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Headlines for Saturday, June 22, 2019

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Two Mexican Men Sentenced in KC Heroin Ring

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Mexican nationals have been sentenced for their roles in a conspiracy that distributed more than 30 pounds of heroin in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Julian Felix-Aguirre was sentenced Wednesday to 24 years and seven months in prison without parole. And 38-year-old Martin Missael Puerta-Navarro was sentenced to 14 years and eight months without parole. The two are among 26 people charged in the case, with 16 of them now sentenced. Prosecutors say the drug ring worked with the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico to establish stash houses, build hidden compartments in vehicles, and receive and sell black tar heroin. Court documents say 66-year-old Dennis McLallen, of Overland Park, Kansas, was the direct contact with Mexico-based drug suppliers. He is serving 15 years without parole.


President Trump Approves Disaster Funds for Kansas Counties

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration covering more than half of the Kansas' 105 counties. The federal assistance approved Thursday will provide service and funds to help recovery from severe weather that began on April 28th and included tornadoes and flooding. The declaration provides funding for emergency work, repair and replacement of damaged facilities and mitigation of hazards. Kansas received 10.26 inches of rain in May, more than double the 30-year average of 4.12 inches. And an EF-4 tornado that hit May 28 caused substantial damage in parts of Douglas and Leavenworth counties.


Judge: Videos Don't Clear Officers in Topeka Suspect's Death

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that videos from officers' body cameras do not establish that a suspect reached for a gun before Topeka police shot him to death in September 2017. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree said this week that the video footage was "equivocal, at best" in a ruling that allows attorneys for suspect Dominique White's family to question two officers. The family filed a civil rights lawsuit in June 2018 against the city, Officers Michael Cruse and Justin Mackey and five unnamed officers. The city wants the lawsuit dismissed. The officers responded to reports of gunfire near a park and confronted the 30-year-old White. He was armed, and the officers shot him as he fled, maintaining that White reached for his gun in a pocket.


Heavy Rains Delay Kansas Wheat Harvest

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Heavy rains and flooding that inundated Kansas in May and early June are slowing down the state's wheat harvest. The Wichita Eagle reports the wheat harvest usually starts between early and mid-June and wraps up by mid-July. But the Kansas Wheat Commission says only 1% of the state's wheat crop was harvested as of Sunday. Typically, about 12% of the crop is harvested by this time, and last year 20% was harvested by mid-June. The delay comes after the state got 10.26 inches of rain in May, more than double the 30-year average of 4.12 inches. It was the wettest May ever recorded in Kansas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says only 21 percent of Kansas' wheat crop is mature, compared with almost 60 percent at this time last year.


Topeka Man Charged in Mother's Death

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 43-year-old Topeka man is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his mother. Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay announced Thursday that David Wood Jr. is charged in the death of 69-year-old Kyong "Carol" Wood. He is also charged with felony interference with law enforcement. Investigators say the victim was found dead Sunday inside her home. Kagay says she died from blunt force trauma. David Wood was arrested after a nearly five-hour standoff. He surrendered when police fired tear gas into the house. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Wood is being held in the Shawnee County Jail and on $1 million bond.


Salina Police Investigate Widespread ATM Fraud

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Salina police are investigating a widespread bank card fraud in the area. Since Sunday, police have received 147 reports of compromised bank cards, all from Sunflower Bank Customers or people who used a Sunflower ATM machine. KSAL reports Salina Detective Sgt. David Villanueva says the reports started Sunday, when four people reported unauthorized cash withdrawals from their bank accounts. He says the thieves have stolen PIN codes and use those to withdraw the cash. The total amount of losses has not been released but investigators say some people lost thousands of dollars. Authorities say withdrawals using the stolen numbers have been reported in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and in Kansas City, Missouri.


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