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Regional Headlines for Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Kansas Medicaid Program Mailing Forms to 130K Households

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Medicaid program is mailing questionnaires to 130,000 households asking who lives in each one and how many expect to file income tax returns next year. Kansas officials said Monday they're required to seek the information under the 2010 federal health care overhaul. Medicaid is a joint state-federal program covering health care for the needy and disabled. The forms are going to homes with children and pregnant women. They are not going to the elderly or disabled. The state is asking households to return the questionnaires by September 15, so it can be collecting the information by October. The questionnaires ask households to list each resident, their relationships and who plans to file tax returns.


4 Injured When Car Crashes into KCMO Day Care Center

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police say an SUV rear-ended a parked car and sent the vehicle crashing through a Kansas City day care center. Three children and the SUV's driver were injured in Tuesday's wreck at the Christian Academy Child Care east of downtown. All were in stable condition at a hospital, and the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. About 40 children were inside the center when the Range Rover struck the back of the parked Cadillac and sent it through the front of the building. Police say the SUV driver was "approximately 80" years old. Kansas City police Captain Tye Grant said two children were trapped under the Cadillac. The cause of the crash is under investigation.


Abortion Debate Sought for Kansas Special Session

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An anti-abortion group's leader says he wants Kansas lawmakers to consider banning most abortions early in pregnancy during their special session in September. Kansas Coalition for Life Chairman Mark Gietzen said Tuesday that he believes proposed fetal heartbeat legislation would pass if it were put to a vote in both chambers. The measure would prohibit abortions when doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. Governor Sam Brownback called the special session for September 3 to rewrite a state law allowing judges to sentence convicted murderers to at least 50 years in prison. A U.S. Supreme Court decision last month raised questions about its constitutionality. Spokeswoman Eileen Hawley says Brownback wants the session to remain narrowly focused.


Brownback Promotes Interim KS Securities Commissioner to Permanent Position

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wants the state's interim securities commissioner to remain in the job. Brownback announced the promotion of Joshua Ney to commissioner on Tuesday. Ney has served on an interim basis since commissioner Aaron Jack resigned in February. The appointment requires state Senate confirmation. Ney joined the securities commissioner's office in 2011 as a special assistant attorney general and an attorney handling policy issues. He also has served on the Kansas Human Rights Commission and as a prosecutor in Jefferson County. The Senate expects to consider Ney's appointment during a special session beginning September 3. Brownback called the session to rewrite a law allowing judges to sentence convicted murderers to serve at least 50 years in prison after a U.S. Supreme Court decision raised questions about its constitutionality.

Kansas Lawmakers Plan Tour of Higher Ed Campuses

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislative leaders plan to send members of the House and Senate budget committee on a tour of higher education campuses later this year. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that a bipartisan council of the Legislature's top leaders Monday approved six days of visits. Lawmakers will visit all six public universities, plus one community college and one technical college. Legislative leaders also will participate in the tour. Senate President and Wichita Republican Susan Wagle said she hopes the visits will provide "two-way communication." The GOP-dominated Legislature voted earlier this year for cuts in higher education funding totaling $44 million over the next two fiscal years. House Minority Leader and Lawrence Democrat Paul Davis said lawmakers need to understand the effects of the cuts.

Lawsuit over Kansas Abortion Clinic Requirements May Be Narrowed

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state of Kansas and Planned Parenthood appear to be moving to narrow a federal lawsuit filed by the organization against parts of a new abortion law that took effect this month. The movement is reported in a summary of a conference call held Monday by Chief Judge Kathryn Vratil with attorneys in the case in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas. The summary said the parties have an initial agreement to limit the lawsuit to a section requiring abortion providers to post links on their websites to a state health department site on abortion and fetal development. That section requires the providers to declare that the information is objective and accurate, which they dispute. Planned Parenthood performs abortions at its clinic in Overland Park.


KDHE: 2 Kansas Cases Tied to Stomach Bug Outbreak

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Health officials say two Kansas cases are tied to the cyclospora outbreak that has sickened 372 people in 15 states. A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Tuesday one patient is from Phillips County, located on the Nebraska border in north-central Kansas. The other patient lives in Johnson County, in the Kansas City metro area. The spokeswoman, Miranda Steele, says officials believe both illnesses were caused by food eaten in Nebraska. Iowa and Nebraska health officials say that a prepackaged salad mix is the source of an outbreak of the stomach bug in those two states. Steele says there is no indication the salad mix was distributed in Kansas. Cyclospora is a rare parasite that causes a lengthy gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms.


Flooding Causes Evacuations in Lindsborg

LINDSBORG, Kan. (AP) — Emergency management workers in Lindsborg have been going door to door today to assess damage from flash flooding that forced the evacuation of several homes. As many as 140 homes were flooded yesterday (MON) when four to five inches of rain fell in about an hour. Emergency crews used boats to evacuate about 35 or 40 people from their homes. The water had mostly receded by this morning so people could return home and start cleaning up. Five buildings flooded at Bethel College in North Newton, with the most significant damage at the basketball gymnasium where the floor was ruined. More rain is possible for the region starting Thursday.

Rains, Cooler Temps Ease Stress on Kansas Crops

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new government report shows recent rain and cooler temperatures are relieving the stress on Kansas farm crops. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that producers in many areas of central Kansas saw beneficial amounts of rain in the past week. The agency said central Kansas had the biggest improvement in topsoil moisture, although eastern and western sections also showed some improvement. But topsoil moisture supplies are still short to very short across 56 percent of Kansas. The weekly snapshot rated corn condition as 28 percent poor to very poor with 39 percent in fair, 29 percent in good and 4 percent in excellent condition. The agency also said about 53 percent of the state's range and pastures were still in poor to very poor shape.


Man Shot and Killed by Topeka Police Identified

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Shawnee County Sheriff's Office identified the man shot and killed by a Topeka police officer as 56-year-old Daniel E. DeLong of Topeka. Police say DeLong was shot Monday after he ran at officers and other apartment residents with a knife. One Topeka officer shot and killed DeLong at the Knightsbridge Manor Apartments. Police Chief Ron Miller said Monday that three officers went to apartment after managers said they were worried about DeLong's behavior. Miller says DeLong told the officers to go away and then opened his apartment door and ran out with a knife. DeLong died at the scene. The officer who fired the shots is on administrative leave.


No Injuries Reported in Biodiesel Plant Fire

SEDGWICK, Kan. (AP) — Firefighters have contained a fire at a biodiesel plant in the town of Sedgwick. No injuries have been reported. Several explosions were reported at the Green Energy Products facility after 8 am Tuesday. The cause remains under investigation. KWCH-TV reports that about a dozen people believed to be inside the building when the fire started were able to get out safely. The plant was still burning slowly Tuesday afternoon as crews worked to keep tanks on the outside of the building cool. Firefighters were using foam to put out the flames. Crews from Halstead, Harvey and Sedgwick counties are on the scene. McConnell Air Force Base also sent in trucks carrying foam to help battle the blaze.

Former Bishop Fitzsimons of Salina Diocese Dies

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Bishop George K. Fitzsimons, who led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salina from 1984 to 2004, has died at the age of 84. The diocese announced that Fitzsimons died Sunday at his home in Ogden, where he had lived since retiring as bishop. Fitzsimons served in several parishes and educational institutions in Missouri, where he was named auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in 1975. He became bishop of the Salina diocese in May of 1984 and retired in December of 2004. After moving to Ogden, he continued to minister to people in that area. A wake is scheduled for 6 pm Thursday at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina, with a funeral Mass at 11 am Friday. Burial will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Salina.


2 Kansas Deputies Accused in Funds Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Two Kansas sheriff's deputies have been arrested on suspicion of stealing taxpayer money. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter announced the arrests Tuesday without naming the deputies. Easter says the case has been turned over to the district attorney's office. The deputies worked in the transportation division, taking inmates between jails. Easter says the arrests followed a two-week investigation. No other details about the alleged theft of public money were released, and Easter said he would not comment further. Both deputies were booked into the Sedgwick County jail, one on suspicion of giving false information and the other on suspicion of false information and official misconduct. 


Landscaper Dies After Being Hit by Car in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a landscaper doing edging work on a road in southwest Wichita died after he was hit by a vehicle. Wichita police say 47-year-old Terry A. Wright of Wichita died Monday evening when a car swerved off the road and hit him. Police say it's unclear why the car's 20-year-old driver swerved into the man. A toxicology report on the driver is pending. No other injuries were reported. Police say Wright is the fourth pedestrian killed this year in Wichita.

Farmstead Near Lawrence Donated to Land Institute

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The former CEO of Westar Energy and his wife have donated a 65-acre farmstead to The Land Institute of Salina. Land Institute founder Wes Jackson on Monday announced that Jim and Cindy Haines will donate the farm northwest of Lawrence. The land is appraised at $1.2 million. The property includes a farm home built in the 1880s, listed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places as the Gorrill Farmstead. Jackson says the land will provide a closer link with University of Kansas scientists to continue the Institute's efforts to research a sustainable agriculture system that reduces environmental damage. Earlier this year, the Land Institute started a cooperative research effort with Kansas, Kansas State University and the Konza Prairie. Haines retired as Wester CEO in 2007.


Body Identified As Missing NW Missouri Runner

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — Police in northwest Missouri say a body found in a construction crew's portable toilet has been confirmed as that of a Liberty man. Liberty police said Tuesday the identification of 30-year-old Chad Rogers was made by the Jackson County (Missouri) medical examiner's office. Rogers disappeared after going for a run the evening of July 22. His body was found in a portable toilet outside a Liberty school Friday morning. Police said there was no sign of foul play, but the cause of death won't be confirmed until an autopsy is complete. Rogers was a veteran runner and a former youth minister at a Jefferson City church. Family members said he had been a stay-at-home dad since moving back to Liberty recently with his wife and 1-year-old son.


Prosecutor: KS Man Who Drowned Cat Not Charged

LAKE WAUKOMIS, Mo. (AP) — Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd says Missouri state law does not allow him to charge a Kansas man who drowned a cat in Lake Waukomis. Thomas Newhouse of Shawnee, Kansas admitted to Lake Waukomis police that he placed the cat in a carrier and drowned it July 14. He said the cat had bitten and scratched a family member. The case was referred to Zahnd's office after what the prosecutor called a "significant public outcry." Zahnd said in a news release Tuesday that his office had received numerous calls and emails. More than 1,200 people signed an online petition seeking Newhouse's prosecution for a felony. But Zahnd said Missouri's animal abuse law does not apply to the killing of an animal by the owner or the owner's agent.


Hutchinson Woman Gets Probation for Animal Cruelty

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Hutchinson woman charged with neglecting more than a dozen horses has been sentenced to one year of probation. Sixty-one-year-old Lindasue Adams was sentenced Tuesday after she pleaded no contest to two counts of animal cruelty. She was also ordered not to own horses during her probation and to reimburse Reno County for the cost of rescuing 10 horses from her property. Adams was scheduled to go on trial Thursday. The Hutchinson News reports that Adams let the county take the remaining three horses from her property. The amount of restitution hasn't been determined. In April, Reno County Sheriff's deputies found three dead horses on her property and a veterinarian saw 10 horses in need of immediate care. Adams was evicted from the property where she kept the horses.


Police: Infant in KC Trash Had Premature Birth

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police in Kansas City say a fetus found dead in a trash truck was a boy born prematurely. The truck's crew found the body Monday morning along a residential route. On Tuesday, the Jackson County (Missouri) medical examiner's office determined the fetus had reached 29 to 34 weeks of development. Police believe it was a premature home birth, and they asked the public to come forward with information about someone whose pregnancy may have ended abruptly. The medical examiner's office was unable to determine the race of the fetus.


Trial Delay for Woman in Alleged Theft of WWII Flight Funds

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — The trial of a woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a group that flew World War II veterans to Washington D.C. has been delayed because of problems between her and her attorney. The attorney for LaVeta Dianne Miller of Great Bend told a judge Monday that Miller had stopped communicating with him since her preliminary hearing in April. He asked to be removed from the case. Miller said she hasn't worked since the preliminary hearing and has had trouble paying her bills and with her phone. After hearing the explanation, her attorney, Robert Anderson, agreed to stay on the case. The Great Bend Tribune reports that Anderson said he needed a continuance for the trial, which was scheduled for September. A new trial date was not set.


Kansas Man Ordered to Pay Child Porn Victim, Mother

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a convicted child sex predator to pay restitution to the 9-year-old Kansas girl he used to produce pornography. A court filing on Tuesday modified the 260-year-prison sentence handed down in May for 50-year-old Philip Andra Grigsby, of Marquette. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten amended his sentence to include nearly $140,000 in restitution. The figure includes more than $126,000 for the girl and more than $13,000 for her mother. Grigsby pleaded guilty last year to sexually exploiting a child, possessing child porn and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The investigation began after Grigsby sent emails containing child porn to an Australian man. Investigators were able to identify the victim after noticing the name of a middle school on a physical fitness certificate.


More Than 200 Fast Food Workers Strike in KCMO, St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fast food workers in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas are hopeful their participation in brief strikes will lead to better pay and working conditions. The strikes Monday and Tuesday were part of an effort in selected cities, including New York and Chicago, organized by the Fast Food Forward campaign, launched last year. Among the goals is to more than double the minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, to $15 per hour. Shannon Garth-Rhodes of the campaign says at least 150 workers walked off the job Tuesday at about 60 restaurants in the St. Louis area, including some in Illinois. She says at least 70 workers in the Kansas City area walked picket lines outside of dozens of restaurants. Workers are expected back at their jobs on Wednesday.


Patient Dies of Gunshot Wound in KC Hospital

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the death of a man who suffered a gunshot wound in his hospital bed. Police say a nurse found the 59-year-old patient wounded Monday at the Truman Medical Center. The death has been assigned to the police department's homicide unit. Police say the nurse who checked on the patient found him bleeding from the nose. Hospital staff did not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation because the patient had a "do not resuscitate" order. A handgun was found under the man's arm.

Kansas Mother Pleads No Contest in Infant's Death

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — A southeast Kansas woman will be sentenced September 3 after pleading no contest to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 4-month-old son. Twenty-five-year-old Heather Buckalew of Arma entered the plea Monday in a deal that calls for her to be placed on probation. Buckalew's attorney said the plea deal grants her probation. And the state won't seek a fine. The Joplin Globe reports that prosecutors said they will seek a 60-day jail sentence as part of Buckalew's probation but the defense can argue for a reduction to 30 days. Buckalew initially was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Memphis Cash Harvey last August. Court records indicated Buckalew fell asleep after drinking beer. A forensic pathologist ruled the child likely was smothered by his mother while they slept.

Ex-Lecturer Sues Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former part-time lecturer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City says in a lawsuit against three university officials that his class was cancelled because he refused to give preferential treatment to an athlete. Henry Lyons is suing Missouri-Kansas City chancellor Leo Morton and two other school officials. He claims that in 2011 the university gave a passing grade to student-athlete who had failed one of his courses. Lyons challenged the grade change, but it was not reversed. The student's name has not been released. The Kansas City Star reported Monday that the NCAA eventually cleared the school of any rules violations for the grade change. Morton said he had no comment on the lawsuit. Missouri-Kansas City is not a defendant in the lawsuit.

Kansas Man Claims $4M Winning Ticket in Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas man has hit the jackpot in Missouri. Michael Schulte of De Soto won $4 million from a scratch-off ticket he bought at a convenience store on the Missouri side of State Line Road in Kansas City. Schulte claimed his prize on July 25th, but it's not publicly known whether he'll take the 20-year annuity or a lump-sum payment of $2.6 million. Schulte was playing the "$4,000,000 Cash Spectacular," a $20 game that the Missouri Lottery began offering in 2012.

International Pen Pals Meet in Texas After 74-Year Correspondence

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A woman from Australia and her American pen pal have met in Texas after 74 years of sharing their lives by writing letters. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports that 87-year-old Norma "Kitty" Frati welcomed 83-year-old Audrey Sims of Perth, Australia, for a visit. Their face-to-face introduction and embrace came Monday afternoon at Corpus Christi International Airport. Frati, who lives in nearby Portland, was a 13-year-old eighth-grader in Winfield, Kansas, when a school project led to her correspondence with Sims — who was 9 years old. The girls grew up and continued writing with details of their lives — but never met. Sims, whose three daughters joined her on the trip, says the friendship by mail has meant everything to her. Frati says the pen pals will keep writing letters.


Best in MLS Prepared to Play Italian Club AS Roma in All-Star Game

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Michael Bradley got his start in professional soccer as an 18-year-old midfielder for what would eventually become the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. Now he gets a chance to see just how far the league has come. Bradley will join Francesco Totti and the rest of Italian club AS Roma in taking on the best that MLS has to offer in the league's annual All-Star game on Wednesday night at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The MLS is 7-2-1 in All-Star games since the current format featuring an international opponent was adopted more than a decade ago. Both of the losses came to Manchester United of the English Premier League, while the MLS side beat Chelsea last year.



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