Senator Jerry Moran Faces Tough Health Care Questions in Town Hall
PALCO, Kan. (AP) — Senator Jerry Moran faced tough questions about Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday at a town hall meeting in his home county that should be friendly territory. Moran drew some applause when he said he opposed the version of the bill written by Senate Republican leaders because of its impact on rural health care. "I will choose country over party. I will choose Kansans over party," Moran told an overflow crowd of about 150 people spilling outside a room with a capacity of less than half that in Palco, population 300, and about 270 miles (435 kilometers) west of Kansas City. Some audience members drew applause for advocating government-run health care like the Medicare program for the elderly. But the event was in Rooks County, and President Donald Trump won the county with 84 percent of the vote last year. Moran grew up in nearby Plainville.
Kobach Appeals Fine to District Judge
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has now appealed to a federal district judge a $1,000 fine levied against him for misleading the court. His court filing late Wednesday evening came hours after U.S. Magistrate Judge James O'Hara refused to reconsider the fine and an order requiring him to submit to a deposition by the American Civil Liberties Union. The judge had fined the Kansas Republican for misrepresenting the contents of documents he took into a November meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump and a separate draft amendment to the National Voter Registration. Kobach argued the lack of clarity in his court filing was an honest mistake caused by last-minute editing. He also contended the magistrate did not consider whether the deposition was intended to harass, annoy or embarrass him.
Prairie Village Democrat Announces Run for 3rd District Congressional Seat
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (AP) — A teacher from northeast Kansas says he will run for the Democratic nomination for a Kansas congressional seat currently held by Republican Representative Kevin Yoder. Tom Niermann, a 49-year-old teacher from Prairie Village, announced his candidacy Thursday for the 3rd District seat held by Yoder since 2011. He said in a statement that his goal will be to consider every day what's best for Kansans. The Kansas City Star reports Niermann was raised in Wichita and taught in the public schools there and in Lawrence. He joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking to run against Yoder. Other candidates include Andrea Ramsey, Reggie Marselus and Chris Haulmark. Jay Sidie, the Mission Woods businessman who lost to Yoder in November, also intends to run.
Former State Representative Jan Pauls of Hutchinson Dies
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Former state Representative Jan Pauls has died at the age of 64. The Elliott Mortuary says Pauls, of Hutchinson, died Wednesday at St. Francis Select Specialty Hospital. A cause of death was not immediately available. Pauls, a former judge and attorney, served in the Kansas Legislature beginning in 1991. She represented the 102nd district as a Democrat until switching to the Republican party in 2014 to advocate for conservative social issues. Pauls lost her bid for re-election last November to Democrat Patsy Terrell, who died last month near the end of her first legislative session. Funeral arrangements for Pauls are pending.
Georgia Man Pleads Guilty in Scheme that Cost Sedgwick County
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Georgia man pleaded guilty in a fraud scheme that cost Sedgwick County more than $566,000. U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a statement Thursday that 49-year-old George James, of Brookhaven, Georgia, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. James said someone called only A.H., asked to deposit some money into James's account. In October, Sedgwick County received an email from someone claiming to be from Cornejo and Sons asking the county to send payments to a new bank account. The county sent about $566,000 to his James' account in Georgia before realizing that Cornejo didn't request the account change. James transferred the money to bank accounts in China and Germany and spent some of it. County officials said in April most of the lost money had not been recovered.
Guns, Bomb-Making Material Taken from 'AK-47' Suspect's Home
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — FBI agents seized bomb-making materials, seven guns and ammunition from the Montana home of a man they suspect of carrying out bank robberies in Kansas and four other states. An inventory of the property seized from Richard Gathercole's home in Roundup shows that agents also took sheriff's badges and patches, a sheriff's vest and an ammunition vest, a military style helmet, an organic chemistry book and material to make identification badges. The inventory list was filed with U.S. District Court in Billings, Montana. Authorities believe Gathercole is the man they dubbed "the AK-47 bandit" who held up at least six banks since 2012. Gathercole is being held in Lexington, Nebraska, where he is accused of stealing a truck and firing on a Kansas state trooper last month. He is scheduled to appear in court this (THUR) morning.
Kansas Man Sentenced in Child Sex Abuse Case
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been ordered to spend at least 50 years in prison for sexually attacking two 7-year-old children in 2013. Forty-five-year-old Eric Landeo was sentenced Wednesday in Johnson County to two life sentences on two convictions of rape of a child and of aggravated indecent liberties of a child. Landeo must serve at least 25 years on each life sentence, and a judge ordered him to serve the sentences consecutively. Landeo was convicted in May of the sexual attacks that authorities say happened while he had been living with friends who had children. He was arrested in July 2013.
Reward Increased to $25,000 in 2013 Fatal Shooting in Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The family of a man who was killed during a home invasion four years ago in Topeka is offering a $25,000 reward for information that could solve the case. Twenty-nine-year-old Juan Solis was killed in September 2013 when assailants broke into his home in the Oakland neighborhood. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports witnesses said three black men wearing masks shot Solis in the chest. His brother, Marco Solis, says there have been no leads in his brother's death. He says the family wants people to remember his brother and help bring the killers to justice before they hurt someone else. Juan Solis was an 11-year employee of Boss Hawg's and Pigskins restaurants and left behind a wife and three young children.
Report: Wheat Harvest Nearly Finished in Parts of Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The latest government report shows the winter wheat harvest is wrapping up in many parts of the state. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Wednesday that about 73 percent of the wheat in Kansas had been harvested. The report covers the week that ended Sunday. Areas in Kansas where the harvest began were nearly done with harvest activity. Wheat crops in south-central Kansas were 97 percent cut, while southeast Kansas was 94 percent finished. Northwest Kansas where cutting begins much later was just 21 percent done while just 47 percent of wheat crops in west-central Kansas were cut. For wheat still in the field, the report rated 47 percent in excellent to good condition with 31 percent in fair shape. About 22 percent was in poor to very poor condition.
Man Who Mailed Death Threats to Federal Judges Gets 7 Years
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man who admitted mailing death threats to three federal judges in Kansas City, Missouri, while imprisoned in Indiana has been sentenced to seven years behind bars without parole. Forty-year-old Bruce DeWayne Jensen was sentenced Thursday in his hometown of Kansas City. That's where he pleaded guilty in March to three counts of mailing threatening communications. Jensen admitted that in November 2014 and in August of last year, he sent to three judges letters threatening to kill them and their families. At the time, Jensen was incarcerated at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Jensen has several previous convictions for similar threats.
Juvenile Charged in Topeka Shooting Death
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Charges have been filed against a 17-year-old from Topeka after a fatal shooting last month in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Shawnee County District Attorney Michael Kagay said Thursday the suspect has been charged as a juvenile with first-degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery. KSNT reports that Kagay is seeking authorization to prosecute the suspect as an adult. The suspect is charged in the death of 18-year-old Justice Mitchell on June 26 in west Topeka.
Wichita Man Injured When Dumpster Emptied into Garbage Truck
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a man who apparently was sleeping in a dumpster in Wichita was injured when the trash bin was being emptied into a garbage truck. The man was sent to the hospital after the accident shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday outside an apartment complex. Wichita Fire Department Battalion Chief, Sid Newby, says the truck's driver had emptied the dumpster and was compacting the trash when he stepped out of the vehicle and heard the victim screaming. The victim was taken to a hospital, and his injuries were not considered to be life-threatening. The man's name was not released.
Grandson Charged with Murder in Missouri Man's Death
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) _ A suburban Kansas City man is charged with murder in the death of his grandfather, whose body was found inside a freezer. Jackson County (Missouri) Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Wednesday that 21-year-old Tyreik Baldwin, of Blue Springs, was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree domestic assault, armed criminal action and stealing a motor vehicle after the death last week of Harvey Baldwin. Court records indicate the Baldwins argued over several issues. Tyreik Baldwin allegedly hit his grandfather in the head with a hammer and stole his truck. from a house. When officers arrived at the home in Blue Springs, a family member told police he couldn't find Harvey Baldwin. His body was later found in a freezer. .
Kansas City's Mike Moustakas, LA's Justin Turner Elected to All-Star Teams
NEW YORK (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas have been elected to the All-Star Game in online voting for the final initial roster spots. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was second in the NL vote, leaving Cubs reliever Wade Davis as the sole representative of the World Series champions at Tuesday's game in Miami. Davis did not join the Cubs until the offseason, after Chicago's first World Series title since 1908. The last World Series champion with one All-Star was in 2007, when Albert Pujols was the only player from the St. Louis Cardinals. Turner received a record 20.8 million votes, topping Freddie Freeman's 19.7 million in 2013, the commissioner's office said Thursday. Moustakas, who also won the final spot vote in 2015, received 15.6 million ballots. Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon was third, followed by Colorado first baseman Mark Reynolds and Miami first baseman Justin Bour, who will compete in Monday's Home Run Derby. Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts was second in the AL vote, followed by the Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus and Tampa Bay first baseman Logan Morrison. Additional All-Stars will be picked for injured players.
Perez Homers in 10th Inning as Royals Beat Mariners, 9-6
SEATTLE (AP) — The Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, Alex Gordon added a two-out RBI single later in the inning and the Royals completed a three-game sweep with a 9-6 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night. Perez drove the second pitch from reliever James Pazos (2-2) out to right field for his 17th homer of the season. It was the third home run of the game for Kansas City, adding to earlier two-run shots by Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain. Kansas City's Mike Minor (5-1) pitched the ninth to get the victory and Kelvin Herrera threw the 10th for his 19th save. The Royals won for the sixth time in seven games and handed Seattle its seventh straight loss at home.