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Headlines for Monday, December 31, 2018

Kansas Judge Rules Telemedicine Abortions Can Continue

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A judge ruled Monday that Kansas cannot stop telemedicine abortions, thwarting the latest attempt by state lawmakers to prevent doctors from providing pregnancy-ending pills to women they see by remote video conferences. District Judge Franklin Theis ruled that a law barring telemedicine abortions and set to take effect in January has no legal force. During an earlier hearing, Theis derided the law as an "air ball" because of how lawmakers wrote it. That law was challenged in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Trust Women Wichita, which operates a clinic that performs abortions and provides other health care services. Theis also ruled that other, older parts of the state's abortion laws that could ban telemedicine abortions are on hold indefinitely because of a separate lawsuit challenging them that's still pending.

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Kansas and Missouri Among Worst Smoking-Prevention States
 
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new study finds that Kansas and Missouri are among the worst states in using tobacco settlement proceeds to prevent smoking, despite recommendations from federal health officials. The Kansas City Star reports that Kansas spent about $847,000, which ranks the state 41st among the 50 states. Missouri's spending for tobacco prevention programs was even lower. Missouri allotted only about $48,000 for those programs this year, even though it received $259 million in tobacco taxes and from tobacco companies. The report by the American Heart Association comes on the 20th anniversary of a landmark settlement between major tobacco companies and 46 states that mandated the tobacco companies to compensate states for tobacco-related health care costs.

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Kansas Extends Medical Board's Regulations to Telemedicine

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas has extended the state medical board's existing regulations for health care providers to the practice of consulting with patients through video conferencing. The State Rules and Regulations Board has unanimously approved three temporary regulations drafted by the State Board of Healing Arts to cover telemedicine under a new law taking effect in January. The new law encourages the use of telemedicine for patients in areas with a shortage of health care providers by ensuring that health insurance covers such services.  The seven-member Rules and Regulations Board decides whether an agency can impose temporary regulations immediately without a public hearing. Temporary regulations remain in effect for four months. The Board of Healing Arts is proposing similar permanent regulations and has scheduled a public hearing on them for March 5. 

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New Kansas Congresswoman to Use Predecessor's Office Space

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Democratic Representative-elect Sharice Davids plans to put a congressional office in the same Johnson County office space used by her departing Republican predecessor. Davids says she hopes to avoid confusion among residents in the 3rd District by having the same Overland Park address and telephone number in the Kansas City suburbs as four-term GOP Representative  Kevin Yoder who was defeated by Davids in the November election. Davids says the office in Overland Park will open January 7. Davids said she is planning to open a second office in neighboring Wyandotte County. The district also includes part of northern Miami County.
 
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Union Pacific Employee Killed in Western Kansas

OAKLEY, Kan. (AP) — Union Pacific Railroad says an employee died in a "train-related Incident" in western Kansas. Spokeswoman Hannah Bolte said the employee died Sunday night in Oakley, the county seat of Logan County.The employee's name was not released. Bolte said no other details were available Monday because the investigation into the death is continuing.

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St. Joseph, Missouri Man Dies After Police Confrontation

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Police in St. Joseph, Missouri are investigating the fatal shooting of a 42-year-old man after he clashed with officers over the weekend. The man was fatally wounded Saturday after threatening officers with a firearm. The police were at the home to serve an arrest warrant. The St. Joseph Police Department says two officers fired at the man and struck him several times. He died later at a hospital. The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave as the Missouri State Patrol investigates their actions.

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18 Seek Kansas Court of Appeals Seat

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Eighteen attorneys and district court judges have applied for a soon-to-be vacant seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals. Governor-elect Laura Kelly's office has released a list of the applicants. Kelly also appointed a bipartisan, nine-member committee to screen the applications and name three finalists. Her choice must be confirmed by the state Senate. Applicants include former Secretary of State Chris Biggs and District Judges Daniel Cahill of Wyandotte County, Jeffry Jack of Labette County and Teresa Watson of Shawnee County. Kelly's appointee would replace Judge Patrick McAnany. He is retiring January 14th, when Kelly becomes governor. State law does not require a governor to have a committee screen applications or conduct public interviews as Kelly plans. Former Republican Governor Sam Brownback refused even to release applicants' names.

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Kansas Medical Board Bars Doctor, Chiropractor from IV Clinic

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas medical board has directed a doctor and chiropractor to temporarily stop working at a suburban Kansas City clinic that gives intravenous infusions of vitamins and minerals. The Board of Healing Arts issued emergency orders this month saying the Overland Park, Kansas, clinic's advertising overstated the health benefits of such infusions and it didn't have procedures that ensure the IVs are safe. Chiropractor Tara Zeller and medical doctor Angela Garner cannot practice at IV Nutrition or any similar IV therapy clinic until further hearings can be held. The board set one for January 18th. Their attorney, Brian Niceswanger, said allegations of unsafe clinic conditions are false and he hasn't seen any advertising materials like the ones the board alleges the clinic used improperly.

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Kansas City Woman Killed by Driver Fleeing Police in a Stolen Car 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ Authorities say a woman was killed and four others were hurt when a fleeing driver smashed a stolen car into two other vehicles in Kansas City, Kansas.  Police say officers began pursuing the stolen Audi A4 Saturday night but ended the pursuit shortly before the driver ran a red light and crashed into the two vehicles. Two or three suspects in the stolen vehicle ran from the scene before police arrived. Police searched known gang houses Sunday, but the deadly crash suspects remain at large. The Kansas Highway Patrol identified the woman who was killed as 47-year-old Octavia Barker, of Kansas City, Kansas. The crash also left two passengers in her car and two people in a third car hospitalized with serious injuries. 

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Two Dead After a Vehicle Fire at McConnell Air Force in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Authorities say two people are dead after a vehicle fire at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. A base official says a ``fatal vehicle accident'' happened around 11:00 last (SUN) night at the west gate of the base. Base fire personnel responded and found two people dead. The base says it is working with Wichita police and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office to investigate. No other information was immediately released, including the names of the victims. 

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Kansas Researcher's Study Suggests Social Media Can Be Beneficial

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A University of Kansas researcher who led a study on social media says giving it up doesn't make a person significantly happier and concerns about social media may be overblown. Communications professor Jeffrey Hall has told The Topeka Capital-Journal that he was surprised by the finding.  Some participants abstained from social media from one to four weeks while a control group continued normal use and reported an average of 72 minutes a day. The study followed 135 people, with most from Kansas. Hall said there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that social media replaces face-to-face interactions. He said people who spent less time perusing social media spent more time on the internet, working, taking care of their children, cooking and cleaning. 
 
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Kansas Man Dies After Sliding into Ditch in Freezing Cold

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man was found dead near his vehicle in western Kansas after it became stuck in a ditch in freezing temperatures. Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir says 68-year-old Ronald Reuber, of Nickerson, apparently became lost Friday and drove onto a minimally maintained rural road that was filled with freezing water from a snowstorm that hit three weeks earlier. Reuber then slid into a ditch. His body was found Saturday. Bellendir says it appears hypothermia contributed to his death.

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Nell Hill's Home Store Founder Sells Kansas City Business

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The founder of Nell Hill's home store is selling the business she started nearly four decades ago to a Kansas City couple. The Kansas City Star reports that the deal closed late Friday. Brandon and Katie Laughridge have been in negotiations since this spring with the store's founder, Mary Carol Garrity, who has written nine books on home decorating and has a blog and syndicated column. The purchase price wasn't disclosed. Garrity's original store in Atchison, Kansas, became a popular day trip destination for people from the Kansas City area. In 2007, she opened an 18,000-square-foot, two-story showroom in Kansas City, Missouri. The Atchison location closed two years ago. Garrity says she considers herself "one of the luckiest humans" to have gotten to do something she loves for so long.

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$1 Million Powerball Winner Bought in South-Central Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The new year is starting out great for someone who bought a Powerball ticket in Kansas. The Kansas Lottery said Monday someone bought a $1 million Powerball ticket for Saturday's Powerball drawing in south-central Kansas. The winning ticket numbers were 12-42-51-53-62. The winner has 363 days to claim the prize. The jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball drawing is an estimated $53 million, with a $32 million cash option.

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Kansas City Chiefs Beat Raiders, Assure Home-Field Play-off Advantage

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KPR) _ The Kansas City Chiefs locked up home field advantage in the playoffs after beating the Oakland Raiders, 35-to-3, at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday.  The Chiefs left little doubt that they are on their way to clinching their third straight AFC West title for the first time in franchise history. On the Raiders’ first four possessions, they turned the ball over four times.  The fourth one was an interception by linebacker Reggie Ragland who ran 67 yards to the Oakland 4-yard line. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes to join Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw more 50 TD passes in a season. The Chiefs will await the outcome of the results of next weekend’s games, then will play at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, January 12.
 

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