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Headlines for Monday, September 23, 2019

U.S. Soldier Talked of Killing Activists, Bombing Network

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors say a U.S. Army soldier shared bomb-making instructions online and also discussed killing activists and bombing a news network. The Justice Department says Monday that Jarrett William Smith was charged with distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction. The 24-year-old was stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas. Prosecutors say Smith discussed his plan to kill far-left-leaning "antifa" activists and described how to build a bomb that could be triggered by calling a cell phone. They say he also said on Facebook that he was interested in traveling to Ukraine to fight with a paramilitary group known as Azov Batallion. Court papers say Smith also suggested targeting a major news network with a car bomb. The news network was not identified.

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O'Rourke Campaign Says It Takes Soldier's Threat Seriously

WASHINGTON (AP) — The presidential campaign of former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke says it is in direct contact with the FBI regarding the case of an Army soldier accused of sharing bomb-making instructions online and targeting left-leaning activists. When an FBI undercover agent asked Jarrett William Smith if there was anyone in Texas who would be a good fit for "fire, destruction and death," Smith reportedly replied, "Outside of Beto? I don't know enough people that would be relevant enough to cause a change if they died." O'Rourke spokeswoman Aleigha Cavalier said in an emailed statement that they take any threat like this very seriously. The campaign says this isn't about any one person or one campaign, and they "won't let this scare us or cause us to back down in fighting for what's right." The 24-year-old soldier was stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas.

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AP Source: KU Receives Notice of Allegations from NCAA

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas received a notice of allegations from the NCAA on Monday that alleges significant violations within its storied men's basketball program, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA nor the school had announced the notice, which was first reported by Yahoo Sports. That initial report, citing unnamed sources, said the notice included three Level 1 violations tied primarily to recruiting, lack of institutional control and a responsibility charge leveled against Hall of Fame coach Bill Self. Yahoo also reported that KU was given notice of a secondary violation in football tied to then-coach David Beaty. That violation involved the use of an extra coach during practice. KU spokesman Dan Beckler did not respond to multiple messages from The Associated Press seeking comment. The AP requested copies of all notices from the NCAA under the Kansas Open Records Act. The NCAA's Stacey Osburn also declined to comment on "current, pending or ongoing investigations."

KU had been in the NCAA's crosshairs since early this summer, when Vice President Stan Wilcox said at least six schools were likely to receive notices of allegations for Level 1 infractions North Carolina State was the first of them, getting a notice July 10 of two violations, including a failure-to-monitor charge leveled against former coach Mark Gottfried. Arizona, Auburn, Creighton, Louisville, LSU and USC have also been under the microscope.

Level 1 infractions are considered the most severe by the NCAA, and often include postseason bans, the forfeiture of wins and championships and the loss of scholarships. But the notice itself is only the beginning of a process that can often take more than a year — the school typically sends a response to the NCAA enforcement committee, setting off an exchange of information. Ultimately, a hearing will be scheduled and Kansas will be allowed to present its case. The NCAA will then issue its ruling, often within several months, and the school retains the right to appeal.

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4-Year-Old Girl Among 3 Wounded in Wichita Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 4-year-old girl and two men have been wounded in a shooting at a Wichita home.  KAKE-TV reports that shooting happened around 12:30 am Sunday in the northeast part of the city.  Police say an officer rushed the child to the hospital in a patrol vehicle before emergency crews arrived. She was initially in critical condition but now is listed as stable. Police say the men's injuries weren't life-threatening.  Wichita Police Sgt. Paul Kimble says the three victims and a 21-year-old woman were in the house at the time of the shooting. Police say they were likely targeted and that one of the wounded men is a documented gang member.  Police believe that multiple suspects were involved.

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2 Earthquakes Rattle Kansas, Oklahoma; No Significant Damage

CALDWELL, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says two earthquakes were recorded near the Kansas-Oklahoma border.  One earthquake with a 2.7 magnitude was recorded early Saturday 12 miles west of Perry, Oklahoma.  The second earthquake, with a magnitude of 3, was recorded about 4 miles north of Caldwell, Kansas.  KAKE-TV reports no significant damage was immediately reported.  Earthquake reports that began to increase in 2014 have been blamed on wastewater injection wells from oil and gas production.  Kansas regulators have been investigating the cause of about a dozen recent earthquakes in Reno County, including several in mid-August.  The Kansas Corporation Commission is analyzing injection well activity in the county as a possible cause.

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GM Strike Enters 2nd Week with No Clear End in Sight

NEW YORK (AP) — The strike against General Motors by 49,000 United Auto Workers entered its second week Monday with progress reported in negotiations but no clear end in sight.  Bargainers met all weekend and returned to talks Monday morning as the strike entered its eighth day.  A person briefed on the negotiations says they're haggling about wages and profit sharing, new product for factories that GM wants to close, a faster route to full wages for new hires, and use of temporary workers. The person didn't want to be identified because details of the bargaining are confidential.  Workers walked off their jobs early on September 16, paralyzing production at about 30 manufacturing sites in nine states.  Already, the strike forced GM to shut down two Canadian factories that make engines, older-model pickup trucks and two car models. If the strike drags on much longer, GM likely will have to close more factories in Mexico and Canada because engines, transmissions and other components are built in the United States. Companies that supply parts to GM also will have to start cutting production. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden brought his presidential campaign to Kansas City, Kansas, Sunday. Biden met with UAW workers who are on strike against General Motors.  “Today, I proudly stood alongside UAW members on strike in Kansas City as they fight for a fair contract," Biden said.  "Everything that defines a middle class life is because of unions fighting for worker protections. I stand with you, and America stands with you.”  GM operates the the Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, where it employs more than 2,700 workers.

Consumers this week will start to see fewer trucks, SUVs and cars on dealer lots. Cox Automotive said that GM had stocked up before the strike with a 77-day supply of vehicles. But before the strike, the supply of larger SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe already was below the industry average 61 days' worth of vehicles.  Workers also will feel pressure. They got their last GM paycheck last week and will have to start living on $250 per week in strike pay starting this week.  The union wants a bigger share of GM's more than $30 billion in profits during the past five years. But the company sees a global auto sales decline ahead and wants to bring its labor costs in line with U.S. plants owned by foreign automakers.  The top production worker wage is about $30 per hour, and GM's total labor costs including benefits are about $63 per hour compared with an average of $50 at factories run by foreign-based automakers mainly in the South.  This is the first national strike by the UAW since 2007, when the union shut down General Motors for two days.

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Kansas Jobless Rate in August Was Lowest in 20-Plus Years

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is reporting that unemployment in the state dropped to 3.2% in August and was at its lowest rate in more than 20 years. The state Department of Labor said Friday that the state gained private-sector jobs during the month and over the past year. Labor economist Emilie Doerksen said the state has seen broad economic growth, and Gov. Laura Kelly hailed the report as good news for Kansas. The department said the unemployment rate declined from 3.3% in July. It was also 3.3% in August 2018. It was the lowest unemployment rate since May 1999. The rate has been below 4% since January 2017. Kansas had nearly 1.18 million private, nonfarm jobs in August, up about 4,200 since July and 17,800 from August 2018. The over-the-year growth was 1.5%.

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Kansas City Father Sentenced for Killing, Raping 18-Year-Old Honor Student Daughter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 43-year-old Kansas City man has been sentenced to two life sentences after being convicted of murdering his teenage daughter.  Jerry Bausby was sentenced Friday for the March 21 2016 death of 18-year-old Daizsa Laye Bausby. Prosecutors say Bausby sexually assaulted his daughter before suffocating her. She was found dead in a Kansas City motel room.  The life sentences will run consecutively.  Bausby was found guilty in July of second-degree murder, sodomy, incest and sexual abuse of his daughter, who was a Southwest High School honors student.  Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker asked the court to set maximum sentences for Bausby, in order to "demonstrate that evil will be matched by justice."

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Monkey Injured in Apparent Break-in at Kansas Zoo Recovering

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A capuchin monkey at a western Kansas zoo is recovering after it was injured while apparently trying to stop an intruder from taking a younger monkey. Officials at the Wright Park Zoo in Dodge City say the older monkey, named Vern, was hurt and his son, Pickett, was found on the outskirts of Dodge City Sept. 3. The younger monkey was not injured. The Dodge City Daily Globe reports officials initially thought Vern's injuries were minor but a veterinarian found injuries apparently caused by blunt force trauma. The monkey underwent surgery at Kansas State University Sept. 10 to repair broken bones. Zoo spokeswoman Abbey Martin said Monday Pickett is doing well and is back on display. Vern remains in quarantine while he recovers. Dodge City police are investigating the incident. Martin says there are no developments in the investigation.

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Man Dies Near Mulvane After Being Trapped in Grain Hauling Truck

MULVANE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 39-year-old man has died after becoming trapped in a grain truck in southern Kansas.  WIBW reports that Sedgwick County deputies say the man was in the back of tractor-trailer that hauls grain and somehow became trapped.  Crews were called to a grain bin near Mulvane Friday afternoon, after reports that a man was not breathing. He was dead at the scene.  Mulvane is about 15 miles south of Wichita.  The man's name was not released.

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Kansas Man Blames Pharmacy for Stroke After Medicine Mix-Up

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man is blaming CVS Pharmacy for his stroke, and he says in a lawsuit that the pharmacy filled his prescription for a blood thinning medication with the wrong drug.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Ben Huie said in his lawsuit he suffered a stroke in July 2017 after taking the wrong medicine. Kansas CVS Pharmacy said in a formal response it didn't provide the incorrect medicine or cause the stroke.  Huie says taking the incorrect medicine lowered the level of warfarin sodium in his system, which contributed to the stroke. That medicine is an anticoagulant used to treat and prevent blood clots.  Huie had filled his warfarin prescription at its store for several years without problems. Kansas CVS says Huie's existing medical conditions contributed to the stroke.

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Kansas Town of Sedgwick Fires Police Chief

SEDGWICK, Kan. (AP) — The small Kansas city of Sedgwick has fired its police chief.  City Administrator Joe Turner says he fired Chief Larry Alexander last week after the city council reviewed a 64-page report about him during a closed meeting.  Turner declined to say why Alexander was fired because it is a personnel matter.  Alexander could not be immediately reached Sunday. His home number is unlisted, and he didn't immediately respond to a message left at his city office.  Sedgwick is a town of about 1,600 people about 20 miles north of Wichita.

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Former Kansas House Member to Lead Children's Advocacy Group

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas House member will be taking over as president of a children's advocacy group later this fall.  Kansas Action for Children says former state Rep. John Wilson will become president when current President Annie McKay steps down October 31.  Wilson has been the group's vice president of advocacy since September 2017. McKay has been with Kansas Action for Children for seven years, including the last three as president.  Wilson served in the House for 5½ years before resigning in August 2017 to join Kansas Action for Children. He was a Democrat representing a Lawrence district.

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Kansas Slated to Open its Newest State Park in October

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The newest state park in Kansas is slated to open next month.  Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park in Logan County is a rare geological gem that features chalky spires and buttes projecting as high as 100 feet in the air.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the park is set to open October 12. The park's grand opening ceremony will be followed by free, guided tours that run every hour.  Kansas dropped a $50 visitor's fee last month. The fee had been intended as a warning to anyone that might damage the park's fragile rock formations.  Tours will now be free, but visitors must schedule them in advance.  Guests will be required to buy a $5 state park vehicle permit or have a yearly Kansas state parks vehicle pass.

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Man Sentenced for Shooting Death in Wichita Last Year

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 15.5 years for a fatal shooting in Wichita last year.  Douglas Pete, of Wichita, was sentenced Friday in the death of 25-year-old Deonte Mitchell.  Mitchell was found dead in February 2018 outside a Wichita home. He was shot in the back.  District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a news release that Pete pleaded guilty Aug. 9 to second-degree murder, armed criminal action, criminal discharge of a firearm and interference with law enforcement.  Pete initially claimed the shooting was an accident.  Before sentencing, Pete apologized to Mitchell's family but did not provide a motive for the killing.

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Gay Pride Flag Burned at Wichita Home

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the burning of a gay pride rainbow flag that had been hanging on the front porch of a Wichita home.  Wichita police say the flag was burned between 1 am and 6 am Saturday. At the time, a man, woman and 11-year-old girl were inside the home. It is in the city's Riverside neighborhood, which is located near the Wichita Art Museum and a botanical garden.  Police are investigating the incident as an aggravated and a hate crime. Anyone with information is urged to call police.

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Nebraska Husband, Wife Sentenced for Selling Fish Caught Illegally in Kansas

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man and wife who sold fish they had illegally caught in public waters in Kansas and other reservoirs have been sentenced to probation.  Federal prosecutors for Nebraska say 49-year-old Phong Duong and 46-year-old Oanh Pham were each sentenced Friday to two years' probation for illegally taking, transporting and selling fish. They were also ordered to pay $16,000 in restitution.  Prosecutors say that between May 2013 and July 2016, Duong and Pham exceeded the limits on catching fish from the Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge in northern Kansas and other reservoirs. To avoid detection, the couple would routinely change fishing spots, stash fish at off-site locations, and use "straw fishermen" — including children — to conceal fish taken in excess of limits. They'd then take the fish back home to Nebraska and clean and bag them at their Lincoln home before selling the fish.

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