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Headlines for Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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

Region Reacts to KCK Fatal Shooting of Police Officer: The Latest Information 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The latest on the fatal shooting of an officer from Kansas City, Kansas (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Funeral services have been scheduled for a Kansas City, Kansas police officer killed in the line of duty. Captain Robert Melton was shot and killed Tuesday while looking for suspects in an earlier drive-by shooting. Two suspects are in custody but formal charges haven't been filed. The police department said Wednesday in a release that visitation for Melton is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the city's civic center. His funeral is Saturday morning at Children's Mercy Park. The department says Melton will be buried immediately after the service at the Leavenworth National Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas.


1:45 pm

A slain Kansas City, Kansas, police officer had been awaiting the arrival of another child. Police said in a release Wednesday that Capt. Robert Melton's partner was pregnant and due to give birth this winter. Melton was shot and killed Tuesday when he was responding to a police call. Two suspects are in custody. Police say Melton has three other children from previous relationships, and that Melton's pregnant partner also has two children. Police say he also leaves four brothers and five sisters.


1:25 pm

The Kansas National Guard says a slain Kansas City, Kansas, police officer was a decorated veteran who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Police Captain Robert Melton died Tuesday after he was shot while responding to a police call. Authorities say the attack wasn't a planned ambush. Two suspects are in custody. Major General Lee Tafanelli said Wednesday in a statement that Melton served in the guard from 1986 until he retired in 2012. He says there are "many heavy hearts" after Melton's death, which he calls a "senseless tragedy." The guard says Melton served in Iraq in 2006 to 2007 and in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012, and received several military honors, including the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster.


12:30 pm

The top Republican in the Kansas Senate says President Barack Obama has "stoked the flames of anger and hostility" toward law enforcement officers. Senate President Susan Wagle, of Wichita, made her comments as Kansas officials expressed sadness over the shooting death of a Kansas City, Kansas, police captain. Wagle cited Obama's public comments about shootings by police in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which were followed by deadly attacks on officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Wagle said the Democratic president has painted law enforcement officers as "people of bias." She also said officers and their communities need to build stronger relationships so that people being protected by the police trust them. Republican Governor Sam Brownback told a meeting of top lawmakers Wednesday that the Kansas, shooting was "a terrible tragedy."


11 am

The police chief in Kansas City, Kansas, says the department hopes to present the findings of its investigation into a captain's killing to prosecutors soon. Chief Terry Zeigler said during a news conference that all suspects are thought to be in custody and that the investigation will go to prosecutors later Wednesday. Capt. Robert Melton was shot multiple times Tuesday afternoon while searching for a drive-by shooting suspect, and died at a hospital shortly after. Zeigler described the 46-year-old as a "big personality" and "gregarious." He said it wasn't unusual that Melton, as a captain, was responding because Melton's philosophy was to "lead from the front."


Kansans Split over Questions About Melania Trump Speech

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some Kansas delegates to the Republican National Convention are dismissive of questions about whether passages from Melania Trump's speech were plagiarized. But delegate and State Treasurer Ron Estes said Tuesday that the issue is an unfortunate distraction from the positive message Mrs. Trump was trying to present. Several delegates said in telephone interviews from the convention city of Cleveland that Mrs. Trump gave a strong speech that showed she would make a good first lady. Estes agreed but said Mrs. Trump's remarks are being overshadowed by questions about whether two passages were lifted from a speech by Michelle Obama to the 2008 Democratic convention. But delegate and former State Treasurer Tim Shallenburger called the issue "somewhat bizarre." He said Mrs. Trump was expressing common ideas with common language.


Kansas Casts GOP Convention Votes in Line with Caucuses

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas delegates at the Republican National Convention have voted on Donald Trump's presidential nomination in line with the state's caucus results. The state Tuesday cast nine votes for Trump but 24 for Texas Senator Ted Cruz and six for Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Ohio Governor John Kasich received one vote. The state's 40 delegates were allocated to the candidates based on the results of caucuses in March that Cruz won handily. Kansas GOP rules required the delegates to vote for the candidates to which they were bound unless those candidates formally released them.


ACLU Files Lawsuit over Two-Tiered Elections Planned in Kansas 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a two-tiered election system that require Kansas election officials to throw out thousands of votes cast in state and local races by people who registered at motor vehicle offices or used a federal form without providing documentary proof of their U.S. citizenship. The class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in Shawnee County District Court comes a week after a state board approved the temporary measure. The board's decision was made a day before advance voting began for the August 2 primary. The rule was sought by Secretary of State Kris Kobach and will be in effect through the November 8 general election. A federal judge in May ordered the state to allow people who registered at motor vehicle offices to vote in federal elections.


Kansas Official Unsure of What Bioscience Sale Will Raise 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave says he's not sure how much the state could raise by selling the assets of the Kansas Bioscience Authority. Soave said Wednesday the Department of Commerce needs to examine the authority's investment portfolio more thoroughly to assess how much a sale of the assets can bring. Measures approved by lawmakers this year anticipate the state raising $38 million to help public schools and keep the budget balanced. Republican Governor Sam Brownback and top legislators took a key step toward the sale Wednesday by approving the authority's merger with the Department of Commerce. Soave said the assets could be sold by the end of the year. The state created the authority in 2004 to nurture emerging bioscience companies, but Republicans have expressed disappointment with results.


Hearing Set for Man Accused in Kansas Detective's Death 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A judge has scheduled a November preliminary hearing for a 29-year-old man charged with capital murder in the death of a Kansas City, Kansas police detective. Curtis Ayers, of Tonganoxie, is charged with capital murder in the May 9 death of Detective Brad Lancaster. Ayers is accused of shooting Lancaster in Kansas City, Kansas, and then fleeing in a car to Missouri, where police shot and wounded him. The Wyandotte County District Attorney's office said in a release that during a hearing Wednesday a judge scheduled Ayers's preliminary hearing for November 21-23. Ayers's hearing Wednesday was held about the same time authorities held a press conference about the shooting death Tuesday of another Kansas City, Kansas, police officer. A public defender representing Ayers didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.


State Revokes Hutchinson Chiropractor's License 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Board of Healing Arts has revoked the license of a Hutchinson chiropractor after he was convicted last year of attempted insurance fraud. The Hutchinson News reports that the final revocation order for Jacob Gill was issued earlier this month. The state accused Gill of filing false insurance claims with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas in 2012. Gill was charged in 2014 and sentenced to a year's probation last year after pleading no contest to a reduced charge of attempted fraud. In seeking the revocation, the board said he violated the Healing Arts Act by being convicted of a felony. The board issued its default order revoking Gill's license after he didn't show up last month for a hearing.


Feds Remove Lesser Prairie Chicken from Protection List 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. government has announced it is removing the lesser prairie chicken from a federal protection list under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday the move follows recent court rulings in Texas that stripped the lesser prairie chicken of federal protection. However, federal officials say the removal didn't mean authorities had concluded the lesser prairie chicken didn't warrant federal protection for biological reasons. The rulings found that Fish and Wildlife failed to make a proper evaluation of a multistate conservation plan when it listed the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. Oil and gas industry groups had strongly opposed the listing, saying it would cost the energy companies millions of dollars. The lesser prairie chicken lives in Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado.


Kansas Set to Lose About $800,000 in Arts Funding

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas is set to miss out on about $800,000 in arts funding this year because state spending doesn't meet a minimum set by the National Endowment for the Arts. The state is about $250,000 short of the minimum needed to receive federal matching funds for the NEA. Kansas allocated $191,000 in arts funding for this fiscal year. The executive director of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission says losing more than $400,000 in federal matching funds will limit the amount of grants the commission can award this year. The loss of NEA funding has resulted in the loss of other arts funding, bringing the total to $800,000. The Mid-America Arts Alliance announced it would suspend Kansas's memberships earlier this month. One of its requirements is that states must meet the NEA minimum.


Trail to Promote African-American Legacy at Kansas Sites 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A trail to promote African-American history at Kansas sites has recently received a grant for more than $134,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Kansas African-American History Trail will be linked to 10 sites in the state that are important to the African-American legacy. Some of the proposed sites for the trail include the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, the Buffalo Soldier Monument and museum at Fort Leavenworth and the community of Nicodemus. Nicodemus was Kansas's only all African-American community and is listed as a National Historic Park site. Kansas African American Museum director Mark McCormick says other site histories may be added as the trail progresses.


Wichita Park Vandalized; Images Reference Pokemon Go

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Officials say vandals have spray-painted signs and wetlands boardwalks at a Wichita park, referencing "Pokemon Go" with some of their images. The Wichita Eagle reports that the damage at Chisholm Creek Park was done Monday night. Officials say the vandals also spray-painted names. Great Plains Nature Center director Jim Mason says those names have been reported to police. Park staff had put out a sign welcoming "Pokemon Go" players and asking them to visit the center, located at the park, and sign up as volunteers. The damage has disappointed park officials and some "Pokemon Go" players in Wichita who have played the game at the 282-acre park and volunteered to pick up trash while playing.


Company Hopes to Open Dinosaur Adventure Park in Derby 

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A company is hoping to open a dinosaur adventure park in Derby. The Wichita Eagle reports that Field Station: Dinosaurs wants to replicate its park on the East Coast on the north side of the city. The $39 million park would include life-size animatronic dinosaurs, a three-dimensional theater, dig site and interactive paleontology lab among other features. The Derby City Council is scheduled to vote on the project later this month. Derby city manager Kathy Sexton says she plans to recommend that the council approve the project. Mayor Randy White says he values the concerns of some residents who do not like the idea of a dinosaur park and will keep an open mind about the idea. 


Wichita Museum Seeks Contributions to Repair Damaged Bomber

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita museum is asking for contributions to help repair a bomber that sustained more than $20,000 in damage during a recent storm. The Wichita Eagle reports that debris flew into the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber earlier this month when a storm ripped the roof off a McConnell Air Force Base building that is adjacent to the Kansas Aviation Museum. Interim museum executive director Lon Smith says a large piece of sheet metal from the roof wrapped around the right wing of the B-52. The left gear-well door was also damaged by another piece of sheet metal. Smith said the damage makes the plane less presentable. B-52s are long-range, heavy bombers designed and built by Boeing. Smith says the "52" indicates the year the planes were first produced.


Man Admits Role in Kansas Bank Heist with Tot in Getaway SUV 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man has admitted in federal court that he played a role in robbing a Kansas bank before leading police on a high speed chase with a co-defendant's toddler in the getaway car. Thirty-nine-year-old Gary Jordan of Kansas City, Kansas, pleaded guilty Wednesday to bank robbery and gun charges. A co-defendant, 18-year-old Jacob L. Smith of Kansas City, Kansas, pleaded guilty last week to bank robbery and weapons felonies. Authorities say Jordan and Smith were armed when they held up the Stilwell bank in March, then fled into Missouri with law enforcers in pursuit. Smith was accused of firing shots during the chase and Jordan of trying to carjack another vehicle after the wreck. The toddler belonging to another co-defendant now awaiting trial wasn't hurt.


Royals Lose to Indians, 7-3 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals lost a game to Cleveland Indians' starting pitcher Danny Salazar for the third time this season. The Indians rolled to a 7-3 victory Tuesday night to even their three-game series. Salazar (11-3) allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings while striking out seven. Cleveland's Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer off Brian Flynn (1-1), and Carlos Santana drove in two runs off reliever Dillon Gee, as the Indians snapped a five-game skid at Kauffman Stadium. The Flynn-Gee combo got the call for the Royals in place of starter Chris Young. Flynn lasted 2 2/3 innings in his first start since August 2014, while Gee went the next 5 1/3 innings.


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