Man Sought in 2 Kansas Deaths Shoots Himself in Oklahoma
IOLA, Kan. (AP) — A man sought in the deaths of two people in eastern Kansas has been found in Oklahoma, where he shot himself upon capture. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says in a statement that Ben Converse, a person of interest in the shooting deaths of 36-year-old Molly Wilson and her father, 69-year-old John Tadlock in Iola, was located Friday evening in Tulsa. Converse, described as the boyfriend of Wilson, fled on foot and as officers closed in on him, "he turned toward them and shot himself with a handgun." Converse has been transported to a Tulsa hospital, where he is being treated for a life threatening gunshot wound. The two dead were found Thursday in their home in Iola, which is about 95 miles southwest of Kansas City.
Kansas Court System Grants Employees Paid Parental leave
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas court system's employees will now receive six weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. The Kansas Supreme Court issued an administrative order Friday covering the 1,600 judicial branch workers under its supervision. The court's order came a month after Governor Jeff Colyer issued an executive order establishing a similar policy for more than 17,000 employees in executive branch agencies. The Supreme Court sets policy for the judicial branch. Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss said providing paid family leave is a step toward keeping the judicial branch competitive with private companies in recruiting employees. Employees on family leave will receive their full pay. The order applies to any employee who had or adopted a child after October 5th.
Kansas Blizzard Blamed for 1 Fatality, 29 Crashes
HAYS, Kan. (AP) — Dozens of drivers crashed or needed help after heavy snow and strong winds created treacherous whiteout conditions in western Kansas. Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Stephen Larow says the agency responded to 29 crashes Thursday, including one that killed 16-old Jackson Buerge, of Overland Park, and three others with injuries. The patrol says Jackson was riding in a sport utility vehicle that a tractor-trailer rear-ended on a snow-covered stretch of Interstate 70 east of Colby. The Kansas Department of Transportation temporarily closed the interstate and several other highways as parts of the state received 8 to 12 inches of snow. By noon Friday, only one remained closed, a short stretch of Kansas 51. Larow says the patrol also checked on 43 abandoned vehicles and assisted 239 drivers.
Gang Members Rounded Up after KCK Double Shooting
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested several gang members and seized eight firearms after two people were wounded in a gang-related shooting in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports that the victims drove themselves to a hospital after they were shot Thursday afternoon. Police say their injuries aren't life threatening. Police returned to the area of the shooting overnight with federal agents. They then arrested four suspected gang members. Police say they also seized four rifles, four handguns and a pound of marijuana. No charges have been announced in the case.
Authorities Identify Body Found in Kansas River
WAMEGO, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified the man whose body was found Christmas Eve in the Kansas River. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 19-year-old Jacob D. Bouck of Wamego. Authorities are investigating his death as suspicious and say foul play might be involved. Sheriff Greg Riat says Bouck was last seen in the Wamego area early December 21st. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is helping the sheriff's office with the investigation. Riat is asking anyone with information to contact the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Topeka House Fire Leaves One Dead, Another Injured
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Topeka house fire has left a man dead and a woman critically injured. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the fire started Friday morning in a neighborhood in the northeast part of the city. Fire Department Christ Commander Chris Herrera says crews responded after someone knocked on the door of the nearby fire station to report the blaze. He says the woman was rescued and rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. No other details were immediately released, including the man's name and the cause of the fire.
Kansas Senator Roberts in Solo Session During Shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts was in session briefly by himself in an otherwise empty Senate chamber during the federal government's partial shutdown. The Kansas City Star reports that Roberts and his wife came Thursday to the Capitol for the Senate's afternoon session while colleagues in both parties remained away. The session lasted only three minutes. Roberts and his wife have a home outside Washington. He hurt his re-election bid in 2014 by being registered to vote at a friend's address in Dodge City, and he bought a home in Topeka in 2016. The 82-year-old, four-term Republican hasn't decided whether to seek re-election in 2020. Roberts told reporters as he was leaving the Capitol on Thursday that he will return to Kansas to meet with his family and campaign team.
Kansas Teen Earns High School, Harvard Diplomas in Same Month
ULYSSES, Kan. (AP) — A 16-year-old Kansas boy will soon earn his high school diploma — and a few days later he'll travel to Harvard to collect his bachelor's degree. The Hutchinson News reports Ulysses High School senior Braxton Moral will attend both commencement ceremonies in May. He will become the only student to successfully pursue a four-year high school degree and a bachelor's degree from Harvard at the same time. High school math teacher Patsy Love served as the proctor for the Harvard program. Moral also spent one summer at the university's campus in Massachusetts. Harvard spokesman Harry Pierre says Moral is on track to graduate from the Bachelor of Liberal Arts program. He's majoring in government with a minor in English. Moral says he hopes to attend Harvard Law School next.