President Trump Approves Kansas Disaster Declaration
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration for eight Kansas counties hit by storms last month. The declaration issued Friday orders federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts for areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding from Sept. 1 to Sept. 8. The counties named in the declaration are Barber, Clay, Kingman, Kiowa, Marshall, Pratt, Rice, and Riley. Under the declaration, municipalities and some nonprofits can apply for public assistance funds for emergency work and to repair or replace storm-damaged facilities.
Kobach Supports Privatizing Eastern Kansas Mental Hospital
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach favors having a private company rebuild and operate the state mental hospital in eastern Kansas. Democratic challenger Laura Kelly and independent candidate Greg Orman say the state should set up smaller, regional care centers instead. Kobach is the Kansas secretary of state and raised the issue during a debate this week in Wichita. He said the Legislature has been "idling" when it should be moving forward with an existing plan to expand Osawatomie State Hospital. The plan has been in the works for more than a year at the state Department for Aging and Disability Services but has been put on hold by skeptical lawmakers. KDADS proposed having Tennessee-based Correct Care Recovery Solutions build and run a larger replacement for the hospital founded in 1866.
Defense Attorney: Kansas Attorney General's Prosecution Was an Overreach in KCK Waterslide Death
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — An attorney for one of two maintenance workers acquitted in the waterslide death of a 10-year-old Kansas boy says the prosecution was a mess and an overreach by the attorney general. David Hughes and John Zalsman were found not guilty Thursday of obstruction of justice in connection to the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. The boy died after hitting a metal pole while on the 17-story Verruckt waterslide at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas. Zalsman's attorney called the prosecution "sloppy" and accused the attorney general of overreaching in an attempt to push innocent men to turn on employees higher up in the company. The attorney general's office did not respond to a message seeking comment. Hughes and Zalsman were the first workers to go on trial. The park's co-owner and the ride's designer have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges. Their trials have not been scheduled. (Read more about this story.)
Crane Overturns at Roofing Site, Killing 1, Hurting Another
HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say one man was killed and another had to have his arm amputated after a mobile crane overturned at a roofing job site in northeast Kansas. Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse says the men were in a lift basket that was 30 feet in the air when the crane toppled over Wednesday afternoon in Holton. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 66-year-old John Zibell, of Holton, was killed. The surviving victim has been transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas. Morse says the crane, which was being used to access the roof of a three-story house, was sitting on ground that was sloped and soft from recent rains. He says federal officials are investigating the cause. Morse described what happened as "traumatic, grim and horrid."
4-Year-Old Boy Shot, Wounded in Apparent Case of Road Rage
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man and a woman have been arrested in the shooting of 4-year-old boy in an apparent road rage incident after one vehicle cut off another. Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the boy was shot in the stomach Wednesday evening and is in stable condition. The boy was one of six children inside a sport utility when someone in a silver Ford Mustang fired two shots just before 5 pm. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Mustang took off after the shooting but was later stopped. Police said Thursday that a 21-year-old woman and 19-year-old man are in custody on suspicion of aggravated battery. Ramsay says there are, on average, three road rage incidents involving a gun every week in Wichita.
Kansas Sheriff Arrested on Felony Theft Charge
JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says it has arrested the Geary County sheriff at his office. The agency said in a news release that 44-year-old Geary County Sheriff Anthony "Tony" Wolf was arrested Thursday morning. The KBI says the sheriff was arrested on charges of felony theft, for allegedly giving a county-owned firearm as a gift and for misusing public funds. He could not be reached for comment, and it is unclear whether he has a defense attorney yet. The charges stem from an investigation the KBI initiated in August. Dickinson County Attorney Andrea Purvis has been appointed special prosecutor in the case. Wolf was booked into the Geary County jail following his arrest and released on bond. The sheriff is on administrative leave.
Kansas City Mayoral Candidate Arrested on Suspicion of DUI
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A councilman who is running for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, was arrested in Kansas early Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence. Quinton D. Lucas, 34, was arrested in downtown Lawrence. He was released on a personal recognizance bond and ordered to appear in municipal court in November on the misdemeanor charge. Lucas told The Lawrence Journal-World he had been drinking and decided he shouldn't drive back to Kansas City. But he says he never moved his vehicle from the public spot where it was parked and "dozed off" in his car.
"I took the choice to behave responsibly yesterday," Lucas said. "I did not drive or operate a vehicle. It was in a parking spot; it did not move from a parking spot." He told the newspaper that while he respected the work of the Lawrence Police Department and the arresting officer, he plans to contest the DUI charge.
"I look forward to having the opportunity to explain the situation in court," Lucas said.
Lucas is a law lecturer at the University of Kansas, where he had previously been an associated professor. He was elected in 2015 to the Kansas City council, representing the Kansas City's 3rd District at-large. Lucas, Kansas City's youngest current council member, lived in Kansas City's urban core most of his life. He earned his law degree from Cornell University. He announced this summer that he was running for mayor of Kansas City.
Man Dies, Another Loses Arm When Crane Overturns in Kansas
HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — A man was killed and another lost an arm when a mobile crane overturned at a roofing job site in northeast Kansas. Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse says the men were in a lift basket 30 feet (9 meters) from the ground Wednesday afternoon when the crane toppled over in Holton. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 66-year-old John Zibell was killed. The surviving man was taken to a hospital about 80 miles (130 kilometers) away in Kansas City, Kansas. His arm was amputated. Morse says the workers were using the crane to access the roof of a three-story house. He says it was sitting on sloped ground that was soft from recent rains. Federal officials are investigating. Morse described what happened as "traumatic, grim and horrid."
Man Pleads No Contest to Molesting Girl with Disability
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl with a mental disability. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 39-year-old Steven Capps, of Lawrence, entered the plea Thursday, and was convicted of two felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties. He initially was charged with two counts of rape and one count of aggravated criminal sodomy. Charging documents say another adult caught Capps in a room with the girl and called police. The affidavit says the girl used anatomical diagrams to explain what happened and "indicated she was not a willing participant." The affidavit says Capps admitted to police that he removed the girl's clothing and touched her inappropriately but denied raping her. Sentencing is set for November 15.
Another Man Convicted in Contract Killing in Salina Area
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Another man has been convicted in the contract killing of a Salina man whose battered body was found on a path near a popular fishing area in June 2017. The Salina Journal reports that Brandon St. Clair is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 21 for multiple counts, including felony murder and aggravated kidnapping, in the death of 29-year-old Brandon Lee Shelby. Charging documents say another man, Charles Rodgers, beat, choked and stabbed Shelby, expecting James Pavey to pay him with money or drugs. St. Clair and a fourth man, Austin Bott, were accused of helping. Pavey and Rodgers entered no contest pleas, although Rodgers since has filed a motion to withdraw his plea. Bott has pleaded to lesser charges of kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
Authorities: Kansas Inmate Attacks to Jail Deputies
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a female inmate attacked two Sedgwick County jail detention deputies, sending one to the hospital with potentially serious injuries. The Wichita Eagle reports deputies were preparing to transfer the inmate from booking to housing Thursday evening when she assaulted them. The woman had initially been arrested on a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass. Sergeant Lanon Thompson says the transfer procedure involves having the inmate showered, searched and issued clothing. That's when she became combative. One deputy suffered minor injuries. The deputy who had potentially serious injuries was admitted to a hospital and released the next day. That deputy is expected to return to work in a couple of weeks. The inmate was re-booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer.
Kansas Deputy Collides with 3 Horses in Hutchinson
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Reno County sheriff's deputy driving a sports utility vehicle has suffered minor injuries after colliding with three horses. The Hutchinson News reports deputy John Hendricks was traveling Thursday evening in the department's 2017 Ford Explorer when he ran into three horses headed the same direction on the road. Two of the horses rolled onto the SUV's windshield during the wreck and the third hit the front passenger side. The police report lists one horse in critical condition and another with multiple injuries. Captain Steve Lutz says he doesn't know if any of the horses were put down or died. He says the deputy was traveling within the 55 mph speed limit at the time of the wreck.
Prosecutor: Man Who Raped Kansas Deputy Had Attacked Others
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors say a man who kidnapped and raped a suburban Kansas City sheriff's deputy is a dangerous sexual predator who raped another woman while her toddler was in bed with her. The Kansas City Star reports that prosecutors made their case Wednesday for 23-year-old Brady Newman-Caddell to serve more time in prison than what's called for in Kansas sentencing guidelines. He and another man, William Luth, were convicted previously of abducting the deputy from outside the detention center in Olathe, Kansas, in October 2016 as she headed to work. She was released in the Missouri suburb of Lee's Summit. DNA from that case led to the man being charged in the rape of the mother in Independence, Missouri. Newman-Caddell will be sentenced January 23. Luth is serving a 41-year sentence.
Lawyer: Evidence Shows KU Coaches Knew of Payouts to Players' Families
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for a longtime Adidas employee urged jurors to use common sense to conclude college basketball coaches knew money was being paid to families to steer top players to their schools. Attorney Michael Schachter told jurors at a criminal trial's closings Thursday they could follow the evidence to conclude coaches at Louisville and Kansas encouraged payouts. A prosecutor later disagreed, saying coaches were not "running rampant." The jury is likely to start deliberations Monday in the trial of an aspiring sports agent and two men who worked on the behalf of shoemaker Adidas. Schachter, who represents James Gatto, an Adidas sports marketing manager, mocked the idea that coaches of the caliber of Bill Self at Kansas and Rick Pitino at Louisville didn't know what was going on.
Kris Kobach's Lawyer Seeks to Delay Release of Video in Kansas Case
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An attorney for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is seeking to delay the release of a video of him being questioned in a federal voting-rights lawsuit to avoid hurting his campaign for governor. The Wichita Eagle reports a court filing late Wednesday by Sue Becker draws a link between stopping the video's release and Kobach's campaign as the Republican nominee for governor. Becker is general counsel for the secretary of state's office. The video was played during the trial of a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against a state law requiring new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship when registering. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson struck down the law in June. The ACLU and Kobach's office have been sparring over the video's potential release.
Man Who Was in Wheelchair Found Dead in Kansas City Creek
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was in a wheelchair has been found dead in a Kansas City creek that was filled with several feet of water. The Kansas City Star reports that officers were called Wednesday afternoon to Brush Creek, where the man was pronounced dead. Police say there were no signs of foul play. The man's name wasn't immediately released.
Iowa-Based Hy-Vee Recalls Several Products
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Hy-Vee has recalled six meat and potato products for possible salmonella and listeria contamination. The company says the potential danger was discovered when McCain Foods, a Hy-Vee supplier, announced it was recalling its caramelized mushrooms and fire-roasted tomatoes, which are ingredients used in the Hy-Vee products. No illnesses have been reported. The Hy-Vee products are:
— Hy-Vee Bacon Wrapped Cowgirl Chicken Grillers — 8 ounce each, UPC Code 023092600000
— Hy-Vee Fire Roasted Tomato, Spinach, Mozzarella Twice Baked Potato — 5 ounce each, UPC Code 023755400000
— Hy-Vee Cowgirl Chicken Griller Patty — 6 ounce each, UPC Code 023100200000
— Hy-Vee Gourmet Steakhouse Mushroom & Swiss Burger — 6 ounce each, UPC Code 023168400000
— Hy-Vee Ground Beef Sliders Mushroom & Swiss — 2 ounce each, UPC Code 023164300000
— Hy-Vee Ground Beef Sliders Mushroom & Swiss — 12 count, 30 ounces, UPC Code 023266600000
The products have a "best if used by" date of Oct. 22, 2018, or sooner. The items can be returned to Hy-Vee stores for a full refund.
Banker Survey: Farmland Prices Expected to Drop in 10 States
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new survey says farmland prices are expected to continue their decline in parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The latest Rural Mainstreet survey shows that on average, bank CEOs in the region estimated farmland prices declined by 4 percent over the past 12 months. They expect farmland prices to fall by another 3.2 percent over the next 12 months. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the survey also shows the farm sector is being weakened by negative impacts of tariffs and low agriculture commodity prices. The overall economic index for the region increased slightly to 54.3 from 51.5 in September. That score still suggests growth because it is above 50, while any score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
Giant Inflatable Colon Stolen in Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Someone has snatched a giant, inflatable colon used to teach about the dangers of colon cancer. The University of Kansas Cancer Center said Friday in a news release that it was stolen from a pickup bed in Brookside. Surgical oncologist John Ashcraft says colon cancer is a tough subject for many to talk about and the giant inflatable colon is a great conversation starter. It is 10 feet-long, weighs 150 pound and is valued at $4,000. It is owned by the Cancer Coalition, which hosts walking and running events under a campaign called "Get Your Rear In Gear." The Cancer Coalition ships the inflatable colon across the country to help see in a unique way the progression of colon cancer. One in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
Police: Tree Service Company Worker Dies After Fall
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say an employee of a tree service company died after falling about 60 feet in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports the accident occurred Friday when the boom bucket the worker was in broke and tilted sideways. Police Chief Terry Zeigler said in a tweet the worker was taken to a hospital with critical injuries and later pronounced dead.