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Headlines for Thursday, December 26, 2019

Here are the headlines for our area, as compiled by KPR news staffers.

Report Sees Progress After Kansas Juvenile Justice Changes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new report says Kansas has been putting fewer juvenile offenders in its detention center and lessening their time on probation in the three years since it overhauled its juvenile justice system. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the oversight committee issuing the report Thursday recommended doubling the state's annual spending on juvenile justice programs to nearly $22 million. Advocates sought the changes in 2016 to deal with more offenders in their home communities. They argued that youth were removed from their homes and sent to residential facilities or correctional institutions too often. They wanted programs to reduce repeat offending.  


AAA Predicts Today Will Be the Busiest Travel Day of the Holiday Season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The AAA predicts that holiday traffic on the roads will be the busiest today, December 26. Traveling by air will also be challenging on this the day after Christmas. Ticket prices are most expensive today, and the number of travelers may cause long lines. Officials at Kansas City International Airport say they expect nearly 30,000 passengers to pass through the airport today (THUR). AAA advises air passengers to arrive early and to check your flight status before going to the airport, 


Kansas Expanding Program for Avoiding Lines at DMV Offices

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is allowing some residents seeking to get or renew a driver's license to schedule appointments so that they can avoid a tedious wait in line. The Division of Vehicles in the Kansas Department of Revenue recently expanded the program to an additional nine offices in populous areas after launching a pilot program in Topeka in August. Q-Flow allows people to use a website to make appointments up to 30 days in advance. The division says the wait is less than 15 minutes for 95% of the people setting appointments and it is looking at bringing Q-Flow to more offices. 


Agriculture's Woes Drag Down Kansas Personal Income Growth

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Personal income growth in Kansas is below the national average largely because of troubles in agriculture. Kansas Public Radio reports that the state's personal income has grown by 1.6% since late 2007, when the Great Recession started. The national rate is 2.1%. All states have seen their economies grow since the Great Recession but Kansas had the eighth-worst personal income growth in the nation over the last year. Kansas farmers face an expanding drought and low commodity prices. Agriculture makes up about 40% of the state's economy and industries related to agriculture and food production are worth about $65 billion annually.


Kansas Officials Want Charity Regulation Under Single Office

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas officials whose offices register charities and enforce anti-fraud laws separately want the Legislature to give both duties to one agency to make regulation more efficient. Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary of State Scott Schwab are proposing to have the Consumer Protection Division in the attorney general's office handle all regulation of charities. The two Republicans said they will present their proposal to the GOP-controlled Legislature after it convenes its next annual session Jan. 13. The secretary of state's office currently registers charitable organizations, solicitors and fundraisers, and the attorney general's office enforces laws on charities and prosecutes fraudulent solicitations. 


Prosecutor Calls for Justice for Wrongfully Convicted Man

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas prosecutor who helped free a man who spent 23 years in prison for a double homicide he always said he didn't commit is calling for justice as the state fights the man's effort to get compensation. Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree Sr. described the case of Lamonte McIntyre as a “glaring stain on the criminal justice system" in an open letter Tuesday. McIntyre was 17 in 1994 when he was arrested in Kansas City for the double homicide. McIntyre was sentenced to two life sentences but he was freed in 2017 after Dupree asked the court to vacate his convictions.


Former Colombian President to Deliver Landon Lecture

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Former Colombian president and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Juan Manuel Santos is speaking next year at Kansas State University. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Santos's Feb. 4 address is part of the Landon Lecture series. The series is named for former Kansas Gov. Alf Landon, who was the 1936 Republican nominee for president. The series was established in 1966 to bring in speakers to discuss issues facing business, politics and international relations. Santos received undergraduate degrees in economics and business from another Kansas school _ the University of Kansas _ in 1973.


Topeka Zoo Wants Used Live Christmas Trees for Its Animals

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Zoo animals in Topeka will soon be making use of castoff live Christmas trees. The city said in a news release that the trees can be dropped off starting Thursday at a special location at Gage Park, where the zoo is located. Zoo Director Brendan Wiley says animals that can benefit from the trees include lions, tigers, owls, mountain lions, giraffes, black bears and painted dogs. Once the animals make use of the trees, they will be ground up and turned into mulch. The trees must be free of ornaments, hooks, tinsel and tree stands. They also can't be in plastic bags.  


Topeka Man in Custody After Four Hour Stand-off with Police

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Topeka man has been arrested in connection with a domestic disturbance after a standoff yesterday (WED) with officers that lasted for about four hours. The Topeka Capital Journal reports that 39-year-old Michael Allen Ogle was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and felony interference with law. Officers were dispatched to a home in southwest Topeka just after 7:30 a.m. Christmas Day on a report of a violent domestic disturbance. The female victim told officers that a man was inside the home and was armed. Police say Ogle barricaded himself inside the house and refused to come out. Topeka police negotiators were able to persuade the man to leave the house. After the suspect was taken into custody, a dog ran out of the house and charged officers. One of the officers fired his weapon, killing the dog. Ogle was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries then then taken to the Shawnee County Jail.


Police Identify Woman Stabbed to Death in Olathe

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The woman stabbed to death last week in suburban Kansas City has been identified. The Kansas City Star reports that Olathe, Kansas, police on Thursday identified the victim as 68-year-old Patricia Fitzgerald of Montgomery, Texas. She was killed Dec. 20. Police were called to a home for a report of an armed disturbance and found Fitzgerald. She was pronounced dead at the scene. A 38-year-old woman who knew Fitzgerald also was found at the scene and taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. No arrests have been made and the investigation continues.


Topeka Police Officer Arrested for DUI

TOPEKA, Kan.-- A Topeka police officer was arrested Christmas Eve for driving under the influence.  WIBW reports that Officer Jeremy Gallegos was booked into the Shawnee County Jail on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Shawnee County Deputies responded to a traffic accident on SW Randolph Avenue and took Gallegos into custody. He has since been released and placed on administrative leave pending a review by the Shawnee County District Attorney's Office.


Kansas City Fire Department Fights Early Morning Fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department was called to a fire at a trailer early this (THUR) morning.  WSHB-TV reports that firefighters responded to a reported fire near Interstate 435 in north Kansas City about 2:30 a.m. KCFD officials say the blaze was quickly contained and the residents were safely evacuated. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Kansas Drive Provides Gifts to Youth Formerly in Foster Care

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Dozens of young people who aged out of the Kansas foster care system are receiving holiday presents through a state agency's gift drive. The state Department for Children and Families says its annual drive raised more than $4,000 in money and gift cards while also providing wish lists. The department said 229 young people formerly in the foster care system received gifts. The department works with about 750 young adults from foster care aged 18 through 26 to provide support to help them be self-reliant adults. DCF officials said many of them go without traditional holiday celebrations and gifts from loved ones.


Education Official, Songwriter Named Group's Kansans of Year

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A group dedicated to preserving and promoting Kansas history has named a longtime state education official and a country music singer-songwriter as its 2019 Kansans of the Year. The Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas plans to honor Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis and Nicolle Galyon during a Jan. 24 banquet in Topeka. Dennis is state government's leading expert on public school funding and has worked as an administrator at the State Department of Education for 52 years. Galyon is an award-winning songwriter who has penned songs for acts including Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban.


Remains Found in Missouri in 2015 Were Those of Kansas Man

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have determined that a body that was found in the Missouri River four years ago is that of a missing Kansas man. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that DNA was used to help identify the remains of Phillip Owen Morgan. The Lawrence, Kansas, man was 38 when he was reported missing on June 11, 2015. Three days later, the body of an unidentified drowning victim was found near the Missouri town of Hartsburg, which is about 10 miles northeast of Jefferson City. Several people told police that Owen liked to hike near the Kansas River, which was flooding when he disappeared. 


Deadly Crash Pursuit Started when Motorist Hit Patrol Cars

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas law enforcement pursuit that ended in a deadly crash started when a driver in a pickup truck slammed head on into the patrol cars of deputies who had stopped to attend to a deer that had been struck by a vehicle. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that the collision late Monday disabled one patrol car and damaged the other. The release says the truck's driver, 24-year-old Robert Scott Jackson, of Coffeyville, then fled before losing control when the roadway's surface switched from pavement to gravel about 4 miles north of Coffeyville. Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene.


2 16-Year-Olds Injured in Wichita Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Two 16-year-olds are hospitalized but expected to survive after a shooting in Wichita. Police Officer Paul Cruz told the Wichita Eagle that the shooting happened about 12:15 a.m. Thursday on the city's north side. Someone dropped the male teenagers off at a hospital at about the same time officers were sent to a home about a report of a possible shooting. Police found shell casings and bullet strikes to a home in the neighborhood where the shooting was reported. A 71-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man were inside. They were unhurt. No arrests have been made. Cruz says the shooting was drug-related.


Wichita's Indoor Football Team Moving to New Arena for 2020

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The indoor football team in Wichita is leaving its downtown arena for another home north of the city built specifically for the sport. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Wichita Force has announced that it will leave the Intrust Bank Arena downtown and move to Hartman Arena in Park City. The first of six home games at the new venue is set for April 3. Wichita oilman and restaurateur Wink Hartman developed the 5,000-seat arena largely as a home for the Wichita Wild. Hartman owned the Wild, and it played there from 2009 until it folded in 2014.


KPR's daily headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day.  KPR's weekend summary is usually published by 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays. 

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