Young Man Charged in Kansas Bomb Plot Hid His Sympathies
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 20-year-old Kansas man charged with plotting a suicide bombing at Fort Riley struck others as strange and even troubled. But some of John T. Booker Junior's acquaintances didn't see the side of him that FBI informants did. Instead, acquaintances saw a young man who discussed his faith as a Muslim or debated Islamic philosophy at the Topeka mosque he attended. Booker told a confidante who was in fact an FBI informant six months ago that he wasn't liked at his mosque because he expressed support for the terrorist group al-Qaida. Imam Omar Hazim said such views would have gotten him barred. A college student who knew Booker in high school said Saturday that while Booker regularly discussed and defended his faith, he didn't make radical statements.
Suspect in 2 Carjackings Wounded by Police in Shootout
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man suspected of carjacking two vehicles and twice firing at Topeka police has been shot by officers after he rammed two cars. The Capital-Journal reports the suspect was taken to an area hospital with gunshot wounds, but authorities haven't released his name, age or medical condition. Police Chief James Brown says officers responded to the first carjacking at 9:24 pm Friday near a Hy-Vee parking lot. The suspect was gone but was seen driving erratically half an hour later before he lost control and crashed. Brown says the man started shooting at officers before carjacking a second vehicle. He was spotted driving a short time later at Interstate 70 and Wanamaker Road, where he rammed two cars and fired again at police before being shot by officers.
High-Profile Police Shootings Hinder Department's Recruiting Efforts
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas police chief says recent shootings involving law enforcement officers are reducing the number of people applying for openings in his department. Topeka Police Chief James Brown says in the past when his department announced 15 to 20 openings it would get 700 applications, but in four recent testing dates only 250 applied. He told the Capital-Journal more young people would be interested in law enforcement if not for the current "turbulent times." The August shooting death of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson sparked tensions and led to a Justice Department report that found patterns of police discrimination against blacks.
Paper Towels, Toilet Tissue Latest Uses for Wheat Straw
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The maker of Kleenex and Scott brand products is unveiling this month a line of tissues and towels incorporating wheat straw and bamboo. Kimberly-Clark Professional aims to provide a rapidly renewable source of fiber for its pulp mill and environmentally friendly products aimed at its commercial customers. It also contends that the products containing 20 percent wheat straw will also give farmers a market for the plant residue left after harvest. The Georgia-based company says use of straw fiber will ease demand for tree fiber and recycled paper. The company says it is the first time that wheat straw has been used by a major manufacturer on this large a scale in the United States to make bath tissue and paper towels.
Family Says GoFundMe Page in Daughter's Name a Fraud Attempt
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The family of a Kansas woman who was seriously injured in a car crash that killed her 1-month-old daughter says a GoFundMe page set up in the woman's name appears to be an attempt at fraud. The University of Kansas Hospital released a statement Friday on behalf of 22-year-old Breonna Emery's family, which says it has filed a complaint with the state attorney general's office. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the fund has raised more than $13,000 from more than 400 donors. Emery was driving west on US-24 west of Perry on Monday when she drove onto the gravel shoulder, overcorrected and slid into the path of an eastbound pickup truck. The collision killed 1-month-old Kaysein Harris, who was in her safety seat, and injured a 3-year-old passenger.
NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Pleasanton Plane Crash
PLEASANTON, Kan. (AP) — Federal officials say last month's deadly crash of a small plane happened soon after the kit-built aircraft took off from a private east-central Kansas airstrip. The Kansas City Star reports that the National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report Friday. The March 31st crash killed 67-year-old Herbert Lewis Siegel of Stillwell, who was flying the plane, and 57-year-old Brian Clark Decker of Independence, Missouri. The report said the 2006 Zodiac CH 601 XL was barely airborne when it drifted off an extended runway. The two-seat airplane then collided with some trees and burst into flames about two miles northwest of Pleasanton. Two witnesses told investigators they saw the airplane lift off with its nose unusually high and that they were unsure whether the craft's tail struck the ground.