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Headlines for Friday, August 31, 2018

Final Margin in GOP Primary for Kansas Governor is 343 Votes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The final, official margin of victory is 343 votes for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in his Republican primary race against Gov. Jeff Colyer. A three-member state board on Friday certified final results from the August 7 primary. The election had a higher-than-predicted turnout of more than 487,000 votes. That was 27.1 percent of the state's 1.8 million registered voters. More than 317,000 voters cast ballots in the Republican primary for governor. Kobach and Colyer were separated by one-tenth of a percentage point with five candidates trailing far behind them. Final, unofficial results had put Kobach's margin over Colyer at 350 votes. But state elections director Bryan Caskey said several counties had typographical errors in the final numbers they reported after reviewing late mail-in and provisional ballots.

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Republicans Want GOP Kansas Lawmaker Out over Allegation

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Republicans want a new GOP state lawmaker to resign and end his election campaign to keep his seat over allegations in a television report that he emotionally abused two boys. State Representative Michael Capps, of Wichita, told KAKE-TV he did nothing wrong and is not resigning. The Kansas Republican Party on Friday severed its ties with Capps and said it does not support his election. House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. called on Capps to resign and said it would be "inappropriate" for him to serve. Local Republicans appointed Capps to fill a vacancy in July. He told KAKE-TV that a Department for Children and Families finding of emotional abuse of two boys in foster care was overturned after he appealed it. He did not return telephone messages seeking comment.

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Geological Survey: 4 Quakes in 24 Hours in Southern Kansas

HARPER, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says four earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 3.0 to 3.8 were registered in Harper County in less than 24 hours.  KWCH reports the agency reported a 3.0 magnitude earthquake just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, about 9.5 miles east of Harper. About 15 minutes later, a second quake registered near the same location, with a magnitude of 3.1.  A third earthquake with a magnitude of 3.2 registered just before 10 p.m. Wednesday in the same area.  The fourth quake was recorded about 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the same spot as the first quake.  The USGS recorded the last quake with a magnitude of about 3.8, not strong enough to cause major damage but significantly stronger than the three previous quakes.

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Kansas Child Welfare Agency Failed to Meet 16 Standards

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new report says the Kansas agency in charge of child welfare failed to meet more than half of 30 performance standards last year.  The Wichita Eagle reports the Department for Children and Families this week said a report tracking the performance measures found the agency didn't meet 16 federal and state standards.  The report covered from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 and used the agency's data. Among other things, the report found children had 8.9 homes for every 1,000 days they were in foster care - more than double the standard of 4.12 homes.  Department spokeswoman Taylor Forrest said the agency has implemented several efforts to improve performance and meet federal outcome measures.  Child welfare advocates say the report shows the depth of problems at the department.

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Attorney: Kansas Keeps Issuing Inadequate Well Permits

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An attorney says that Kansas energy regulators continue to allow oil and gas drillers to apply for injection-well permits without providing adequate public notice despite complaints on the matter. Robert Eye represents the Kansas Sierra Club, Douglas County and five individuals. Eye tells the Lawrence Journal-World that the Kansas Corporation Commission has issued more than 2,000 injection-well permits since 2008 after giving the public only 15 days to file protests instead of the federally required 30 days. Injection wells have been linked to earthquakes many Kansas residents say have caused significant property damage. The commission was expected Thursday to clear regulators of any wrongdoing. But commissioners announced they'd delay their final order after Eye asked them to acknowledge an oil company's July public notices for permits with 15-day protest periods.

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Man Sentenced to Life for Murder of Former Topeka Principal

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man convicted in a 2016 murder of a former Topeka high school principal has been sentenced to life in prison. Michael Timothy Hall was sentenced Friday for felony murder in the May 2016 death of 64-year-old Curt Cochran. Hall won't be eligible for parole until 2043. He was also given a 20.5 years for robbery. Hall pleaded guilty in June to killing Cochran, a former Seaman High School principal, at a Topeka warehouse where Cochran managed a moving company. Investigators say Cochran was bound to a chair and his head was wrapped in plastic. He was beaten and his throat was cut. His bank card was later used to withdraw $600 from an ATM. In March, co-defendant Calvin Philips Jr., was sentenced to 30 years in prison for Cochran's death.

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Kansas Man Guilty in Shooting of His Stepfather

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been convicted in the deadly shooting of his stepfather. The Kansas City Star reports that jurors found 32-year-old Phillip Stanley, of Overland Park, guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the July 2017 killing of 62-year-old Henry Gates Jr. Stanley's mother called 911 and told the dispatcher that her husband and son were arguing. As officers approached the house they heard gunshots. Stanley came outside and surrendered, and officers found Gates dead inside. His sentencing is set for October 17.

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Man in Wheelchair Struck, Killed by Pickup Truck in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man in a wheelchair was killed when a pickup truck crashed into him. Police say the crash happened Thursday night. Lieutenant Jerry Monasmith says that police believe the man in the wheelchair was trying to cross the street when a vehicle traveling west hit him. The victim was identified Friday afternoon as 69-year-old Jon Hybskmann of Topeka. The driver of the vehicle was 54-year-old Tracy Marquette of Topeka. The investigation is continuing. No citations or arrests have been made.

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Kansas Archdiocese Hires Law Firm to Study Abuse Allegations

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has hired a law firm to review allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against priests in the diocese. Archbishop Joseph Naumann wrote in a column published Friday in the archdiocese's newspaper, The Leaven, that the firm was hired to ensure church officials have an accurate historical knowledge of how the archdiocese has responded to allegations of misconduct. He did not name the firm, which he said will review priest personnel files going back to 1950. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports attorney Rebecca Randles, who has represented several people alleging abuse by priests, said Naumann's action wasn't enough. She says it doesn't meet her recent call for investigation and transparency because the law firm ultimately represents the archdiocese's interest.

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Man Charged with 178 Child Sexual Assault Counts in Kansas

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — A 44-year-old man has been extradited from Pennsylvania to Kansas to stand trial on 178 counts of sexually assaulting a child over a decade. Eric Millsap, who had been living in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, is charged with 152 counts of rape, 24 counts of aggravated sodomy and two counts of attempted aggravated criminal sodomy. Millsap was jailed Monday in Abilene, Kansas, on $1.5 million bond. A criminal complaint says the assaults started in May 2005, when the alleged victim was 7 years old, and continued until December 2015 when the child was 17. The victim's gender isn't listed and no details have been released. The Associated Press has requested the affidavit. Millsap's attorney hasn't returned a phone call seeking comment.

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2-Month-Old Boy Found Dead at Wichita Motel

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police have arrested the parents of a 2-month-old boy who died at a west Wichita motel.  Police spokesman Charley Davidson says the boy was found dead early Thursday at the Scotsman Inn. His twin brother was unharmed.  Davidson says the parents became intoxicated overnight and the 34-year-old father woke up about 6 am and found the boy not breathing. The cause of death in being investigated.  Police went to the motel Tuesday after receiving a call about the boys' welfare. Davidson said the parents were drunk and the children were placed with a family member.  The father was booked into jail on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated child endangerment. Davidson said the 39-year-old mother was booked on suspicion of two counts of aggravated child endangerment.

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Sprint Considers Selling Overland Park Campus

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Sprint's chief executive says the wireless company is considering selling its 4 million-square-foot suburban Kansas City campus as federal regulators weigh a proposed merger with T-Mobile.  The Kansas City Star reports that Sprint CEO Michel Combes said Wednesday in an email to employees that the company is evaluating potential buyers for its Overland Park, Kansas, campus in a deal that would allow the company to lease back the buildings it needs for its employees.  Under the proposed merger with T-Mobile, the Sprint campus would become the combined company's secondary headquarters.  Sprint currently has 6,000 full-time employees at the campus, fewer than half the number the campus was designed to accommodate. As Sprint's headcount has dropped, it has subleased space and more recently announced that it would consider selling unused buildings.

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Election Official in State's Most Populous County Keeps Job

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has reappointed to a four-year term the election commissioner responsible for the state's most populous county.  The announcement Thursday that Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker will keep his job comes just weeks after the second consecutive major election fumble by the affluent Kansas City-area county.  Johnson County left the rest of the state waiting more than 12 hours for complete August 7 primary election results because of a delay blamed on the vendor's faulty software.  Kobach says in a news release that Metsker "addressed the problem swiftly and with competence."  Metsker has overseen the county's transition to an election balloting system that now leaves a paper trail.  The secretary of state appoints election commissioners for the four most populous counties in Kansas.

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Pennsylvania Man Returned to Kansas Charged with 150 Rapes

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — A man arrested in June in Pennsylvania on a Dickinson County warrant involving 150 counts of rape is back in Kansas.  The Hays Post reports 44-year-old Eric Millsap, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, arrived in Abilene on Monday. Dickinson County Attorney Andrea Purvis says he was extradited from the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  A criminal complaint says Millsap faces 178 counts including the alleged rapes, which involved a single victim. The crimes allegedly occurred between 2006 and 2015 when he lived in Abilene and Dickinson counties.  Millsap made a first court appearance Monday and remains jailed on a $1.5 million bond.  His next court appearance is scheduled for September 10.

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Christian School Co-Founder Charged with Child Sex Crimes

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The co-founder and administrator of a Christian school in suburban Kansas City has been charged with child sex abuse.  Forty-eight-year-old Dennis Creason, of Bonner Springs, was charged Thursday with three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The crimes are alleged to have occurred from January 2015 to August 2018.  Creason founded the Oaklawn Christian School in Shawnee, Kansas, with his wife. The school serves pre-K through sixth grade students, with a focus on art, music, and nature-based programs.  Bond for Creason is set at $1 million. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

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Kansas City Council to Revise Panhandler Ordinance

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City officials will revisit a panhandler ordinance after the proposal sparked a debate at a city hearing. The Kansas City Star reports that the ordinance reviewed at a public hearing Thursday was introduced last week as a pedestrian safety measure. Under the ordinance, pedestrians would be prohibited from doing anything on medians, traffic islands or highway ramps other than crossing safely to the other side. People lingering would face a fine of up to $500 or as much as six months in jail. The measure, which doesn't use the word "panhandle," came at the request of Kansas City police after they received numerous complaints from neighborhood groups to bar roadside panhandling. Councilwoman Jolie Justus says she'll work with co-sponsors to rework the ordinance. The revised proposal will be heard by the committee again on September 27.

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Former Police Officer Charged with Robbing Missouri Bank

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A former suburban Kansas City police officer has been charged with robbing a bank and leading police on a chase.  Thirty-five-year-old Richard Hagerty was charged Wednesday in federal court with one count of bank robbery and one count possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. His attorney hasn't returned a phone call seeking comment.  An FBI agent wrote in the affidavit that the former Lee's Summit police officer stole $7,000 Wednesday from a bank in the city. Witnesses said he pointed a handgun at a customer and ordered people to "get down" before demanding cash from two tellers.  The ensuing police pursuit ended in the nearby city of Grandview. Officers recognized Hagerty when he got out of the vehicle. He worked for the Lee's Summit Police Department until 2016.

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Exonerated Kansas Man Petitions State in Doppelganger Case

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A man is petitioning the state of Kansas for compensation after serving 17 years for a robbery conviction that was dismissed after his attorneys found another man who looked just like him and who lived near the scene of the crime.  The Kansas City Star reports that 42-year-old Richard Jones filed a petition Wednesday in Johnson County District Court.  Jones was convicted of robbing a woman outside a Roeland Park Walmart in 1999. Prosecutors based their case on witness identifications.  Jones learned while in prison that he had a doppelganger, whom his attorneys eventually identified. The conviction was thrown out when witnesses said they could no longer identify Jones as the robber after looking at pictures of both men.  Jones is asking for $65,000 for each year he was in prison.

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Kansas Supreme Court Upholds $907,000 Malpractice Verdict

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld a $907,000 medical malpractice verdict against a Wichita doctor.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the Supreme Court says in a news release that it's affirming a Sedgwick County jury's 2013 judgment against physician Brian DeBrot.  The verdict resulted from a 2009 lawsuit by the family of 74-year-old Barbara Mae Castleberry, of Wichita. Her family contended that DeBrot, her primary doctor, wrongly diagnosed her condition during two visits in December 2007.  DeBrot decided that Castleberry's symptoms were related to carpal tunnel syndrome, a common condition that involves numbness, pain or tingling in the arm or hand. But Castleberry suffered a stroke the day after her last appointment and died about a year later after she fell.  A lawyer for DeBrot couldn't be reached for comment.

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Kansas Football Stadium to Be Renamed for Generous Alumnus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The football stadium at the University of Kansas will be renamed David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Saturday.  The renaming ceremony to honor Booth will be held during halftime of the Kansas game against Nicholls State.  Last September, Booth said he planned to donate $50 million — the largest gift in the history of Kansas Athletics — to help the football program. The first phase of the improvements is an indoor practice facility, which is currently under construction.  More than a decade ago, Booth funded construction of the Booth Family Hall of Athletics in Allen Fieldhouse, which houses the KU Athletics Hall of Fame. He also allowed James Naismith's original rules of basketball to be permanently housed on the Lawrence campus.

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