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Headlines for Friday, November 29, 2019

 Here's the latest Kansas and regional news from the Associated Press, compiled by KPR staff.

Lawsuit Alleges Former Missouri Prison Therapist Abused Inmates

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A former Missouri prison therapist is facing a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing inmates.  A 49-year-old woman alleges that she was sexually assaulted by John Thomas Dunn after seeking counseling at the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Missouri. She was incarcerated there from 2013 to 2015 for possession of a controlled substance. This is not the first lawsuit accusing Dunn of abusing inmates. Another woman also sued Dunn, alleging that he began sexually assaulting her after she was raped by a guard. In 2017, Dunn pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a prisoner.


4 Children Killed in Thanksgiving Day Crash in Kansas

BELLEVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say four children have been killed in a Thanksgiving Day crash. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner said in a tweet that the crash happened around 11:30 a.m. when a vehicle went off the side of a road and into a pond in Republic County, near the state’s border with Nebraska. Gardner initially tweeted that the children were 8 and younger, but said it now appears two of them may be older. Their names weren’t immediately released. The patrol says the mother of the children was taken to a hospital, and an adult male in the vehicle is being interviewed. The man wasn’t seriously injured, and his relationship to the family wasn’t immediately known. None of the victims are believed to be from Kansas. The investigation is ongoing.


Police Pursuit in Kansas Ends in Fatal Shooting in Missouri

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in Kansas and Missouri are investigating an officer-involved fatal shooting after a police pursuit in both states. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that an officer from the Pittsburg Police Department attempted a traffic stop early Friday morning because the license tag was registered to a different vehicle. The driver failed to stop. When the fleeing vehicle became disabled along the Kansas and Missouri state line, the driver ran out of it with a shotgun into a field. The officer pursued on foot into Barton County, Missouri, where the shooting occurred. The driver, identified as 34-year-old Jeremy Pelican of Pittsburg, died at Pittsburg hospital of his injuries. No officers were hurt. The Missouri State Highway Patrol will lead the investigation that occurred in their jurisdiction.


Kansas City Police Identify Woman Fatally Shot in Restaurant Parking Lot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a 31-year-old woman who was fatally shot in a car at a fast-food restaurant parking lot in Kansas City. Police identified the victim Wednesday as 31-year-old Ashley Toner.The shooting happened outside a Wendy's restaurant. Police say a man driving the car shot a woman later identified as Toner and then shot himself. Police say the man remains hospitalized in critical condition. His name hasn't been released. 


Man Who Helped After Undersheriff’s Shooting to Be Honored

LYONS, Kan. (AP) — One of the Good Samaritans who tried to help after a Kansas undersheriff was shot will receive an award this month. The Wichita Eagle reports that Michael Craven Sr. and William Cundith pulled in behind Rice County Undersheriff Chad Murphy’s truck in April after David Madden shot him four times, possibly scaring Madden away. While they called for help and tended to Murphy’s wounds, Madden went to fetch more weapons. He then fatally shot his father, wounded the sheriff and killed himself. Madden had been under investigation in the 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend, Megan Renee Foglesong. Next week, Craven is scheduled to receive the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association Citizens Award at Sterling College, where he now works. The undersheriff says he owes his life to Craven and Cundith.


Lawsuit over Kansas State’s Handling of Rapes Dismissed

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by two women who alleged that Kansas State University refused to investigate complaints that they were raped in off-campus fraternity houses. Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer permanently dismissed their federal Title IX lawsuits against the university earlier this week. The university said in a news release that it provided no monetary payment or other form of compensation to either plaintiff. The women’s attorney, Jonathon Fazzola, told The Manhattan Mercury that the women are pleased with the precedent they established through the litigation. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education weighed in during the litigation, saying the university's policy to not investigate complaints of student-on-student rape when the attacks occur off-campus is wrong. The Associated Press doesn't generally name sexual assault victims, but the women have made their case public.


3 Charged in Wichita Motel Parking Lot Shooting 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three people have been charged in the shooting death of a man in a motel parking lot in Wichita. Forty-nine-year-old Bryant Damon Bailey, 52-year-old Robyn Leah Murphy and 60-year-old Annette Williams made their first appearance Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder in the death of 55-year-old Timothy Austin. Austin was found wounded early Sunday at the Countryside Inn. Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred says Austin had lived at the motel off and on, as well as other places around town. Allred says he got into a fight in the parking lot and was shot once in his upper body while standing outside of a vehicle. He died at a hospital. Police say the shooting was drug related.


Highway Patrol Says Man Walking Along Turnpike Killed by Truck

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man walking along the Kansas Turnpike has been struck and killed by a truck. The Kansas Highway Patrol hasn’t said why the man was walking along the Turnpike when he was struck by the northbound truck on Interstate 35 just south of Emporia. The patrol identified the man as 32-year-old Brandon Henderson. He lived in Wichita.


Man Imprisoned on Charges Connected to Wichita Drug Death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A man has been imprisoned for his actions related to the drug overdose death of a Wichita resident. Sedgwick County prosecutors say 31-year-old Bryce Martin was sentenced to 101/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated battery and possession of methamphetamine for sale. Officers called to a Wichita residence in May, 2018 found 41-year-old Jacob Healzer on a floor. A coroner's report says Healzer died of acute methamphetamine intoxication with contributing factors of heart disease as well as blunt force trauma to the head and neck. 

Bison Herds a Bright Spot for Kansas Agriculture

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) _ One of the promising industries for agriculture harkens back to the days when bison roamed the Kansas prairie. The Hutchinson News reports that when Moundridge rancher Dick Gehring started his bison ranch more than 30 years ago, he did it for the money. The animals quickly became his passion. Gehring is the owner of Black Kettle Buffalo in McPherson County. He now calls bison ranching one of the ``bright spots in agriculture.'' Bison are adaptable and thrive in many different environments. The animals are self-sufficient and low maintenance and have a small carbon footprint, making them better  for the environment. The National Bison Association says there are an estimated 385,000 bison in North American private, public and tribal herds.

Shorter Shopping Season Means a More Intense Scramble

NEW YORK (AP) - Black Friday once again kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season. But with six fewer days, it will be the shortest season since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the fourth Thursday in November - the latest possible date. That means customers will have less time to shop and retailers will have less time to attract them. The National Retail Federation says the real driver for retail sales will be the job market. It forecasts that holiday sales will rise by about four percent. That's an increase from the disappointing 2.1% growth seen in November and December 2018. Black Friday is expected to once again be the largest shopping day of the season, followed by the last Saturday before Christmas. 

River Watchers Already Wary About 2020 Spring Flooding

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — After a year that has seen some of the worst flooding ever in parts of the Midwest, concern is already rising that the spring of 2020 may bring more high water to places that still haven’t fully recovered. Flooding ravaged much of the Missouri and Mississippi River basins earlier this year, reaching record levels in many places. Eight months later, parts of the Missouri River are above flood stage at a time of the year when river levels traditionally run low. Conditions are only slightly better on the Mississippi River. High river levels aren’t the only worry. National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs cites two other factors: Soil is extremely saturated in several upper Midwestern states, and the long-range forecast offers a strong possibility of a wetter-than-normal winter.


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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