Woman, Young Girl Killed in KCK Apartment Fire
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A woman and a young girl have been killed in an apartment fire in Kansas City, Kansas. Fire officials say the fire broke out at 5:45 a.m. Saturday. When firefighters arrived, the woman was dead and a girl around the age of 5 was suffering from critical injuries, including smoke inhalation and burns. The girl later died at a hospital. Fire officials say the woman was the child's caregiver. Fire crews said they believe the fire started on the upper floors of the apartment. An investigation is ongoing. The American Red Cross says it's helping 26 people with lodging, food and clothing.
KCK Man Found Guilty in High School Friend's Death
(Information in the following story is from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com)
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 26-year-old man has been found guilty in the killing of a high school acquaintance at an apartment in the Kansas City suburb of Shawnee. Eddie Lamar Thomas Junior of Kansas City, Kansas was convicted Thursday in Johnson County District Court of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery. The Kansas City Star reported that 22-year-old Chris Dotson was last seen when he left work August 22nd, 2010. He apparently died sometime after posting a Facebook entry later that night. His mother went to check on him a few days later after he didn't show up for work. She found his body in his apartment. Investigators said Dotson and Thomas knew each other in high school and had recently reconnected.
Kansas Man Accused of Producing Child Pornography
(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com)
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita-area man faces federal charges of producing child pornography. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a prepared statement that 34-year-old Elias Barthelman of Kechi is charged with five counts of enticing minor girls to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. The indictment alleges that in 2011 and 2012 he used the Internet to contact the girls. They ranged in age from 9 to 15. The Wichita Eagle reports Barthelman faces a penalty of no less than 15 years and no more than 30 years in federal prison if convicted. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. His attorney didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.
Coyote Hunters Kill Wolf in Northwest Kansas
(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Coyote hunters have killed a wolf in northwest Kansas, the first documented wolf in the state since 1905. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the wolf was killed in December. The animal weighed more than 80 pounds, more than twice as much as a large coyote. A Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game warden contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents. The federal officials confirmed through tissue testing that the animal was a full-blooded Great Lakes gray wolf. Officials say there have been several wolves killed in Missouri, most recently in November.
Judge Puts Kansas Tax Preparer Out of Business
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas federal judge has put a tax preparer out of business. A and S Tax Services LLC and its owner, Semere Tsehaye of St. Louis, Missouri consented to the civil injunction without admitting the allegations against them. The Justice Department also says A and S will pay $100,000 in civil penalties. A and S was a franchisee of Instant Tax Service, which was sanctioned by an Ohio federal court in November. A and S operated Instant Tax Service offices at multiple locations in the Kansas City area. The government alleges that A&S employees were instructed "to engage in systemic and pervasive tax fraud." The Justice Department says A&S routinely prepared tax forms that falsely claimed education and dependent-care credits. Authorities allege the returns also reported fictitious income and expenses to inflate the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Kansas Looks To Add 'Veteran' Designation To Driver's Licenses
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican legislator has introduced a bill that would allow Kansas military veterans to declare their military service on the back of their state driver's license. The move by Representative Mario Goico would have Kansas join a parade of states that have added the designation on licenses. New Mexico added it in 2012. Goico, a Wichita Republican and chairman of the House Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee, said the addition would be a tool for law enforcement to identify an individual as a veteran and also see if they were a combat veteran. Such information could help diffuse a tense situation and explain why an individual may be displaying questionable behavior. The addition would also allow veterans to easily participate in business discounts based on their military service.
Celebration To Kick Off Emporia State's 150th Year
EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — Emporia State University is kicking off its 150th anniversary with a gala celebration. The school says the February 15th event in Webb Hall on the second floor of the Memorial Union will showcase student talent and look to the future of the institution. Amid food and drinks, attendees will be treated to music, theater, debate and visual arts. The ESU Foundation also plans to make an announcement that school officials are describing as "major." The emcee for the black-tie-optional celebration is Mike Kennedy of Q104 Country in Kansas City. Tickets for the event cost $75. Proceeds will fund scholarships.