Kansas to Air-Condition Next Prison as Heat Becomes Concern
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas corrections officials expect the next prison built by the state to be fully air-conditioned, including the cells for inmates. They view climate control as a way to lessen problems with inmates and to help combat high employee turnover. Some lawmakers who don't want to coddle criminals also see a need to make corrections officers less miserable in the summer heat. Plans to air-condition the new prison in Lansing in the Kansas City area also come as a federal judge is forcing Texas to move hundreds of inmates sensitive to the heat to cooler areas. The union representing Kansas corrections officers considers the lack of air conditioning in parts of a maximum-security prison in El Dorado, east of Wichita, a contributing factor in inmate unrest there.
Loved Ones Remember Wichita Marine Killed in Plane Crash
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Marine Corps has confirmed that a Wichita man was one of three Marines lost when their aircraft crashed off the coast of Australia. The Wichita Eagle reports that 21-year-old Cpl. Nathan Ordway was the crew chief of the MV-22 Osprey that crashed while trying to land during a training exercise on Aug. 5.= Ordway and two other Marines have been declared dead. A recovery mission is underway. More than 20 other passengers on the aircraft were rescued after the crash. Ordway's mother said Thursday that if there's one thing she knows for sure, it's that her son died helping others. She says her son loved being a Marine, but always looked forward to calling home and spending time with family.
Man, 19, Charged with Murder in Kansas Double Slaying
NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — A 19-year-old man is jailed on $2.5 million bond after being accused of slaying his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter. Harvey County District Attorney David Yoder says Keith Hawkins is charged with capital and first-degree murder. Authorities say 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and daughter Zaylynn Paz were found dead shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday by Runyon's ex-boyfriend in bedrooms in the victims' duplex. Police said the girl had been fatally stabbed and that her mother strangled. Police said Hawkins was arrested later Tuesday in Taylor, Texas, where he allegedly was found driving Runyon's vehicle. Hawkins was returned to Kansas on Friday. Yoder says a possible motive in the killings has been determined, though he declined to discuss it publicly. It's not immediately clear if Hawkins has an attorney.
Storm Hits Trego County, Damaging Windows and Power Lines
WAKEENEY, Kan. (AP) — Trego County authorities are tallying the damage after a storm carrying large hail damaged homes and businesses throughout the county. Emergency Management Director Kathleen Fabrizius says softball-sized hail hit the county Thursday afternoon, overturning vehicles, downing power lines and causing accidents across the county. She says windows at the courthouse, a nursing home and the WaKeeney Family Care Center were blown out. The hospital was closed and patients were routed to the emergency room during the storm. Power was out for several hours in WaKeeney and parts of the county. Kansas Highway Patrol spokesman Tod Hileman says there was evidence of a tornado near Cedar Bluff Lake in north-central Kansas after the storm brought down power lines and trees. Thick fog developed in the area, causing numerous crashes.
3 People Killed, 2 Children Hurt in Eastern Kansas Wreck
EDWARDSVILLE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says three people died and two children were hurt in a collision in eastern Kansas. The accident happened Thursday night on Kansas 32 in Edwardsville, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of Kansas City, Kansas. Investigators say a car driven by 42-year-old Aaron Ashlock of Kansas City, Kansas, was traveling west when it crossed the median and hit a car driven by 29-year-old Sarah Galutia of Overland Park. Ashlock and Galutia died in the crash, along with 33-year-old Ashley Gonzalez of Shawnee, who was a passenger in Galutia's car. Gonzalez's 11- and 12-year-old daughters were injured. No information has been released on their conditions.
Man Gets 24 Years in Kansas City, Missouri Shooting Death
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri man has been ordered to spend 24 years in prison in the shooting death of a suburban father who had been trying to sell a gun on a grocery store's parking lot. Nineteen-year-old Fazon Swinton was sentenced Friday in Jackson County, where he was convicted in June of second-degree murder, attempted robbery, armed criminal action and leaving the scene of a shooting. Authorities say 39-year-old Jacob Branter of Lee's Summit was shot and killed in April 2016 outside a Price Chopper store. Prosecutors allege Swinton made arrangements to buy a handgun from Brantner but stole it instead, running off before exchanging gunfire with Brantner. Swinton later was treated at a hospital for a bullet wound.
Kansas Man Gets 13 Years in Attacks on 2 Women
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita, Kansas man has been ordered to spend more than 13 years in prison for raping one woman and trying to sexually attack another after taking them to his apartment. Forty-two-year-old Jimmie Trosclair pleaded guilty in April to charges of rape, attempted rape and breach of privacy. Authorities say that on February 18, Trosclair met two women at a tavern and took them to his apartment, where they were intoxicated and fell unconscious. Prosecutors say Trosclair filmed and photographed his sexual attack of one woman and was disrobing the other victim when she regained consciousness, fled and flagged down a motorist for help. The Sedgwick County judge who sentenced Tosclair ordered him to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.
Appeals Court Upholds Nebraska Funeral Picketing Law
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court has agreed with a lower court's ruling upholding Nebraska's law requiring picketers to stay at least 500 feet from funerals. The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said that all speakers, including members of Westboro Baptist Church, have a constitutionally-protected right to express their beliefs at funerals. But the appeals court also said that those rights "are not absolute and some time, place, and/or manner restrictions are allowed." Shirley Phelps-Roper, a prominent member of the Topeka-Kansas based church, sued in 2009, arguing, among other things, that the Nebraska law is selectively enforced. The church protests at funerals throughout the country using anti-gay chants and signs because it believes God is punishing U.S. military members and others for defending a nation that tolerates homosexuality.