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Regional Headlines for Sunday, February 17, 2013



Reforms in Kansas Liquor Laws on Legislative Table

(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are once again facing a proposal to let grocery and convenience stores sell wine, liquor and full-strength beer. But supporters of existing laws are ready for this year's fight with a poll showing most Kansans are on their side. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the poll of 500 likely voters in 2014 was commissioned by a coalition called Keep Kansans in Business. The group represents the interests of the state's 750 locally owned liquor stores, which now have the exclusive right to sell anything other than wine coolers or so-called weak beer. Two-thirds of those surveyed by the national research firm Public Opinion Strategies said they oppose the expansion of liquor sales to grocery and convenience stores. About the same number said the change would be bad for the Kansas economy.


Kansas Lottery Winners Accidently Blow Up House

(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say two brothers accidentally blew up their house after celebrating a $75,000 winning lottery ticket by purchasing marijuana and meth. Wichita police Sergeant Bruce Watts says one of the brothers was taken to a hospital and the other to jail after Friday's explosion. The Wichita Eagle reports that the injured 27-year-old brother is in serious but stable condition with second-degree burns on his hands, arms and chest. Watts says the explosion happened after one of the brothers went to the kitchen to refuel the butane torches they planned to use to light their bongs. The brother emptied a couple large cans of butane lighter fluid, leaking butane into the air. Eventually, butane vapor reached the pilot light in the furnace, causing the blast.


Western Kansas Girl Killed in Possible Gun Accident

(Information in the following story is from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News,

BAZINE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a western Kansas girl has been killed in an apparent accidental shooting. The Hutchinson News reports that the shooting happened Friday night in the small Ness County town of Bazine. Neither the name nor the age of the victim was immediately released. Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent Bruce Mellor says no arrests have been made but that an investigation continues. He says more information will be available Monday after an autopsy is completed.


Charges in Escape, Attack on Kansas Deputy

(Information in the following story is from: The Kansas City Star,

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A double homicide suspect has been charged with slamming a Wyandotte County deputy's head against the floor and using the woman's stun gun against her in an escape attempt. Twenty-five-year-old Lamario Stayton faces new charges that include aggravated escape from custody. He already was in jail, charged with killing two people last August outside a Kansas City, Kansas motorcycle club. Authorities say the attack happened Wednesday afternoon while Stayton was being taken from a Wyandotte County courtroom to a holding cell. Stayton was wrestled to the ground after bolting outside, stripping off his prison jumpsuit and running through downtown. The new charges were filed Friday, the same day the injured deputy returned to work. It wasn't immediately known whether Stayton had an attorney.


Two Hurt in School Van Accident North of Topeka

(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Holton school district van has overturned, injuring two people as they returned from a basketball game. Authorities say the two injured people were taken to a Topeka hospital. They were among four students and one teacher in the van Friday night when it left U.S. 75 near a bridge north of Topeka. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the accident happened while it was snowing. Authorities say the weather contributed to several other crashes in the area.


Wichita Man Sentenced for Prostitution Recruitment

(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has been sentenced to 10 year in federal prison for trying to entice teens into prostitution. The U.S. attorney's office announced the sentence Friday. Twenty-six-year-old Brandon Dennis was convicted in December of two counts of attempting to recruit teenagers to perform commercial sex acts. The charges stem from a series of Facebook messages Dennis sent to a 17-year-old Wichita girl in October 2011, asking her to sell sex. The Wichita Eagle reports that Dennis met the girl at a party that summer. Prosecutors said he told her she could make up to $800 a day working as a prostitute. He later tried to recruit an undercover Wichita police detective. The detective then contacted him using a phone number she recovered from the 17-year-old's Facebook page.


Kansas Public Schools' "At-Risk" Funding Revisited

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Legislators are renewing a debate over the funding mechanism that gives Kansas public schools additional money to provide programs and services to students at risk of academic failure. The system currently awards extra funds to the state's 286 school districts based on each district's number of students enrolled in the free and reduced-priced lunch program. A separate funding provision gives a few more dollars to those with particularly high rates of impoverished students. Senator Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican and chairman of the Senate Education Committee, is proposing a change to the law that would award funds in grades kindergarten through third based on poverty and fourth through 12th based on student performance. The change would result in a potential savings of $106 million for the state.


Small SE Kansas Town Promotes Civil War History

(Information in the following story is from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe,

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — Residents of a southeast Kansas town are working to bring more attention to a Civil War battle that is missing from most history books. Almost 100 Union soldiers were massacred in October 1863 by William Quantrill's Confederate raiders after a chance meeting near what is now Baxter Springs. The Joplin Globe reports the Union's leader, James Blunt, wasn't aware that Quantrill's men were nearby. Blunt's men were slaughtered, including band members and a newspaper correspondent, although Blunt escaped. Baxter Springs historian Larry O'Neal says he hopes a planned three-day observation of the 150th birthday in October will restore the battle's place in history. A living history encampment will be held October 4th through 6th to commemorate the event, although with many other activities.

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