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Headlines for Sunday, November 18, 2018

Governor Calls on county Official to Resign after "Master Race" Comment

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has called on a white county official to resign after the official said at a public meeting that he belongs to "the master race." Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp cited the master race — the Nazi ideology of Aryan supremacy — at a board meeting Tuesday while responding to a presentation by a black official, Triveece Penelton, on road development options in Tonganoxie. Colyer said in a statement Saturday that the remark was unacceptable. He says: "Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society and most especially when spoken by someone holding public office." Some members of the county commission also have called on Klemp to resign. Klemp, who was appointed to fill a Republican vacancy, told a Kansas City television station that his comment was a joke.


Two-Alarm Fire Sweeps Through Wichita Apartment Complex

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A two-alarm fire has swept through a Wichita apartment complex, although no injuries have been reported. A Wichita television station reports that the fire was reported shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday at the Parke East Townhomes. Officials say about 20 fire units responded to the fire. Drivers were asked to avoid the area as emergency responders and vehicles packed streets around the scene.Firefighters have not said what caused the fire.

Wichita Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Girlfriend with Shovel

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The boyfriend of a woman found dead in her home after being beaten with a shovel has pleaded guilty to killing her. The Wichita Eagle reports that 38-year-old Travis Becker Jr. entered the plea Friday afternoon in a Sedgwick County courtroom to reduced charges of first-degree felony murder and aggravated kidnapping in the November 2017 death of 42-year-old Perla Rodriguez. He had originally been charged with first- degree premeditated murder. He's expected to serve about 40 years after he's sentenced on January 2nd. Rodriguez was outreach director for the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center. Her severely battered body was found November 14, 2017, in her home by Wichita officers. They also found a wooden handle shovel inside the bedroom, with the shovel blade covered in blood and hair.


Lawrence Officials to Consider River Recreation Area

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence officials will consider whether to move forward with a new plaza and recreation area concept along the portion of the Kansas River that borders downtown. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the city has budgeted $2 million this year to repair the Kansas River dam and address riverbank erosion south of the dam. The city could stabilize the riverbank by building a terraced stone plaza instead of rebuilding the existing retaining wall. The plaza would create river entry points and extend slightly into the river, which would facilitate pools and whitewater for kayaking and other water activities. Assistant City Manager Brandon McGuire says city officials are asking potential contractors for the most economical way to address both the dam and riverbank stabilization projects, while possibly integrating the recreational concept.


Kansas Unemployment Rate Remained Steady at 3.3 percent

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is reporting that its unemployment rate remained at 3.3 percent in October for the third month in a row. The state Department of Labor has reported that Kansas also saw an increase in the number of nonfarm, private sector jobs during the previous 12 months. Such unemployment was almost 1.17 million in October, or 17,100 more than in October 2017. The growth was 1.5 percent. Mining and logging businesses, financial services companies, and professional services firms saw the most robust job growth. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been less than 4 percent since February 2017. In October 2017, it was 3.5 percent.


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