UPDATE: Bodies on Kansas Farm Identified as Missing Mom, 2 Residents
OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified the woman and two men who were found slain on an eastern Kansas farm earlier this week. Franklin County Sheriff Jeffrey Richards said at a news conference Wednesday that the two men lived at the farm in Ottawa, a community about 50 miles southwest of Kansas City. They were 30-year-old Andrew A. Stout and 31-year-old Steven E. White. He says the other victim was 21-year-old Kaylie Bailey, an Olathe woman who was last seen with her 18-month-old daughter at the farm May 1. Friends have said Bailey and Stout were dating. Authorities haven't said how the victims died. Richards says investigators are still trying to find Bailey's daughter, Lana. Authorities found Bailey's vehicle in Emporia on Tuesday and have been questioning a man they picked up there.
Kansas Tax Talks in Hands of Governor, Top GOP Leaders
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Governor Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature's top GOP leaders are negotiating over additional cuts in income taxes and changes in the state's sales tax. Brownback confirmed Wednesday that he's been talking directly to Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita and House Speaker Ray Merrick of Stilwell about taxes. The Legislature reconvened Wednesday after a monthlong spring break to wrap up its business for the year. Brownback and GOP leaders hope to follow up on income tax cuts enacted last year while also stabilizing the budget. The Senate endorsed Brownback's plan for more income tax cuts and his proposal to cancel a decrease in the sales tax scheduled by law for July. The House wants to allow the sales tax to drop and enact less-aggressive income tax cuts.
Kansas Senate Panel Approves $202M in NBAF Bonds
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Senate committee has approved a bill authorizing an additional $202 million in bonds for a national biodefense lab after adding limits designed to address some conservative Republicans' concerns. The Ways and Means Committee's voice vote Wednesday sends the measure to the full Senate for debate, possibly as early as Friday. Kansas has authorized $105 million in bonds for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University. Republican Governor Sam Brownback has said the new bonds are necessary to fulfill the state's promise to cover part of the construction costs. The $1.2 billion facility will research dangerous animal diseases. Some conservative GOP senators questioned authorizing new bonds. The bill says they can't be issued until the federal government signs a contract with a construction contractor.
Topeka Police Investigate Death of 5-Month-Old
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka police say they are investigating the death of a 5-month-old child. Officers went to an apartment in central Topeka Tuesday evening to check on the child's welfare. Police say in a news release the child was found in a bedroom and was declared dead. The name and gender of the child have not been released. Authorities have made no arrests as the investigation continues.
Advocates for Disabled Rally Against KanCare Inclusion
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — More than 1,000 advocates for the developmentally disabled are rallying at the Kansas Statehouse to urge officials to maintain the current system for providing services. Many of those gathered Wednesday wrote messages on a 65-foot canvass banner addressed to Republican Governor Sam Brownback. They argue that folding services for the developmentally disabled into the state's KanCare Medicaid system will hurt families, clients and care givers. The state began the KanCare system in January for most medical services for the poor and disabled, except those with developmental disabilities. That is supposed to change in 2014 when the services would be provided through three private health insurance companies that operate the KanCare system.
3 Suspects Charged in Wichita Football Player's Death
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three people are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of former Wichita South High football player Jordan Turner. Twenty-one-year-old Ebony Nguyen, 20-year-old Kristofer Wright and 21-year-old Eric Jackson were charged Tuesday in their first court appearance. Preliminary hearings for Nguyen, Wright and Jackson are set May 21. Each is being held in Sedgwick County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond. The defendants indicated Tuesday either they would hire attorneys or seek public defenders. A farmer discovered Turner's body May 1 southeast of Wichita. He had been shot to death. A fourth suspect, an 18-year-old woman, did not appear in court. District attorney spokesman Dan Dillon said as of Tuesday the three charged are the only people with active cases relating to Turner's death.
Country Music Festival in Manhattan Through 2017
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The music and camping festival called Country Stampede will stay in Manhattan at least through 2017. Wayne Rouse, president of Country Stampede, said Tuesday that the festival has signed a new five-year lease with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. The Manhattan Mercury reports that the lease was signed months ago but Rouse publicized it Tuesday to dispel rumors that the festival was moving. He says festival organizers never considered holding the festival at another location. Country Stampede occurs the last full weekend of June at Tuttle Creek State Park. This year's Stampede is scheduled for June 27-30.
DA: Shooting of Man Who Killed Officers Justified
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor says law enforcement officers acted correctly when they shot and killed a man who killed two Topeka police officers. Taylor announced Wednesday that his investigation into the December 2012 shooting of 22-year-old David Tiscareno was closed. Tiscareno was shot by a Topeka police officer and two Kansas Bureau of Investigation officers on December 17 after a standoff at a house. That was a day after Tiscareno shot and killed Police Corporal David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly at a Topeka grocery store. WIBW reports that Taylor says his investigation did not reveal Tiscareno's motive for shooting the officers. But he says Tiscareno was high on methamphetamine and had earlier posted a challenge to police on his Facebook page and said he welcomed his death.
KC Chef Named Best Chef of Midwest
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City chef has been named the 2013 best chef in the Midwest by the James Beard Foundation. Colby Garrelts, owner of Bluestem in Kansas City, was named best Midwest chef on Monday. The annual James Beard awards event was held Monday night in New York. Garrelts has been nominated for the award seven times. The Kansas City Star reports that Garrelts is the fourth Kansas City chef to bring home the coveted award. Debbie Gold, Michael Smith and Celina Tio each won the honor while executive chef at the American Restaurant. Garrelts and his wife, Megan, also own a second restaurant, Rye, in nearby Leawood. Other Midwest chef nominees this year included St. Louis restaurateur Gerard Craft of Niche.
Canadian Who Took Kansas Girl Sentenced to 8 Years
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Canadian man will spend eight years in prison for taking a 12-year-old Kansas girl he met on the Internet. Stewart Kenneth Cody McGill, of Bewdley, Ontario, was sentenced Wednesday on one count of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The 21-year-old man pleaded guilty in February under a plea deal that spared him a minimum 10-year sentence had he been convicted at trial. His attorney, Roger Falk, cited his client's "low mental capacity." He said while there was a difference in chronological ages between him and the girl, their developmental ages were close. He says nothing more happened between them than touching her over her jeans. McGill traveled last year to El Dorado to meet the girl. They were found days later near Potterville, Michigan.
Hutchinson Fireworks Show Apparently Cancelled This Year
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — It appears Hutchinson's July 4 festivities won't include a fireworks display this year but the annual Patriots Parade is still on. The board that organized the fireworks show and HutchFest celebration disbanded last year and new members have not come forward to help. The board's last member, Ron Williams, says plans for this year's celebration are off. Sponsors of the Patriots Parade say that event will continue. And a talent show also will be part of the Independence Day celebration. The Hutchinson News reports that the city has spent $10,000 a year to fund the fireworks show. Most of that money came from permits from vendors. But the city now prohibits aerial fireworks, meaning fewer vendors are expected to open in Hutchinson this year.
Fireworks Now Legal in Arkansas City
ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Arkansas City residents will be able to legally shoot off fireworks this year. The City Commission voted Tuesday to change municipal code to allow the use of fireworks within city limits and to set a permit fee for fireworks sales. The Arkansas City Traveler reports the changes take effect immediately, allowing fireworks vendors to set up in time for July 4. Fireworks could be used only 10 am to 10 pm July 1-3 and from 10 am to midnight July 4. A facility of 500 square feet or less would pay a base permit fee of $2,500. That would increase by $2 per square foot for any additional area, up to a maximum of $5,000.
Kansas City Toy Museum Begins Fundraising Campaign
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City is starting a public capital campaign to help its efforts to renovate and upgrade the 30-year-old building. Museum officials announced Tuesday that the public phase of the campaign will seek to raise $9.2 million. More than $8 million has already been raised. Plans are to upgrade the building's entrance, increase the museum's endowment, rearrange exhibits and fix the heating and cooling systems. The Kansas City Star reports that the museum's 80,000 pieces make it one of the largest toy and miniature collections in the country. Renovations are expected to begin next year but it is unclear when the work will be completed. When the work is done, the museum will be renamed the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Puppy Survives Nearly a Month in Impounded Car
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City animal shelter is caring for a puppy that authorities say survived in a locked car that was impounded for nearly a month in a city lot. The 12-week-old puppy, which has been named Kia, apparently survived by eating trash left in the car. The terrier and schnauzer mix didn't have access to water. Toni Fugate, a spokeswoman for the city's animal shelter, says the puppy was dehydrated and malnourished but is expected to survive. Records show that the car was towed to the lot April 8. A lot employee saw the dog Monday afternoon and called police, who broke into the car.
Play About Brown v. Board Case to Be Performed in KCK
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A play that tells the real stories of people involved in the litigation that toppled segregated education is being performed this week in Kansas City, Kan. The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka says it has worked with the Kansas City Kansas Community College to put on a performance of playwright Marcia Cebulska' "Now Let Me Fly." Because the National Park Service is helping to offset the cost, tickets are free to Thursday and Friday performances at the campus theater. It's being performed by the theater production company "Say I Am Productions." The play was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the May 17, 1954, U.S. Supreme Court ruling through a contribution from Washburn University. It's based on oral histories and personal interviews.
President Clinton Receives Truman Good Neighbor Award
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton has been honored as the 2013 recipient of the Harry S Truman Good Neighbor Award. At a luncheon Wednesday in Kansas City, Clinton recalled Truman's ability to bring people together behind a common purpose. He also said being a good neighbor was the best policy. Good Neighbor Award Foundation president Karl Zobrist has said Clinton was chosen because of his record of public service. Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001. Previous recipients of the award include President Gerald R. Ford, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and news anchor Walter Cronkite.
NASCAR Panel Reduces JGR Penalties
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — A three-member NASCAR appeals panel has dramatically reduced most of the penalties levied against Joe Gibbs Racing for an illegal part found in Matt Kenseth's race-winning engine at Kansas Speedway. The panel reduced the points deducted from Kenseth from 50 to 12, and reinstated his bonus points earned for the April 21 victory. The race will count toward the Chase and he moves from 11th in the Sprint Cup standings to fourth. The panel also reduced crew chief Jason Ratcliff's suspension from six races to one race, and eliminated the six-race suspension for owner Joe Gibbs. It let stand Ratcliff's $200,000 fine. NASCAR found one of eight connecting rods in Kenseth's engine was 3 grams too light. JGR appealed, saying Toyota was responsible for the engine part.
Car of Missing Kansas Mom Found; Man Questioned
OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities investigating the disappearance of a 22-year-old eastern Kansas woman and her 18-month-old daughter have recovered her car and taken a man in for questioning. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Wednesday that Kaylie Bailey's car and the man were found late Tuesday in Emporia. It didn't identify the man or say whether he had been driving the car, but it says he was wanted for questioning in the case. Emporia is about 50 miles from an Ottawa farm where Bailey was believed to be headed on the day last week when she and her daughter disappeared. The bodies of a woman and two men were found at the farm this week. Authorities are trying to identify them and still consider Bailey and her daughter missing.
**this story has been updated. Please see above.