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Headlines for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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

Kansas Governor Sets April 11 Election to Fill Pompeo's Seat

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Governor Sam Brownback has called a special election for April 11 to fill the 4th Congressional District seat previously held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Brownback signed the necessary document Tuesday, the day after the U.S. Senate confirmed Pompeo's appointment by President Trump. The governor's action officially kicks off an already crowded race to replace Pompeo in the south-central Kansas district that includes Wichita. At least six Republicans and three Democrats might seek the seat. The Republicans include State Treasurer Ron Estes, former congressman Todd Tiahrt and Trump campaign official Alan Cobb. The Democrats include former State Treasurer Dennis McKinney. Republicans and Democrats must have district conventions by February 18 to pick their nominees. It will be the state's first special congressional election since 1950. 

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Kansas GOP Representative Lynn Jenkins to Retire After 5 Terms 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kansas Republican Representative Lynn Jenkins says she will retire from Congress when her current term expires in two years. The 53-year-old Jenkins has had a low national profile but is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. That panel will be in the middle of this year's GOP effort to recast President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and revamp the federal tax code. She announced her decision Wednesday on her campaign's Facebook page. She said she will not seek any office in 2018. That surprised some Republicans in the state who anticipated she might run for governor. Jenkins is serving her fifth House term. She said she will seek private sector opportunities.

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Kansas Sends Out Incorrect Tax Forms 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Revenue says it's resending about 380,000 tax forms after some taxpayers received forms that had incorrect information. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the department found on Monday that some of the 1099-G forms sent out for 2016 had incorrect refund amounts. The 1099-G form lists money that the tax filer received the preceding year in the form of state income tax refunds, credit forwards or offsets. It also includes money given tcheckoff program. Department spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda says while officials aren't sure of the exact number of incorrect tax forms sent, the agency will ensure accuracy by resending all of the roughly 380,000 forms. Federal law requires Kansas to send out the forms for informational purposes.

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Lawsuits in Fatal Wichita Police Shootings Dismissed 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal civil rights lawsuits involving two fatal shootings by Wichita police officers have been dismissed. The Wichita Eagle reports that the suits were brought by the families of 24-year-old Troy Lanning II and 45-year-old Karen Jackson, who were both killed by police separately in 2012. Both lawsuits accuse the city of Wichita and the involved police officers of violating the victims' constitutional rights against the use of excessive force. Lanning, who was unarmed, was shot six times during a foot chase that came after a report of a possible drive-by shooting. The judge says the plaintiff failed to show violations by the officer of "clearly established law." Jackson was shot after walking toward two officers with a butcher knife, stabbing herself and calling on them to fire. The judge says those officers could have reasonably believed their actions were justified.

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Kansas Man Sentenced for Role in Oxycodone Plot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Kansas man has been ordered to spend eight years in federal prison for his role in a scheme involving hundreds of fraudulent prescriptions used to obtain tens of thousands of pills of the powerful painkiller oxycodone. Thirty-nine-year-old Gabriel Demaria of Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty last September to participating in a conspiracy spanning more than five years to distribute oxycodone. Authorities say some conspirators obtained legitimate prescription papers while others would steal prescription pads from local doctors. The defendants then used those fraudulently created prescriptions and stolen identifications to get oxycodone from pharmacies. Demaria is among six co-defendants, all from Missouri, who have pleaded guilty.

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Police Investigating Alleged Rape of Teen at KU Dorm 

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Campus police are investigating the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl at a University of Kansas dorm housing the men's basketball team. Five members of the team are listed as witnesses on the police report. No charges have been filed as of Wednesday and no suspects publicly identified. Police say the alleged assault and other related crimes occurred sometime between December 17 and December 18. They say the teen was visiting residents in the building. The police report cites other possible offenses as contributing to a child's misconduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director for external relations, declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

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Lawsuit: School Camera Recorded People Changing Clothes 

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — A former teacher claims in a lawsuit that a Kansas high school installed a hidden camera in a classroom where people sometimes changed clothes. Rob Marriott filed the lawsuit against Bonner Springs High School. It was moved Tuesday from county to federal court. The Kansas City Star reports Marriott alleged the videotaping occurred from 2009 to mid-2015. The lawsuit says Marriott and others sometimes used the room to change clothes and one year it was used as a visiting locker room during a basketball tournament. Marriott also says he used the room to have confidential discussions with students and colleagues. The current school district superintendent, Dan Brungardt, is not named in the lawsuit. He says the district is working with its attorneys on the lawsuit.

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BNSF to Spend $125 Million on Capital Projects in Kansas 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — BNSF Railway Company's capital expenses plan for 2017 includes spending $125 million in Kansas, most on lines also used by Amtrak's Southwest Chief route. BNSF spokesman Andy Williams says upgrades in Kansas include replacing railroad ties, putting in some new rails and adding ballast. The renovations will include tracks from Emporia east to Topeka and west to Newton and Garden City. The Hutchinson News reports that those lines are used by Amtrak for the Southwest Chief, which had been in limbo for years because the tracks had deteriorated. Amtrak CEO William Boardman said last year the route was saved after several grants repaired lines in other states. Other BNSF work in Kansas will be carried out on tracks between Wellington and Emporia and on an auto storage area in Kansas City.

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3 Sentenced in Kansas for Real Estate Scheme

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man and a couple from Colorado have been sentenced for their roles in a real estate fraud scheme in which developers borrowed money to build townhomes at Table Rock Lake. Sixty-seven-year-old David P. Drake of Lone Tree, Colorado, and 57-year-old Donald D. Snider of Littleton, Colorado, were sentenced Tuesday in Kansas City, Kansas, to five years in federal prison. Snider's wife, 54-year-old Heather Gibbs, received three years of probation. Drake and Snider pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering. They admitted that as business partners seeking to develop land in a project, they made false representations to get financing from three banks. Gibbs admitted she knew of the fraudulent invoices to the banks but did not report the crime.

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Domestic Violence Shelter Receives Grant to Help Hesston Shooting Victims

HESSTON, Kan. (AP) _ About $225,000 in grant money has been awarded to help support victims and first responders affected by last year's mass shooting in Hesston. The Wichita Eagle reports the grant money was awarded to SafeHope, a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter that serves Harvey, McPherson and Marion counties. SafeHope will use the grant to provide support groups, mental health and counseling services, victim advocate services and resources for children. A total of $10,000 of the grant money, funded by the Victims of Crime Act, will go directly to the shooting victims to aid with transportation, clothing, food and lodging. A man used an AK-47 rifle to shoot 17 people in February, 2016, during a shooting rampage that ended at Excel Industries in Hesston. Three people were killed.

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Great Bend Police Seek Information in 30-Year-Old Homicide

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — Great Bend police are seeking the public's help in the 30-year-old death of a young mother. Police Chief Clifton Couch issued the request Tuesday in the January 8, 1987, death of 30-year-old Roberta Mae Klotz. Police say she was asphyxiated in her home while her two daughters and a young family friend slept. The Hutchinson News reports her body was found three days after a neighbor reported her missing. All suspects were cleared in the ensuing investigation. Couch said in a news release that investigators have followed leads since Klotz's death but haven't been able to make an arrest. Dean Aikens, who was police chief at the time, said he believed the slaying was drug-related. Couch says solving the case remains important, particularly to Klotz's relatives and friends.

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McPherson Man Sentenced in 2014 Stabbing Death 

MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — A McPherson man was sentenced to life without possibility of parole for 25 years in the stabbing death of a man who was found in a car near Galva. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says 47-year-old Samuel Nelson Darrah was sentenced Tuesday for his role in the November 2014 death of 39-year-old James Amery Croft. Darrah pleaded no contest in November to first-degree murder, attempted aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. Two other men have already been sentenced in Croft's death. Croft was found in a vehicle in a ditch near Galva. Investigators say the three assailants attacked Croft over a laptop and more than $3,000 they thought he stole from them.

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Jackson County, Missouri Settles Jail Negligence Claim 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Jackson County will pay $275,000 to settle a negligence claim involving the county's jail. The Kansas City Star reports that the recipient of the settlement, identified only by the initials "L.M.," alleged that the claims relate to an incident August 26 at the Jackson County Detention Center. Authorities previously reported that two women said they were assaulted in the downtown jail that day, and that both cases involved security lapses caught on video. Charges have been filed only in one of those alleged attacks. Those attacks prompted the city to transfer its female prisoners out of the lockup until security was improved. Kansas City contracts with Jackson County to hold municipal prisoners in the county jail.

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Police Identify 2 Lee's Summit Teens Killed in Weekend Crash 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have identified two teenagers killed in a Kansas City crash. The Kansas City Star reports that police identified the victims Tuesday as Kaeden Hernandez and Zachary Meyer, of Lee's Summit. Police say the two 18-year-olds were killed and another teen was critically injured over the weekend when their car slid off the side of a road and hit a tree. Witnesses reported that the car was speeding before the crash.

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Kansas City Mother Gets New Prosthetic Arm After Theft

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas City, Missouri, woman is getting a new prosthetic arm to replace one stolen from her minivan in September. The Kansas City Star reports that 29-year-old Gaby Carmona had done without her prosthetic arm since the theft because the $120,000 replacement cost had been too expensive. She had been able to get the high-tech prosthesis because she had health insurance through a full-time job that no longer exists. But the mother of five got a surprise Tuesday when she arrived at Advanced Arm Dynamics in Overland Park, Kansas, to be assessed for a less costly prosthesis that's largely for balance. Instead she was getting a high-tech replacement thanks to the generosity of a manufacturer and others. She says that after seeing the "worst of people," she's now "seen the best, too.

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KU, K-State Men's Basketball Teams Both Lose

LAWRENCE, (AP) —  The number 2 ranked University of Kansas Jayhawks lost to West Virginia Tuesday night, 85-69. The Mountaineers (16-4, 5-3 Big 12) beat Kansas (18-2, 7-1) for the fourth straight time in Morgantown and snapped the Jayhawks' 18-game winning streak. West Virginia blew a double-digit lead after halftime and KU's Svi Mykhailiuk's 3-pointer put the Jayhawks ahead 59-58 midway through the second half. But that was their last lead. Also Tuesday night, Iowa State held off a Kansas State rally to beat the Wildcats, 70-65. The Cyclones (13-6, 5-3 Big 12), blew a 46-26 lead but still defeated K-State (15-5, 4-4). The Wildcats rallied with a stunning 32-11 run that gave them a 58-57 lead with just over five minutes left. But Iowa State's Monte Morris scored on back-to-back possessions to give the lead back to the Cyclones and Deonte Burton's layup with 39 seconds to go gave Iowa the win in the closing moments. Wesley Iwundu had 15 points for the Wildcats. Their three road losses in the Big 12 have come by a total of eight points.

 

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