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Headlines for Saturday, February 8, 2020

Kansas Anti-abortion Amendment Fails

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Kansas have failed to get a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot. Abortion opponents responded Friday by moving aggressively to block a bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan backed by Democrats and GOP moderates. Neither side expected Friday's vote in the Kansas House to be the last word on whether the abortion measure ultimately is put to a vote in a statewide election. It would overturn a Kansas Supreme Court decision last year protecting abortion rights. The House vote was 80-43, but supporters were four votes short of the two-thirds majority they needed for passage.  

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WSU Tech Offers Free Scholarships to Laid-off Spirit Workers

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — WSU Tech in Wichita is offering free scholarships to laid-off Spirit AeroSystems employees. The college's president, Sheree Ustash, announced Friday the school and its partners will offer "Wichita Promise" scholarships with several options for tuition-free, short-term certification training in manufacturing and engineering. Spirit plans to lay off more than 2,800 workers after the Boeing 737 Max was grounded. The company makes more than 70 percent of the Max. Classes for the employees will start in March. They will be six-to-eight weeks long and offered on half-day schedules. WSU Tech plans to help people find federal grants and then cover the rest of the cost.

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Douglas County Making Changes after False Rape Report Cases

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Douglas County law enforcement officials are making changes after controversy over how it investigated and prosecuted sexual assault cases. District Attorney Charles Branson said this week all attorneys and victim/witness coordinators in his office have completed a five-hour training course on trauma-informed sexual assault investigations. Lawrence police detectives are also undergoing the training. The Lawrence Journal-World reports a consultant will visit in April to provide more training and help coordinate responses of area law enforcement and attorneys in sexual assault cases. Last year, Branson's office dropped three cases against women who were accused of making false sexual assault reports.   

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Wichita Police Identify Body Found in Burned SUV

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a body found last month in a burned sport utility vehicle in Wichita was that of a 17-year-old girl. The Wichita Eagle reports that police identified the girl Thursday as Elisabeth Renteria, of Wichita. Her body was found after police responded to a shots fired call on January 29th and found the SUV engulfed in flames. Officer Kevin Wheeler said in a news release that investigators are working with the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center to determine the cause of death. Police previously arrested a 30-year-old woman on suspicion of arson and criminal desecration of a body.

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Topeka Man Sentenced to Jail, Probation in Deadly Kansas Crash

OSKALOOSA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka man has been sentenced to one year in jail for a fatal December 2017 crash. The Jefferson County Attorney's Office announced Thursday that Henry Clay Carey Jr. also will serve one year of probation after he is released from jail. Jurors found Carey guilty previously of vehicular homicide, driving while suspended and having no proof of insurance in the crash that killed Thomas Prescott, also of Topeka.

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KC Chiefs Fan: Took 'NFL Hit' in Parking Meter Collision

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City Chiefs fan says he took a “professional NFL hit" when he slammed into a parking meter while trying to catch a pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the team's Super Bowl victory parade. 43-year-old LaRue Bell told The Kansas City Star that the pass was intended for him but that the parking meter denied him the opportunity Wednesday.  Millions have watched the video on social media. Even Mahomes checked in on Twitter, asking “Yo is the dude who hit the parking meter okay." Bell says he is sore, noting that the pole “was not forgiving at all."

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Wichita Woman Convicted in Beheading Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita woman has been convicted of first-degree murder in the decapitation death of her ex-boyfriend's mother, whose head she left in the kitchen sink. Prosecutors say Rachael Hilyard cut off 63-year-old Micki Davis' head using two steak knives on April 9th, 2017. Hilyard was convicted Thursday and sentencing is set for March 27th. A prosecutor said the 38-year-old Hilyard attacked Davis without provocation then grabbed a knife “to finish what she started.” Hilyard testified that she thought Davis was dead when she cut off her head. Her defense attorney says his client made bad decisions with horrible consequences.

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5 Guards Injured at Hutchinson Correctional Facility

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — State prison officials say five correctional officers were injured during a disturbance at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility this week. The Department of Corrections says the officers received medical treatment. The disturbance occurred Tuesday. The Kansas Department of Corrections said in a news release the facility is on lockdown and inmates in the central unit have limited movement. The inmates involved in the disturbance are in restrictive housing during an investigation. Weekend visitation for the central unit is canceled until further notice, starting Saturday. Visitations will be allowed in east and south units. No further information was released.

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