Kansas Officials Discover $80 Million Error in School Finance Measure
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials have discovered that a public school funding bill passed by lawmakers contains an error lowering the size of its spending increase by at least $80 million. Spokesman Kendall Marr said Tuesday that Republican Governor Jeff Colyer still plans to sign the measure and work with legislators on fixing the problem. The State Department of Education posted a notice about the flaw in the legislation on its website Monday. Legislators meant to phase in a $534 million increase in education funding over five years in hopes of satisfying a Kansas Supreme Court mandate. With the flaw, the figure would be $454 million or possibly a little lower. The House approved the bill Saturday and the Senate passed it early Sunday. Critics argued that the measure was being rushed.
Kansas to Post Mug Shots of People Owing Back Child Support
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas plans to post mug shots of people who owe back child support in an effort to shame them into paying or get tips on their location. The Wichita Eagle reports the program called Child Support Evaders features a website hosted on the Kansas Department for Children and Families showing people who owe more than $5,000 in late support. It includes their name, photo, amount owed, number of children owed support. It also allows the public to submit tips anonymously on where the person might be located. The initiative is among a growing number of similar programs around the country. Arizona launched a campaign in 2016 to post on Facebook and Twitter the names and photos of individuals behind on support. Texas, Louisiana and Georgia also have similar programs.
Kansas AG Seeks to Bar Out-of-State Gubernatorial Candidates
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials want to put the brakes on out-of-state gubernatorial candidates after 10 people living outside the state's borders took initial steps to run. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Tuesday that he's filed a lawsuit as part of an effort to keep non-residents out of the race, The Kansas City Star reports. He said in a statement that it appears lawmakers always intended candidates for Kansas governor to reside in the state and is asking the court to interpret Kansas law, which makes no express statement about candidates' age or residency. News coverage about the lack of requirements has led to a slew of teenagers and non-Kansans forming campaign committees for a gubernatorial run. A man even tried, and failed, to get his dog on the ballot. Among the out-of-state candidates is Ilan Cohen, a 17-year-old high school student from Bethesda, Maryland, who would see his candidacy in trouble if Schmidt's lawsuit prevails. "I think it's an unnecessary thing to be doing," he said. "I already trust the people of Kansas to make the right decision."
The lawsuit lists Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the state's top election official and a Republican running for governor this year, as the defendant. Schmidt also is a Republican. Would-be governors have until June 1 to make their candidacies official by paying a $2,207 filing fee or submitting a nominating petition containing several thousand signatures and $670. Kobach says none of the out-of-state candidates have taken either of those steps so far. "At that point, if it occurs, the question of ballot access will need to be answered," Kobach said. Schmidt's office said the Kansas teenagers running for governor wouldn't be affected by the lawsuit, although pending legislation would keep them out of the race.
The Kansas House passed a bill earlier this year that would keep minor teenagers from becoming governor, saying that candidates had to at least be 18 and a Kansas resident. An amended version of the legislation passed by the Senate also says that candidates must be a qualified Kansas elector and also raised the age limit to 30. A finalized bill has yet to make it to Governor Jeff Colyer's desk.
Man Suspected of Shooting, Killing Girlfriend's Father
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has shot and killed his girlfriend's father at a suburban Kansas City home. The Kansas City Star reports that police took the suspected shooter into custody around 10:30 am. Tuesday at the Overland Park home after finding a man in his 50s dead and a 6-year-old struck in the thigh or lower leg. Police say the child is expected to be OK and that the suspect is cooperating with police. Officer John Lacy, an Overland Park police spokesman, says police don't have any indication that the child was intentionally targeted. Investigators are trying to determine if the child was injured by a ricocheting bullet. Police don't know what prompted the shooting.
Husband of Woman Whose Body Was in Dumpster Arrested in Iowa
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say the husband of a 37-year-old woman whose body was found in a dumpster has been arrested in Iowa. Police Lt. Todd Ojile says the 30-year-old suspect was arrested Tuesday in Davenport, Iowa, after a state trooper found the victim's stolen vehicle in a hotel parking lot. Iowa officials identified the suspect as Donnell Stafford, of Wichita. He's being held in an Iowa jail pending extradition to Kansas on a first-degree murder charge. Ojile says Leuh Moore was killed early Sunday at her Wichita home. Her body was put in the dumpster less than a mile away. He says the couple had a history of domestic violence but the investigation is continuing. Investigators believe the suspect took to the couple's 7-year-old son to a relative's house after the killing. Two dogs at the home were stabbed and were taken to a vet for treatment.
Woman Dies After Fall at Downtown Lawrence Restaurant
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence police say a woman who fell at a restaurant bar has died. Sgt. Amy Rhoads says the 61-year-old woman from Leawood died on Sunday. She fell Friday night at Quinton's Bar Deli in downtown Lawrence. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Rhoads said officers are continuing to investigate what caused the woman to fall but it does not look currently look suspicious.
Junction City Woman Whose Boyfriend Overdosed Sentenced
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A Junction City woman whose boyfriend died of a drug overdose has been sentenced for drug distribution. The Salina Journal reports 27-year-old Racheal Moody was sentenced Monday to nearly two years in prison. Prosecutors say she supplied the methadone that her boyfriend, 27-year-old Christopher Allen, overdosed on in October 2015. She was sentenced for interference with law enforcement and distribution of methadone. Moody originally was charged with distribution of a controlled substance causing great bodily harm or death but pleaded to lesser charges in February.
Police: Wichita Officer Injured in Motorcycle Crash
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say one of its motorcycle officers is in serious condition after a crash in Wichita. Her injuries are not life-threatening. Lieutenant Jeff Allen says the officer was caught in an "accordion effect" as vehicles began slowing down Wednesday for construction. The Wichita Eagle reports that as the officer tried to change lanes, she clipped the back of a pickup truck. He says the pickup had a topper that is believed to have prevented her from seeing that other vehicles were slowing down. She was taken to a hospital with significant injuries to her face. Allen said the officer has been with the department for 20 years and trains other motorcycle officers.
Father of Missing Wichita Boy to Hire Private Investigator
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The father of a 5-year-old Wichita boy who's been missing for nearly two months is planning to hire a private investigator. KAKE-TV reports Jonathan Hernandez, father of Lucas Hernandez, has set up an online fund to raise money to help find his son. Jonathan Hernandez says he plans to hire investigators from Nederland, Texas. Lucas Hernandez was reported missing on Feb. 17 from his home in Wichita. His stepmother reported he went missing after she put him down for a nap and took a shower. Extensive searches have found no sign of the boy. His stepmother, 26-year-old Emily Glass, is jailed on $50,000 bond on a child endangerment charge involving her 1-year-old daughter. She has not been charged in Lucas' disappearance.
Pittsburg Man Pleads No Contest in 2 Relatives' Deaths
MOUND CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Pittsburg man has pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of two relatives. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says 32-year-old David Patrick McNabb on Wednesday also pleaded no contest to felony theft and interference with law enforcement. McNabb was charged in the November 2016 deaths of his uncle, 65-year-old Kenneth McNabb, and 87-year-old Betty McNabb, Kenneth's mother. The Pittsburg Morning-Sun reports the victims were reported missing from rural Pleasanton on Nov. 11, 2016. Their bodies were found buried on rural property west of Pittsburg November 15. Sentencing is scheduled for September 5.
Man Charged with Killing Lawyer After $6 Million Lawsuit Judgment
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say an 80-year-old man who'd lost a nearly $6 million lawsuit to a Kansas City attorney is now charged in the lawyer's death. The Kansas City Star reports that David Jungerman was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday. He's accused of fatally shooting Tom Pickert, who was found dead in October on the front porch of his home. Investigators say Jungerman accidentally recorded himself saying he killed Pickert. Pickert had represented a homeless man Jungerman shot in 2012 after encountering men in a building associated with his baby-furniture business. Jungerman said the men were stealing copper and that he acted in self-defense. He wasn't charged in those shootings, but he was later sued. Jungerman was served with property liens to pay the judgment the day before Pickert was killed.
5 Arrested for Deer Poaching After Blood Drips from Trunk
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Five adults are facing possible poaching charges after a sheriff's deputy who stopped to help them saw blood dripping from their vehicle's trunk. The Douglas County sheriff's office says the deputy stopped Saturday night to help a car stopped on a county road with its hazard lights on. The deputy called a game warden after seeing blood dripping from the trunk. Wildlife officials say the warden found two dead deer in the trunk. A loaded .22 caliber weapon and a spotlight were also found in the car. Deer hunting season is currently closed in Kansas. The five adults were booked into the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of poaching, or illegal hunting.
Twitter Account of Man Accused of Deadly Hoax Threatens Swat
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Twitter handle associated with a California man who's in jail on accusations that he made a hoax emergency call that led to the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in Kansas was used to again threaten to swat someone after authorities say some inmates were able to gain access to the internet. The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says in a news release Monday that a software upgrade to an inmate kiosk improperly let inmates temporarily get onto the internet. The Wichita Eagle reports that someone tweeted from Tyler Barriss' handle Friday: "How am I on the Internet if I'm in jail? Oh, because I'm an eGod, that's how." A later tweet said someone "is about to get swatted." Barriss in jail awaiting trial on charges including involuntary manslaughter and giving a false alarm.
Verruckt Water Slide Designer Says Not Guilty in Boy's Death
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The designer of a waterslide where a 10-year-old Kansas boy was decapitated has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the boy's death. John Schooley, who designed the Verruckt slide for the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas, made his first court appearance Monday in the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. Schooley remains jailed in Wyandotte County after being brought to Kansas from Texas Friday. District Judge Roger Burns declined to lower Schooley's bond from $500,000 to $250,000 and ordered Schooley to surrender his passport. Schooley's attorney, Justin Johnston, declined comment after the brief hearing. Jeff Henry, co-owner of Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, pleaded not guilty last week to second-degree murder in Caleb's death. A trial date for Henry and Schooley has been tentatively set for September 10. This version of the story corrects that Schooley's hearing was Monday, not Friday.
Murder Charges Could Hinder Water Park's Debt Repayment
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Criminal indictments stemming from the decapitation of a 10-year-old boy on a slide at a Kansas water park could hurt owner Schlitterbahn's chances of repaying a $174.3 million loan balance, the mortgage lender has warned. EPR Properties, the Kansas City-based real estate investment trust that holds the mortgage on the Kansas attraction, said Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the March indictments could hurt attendance at Schlitterbahn's water parks and "may negatively impact the likelihood of repayment," The Kansas City Star reports. The filing is the first public indication that the indictments could imperil Schlitterbahn's business. EPR Properties said if Schlitterbahn defaults on the Kansas mortgage, it could restructure the mortgage loan or foreclose on collateral that secured the loan. That collateral includes the Kansas property as well as properties in New Braunfels and South Padre Island in Texas.
EPR's filing also warned that the indictments could prompt Kansas to delay or refuse to approve future development incentives. The project has been receiving STAR bond incentives that allow developers pay off certain costs by capturing state and local sales taxes generated by a project. The Kansas Commerce Department, which approves STAR bonds, is studying the Schlitterbahn situation "and considering whether and to what extent the current legal proceedings will impact future decisions," said Kevin Doel, a department spokesman. The indictments name Texas-based Schlitterbahn, its co-owner Jeff Henry, the construction company that built the 17-story Verruckt slide and two other people. The most serious charge is second-degree murder in the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. Two other women riding with Caleb also were injured when their raft went airborne. The park is due to open May 25.
Ex-Gladstone Fire Inspector Embezzled $26,000 from Union
GLADSTONE, Mo. (AP) — A former treasurer of the Gladstone firefighters union pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $26,000 from the union. The Kansas City Star reports 58-year-old Charles Duddy, of Platte City, entered the plea Tuesday in federal court after waiving his right to a grand jury. Duddy was the former fire inspector for the city of Gladstone. He also was treasurer of Gladstone Firefighters IAFF Union Local 3228 from 2012 to April 2016. Proescutors say Duddy had access to the union's debit card only to pay for the union's expenses. During his plea hearing, Duddy admitted that he used $26,479 in union money for personal expenses, including paying property taxes, groceries and dining. Duddy has paid $10,000 in restitution and will be required to pay the remaining $16,479.
University of Kansas and NC State - Latest to be Implicated in NCAA Basketball Bribery Case
NEW YORK (AP) — Kansas and North Carolina State are the latest schools to be swept up in a bribery scandal involving college basketball. A rewritten indictment released Tuesday in New York alleges that an Adidas representative, who no longer works for the company, arranged for payments to parents of athletes willing to commit to the schools. The refreshed indictment came several months after 10 men were charged in an alleged scheme to bribe assistant coaches in exchange for steering top-flight NBA prospects to a particular agent or financial adviser. Four assistant coaches have been prosecuted and the scandal has led to the end of coach Rick Pitino's career at the University of Louisville. The new indictment expands the scope of the charges, alleging a wire-fraud conspiracy that included alleged payments to families of six student-athletes being recruited by four schools, prosecutors said. The court papers portrayed the shoe executive and some coaches as bad actors, saying the conspiracy included hiding payments and signing forms falsely asserting that no payments had been made. The indictment paints a picture of transactions that were concealed to allow athletes to make it through eligibility reviews.
Prosecutors said the Adidas representative, James Gatto, and others agreed to pay $90,000 to the mother of a Kansas recruit and to funnel $40,000 to the father of a recruit at North Carolina State who was widely regarded as the top high school recruit in the state of North Carolina and who had played for an Adidas-sponsored Amateur Athletic Union team. No players are directly named, but specific details make clear the indictment is describing former North Carolina State star Dennis Smith Jr. and Kansas player Silvio De Sousa.
Prosecutors say money helped secure the players' commitments to play college basketball at the schools and encouraged them to sign an Adidas sponsorship deal when they entered the NBA. Smith, a point guard, was drafted by the Mavericks and declined comment to The Associated Press on Tuesday night as Dallas played the Phoenix Suns.
A date listed in court papers for the announcement — August 30 — is when De Sousa made a surprise announcement he would play for Kansas. He became a crucial player off the bench this season as the Jayhawks reached the Final Four before losing to eventual champion Villanova. Kansas coach Bill Self said following the program's year-end banquet Tuesday night that he would not discuss individual student-athletes. But Self did say that "it certainly took away from what was a nice evening tonight from a thought standpoint. "It doesn't and shouldn't take away from us feeling good about what is going on within our program," he said, adding that he would allow the school to make any future comments.
Prosecutors said they beefed up charges related to the Louisville conspiracy, adding a wire fraud charge. Louisville declined comment.
N.C. State received a grand jury subpoena in January seeking records involving school officials, its former coaching staff, ex-Wolfpack one-and-done guard Dennis Smith Jr. and his representatives. A recent Yahoo Sports report revealed bank records and other expense reports that listed impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, including loans of thousands of dollars to Smith.
Joe Monaco, a Kansas spokesman, said the school learned earlier Tuesday that it was named as a victim in the indictment. "The indictment does not suggest any wrongdoing by the university, its coaches or its staff. We will cooperate fully with investigators in this matter. Because this is an active investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time," he said. A lawyer for Gatto did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Kansas Ethanol to Open Operation in Closed Hutchinson Plant
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Ethanol plans to reopen a shuttered plant in Hutchinson after Reno County officials approved economic development incentives for the project. The Reno County Commission voted Tuesday to award up to $51,600 in development incentives to Kansas Ethanol, which makes soybean products companies add to foods as meat replacements or extenders. The Hutchinson News reports the Rice County-based company hopes to employ up to 50 people within four years. The plant will operate in the former CHS Inc. plant, which closed in December. The Hutchinson City Council previously approved awarding the company up to $200,000 in incentives.
Kansas Could Provide Free ACT Testing for High Schoolers
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas could soon provide free college admission testing to its high school students. A provision in a school finance bill approved by legislators would set aside $2.8 million for one ACT test and three WorkKeys vocational assessments for each student statewide. Republican Sen. Molly Baumgardner of Louisburg said Tuesday that ACT tests are critical to college applications but are often too expensive for some students. The State Department of Education says that in 2017, 60 percent of high school graduates took the ACT nationwide and 73 percent in Kansas. Baumgardner wants 100 percent. Baumgardner said with free ACT testing, every student will have a chance to show colleges what they know, making higher education more accessible. She is an author of the provision and the Senate Education Committee's chairwoman.
Missouri Governor's Political Future Faces Test in Legislative Report
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The political future of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens faces a big test when a special legislative committee issues its investigative report related to an extramarital affair the Republican had. Greitens also faces a pending criminal trial on a felony indictment in St. Louis for allegedly taking a compromising photo of the woman without her permission and an investigation by the state's attorney general into the activities of a veterans charity he founded. The investigations have created governing challenges and uncertainty for the former Navy SEAL officer once considered presidential material. A Greitens spokesman says the administration is "operating as normal." But Republican political consultant John Hancock says the scandal has had a debilitating effect on Greitens.
Formerly Hidden Treasure Trove of Photos, Ephemera Resurfaces After 90 Years
KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 11, 2018--Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC has announced the D. Jay Culver collection is now on the market – that’s a treasure trove including more than 4.5 million photographs, plates, drawings, prints, engravings, movie stills, play bills and other historical ephemera. Last purchased in 2006 by its current owner, it is now being let go in view of said owner’s advancing age for a starting price of $15 million. For the first time in 90 years, the pictures will be discoverable by a patron willing to pay the right price. This press release features multimedia. (View the full release here.) The collection was assessed in August by top fine art photography appraiser Lorraine Anne Davis, who placed an intrinsic value on it of $99.2 million. In addition, 640,000 high-resolution digitized images are included in the sale, each professionally estimated to be worth $100, bringing the collection’s total value to $163.2 million.
Separate from the Culver archives but included in the sale are approximately 114,240 photos of 14,000 celebrities by Peter Borsari, who photographed every notable celebrity from 1965 to 1995.
D. Jay Culver began his collection of images in 1926 to provide pictures for well-known magazines and publications. He tracked down photos for assignments through second-hand bookstores, auctions of old libraries and even by inspecting attics. Where he was unable to find existing pictures to match an assignment, he would take original photographs. As Culver gathered photos, he amassed historical ephemera such as line drawings, sketches, engravings and plates produced from the 1600s to the mid-1900s. He also collected newspaper ephemera and photo archives from the 1800s and 1900s. His collections spanned multiple genres. Subjects included American politics, the development of theater and performing arts history, commerce, advertising, and 20th century American railroads.
He acquired the largest collection of movie stills from the 1900s to the 1930s by White Studios; the files of pioneer news photographers Edwin Levick and George Grantham Bain; opera pictures by the Met's photographer Herman Mishkin; photos from the Flo Ziegfeld collection on the performing arts, and works by Emmons, Weegee, Hamilton Wright and A. Audrey Bodine. In 1948, the Library of Congress purchased 1,600 photographic prints from his collection. Culver continued collecting until his death in 1968, when he had the largest known assortment of images in the world. Today, it would rival the Getty collection.