Protesters Rally Across the Nation in Response to Immigration Issues
LAWRENCE, Kan -- About 700 people protested the Trump administration's immigration policies in Lawrence on Saturday. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that demonstrators gathered in South Park and then marched down Massachusetts Street. This rally was just one of hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. In southwestern Kansas, quiet reflection -- not bullhorns and chants -- was on display at a rally in Dodge City. About 100 people turned out for the protest sponsored by the local Catholic Church, which felt more like mass than a demonstration. Some people held signs with messages that read, "Children belong with families not it cages," and that included verses from a famous poem that appears on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty. The rally was among hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Protesters Flood U.S. Cities to Fight Trump Immigration Policy
WASHINGTON (AP) — They wore white. They shook their fists in the air. They carried signs reading: "No more children in cages," and "What's next? Concentration Camps?" In major cities and tiny towns, hundreds of thousands of marchers gathered Saturday across America, moved by accounts of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, in the latest act of mass resistance against President Donald Trump's immigration policies. Protesters flooded more than 700 marches, from immigrant-friendly cities like New York and Los Angeles to conservative Appalachia and Wyoming. They gathered on the front lawn of a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, near a detention center where migrant children were being held in cages, and on a street corner near Trump's golf resort at Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is spending the weekend. Trump has backed away from family separations amid bipartisan and international uproar. His "zero tolerance policy" led officials to take more than 2,000 children from their parents as they tried to enter the country illegally, most of them fleeing violence, persecution or economic collapse in their home countries. Those marching Saturday demanded the government quickly reunite the families that were already divided. Singer John Legend serenaded the crowd and Democratic politicians who have clashed with Trump had strong words for the president, including U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters who called for his impeachment. The president took to Twitter amid the protests, first to show his support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement as some Democrats called for major changes to the agency. Tweeting Saturday from New Jersey, Trump urged ICE agents to "not worry or lose your spirit" and wrote that "the radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police."
Report: Many Child Trafficking Victims End Up Detained
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A newspaper investigation has found that one in five victims of possible child trafficking in Kansas are placed in juvenile detention, a process that experts say hampers the effort to heal them. The Wichita Eagle obtained data from the Kansas Department for Children and Families outlining a system that often can further traumatize victims. Experts say placing victims in detention, whatever the reason, can lead to future criminal behavior and add to the risk that they will be victims of trafficking again. Child victims of trafficking are placed in detention for various reasons. Police may suspect the child of committing a crime. He or she could be a runaway. They could be in detention because of a court order.
Police: 3 Dead in 3 Separate Shootings Overnight in Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police in the southern Kansas city of Wichita are investigating the deaths of three people in separate shootings overnight. Police said Saturday that the first happened around 12:30 a.m., when officers were called to hospital for a man suffering gunshot wounds to his arm and abdomen. Police say the man was at his house when his cousin showed him a gun. Police say the gun fired, hitting the victim, who later died at the hospital. The man's cousin is currently in police custody. At 2 am, police say a drive-by shooting outside a house left a 29-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim later died at a hospital. Also at 2 a.m., police responded to a shooting at an apartment during a fight among several people. A 23-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests had been announced by late Saturday morning in the 2 am shootings.
Ex-Kansas Teacher Gets Probation in Student Sex Case
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A former teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School has received a suspended prison sentence and three years' probation for having sexual contact with a student. The Kansas City Star reports that 45-year-old Todd Burd was ordered Friday to serve 30 days in jail as a condition of his probation. He was also required to register as a sex offender. Burd pleaded guilty in April to unlawful sexual relations. He had initially been charged with aggravated criminal sodomy after a 16-year-old boy reported being assaulted while sitting in Burd's pickup truck. Burd taught music and was the choir director at Gardner Edgerton High School in late 2016, when the incident happened. Burd received the Gardner-Edgerton district's Teacher of the Year honor in 2015.
Judge Sets Hearing on Wannabe Candidate's Lawsuit
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has set a hearing for next week to hear arguments on the request by a Massachusetts man seeking to put his name on the Republican primary ballot for attorney general. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren will take up the issue on Tuesday in federal court in Wichita. Political activist Vermin Love Supreme has asked for an injunction against Kansas. Supreme is from Rockport, Massachusetts, and contends he should be allowed to be a candidate because Kansas has no age, residency or experience requirements for the office. He argues Kansas made national news with its restrictive voter laws, while having no laws about running for state office. He says he wants to run in part to draw attention to these disparities and to serve the people of Kansas.
University: Kansas Organization Left $70,000 in Unpaid Bills
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas organization that received public funding to host a Junior Olympics event last year has left more than $70,000 in unpaid bills. University of Kansas Spokesman Joe Monaco tells The Lawrence Journal-World that Lawrence Sports Corporation owes the university at least $73,000 in unpaid services. The city of Lawrence gave the corporation $150,000 to host the 2017 USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Championships at the university. Monaco says the university hasn't received a response from the corporation regarding the outstanding bill. City Manager Tom Markus requested in May access to the corporation's financial records for the city to review. The Kansas Secretary of State's records indicate that the nonprofit was incorporated in 1990. Records also show that the company is delinquent in filing its 2017 annual report.
Water Releases into Missouri River to Ramp Up in Coming Days
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will more than double the amount of water released into the Missouri River from the river's lower-most dam over the coming weeks. Releases from Gavins Point Dam, between Nebraska and South Dakota, were reduced to 24,000 cubic feet per second in mid-June due to high flows downstream of the Missouri River reservoir system. The Corps said in a news release Friday that Gavins Point releases will be stepped up over the next several days, reaching approximately 50,000 cubic feet per second by early to mid-July, as downstream flows drop off. The Corps says releases from all Missouri River reservoir system dams will be maintained at higher-than-average rates over the next several months. The announcement came as the river at Omaha crested at nearly 29 feet due to recent heavy rains, causing minor flooding of low-lying areas, mostly on the Iowa side. Levels downriver, including in Kansas and Missouri, will also be affected.