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Weekend Headlines for July 15-16, 2017

Trump Hires Kansas Native as Special Counsel

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A Washington attorney chosen to serve as President Donald Trump's special counsel to handle the White House's response to the Russia probes hails from Kansas. The White House announced Great Bend native Ty Cobb's hiring on Saturday. The move reflects the president's growing acceptance that the Russia probes will linger over his tenure for months or even years. Cobb is a Georgetown University law school alumnus and former prosecutor who lately has been working as a defense lawyer and partner at the Washington law firm Hogan Lovells. Trump's hiring of Cobb comes amid heightened questions about whether Trump's associates coordinated with Russia to meddle in the presidential election to help him and thwart Hillary Clinton. Federal and congressional investigators are probing possible connections between the campaign and Moscow.


Fourth Person Dies in Crash, Good Samaritan's Vehicle Stolen

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say the death toll has grown to four from a stolen vehicle crash in Kansas City, Kansas, that ended with a survivor taking a vehicle from a good Samaritan. Police identified the fourth victim in a new release as 18-year-old Cory Thornburgh, of Shawnee. Also killed in Sunday's crash was 20-year-old Cameron Shafer, of Kansas City, Kansas, 20-year-old Hayden Gottman, of Lenexa, and 18-year-old Joshua Lindsey, of Overland Park. Thornburgh and Shafer died at a hospital, while the other two died at the crash scene. Police said that when a motorist stopped to help, a surviving passenger in the stolen pickup fled in the woman's vehicle. Police say the man isn't in custody.


Kansas City Kansas Community College Leader Placed on Leave

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The president of Kansas City Kansas Community College has been placed on administrative leave. The Kansas City Star reports that the college provided no information about led to the action being taken against Doris Givens in a closed executive board meeting Friday. The board of trustees named the Dean of Math, Sciences and Computer Technology as the acting president. Givens didn't attend the meeting, and the campus was informed of the action via email. Givens, the first woman and first African-American president of the college, was hired in 2011. She had been vice chancellor for educational services for the Kern Community College District in Bakersfield, California.


Driver in Deadly Kansas I-70 Wreck Fined Earlier for Brake Issues

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — Records show that a tractor-trailer driver who caused a multi-vehicle crash that killed five people in eastern Kansas was fined three years ago in Missouri for operating a commercial vehicle without proper brakes. The Kansas City Star reports that Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Dan Smith says the agency is preparing a report for prosecutors, who will determine whether to file charges. The fiery Tuesday pileup temporarily closed a stretch of Interstate 70 near Bonner Springs on the western edge of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The crash happened when the driver crested a slight hill and failed to slow in time for stalled traffic. The man's rig rammed a sport utility vehicle and then two cars before crashing into a stopped tractor-trailer, which then rear-ended a pickup truck.


Gymnastics Coach Arrested in Emporia, Charged with Child Porn

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A gymnastics coach accused of producing child pornography in Nebraska has been arrested in Kansas. Omaha police say 27-year-old James Bryce Fogg was arrested Thursday in Emporia, Kansas, where he'd moved for another coaching job that he's since quit. A Nebraska arrest warrant lists a felony charge of manufacturing child pornography. Lyon County Jail records show he remained in custody Friday. Nebraska court records don't list the name of a lawyer who could comment for Fogg. Police say a woman who'd had a relationship with Fogg reported that he'd photographed and videotaped females without their knowledge at Premier Gymnastics in Omaha. Police reports say he'd recorded images of a 14-year-old girl and 22-year-old woman in "private compromising positions" without their consent. Premier says Fogg hasn't been employee since April.


Man Charged in Theft of KU Lab Equipment

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence man has been charged with stealing $13,000 worth of items from a lab at the University of Kansas. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 37-year-old Matthew Reynard was charged this week in Douglas County District Court with one count of burglary and two counts of theft, all felonies. He is jailed on $30,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. Reynard is accused of taking a veterinary camera, a camera control unit, syringes and hypodermic needles from Malott Hall. Charges indicate he is also accused of stealing a checkbook and earbuds from a man listed in the university directory as a technician in the Animal Care Unit. It's not clear how the suspect accessed the lab or how he was caught.


Jurors Deadlock in Trial of Man Charged in Kansas Killing

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The second trial of a man charged with fatally shooting a 22-year-old woman in Kansas City, Kansas, has ended in another hung jury. Wyandotte County jurors deadlocked Thursday after hearing the case against 29-year-old Antoine Fielder. He is charged with murder in the June 2015 shooting death of Kelsey Ewonus. The single mother of a 1-year-old son was found in a car parked a few blocks north of the University of Kansas Hospital. Kansas Department of Corrections records show Fielder was paroled from prison in 2014 after serving time on drug sale charges. No decision has been made on whether to retry Fielder a third time.


Oklahoma Earthquakes Felt in Wichita, Central Oklahoma

STROUD, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says several earthquakes have struck north-central Oklahoma, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain says there are no reports of injury or damage as a result of the Friday morning quakes near Stroud, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of Oklahoma City. The 4.2 magnitude quake was recorded shortly before 9 a.m. and was followed by quakes of preliminary magnitude 3.8 and 3.7, in addition to smaller quakes of magnitude 2.9 and two of magnitude 2.7. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said its induced seismicity department and the Oklahoma Geological Survey are investigating the quakes. Scientists have linked some oil and gas production in Oklahoma to an uptick in earthquakes, but the frequency of such earthquakes in Oklahoma had dropped recently as the state imposes new restrictions on the injection of wastewater underground. The USGS says the quake was felt in Wichita and western Arkansas.


Restored Kansas Viaduct along Route 66 to be Dedicated

GALENA, Kan. (AP) — A restored viaduct along the historic Route 66 will be dedicated next week near the southeast Kansas town of Galena. The Joplin Globe reports that the bridge serves as a gateway to Galena's historic district and the famous "Cars on the Route" stop. That's the old Kan-O-Tex Station that's home to the truck "Tow Tater," which served as the inspiration for Tow Mater in the Pixar movie "Cars." The mayor of 3,000-resident Galena, Dale Oglesby, calls the restoration "the best project since we did downtown."  With just over 13 miles, Kansas has the shortest segment of Route 66 of any state that the highway crossed. The viaduct will be dedicated during a ceremony next Saturday.


Kansas Man Accused of Intoxication in Fatal Wreck

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas man is accused in Missouri of being intoxicated when his vehicle crashed into another one, killing the other driver. Jackson County prosecutors have charged 20-year-old Jason Evans of Leavenworth with felony driving while intoxicated. Court filings allege that Evans' vehicle was traveling at a high speed late July 13th when it hit a vehicle driven by Stephen Russell in an intersection. Russell died later at a hospital, and Evans was injured. Online court records don't show whether Evans has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. Prosecutors have requested a $100,000 bond for Evans.


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