Pence Rallies GOP in KC for Kobach, Republican Candidates
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has rallied hundreds of fellow Republicans in Kansas City to boost Senate candidate Josh Hawley in Missouri and governor candidate Kris Kobach in Kansas. Pence's speech Friday to a crowd of several hundred people at a Kansas City, Missouri, basketball arena mixed remarks touting President Donald Trump's record with praise for Hawley and Kobach as conservatives. Hawley is the Missouri attorney general and is in a tough race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Kobach is the Kansas secretary of state and in a dead-heat race against veteran state legislator Laura Kelly. Pence and other speakers portrayed Democrats as favoring open borders. They also touched frequently on McCaskill's vote against confirming U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Trump carried both states easily in 2016.
Attorney: FBI Investigating 3 Sedgwick County Commissioners
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An attorney says the FBI is investigating three Sedgwick County commissioners because they tried to fire County Manager Michael Scholes after he cooperated with an FBI investigation. Lawyer Austin Parker is representing County Counselor Eric Yost. He said Friday that commissioners David Unruh, David Dennis and Michael O'Donnell tried to fire Scholes because he cooperated with an FBI investigation into O'Donnell. The Wichita Eagle reported Parker said some commissioners also are trying to fire Yost, who also has spoken to FBI agents. O'Donnell faces federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering related to his handling of campaign funds in his race for commissioner, and when he was a state senator. He remains on the commission, pending a trial on January 29th. Unruh declined to comment. In a statement, Dennis called said Parker's comments were "public unsubstantiated allegations."
Police Investigate Fatal Liberal Shooting
LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — Police in Liberal are investigating the shooting death of a 27-year-old man. Captain Robert Rogers says Esteban Arzate died early Friday after being dropped off at the Southwest Medical Center suffering from several gunshot wounds. KSN-TV reports police searched a Liberal home later in the death and discovered evidence in the case. Several people are being sought as possible witnesses and an investigation is ongoing.
ACLU: Some Kansas Officials Undermine Nonpartisan Voter Help
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says some county election officials in Kansas are undermining its nonpartisan efforts to help voters at polling sites — despite a state's attorney general's opinion last month that such voter assistance programs do not constitute "electioneering." ACLU of Kansas field director Ellen Glover said Friday that most of the problems facing its Kansas Election Protection Program are in Johnson County, the state's largest county. Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker did not return messages left at his office. But he wrote in a letter to ACLU that they cannot post signs within 250 feet from any polling location or on county property due to possibility of electioneering. The signs have a hotline number people can call if they encounter problems voting.
Kansas Sexual Predator Recaptured after 12 Days on the Loose
OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas authorities say a sexual predator has been recaptured 12 days after he didn't return to a mental health facility. The Miami County Sheriff's office said 38-year-old Jason Michael Hale was taken into custody Friday in Ottawa. The Kansas City Star reports Hale was convicted of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy in Shawnee County in 2006. He was later found to be a sexually violent predator and committed to Larned State Hospital. He was living at a transitional housing unit at the Osawatomie State Hospital. The sheriff says he didn't return after being dropped off at his job in Edgerton. Before he was arrested, Paola police say Hale was seen in Gardner buying camping supplies, a bicycle and a mask of the character "Jason" from the Halloween movie.
Wichita Police to Submit All Rape Kits for Testing
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say all sexual assault kits will now be submitted for forensic testing, including a backlog of nearly 1,700 kits going back to 2002. Police Chief Gordon Ramsey announced Friday that all the backlogged kits will be submitted by the end of the year. The Wichita Eagle reports that previously, law enforcement officers would determine which kits were sent for testing. Between 2002 and 2015, more than 1,000 rape kits were not submitted by Wichita police. Between 2015 and Friday, a backlog of around 600 rape kits built up. The kits contain DNA taken from women reporting a rape and photos that show their injuries. In April, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation recommended all state law enforcement agencies submit all rape kits for testing.
Judge Turns Down Request for Late Dodge City Voting Site
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge says it is not in the public interest to order a western Kansas county to open another polling site in Dodge City just days before the election. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree said in a written ruling Thursday evening that the request from the American Civil Liberties Union for an order to open a second polling would likely cause more voter confusion than it might cure. He notes the city has offered for the past 20 years only one polling location for its 13,000 registered voters. But he says that while another location might mitigate concerns about long lines during certain times, the plaintiffs have had 20 years to present that claim. Crabtree wrote he was troubled by Ford County Clerk Deborah Cox's reaction to an ACLU that she forwarded to the Secretary of State's office with the comment "LOL."
Lawrence Man Admits Making 122 Bogus 911 Calls
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A 38-year-old Lawrence man has admitted making more than 100 calls to 911 threatening to commit sexual assaults, which apparently never occurred. Justin Allen Roehrich pleaded no contest on Wednesday to three counts of making a false alarm. The Kansas City Star reports prosecutors said Roehrich made 122 calls to 911 dispatchers in Leavenworth County. He told dispatchers his name was "Jesse." Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said officers who investigated the calls found no evidence that anyone was harmed or threatened. The charges stem from three calls during which Roehrich said he was going to perform sexual acts on drugged, underage girls.