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Headlines for Saturday, December 1, 2018

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KC Chiefs Cut Hunt after Video Released Showing Assault

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs released running back Kareem Hunt on Friday night after video surfaced that showed the NFL's reigning rushing champion knocking over and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel hallway in February.The team issued a statement shortly after the NFL had placed Hunt on its Commissioner Exemption List that said the running back had lied when asked about the incident by team officials. The team said "the video today confirms that fact. We are releasing Kareem immediately." Hunt was at the Chiefs' facility earlier Friday in preparation for Sunday's trip to Oakland, but he was excused and sent home shortly after TMZ posted the video online. Police were called to the scene during the February 10th incident, but no charges were filed.


Two Charges Dropped against Kansas Waterpark Employee

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Attorney General has asked a judge to dismiss two criminal charges against a former employee at a Kansas water park where a 10-year-old boy died. The Kansas City Star reports a motion filed Thursday asks a Wyandotte County judge to dismiss charges against Tyler Miles. He was director of operations at Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas, when Caleb Schwab was decapitated on a water slide in August 2016. The charges accused Miles of lying to authorities and concealing evidence from investigators. Miles is still charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated child endangerment and aggravated battery. The motion doesn't give a reason why the Attorney General decided to drop the charges. A spokeswoman for the office didn't return a message seeking comment. Miles was among five employees indicted after the boy's death.


Man Gets Life Sentence for Killing KCK Police Captain

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a Kansas police captain. The Kansas City Star reports Jamaal Lewis was sentenced Friday for first-degree felony murder in the July 2016 death of Capt. Robert Melton. The charge carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with a chance of parole in 25 years. Sentences for aggravated assault and shooting into an unoccupied building will run consecutively to each other and to the life sentence. Lewis was initially charged with capital murder but pleaded guilty last month to the reduced charge. Melton was searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting when he saw Lewis walking and tried to block him with his car. Prosecutors say Lewis pulled a handgun and fired several shots at Melton's vehicle.


Kobach Mum on Details of Trump Phone Call

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he has talked to President Donald Trump by phone since losing the governor's race but is declining to provide further details. Kobach told reporters Friday that he's not "out looking for random federal jobs" but said if Trump offered him a position, "That's a different matter." Fellow Republicans in Kansas have speculated since the election that Kobach could receive a high-profile job in Trump's administration. Kobach lost the governor's race to Democratic state Senator Laura Kelly. Kobach built a national profile as an advocate of tough immigration and voter identification policies before informally advising Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and afterward. Kobach also served as vice chairman of a short-lived presidential commission on voter fraud.


Top Kobach Deputy Pursuing Kansas Senate Seat

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's top deputy is hoping to win an appointment from fellow Republicans to a newly vacant state Senate seat. Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker confirmed Friday that he is a candidate to replace GOP Sen. Vicki Schmidt of Topeka. Schmidt resigned Friday because she was elected Kansas insurance commissioner. GOP precinct committee members in the district will decide who holds the seat through 2020. Schmidt was first elected to the Senate in 2004 and is the chairwoman of its health committee. Another candidate for the seat is former Republican state Rep. Joe Patton. He unsuccessfully challenged Schmidt in Republican primaries in 2012 and 2016. Rucker has been assistant secretary of state throughout Kobach's eight-year tenure and is a former deputy Kansas attorney general.


Kansas Voters Sets Record for Midterm Election Turnout

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — More than 1 million Kansas residents voted in the state's general election earlier this month to set a record for a non-presidential year. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Friday that the voter turnout of nearly 58 percent was "extraordinary." In non-presidential years over the past two decades, turnout in the general election had averaged 51 percent.  Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Gov. Jeff Colyer's chief attorney met briefly Friday to formally certify results compiled for the Nov. 6 election by the state's 105 counties. Kobach's office reported that 1,061,029 people cast ballots, with a record 1,841,776 registered voters. In 2014, voters cast 887,023 ballots, or 20 percent fewer. The secretary of state's office also said 39 percent of the ballots this year were cast in advance.


Kansas Lawmakers Consider Gas Tax Hike to Pay for Highways

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are discussing raising the state's gas tax and implementing new fees as a way to help fund future highway improvements. The Wichita Eagle reports that a state task force finalized recommendations Thursday for a long-term transportation plan as Kansas prepares to transition out T-WORKS, the 10-year, $8 billion transportation program that began in 2010. The recommendations call for transportation funding through sales taxes, a fee on electric vehicles and raising the gas tax. State lawmakers and the Kansas Department of Transportation will consider the recommendations as they develop a new transportation program in the coming year. The recommendations didn't specify how much the gas tax should be increased. But Democratic Sen. Tom Hawk has voiced support for raising the gas tax by 5 cents, which could produce about $90 million a year.


Salina Police Investigating City's First Homicide of 2018

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Salina police are investigating the death of a 30-year-old man as a homicide. Police Capt. Paul Forrester says police went to a house early Friday after receiving a call about shots fired. Officers found the man dead inside the home. The Salina Journal reports it is the city's first homicide of the year. Forrester said detectives are interviewing witnesses who were inside the house during the shooting. No suspect has been taken into custody. The victim's name has not been released.


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