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Regional Headlines for Saturday, August 17, 2013


Governor Brownback Issues Disaster Declaration

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback has declared a state of disaster emergency for 62 counties hit by severe storms and flooding. The declaration issued Friday authorizes state resources to provide emergency assistance. Brownback said in a written statement that the flooding has damaged infrastructure and that repairs need to be made quickly "so everyone can get back to business as usual." The counties named in the declaration are Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Edwards, Elk, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Geary, Gray, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearney, Kingman, Kiowa, Labette, Lane, Linn, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Ness, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Republic, Rice, Rush, Russell, Saline, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Stafford, Stanton, Sumner, Wichita, Wilson, and Woodson.

Overland Park Police Investigating Woman's Reported Abduction

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Overland Park police are investigating a report that a gunman abducted a woman from a hospital parking lot, forced her to take money out of an ATM and then had her drop him off back at the parking lot. Police say the woman reported the gunman accosted her in the parking lot Friday morning and demanded she drive him to a nearby bank where he had her withdraw an unknown amount of money. The woman says the suspect then had her drive him back to the hospital where she dropped him off and he fled on foot. The woman says the gunman's head was covered by a baggy white cloth. She describes him as a stocky black man in his late 20s or early 30s. No injuries were reported.

Olathe Police Say Remains Those of Missing Man, 23

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Olathe police say human remains found earlier this year have been identified as those of a 23-year-old man missing for nearly two years. Police said in a release Friday the family of Ryan A. Bradley reported him missing in October 2011. The skeletal remains were found in rural Johnson County in March, and police say DNA testing identified the remains as those of Bradley. The cause of death has not been determined.

Topeka Suspect Treed After K-9 Unit Called

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man suspected of trying to break in to a Topeka motel was caught hiding in a tree after police dogs were called in to help in the search. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that police were called to the motel early Friday on a report of an attempted break in. The suspect ran from the area as police arrived and headed into a heavily wooded area. Police officers established a perimeter around the area and called for assistance from its K-9 unit and the Kansas Highway Patrol. After a brief search, K-9 officers located the suspect hiding in a tree. Police spokeswoman Kristen Veverka says it took the suspect about an hour to come down from the tree. He was taken into custody, and formal charges are pending.

Lawrence Museum Opens Quantrill's Raid Exhibit

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence museum is opening a new $300,000 exhibit as the city marks the 150th anniversary of William Clarke Quantrill's rebel guerrilla attack on the pro-union town. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the exhibit opens Saturday at the Watkins Museum of History. It features displays and artifacts from the Civil War and Bleeding Kansas eras. Among the items on display is Ernst Ulmer's 4-by-6-foot canvas painting depicting Quantrill's Raid. The loaned piece, valued at about $30,000, greets visitors as they enter the exhibit. It also features a newly constructed booth with a large touch-screen television that allows visitors to point to places on a digital map of Lawrence. Different points on the map tell different stories, both in pictures and audio.

Grand-Am Series to Make Debut at Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The new road course at Kansas Speedway will get its first real taste of speed this weekend when the Grand-Am series visits the 2.37-mile circuit. The course was designed during a resurface of the facility last summer. It uses a portion of the main track used twice a year by the Sprint Cup, with a hard left-hand turn in the first corner sending the sports cars winding through the infield. There's a lot riding on Saturday night's debut of sports car racing at Kansas. The merger between the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series announced earlier this year means the track could be left off the schedule next season. Full stands and strong support could be enough to ensure a return date in 2014.

Bruce Jenner to Race at Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Bruce Jenner, former Olympic decathlon champ and reality television star, is racing this weekend at the Kansas Speedway. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Jenner is racing with his 34-year-old son Burt Jenner in the SFP Grand Prix on the road course at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. They're co-driving in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo class on Friday and Saturday. Jenner, now 63, won the gold medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, setting a then-world record with 8,616 points. He may be better known now, however, for the TV reality show, "Keeping up with the Kardashians," which chronicles the life of Jenner's extended family. Practice and qualifying for the race are Friday, along with the first of two Lamborghini Super Trofeo races Friday night.

Kansas $1M Powerball Winner Hasn't Claimed Money

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The person who bought a Powerball ticket in southwest Kansas that was a $1 million winner in a January drawing still hasn't claimed the prize. The Hutchinson News reports that someone bought the $1 million winner Powerball ticket in one of 24 southwest Kansas counties in the January 26 drawing. But the ticket-holder still hasn't contacted the Kansas Lottery. Winners have a year to claim their prize. Karie Lowe, customer liaison at the Kansas Lottery, says the money will go back into the fund to finance other prizes or drawings if it's not claimed. The state does not disclose the store where a winning ticket is sold until the winner comes forward.

Siblings Sue Closed Kansas City Funeral Home

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two siblings have sued a Kansas City funeral home that closed two years ago after the state revoked its license for improperly storing bodies and giving a man the wrong ashes. The suit filed this week in Jackson County (Missouri) Circuit Court accuses Marts Memorial Services and the couple that ran it of misconduct, fraud and misrepresentation. It was filed on behalf of Matt and Morgan Miller, whose father, Kenneth Miller, died in February 2011. The suit alleges that there's no way to determine whether the ashes the siblings received were those of their father. The suit also alleged that there was an 11-day delay in sending his body to a crematorium. Salvatore Mirabile, a lawyer for the funeral home's operators, didn't immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.

KC Man Convicted in Convenience Store Killing 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 41-year-old Kansas City man has been convicted of killing a man who was sitting in a car outside a convenience store. Jackson County (Missouri) jurors found Derrell Wade guilty on Thursday of second-degree murder in the death of Patrick McCarthy. He also was convicted of two counts of armed criminal action and one count each of first-degree robbery and unlawful use of a weapon. The Jackson County prosecutor's office says Wade and two other men approached the victim's vehicle in November 2011 at a convenience store. Court records say all three men pulled guns and shot into the vehicle, mortally wounding McCarthy. Two other victims also went to the hospital. Wade is the only man who has been charged. His sentencing is scheduled for November 1.

KC Firm Says It Should Have Won Streetcar Contract

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City-based company is challenging Kansas City's decision to give a streetcar construction contract to an out-of-town company. The Kansas City Star reports that Kiewit-Clarkson Infrastructure Company has filed a formal challenge after coming in second in the bidding to become construction manager. The winning bid came from St. Joseph-based Herzog Contracting and California-based rail contractor Stacy and Witbeck. Kiewit-Clarkson is a joint venture of Kiewit Corporation of Omaha, Nebraska and Clarkson Construction Company of Kansas City. Kiewit-Clarkson project manager Harry Koenigs wrote in a letter Thursday that his company would have been the "lowest responsible bidder" if the city had scored the bids properly. The total project, including design and construction, is estimated to cost $100 million.


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