election Complaints
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top federal prosecutor in Kansas says a member of his staff will be on call to handle complaints about potential election fraud or violations of voters' rights on Election Day. Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall says that Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon Patton will be available by phone on November 8. Beall said in a statement that his office will act "promptly and aggressively" on complaints. He said he does not expect any problems during voting. Beall also noted that the FBI's Kansas City office will have agents available to handle allegations of abuse with a toll-free hotline: 855-527-2847. Beall says this is something the office routinely does and is not a reaction to the “rigged election” talk in the presidential campaign. Beall also said questions about state or local issues can be directed to the Kansas secretary of state's office at 800-262-8683.
Stand-Your-Ground Law in Limbo in Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state's self-defense law is in legal limbo while the Kansas Supreme Court prepares to consider the issue. The Kansas Court of Appeals overturned district court rulings that invoked the stand-your-ground law twice this month. Because of those rulings, one man could now stand trial for attempted voluntary manslaughter and another for first-degree murder. Previously, the men had been shielded from prosecution. The rulings come as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in a separate stand-your-ground case, possibly as early as mid-December.
Kansas Man to Stay in Jail Until Trial in Somali Bomb Plot
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A southwest Kansas man will stay behind bars until trial for his role in an alleged conspiracy by a militia group to detonate truck bombs at a Garden City apartment complex where 120 Somali immigrants live. Curtis Allen waived his detention hearing Monday and entered a not guilty plea. Allen and co-defendants Patrick Stein and Gavin Wright are charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in the town of Garden City. Prosecutors allege they are part of an anti-government, racist, militia group that calls itself "The Crusaders.'' Prosecutors allege that the three men planned to attack the apartment complex, which contains a mosque in one of the units, the day after the November election.
Democrat in Kansas 3rd District Touts Obama Endorsement
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Democratic challenger Jay Sidie is touting President Barack Obama's endorsement of him in his race in the 3rd Congressional District. Sidie's campaign released a statement from the Democratic president calling Sidie a "smart and tough" leader who will build on Obama's work. Sidie is a 59-year-old former commodities trader seeking to unseat three-term Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder. A spokeswoman for the Yoder campaign said liberal Washington insiders have "bought and paid for" Sidie's campaign. The 3rd District includes much of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. Yoder held an event Friday with former Republican senator and 1996 presidential nominee Bob Dole to showcase Dole's support.
Kansas Wesleyan Nursing Accreditation Application Denied
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Wesleyan University is trying to decide what to do after getting more bad news about its nursing program. The Salina Journal reports that the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has rejected the school's application for voluntary accreditation. The university shared the news with the campus Monday. Last year, the school's nursing program voluntarily withdrew from another group, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, because it appeared it was about to be rejected for reaccreditation. Kansas Wesleyan President Matt Thompson called the latest development "unexpected" in a news release. But he noted that 25 of the 28 criteria had been met. No decision has been made about applying again for accreditation. The university's Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the issue when it meets this week.
Kansas State University Narrows Search for Next President
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The committee searching for Kansas State University's next president has selected 15 candidates to interview for the position. The Manhattan Mercury reports that 81 people applied for the position. Regent Dennis Mullin, who heads the Kansas Board of Regents' search committee, says the number of applicants and the number of qualified candidates were higher than expected. Mullin says he hopes the committee can select someone in November. Former president Kirk Schulz announced in March that he was leaving the university to become the president of Washington State University. An interim president has been serving since late May.
Kansas Man Admits Role in Abduction of Woman Later Slain
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man faces a possible life prison term after admitting in federal court his role in the abduction of a woman who was later killed. Twenty-six-year Drexel Woody, formerly of the Fort Riley military base, pleaded guilty in Topeka to one count of kidnapping resulting in death. His sentencing is scheduled for January 30. Witnesses reported seeing 24-year-old Amanda Clemons of Junction City being placed in a car outside a Junction City motel the February 2014 night she disappeared. Prosecutors allege Clemons was beaten in retribution for comments she had made on social media. Prosecutors say Clemons was taken to a bridge, broke free and jumped from the span, breaking her ankle before her assailants fatally cut her throat. Four co-defendants await trial.
Car-Sharing Service Expands in Downtown Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Car-sharing service Zipcar has expanded into downtown Kansas City. Zipcar allows people to rent a car by the hour or by the day. The Kansas City Star reports that Zipcar has placed eight vehicles in four locations along the downtown streetcar route from River Market to Union Station. Zipcar already has two cars at Kansas City International Airport and two more at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The company has said that the downtown expansion is indicative of the service's performance so far.
Club: Kansas State University Costs Outpace Inflation
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University's economics club says the cost of being a student at the university continues to rise faster than the rate of inflation. The Manhattan Mercury reports that since 2002, the club has measured the Student Price Index, which is similar to the Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Price Index. The student index takes into account the costs that the average student faces like housing, tuition, gas, groceries and textbooks. The Student Price Index rose by 2 percent this year. The average increase since the club started tracking the index has been 7 percent.
Former Haskell Student Sues over Expulsion
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A former Haskell Indian Nations University student alleges in a lawsuit that she was retaliated against after reporting that two football players raped her in a residence hall. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the lawsuit filed Monday in federal court is the second alleging retaliation. An employee also sued earlier this month, alleging that she was demoted from her job as a student counselor after trying to help the student. Two men, Jared Wheeler and Galen Satoe, were charged in Douglas County District Court with raping the woman when she was 19 in November 2014. Their trials ended in hung juries. In the latest lawsuit, the unidentified woman alleges that administrators pressured a male student to bring a baseless claim against her this spring. She was expelled.
Dry Conditions Spur Harvest Activity in Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Fall harvest has made some good progress in Kansas this past week amid dry conditions and warm temperatures. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 87 percent of the state's corn crop has been cut. That is approximately the same as a year ago at this time. Kansas farmers have also harvested about 56 percent of the sorghum and 53 percent of the soybeans in the state. The sunflower harvest is 38 percent completed, while 8 percent of the Kansas cotton crop has been harvested. The agency also reports that winter wheat planting is now 84 percent complete.
Kansas Woman Sentenced for Death of Newborn
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 21-year-old Kansas woman was sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison for placing her newborn baby in in a trash can and letting her die. Prosecutors say Marissa Carol Fields gave birth to a nearly full-term baby at her home in Olathe in December 2014. She was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years and 10 months after earlier agreeing to plead no contest to second-degree murder and aggravated abandonment of a child. The Kansas City Star reports Fields had not told anyone she was pregnant. Her father discovered the baby's body in the trash and contacted police. Earlier testimony indicated the baby girl was likely born alive. Fields told investigators the girl was cold and not breathing when she was born. The death was classified as homicide.
Multi-State Operation Targets Wichita Alcoholic Distributor
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has charged a man in connection with a multi-state investigation into Jayhawk Beverage Distributors in Wichita. The Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control announced Tuesday that an operation targeting the company's warehouse in Wichita recovered about $70,000 worth of contraband and evidence. The company had been based in Pittsburg, Kansas, before moving to Wichita. James "Jimmy" A. Hall was arrested late Friday in Wichita. He faces Shawnee County charges including forgery, identity theft, making false information, obtaining a liquor license by fraud, and purchase and distribution of liquor without a license. Online records do not indicate whether Hall has an attorney, and the Alcoholic Beverage Control said the agency did not know whether he had a defense attorney. The investigation involved law enforcement agencies in Kansas, California and Florida.
Man Guilty in Shooting That Led to Quadruple Amputation
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man has been convicted in a cellphone store robbery shooting that left a retired Kansas guidance counselor so seriously injured that doctors had to amputate her hands and feet. The Wichita Eagle reports that 27-year-old James Michael Phillips was found guilty Monday of nine counts, including attempted first-degree murder. Prosecutors said he shot Julie Dombo while trying to rob an AT&T store in Derby in August 2015. Phillips also was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at a Derby police officer. The 27-year-old Phillips acted as his own attorney during the trial. Sentencing is set for December 9 in Sedgwick County District Court. Dombo says Phillips put her "in prison for life." She says he's "got to be in prison for life to make it even."
Kansas Officials Approve $33K for Wrongful Death Lawsuit
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas State Finance Council has voted to approve $33,000 for the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit filed after a man died at a small lake northwest of Hays. Authorities say 65-year-old Tony Bieker and his wife were staying at Antelope Lake in July 2011. Tony Bieker was on his boat when it became stuck about 50 yards from shore. He was unable to dislodge the boat and decided to wait for daylight to flag down help. A Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism officer arrived during the night and ordered Bieker to get his boat of the water. Bieker unsuccessfully tried get the boat free and then began swimming to shore, but only made it halfway before going under. Bieker was pronounced dead at a hospital. Bieker's wife filed a lawsuit against the state and the wildlife officer.
Man Guilty in Wichita Shooting That Led to Quadruple Amputation
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man has been convicted in a cellphone store robbery shooting that left a retired Kansas guidance counselor so seriously injured that doctors had to amputate her hands and feet. The Wichita Eagle reports that 27-year-old James Michael Phillips was found guilty Monday of nine counts, including attempted first-degree murder. Prosecutors said he shot Julie Dombo while trying to rob an AT&T store in Derby in August 2015. Phillips also was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at a Derby police officer. Sentencing is set for December 9.
Kansas State Fair Attendance in 2016 Third Highest Ever
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas State Fair recorded its third highest attendance ever this year. General Manager Susan Sankey said 359,808 people visited the 10-day fair, the third highest number in the event's 104-year history. Fair officials say that 2015 was a record-breaking year for fair attendance with 369,322 visitors, beating the previous record set in 1995 at 361,647. Sankey says those years had near-perfect weather but this year's event had some rain.
Police Investigating Death of Boy at Eudora Day Care
EUDORA, Kan. (AP) _ The license for a Eudora day care is under emergency suspension after a 9-month-old boy died there last month. Eudora Police say officers received a report September 29 of an unresponsive infant at the Sunshine Kids Group Daycare Home. When officers arrived they found staff administering CPR to the boy, who was later pronounced dead at a Lawrence hospital. Police say a preliminary autopsy led investigators to believe the boy's death was suspicious and the department asked Douglas County authorities to help with the investigation. The emergency suspension is under appeal and awaiting a hearing. No arrests have been made in the case.
Kansas City Man Dies After SUV Falls From Bridge
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City, Missouri, police are investigating a man's death after his sport utility vehicle plunged from a highway bridge. The Kansas City Star reports that construction workers were retrieving pipes Monday from the company's scrap yard near the U.S. 71 bridge when they found the mangled vehicle and the driver's body. Kansas City police say the vehicle was southbound when it went over the barrier and plunged onto a pile of pipes. Investigators say the driver apparently died from injuries in the crash. The driver's name has not been released.
Fake Porno Producer Allegedly Duped Dozens of KC Area Women
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Kansas City-area man is accused of duping dozens of women into having sex with him on camera as "rehearsal" for pornographic movies. Federal prosecutors announced a 21-count indictment Monday against 33-year-old Mario Antoine, of Raymore. A federal grand jury returned the indictment earlier this month. Antoine is accused of creating an online persona as a talent manager, photographer and videographer and claiming to work in the pornography industry. Investigators say he promised to pay the women thousands of dollars. Prosecutors say when the women complained about not being paid, Antoine forwarded images of the sexual activity to their employers or significant others.