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Headlines for Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Water Park's Rides Privately Inspected in June
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A document released by a state agency says all the rides at a Kansas City, Kansas, water park passed private inspections in June, including the waterslide on which a 10-year-old boy died. The Kansas Department of Labor provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday a copy of an insurance company inspector's June 7 letter saying inspections had been completed at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. The letter said all rides met guidelines for being insured with "no disqualifying conditions noted." Deputy Secretary and Chief Attorney Brad Burke said the department obtained the letter following Sunday's death of Caleb Schwab on the "Verruckt" waterslide. Kansas law requires permanent rides to be inspected annually by their parks, and the state randomly audits the records. The last records audit for Schlitterbahn was in June 2012.


Source Says Boy Decapitated on Waterslide 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) —  A 10-year-old boy was decapitated as he rode a waterslide at a Kansas water park. A person who is familiar with the investigation but is not authorized to speak about the boy's death told The Associated Press Wednesday that Caleb Schwab was decapitated Sunday on the "Verruckt" ride at the Schlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas City, Kansas. Caleb, the son of a Kansas lawmaker, was in a raft with two adults who were not related to him when he was killed on the 168-foot tall ride. The other two were treated for facial injuries. A spokeswoman for the waterpark declined to discuss the circumstances of the boy's death. "Verruckt" is German for insane.


Funeral Set for Kansas Boy Who Died on Water Park Ride

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A funeral is set for a state lawmaker's 10-year-old son who was killed while riding a Kansas waterslide billed as the world's tallest. Police say Caleb Thomas Schwab died Sunday of an unspecified neck injury while riding the 168-foot-tall Verruckt at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. Investigators have not released specifics about how the boy sustained his fatal injuries. Caleb was the son of Republican state Representative Scott Schwab. A family spokesman, Reverend Clint Sprague, says visitation will be held Thursday evening at Life Mission Church in Olathe. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday afternoon. The park reopened today (WED), though the waterslide will remain closed for the rest of the season.


Water Park Reopens but Not Ride Where Boy Died 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) —  Schlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas has reopened except for a sprawling section including the "Verruckt" waterslide, where a 10-year-old boy was decapitated over the weekend. Although the raft ride where the boy died was not open, its towering profile greeted visitors Wednesday as soon as they drove through the entrance. Pulling a cooler behind her, 42-year-old Sara Craig said she was looking forward to an afternoon of water fun Wednesday with her 14-year-old son, Cale, and one of his 13-year-old friends. But she said that she was feeling guilty when a family is hurting so badly. She said the family rode Verruckt twice in one day a couple of weeks ago Craig said that during her first trip down the ride with her son and one of his friends, her shoulder restraint came off, something she opted not to report to park workers. So they rode it again, only to see the restraint on her son's friend also come loose by the time it was over.


Kansas Lawmaker Wants to Review Oversight of Amusement Park​ Rides 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A Kansas legislator says he wants to examine the state's relatively leniant oversight of amusement park rides like the waterslide on which a 10-year-old boy was killed. Democratic state Senator David Haley of Kansas City says he's hoping there will be bipartisan support for a review. He said people shouldn't be risking their lives in having fun at an amusement park. Kansas requires annual inspections of permanent rides but allows parks to do the inspections. The state Department of Labor is required to randomly audit inspection records. Caleb Schwab died Sunday at the Schiltterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. He was the son of Republican state Representative Scott Schwab of Olathe.


Kansas Panel Tightens Fracking Restrictions 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Corporation Commission has expanded restrictions on the amount of oilfield wastewater that can be injected underground. The practice has been linked to earthquakes in south central Kansas in recent years. During a meeting Tuesday, the Wichita Eagle reports that the commission left in place an 8,000-barrel per day limit in five specific areas of Harper and Sumner counties but it put a 16,000-barrel per day limit on the rest of those two counties and parts of Kingman, Sedgwick and Butler counties. KCC staff said reduced injection rates imposed earlier led to a drop in the magnitude and frequency of earthquakes on the Kansas side of the Oklahoma border.


Kansas Judges, Lawyers Strongly Back 4 High Court Justices 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas judges and lawyers who participated in a retention survey gave strong backing to four state Supreme Court justices but only lukewarm support for the lone justice picked by Governor Sam Brownback. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the nonpartisan Judicial Evaluation Committee has released performance assessments for state Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges. At least 74 percent of lawyers and 75 percent of judges "strongly" recommended retaining Supreme Court justices Lawton Nuss, Marla Luckert, Carol Beier and Dan Biles. Only 39 percent of lawyers and 54 percent of judges strongly supported retention of Justice Caleb Stegall, appointed by Brownback in 2014. Conversely, 31 percent of lawyers and 7 percent of judges felt strongly that he should be voted off the bench.


Group Kicks Off Bid to Oust 4 of 5 Supreme Court Justices 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A group upset over a Kansas Supreme Court ruling involving two Wichita brothers convicted of killing four people has begun a push to oust four of five justices up for retention in November. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the group Kansans for Justice is urging voters to cast ballots against retaining Lawton Nuss, Marla Luckert, Carol Beier and Dan Biles. The group supports retaining Govern or Sam Brownback's only selection, Caleb Stegall, who came onto the court after the Carr brothers ruling. The two men were sentenced to death for the December 2000 shootings of five people at a soccer complex, killing four. The Kansas Supreme Court vacated the death sentences in 2014 after ruling their constitutional rights had been infringed upon, but the U.S. Supreme Court later reversed the decision.


Kansas Education Commissioner Highlights Academic Challenges 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas's education commissioner says there are several challenges the state faces in its education system. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that commissioner Randy Watson told the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday that the state must work with students and their families to improve high school graduation rates. According to Watson, only 86 percent of Kansas high school students will finish high school on time. Watson says the state is also challenged by high turnover among superintendents and principals. There was a turnover of 61 superintendents this past school year. Kansas's education department is promoting a concept in which high schools work more closely with students and their families on developing individual study plans that help each student prepare better for life after high school.


Kansas Teens Sentenced for Plot to Detonate Bombs at School 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Two Kansas teenagers have been sentenced to 45 months in a juvenile correctional facility after planning to detonate pipe bombs at their high school. The Hutchinson News reports that the youths, 14 and 15, were arrested March 8 after Hutchinson High School administrators were tipped off about their bomb plot. Both were convicted of conspiracy to commit capital murder. Investigators found what's been called "detailed plans to harm students and faculty" in the boys' possession. That included notes and materials for constructing bombs and surveillance logs on staff members. A Reno County District Court clerk says the 15-year-old was sentenced Tuesday while the 14-year-old was sentenced last month. Both are subject to three years of aftercare once they have finished their prison sentences.


4.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Central Oklahoma, Felt in Wichita

LUTHER, Okla. (AP) - Another earthquake has rattled central Oklahoma, but there have been no reports of damage or injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.0. It struck shortly after 6 o'clock this (WED) morning. Its epicenter was about 23 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The USGS says the earthquake was widely felt in central Oklahoma and as far north as Wichita, Kansas. The number of magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes has skyrocketed in Oklahoma, from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 900 last year. Scientists have linked the increase to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production and state regulators have asked producers to reduce wastewater disposal volumes.


Report Says Alleged Lottery Fixer Acted Alone

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An internal investigation into a national jackpot-fixing scandal has concluded that a single former lottery employee was responsible for any drawings that were manipulated, but it failed to uncover proof of his guilt. The report for the Multi-State Lottery Association found that its former security director, Eddie Tipton, had no help from other employees. But investigators said they found no smoking gun proving criminal activity, such as the manipulation of computers that pick numbers. The April 29 report was obtained by The Associated Press. Tipton was convicted last year of tampering with a drawing for a $16.5 million jackpot after he was seen on video buying the winning numbers at a Des Moines gas station. He's awaiting trial on allegations that he conspired with associates to collect jackpots in several states.


Activists Protest Chelsea Manning's Prison Treatment 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Supporters of a transgender soldier imprisoned for sending classified information to an anti-secrecy website say they've collected more than 115,000 petition signatures protesting new charges she faces related to her recent suicide attempt. Activist groups including Demand Progress presented the petitions Wednesday to Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning's office on Chelsea Manning's behalf. Manning was convicted in 2013 in military court of Espionage Act violations and other offenses for giving secret military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks. Manning was an intelligence analyst in Iraq at the time. Manning has been imprisoned at Kansas's Fort Leavenworth and tried to kill herself July 5. The ACLU says she now faces administrative charges related to it, and possible punishment could include indefinite solitary confinement.


Kansas Board of Regents to Discuss State Dental School 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents is considering establishing the state's first school of dentistry. The proposal was presented during a regents' meeting on Tuesday. Proponents said the most feasible site for the proposed school would be the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said KU is not pushing the proposal. Since 1964, Kansas has had a reciprocal agreement with Missouri to allow Kansas residents to pay in-state tuition to study optometry and dentistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Regent Daniel Thomas says Kansas isn't getting what it needs from that agreement.


Kansas Senate Leader Hires Lawmaker as Legislative Director

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle has hired a fellow lawmaker to work on her staff as legislative director. Senator Garrett Love, a Republican from Montezuma, was hired last month and will earn $40,000 to help with legislative campaigns, focusing on rural races. Love announced near the end of the last legislative session that he would not seek re-election. His term ends in December. The Wichita Eagle reports the state's ethics law allows personal staff of elected officials to do campaign work on taxpayer time. Wagle's chief of staff, Harrison Hems, says Love won't take any reimbursements as a senator for being in Topeka for interim committees while serving in his new job. Love says he would not continue in the job if Wagle is Senate president again next session.


Kansas City Groups Continue Call for Police Review Board 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A coalition of civil rights groups in Kansas City continues to call for the creation of an independent citizens review board to monitor and investigate fatal shootings by police officers. The Kansas City Star reports that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City requested the review board during a monthly Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners on Tuesday. The conference is one of 20 groups that called for reforms. Police board member Alvin Brooks says the board is created through a Missouri statute and individual commissioners are appointed by the governor. He says that prohibits the board from establishing a separate independent entity to investigate fatal police shootings. Other proposed reforms include the appointment of a victim advocates team that would reach out to victims of police shootings, and mediate between victims and police.


Sedgwick County May Stop Offering Travel Immunizations

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Sedgwick County's health department may stop offering certain types of immunizations for international travel under the county's recommended budget. The Wichita Eagle reports that the county's proposed budget calls for the end of providing vaccines for certain diseases and infections like yellow fever and typhoid fever. County health officials say the decision to cut some immunizations will allow the health department to focus on other services. The proposed budget says the immunization program cost nearly $138,143, but generated about $137,660 in revenue. Sedgwick County chief financial officer Chris Chronis says the decision ties to the county's goal to reduce government services that can be provided by non-governmental groups or through the private sector. The county's final budget is set to be adopted today (WED).


Kansas Among 15 States Seeking to Overturn Endangered Frog Ruling

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Kansas is among fifteen states asking a federal appeals court to reconsider a Louisiana landowner's attempt to keep the government from listing 1,500 forest acres as essential to an endangered frog. A ruling in June upheld a district judge's decision that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was within bounds in declaring the land part of a critical habitat for dusky gopher frogs, now found only in Mississippi. Federal scientists say it's the only potential breeding ground outside Mississippi. Tuesday's petition says the rulings leave the concept of essential habitat without meaningful limit. It supports the landowner's earlier request for a hearing by the entire 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The states are Kansas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming. 


Wichita State Coach Suspended After Getting Tossed in Canada 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has been suspended for the last game of an exhibition tour in Canada after receiving two technical fouls and getting kicked out of a game against McGill University. Shockers athletic director Daron Boatright said in a statement Wednesday that "while I understand the competitive spirit that accompanies coaching, there remains a professional behavior that is inherent in a position of leadership that we must all meet." Marshall had to be restrained Tuesday night from chasing after two referees. He complained several times about physical play that resulted in one of Wichita State's players sustaining a concussion. Marshall also received a technical foul in a game Sunday. The Shockers finished their Canadian tour against a group of local professionals Wednesday.


NJCAA Executive Director Leicht to Retire After 28 Years 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The executive director of the National Junior College Athletic Association is retiring next summer after a 28-year career with the organization. Mary Ellen Leicht has been the NJCAA's chief executive since 2009, and was instrumental in developing the association's current structure for 28 sports. The announcement was made Wednesday by NJCAA President Bryce Roderick. Among her accomplishments as executive director are securing long-term contracts for the NJCAA's Division I men's basketball championship in Hutchinson, Kansas, and the Division I Baseball World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. Both included multimillion facility improvements. She started out in 1989 as an eligibility administrator. Leicht also oversaw the launch of NJCAA TV, which will cover 22 national championships in the next year. In 2009, Leicht became the first female chief executive of any national college athletic association, according to NACDA, the national association for college athletic directors.


White Sox Beat Kansas City Royals, 7-5

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chicago White Sox' Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and Justin Morneau had four hits to lift the White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 7-5 on Tuesday night. Frazier is tied for the major league lead with 31 homers, and his latest came on the first pitch from Kelvin Herrera (1-4) after a single by Jose Abreu and a double by Morneau. David Robertson (3-2) blew a save in the ninth when Alcides Escobar's two-out single scored pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson. Dan Jennings struck out Eric Hosmer to end the game, logging his first career save. White Sox All-Star left-hander Chris Sale gave up three runs and seven hits in the first 2 1/3 innings but did not allow a hit after that. He threw 115 pitches in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one.


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