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Headlines for Friday, September 1, 2017

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Kansas Tax Collections $8.2M More Than Expected in August 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas says it collected $8.2 million more in taxes than anticipated in August. The state Department of Revenue reported Friday that Kansas took in more than $460 million in tax revenues when its official projection was $452 million. The surplus was 1.8 percent. It's similar to what happened in July. Since the state's current budget year began July 1, its total tax collections of $914 million were about $16 million ahead of expectations. That's also a 1.8 percent surplus over two months. Tax collections are running more than 7 percent ahead of the previous fiscal year's collections. Lawmakers enacted an income tax increase over Republican Governor Sam Brownback's veto to help balance the budget. Revenue Secretary Sam Williams said it's too early to tell whether economic growth is boosting revenues.


Kansas Secretary of State Files 2 New Election Fraud Cases 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office has filed two new criminal election fraud cases, including one alleging an attempt to vote by a non-citizen. The three felony counts filed August 17 in Johnson County against Sergio Salgado-Juarez mark the second time Kobach's office has filed charges alleging that a non-citizen voted since being given the power to prosecute election fraud allegations in 2015. Most of the other ten cases involved voting in two states. Such double voting is the focus of four felony charges filed the same day in Franklin County against David Haddock. Kobach's office alleges he voted in Kansas and Colorado in the November election. Telephone listings for Salgado-Juarez in Olathe and Haddock in Wellsville were disconnected. It wasn't clear from court records whether they had attorneys.


Kansas Secretary of State Writing Regular Breitbart Columns

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is writing regular columns for the conservative Breitbart News website. The Kansas City Star reports that Kobach wrote his first column for the website in June and it tied refugees to terrorism. Kobach is a conservative Republican serving as vice chairman of President Donald Trump's commission on election fraud. He is nationally known for advocating tough policies against illegal immigration. Kobach also is a candidate for governor next year. Breitbart's executive chairman is former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon. Kobach has said he had regular contact with Bannon at the White House. Kobach said Breitbart approached him and said the site appeals to a broad spectrum of conservatives. He disputed claims that the site caters to white nationalists.


Kansas Man Sentenced in Case That Divided His Hometown 

HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old northeast Kansas man whose case divided his hometown has been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for raping two women. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Jacob Ewing of Holton was also sentenced Friday to pay more than $100,000 in restitution, and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Ewing was convicted in June of raping and sodomizing one woman in 2016 and raping another in 2014. He was also convicted of battery, possession of drug paraphernalia and charges related to furnishing alcohol to minors. Ewing earlier was acquitted of sexual assaulting a 13-year-old girl. He's awaiting trial on charges that include attempted rape and sexual exploitation of a child. The allegations divided Holton, where he was an athlete from a well-known family.


Kansas Highway Patrol Seeks Truck Involved in Fatal Hit-and-Run 

SEVERY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a 45-year-old Chanute man died when he was hit by a truck as he was changing a tire. The patrol says Mark Makovec died early Friday on U.S. 400 one mile west of Severy. The truck that hit Makovec did not stop. The patrol says it might not be severely damaged but green fabric from Makovec's clothing might be found on the truck. The patrol is asking anyone with information on the hit-and-run vehicle to call Troop H at 620-431-2100.


Former Manhattan City Attorney Disbarred

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A former city attorney has surrendered his license to practice law in Kansas and has been disbarred after pleading guilty in a child pornography case. The Manhattan Mercury reports that 55-year-old Bill Raymond sent a letter to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts on August 21 surrendering his license. He was the city attorney for Manhattan from 2012 to 2015. Raymond pleaded guilty in federal court August 17 to three counts of transporting and one count of possessing child pornography. He confessed to emailing child pornography to himself using a cell phone and a computer. He also admitted to possessing child pornography. Raymond was in Riley and Butler counties when he committed the crimes. Sentencing is scheduled for November 6.


Oklahoma Woman Admits Guilt in $348,000 Embezzlement 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An Oklahoma woman has pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to defraud JE Dunn Construction of Kansas City. Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Debi Jordan pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of mail fraud. She was ordered to pay $348,450 in restitution. Jordan owned two job recruitment businesses based in Oklahoma and worked with a job recruiter for JE Dunn to find employees for the firm. She admitted in her plea deal that she took money from the company for employees who didn't work there, then paid kickbacks to the in-house recruiter. Her sentencing is scheduled for February 9.


Decatur County Deputy Shoots, Wounds Man 

OBERLIN, Kan. (AP) — Decatur County officials say a sheriff's deputy shot and wounded a man when the man allegedly pointed a gun at the officers. The sheriff's office says in a news release that two deputies went to the rural home Thursday night to investigate a domestic disturbance. When they arrived, the man was holding a gun. The sheriff says the man pointed a gun at one of the deputies and the other deputy fired his weapon. The man, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital. His condition was not immediately known.


Kansas Boy's Relatives Sue Kansas, Missouri Social Workers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Relatives of a 7-year-old Kansas boy whose remains were fed to pigs after he was killed by his father and stepmother claim in a lawsuit that social workers in Missouri and the child welfare agency in Kansas did not do enough to protect him. The lawsuit alleges child welfare workers had several chances to remove Adrian Jones from his home and were aware that he was physically abused for years but did little except document the abuse. The boy's remains were found outside a Kansas City, Kansas, home in November 2015.  Adrian's father, Michael Jones, and stepmother, Heather Jones, are both serving sentences of life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 25 years in the boy's death. The family is seeking $25 million in damages.  


Suspect in 5 Killings Reported Gun Thefts Before Arrest 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man suspected of killing five people reported four handgun thefts to police before his arrest. The Kansas City Star reports that court documents say police suspect 22-year-old Fredrick Scott used those guns in the shooting deaths and reported them stolen to throw off investigators. Prosecutors announced Tuesday that Scott is charged in two of the killings and a suspect in three more. Brian Darby wonders whether more could have been done to stop the last deaths, including that of his father, Michael Darby, who was fourth person killed. He says "alarms should have been going off." It's not known whether police did check out the reports. Kansas City Police Capt. Stacey Graves says the department can't discuss the case against Scott because it remains an open investigation.


Monthly Business Survey Suggests Economic Growth Ahead for Midwest

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A monthly survey of business leaders suggests more economic growth lies ahead for nine Midwest and Plains states. A report released Friday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 57.5 in August from 56.1 in July. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says it "points to solid growth for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing for the rest of 2017." The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor. A score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.


Kansas Couple Pleads in Abuse of 3 Peruvian Children
NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — A southeast Kansas couple will be sentenced in December for abusing three orphans they adopted from Peru. James and Paige Nachtigal, of North Newton, entered Alford pleas Friday to several counts of child abuse. The plea means they maintain their innocence but acknowledge prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. Harvey County Attorney David Yoder said James Nachtigal entered the pleas to three counts of child abuse and his wife of two counts. Several other charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal. The Nachitgals were arrested in February 2016 after an 11-year-old boy was found walking barefoot in a field and told authorities he feared returning home. The Wichita Eagle reports a doctor diagnosed the boy and his 11- and 15-year-old sisters as being victims of child torture.


Lenexa School Locked Down After Man Falls Through Ceiling

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) — Lenexa police say a Catholic school was briefly locked down after a suspected burglar fell through the ceiling. The Holy Trinity Early Education Center closed down just before noon Thursday. KMBC-TV reports fire personnel were called first but when they arrived, the man became combative and police were called. Authorities say the man ran from police and fire personnel and tried to hide in the church chapel. Police say because the man had no connection to the church or school, they believe he was committing a burglary when he fell. That man was taken into custody about 20 minutes after first responders were called.


Earthquake Reported in South-Central Kansas 

CHENEY, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.4 magnitude earthquake has rattled south-central Kansas. The quake was reported early Thursday about 2 miles southeast of Cheney. A smaller 2.9 magnitude quake was recorded just after 10 a.m. Sunday in Sumner County. Scientists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.


Police Identify Kansas City, Kansas Homicide Victim

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Authorities have identified the victim of a deadly shooting in a Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood as a 29-year-old man. Police say in a new news release that the victim was Kevin Fowler. Police say he was shot in the chest Wednesday in a house. Neighbors heard gunshots and then watched men race away. Police didn't immediately release suspect information. Anyone with information is asked to call a tips hotline.


Kansas Confirms 2 More Horses Infected with Equine Disease 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say an incurable animal disease has now been confirmed in two more Kansas horses. The Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Animal Health said Wednesday that it has received confirmation that a horse in Finney County and another in Kearny County have tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia. Earlier this month, six horses in Finney County also tested positive for the disease. The agency says the infectious disease is caused by a virus that affects horses, donkeys, asses and other equine species. It does not affect humans. It can be transmitted by biting flies, contaminated medical instruments or a blood transfusion. Signs include fever, anemia and swelling. The United States typically has a few cases each year, although the disease is more common in other parts of the world.


Nonprofit Kansas Railroad Excursion Line Hit by Flood Damage 

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A nonprofit railroad that provides excursions between Baldwin City and Ottawa won't be able to provide the trips to Ottawa because of damage caused by recent floods. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Midland Railway will still offer a 4.5 mile excursion to a site about 4.5 miles south of Baldwin City. Allen Kinsley, Midland Railway treasurer, said a flash flood on Aug. 22 washed out a quarter mile of track in northern Franklin County about five miles south of the Baldwin City depot and left a nearly 10-foot gully through the line. A preliminary damage estimate was $50,000 but that was if Midland volutes do the repairs. Kinsley says the repair bill could be as high as $100,000 and the railroad can't afford that cost.


Kansas City Chiefs Win Final Pre-Season Game Beating Titans, 30-6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes got his first start for the Kansas City Chiefs’ in the final preseason game Thursday night. Mahomes, the Chiefs’ first-round pick from Texas Tech, impressed the fans at Arrowhead Stadium in the Chiefs’ 30-6 win over the Tennessee Titans. Mahomes completed nine-of-16 passes for 183 yards. 99 of those yards came on two passes to receiver Demarcus Robinson including a 53-yard pass late in the first quarter. Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid says Alex Smith is still the team's starting quarterback and will be continue to be the starter as long as the Chiefs keep winning. But Chiefs fans say Mahomes gives the team plenty of hope for the future after his performance in this preseason.

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