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Regional Headlines for Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kansas Legislators Near End of Education Bills

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Legislators are expected to make quick work of remaining education issues when the Kansas Legislature returns May 8 to finish the 2013 session, including a proposal sought by Gov. Sam Brownback to improve elementary reading scores. The plan calls for testing first-graders on their skills and holding them back if they aren't reading at grade level. Students could be retested and parents would have a say in the matter before students are retained. The Senate approved the compromise but needs House approval to go to the governor. One issue that won't be discussed in great detail will be changes to the school finance formula. The state is appealing a January ruling from a three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court finding that the system for funding public schools is unconstitutional.


Lawrence Considering New Retirement Effort

(Information in the following story is from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World,

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence officials say they are considering a proposal for a new type of retirement community in the city. It's called an intergenerational retirement community. Under the proposal, private developers would build a mix of single-family homes, apartments and condominiums for people 62 years and younger. The project would also include a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community. That part of the development would offer independent-living, assisted-living, skilled-nursing and memory-care facilities. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the project is part of an initiative to make Lawrence an international destination for retirees. Dennis Domer, who is leading the project through the University of Kansas architecture department, says he hopes to have a feasibility study on the multimillion-dollar project finished in 90 to 120 days.


Denver Man Dead After Accidental Shooting in Kansas

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

PARK CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Colorado man has died after accidentally being shot with a .22 magnum by a friend who lives in the Wichita suburb of Park City. The Wichita Eagle reports Eloy Portillo-Meza was pronounced dead around 12:30 a.m. Saturday at Wesley Medical Center. He was rushed there in critical condition after the shooting at 9 p.m. Friday. Police say a friend who lives in the home thought he had unloaded the gun and was putting it back together when it discharged and hit the 36-year-old Denver resident in the abdomen. The gun owner was taken into custody after the shooting but released after being questioned by police. He suffered minor injuries to a hand when the gun went off and was treated at the scene.


Police Say Man Faked Injuries, Took Medical Flight

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

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas man is likely facing a $7,000 bill for a 35-mile air ambulance ride after police say he faked injuries that prompted the emergency flight. The Topeka Capital Journal reports the Eskridge man claimed to have been pistol-whipped during a disturbance Friday morning at the Topeka home of his wife's sister. Police say the man told officers he tried to diffuse an altercation between the sister and her boyfriend around 8:30 a.m., and a short time later was roughed up by the boyfriend and his friends. The man's wife drove him home to Eskridge, about 35 miles southwest of Topeka, where he acted like he passed out and prompted his wife to call 911. Police say medical personnel at a Topeka hospital couldn't find any serious injuries.


Volunteer Firefighter Gets Attorney in Arson Case

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

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas volunteer firefighter who is accused of setting more than a dozen fires late last year has hired an attorney and will appear in court next month. The Hutchinson News reports Hutchinson attorney Rick Roberts entered an appearance Friday on behalf of 19-year-old Arlington resident Cody Knox. The former Reno County volunteer firefighter is accused of using a lighter to set 14 fires in county fields between Oct. 16 and Nov. 27, many of them near Arlington. Reno County Emergency Management Director Bill Guy says Knox became a volunteer firefighter in May 2011. He didn't know when Knox was suspended but confirmed he is no longer a firefighter. Knox was arrested April 26 and is free on $7,500 bond. His next court appearance is June 4.


Salina Police Officer Back on Job After Losing Eye

(Information in the following story is from: The Salina (Kan.) Journal,

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A Salina police officer who lost an eye last year in a shooting thought his career was over before he learned of many others in his profession who suffered similar wounds but were able to eventually get back to work. The Salina Journal reports Chuck Huen was hurt in a Sept. 27 confrontation with a 19-year-old man who barricaded himself in a basement and fired several shots at officers. A bullet traveled through walls and a door and pierced Huen's eye socket before exiting near his ear. Salina's city physician recommended Huen get disability and be restricted from driving and carrying a gun, but Huen persuaded city officials to let him prove he could still do the job. He passed all the tests and resumed full-time duty April 20.


Ex-Football Coach Still Facing Solicitation Charge

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

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Sedgwick County judge has refused to dismiss one remaining charge against a former high school football coach who was acquitted last month of two other counts accusing him of trying to pay for sex with underage girls. The Wichita Eagle reports District Judge Ben Burgess on Friday denied a motion by former Garden Plain coach Todd Puetz's attorney to dismiss a charge of electronic solicitation of a child under 16. Puetz was caught in an October 2011 police sting and charged with electronic solicitation, attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child and attempted criminal sodomy. A jury last month acquitted him of the indecent liberties and sodomy charges. Puetz's retrial is scheduled to begin June 24.

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