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Headlines for Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Symphony in Flint Hills Canceled

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - Damage from weekend storms have forced the cancellation of this year's Symphony in the Flint Hills.  The symphony organzation says the site sustained severe damage Friday night, including the destruction of tents used in the event.  The concert was originally postponed from yesterday (SAT) to today (SUN), before the organization's board decided to cancel the concert altogether.  About 7,000 people attend the annual concert, which features the Kansas City Symphony.  This is the first time in the event's 14-year history that it has been canceled, a decision organizers call "heartbreaking."  Tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills are non-refundable.


Kansas Marks 100th Anniversary of State Passing 19th Amendment

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - Today marks the 100th anniversary of Kansas ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  On June 16, 1919, Kansas lawmakers ratified the amendment, which would give full voting rights to women across the country.  Kansas became the fourth state to do so, just two weeks after the amendment was approved by Congress.  A number of events are planned for the year ahead commemorating passage of the 19th Amendment.


Topeka Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Shooting Death

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka man has been sentenced to nearly 18 years in prison for the July shooting death of another man. The Capital-Journal reports that 33-year-old Tony Lee Foster was sentenced Friday. A Shawnee County jury found him guilty in March of second-degree murder and a weapons count in the July 9 fatal shooting of 36-year-old David Payne, of Topeka. Officers responding to report of a shooting at a home in the northern part of the city found Payne with a gunshot wound to his torso. He was rushed to a hospital, where he later died.


Nebraska Woman Sentenced to Prison for Fatal Kansas Crash

HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — A Nebraska woman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for a November 2017 head-on crash in northeastern Kansas that killed four members of a Sabetha family who were returning home from a state championship football game. The Capital-Journal reports that 49-year-old Maria Perez Marquez, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced Friday to four years and one month in prison. She pleaded no contest to aggravated battery and three misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide for the crash that killed 42-year-old Carmen Ukele, her 11-year-old daughter, Marlee Ukele, and her brother-in-law, 62-year-old Stephen Ukele. Carmen Ukele's husband, 60-year-old Lee Ukele, initially survived the crash but died last month of his injuries. Investigators say the family was returning home from watching the Sabetha  High School football team win the state championship when Perez Marquez crashed into their minivan while trying to pass another vehicle. At the time, two of Lee Ukele's sons played on the team.


Kansas Regents Mull Boosting Homegrown Enrollment

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Higher education leaders say the percentage of Kansas high school graduates attending state universities is falling. The Kansas Board of Regents says 55% of high school graduates enrolled at a state higher education facility in 2010, but that fell to 50.3% in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that board officials say economic growth means more jobs are available for people with high school diplomas but no degree, and that rising tuition costs can be a deterrent for students considering higher education. They say shifting demographics in the state may be a factor. Regents suggest that the schools should try to enroll more out-of-state students so their higher tuition rates can offset a decrease in tuition for Kansas students.


Topeka Gears Up after Flooding Moves Music Festival

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka is gearing up for a major music festival that had to be moved there because of flooding. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the 24th annual Kicker Country Stampede will be held from June 20-22 at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka. It typically is held at Manhattan's Tuttle Creek State Park, but water levels have been high this spring. Plans for one Topeka area road project and one highway project have been revised to ensure they don't conflict with the expected rush of visitors. The event typically draws more than 170,000 people. Meanwhile, Shawnee County Sheriff's Sgt. Todd Stallbaumer says the sheriff's office is working with event staff on personnel needed for staffing the event. This year's performers include Old Dominion, Jason Aldean, and Jake Owen.


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