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Headlines for Saturday, February 15, 2020

Democrats Sue over Kansas Delay of 'Vote Anywhere'

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas and national Democratic Party groups have sued the Republican official who oversees the state's elections. The lawsuit filed Friday accuses Kansas Secretary Scott Schwab of violating voters' rights by delaying implementation of a law designed to make voting on Election Day more convenient. The lawsuit was filed in state district court in Topeka. Schwab says his office will need another year to draft regulations needed for counties to take advantage of a 2019 state “vote anywhere” law. The law permits counties to allow voters to cast their ballots at any polling place within their borders on Election Day.


Kansas GOP Leader Decries Attempts to Tie Abortion, Medicaid

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A top Republican lawmaker in Kansas is disputing a key talking point for GOP colleagues who are blocking a bipartisan plan to expand the state's Medicaid program. Abortion opponents argue that expansion could lead to taxpayer funding of elective abortions. Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning sent an email to senators Friday decrying what he called “inaccurate verbal and written statements” used to justify opposition among abortion opponents to Medicaid expansion. They're trying to block expansion until a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution saying it does not “secure” a right to abortion gets on the ballot.  


Details Released about Hutchinson Jail Altercation

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Reports show an altercation at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility lasted two minutes from the time the first punch was thrown to when inmates began following orders and the situation was deemed “controlled.” Twenty inmates were involved and five officers were injured. Documents obtained by The Associated Press obtained through an open records request portray a large disturbance on February 4th which unexpectedly erupted, but which was quickly contained without any inmates injured and without damage to the facility. It was sparked by when guards tried to cuff inmates who refused to leave the chow hall until they had finished eating.


Kansas Supreme Court Denies Request to Withdraw Murder Pleas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has rejected a man's motion to withdraw guilty pleas in a Topeka homicide case. 30-year-old Coty Ryland Newman pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the October 2010 shooting death of 20-year-old Matthew Mitchell and to attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Treshawn Wynne on the campus of Topeka West High School. The court on Friday upheld a 2014 decision to reject Newman's attempt to withdraw his pleas. The court did overturn a 2014 order requiring lifetime post-release supervision for Newman after he completes his prison sentence.


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