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Weekend Headlines for September 23-24, 2017

Bob Dole Hospitalized for Low Blood Pressure

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A spokeswoman says former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is hospitalized for low blood pressure. Dole spokeswoman Marion Watkins said in an email Friday that the 94-year-old former Kansas senator has been hospitalized since September 13th at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C. She says he was admitted after a routine checkup. She says his low blood pressure is being treated with medication. Dole's wife, former North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, tweeted a request for prayers. He then tweeted that he hopes to be home in a few days, "sipping a cosmo." Dole served in Congress for 35 years. He left the Senate in 1996 for his campaign against President Bill Clinton. Congress recently voted to award him a Congressional Gold Medal.

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Inmate Transfers Spike at Kansas Prisons

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Corrections reports several spikes this year in the number of inmates transferred among its prisons. Officials are debating how much the movement of prisoners is fueling inmate unrest. The department says short-term increases in transfers of inmates into and out of prisons are tied in some cases to staffing problems at its prisons in Lansing and El Dorado. But it also attributed them to the relocation of a vocational program earlier this year and an ongoing effort to even out the number of maximum-security inmates in the three largest prisons. The figures show the average monthly transfers into and out of the prisons in Lansing, El Dorado, Hutchinson and Norton all are higher this year than last year.

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Kansas Democrats Feuding in Recall Effort

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Democrats are locked in a heated battle over a top party official in a fight that is expected to come to a head when they gather in Wichita next week for an annual convention. The Wichita Eagle reports the rift is exposing divisions among Democrats ahead of elections next year. The conflict centers on party secretary Casey Yingling. She is part of the political consulting firm working for Democratic congressional candidate James Thompson. He lost a special election earlier this year to Republican Ron Estes to fill a vacant Wichita-area congressional seat. Democratic State Committee members may vote on Yingling's recall during the convention. A petition alleges she had a conflict when as a member of the party's executive committee she voted on a $20,000 request for Thompson's campaign.

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Kansas Colleges, Universities Struggle with DACA Repeal

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland says it won't allow federal immigration officials on campus without a court order. Ben Schears, president of the college, said this week he decided on that policy after some students who are in the country illegally expressed concern about their futures when President Donald Trump said he planned to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program allows young people who were brought without documentation to stay in the United States. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Schears commented recently at a gathering of state college and university presidents. Regents President and CEO Blake Flanders says leaders of the state's higher education institutions are waiting for a long-term solution to the DACA controversy. He says the Regents don't have a role because it's a federal program.

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KU Unveils $350 Million Campaign for Football Stadium, Athletic Facilities

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has unveiled a $350 million, five-year fundraising campaign to upgrade its athletic facilities. Chancellor Douglas Girod and athletic director Sheahon Zenger announced the "Raise the Chant" campaign Friday. It includes upgrades to Memorial Stadium and the baseball facilities, as well as construction of a new volleyball arena and completing some renovations to Allen Fieldhouse. The campaign got a boost Friday, when alumnus David Booth pledged $50 million, the largest donation ever to the athletic department, and also received $10 million from Stu Horejsi. The main project will continue renovations of Memorial Stadium, including construction of an indoor practice facility. Kansas Athletics also will be receiving more money after signing a 12-year extension with Adidas, which will provide $191 million in sponsorship and apparel.

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Oklahoma Man Dies in Kansas after Motorcycle Wreck on I-70, Run over by Truck

DORRANCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a 64-year-old Oklahoma man was killed when he was hit by a semi-trailer truck after being involved in an earlier crash. A crash report says two motorcycles were eastbound when they hit a large flatbed trailer in the roadway, causing both motorcycles to crash. The patrol says Morris Noftsger, of Kiefer, Oklahoma, was lying in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 after that wreck when he was hit and killed by an eastbound truck. The accident happened Friday about four miles east of the Dorrance exit on the interstate. The driver of the semi, a 29-year-old woman from Beggs, Oklahoma, was not injured in the collision.

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Extended Shifts to Continue at El Dorado

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — The state corrections department says it will continue 12-hour shifts for its officers at El Dorado Correctional Facility for another 90 days. The department said an emergency status started earlier this year will continue because of a staffing shortage. The agency says the extended shifts will be reviewed on or before December 22nd. Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood notified the union representing prison workers of the decision on Monday. The letter was provided to the media on Friday. Norwood said the corrections department is working to hire and train more staff at the prison. Three inmate-led disturbances were reported in May and June at the El Dorado prison. Critics have said the unrest was caused in part after the state shifted some inmates from Lansing Correctional Facility to El Dorado.

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Kobach: Kansas Election Systems Not Targeted by Russian Hackers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says federal officials have told his office that the state's election systems were not targeted by hackers last year. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems. The systems were not breached in most cases. Kobach said Friday that in other states, hackers scanned voter registration systems hoping to do a superficial probe of them. He said Kansas has extra security that may have discouraged such an attempt. He also said there is no indication that vote-tabulation systems were targeted. He said tabulation in Kansas is "very secure" because officials typically call in or e-mail results and there is no internet uploading of results. Kobach is vice chairman of President Donald Trump's commission on election fraud.

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Court Records: Kansas Commerce Secretary Forced to Resign

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Court documents filed in a dispute between former Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave and his business partner say Governor Sam Brownback forced Soave to resign. Soave resigned in June and announced earlier this month that he was running for Congress. His resignation came two weeks after business partner Paola Ghezzo sued Soave in Johnson County, alleging fraud and other financial misdeeds. Ghezzo, who was a consultant at theCommerce Department, alleges that Soave used funds from their consulting business for personal bills and expenses related to state business. The Kansas City Star reports court documents show Soave's business was intertwined with the Commerce Department and say Brownback's chief of staff knew about the fraud allegations in February. Brownback denied forcing Soave to resign.

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Kansas Board of Regents Okays Self-Recusal on Conflict of Interest

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents has voted to accept staff recommendations that members excuse or monitor themselves when engaging in potential conflicts of interest. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports four board members on Thursday acknowledged their significant financial ties to higher education institutions, necessitating recusals to avoid a conflict of interest. Julene Miller is part of the board's general counsel. Miller says individuals with conflicts of interest will abstain from voting and from participating in discussion regarding particular areas where they have conflict. She says the exception would be if the board determines the member with a conflict could provide information unobtainable from other sources. Board member Shane Bangerter says the board policy seems thorough and fair. Bangerter owns a law firm that provided legal services to Dodge City Community College.

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Lawrence Police: Shooting Death of 1-Year-Old Ruled Accident

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence police say the shooting death of a 1-year-old girl was an accident. Police were called to a home in northern Lawrence Friday morning where the child had been shot. Efforts to save her were unsuccessful. Police said in a news release that the Douglas County District Attorney's Office will review the incident once the investigation is complete. No further details about the death have been released.

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Suspect Jailed in Fatal Hutchinson Shooting

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Police are investigating the shooting death of a Hutchinson man. Police Captain Troy Hoover says 42-year-old Clarence Allen was found dead Friday in a Hutchinson home. A 34-year-old suspect was arrested and is being held in the Reno County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. Moore says the suspect went to a home early Monday and shot Allen several times before fleeing. A friend who went to the house later found Allen's body. Further details of the shooting were not released.

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Murder Charge Filed in KCK Traffic Fatality

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Wyandotte County officials have charged a man with murder in the death of a woman who died in a traffic crash while she was fleeing from an alleged rape. Prosecutors filed the felony first-degree murder charge Friday against 35-year-old Orlando Taylor, of Kansas City, Kansas, in the death of 39-year-old Shannon Keithley. The Kansas City Star reports Keithley died August 18th when the car she was driving hit a concrete pillar less than mile from her home while she was calling 911. Taylor was arrested that day while hiding under the deck of Keithley's house. He was originally charged with rape and burglary. District Attorney Mark Dupree said in a statement Friday that Keithley died as a result of Taylor committing underlying felonies of rape and burglary.

 

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