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Headlines for Saturday, November 24, 2018

Kansas Governor Orders Paid Parental Leave for 17,00 State Employees

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Outgoing Governor Jeff Colyer has signed an executive order giving paid parental leave to more than 17,000 government employees. The Wichita Eagle reports that Colyer signed the order Wednesday. It creates a policy that all state employees under the governor's jurisdiction will be eligible for paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Primary caregivers will receive six weeks of paid leave, while secondary caregivers will receive three weeks. Under the police, employees will receive 100 percent of their regular salary during leave. The order doesn't apply to the Legislature or judicial branch. Agencies headed by other elected officials, such as the secretary of state's office, also aren't included. With the order, Kansas becomes one of 15 states, including Missouri, to provide paid parental leave to employees.


Abducted Topeka Teen Found Safe

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 16-year-old who was taken at gunpoint from a Topeka apartment has been found safe and two men have been arrested. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that an Amber Alert was issued for the 16-year-old after the abduction was reported early Thursday morning. Topeka police Lt. Manny Munoz says the assailants left after brandishing a silver handgun and "ordering everyone on the ground." Several hours later, police announced that the 16-year-old had been located in "good health," along with one of the suspects. Police say that suspect and another suspect were later booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated burglary.  Both of the suspects are 19 years old. It wasn't known where the 16-year-old was found.


Tractor-Trailer Driver Blames I-70 Rollover Crash on Toothache

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a tractor-trailer driver who rolled his rig on the Kansas Turnpike told officers he was distracted by a toothache. The Kansas Turnpike Authority says the 49-year-old driver from Olathe wasn't hurt. But The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that traffic was blocked for nearly two hours early Friday after the wreck in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 in Shawnee County. The accident report says the driver became distracted by a toothache, rested his hand on his chin and drifted off the road onto the shoulder. The driver then overcorrected, crossed the highway, saw he was going to strike the wall between the turnpike's eastbound and westbound lanes and overcorrected again. That caused the rig to fall onto its side, blocking off all three of the highway's westbound lanes.


Kansas Medicaid Expansion in Doubt Despite Support of Governor-Elect

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Newly elected Kansas Governor Laura Kelly supports Medicaid expansion, but she won't have an easy time getting it through the Legislature. Medicaid expansion passed the Legislature last year with strong bipartisan support, only to be vetoed by a Republican governor. In this month's election, Republicans not only retained their majority in both legislative chambers but also expanded the ranks of strong conservatives within the party. That leaves minority Democrats with fewer GOP moderates to help pass Medicaid expansion, which would provide health coverage to about 150,000 more low-income adults. For her part, Kelly has promised to have a working group create a bipartisan plan.


Wichita Police say Woman Injured Holding onto Stolen Pickup

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 31-year-old woman was injured while holding onto a door of a stolen pickup truck in Wichita. Police say the pickup was reported stolen Wednesday morning. The woman and a 30-year-old male with her apparently learned later that the pickup was seen at a Lost Sock laudromat. Their pickup was still there when they arrived, and an argument soon broke out between them and a person sitting behind the wheel. Police say the man fired his gun several times as the person in the truck tried to drive away. The woman grabbed onto the driver's side door but let go when one of her legs struck a street sign. No arrests have been reported, and it's unclear whether the driver was struck by any of the bullets. Police haven't released the names of those involved.


Dodge City Clerk Turns to Top Lawyer in Election Fight

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — When iconic Dodge City faced a lawsuit before the midterm elections for moving its sole polling place outside city limits, its top elections official turned to a hired legal gun to battle charges of voter suppression. Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox hired Bradley Schlozman, who is little-known outside the legal community but is well-known for defending states and towns accused of trying to restrict voting. Schlozman was a top lawyer in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in the George W. Bush administration. He has been involved in some of the thorniest voting issues of the last two decades. At the Justice Department, Schlozman in 2005 backed Georgia, among the first to enact voter ID. He overruled the career attorneys who had argued it would reduce minority voting.

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