Police Arrest Third Suspect in Fatal Downtown Lawrence Shooting
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting three people earlier this month in a popular downtown area of a Kansas college town. Lawrence police said in a news release that the U.S. Marshals took 20-year-old Anthony Laron Roberts Jr. into custody in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, one day after two others were charged with less serious offenses. Missouri court records show that extradition was ordered after a hearing Thursday in Kansas City. The shooting happened early October 1 as people were leaving bars, concerts and other events on the main downtown Lawrence street. About 100 people witnessed the shooting, which police said was caused by an earlier altercation. Charges were filed last Friday against Roberts but not announced until he was arrested. He faces one count of first-degree murder in the death of Leah Elizabeth Brown, 22, of Shawnee, and two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Tremel Dupree Dean, 24, of Topeka; and Colwin Lynn Henderson, 20, of Topeka. He also charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder in the wounding of a man who was among two shooting victims to survive. None of the victims were students at the University of Kansas. Cheryl Wright Kunard, public information officer for the Douglas County, Kansas, prosecutor's office, had no information about whether he has an attorney, noting that he hasn't yet appeared in court there. No details have been provided about the motive. The charging documents say only that Brown was killed in the "commission of" the other killings. Also jailed in the shooting is 22-year-old Ahmad Malik Rayton, who is charged with attempted second-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. Dominique Jaquez McMillon, 19, is charged with aggravated assault and battery. Bond is set at $1 million for Rayton and $25,000 for McMillon. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
3 Sites Confirmed as Finalists for Tyson Poultry Plant
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Local officials have confirmed that three Kansas counties are finalists for a new Tyson Foods Inc. chicken-processing plant. The sites are in Cloud County in north-central Kansas, Montgomery County in southeastern Kansas and Sedgwick County in south-central Kansas. Montgomery County proposed a site in Coffeyville. State Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne said Wednesday that 16 communities in Kansas pursued the project, and Tyson narrowed the list to three. The company has been searching for a new site since it put plans on hold in September for building the plant outside Tonganoxie. Opposition in the northeastern Kansas community of about 5,300 people caused local officials there to back off support for the project. Lansdowne said Tyson will be looking at the potential sites over "the next month or two."
Kansas Settles Lawsuit over Tapping Fees in 2009 Budget Fix
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is acknowledging that it illegally diverted specialized fees to help cover general government spending as part of a 2009 budget fix to settle a lawsuit filed by a legislative leader Former Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal said Wednesday that the settlement is a victory for businesses and individuals who pay fees to cover the costs of state regulation. Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis approved the settlement last month. O'Neal was House speaker when as an attorney he filed the lawsuit for providers of workers' compensation insurance coverage that paid annual fees. The settlement declares that the diversion of nearly $3.1 million in fees from workers' compensation, bank regulation and real estate regulation funds was illegal. Legislators paid those funds back in budget legislation approved earlier this year.
4 Kansas Teens Running for Governor Answer Questions
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Four teenagers who are running for governor of Kansas got a chance to discuss their policy positions at a forum in front of other high school students. The candidates, all under 18, appeared together Thursday at Lawrence Free State High School, where they discussed issues such as abortion, taxes, gun control and legalizing marijuana. The teens are able to run because Kansas doesn't set any age restrictions for gubernatorial candidates. Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old Democrat from Wichita, was the first to file for the race, saying he wanted to get other young people involved in politics. He was quickly followed by three 17-year-old Republicans, Tyler Ruzich from Johnson County; Ethan Randleas from Wichita Heights High School; and Dominic Scavuzzo from Johnson County.
Kansas Ex-Police Officer Pleads in DUI Case
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A former Lawrence police officer has pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge filed against him after an off-duty wreck resulted in a motorcycle driver's death The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 51-year-old Robert Heafey was charged in September with a misdemeanor DUI after a July wreck led to the death of 56-year-old Jesse del Campo Jr., a motorcycle driver involved in the crash. Heafey is accused of operating or attempting to operate a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. A police report shows Heafey had a blood alcohol content of 0.198 soon after the wreck. He has resigned from the Lawrence Police Department Heafey pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. His next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 5.
Kansas to Consider State Compensation for Wrongly Imprisoned
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators expect to consider proposals next year to make it easier for people wrongly convicted of major crimes to win compensation from the state. Lawmakers in both parties said they expect a debate following the release last week of 41-year-old Lamonte McIntyre in Wyandotte County. McIntyre spent 23 years in prison for a double murder he always said he never committed. His release came on the second day of a court hearing re-examining his convictions. The Innocence Project says Kansas is one of 18 states without a compensation law. A Kansas Senate committee had a hearing earlier this year on a proposal to allow people to file lawsuits to collect $80,000 for every year they were wrongly imprisoned. But it took no action and called for a study.
Kansas Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty in Back Wages Case
MERRIAM, Kan. (AP) — The owner of a Kansas City-area restaurant has pleaded guilty to impeding an investigation into the withholding of employees' pay The U.S. Department of Labor says Yong Lin, president of China Garden Buffet in Merriam, Kansas, could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000. The department said in a news release Thursday that Lin twice supplied false records to investigators, who later determined the company owed 56 employees a total of $709,539 in back wages. Investigators say the employees earned the back wages but China Garden Buffet violated overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. A 2011 investigation also found that China Garden Buffet owed back wages of $15,504 to 16 employees, citing similar violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Boyfriend Pleads Not Guilty in Alleged Wichita Attack
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The boyfriend of a Wichita woman whose 3-year-old son was found encased in concrete has pleaded not guilty to charges involving the child's father. Forty-year-old Stephen Bodine is charged with aggravated assault and criminal damage to property. The Wichita Eagle reports Bodine allegedly threatened Carlo Brewer with a hatchet and slashed his vehicle's tires on August 11. Brewer is the father of Evan Brewer, whose body was found in concrete at the same home where the attack against his father allegedly occurred. Evan Brewer was looking for his son when the alleged attack occurred. It is not clear how or when the child died. No one has been charged in his death. His mother, Miranda Miller, waived a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges of aggravated interference with parental custody.
Kansas State Working on $12 Million in Cuts After Enrollment Drop
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University officials say they are developing a plan to cut $12 million because of a drop in enrollment. Fall enrollment at the university fell by nearly 1,000 students — or 4.1 percent — compared to last fall. It was the first time in 15 years Kansas State enrollment fell below 23,000 students. University officials said Wednesday the $12 million budget reduction would come from administrative and academic units. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Kansas State President Richard Myers said an enrollment management consultant will be hired to review current operations and make recommendations to increase enrollment. Pat Bosco, the school's dean of students, said aggressive recruiting of out-of-state students didn't compensate this fall for fewer international students. And he said the in-state pool of potential students had declined.
Mother, Daughter Guilty of Embezzling $210,000 from Kansas Newspaper
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A mother and daughter who were convicted of embezzling more than $200,000 from a weekly Kansas newspaper have been ordered to make monthly restitution payments. The Sedgwick County prosecutor's office said Wednesday that the thefts happened while 39-year-old Victoria Vinciguerra-Johnson and 60-year-old Diane Nieses worked as office managers for the Times-Sentinel newspaper in Cheney. Vinciguerra-Johnson began the job in 2014, taking over for her mother. She was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail and five years of probation for embezzling nearly $160,000. Nieses was convicted of embezzling nearly $50,000 and sentenced last month. They face jail terms of two to three years if they violate the terms of their probation. The release says the newspaper's insurance covered only about a quarter the stolen money.
KBI Investigates Second Child Death in Ulysses This Month
ULYSSES, Kan. (AP) _ For the second time in a month, authorities are investigating the death of a toddler in Grant County. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says Grant County sheriff deputies and Ulysses police were called after a family member took a 1-year-old girl to a Ulysses hospital on Sunday. The child was not breathing when she arrived at the hospital and she could not be revived. An autopsy is pending. The KBI is also investigating the death of 13-month-old Jaxon Silva of Ulysses. Officers were called on October 6 with a report that the boy was unresponsive. He later died at a Wichita hospital.
Rural Survey: Farm Foreclosures over Next 5 Years a Concern
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report is highlighting growing concerns that farm foreclosures will be the greatest challenge to rural banks in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states over the next five years. The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region rose slightly to 45.3 in October from 39.6 in September. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey of bankers, says about 10 percent of bank CEOs surveyed expect their operations to be hit hard by farm foreclosures in the next five years. Goss blamed the concern on weak farm income and low commodity prices. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
UNK to Offer In-State Tuition to Colorado, Kansas Students
KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska at Kearney is offering in-state tuition rates to Colorado and Kansas residents who are accepted as regular on-campus undergraduate students. The university said Thursday it will offer a new Advantage Scholarship that effectively decreases the tuition rate for those students to $198 per credit hour, beginning in fall 2018. Kansas students currently pay $288, which is 150 percent of resident tuition under an agreement among 10 Midwestern states. Colorado is not part of that group, and students from there currently pay $418 per credit hour to attend the university. The university says it will extend the new rate to current undergraduate students from Colorado and Kansas who are in good academic standing. Officials say qualifying students could save an average of nearly $28,000 over four years.
Driver Sentenced in Wreck That Killed Olathe Instructor
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A drunk driver who caused a wreck that killed an Olathe school instructor has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison. The Kansas City Star reports 29-year-old James McAllister, of Overland Park, pleaded guilty in September to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 24-year-old Caitlin Vogel of Stilwell. He was sentenced Wednesday to nine years and seven months in prison. Police say McAllister ran a stop sign and hit a sedan driven by Vogel in May 2016. Authorities say McAllister was driving under the influence of alcohol. Court documents indicated he has two prior DUI convictions and also pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without the ignition interlock device he was required to have. Vogel was an autism instructional assistant for the Olathe school district.
Topeka Pedestrian Dead After Being Struck by Train
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a train has struck and killed a pedestrian in Topeka. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that police were called Wednesday morning after the body was found. The discovery was made in a southern part of the city, just west of the Landon Nature Trail and Betty Phillips Park. The identity of the person who was hit has not been released.