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Regional Headlines for Sunday, December 23, 2012

 

65 From Kansas Guard Returning Home From Kuwait

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — About 65 Kansas National Guard soldiers are scheduled to return home Sunday after spending a year in Kuwait. The guard says that a welcoming home ceremony for the 170th Support Maintenance Company is scheduled for Sunday morning at the Salina Airport. The unit provided security for American citizens, contractors and prominent visitors to Kuwait. The soldiers also supported military security as well. The 170th is a unit of the 287th Special Troop Battalion based in Hays. The 170th has its headquarters in Norton.

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Topeka Mourns Slain Officers

(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — About 2,500 people, including law enforcement officers from around the country, attended the first of two memorial services for Topeka police officers killed last weekend in the line of duty. Services for 50-year-old Corporal David Gogian, an eight-year police veteran, were held Saturday morning at the Kansas Expocentre's Landon Arena. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that officers from West Virginia, Colorado and Nebraska were among those attending the services. Speakers included Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. Another service for 29-year-old Officer Jeff Atherly was held later on Saturday afternoon. Gogian and Atherly were killed Sunday while they responded to a call in a grocery store parking lot. A man suspected in the officers' deaths, 22-year-old David Tiscareno, was killed by authorities during a standoff early Monday.

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Kansas Libertarian Party Sues Over Open Carry Bans

(Information in the following story is from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Libertarian Party of Kansas has filed lawsuits against two cities and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas alleging their bans on open carry of firearms violate citizens' constitutional rights. The Libertarian Party of Kansas filed the lawsuits suits Friday against Prairie Village, Leawood and the Unified Government. The party is seeking injunctions to prevent the communities from enforcing their bans. Last year, the Kansas attorney general issued a legal opinion that said cities can regulate how weapons are carried, but an outright ban violates state law. The city administrators for Prairie Village and Leawood said Friday that they could not comment on pending litigation. A spokesman for the Unified Government also said that he couldn't comment.

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President of Turner School Board Dies in Crash

(Information in the following story is from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The president of the board of education of the Turner School District has died in a car accident in Kansas City, Kan. Thirty-six-year-old Randy Beery, who was also a major with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department, died late Friday when the car he was in veered off a road and hit a tree. He was not on duty at the time of the crash. Turner board member Sherrie Watkins-Alvey said Saturday that Beery was a great leader and his death is a tragedy for his family and the district. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the one-car accident occurred about 10:45 p.m. when Beery lost control of car on packed snow. Beery died at the scene. A passenger has been hospitalized with injuries.

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Kansas Making Gains in Child Day Care Quality

(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A state health official says Kansas has made strides in improving the quality of day care for children, though legislators raised concerns that funding could erode the gains. Rachel Berroth of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment told members of the legislative Health Policy Oversight Committee during a hearing Wednesday that the changes put in place in 2010 helped the state improve its national rankings from among the lowest in the country at 41st to third as measured by an industry organization. Berroth said stagnant resources means agency staffers are working longer days to enforce the expanded licensing and inspection requirements. Legislators say they are concerned that the gains could be lost without additional KDHE funding.

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Topeka Salvation Army Receives Two Gold Coins

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Salvation Army got a welcome surprise this week in Topeka when volunteers found two gold coins one of the kettles. Topeka kettle drive coordinator Tim Hall told The Topeka Capital-Journal that volunteers found the two gold coins when they were counting the collections Thursday. He says have no idea who made the donation. The coins are dated 1998 and are about the size of dimes. They were wrapped in paper, which kept volunteers from accidentally mixing them with less valuable coins. Hall says the value of the coins is unclear, but an Internet search found similar coins selling for about $200. The Salvation Army says collections from the kettle campaign this year have fallen far short of goals, so the extra boost from the gold coins helps.

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Kansan Gets Life Sentence for Mistaken ID Killing

(Information in the following story is from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com)

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A 33-year-old man will likely spend life in prison for the murder of a Hutchinson wife and mother in what prosecutors called a case of mistaken identity. Charles Logsdon was removed from the courtroom during Friday's sentencing while yelling that he was "completely innocent." Logsdon was convicted last month of first-degree murder and four other charges in the June 2011 death of 27-year-old Jennifer Heckel. The victim was shot multiple times inside her Hutchinson home as her 5-year-old son watched the Disney Channel in another room. Prosecutors said Heckel was shot by someone who entered her home by mistake and that the real target was a 25-year-old methamphetamine dealer. Another defendant, 50-year-old Billy Joe Craig Junior, still faces trial.

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Fort Hays State Wind Turbine Likely Online in June

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Fort Hays State University expects construction on two wind turbines to begin soon and anticipates that they'll be generating power for the western Kansas school in late June. President Ed Hammond says the university expects the two turbines to lower its energy bills between $600,000 and $1 million a year. The project will cost about $9 million, and that includes 3.5 miles of underground transmission lines from the site of the turbines, southwest of campus. The university has been working on the project for six years. It is nearing an agreement with Washington-state based corporation PNE to build the turbines. Hammond said Fort Hays State University is also developing an educational program on renewable energy.

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