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Headlines for Monday, December 17, 2018

Kansas Fixes Medicaid Billing That Cut Pediatricians' Pay

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' Medicaid director is reversing a billing change that resulted in pay cuts to pediatricians. The Wichita Eagle reports that KanCare Director Jon Hamdorf announced Monday that Kansas is fixing the change that went into effect Nov. 1, which split a bundle of services for child checkups into 12 separate codes. Hamdorf says he realized the billing change led to a reduction in reimbursed services after reviewing data submitted by doctors last week. Pediatricians had reported that checkup rates for children of certain ages had dropped dramatically, including from $70 to $26 for 1-month-olds. Some doctors had said they'd have to cut back on serving KanCare patients. Hamdorf says $70 will be the lowest rate for future visits, with additional fees for each of the formerly bundled services.

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Kansas Wants to Charge $50 Fee at New State Park

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism wants to charge $50 a day for access to fragile rock formations at the state's newest park. The Wichita Eagle reports that the department is proposing a $50 permit for anyone who wants "backcountry access" in the Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park in Logan County, which is expected to open next year. Officials say the fee aims to preserve the rare geological attraction that features chalky spires and buttes. But the park's landowner The Nature Conservancy hasn't approved the permit. The nonprofit says the group is committed to keeping park access affordable and will work with the state to ensure fees are reasonable. The conservancy purchased land that included Little Jerusalem in 2016 and agreed to make it part of the state park system.

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Sentencing Delayed for Man Convicted of Eudora Bar Shooting

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Douglas County judge is weighing the sentence for a man convicted in a fatal shooting outside a Eudora bar. Judge Peggy Kittel was scheduled to sentence 37-year-old Danny Queen on Monday for the death of 32-year-old Bo Hopson but instead took the matter under advisement. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Queen was convicted Aug. 1 of second-degree murder after Hopson was shot outside the D-Dubs Bar and Grill. Both men are from Eudora. Hopson was working security at the bar when Queen was thrown out. While bar patrons tried to calm him down, Queen pulled out a handgun and shot Hopson. Queen was also convicted of attempted second-degree murder and attempted voluntary manslaughter. Prosecutors say he tried to shoot two other bar patrons but his gun jammed.

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Suspect Killed, Officer Wounded in Kansas City, Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a suspect has been killed after wounding an officer in Kansas City, Kansas. Police Chief Terry Zeigler says the shooting happened Sunday night when officers responded to an indecent exposure call. Police said in a news release Monday that a man at the house, 46-year-old Richard Johnson, died after being shot by an officer. Two officers responded to the call and Johnson was able to get a gun from one of the officers. Police say during the ensuing struggle, Johnson fired a shot and a second officer returned fire. The officer who was shot suffered non-life threatening injuries.

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Missouri Woman Who Drove Car into Kansas River Pleads Guilty

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who told police she intentionally drove into the Kansas River while trying to kill herself and her two young children pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Scharron Dingledine, 26, of Columbia, Missouri, entered the plea Monday in Douglas County Court in Lawrence, Kansas. As part of the plea, she won't be eligible for parole for 25 years, The Lawrence Journal-World reported . Prosecutors say Dingledine drove a car into the Kansas River near downtown Lawrence in August. Rescuers pulled Dingledine and her 1-year-old son, Elijah Lake, from the water but were not able to save her 5-year-old daughter, Amiyah Bradley. Her body was recovered from the river the next day. Elijah was critically injured. A probable cause affidavit released in the case says Dingledine told police that she had a fight with her boyfriend, she was voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital for several hours on Aug. 2, one day before she drove her car into the river in downtown Lawrence, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) west of her hometown of Columbia, Missouri. After she was released from the hospital, her boyfriend agreed to take her to a shelter. But when he stopped at a store, Dingledine drove off in his car, with the children inside, she told detectives. She later stole another vehicle near Columbia and drove to the Kansas City area, where she spent the night in the vehicle. She drove to Lawrence Aug. 3 and was "feeling depressed and worried about the consequences of her actions" on the previous day, according to the affidavit. The document said she drove to the Kansas River, parked and let the children walk around and put their feet in the water. She said she decided the river was a good way to kill herself and she decided to kill the children "because she didn't want anyone else to have them." She told detectives she accelerated into the river while the children were unrestrained in the front seat. She said she knew neither child could swim and "would likely die," according to the affidavit.

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16-Year-Old Shot, Killed in Kansas City, Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old in Kansas City, Kansas.  Police say Taveon Brooks was killed early Sunday when a car packed with youths came under fire. KCTV reports that Brooks was driving and crashed into a tree. Another person in the car also was wounded and is hospitalized in stable condition.  Brooks' mother, Tionna VanRoss House, said she just got out of prison and was trying to reconnect with her son, who had been living with a relative. She said her son and a group of friends came under fire after sneaking out. Police are investigating what led up to the shooting.  The Kansas City Star reports that Taveon was a point guard on the F.L. Schlagle High School basketball team. He also enjoyed making music.

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Troopers Shoot Teen Who Attacks Woman, Flees on Horseback

SMITH CENTER, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say troopers have shot and wounded a 15-year-old after he attacked a woman, fled on horseback and then fired on law enforcement in rural north-central Kansas.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that the Smith County Sheriff's responded Saturday to a Smith Center home, where a 66-year-old woman reported being restrained, beaten and choked. She was taken to a hospital.  The release says the teen fled on horseback. The Kansas Highway Patrol later found the armed teen and spent a few hours trying to apprehend him. The release says that when the teen fired at troopers, two of the troopers returned fire, striking the teen.  He was flown to a Nebraska hospital. His condition isn't known. No law enforcement officers were hurt.

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Kansas Man Gets Second Chance at Outer Space

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas astronaut says he's ready for his next mission into space after a failed launch in October.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Hoxie native Nick Hague will embark on a six-month stay with two other crew members to the International Space Station. The scheduled launch aboard the Soyuz MS12 spacecraft is set for February 28, 2019.  Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch will join Hague in the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  They will participate in about 250 research experiments and technology demonstrations made possible by micro-gravity conditions inside the station.  Ovchinin was also aboard the initial failed rocket. Koch is making her first flight to the station. Hague, Ovchinin and Koch will return to Earth in October 2019.

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Massive Fire Destroys 28,000 Square-Foot Kansas Warehouse

PARK CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a massive fire has destroyed a 28,000 square-foot warehouse in a Wichita suburb.  Television station KSNW reports that the fire at the Park City warehouse was reported around 9 pm Friday. Arriving firefighters found the huge warehouse fully engulfed in flames.  No injuries were reported in the fire that saw five area fire departments respond to help battle the flames. It took more than two hours to get the blaze under control.  Sedgwick County Fire Capt. Bill Herold says the loss from the fire is estimated at $1.6 million.  The warehouse held two businesses — a maintenance facility for 18-wheelers and an electrical company.

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Remains Identified as Wichita Man Missing Since May 2017

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Human remains found in Wichita have been identified as a man who was reported missing more than a year ago. A Kansas hunter found the bones last month in south Wichita. Wichita police spokesman Charley Davidson said Monday the remains were those of 56-year-old Donald Cook, of Wichita. He was reported missing on May 15, 2017. The Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center identified the remains. The investigation is continuing.

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Man Who Worked with Disabled Kids Charged in Child Porn Case

PAOLA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man who worked at a center for children with developmental disabilities pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. Federal prosecutors say William Bresee, of Fontana, pleaded guilty Monday to possession of child pornography and three counts of distribution of child pornography. Bresee worked an overnight shift at Lakemary Center in Paola. Prosecutors say Bresee admitted that federal agents downloaded child pornography from his computer at work after investigators traced child pornography to a computer IP address at the center. His sentencing is scheduled for March 4.

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Lawrence Brewery Sells Beer for California Wildfire Victims

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas brewery is selling a new specialty beer to help raise money for a Northern California community destroyed by the state's deadliest wildfire last month.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence is joining 1,400 breweries across the country to offer California-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's new specialty IPA called Resilience Butte County Proud. Sierra Nevada is based in Butte County, where the devastating wildfire started Nov. 8 and led to the deaths of 86 people.  Free State's head brewer Geoff Deman says Sierra Nevada shared the recipe for the citrus-flavored beer so that breweries could make it locally. He says the Lawrence brewery will have the beer on tap until it runs out.  All proceeds will go to Sierra Nevada's relief fund to help rebuild Butte County.

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Wichita Man Convicted in Drug Deal Shooting Death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Wichita man has been convicted in the deadly shooting of another man during a drug deal in a mobile home park.  The Wichita Eagle reports that 29-year-old Keeshaun Milo is scheduled to be sentenced next month for first-degree murder in the death of Michael Hamilton. The 45-year-old was shot in December 2016 in his residence and died at a hospital.  Court records say marijuana had been brought to Hamilton's home to be sold to him. Police said a fight broke out before shots were fired. Prosecutors say Milo pulled the trigger. Another suspect also was arrested in the shooting.

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Kansas Teen Dies in Missouri While Waiting for New Lungs

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Kansas teen with cystic fibrosis has died in a Missouri hospital less than a week after Grammy Award winner Jason Mraz serenaded her as she waited for a second double-lung transplant.  The Mercer Funeral Home in Holton says on its website that 18-year-old Madison Eileen Taliaferro, of Holton, died Saturday after spending more than two weeks at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Madison was 12 years old in November 2012 when she received a double-lung transplant. But The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that her body recently rejected those lungs.  On December 9, Mraz stopped by her bedside while he was in Missouri for a concert. Taliaferro's mother, Desiree Taliaferro, shared videos on Facebook. She described her daughter in a post early Monday as "beautiful" and "amazing."

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Man Convicted in 2015 Shooting Deaths of 2 People in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The last of several men charged in the 2015 shooting deaths of two people in Wichita has been found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and other counts.  Kansas prosecutors say 22-year-old Jamion Wimbley, of Wichita, was convicted Thursday. Besides the murder convictions, Wimbley also was found guilty of two counts of criminal discharge of a firearm.  Investigators say Wimbley shot 55-year-old Betty Ann Holloman and 24-year-old Brenton Oliver on Jan. 1, 2015, in the front yard of a Wichita home.  Wimbley is set to be sentenced January 25.  Quincy Carter and Brent Carter are already serving life sentences after being convicted in the case. Johnathan Carter is awaiting sentencing on January 2.

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Lawrence Rabbi Named 1 of the 50 Influential Jewish Leaders

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence rabbi has been named one of the 50 most influential American Jews by a prominent Jewish magazine.  The Forward magazine recently included Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel in its list of this year's influential leaders. Tiechtel and his wife, Nechama, have led Chabad, a University of Kansas campus Jewish community, since 2006.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports the magazine said Tiechtel was chosen because of his work to make Jewish life more accessible for students at the university, particularly by making food available for Jewish students who adhere to dietary restrictions.  The magazine also mentioned Chabad effort to share "good cards" on campus, to remind people to do good deeds.  Tiechtel says the recognition affirms Chabad's mission to deliver accessible Jewish experiences for students.

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3 Kansas Brothers Carry on High School Basketball Legacy

HAYSVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Three brothers are carrying on their family's legacy in a basketball program at a Wichita high school.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Cade, Zach and Andrew Howard are all members of the Campus High School basketball program. Cade Howard recently helped bring the team to a 3-0 start for the first time in more than a decade.  Zach Howard is a sophomore who's on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. He's not in the program as a feel-good story or to serve as a manager. Zach helped add four points to the team's win in a recent game.  Andrew Howard is a freshman on the team.  The brothers follow in the footsteps of their grandfather and their older brother Chase, who both went on to play in college.

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Leavenworth County Historical Society Planning Expansion

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — The Leavenworth County Historical Society has launched a campaign to build and endow a research center at the Carroll Mansion Museum.  The society has been preserving and promoting Leavenworth's history for nearly 65 years.  The Leavenworth Times reports the society finalized architectural plans last summer for the research center, which will be built on to the existing museum.  A news release from the society said the new center will provide storage of artifacts, including the organization's rare collection of 30,000 glass plate negatives of early Leavenworth.  Rooms for research and a public area for historical presentations and meetings also are part of the plans.

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Kansas Travelers Will See New Interpretive Signs on Byways

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas travelers will see new or upgraded interpretive signs along 12 scenic or historic byways.  State officials say the signs can be found at 39 locations on the byways, which are roads that highlight the beauty, history and heritage of Kansas. The Kansas Byways program is managed jointly by state and federal officials. Nine of the routes are scenic byways — two of which are national scenic byways — and three are historic byways.  The $1.4 million project included construction of five new kiosks housing interpretive panels. It also includes the rehabilitation of 12 existing kiosks and their signs, 26 interpretive signage plazas and 12 Kansas Byway welcome boards.  The project was funded in part by federal grants.

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Man Who Killed 3-Year-Old Kansas Boy Given Lengthy Sentence

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 41-year-old Kansas man has been sentenced to 109 years and six months in prison for abusing and killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old son, whose body was found encased in concrete in the garage of a Wichita rental home they had lived in. Stephen Bodine was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in the 2017 killing of Evan Brewer. He was sentenced Monday. Prosecutors say the Bodine and Evan's mother, 37-year-old Miranda Miller, tortured the boy for months before his death, including chaining him naked in a basement and forcing him to stand in a corner for hours. Miller pleaded guilty in November to second-degree murder and other charges. Her plea deal required her to testify against Bodine. She is due to be sentenced in January.

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Kansas, Duke, Tennessee Stay 1-2-3 in Men's AP Top 25

NEW YORK (AP) — Kansas, Duke and Tennessee were 1-2-3 Monday in the AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll for the second straight week, while reigning national champion Villanova fell out for a second time. The Jayhawks earned 56 of 65 first-place votes to stay at No. 1, a perch they held in the preseason before being overtaken by Duke and later Gonzaga. Kansas returned to the top last week then beat Villanova at home. The Blue Devils earned five first-place votes to stay at No. 2, while the Volunteers had two. Michigan and Virginia each claimed one first-place vote, helping them climb into the top five.

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