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Headlines for Friday, November 1, 2019

Impeachment Raised as Issue in GOP Primary for Kansas 3rd District Seat 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Republican candidate in a Kansas congressional race is making impeachment an issue against one of her GOP primary opponents. The Kansas City Star reports that Sara Hart Weir has accused GOP rival Amanda Adkins of remaining "eerily silent" on opposing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. They are seeking the 3rd District seat in the Kansas City area held by freshman Rep. Sharice Davids. Republicans have criticized Davids for supporting the inquiry even though her 2018 victory was seen as a repudiation of Trump by suburban voters. Weir opposes the impeachment inquiry and suggested Thursday that Adkins is "waiting to see where the wind blows." Adkins called the criticism "irrational." She issued a statement praising Trump and criticizing the "DC circus since Trump's election" without specifically mentioning impeachment.

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Local GOP Calls on Wichita Lawmaker to Resign over Attack Ad

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Local Republican leaders have called on a GOP legislator from Wichita to resign after a newspaper investigation linked him to an ad making false claims against a Democratic colleague running for mayor. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Sedgwick County GOP's leaders demanded that Rep. Michael Capps step down over the attack on Rep. Brandon Whipple. Whipple hopes to unseat Mayor Jeff Longwell in Tuesday's election. The Eagle also reported that a Capps-owned company was the original owner of a website domain name mirroring the name of a company that paid for the ad. The firm also listed at the same address as Capps' business. The YouTube and Facebook ad falsely suggests Whipple has been accused of sexual harassment at the Statehouse. Capps didn't immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

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Kansas Collects $37 Million More in Taxes Than Expected in October

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is reporting that it collected nearly $37 million more in taxes than anticipated in October. The Department of Revenue said Friday that the state collected $553 million in taxes during the month when its official revenue forecast predicted $516 million. The surplus was 7.1%. Gov. Laura Kelly called the better-than-expected tax collections "a positive sign." For the four months since the start of the state's 2020 fiscal year in July, the state collected nearly $2.3 billion in taxes and exceeded expectations by nearly $85 million, or nearly 3.9% Tax collections also are running 4.1% ahead of collections for the 2019 fiscal year. They also have exceeded expectations 28 of the past 29 months. State officials and university economists plan to meet next week to revise the official revenue forecast.

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USDA Picks Missouri Office Building as Its Kansas City Site 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it has signed a lease for permanent office space at an office building in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, for two of its research agencies. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release Thursday that signing the lease is an important next step for the agencies' efficiency, effectiveness and service to customers. The USDA announced plans in June to move roughly 550 employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture by the end of September to the Kansas City area. The announcement of the new office space in downtown Kansas City comes amid charges from a federal employees union that the move has left them critically understaffed, saying it will take years to hire replacements for the highly specialized positions.

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Sheriff: Investigation into Kansas Jail Incident Complete

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash says an investigation into an incident at the jail in early September is now complete. Ash told reporters Friday that the Kansas Bureau of Investigations has turned over its findings to the district attorney's office for a charging decision. The sheriff did not elaborate on what happened at the jail during a brief press conference. He also declined to identify the deputy, who has been placed on leave.

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Kansas City Royals Hire Mike Matheny as Manager

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have hired Mike Matheny as manager. The 49-year-old Matheny was manager of the cross-state St. Louis Cardinals from 2012-18, going 591-474 and becoming the first manager to reach the postseason his first four seasons. The Cardinals reached the World Series in 2013, losing to the Boston Red Sox. Matheny was fired in July 2018 with the Cardinals 7½ games out of the NL Central race at the time. He was hired last November by the Royals as a special adviser for player development, putting him in place to succeed Royals manager Ned Yost. Yost announced his retirement last month.

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Black Ice, Cold Temperatures Cause Wrecks in KC Area

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Black ice and frigid temperature proved to be a bad combination in the Kansas City area Thursday morning. The Kansas City Star reports that more than 170 morning rush hour accidents were reported Thursday in the metro area. Kansas City, Missouri, police alone responded to 116 accident calls from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., including 77 involving injuries. The region's first blast of winter arrived unusually early, on Halloween, long before the official start of winter. The metro area received 1-2 inches of snow, but some other nearby areas got up the 5 inches of snow. Temperatures fell to 22 degrees in Kansas City, and roads were icy and slick. The Kansas Highway Patrol responded to 38 morning crashes. Several accidents also were reported in Lenexa, Overland Park and other Kansas suburbs.

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Wichita State University Names Jay Golden as Next President

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A vice chancellor at East Carolina University experienced in building research campuses will become the new president of Wichita State University. The Kansas Board of Regents announced Thursday that Jay Golden will assume the job in January. He replaces John Bardo, who led the university from 2012 until his death in March. His responsibilities at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, included developing public-private partnerships. He also was an engineering professor there. Golden says Wichita State can be the next great public research university. That includes, he says, developing business and entrepreneurial approaches that make a Wichita State university degree "more accessible, more affordable and more valuable for all students and all Kansans." The university touted his experience in environmental sustainability, applied learning and economic development.

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Colorado Pastor Crashes Plane in Kansas; No Injuries

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — No one was injured when the pastor of a Colorado church crashed the small plane he was flying in Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol says emergency crews were called around 10 a.m. Thursday to Freeman Field Airport in Junction City. Investigators determined the accident happened when landing gear malfunctioned on the 1968 Beechcraft 95-B55 that was flown by 55-year-old John Burgess, of Colorado Springs. The report says Burgess and his passenger suffered no apparent injury. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Federal Aviation Administration's N-number registry shows the fixed-wing, multi-engine plane is owned by Heritage Pentecostal Church in Colorado Springs. Burgess is the pastor of the church.

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North Dakota Governor Wants More Monitoring After Pipeline Leak

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum wants the owner of the Keystone pipeline to review its inspection and monitoring of the line after it leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons in the northeastern part of the state. Burgum says he spoke Thursday to TC Energy officials about the spill that affected about 22,500 square feet of land near Edinburg, in Walsh County. Burgum says he "received assurance" from the company that the spill would be cleaned up "as thoroughly and quickly as possible." North Dakota regulators were notified late Tuesday night of the leak. They say some wetlands were affected, but not any sources of drinking water.

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Survey Suggests Slight Rebound in Midwest Economic Growth

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An October survey of business supply managers was released this (FRI) morning and it.suggests a boost in economic growth for nine Midwest and Plains states. The Mid-America Business Conditions index rebounded to 52.6, compared with 49.1 in September. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below 50 suggests decline. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey says nearly 60% of supply managers reported that tariffs had increased the prices of supplies purchased by their companies. The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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Kansas Bar, Site of Shooting That Killed 4, Adds Security

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas bar that was the site of a shooting that killed four men and left five others injured has added more security. The Kansas City Star reports that the Tequila KC Bar in Kansas City, Kansas, reopened late last month. The shooting at about 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 6 was believed to have been carried out by a man who had been kicked out earlier that night and an accomplice. The suspected shooters, 29-year-old Hugo Villanueva-Morales and 23-year-old Javier Alatorre, both face four counts of first-degree murder. Alatorre is in custody; Villanueva-Morales is still being sought. Bar owner Erik Gomez says he used to keep one security guard at the bar on Saturday and Sunday nights, but now has three on Fridays, two on Saturdays and one on Sundays.

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Ex-Elementary School Teacher Pleads Guilty in Child Sex Case

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A former fourth-grade teacher in St. Joseph has pleaded guilty to second-degree sodomy involving two minor males.  Cole Charboneau, who taught at Eugene Field Elementary, entered a guilty plea Wednesday, less than three weeks before he was scheduled to go to trial on multiple charges. He waived his sentencing hearing and was sentenced to seven years in prison. The St. Joseph News-Press reports court documents allege Charboneau exposed himself, showered with and engaged in sexual contact with at least two males between the ages of 12 and 15. The incidents occurred at his home. He was arrested and charged in December 2017.  Two civil cases continue against Charboneau, the St. Joseph School District and some of its former and current administrators.

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Hays Woman Dies in Shooting  

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — A woman is dead after a shooting in west-central Kansas. Hays police say officers responded early Thursday morning to a call of a woman being shot. She died at the scene. Her name has not been released. Police are not saying if anyone is in custody but a news release on the department's Facebook page says the "neighborhood is safe." The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting police in the investigation. Hays is about 200 miles west of Topeka.  

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Kansas Deputy Injured in Crash During Chase

GREENSBURG, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas deputy is critically injured after wrecking during a lengthy chase of a motorcycle driver.  The Kansas Highway Patrol says the Kiowa County deputy was flown to a Wichita hospital following the accident Thursday night. The deputy's name was not released. The 18-year-old motorcycle driver was arrested but has not yet been charged. The chase began when troopers tried to pull over a speeding sports bike on U.S. 54 in Pratt County. Troopers ended the chase at the Kiowa County line over safety concerns. The deputy began pursuing the motorcycle. His vehicle struck a sign and ended up in a culvert. The chase eventually ended in Ford County, about 55 miles from where it began, when the motorcycle driver pulled over and tried to run before being caught. 

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Woman Admits Selling Heroin Used in Kansas Man's Overdose Death

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A 50-year-old Kansas City woman has admitted selling heroin to a Kansas man who later died of an accidental overdose. Valerice Ealom pleaded guilty Thursday to distributing heroin. She admitted that she sold heroin two days in a row in June 2016 to a man identified in court documents as ``J.B.'' The man's body was found the next day in his Overland Park home. Investigators found heroin and drug paraphernalia near his body. An autopsy concluded J.B. died from an accidental heroin overdose. Ealom was on supervised release when she sold the heroin, after serving a 10-year sentence for distributing controlled substances. The plea agreement recommends that Ealom be sentenced to 15.5 years in federal prison without parole. 

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Kansas Sex Offender Accused of Child Sex Crime

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A 34-year-old convicted sex offender is jailed on $1 million bond after a Great Bend girl contacted police about an alleged sexual offense. Great Bend police say Nicholas Schwerdtfeger was arrested Thursday and booked into the Barton County jail on possible charges of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Police say a teenage girl reported an incident involving Schwerdtfeger in September to officials at Great Bend Middle School. The Great Bend Tribune reports school officials said the incident didn't happen on school grounds and Schwerdtfeger is not a district employee. State prison records show Schwerdtfeger was convicted in 2008 in Barton County of the attempted indecent solicitation of a 16-year-old girl and attempted aggravated sexual battery of a 20-year-old woman. He also has several Kingman County convictions of voluntary sexual intercourse with a child.

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Two People Arrested After Allegedly Robbing Same Bank Twice 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have seized clothing, cash and receipts from a man and woman who are suspected of robbing the same Wichita bank twice. Documents from a pair of search warrants show that the items were seized from a home and vehicle. The warrants were issued after 28-year-old Stephanie Steele and 32-year-old Joshua Coster were arrested by Wichita police on suspicion of aggravated robbery. Police say they were working together to rob the bank on September 16 and October 16. No one was hurt in either robbery. An affidavit detailing the probable cause for the search says the pair was identified through a tip the day after the second robbery. They both remain jailed in Sedgwick County on $100,000 bail. No federal charges have been filed.

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Big 12 Reprimands KU, K-State and TCU for Field-Storming Celebrations

IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Big 12 Conference has issued public reprimands and fines of $25,000 against Kansas State and TCU for how the schools handled fans storming the field to celebrate after home victories over ranked teams. The University of Kansas also received a reprimand, but the team wasn't fined after the Jayhawks beat Texas Tech on Saturday. The league doesn't have a policy prohibiting spectators on the field for post-game celebrations but Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said home teams have to provide adequate security measures for student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators. That includes safe passage from the playing field to the locker room, and protection of the visiting team bench area.

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KPR's daily headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day.  KPR's weekend summary is usually published by 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays.
 

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