Police Arrest 18 Protesting Inside Secretary of State's Office
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police have arrested 18 people protesting inside Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office as part of a demonstration against policies he champions. Kansas Highway Patrol spokesman Adam Winters said the demonstrators were arrested Monday for criminal trespassing by the Capitol Police. About 40 protesters with the Poor People's Campaign gathered outside the building housing Kobach's office to decry his stance against illegal immigration and for tough voter identification laws. The protesters called those policies tools of white supremacy. Kobach was not in the building after attending a political luncheon in Leavenworth. He issued a statement defending his fight against illegal immigration, saying, "the law is the law." It was the second of six weeks of planned protests. The campaign is focused on array of social and economic issues.
Man Admits to Hate Crimes in Fatal Kansas Bar Shooting
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man who yelled "Get out of my country!" before killing one Indian immigrant and wounding another in a suburban Kansas City bar has pleaded guilty to three federal hate-crime charges. Fifty-three-year-old Adam Purinton entered the plea Monday in federal court. He previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in state court in the February 2017 death of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla. The shooting in Olathe, Kansas, also wounded Kuchibhotla's friend and a man who tried to intervene. The attack stirred fears that immigrants were facing more violence after the election of President Donald Trump. It also attracted attention in India, where officials publicly wondered if Indian citizens are safe in the U.S. Witnesses said Purinton was asked to leave the bar after uttering racial slurs, then returned and opened fire.
Kansas Fires AD, Saying Progress in Some Areas 'Elusive'
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has fired athletic director Sheahon Zenger, with Chancellor Douglas Girod saying that "progress has been elusive" in some areas of the program. Girod fired Zenger today (MON) and elevated deputy director Sean Lester to interim athletic director while the university searches for a replacement. Girod says Zenger had been a "loyal Jayhawk" and the university's athletics programs had improved. But Girod added the department "continues to face a number of challenges" without mentioning the football team, historically the worst in the Big 12 Conference. The firing comes a year after Zenger received a four-year extension on his contract and an increase in base pay to $700,000 a year. The university will pay Zenger more than $1.4 million under that contract.
Trophy-Hunting Company Owner Sentenced to Probation
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who owns a trophy-hunting company has been sentenced to five years of probation for illegally importing deer into Kansas. The U.S. attorney's office announced Monday that 48-year-old Robert McConnell also was fined $30,000 and banned from doing business in Kansas. The Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, man owns Horseshoe Hill Outfitters, which advertised "big game hunting adventures" in Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Ontario. Prosecutors say he violated an act that regulates the trade of wildlife, fish and plants. In two counts, McConnell admitted to importing deer that weren't from an accredited herd, weren't officially identified and didn't have a certificate of veterinary inspection. In two others, he admitted to importing domesticated deer.
Southern Plains Drought Continues Stress on Crops, Rangeland
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lack of rainfall and above-average temperatures are prolonging the drought conditions that have stressed crops and rangelands and placed new pressures on groundwater sources across the U.S. Southern Plains. New Mexico State Climatologist Dave Dubois said Monday that while some areas of the Texas Panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma have received plentiful precipitation in recent days, other parts of those states plus New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas have experienced only spotty precipitation since October. Climatologists and forecasters say drought conditions across much of the Southwest rival those during the disastrous Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Oklahoma State Climatologist Gary McManus says some climatological stations in the western part of his state have recorded less than 2 inches of rain since October, the driest months on record for those locations.
Whitewater River in Colorado a Bright Spot Amid Grim Drought
SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — Despite a severe drought across the Southwestern United States this spring, there should be plenty of water for rafters and anglers in one of the nation's most popular mountain rivers. State and federal officials say water from melting snow is rushing into the Arkansas River in central Colorado, thanks to a surprisingly wet winter in the towering peaks of the Sawatch Range where the river begins. Some of those peaks stand just outside the northern reach of the drought, so they collected near-normal snowfall. Rob White, manager of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, says this won't be an epic whitewater year, but it will be a good one. The recreation area is a state park encompassing 150 miles of the river near its source. Kansas Colleges Seek Tuition Hikes Even After Funding Boost
Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer Picks Sonic Owner as Gubernatorial Running Mate
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer has picked the owner of a fast-food restaurant as his running mate in the GOP gubernatorial primary race. Selzer announced Monday that Jenifer Sanderson is his choice for lieutenant governor. She and her husband run a Sonic restaurant in Goodland in western Kansas. Selzer says in a news release that she has a "record of working to create an environment for both financial growth and more freedom." The release says she spent much of her working career in the community banking and financial management industry. She's also served on several boards, including for the Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Selzer is in a tough GOP primary race against Governor Jeff Colyer, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former state Sen. Jim Barnett of Topeka.
Panel Supports Naming New Kansas City Airport After MLK
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A citizens panel is offering two options for Kansas City to could honor Martin Luther King Jr. The panel said Sunday it supported renaming Kansas City International Airport after King. Its second option is renaming 63rd Street, which runs east to west through both wealthy and impoverished neighborhoods. The Kansas City Star report s the panel found strong support for both options. Kansas City is one of the largest cities in the U.S. that has no public monument honoring King. Airport Aviation Director Patrick Klein urged the city not to rename the airport. He said in a statement it would be a mistake to remove Kansas City from the airport's name. He said it would confuse passengers and make it difficult to market Kansas City nationally and internationally.
3 Kansans Killed in Boat Crash on Missouri Lake; Operator Arrested
CAMDEN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities allege a Kansas man was intoxicated when the boat he was operating struck a rock bluff on the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri, killing three friends. Hayden Frazier, 22, of Overland Park, was released from jail Sunday morning. He was arrested Saturday on three preliminary charges of boating while intoxicated involving a death of another person. It wasn't immediately clear when formal charges will be filed. The Missouri Highway Patrol on Sunday identified says the three victims who were killed: 23-year-old Joseph LeMark, of Overland Park; 24-year-old Daniel Lewis, of Overland Park; and 21-year-old Hailey Hochanadel, of Olathe. Authorities say 21-year-old Ashley Lamb, of Olathe, was in serious condition after being flown to a Springfield, Missouri, hospital. The crash happened before 2 am Saturday, throwing three people into the water, authorities said. All five people involved were friends who graduated from high school in Olathe. Accident reports say Frazier, Hochanadel and LeMark were ejected into the water in the crash that happened before 2 a.m. Saturday. State Patrol Sgt. Scott White said Frazier climbed back aboard and paddled the 1991 Regal Runabout across the channel to a dock at Simmons Point. A neighbor called to report the incident.
Kansas Child Died After Accident on Motorized Mini-Bike
PRESCOTT, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says an 11-year-old boy died Sunday when a motorized mini-bike he was riding was hit by a pickup truck. The crash occurred Sunday afternoon about seven miles west of Prescott in Linn County in east-central Kansas. The patrol says the truck hit the mini-bike from behind and then ran over the vehicle. The rider of the mini-bike, Kayden Blaes Samyn, of Mount City, died at the scene. He was wearing a safety restraint and a helmet. The driver of the truck was not injured.
Elderly Woman Killed in 2-Vehicle Crash in Wichita Suburb
DERBY, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 90-year-old woman has died in a collision between two vehicles near the Wichita suburb of Derby. The Wichita Eagle reports that the woman was a backseat passenger in a sedan that collided with a small sport utility vehicle Friday evening. Sedgwick County Sheriff's Lt. Timothy Myers says the sedan, driven by an 88 year old, turned in front of the SUV. Authorities had not released the name of the woman killed by midday Saturday. The driver of the car and an 85-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries. The 30-year-old driver of the SUV also suffered minor injuries.
2 Men Arrested, Charged in Topeka Woman's Shooting Death
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two Topeka men are being held without bond in connection with a woman's shooting death. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that police arrested 27-year-old Erik Rayford on Thursday and 29-year-old Justin Lee McCoy on Friday in the death last Sunday of 37-year-old Patricia Sanders. Officers found Sanders dead after being called to a home around 2:30 am May 13. Both Rayford and McCoy are charged with first-degree murder and are being held in the Shawnee County Jail.
Kansas Man Still Missing After 13 Years
JOHNSON CITY, Kan. (AP) — A city in southwest Kansas is reflecting on a man who is still missing more than a dozen years after his disappearance. The Hutchinson News reports that Michael Golub was 27 when he went missing 13 years ago. Golub was on his way to pick up his 5-year-old son at the Stanton County home of Shannon Floyd, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child. He never returned, and his vehicle was discovered days later on an isolated county road. Floyd and her husband were accused of killing Golub, but charges were dismissed after two juries couldn't reach verdicts in the case. Golub was 15 when his family moved to Johnson City in 1994. His stepfather Jim Hines says the town has carried on after the disappearance, but he's "just waiting for the truth to be known."
Wichita Homeless Shelter to be First in Area to Accept Pets
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Inter-Faith Ministries in Wichita says its homeless shelter will begin accepting people with pets by later summer or early fall. The Wichita Eagle report s the Inter-Faith Inn is a 24-hour shelter with 52 beds for the homeless. Program director Christen Sampamurthy says a facility behind the Inter-Faith Inn will be converted into a board space that houses three to five animals. The shelter will accept cats and dogs and will cover boarding costs. The details are not final but the shelter likely will admit people with pets on a few days a week when a veterinarian is present. That veterinarian will be able to vaccinate the pets and make sure the animals are safe for other animals and their owners.
Hispanic Infant Mortality Rate Increases in Kansas, Others Decline
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Some researchers worry about the increasing Hispanic infant mortality rate in Kansas as the trend moves in the opposite direction for babies overall in the state. The Hispanic community has historically had low infant mortality rates despite lack of access to prenatal care, The Wichita Eagle reported . But the director of the Center for Research for Infant Birth and Survival, Cari Schmidt, said she fears that Hispanic babies are becoming more likely to die in their first year. "There's something going on in that community that we need to figure out and help address," she said. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment documented five-year averages for infant mortality rates for 1997-2016. The department says infant mortality rates have declined for babies born to white or black mothers during that time, but increased for babies Hispanic mothers. One reason for the increase could be due to toxic stress. Researchers have investigated eating habits, obesity, prenatal care and more to explain the disparity in infant mortality between black and white infants. They've recently determined that it's more likely that racial disparities come from social mechanisms and class disparities. Researchers have also considered the impact of immigration raids on the health of babies born in Latino communities.
Haskell Celebrates Largest Graduating Class in Its History
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence celebrated the largest graduating class in its history this week. The Lawrence Journal-World reports 234 students graduated Friday. They represented more than 130 tribes and 40 states. It was the third straight year that Haskell set a record for graduates. Haskell is the only four-year university in the country operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. John Tahsuda, principal deputy assistant secretary in the BIA, was the keynote speaker. He told the graduates they not only made their parents proud but also the entire Indian population. He urged the graduates to serve their communities as tribal leaders and in high-ranking positions within the federal government, where he says Native American voices and views are needed.
Kansas Regents Expected to Vote Next Month on Tuition Increases
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State universities in Kansas are asking for permission to increase tuition again this fall even after legislators boosted their overall state funding to levels not seen for a decade. The six state universities and the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City have submitted proposals to the state Board of Regents to increase tuition and required fees for undergraduate students from 1.2 percent to 3 percent. The regents are expected to vote on the proposals in June. The proposals came after legislators this year added $15 million to the state budget approved last year for the fiscal year beginning in July. Even with the increase, total state funding still doesn't meet 2009 levels and the percentage of the universities' budgets covered with state tax dollars has continued to decline.
New York Man Seeks Ruling to Revive Run for Kansas Governor
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A New York man is seeking to revive his candidacy for Kansas governor by having an attorney argue in court that state law doesn't prevent him from running. Attorney Mark Johnson said in court Monday that Andy Maskin would move to Kansas if he's elected. Maskin filed earlier this month to run as a Republican in Kansas' August primary. A state board removed Maskin from the ballot last week following a Kansas GOP official's objection. Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson allowed Maskin to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt against Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Schmidt wants the judge to rule that out-of-state residents can't run for governor despite the lack of an explicit ban in Kansas law. Watson had a hearing Monday.
Annual Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign Underway in Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — If you don't use your seat belt, this might be a good week to start. Today (MON) is the start of the annual statewide law enforcement campaign "Click It or Ticket," which runs through June 3. At least 160 law enforcement agencies will be emphasizing enforcement of the seat belt and child restraint laws. Kansas law requires everyone 8 or older to be buckled in when riding in most vehicles. Children under age 4 must be in an approved child safety seat and those 4 to 7 must be in a booster seat until they are taller than 4-foot-9 or heavier than 80 pounds. Fines for violating the laws range from $30 to $168. The Kansas Department of Transportation reports nearly half of the 359 people killed in traffic accidents last year weren't wearing seat belts.