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Headlines for Monday, April 16, 2018

Area news headlines from the Associated Press

Garden City Bomb Plot Trial Winds Down in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - After weeks of testimony, the trial is winding down in Wichita for three men accused of plotting to bomb a Garden City apartment complex housing Somali refugees.  Both sides have rested in the federal case against Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen.  The three men are charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to violate civil rights. Wright also faces a charge of lying to the FBI. The judge dismissed two weapons-related charges against Stein.  A hearing will be held today (MON) to hash out the final jury instructions. Closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow (TUE).  The three men were indicted in October 2016 on charges they planned set off bombs the day after the Presidential election.

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Mother Testifies That Boyfriend Killed 3-Year-Old Kansas Boy

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The mother of a 3-year-old Kansas boy whose body was found encased in concrete last year says her boyfriend killed her son and that she was in the home when it happened. Miranda Miller testified Monday in a preliminary hearing for Stephen Bodine, who is charged with first-degree felony murder in the death of Evan Brewer of Wichita. Miller also is charged with first-degree murder in the boy's death. She waived her preliminary hearing earlier Monday and pleaded not guilty. During Bodine's hearing, prosecutors played audio and video recordings from the couple's home. The Wichita Eagle reports Bodine could be heard yelling at Evan, who was sometimes crying or screaming. Video screenshots showed Evan naked with what a Wichita police detective said was a belt or collar around his neck.

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New Kansas City Airport Will Have 4 More Gates, Delay Opening and Cost More

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The new Kansas City International Airport will be bigger than originally planned.  City and airline officials have announced that the new airport will have 39 gates rather than the 35 originally proposed.  Officials say growth in passenger traffic prompted the design change.  The changes will delay the opening of the airport, which was set to open in November, 2021. A new opening date has not been announced.  The changes will also will increase the cost of the project, which was originally estimated at $964 million.  The new design will allow for future expansion to 42 gates.  Taxpayer money will not be used for the new terminal, which will be financed by the developer, Edgemoor. The company will be paid back by revenue from airlines and other airport users.

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Report: Officers Saw Different Things Before Swatting Death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An investigative report says a police officer who shot an unarmed Kansas man while responding to a hoax emergency thought the victim was reaching for a gun, although officers closer to the home held their fire. The Wichita Eagle reports that District Attorney Marc Bennett released the 42-page report after announcing last week that the unnamed officer wouldn't face criminal charges in the Dec. 28 killing of 28-year-old Andrew Finch. A California man is charged with making a fake call that appeared to come from Finch's address. The caller reported that he'd shot his father in the head and was holding hostages. Before Finch opened the door, officers noticed a silhouette in the home. One officer said it looked like the person was possibly giving CPR to a wounded person.

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Kansas Native and "Full Metal Jacket" Actor R. Lee Ermey Dies at 74

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actor and Emporia native R. Lee Ermey, a former marine who made a career in Hollywood playing hard-nosed military men like Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," has died.  Ermey's longtime manager Bill Rogin says he died Sunday morning from pneumonia-related complications. He was 74.  The Kanas native was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his memorable performance in "Full Metal Jacket," immortalizing lines like "What is your major malfunction?" He also voiced the little green army man Sarge in the "Toy Story" films and played a helicopter pilot in "Apocalypse Now," among many other roles.  Rogin says that while his characters were often hard and principled, the real Ermey was a family man and a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve.  In addition to his movie career, Ermey appeared in programs for the The History Channel.  He was born in Emporia and grew up on a farm near Kansas City, Kansas.

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Wichita Woman Dies When Car Tumbles in Arkansas River

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Authorities say an 18-year-old woman was killed when her car tumbled into the Arkansas River in Wichita.  The Kansas Highway Patrol says the body of the driver, Lexus Lemuz, of Wichita, was found Sunday. The patrol says she was traveling east on Kansas 96 when she went off the roadway for an unknown reason, struck a guardrail and continued east into a ditch. The patrol says her car then vaulted over an embankment, struck a fence post and came to a stop in the river. Nobody else was in the car.  The crash is under investigation.

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Wichita City Council to Consider Agreement with Spirit

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita officials will consider an agreement with a Kansas-based aircraft supplier for an expansion project. The Wichita Eagle reports that Spirit AeroSystems' agreement includes a provision requiring the company to pay $10 million should it leave Wichita in the next 20 years. The Wichita City Council will consider the agreement Tuesday. The agreement stems from the company's December announcement that it would invest $1 billion in its Wichita plant over five years and hire 1,000 new workers. The agreement calls for Wichita and Sedgwick County to establish the Eclipse Investment Association, which will hold the mortgage on a $23 million facility to be constructed on Spirit's campus. The association would hold cash contributions in escrow and pay them out incrementally to Spirit during construction.

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Police: Oldest of 9 Children Reports Rape and Abuse

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say a man was arrested on suspicion of rape and child abuse after the oldest of nine children went to a police station to report the alleged abuse. Officer Charley Davidson said Monday a 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape of a child under 13, child abuse and aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Police say the man was arrested Friday afternoon, about an hour after the 13-year-old boy reported he and two other children had been sexually assaulted. The man was the boyfriend of the children's mother. The nine children have been placed in police protective custody. They range in age from an infant to the 13-year-old.

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Kansas City Shootout Leaves One Man Dead, Another Wounded

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - One man has died and another has been hospitalized after a shooting in the southeastern part of Kansas City. Police say the shooting was reported around noon Saturday. Responding officers found two men with gunshot wounds. One man was found in a parked car with critical injuries and did not survive. The other man left the car to seek help and was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.  

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Report: Kansas Winter Wheat Struggling Amid Lack of Moisture

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The latest government snapshot shows the Kansas winter wheat crop continues to struggle amid the lack of soil moisture. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday in its weekly update that 46 percent of the wheat in Kansas is rated as poor or very poor. Another 42 percent is in fair shape, while 11 percent is in good and 1 percent is in excellent condition. About 22 percent of the state's wheat has now jointed, well behind the 51 percent that is average for this time of year. Corn planting in Kansas is just 6 percent complete. The agency also is reporting that topsoil moisture is 72 percent short to very short across Kansas.

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Missouri Woman Sentenced for Embezzling from Employer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A North Kansas City woman was sentenced to eight years in prison without parole for embezzling more than $290,000 from her employer. Federal prosecutors say 40-year-old Tonya Topel was sentenced Monday and ordered to pay $291,193 in restitution for four fraud schemes she ran as senior auditor at Construction Benefits Audit Corporation. She spent the money on a lavish lifestyle, including travel, entertainment and jewelry. Prosecutors say Topel had an unrelated criminal case pending in Johnson County, Kansas, for stealing from her previous employer and was on pretrial supervision when she was hired by CBAC. Topel pleaded guilty to forgery and theft in that case, and paid her criminal defense lawyer using CBAC's credit card. According to court records, Topel reportedly stole $26,000 from another employer after leaving CBAC.

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Spirit Admits Delay in Boeing Fuselage Deliveries

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Spirit AeroSystems says the Kansas-based company was late for the first time in nearly four years delivering major parts of Boeing's best-selling airplane.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Spirit officials cite a number of factors leading to last month's late deliveries of 737 fuselages to Boeing.  Chief Executive Tom Gentile says reasons for the missed deliveries include supply chain issues, rising monthly production rates and extra quality checks on parts and structures Spirit sends to Boeing.  Delays in getting 737 fuselages to the Boeing assembly plant in Washington state could make the aerospace company late delivering planes to airline customers.  An email from Boeing says the company has "been able to mitigate things in our factory."  Gentile declined to say whether Spirit will see any financial penalties for the delay.

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Victims of DUI Crashes to be Memorialized in Kansas
 
ELLSWORTH, Kan. (AP) - Under a new Kansas Department of Transportation program, "Lost to DUI" memorial signs will be placed along state and federal highways for victims of drunken driving accidents.  The Salina Journal reports that the first memorial sign was recently unveiled by parents of 20-year-old Kylie Jobe and 22-year-old Kyle Thornburg, who died in 2011.  Barby Jobe says her daughter and Thornburg were returning from a skiing trip when they were struck by an impaired driver who also was killed in the crash.  Former Republican Representative Mark Hutton sponsored the Kyle Thornburg and Kylie Jobe Believe Act, which authorized the DUI memorial signage program. He says the legislation aimed to humanize the problem with drunk driving.  The memorial signs with finger print designs will be placed near the victims' crash site.

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Kansas Couple Continues to Expand Urban Farm

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas couple who grew their first crop in their Hutchinson lot last year says they hope to grow more and branch out to restaurants in Wichita in the coming season.  The Hutchinson News reports that Maggie and Adam Pounds began growing microgreens in their basement and front yard in 2015. They expanded in 2016 to a half-acre lot in South Hutchinson.  The Pounds now have rows of kale, bok choy, arugula, baby radishes and turnips, collard greens and more at Simple Abundance Farms. The lot now includes a small greenhouse for starting plants during cold months, and a larger high tunnel that will be finished soon.  The urban farm's crops are planted in soil mixed with compost that's covered with a tarp to keep weed growth to a minimum.

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Shawnee County Allied Tribes Cancel Labor Day Pow Wow

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - After 27 years, Shawnee County Allied Tribes Inc. won't hold its Labor Day weekend Pow Wow this year.  The organization's president, Roy Patrick, says the organization hopes to find a new location and resume offering the event next year.  Patrick said the event was canceled because of poor attendance.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports last year's pow wow lost money and the tribe would have had to pay more to hold it again on the east side of Lake Shawnee.  In addition, Patrick said, an Allied Tribes shaman suggested finding a new pow wow grounds one of the event's co-founders died.  Meanwhile, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe announced last week that it would hold a pow wow this year on Labor Day weekend.
 
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DA: No Charges Against Regents Member in Domestic Situation

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Wyandotte County District Attorney's Office says it will not file charges against a member of the Kansas Board of Regents who was arrested in a domestic battery case. A spokesman for District Attorney Mark Dupree says an investigation into allegations against Ann Brandau-Murguia resulted in the decision not to charge her. Brandau-Murguia is also a member of the Unified Government in Wyandotte County and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees. The Kansas City Star reports she was arrested Feb. 16 on suspicion of domestic battery. She said at the time that the dispute happened after a confrontation between her and a long-time friend resulted in an argument and physical contact. Her attorneys, Robin Fowler and Tricia Bath, said Monday that Brandau-Murguia would not comment further on the issue.

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Royals' Game Postponed Sunday Due to Wet & Cold

It's hardly been baseball weather.  That's why the Kansas City Royals' game against the Angels was postponed yesterday (SUN).  That didn't come as a surprise to fans. But what did surprise and even anger some was the way in which the game was called off - less than 30 minutes before the first pitch.

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