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Headlines for Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — President Barack Obama says the House GOP's vote to file a lawsuit against him is taking away from time they could be spending on issues that are important to the American people. Obama is calling the lawsuit accusing him of exceeding his powers in enforcing his health care law a "political stunt." He says the only reason he's taking action on his own is because Congress isn't doing anything to help him. A party-line vote on pursuing the lawsuit is expected when the House takes up the measure Wednesday afternoon. Obama took a sharply partisan tone in his remarks ahead of the vote, saying Republicans should "stop just hating all the time". He says he knows they're not happy that he's president, but says they only have a few years left until they "can be mad at the next president."


Protesters Gather Outside Obama Appearance

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — About 300 people stood outside the theater where President Obama spoke in Kansas City, Missouri. Protesters and supporters mingled Wednesday outside the Uptown Theater, monitored by nearby police. Protesters carried several signs, some of which read "Arrest Obama," and "Obama, Israel is a democracy? Define democracy." There were a few arguments among the protesters, whose chants included "liberate Palestine." Among the protesters was John Brown, a 41-year-old autoworker from Kansas City, Missouri, who said he hasn't had a raise in 13 years and is looking forward to Obama leaving office. Sharon Donahue, a 52-year-old Kansas City resident, carried an album of magazine photos she keeps of Obama and his family and says she feels Obama "stands up for a lot of good things."


Obama Makes Quick Stop in Kansas City Suburb

PARKVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Residents of the Kansas City suburb of Parkville got a surprise when President Barack Obama stopped at a coffee shop and paid the tabs for a handful of patrons. Obama and his entourage of security, aides and the press pool filed into Parkville Coffee in the small Missouri River town on their way to the airport Wednesday following the president's speech in Kansas City. Obama chatted with people sitting on a bench outside, then joined patrons inside as nearby storefronts filled with people watching and waving. The president ordered iced tea, tested other beverages in small cups and talked to employees. Obama offered to pay for all the patrons' drinks, and a few took him up, putting the president on the spot for five coffee refills and a chai tea.


Wolf Confronts Roberts at Emporia Campaign Stop

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — Tea Party challenger Milton Wolf confronted U.S. Senator Pat Roberts as he campaigned in downtown Emporia. Their brief meeting Wednesday took place at an intersection as Roberts walked from business to business to talk with merchants. The two are squaring off in Tuesday's Republican primary. Wolf told Roberts he wanted the senator to keep his promise to debate him. Roberts says he has no plans to debate Wolf. At their meeting on the street, Roberts told Wolf it was not the time for the discussion and walked away as a small group of journalists and Wolf supporters watched. A Wolf supporter shouted at Roberts, "If you can't face Milton Wolf, how can you face Barack Obama?" Roberts spokesman Sean Fitzpatrick called Wolf's move a stunt.


Chris Christie to Appear with Brownback in August

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be swinging through the south as part of another jam-packed month of travel boosting Republican candidates. Christie is planning visits to more than half a dozen states in August, including Mississippi and Alabama. He has been traveling the country in his role as chair of the Republican Governors Association. On August 13, Christie will head to Birmingham, Alabama to boost Governor Robert Bentley, then to Biloxi, Mississippi for Governor Phil Bryant. He will be in Kansas and Oklahoma the following week for events with the governors there. He then goes to Arkansas on August 27 for events in Fayetteville and Little Rock for the RGA and Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson.


GOP Challenger in KS Governor's Race Had Bankruptcy in 2004

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita businesswoman who is challenging Gov. Sam Brownback in the Republican primary has filed for bankruptcy protection in the past, while her running mate has done so twice. Jennifer Winn tells The Wichita Eagle she was going through a divorce and not receiving child support when she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2004, facing more than $79,000 in debts. Winn, who owns a landscaping business, says she filed after losing her home and a truck. Her running mate, Robin Lais, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 1997 and again in 2002. The single mother says the first bankruptcy was caused by medical bills for her daughter, who has epilepsy. The second came when clients of her advertising business went out of business and she was not paid.


Doctors' PAC Helps Roberts in Kansas Senate Race

OSAGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is getting help in his Republican primary race from a political action committee representing tea party challenger Milton Wolf's fellow radiologists. PAC Director Ted Burnes said Tuesday that the group believes Roberts will be more effective in the Senate than Wolf. The American College of Radiology Association PAC this week disclosed spending almost $43,000 on statewide mailings praising Roberts. Burnes also said it's troubling that Wolf has acknowledged that in the past he posted graphic X-ray images on a personal Facebook page. Wolf apologized publicly, and he said Tuesday that many voters are upset with Roberts's attacks over the issue. Wolf said the PAC is a Washington special interest group that works to protect incumbents. 


Kobach Outraising All Opponents Combined

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has raised more money for his re-election campaign this year than his two opponents combined. Kobach's campaign filed a report Monday saying it raised almost $105,000 from January through July 24, in addition to the $125,000 he had at the start of the year. He spent less than $32,000, leaving him with more than $198,000. Kobach's foe in the August 5 Republican primary is Lawrence businessman and attorney Scott Morgan. He entered the race in May and reported raising about $21,000. Morgan spent less than $4,000, leaving him with $17,000 in cash. Democrat and former state senator Jean Schodorf began the year with nearly $41,000 and raised almost $63,000 more. But she also spent almost $95,000, leaving her campaign with less than $9,000.


Kansas Secretary of State Race Turning More Bitter

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican candidates for Kansas secretary of state are embroiled in a bitter campaign in which the incumbent is questioning his challenger's GOP credentials while himself being called a partisan hack. The Kansas City Star reports that incumbent Kris Kobach has gained prominence for his fight against illegal immigration and his challenge of the federal government over gun regulations. Challenger Scott Morgan says Kobach has turned the secretary of state's office into a circus in pursuit of his own political agenda while drumming up media attention. Morgan concedes he's not as far to the right as Kobach, but adds that none of Kobach's pet issues should relate to the secretary of state's office. The winner of the August 5 primary will face Democrat Jean Schodorf in the general election.


Kansas Attorney General Holds Fundraising Lead

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Republican incumbent Derek Schmidt enjoys a huge fundraising advantage over his Democratic challenger in the Kansas attorney general's race. A finance report filed Monday by Schmidt's re-election campaign shows that he raised about $43,000 in cash contributions from January through July 24. But Schmidt began the year with more than $374,000, and even after he spent about $50,000 on his campaign, he still had $367,000 in cash on hand. Democrat and Topeka attorney A.J. Kotich started his campaign in January with nothing and raised about $12,100. He spent less than $7,800 during the period and ended with about $4,300 in cash. Schmidt is seeking a second, four-year term. Neither he nor Kotich has an opponent in the state's Aug. 5 primary.


GMO Labeling Debate Surfaces in Kansas 4th District Race

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The national debate over the labeling of bioengineered foods has shifted to a congressional primary race in south-central Kansas. Outside money from political action committees is entering the race in its final days. That's because congressman Mike Pompeo introduced legislation in April that would block states from requiring mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. Former congressman Todd Tiahrt has made Pompeo's bill a campaign issue in his 4th District challenge. The Washington-based Food Policy Action is spending $40,000 for digital advertising on social media supporting Tiahrt. It is joined by Every Voice Action, which has begun airing the first of $100,000 in television ads on the issue. Weighing in on the other side of the bioengineered food labeling flap is the American Chemistry Council. It is spending $165,200 supporting Pompeo.


Kansas City Nonviolence Rally Stopped After Fights

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City rally and parade for nonviolence had to be stopped after fights broke out. The event, "Your Life Counts," included performers and animals from the UniverSoul Circus, which is organizing anti-violence events around the country. The guest of honor at the parade Tuesday evening was Ka'Vyea Tyson-Curry, a 10-year-old Kansas City boy who was paralyzed from the waist down in a shooting that killed his father earlier this year. The Kansas City Star reports the parade and rally drew hundreds of people to the Linwood Shopping Center. But Police Chief Darryl Forté said on Twitter that multiple fights broke out at the shopping center. He said organizers stopped event, the crowd dispersed and no injuries were reported.


Kansas Treasurer Has Fundraising Lead

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _Republican incumbent Ron Estes has a big fundraising advantage over his Democratic challenger in the Kansas state treasurer's race. Estes' re-election campaign filed a finance report this week showing that he raised more than $12,000 from January through July 24, on top of the nearly $43,000 he had at the start of the year. Estes spent about $21,000 for his campaign, leaving him with nearly $34,000 heading into the fall. Democrat Carmen Alldritt is a former Harper County treasurer and launched her campaign in early June. She raised only $1,450 by July 24, and the Kansas Democratic Party covered her $1,360 filing fee. Alldritt reported spending about $1,100, leaving her with $313 at the end of the period. Estes is seeking his second four-year term.


Foster Parent Charged with Murder in Hot Car Death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a Kansas foster parent with murder in the death of a 10-month-old girl who was left in a hot car. Seth M. Jackson made his first court appearance Wednesday to hear the charges against him. A criminal complaint shows Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office is charging the 29-year-old Wichita man with first-degree murder. An alternative count of second-degree murder charge has also been filed. He is being held on a $250,000 bond. His defense attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. The girl died Thursday after being left for more than two hours inside a sweltering car. Police say Jackson had apparently forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory. Temperatures in Wichita at the time were around 90 degrees.


Boeing Wrapping Up Work in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Boeing recently auctioned off items from its Wichita hangars as the airplane manufacturer prepares to leave Kansas. At one time Boeing employed as many as 40,000 people in Wichita and for decades was the state's largest private employer. But Boeing Wichita's work has been moved elsewhere and most of its 2,100 Wichita employees have moved with Boeing, have been laid off or have retired. The Wichita Eagle reports that Boeing Wichita crews built parts for Boeing commercial jets and maintained and modified military aircraft. The company announced in 2012 it was closing its Wichita facilities and held a large auction last week. A small crew has been tying up loose ends in Wichita, but Boeing says much of that work will be finished by the end of this week.


3-Year-Old Boy Dead After Accidental Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police investigating the accidental shooting death of a 3-year-old boy have arrested his mother's boyfriend on suspicion of criminal possession of a firearm. The Wichita Eagle reports that investigators identified the child Wednesday as Jahmez Hunt. Police said Jahmez apparently shot himself in the chest around 5 pm Tuesday after climbing onto a kitchen counter, getting on top of the refrigerator and reaching into a cabinet for a handgun. The boy's three young siblings were also in the home while the mother and her boyfriend were napping. The 30-year-old boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of owning the gun despite having two previous criminal convictions. He was being held Wednesday on $5,000 while the investigation continued. Police say the mother was unaware the gun was in the house.


Kansas Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Home Invasion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas man has pleaded guilty for his role in a Missouri home invasion robbery during which three people were killed. The Kansas City Star reports that 23-year-old Raul Soto of Kansas City, Kansas, admitted in federal court Tuesday that he and several co-conspirators went to an Independence, Missouri, home in November 2012 to rob a man they believed had a large amount of methamphetamine. The home's residents denied having any drugs. Three of the occupants — Maria Hernandez, her boyfriend Thomas Dominguez-Gregorio and her son, Antonio Hernandez — where fatally shot. Soto admitted in his plea that he was armed with a handgun and killed Antonio Hernandez. Under terms of the plea deal, attorneys will recommend a 27-year prison sentence. Four others already have pleaded guilty in the case.


Former Auburn City Clerk Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former northeast Kansas city clerk has pleaded guilty to a federal embezzlement charge on the same day her former employer filed a separate civil suit. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports 61-year-old Alice Riley entered her plea Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Sebelius. The former Auburn clerk admitted embezzling at least $186,000 from the city, where she managed payroll and other accounts. Riley resigned in February after 31 years in the position amid questions from the City Council and multiple-year audits into the city's finances. Prosecutors say she issued duplicate payroll checks to herself and deposited other authorized checks into her personal accounts, then tried to cover it up by creating false entries in the city's books and bank statements. Prosecutors say Riley gambled away most of the money.


Kansas Community College and Its President Part Ways

FORT SCOTT, Kan. (AP) — A southeast Kansas college is looking for a new president after parting ways with the incumbent by what officials called mutual agreement. The Fort Scott Tribune reports that Clay Tatro had been the subject of a recent no-confidence vote by faculty of Fort Scott Community College. Tatro was not present this week when the school's board of trustees approved an agreement to end his presidency, which was scheduled to expire in June 2017. Tatro had served as the college's president for seven years. The college's attorney said details of the termination agreement are confidential. The Tribune reports Tatro had a base salary of $104,000. Trustee Dick Hedges gave up his seat on the board to serve as interim president.


3 Reporters Subpoenaed in 'Pink Slime' Lawsuit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Three reporters for a food safety publication have been subpoenaed in the $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC related to the network's coverage of a meat product derided as "pink slime." Court records show that the writers for the online Food Safety News have been asked to supply all communication they had with ABC in 2012. Attorney Bruce Johnson said Tuesday that the subpoenas were "overreaching" and that the publication would fight the requests. Beef Products Inc. sued ABC in 2012 alleging that its reports led to plant closures and layoffs because it misled consumers into believing the product was unsafe. The industry describes the meat product as "lean, finely textured beef." Attorneys for ABC and BPI have proposed a trial date in February 2017.


Youth Soccer Coach Admits Videotaping Young Girls

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A suburban Kansas City youth soccer coach has pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping young girls while they changed their clothes in his daughter's bedroom. The U.S. Attorney's office says 40-year-old Joel D. White, of Lee's Summit, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of attempting to produce child pornography. White remains in federal custody to await sentencing. White coached girls' under-12 and under-15 soccer teams through the Lee's Summit Soccer Association, which cooperated in the investigation. Prosecutors said White videotaped 11 children, ages 11 and 12, in his daughter's bedroom between May and October 2012. He also admitted recording himself touching one girl while she slept. The investigation began when authorities in Commerce City, Colorado, searched White's backpack for soccer merchandise he was suspected of stealing during a tournament there.


Crayola to Open Family Attraction in Orlando

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — Crayon manufacturer Crayola is building a family attraction in Florida. The company said Tuesday that Crayola Experience Orlando will open next summer at The Florida Mall. It will be similar to the attraction Crayola now operates in its eastern Pennsylvania hometown of Easton. Crayola Experience Orlando will feature 25 hands-on activities in 70,000 square feet of space. One attraction will let children create their own unique crayon with a personalized wrapper. Another will let kids appear on their own coloring page. Crayola is a subsidiary of Kansas City, Missouri-based Hallmark Cards Inc. It says it chose Orlando because it's a top family destination. The area has three major theme park resorts, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld. But it has many more specialty parks and attractions, some built around children's brands.


Kansas Man Suspected in Las Vegas Casino Robbery

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The suspect arrested in an armed robbery at the Bellagio casino and accused of celebrating after the heist with prostitutes and a spending spree on the Las Vegas Strip will appear in court Wednesday. The Clark County Detention Center website identified him Tuesday as 34-year-old Scott A. Carmitchel, a Kansas man with a criminal record. He is being held on $84,000 bail. Detectives say he robbed a casino cashier of $43,500 at gunpoint Friday and later paid prostitutes at another hotel with money still bound in Bellagio wrappers. He was arrested Saturday on suspicion of battery, grand larceny, burglary and robbery with a deadly weapon. Las Vegas police spelled his last name "Carmitchell" on a booking photo released Tuesday. Kansas authorities have spelled it both ways but list his "true" name with one 'L.'


Man Pleads Guilty to Murder in Overland Park Shooting

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old Kansas man is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to premeditated first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of another man in September. The Kansas City Star reports Christopher Lamont Shelton-Jenkins on Tuesday admitted shooting 21-year-old Brandon Holmes at an Overland Park apartment. Prosecutors say the Kansas City, Kansas, man was a roommate of Shelton-Jenkins's wife, who found the body after the shooting. Shelton-Jenkins told investigators he wanted to kill Holmes but someone beat him to it. He later told detectives he had set up the killing but was not the one who pulled the trigger. A gun matched to bullets at the crime scene was found later hidden on property near the Shelton-Jenkins family home. He is scheduled to be sentenced October 3.


Kansas Deputy Fired After Shoplifting Arrest

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas detention deputy has lost his job after being arrested for shoplifting. KAKE-TV reports Wichita police officers were called to a shoplifting report at a Walmart around 9:30 pm Tuesday. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter says an off-duty detention deputy was arrested for the crime. The sheriff says the man had been a detention deputy for less than a year but is no longer employed by the sheriff's office. The man was issued a notice to appear on the theft charge at a later date.


Son Says NC-Based Missionary Fighting Ebola Virus

The son of a North Carolina-based missionary says his mother is fighting the Ebola virus while in isolation in Liberia. Jeremy Writebol in Wichita, Kansas, told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he's been able to talk with Nancy Writebol as she fights the illness. He says his mother is able to move around the home where she's in isolation and has been able to get plenty of fluids. A statement from Samaritan's Purse on Wednesday said Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly both remain in serious condition. Writebol is a missionary with SIM. Brantly is a doctor from Texas working for Samaritan's Purse. The Writebols' church in Charlotte, North Carolina, planned a prayer service Wednesday night for the two. Meanwhile, Samaritan's Purse is making arrangements for nonessential personnel to leave Liberia.


Chiefs' Murray Says Brother, 'Bachelorette' Very Happy

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs rookie Aaron Murray was tied up in meetings Monday night, at the same time millions of people were tuning into ABC to see whether his brother would be popping the question. No worries. Murray knew months ago that his brother, Josh Murray, would be chosen by "The Bachelorette" Andi Dorfman on this season of the reality dating show. In fact, the finale was taped the same week of the NFL draft, making it a memorable weekend in his household. Josh Murray played professional baseball for a while before returning to college. He ultimately joined the football team at Georgia, playing safety while his brother starred at quarterback. Asked whether his brother is still engaged, the younger Murray laughed: "Yes, still engaged," he said Wednesday. "It's going well so far."


Moms of Special Needs Kids Open Coffeehouse in Maize

MAIZE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas mother of a 27-year-old autistic son has joined with three other mothers of special needs children and young adults to create a business where they all can work. MOXI Junction is a coffeehouse, bakery and art gallery that opened Monday in Maize, north of Wichita. It's the idea of Joanna Kilgore, who says she was desperate to find a job for her son Laran, who had struggled to find work after high school. The Wichita Eagle reports MOXI stands for Moms of Exceptional Individuals and serves as a workplace for mothers and their children who would otherwise be unemployed. Kilgore says about 100 people showed up for a ribbon cutting on Monday and helped meet her goal of 200 coffees sold in a day.



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