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Regional Headlines for Sunday, January 26, 2014


KS Lawmaker to Challenge Jenkins in Primary

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A conservative Kansas state senator is challenging Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins in the Republican primary. State Senator Steve Fitzgerald of Leavenworth announced Saturday at the GOP's annual convention in Wichita that he's running in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas. Democrat and Lawrence attorney Margie Wakefield also is running Fitzgerald said he believes congressional Republicans need to replace Ohio's John Boehner as House speaker. Jenkins is vice chairwoman of the House Republican conference, making her the GOP's fifth-highest leader. Jenkins spokesman Bill Roe said the congresswoman has a conservative voting record and is confident voters will support her. Fitzgerald was elected to the state Senate in 2012. He's a retired Army lieutenant colonel. Jenkins has faced a primary challenger in each of her congressional races. She won her seat in 2008.


Lawrence Police Seeking Info on Man's Death

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence police are still seeking information about the recent death of a 52-year-old man and the apparent disappearance of a 19-year-old woman who had been living at the man's home.

Harold Sasko was found dead in his Lawrence home Jan. 17. Police had gone to the house looking for Sarah Brooke Gonzales McLinn, who had been reported missing and hasn't yet been found.

Officials say Police haven't named anyone as a suspect and it's unclear how many people were present when Sasko was killed.

Sasko owned three pizza restaurants in Topeka and Lawrence.


GOP Upbeat About Re-Election

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas Republican activists are sounding mostly upbeat notes about his chances for re-election during the state GOP's biggest annual meeting.

Hundreds of Republicans gathered Saturday in Wichita for the second and final day of a statewide convention that both celebrated the party's traditional strength in Kansas politics and prepared the party for this year's elections.

In seeking re-election, Brownback is facing a spirited challenge from Kansas House Democratic Leader Paul Davis.

Davis raised $1 million for his campaign in less than five months last year. Brownback raised $1.1 million during the year, and his campaign received a $500,000 loan from running mate Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer.

But several activists and leaders said they think Brownback isn't in serious trouble because of the state's conservative leanings.


Ford County Finds it Tough to Retain EMTs

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A western Kansas county is paying advance tuition for two emergency medical technicians seeking paramedic certification in a bid to hire and retain qualified workers.

Fire and EMS Chief Jay Taylor told the Ford County Commission the department has had a hard time retaining EMTs because it's difficult to find employees who can adjust to the relative lack of urban amenities in rural western Kansas. He says the goal is to have at least one paramedic on every truck that heads to a scene, or have a paramedic en route.

The Dodge City Globe reports the commission approved the $10,000 expenditure with the stipulation that the two paramedic students pass the certification exam and sign a contract to work for the county department for at least two years.

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