Payless Positions Cut; Headquarters to be Auctioned Online
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka headquarters of Payless Shoesource will be auctioned online this week, after more jobs were eliminated by the company. The company on Friday eliminated 35 merchandising positions in Topeka as part of what it calls a new merchandising structure. The jobs will either transfer to Dallas or not be filled. The online auction of the nearly 307,000-square-foot headquarters will be held Monday through Wednesday, with a starting bid of $1.25 million. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Payless officials haven't said exactly how many jobs have been eliminated in Topeka or if any divisions will be left here. At least 350 employees have been laid off, but more positions were moved to Dallas. Payless has been restructuring after emerging from bankruptcy. It is relocating most of its corporate headquarters to Dallas.
Authorities Searching for Man Who Drove into River
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities and rescue personnel spent part of Friday night searching for a person who drove a vehicle into the Kansas River. Police tell the Kansas City Star that the incident happened around 6:50 pm Friday at the Kaw Point Park boat ramp in Kansas City, Kansas, at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. Wyandotte County Sheriff's officials say someone reported seeing a vehicle go into the river. Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Terry Zeigler tweeted that a witness saw a man treading water before he went under and didn't resurface. The Star reports that rescue boats were sent out Friday night, but crews did not report finding anyone in the water. Officials had not released any more information on the incident by midday Saturday.
Lawrence Wants Bar Staff to Get Sex Harassment Training
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence city leaders want bar staff to be prepared to respond to predatory behavior, harassment and sexual assault. Commissioners asked city staff last week to work with drinking establishments and other stakeholders in developing a requirement that drinking establishments receive SafeBar sexual violence and bystander intervention training as a condition of their local license. That local license is in addition to the state liquor license. Details are being worked out over which employees should be required to receive the training and how often it would be required, the Lawrence Journal-World reports. Commissioner Jennifer Ananda, an attorney and social worker who handles complaints of discrimination and harassment at the University of Kansas in her role as deputy Title IX coordinator and policy specialist, originally proposed that the commission consider requiring the training. She said many alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults start at bars. "Even when justice is served, whether through an academic system or a justice system, it doesn't fix that person and it doesn't change what happened to them," Ananda said. "So preventing that is really where we get to the core of changing our culture, changing our community and shifting that paradigm in our community." Assistant City Attorney Maria Garcia told the commission that the city mailed information to the city's 165 drinking establishments regarding the proposal, but only eight people attended two meetings that the city held to discuss the proposal. Garcia said that originally the city was going to bring an ordinance to the commission for a vote but that those eight asked that such a program be voluntary and further requested that a vote be delayed so that businesses had more opportunity to discuss the proposal and provide feedback. The Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center created the SafeBar training about seven years ago. Care center prevention specialist Kelsey Hunter said the SafeBar training is based on a bystander intervention model that has been researched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Coordinated Cleanup Underway at Pittsburg Contaminated Site
PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and a southeastern city have partnered to clean up and repurpose contaminated property for use in future commercial development. The Joplin Globe reports that the coordinated cleanup that's underway in Pittsburg is targeting contaminated soil left behind by a former zinc-smelting plant, Weir City Zinc Works. The plant operated from around 1880 to 1920 and left concentrations of arsenic, cadmium and zinc on the property. Deputy City Manager Jay Byers says the cleanup is the first step for Pittsburg to put the land into productive use. After completion of the cleanup, the city hopes to build a roadway extension in the area to connect existing businesses in the city's tax increment financing district. Cleanup operations should finish in the next few weeks.
Medicaid Expansion Becomes Key Issue in GOP-Leaning States
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — For nearly a decade, opposition to former President Barack Obama's health care law has been a winning message for Republicans. But this year, residents in several conservative states are bypassing legislatures that have refused to expand Medicaid, one of the pillars of Obama's health overhaul. Voters in three Republican-dominated states — Idaho, Nebraska and Utah — will decide in November whether to expand the health insurance program to more lower-income Americans. A ballot initiative in a fourth state, Montana, seeks to raise a tobacco tax to keep funding a Medicaid expansion that is set to expire. Medicaid also has become a focal point for governor's races in states that did not accept the expansion, including in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
Statue Honoring Eisenhower Dedicated at Kansas Statehouse
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A statue of President Dwight D. Eisenhower has been unveiled on the Statehouse grounds. Governor Jeff Colyer praised Eisenhower at the dedication Monday as a man who "changed the face of America forever." He noted Eisenhower's role as Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and then later his presidential accomplishments, which included creating the interstate system. The privately funded 7-foot tall bronze statue depicts Eisenhower speaking to a group of U.S. soldiers preparing to parachute into Normandy in June 1944. Eisenhower was born in Texas but was raised in Abilene, Kansas. He also is honored at the Statehouse with a folk-art statue in the second-floor rotunda and a smaller one in the basement visitor's center. His portrait hangs outside the governor's second-floor office.
Man Dies After Shooting at Wichita Motel; Suspect Sought
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are searching for a suspect after a fight at a motel left one man dead. Police say the victim was in a fight at a west Wichita motel early Monday before the shooting. KFDI reports the victim, a man in his 40s, died at a hospital. Police have not issued a description of the suspect and other details were not immediately released.
Rural Missouri Sees Increase in Methamphetamine Use
QULIN, Mo. (AP) — State officials and individuals recovering from addiction say methamphetamine is on the upswing in Missouri, including rural communities that the drug has already ravaged over decades. Sgt. Mark McClendon of the Missouri Highway Patrol tells KCUR Radio that meth is reaching places and people in the state it never has before. McClendon says meth addiction has exploded across every race and social economic class. Meth use is increasing due to its price, availability and shortage of treatment options. Qulin resident Dustin Siebert started a support group called Matthew 25 Project for those recovering from meth addiction. Siebert says meth use is growing because Missouri is focusing on opiates. Intensive treatment for uninsured meth users is difficult to find. Siebert says the only response seems to be new faith-based meth support groups.
Man Struck, Killed in Driveway in Kansas City Suburb
SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a driver has struck and killed a 26-year-old man while backing up in the driveway of a suburban Kansas City duplex. The Kansas City Star reports that the crash happened around 9:20 a.m. Monday in Shawnee, Kansas. The man's name wasn't immediately released. Police say the 51-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, woman who was driving the vehicle is cooperating with the investigation.
Western Kansas Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Selling Gun to Felon
NESS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A western Kansas sheriff has pleaded guilty to selling a .45 caliber pistol and ammunition to a convicted felon and has agreed to resign. The U.S. attorney's office says Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple entered the plea Monday. As part of the deal, the 48-year-old also agreed to surrender his law enforcement certification. The prosecution will recommend that he be sentenced to probation. Sentencing is set for Jan. 17. Whipple initially faced three wire fraud charges alleging that he faxed reports falsely certifying that deputies had received training. But those charges were dismissed.
2 Charged in Road-Rage Shooting That Left 4-Year-Old Wounded
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man and woman have been charged in a road-rage shooting that wounded a 4-year-old boy in Wichita. Nineteen-year-old Tylin Atkinson, and 21-year-old Ramonyka Smith, both of Wichita, were charged Monday with criminal discharge of a firearm. Atkinson also faces a charge of aggravated assault and is jailed on $250,000 bond. Smith is jailed on $100,000 bond. Their attorneys didn't immediately return phone messages seeking comment. Police say Atkinson got out of a car last week and fired two shots at a sport utility vehicle in which six children were riding, striking the 4-year-old once in the abdomen. Police say Smith was driving the car. The child was in stable condition shortly after the shooting. Police didn't immediately return phone calls Monday seeking an update on the boy's condition.
Kansas Cotton Crop Faces Potential Rain Issues
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Recent heavy rains in Kansas are threatening the state's cotton crop as the plant's bolls begin to open. The Hutchinson News reports that rain can dislodge lint from the plant and decrease yields. Water can also cause color from the plant's stems or leaves to bleed onto the cotton lint and damage the quality. Rex Friesen is a consultant for Southern Kansas Cotton Growers. He says the crop appears to be holding up despite the wet weather. Friesen says harvesting should resume this week if the weather remains dry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress and Condition Report says 77 percent of bolls have opened in Kansas. That's up from 70 percent this time last year. The USDA says about 2 percent of cotton had been harvested earlier this month before rains halted work.
Growing Lottery Jackpots Tempt Players this Week
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot will top $620 million this week because no one won Saturday's drawing, but that may seem relatively small compared to the $1.6 billion Mega Millions drawing expected on Tuesday. Both lottery jackpots will approach new heights this week. The Mega Millions jackpot will likely set a new record, and the Powerball jackpot will be the third largest ever for that game on Wednesday. The second-largest jackpot was a $1.586 billion Powerball drawing on January 13, 2016. The Mega Millions jackpot has been growing since July, when a group of 11 California office workers won $543 million. It costs $2 to play either game. The odds of winning Mega Millions are about one in 302 million. The Powerball odds are slightly better at one in 292.2 million.
Man Whose Flatulence Ended Police Interview Pleads Guilty
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man whose excessive flatulence forced a police detective to cut shot an interrogation has pleaded guilty to federal gun and drug charges. The Kansas City Star reports that 25-year-old Sean Sykes Jr. entered the plea Monday. The charges stem from a police traffic stop in September in Kansas City, Missouri, in which officers found a backpack with drugs and guns. Sykes was a passenger in the vehicle. A detective reported that when asked for his address, Sykes "leaned to one side of his chair and released a loud fart before answering." Court documents say Sykes "continued to be flatulent" and the detective was forced to quickly end the interview. Sykes will be sentenced at later date, after a pre-sentence report is completed.
Medal of Honor Winner to Speak at Wichita Chamber Meeting
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The first living person to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War will speak at this year's Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting. President Barack Obama awarded Salvatore Giunta the nation's highest military honor for valor in November 2010. Giunta was honored for risking his life in 2007 to save two soldiers during an insurgent ambush in Afghanistan. The Wichita Eagle reports Giunta, then an Army specialist, was a rifle team leader with a company from the Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at the time of the ambush. He was on his second combat deployment to Afghanistan. Giunta later gave his medal to his brigade. He retired from active duty in 2011. The Chamber meeting and dinner is scheduled for November 29.
Wichita Looks to Sell One of its Golf Courses
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita city board has decided to put one the city's golf courses up for sale, but enthusiasts shouldn't get their hopes up for playing on their own private retreat. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Park Board voted Friday to seek proposals for the sale of the 146-acre MacDonald Golf Course in northeast Wichita, but with several conditions to ensure it remains a golf course open to public play. Under the proposal, if the buyer decided to close the course or redevelop it, the Park Board could buy it back for the original sale price. The money from the sale will be used to support other city courses. The decision to sell came after officials learned the city golf system could be $163,000 in the red this year.
Zoo Says 4 Tiger Cubs Born Monday Will Soon Get Names
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka Zoo officials have revealed that of the four rare Sumatran tiger cubs born there earlier this week, three are male and one is female. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the tiger cubs will soon be named. Zoo director Brendan Wiley says the female's name will be decided by zoo staff, docents, interns and volunteers, and one of the males will named by a family that has long supported the zoo. Another will be named by Blind Tiger Brewery, a zoo business partner. The last cub's name will be selected through a public voting contest. The public has until October 27 to choose from the names Badar, Eka or Lestari. Hundreds of people watched as streaming webcams captured Sumatran tiger Jingga giving birth to the four cubs on Monday.
Remains of World War II Soldier to Be Buried in Kansas
ARCADIA, Kan. (AP) — The remains of a Kansas soldier killed in World War II will be laid to rest in his home state Wednesday. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says the remains of 33-year-old Army Pfc. Leslie E. Shankles, of Arcadia, are being returned to his family for burial in Fort Scott with full military honors. Shankles remains were accounted for July 12. He was killed by enemy fire in October 1944 in Hurtgen Forest in Germany. The agency says a local German resident discovered remains in 1947. They could not be identified so they were buried as unknown in the Neuville Cemetery, now Ardennes American Cemetery, in Belgium. Shankles's name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands.
Mahomes Torches Bengals for 4 TDs as Kansas City Chiefs Roll over Cincinnati, 45-10
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns, Kareem Hunt finished with three scores and the Kansas City Chiefs rebounded from their first loss by throttling the Cincinnati Bengals 45-10 on Sunday night. Mahomes was 28 of 39 with his only big mistake an underthrown interception, though the Chiefs (6-1) were already so far ahead of Cincinnati (4-3) by that point it didn't really matter. Mahomes spread the wealth, too, connecting with eight targets. Tyreek had seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, and Demetrius Harris had the other scoring grab for Kansas City. The Bengals' Andy Dalton was held to just 148 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception by the NFL's worst defense. Joe Mixon managed 50 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Restocked KU Nabs No. 1 Spot in AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — University of Kansas coach Bill Self sees big holes when he looks at his roster after losing three starters, including Associated Press All-American Devonte' Graham. The voters in the AP Top 25 poll see something different: a roster restocked so well that Jayhawks will start the season as the nation's top team. Kansas checked in at No. 1 in the preseason poll released Monday, earning the top spot to start a season for the third time in program history, all under Self. The Jayhawks topped the ballot for 37 of 65 voters, nearly double that of No. 2 Kentucky.
"Obviously we lost a lot off last year's team with Devonte', Svi (Mykhailiuk) and Malik (Newman), so I'm a little surprised that the writers put us there this preseason," Self said in a statement to the AP. "It's definitely a spot we welcome and certainly know the goal is to be playing to that ranking by when it counts the most.
"With the young players, we know it's going to take some time before we're anywhere close to where we're going to be, but I do like this team and I think we have a chance to be very good."
The Jayhawks return veteran starters in junior 7-footer Udoka Azubuike and senior Lagerald Vick from a team that reached its first Final Four since 2012. They're also adding transfer help from Memphis twins Dedric and K.J. Lawson as well as California's Charlie Moore — all double-digit scorers on their previous teams. And yet, the previous two times the Jayhawks started at No. 1 didn't end well. The 2004-05 squad lost to Bucknell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. And the 2009-10 team that held the top spot for 15 of 19 weeks overall and won 33 games lost to Northern Iowa in the second round. The ranking comes as the program finds itself entangled in the federal corruption case tied to payments used to steer recruits to certain schools. Testimony during the recent first trials included references to Self and sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa , though Self isn't charged with wrongdoing and it's unclear if De Sousa's status will be affected. Voters established a clear top tier: Kansas, Kentucky, No. 3 Gonzaga and No. 4 Duke. Those four teams appeared in some combination at the top of nearly half the ballots (32 of 65).
Chase Elliott Wins for 2nd Time in 3 NASCAR Playoff Races
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Chase Elliott first had to figure out how to win at NASCAR's top level. Now that he's got that handled, the son of 1988 champion Bill Elliott is chasing a title of his own. Elliott won at Kansas Speedway on Sunday for his second victory in three races, cementing himself as a title threat late in a season in which mighty Hendrick Motorsports has lagged. He needed 98 career starts and maybe a dozen near-misses before he finally closed out his first Cup victory. The breakthrough victory 11 events ago sparked Elliott's performance in NASCAR's playoffs, the second round bookended by a pair of Elliott victories. Elliott opened the round with a win at Dover and closed it with the Kansas victory.
Advancing into the third round of the playoffs were Elliott, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Joey Logano and Emporia native Clint Bowyer.
RULING EXPLAINED: One of Bowyer's tires appeared to roll to the edge of his pit box during a late stop but he was not penalized for what many thought was a violation. NASCAR said after the race Bowyer's tire was under control until it was brought inside the pit stall, and the rule states tires can cross into the adjacent pit boxes on the inside as long as they do not impede another car or go past the halfway point of the adjacent stall. Had a car been pitting in front of Bowyer, or if the tire had rolled past the pit stall number painted on the wall, it would have been a penalty.
Sporting KC Beats Dallas 3-0, Moves atop Western Conference
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Roger Espinoza and Johnny Russell scored second-half goals and Sporting Kansas City beat FC Dallas 3-0 on Sunday to move atop the Western Conference. Kansas City (17-8-8) is two points ahead of FC Dallas and Los Angeles FC, which plays at Sporting next week in the season finale. Dallas (16-8-9), which has lost two straight since a five-match unbeaten streak, plays at 11th-place Colorado. Daniel Salloi opened the scoring in the 45th minute by hustling to a blocked shot and sending it inside the far post. Espinoza extended the lead in the 64th by redirecting a header. It was Sporting's record-breaking 62nd goal of the season. Russell scored his 10th goal on a penalty kick in the 87th for double-digit goals and assists in his debut season. Both goalkeepers blocked a penalty kick. FC Dallas' Jesse Gonzalez denied Ilie Sanchez's attempt in the 17th and Kansas City's Tim Melia went to his left to block Reto Ziegler's left-footed shot in the 48th.
It was Kansas City's first victory in Frisco since June 12, 2011.