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Regional Headlines for Sunday, February 23, 2014


KS Tea Party Group Renews Push for Anti-Gay Bill

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita-based tea party group is trying to resurrect a bill that would allow service refusal to same-sex couples on religious grounds, saying the bill is as much about gay rights as it is to protect the rights of Christians. Kansans for Liberty leader Craig Gabel says in an email to "conservative activists" that the Legislature was cowed by a tiny minority of Kansans. The Wichita Eagle reports Gabel is asking his members to email state senators who are refusing a vote on a House bill called the Kansas Religious Freedom Act. The measure was put on hold after a national outcry by critics who said it would give state sanction to discriminate against gay people.


Citizenship Bill Worries Kansas School District

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Republican's proposal to track the citizenship status of public schoolchildren worries administrators in one of the state's most diverse districts. The bill by House Republican Allan Rothlisberg would require children enrolling in a public school for the first time to present proof of lawful presence in the United States. Districts then would submit annual reports on how many children enrolled without providing such proof. Rothlisberg tells The Garden City Telegram he wants to know how much Kansas is spending on students who are in the country without legal permission. Twenty percent of the population in the western Kansas community of Garden City is foreign-born. Administrators say even asking about citizenship would damage the trust and welcoming environment they've built with parents and students.


General Aviation Aircraft Deliveries Mixed in 2013

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A recently released industry report shows general aviation aircraft deliveries and billings rose overall last year, but the market was mixed depending on the aircraft type. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association released a report this week showing that deliveries of piston airplanes, turboprops and large business jets rose last year, while deliveries of small and midsize jets fell for a third straight year. The Wichita Eagle reported that the trend played out in Wichita. Cessna Aircraft and Bombardier Learjet recorded lower deliveries last year, while shipments at Beechcraft rose. Manufacturers worldwide delivered 2,256 airplanes last year, up 4 percent from 2,164 in 2012. Billings rose from $18.9 billion in 2012 to $23.4 billion last year, a 24 percent increase.


KC Diocese Settles Lawsuits

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph has settled two lawsuits involving a pedophile priest for a total of $1.8 million. Jackson County Circuit Judge Jack Grate in Missouri approved a $1.275 million settlement Friday in a lawsuit filed by two parents on behalf of their minor daughter against the diocese, the Reverend Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn. The Kansas City Star reports two days earlier, Circuit Judge Jim Kanatzar approved a $525,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed last year by two parents and their minor daughter. The two judges each also entered a $500,000 default judgment against Ratigan, who failed to respond to both lawsuits. Ratigan pleaded guilty in state and federal court to child porn charges was sentenced last year to 50 years in federal prison.

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