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Regional Headlines for Sunday, March 31, 2013


Medicaid Expansion Remains Unsettled Issue in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Criticism of the federal overhaul of health care flows freely inside the Republican-dominated Kansas Statehouse. Yet Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators haven't formally rejected an expansion of the state's Medicaid program under the law championed by President Barack Obama. Brownback says he is leaving a decision on an expansion to legislators, and they haven't said no definitively. A House committee approved a resolution opposing an expansion, but the chamber hasn't debated it. Senators added a provision to a budget bill saying no money could be spent on an expansion without lawmakers' approval first — but that's already seen as a given because of legislative oversight of spending. Lawmakers' hesitation gives advocates of an expansion hope that the state eventually will bring tens of thousands of uninsured Kansans into Medicaid.


Carjacking suspect under guard at Kan. hospital

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say a carjacking suspect is hospitalized after officers shot him. Police say officers ordered the man to the ground Friday after spotting him driving a Saturn stolen at gunpoint from a 20-year-old woman. Authorities say the suspect was shot after pointing his weapon and firing shots at an officer. Sergeant Bruce Watts says the man sustained a gunshot wound to his right arm and two "superficial wounds" to his abdomen. He is expected to recover. Police said the man also is a suspect in other crimes, including an armed robbery at a bakery. Watts says it's unknown whether the man lives in Wichita.


Wichita Police Investigate After Kids Find Body

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are investigating after two children found a man's body at the bottom of a fenced drainage area. The Wichita Eagle reports that the children made the discovery Saturday while playing in a nearly dry creek. Wichita police Captain Hassan Ramzah says a neighbor reported seeing the man walking in the residential neighborhood recently. The man's age and identity are unknown. Police also didn't know immediately how long the man had been there. Ramzah says it's too early to determine whether the death was suspicious.


Autopsy Results Released for Victim of KC Restaurant Blast

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An autopsy has determined that burns killed the sole fatality victim of a natural gas explosion at a popular Kansas City restaurant. The Jackson County medical examiner in Missouri says 46-year-old Megan Cramer was last seen standing in the middle of JJ's restaurant. The day after the February 19th blast, her body was found in the rubble of the leveled restaurant. An autopsy report released Friday described the cause of death as a "thermal burn injury." The Kansas City Star reports that a co-worker reported that he and Cramer were buried under debris when a wall and the ceiling collapsed. The co-worker managed to free himself and recalled hearing Cramer cry out for help. Authorities say the blast occurred after a contractor hit an underground natural gas line. An investigation continues.


Ex-Cadet Faces Kansas Hearing in Sexual Battery Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former cadet leader at a Kansas military school is expected in court this week to face charges of sexual battery against a younger student.A preliminary hearing for 18-year-old David Burke of McLean, Virginia is scheduled Friday in Saline County District Court. The case stems from incidents that occurred in October at St. John's Military School in Salina involving a cadet 16 or older.Defense attorney Dick Blackwell didn't return a phone message Friday but has said Burke denies anything in a way of a felony occurred.The case comes as the boarding school fights a federal lawsuit filed by 11 former cadets and their families. They allege the school's quasi-military cadet program, which gives higher-ranking cadets the power to discipline students, encourages physical and mental abuse.


Jury Deadlocks in Kansas Woman's Strangulation Death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Jurors have deadlocked in the trial of a man charged with killing a Wichita woman while on parole for killing a Lawrence woman. A mistrial was declared Friday in the first-degree-murder trial of 47-year-old Tyrone Walker. Sedgwick County prosecutors allege he killed 44-year-old Janis Sanders in 2011. At the time of the killing, Walker was on parole for the murder of 25-year-old Tamara Baker, whose body was found in 1989 near Lawrence. During the trial, jurors were informed of the Lawrence killing. They also heard that Walker's DNA was found on the shoelace used to strangle Sanders and on scrapings taken from under Sanders' fingernails. Other testimony came from two witnesses who recalled seeing Walker headed toward Sanders on the day she disappeared.


Kansas Man Sentenced to 59 Years for Rape, Abduction

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Reno County judge has sentenced a Hutchinson man to more than 59 years in prison for abducting a woman from a grocery store and raping her. Craig Gooch watched part of Friday's sentencing hearing from jail. Gooch turned his face away from the camera when the woman's husband read a statement. Then, he leaned back so that his face couldn't be seen by the camera when the woman spoke. He asked to return to his cell before the judge pronounced the sentence. The victim was abducted in May 2012 after going to a Hutchinson grocery store to shop for her daughter's graduation dinner. When she returned to her mini-van, she looked in her rear-view mirror and saw Gooch in the back seat.


Sporting KC Hands Montreal Impact Their 1st Loss, 2-0

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Claudio Bieler scored his third goal of the season, and Sporting Kansas City defeated previously unbeaten Montreal 2-0 on Saturday night in a match that saw the ejection of Impact coach Marco Schaellibaum. Schaellibaum was sent off in the 81st minute, shortly after Graham Zusi's goal put Sporting up 2-0, and will miss the Impact's home game against Columbus on April 13. Montreal lost for the first time after a 4-0 start. Sporting (2-1-2) broke a three-match winless streak and a 197-minute goal drought, and Jimmy Nielsen recorded his third straight shutout. Benny Feilhaber recorded his first two assists of the season. Bieler scored in the fifth minute and Zusi in the 80th. Montreal did not get a shot on goal until the 60th minute.


Wichita State Upsets OSU 70-66 for Final Four Trip

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Malcolm Armstead scored 14 points, Fred Van Vleet bounced in a big basket with 1 minute left, and ninth-seeded Wichita State earned its first trip to the Final Four since 1965 with a 70-66 victory over Ohio State on Saturday. Van Vleet scored 12 points as the Shockers (30-8) followed up last week's win over top-ranked Gonzaga with a nail-biting victory over the second-seeded Buckeyes (29-8), whose 11-game winning streak ended one game short of their second straight Final Four. Wichita State roared to a 20-point lead with 11 minutes to play after Ohio State played an awful first half, but LaQuinton Ross scored 15 of his 19 points after halftime, leading a ferocious rally to within three points in the final minutes.

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