Arrest Made in Salina's First 2018 Homicide
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a man has been arrested on charges in a Salina shooting death, the city's first homicide this year. Television station KWCH reports that 25-year-old Mika Lee Thille was booked Friday afternoon into the Salina County Jail on charges of murder, burglary and robbery. Thille and a 24-year-old woman were taken in for questioning Friday afternoon, hours after police found the body of 30-year-old Justin Willingham in a home after someone reported gunshots. Willingham had been shot to death.
Two Men Charged with Murder of 88-year-old Wichita Man
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police have arrested two men suspected of killing an 88-year-old man found dead inside a Wichita home this week. The Wichita Eagle reports that police were called to the home Thursday night for a welfare check and found Floyd Gilbert gravely injured. Police have not described the nature of Gilbert's injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police on Friday arrested 36-year-old Austin Stewart and 54-year-old Landon Onek, both of Wichita, on suspicion of felony murder. Both are being held in the Sedgwick County Jail. Court records show both men have served time for theft, drug counts and other crimes. Gilbert's death is the city's 43rd homicide so far this year.
Man Gets Life Sentence for Killing KCK Police Captain
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a Kansas police captain. The Kansas City Star reports Jamaal Lewis was sentenced Friday for first-degree felony murder in the July 2016 death of Capt. Robert Melton. The charge carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with a chance of parole in 25 years. Sentences for aggravated assault and shooting into an unoccupied building will run consecutively to each other and to the life sentence. Lewis was initially charged with capital murder but pleaded guilty last month to the reduced charge. Melton was searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting when he saw Lewis walking and tried to block him with his car. Prosecutors say Lewis pulled a handgun and fired several shots at Melton's vehicle.
yManhattan-Ogden Schools Aim for 100% Wind Energy
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The Manhattan-Ogden school board plans to move to 100 percent wind energy for 20 years, beginning in 2021. The Manhattan Mercury reports Westar Energy offered several public entities a 20-year fixed rate to join the Soldier Creek Wind Farm project. The school board voted Wednesday to accept the offer. Kansas State University and Manhattan city government earlier agreed to draw 50 percent of their electricity from the wind farm in Nemaha County. Westar projects the school district will save $43,800 per year. The district allotted $1.3 million for electricity during the current fiscal year.
Topeka Students Launch Cricket-based Food Startup
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A group of Washburn University students have launched a startup that aims to combat hunger and change how Americans think about food by creating a protein powder made from crickets. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that six students formed the startup Agrotech Enterprises, which recently won the Washburn Entrepreneur Pitch Competition for their cricket protein powder business idea. Senior Jonathan Barnell directs the group's research and development. He says crickets are an excellent prospect for the company because of their nutritional value. Barnell says that crickets are "basically a superfood," and contain all nine essential amino acids. It takes a fraction of the water and feed to produce 10 grams of protein using crickets, compared to beef. But the startup says the biggest challenge is changing the image of insect-based foods.