UPDATE: Kansas Moves Forward with Proof-of-Citizenship Requirement
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has taken a step toward allowing the state to enforce its proof-of-citizenship requirement for some new voters. Late yesterday (TUE), an attorney for Secretary Kobach filed a formal answer to a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that requires new voters to provide proof-of-citizenship documents when registering to vote. The lack of a timely response prompted a court clerk to enter a default judgment for the prospective voter suing Kobach. Previous court rulings have temporarily narrowed the rule so it doesn't apply to people who use a federal registration form or those who register at state motor vehicle offices. It's not clear whether U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson will accept Kobach's filing, but attorneys challenging the law's constitutionality said judges often do. What does all of this mean? Well, when it comes to newly-registered Kansas voters, it's still not clear if all of them will be allowed to cast ballots next month. Some, who did not provide proof-of-citizenship documents will be allowed to vote. Others may still not be allowed to cast ballots.
Court Enters Default Judgment in Kansas Voting Rights Case
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal court clerk has entered a default judgment against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for failing to file a timely response to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law requiring prospective voters to prove they are U.S. citizens. It remains unclear whether U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson will give Kobach more time to respond. Kobach is facing four separate lawsuits challenging aspects of that law. If Tuesday's judgment stands it would entirely strike down the state's proof-of-citizenship requirement. The lawsuit contends it violates the U.S. Constitution's protections against depriving a person of life, liberty or property without due process. It also contends the state law discriminates against citizens born outside of Kansas. Kobach did not immediately return a message, but his spokeswoman says he would comment.
Kansas Deputy Rape Suspects May Have Attacked Others
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say two Missouri men charged in the kidnapping and rape of a Kansas sheriff's deputy may have attacked others. Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe says he hopes more victims will come forward now that William Luth and Brady Newman-Caddell are in custody. The suspects are charged in the hours-long attack on a deputy who was abducted from a parking lot in Olathe last Friday night.
Two Charged in Killing of Another Man in KCK Parking Lot
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Authorities are looking for two brothers charged in the killing of another man in a strip mall parking lot in Kansas City, Kansas. Police are looking for 20-year-old D'Adrian Jones and 19-year-old Kavon Jones. They have been charged in Wyandotte County with first-degree murder in the Sept. 26 killing of 21-year-old Clarence Buford, of Kansas City, Kansas. Police said the two should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is urged to call police or a tips hotline.
Two People from Guatemala Die in Wrong-Way Crash in Southwest Kansas
LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) _ Authorities say two men from Guatemala have been killed in a wrong-way crash in southwest Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the crash happened early yesterday (TUE) when a tractor-trailer collided head on with a sport utility vehicle that was traveling in the wrong direction on U.S. Highway 54 in Seward County. The patrol says the tractor was pulling two trailers. Although the rig's driver swerved to avoid the oncoming vehicle, he wasn't able to avoid the crash. The patrol identified the victims as the SUV's driver, 36-year-old Marcos Morales-Lux, and his passenger, 29-year-old Encarnacion Perez-Gutierrez. The tractor-trailer driver was taken to a hospital, but his passenger wasn't hurt.
Kansas Farmers Harvesting Record Corn and Soybean Crops
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas farmers are harvesting what are expected to be record corn and soybean crops. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that the 713 million bushels of corn forecast in Kansas is a 23 percent increase compared to last year's production.
Judge Names Expert in Kansas Prison Recordings Case
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ A federal judge in Kansas has appointed an Ohio attorney to investigate whether recordings of attorney-client conversations at a for-profit federal prison violated the constitutional rights of inmates. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson has appointed David R. Cohen as special master, or expert, to identify and retain confidential information contained in recordings at the Corrections Corporation of America facility in Leavenworth. The judge's order says Cohen's duties will not include investigating whether federal prosecutors violated any rules or laws by requesting the recordings - at least for now. The Cleveland attorney recently served as a special master in a Kansas class-action lawsuit against Sprint Nextel Corp. Public defenders in Kansas and Missouri say recordings of their meetings and phone calls violated their clients' constitutional right to a fair trial.
Flood Destroys Historic Cowley County Bridge
DEXTER, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas floodwaters have destroyed an historic stone bridge in Cowley County. The Wichita Eagle reports that flooding over the weekend caused the 105-year-old Fox Bridge over Grouse Creek to collapse. The county says on its Facebook page that the bridge was weakened by the creek's cresting over it and heavy currents slamming against it. The area is known for its stone bridges, which were built by Russian and German artisans from around 1890 to 1917. The bridges range from one to three arches. Steve Tredway, who is working on a book about the stone bridges of Cowley County, says the Fox Bridge was built by Abe Finney. It most likely is the only one he built.
Kansas Legislature Plans for an Extra 10 Work Days in 2017
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican leaders are already conceding that the Kansas Legislature won't be able to stick to a traditional 90-day schedule for its annual session next year. The Wichita Eagle reported that the GOP-dominated Legislature's top seven leaders decided Tuesday to budget for an additional 10 days in session for 2017, for a total of 100 days. Democrats opposed the move. Legislators expect to wrestle with difficult budget decisions and to write a new formula for funding the state's public schools. However, to control costs, legislative leaders also agreed to budget for only an 80-day session in 2018. The moves shift roughly $500,000 in costs to 2017. The 2015 session lasted a record 114 days as lawmakers struggled to balance the budget but this year's session lasted only 73 days.
Missouri Man Pleads Not Guilty in Sex Slaying of Daughter
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually attacked and suffocated his daughter, a high school honors student, at a motel. Forty-year-old Jerry Bausby entered the not-guilty plea last week in Jackson County on charges of first-degree murder, sodomy, incest and sexual abuse in the March death of 18-year-old Daizsa Laye Bausby. Authorities say Daizsa Bausby's body was found March 22 in a Kansas City motel room. A medical examiner concluded the teenager died of asphyxia by smothering. Police say Bausby denied having sexual contact with his daughter, and that lab tests completed last month show genetic material swabbed from Jerry Bausby's body matched the victim's DNA. Bausby remains jailed on $750,000 cash bond.
Salina Woman Admits to Possessing, Hiding Murder Weapon
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A woman from Mexico who tried to hide a gun that her boyfriend used to fatally shoot a Salina teen has pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge. The U.S. attorney's office says 22-year-old Azucena Garcia-Ferniza admitted Tuesday to one count of possession of a firearm while unlawfully in the United States. Federal court documents say Garcia-Ferniza legally entered the U.S. at the age of 3. She had a current permit to work in the U.S. at the time of her arrest, but her visitor visa expired in 1998. Authorities say Allie Saum was killed in May 2015 when she was a passenger in a pickup truck that was mistaken for someone else's truck. Garcia-Ferniza' boyfriend, Macio Palacio Jr., has been sentenced to life in prison.
Haskell Employee Sues over School's Treatment of Rape Victim
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Haskell Indian Nations University employee alleges in a lawsuit that she was demoted from her job as a student counselor after trying to help a student who said she was raped. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Angelina Adams sued Monday in federal court. Adams says Haskell leaders improperly expelled the female student after she became involved in an altercation with a male Haskell student in March. Adams protested and said the female student hadn't been given due process. The female student said she was a 19-year-old freshman when she was raped last November in a university dorm. Both of her accused attackers also were expelled and their trials ended in hung juries. Haskell spokesman Stephen Prue didn't immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.
27-Year-Old Man Arrested in Topeka Road Rage Killing
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 27-year-old man has been arrested in a road rage killing in Topeka. Topeka police said in a news release early Wednesday that the suspect was arrested Tuesday and booked into jail on suspicion of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Police say a "road rage argument" over "traffic maneuvers" led to the shooting of 28-year-old Michael Stadler as he rode in vehicle Saturday. Stadler died later at a hospital. The release said the people involved didn't know each other before the shooting. Police said additional arrests are possible. Read more about this story in the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Man Charged in Deadly Kansas City, Kansas, Shooting
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 21-year-old man has been charged in a Kansas City, Kansas, shooting death. The Wyandotte County prosecutor's office says Rodney Stewart Jr. is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of 36-year-old Christopher Lancaster. The victim was found early Monday inside a residence in the northeast part of the city and died later at a hospital. Stewart is jailed in Wyandotte County on $75,000 bond. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.
Kansas Traffic Fatalities Increase 16 Percent So Far in 2016
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas transportation officials say more than 300 people have died in traffic accidents this year, a 16 percent increase over the same period in 2015. Kansas Department of Transportation traffic safety manager Chris Bortz says there was a 25 percent increase in traffic fatalities last year, with nearly 360 deaths. Bortz says the increase is a national phenomenon and that distracted driving is likely one of the causes. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports 50 percent of traffic fatalities in Kansas involve people who weren't wearing a seatbelt. About a third involve people driving while distracted, and another third involve people driving while drunk or otherwise impaired. Interim transportation secretary Richard Carlson says that even looking down at one's cellphone for what seems like a short amount of time is dangerous.
Police in Kansas Town Use Facebook in Hunt for Owner of Meth
CHERRYVALE, Kan. (AP) — Police in the tiny, southeast Kansas town of Cherryvale are looking to track down the owner of an abandoned gram of crystal meth - and they've taken their case to social media. A bag with methamphetamine was found Sept. 29 at a convenience store in the southeast Kansas community of about 2,300 people. So, Cherryvale police politely posted about it on the department's Facebook page. The post reads: "We are very concerned and would like to find the owner so please notify us and describe the packaging and we will see what we can do for you." It's been shared nearly 1,700 times. But Police Chief Perry Lambert says no one has come forward as the owner of the illegal stimulant — though he says he's hopeful.
University Areas Containing Combustibles Must Allow Handguns
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas attorney general says the University of Kansas can't ban handguns from areas on campus that contain combustible materials. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the University Senate last week that it would be "disastrous" if a weapon fired in some high-security laboratories and other areas. But she says Attorney General Derek Schmidt told the university it can't make those places exceptions to a state law allowing concealed weapons on campus. The Lawrence Journal-World reports state universities currently are drafting policies to address the law that will allow concealed guns at the schools beginning in July 2017. Buildings with security measures to keep all guns out will be the exceptions. The Kansas Board of Regents is scheduled to consider the universities' proposals in October and November meetings.
Man Charged with Assaulting Woman Hours After Posting Bond
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a Springfield man sexually assaulted a woman while on house arrest and wearing a GPS monitor just hours after being released from jail. The Springfield News-Leader reports that 33-year-old Anthony Evans is now jailed without bond in two sexual assault cases. Prosecutors said in a bond recommendation document that Evans assaulted one of the women Sept. 20 after posting $90,000 in bonds from four unrelated cases. The GPS monitor he was wearing when he was arrested wasn't providing information about his location because it hadn't been charged properly. Authorities say the other assault occurred in February 2014 and that a crime lab backup delayed prosecution. Evans has an extensive criminal history, including a past domestic assault conviction. No attorney is listed for Evans in the new cases.