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Regional Headlines for Sunday, April 29, 2012



Women's Rally at Kansas Capitol Draws More Than 200

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- More than 200 advocates for abortion rights and other causes have rallied at the Kansas Statehouse for what they describe as a women's rights protest. The "We are Women" event Saturday was one of multiple rallies around the country. The Kansas rally came as state legislators are considering a bill giving greater legal protection to health care providers who refuse to participate in abortions or dispense abortion-inducing drugs. Critics believe the legislation would limit access to birth control. Kansas rally organizers said they have a wide range of concerns, though, including a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator for the National Organization for Women, told the crowd that organizers are seeking dignity for women and that they are not going to apologize. 


Kansas Redistricting Delays Impact Filings

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- State party officials say the legislative delay in redrawing Kansas political boundaries is making it difficult for them to recruit candidates interested in filing for House and Senate offices. Until they know where the district lines are, parties are reluctant to have candidates put their name on the ballot. Legislators began the redistricting process in the summer of 2011 when they received the new census figures showing changes in population over the past decade. After conducting hearings statewide through the end of last year, legislators expressed a desire to make quick work of the maps. Now they find themselves in the throes of the wrap-up session with redistricting lingering, along with the 2013 budget, proposals to cut taxes and changes to the state pension system. 

KDHE Reaches Tentative Agreement With DuPont

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- State and federal authorities have reached a tentative agreement that would require DuPont to pay more than $250,000 for pollution at a southeast Kansas site. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Department of the Interior have accused the Wilmington, Delaware-based chemical company of violating the Clean Water Act with pollution from mining in Cherokee County. The federal complaint filed April 19 said the pollution from the Waco sub site left high levels of lead, cadmium and zinc in soil and groundwater. If approved, the proposed consent decree would require DuPont to pay $252,739 for cleanup and damages. The Cherokee County site has been a federal Superfund site for decades. The 560-acre Waco section of the site is about 11 miles south of Pittsburg, a heavy mining area. 

Judge Rejects Kansas Doctor's Plea to Toss Sentence

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal judge rejected claims from a former Kansas doctor who claims his lawyer pressured him into pleading guilty to unlawfully prescribing painkillers to a woman he never met. U.S. District Judge Monti Belot on Friday rebuffed a move by Lawrence Simons, of Goddard, to toss out the conviction that sent him to federal prison for two years. Simons was challenging a restriction that prohibits him from practicing medicine during the three years of his supervised release. In a scathing 33-page decision, Belot said it is readily apparent Simons either lied to the court during his plea and sentencing hearings, or in his own submission and testimony at an evidentiary hearing in February over the matter. The judge said Simons' testimony alone should be sufficient to justify the denial. 

Pierson Dazzles for Weis in Kansas Spring Game

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Tony Pierson stole the spotlight from Dayne Crist's debut at Kansas, and showed the new Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis some breakaway speed on an impressive 88-yard touchdown run Saturday. Pierson and Crist led the blue team, made up primarily of first-team players, to a 45-0 win over the white team on a sunny afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Crist was 11 of 19 for 156 yards in the most anticipated spring debut by a Kansas player in years. He was recruited by Weis to Notre Dame, but injuries set him back and Weis was eventually fired. Crist decided to join his old coach at Kansas after graduating at the semester. NCAA rules allow him to play his final season without sitting out a year. Pierson finished with 141 yards rushing on only seven carries. Marquis Jackson had three touchdown runs, and D.J. Beshears had touchdowns running and receiving. 

Klein Shows He Can Throw in K-State Spring Game

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas State's Collin Klein showed in the spring game that he can air it out, too. The run-first quarterback, who led the Wildcats to a surprising   10-win season last year, threw to nine different receivers for 475 yards and six touchdowns Saturday, helping a team made up of first-team players outscore the second unit 77-7 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Robert Rose and Angelo Pease took some of the running load off Klein by carrying for 178 yards. Pease had an impressive 32-yard scoring run in which he used a devastating stiff arm to clear his path, and then cut across the field to the end zone. Wide receiver Tramaine Thompson caught nine passes for 147 yards and one touchdown, and Curry Sexton snagged eight throws for 163 yards and two scores. The second team managed only three first downs compared to 38 for the first team, but it did get a 95-yard kickoff return by DeMarcus Robinson for its only points of the game. 

Chiefs Pick Up Second WR on Final Day of NFL Draft

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Chiefs picked Junior Hemingway of Michigan in the seventh round of the NFL draft on Saturday, going with a wide receiver for the second time on the final day of the NFL Draft. The Chiefs drafted Fresno State's Devon Wylie in the fourth round. Hemingway managed 34 catches for 399 yards and four touchdowns his senior season with the Wolverines. His stock rose at the scouting combine, where the 6-foot-1, 225-pound receiver posted the best numbers at his position in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. The Chiefs picked San Diego State defensive tackle Jerome Long earlier in the seventh round. They also picked Texas A&M running back Cyrus Gray and Alabama defensive back De-Quan Menzie on Saturday, establishing some depth at the areas of greatest need. 

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