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Regional Headlines for Sunday, October 28, 2012



Out-of-state Drillers Turning Up Heat in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Traditional oil drillers in Kansas say an influx of out-of-state vertical drillers is pushing up land-lease costs and could cause hundreds of the state's wells to be idled within the next few years. Oklahoma City-based Sandridge Energy moved its horizontal drilling operations into the state two years ago when it bought more than 2 million acres of mineral leases in Oklahoma and Kansas. The Wichita Eagle reports the company has filed intent-to-drill notices for more than 60 horizontal wells in Ford, Finney, Gray, Ness, Hodgeman and Gove counties in western Kansas. Cecil O'Brate, who owns American Warrior Energy in Garden City, says leases for many vertical drillers like himself expire soon and some won't be able to renew because land-lease prices have shot up 10-fold or more.


Kansas Woman Fights Texting While Driving

PAXICO, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas woman says she doesn't want anyone else to feel the pain of losing a loved one because of texting while driving. Nineteen-year-old Ashley Umscheid died in 2009 while texting her sister, Amanda, as she drove near Manhattan, Kansas. She lost control of her pickup, which flipped end over end and threw her into a ditch. Since then, Amanda Umscheid of Paxico has worked to convince teenagers not to text while driving. Since then, Amanda Umscheid of Paxico has worked to convince teenagers not to text while driving. She's been part of television and radio commercials, billboards, flyers and pamphlets. She also travels about three times a month from Paxico to high schools and colleges around the country to speak about her sister's death. Kansas reported 495 wrecks involving cellphones last year, with three deaths and 234 injuries. 


Suspicious Device Was Prop in Skit for Lawyers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- What was thought to be an unexploded hand grenade turned out to be a prop for a skit performed a few years ago at a convention of lawyers in Topeka. Firefighters and Shawnee County Sheriff's Department deputies were called to a home at 9:30 a.m. Friday after what looked like a grenade turned up in a box inside the garage. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the home's resident, a Topeka attorney, called a friend with a military background to look at the device. That friend inspected the grenade and called the sheriff's office to examine it to make sure it wasn't real. The props coordinator for "The Topeka Bar Show," an entertainment program for the local Bar Association, says the device was used in a skit a couple years ago. 


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