Drug Charges Dropped Against Lawrence CBD Store Owner
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The owners of a Lawrence CBD store no longer face felony drug charges for selling hemp flower, which looks and smells like marijuana but is chemically different. The Kansas City Star reports that Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson’s office offered no explanation for Thursday’s decision to drop the charges against Annie Martin and Sean Lefler and one of their employees. The dismissal happened one day before the state had been scheduled to present evidence against the couple in court. Martin says she’s “relieved” and believes the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which twice raided the store, misunderstood the distinction between marijuana and hemp. Hemp doesn’t contain enough mind-altering THC to cause a high and is now legal to grow in Kansas. The couple plans to close its Lawrence store later this month and open a business in Kansas City, Missouri.
Perdue Defends, Celebrates USDA Agency Move to Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says he has “absolutely zero regrets” over the decision to move two research agencies' headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City. Perdue joined government leaders from Kansas and Missouri Friday to tour the new headquarters for the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Critics say the move will harm agriculture research and make the findings less accessible to federal policymakers. Perdue contends moving the agencies to the heart of agriculture country will allow researchers to work more closely with farmers, land grant universities and private agriculture-related companies. But Laura Dodson, an agricultural economist and union representative at the Economic Research Service, said the agencies’ researchers focus on national questions, and living near agricultural land is irrelevant to the work they do.
Party-switching Kansas Legislator to Seek Senate Seat
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City-area lawmaker who made headlines by switching to the Democratic Party last year is seeking the state Senate seat of another lawmaker who did the same thing. Four-term state Representative Stephanie Clayton of Overland Park announced Friday that she would run next year for the seat held by Democratic state Senator Barbara Bollier of Mission Hills. Bollier is Democrats’ leading candidate for the U.S. Senate next year and is not seeking re-election to the Legislature. Both Clayton and Bollier were elected as state lawmakers as moderate Republicans but switched parties in December. Clayton cited her dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump as a factor. Clayton’s decision sets up a Democratic primary in Bollier’s district. Former Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director Ethan Corson of Fairway announced his candidacy in October.
City of Lawrence Joins Coalition Erecting Lynching Memorial
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The city of Lawrence has joined a community collation to memorialize the lynching of three black men near downtown in 1882. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Lawrence chapter of the NAACP is working with the Equal Justice Initiative to erect a historical marker with information about the lynching. The city commission recently voted unanimously to become a member of the Community Remembrance Coalition. Mayor Lisa Larsen says she thinks joining the coalition signifies that the city supports the NAACP’s efforts and the need to recognize the lynching as part of the city’s history.
19-year-old Arrested in Double Homicide in Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a 19-year-old in a double homicide in Topeka. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Larry Huggins III, of Topeka, was booked Thursday night into the Shawnee County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. Bond is expected to be set at a Friday morning court appearance. He showed up at a hospital Tuesday night with a gunshot wound, three hours after 15-year-old Owen Hughes and 21-year-old Reginald McKinney Jr. were fatally shot. Witnesses told police that they saw people running from the area after the shooting.
KC Man Released in ‘Doppleganger’ Case Faces Return to Prison
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 43-year-old Kansas City man previously freed from prison in a case of mistaken identity is facing a possible return to confinement after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a firearm. The Kansas City Star reports Richard Anthony Jones pleaded guilty Thursday. He wasn’t allowed to have weapons because of prior felony convictions for burglary and robbery. Jones was released from prison in 2017 after his conviction for snatching a woman’s purse at a Kansas Walmart in 1999 was overturned, in what became known as the “ doppelganger case.” Supporters said another man, who looked like Jones, was the likely robber. Kansas paid Jones $1 million in 2018 for his wrongful imprisonment. Prosecutors say officers found handguns on Jones during two confrontations in February and March. Jones faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
Family Lawyer threatens Lawsuit after Garden City Football Play Death Report
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys for the family of a 19-year-old football player who died of heatstroke after conditioning practice at a Kansas community college says they plan to sue the school, unless it wants to discuss a settlement. Kansas attorney Chris Dove spoke Thursday after the college released a scathing independent report on Garden City Community College’s conduct the day Braeden Bradforth died. Dove calls it a damning investigation. He says it would be in the best interests of the teen’s mother’s mental and psychological state to not drag it out much longer. Bradforth, a 315-pound defensive lineman, was found unconscious outside his dormitory after practice on August 1st, 2018. The New Jersey native died that night at a hospital. The mother’s attorney in New Jersey, Jill Greene, says the report is their ammunition.