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Headlines for Thursday, September 6, 2018

Kansas House Candidate Charged with Election Perjury

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 35-year-old Olathe man running for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives has been charged with election perjury. Adam Thomas, a Republican candidate in the 26th District House race, was charged Thursday. The Kansas City Star reports charging documents allege that Thomas submitted a falsified document to state or county election officials on May 31. This summer, Democratic lawmakers called for an investigation into Thomas. They alleged he provided false information about where he lived when he filed to run in the election. Thomas was arrested Thursday and booked into the Johnson County jail. His bond was set at $2,500. No attorney for Thomas is listed yet in court records.

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Activist Challenges Kobach's Status as GOP Governor Nominee

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A liberal activist is challenging Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's right to appear as the Republican nominee for governor on the November ballot. Davis Hammet filed an objection Thursday to Kobach's nomination with the secretary of state's office. He contends that potentially hundreds of legal ballots were not counted in the state's August primary. His objection will force a three-member board that includes Kobach or one of his deputies to consider the allegations. Kobach defeated Governor Jeff Colyer by 343 votes out of more than 317,000 cast. Colyer supporters initially raised questions about whether legal votes weren't being counted, but the governor conceded the race. Hammet is a Topeka resident and president of Loud Light, a group focusing on registering young voters that has criticized Republicans in the past.

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Kansas Undersheriff Charged in Fatal Beanbag Shooting

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas undersheriff who fatally shot a man at close range with a beanbag has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.  Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents arrested 60-year-old Barber County Undersheriff Virgil "Dusty" Brewer Wednesday at the Barber County Courthouse.  He was charged by the Kansas Attorney General's office in the October 2017 death of 42-year-old Steven Myers, of Sun City.  Myers was shot with the beanbag after officers responded to a call about a man threatening people with a gun outside a bar in Sun City, about 110 miles west of Wichita.  Myers' wife has sued Brewer and Sheriff Lonnie Small, alleging they used excessive force by shooting Myers, who she says was unarmed and not threatening officers or trying to escape when he was hit.  Small was later dismissed from the federal lawsuit.

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Fund Started for 2 Kansas Sheriff's Deputies Shot Last Week

MANKATO, Kan. (AP) — A fund has been established to help two Jewell County sheriff deputies who were shot on duty last week.  Authorities say the deputies were shot by a 40-year-old man who walked into the sheriff's office, asked to see a deputy and opened fire.  The man, Jason Whitson of Mankato, later shot and killed himself after leading law enforcement on a chase into Ottawa County. A motive for the shooting has not been released.  KSAL reports the Jewell County Sheriff's Office said both deputies will make a "long but full recovery."  The agency says an account has been established to help cover the deputies' expenses. Donations can be sent to the State Exchange Bank in Mankato.

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Opponent Says Kobach Unfit to Lead Due to Immigration Stance

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — One of Republican Kris Kobach's main opponents says he's not qualified to be Kansas governor because of his tough stance on illegal immigration.  Independent candidate Greg Orman said Wednesday during a candidate forum that Kobach does not understand how the state's agricultural economy relies on immigrant labor.  Orman, a Kansas City-area businessman, and the Democratic nominee, state Senator Laura Kelly of Topeka, said illegal immigration is largely a federal issue that requires comprehensive reforms from Washington.  Kobach brushed off the criticism. He has made fighting illegal immigration a key issue in his campaign and argued that states can set policies to discourage it. He said he would be the first governor to seriously tackle the issue.  Orman told Kobach that immigration is only a "red meat issue" for fellow conservatives.

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Flood Victims Can Get Vehicle Documents Replaced for Free

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas residents affected by flooding in five counties this week can get replacement car titles and driver's licenses for free during the next 30 days. Kansas Division of Vehicles director David Harper said people whose documents were lost or damaged by floods in Riley, Jewell, Kingman, Marshall and Pratt counties can apply for replacement titles and registration receipts at the county treasurer's offices. People needing replacement driver's licenses or identifications can go to any driver's license office in the state with proof of residency in one of the five counties and receive a free replacement. The replacements will be available for 30 days. Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer issued a state of disaster emergency Tuesday for the five counties affected by weekend flooding.

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Kansas ACLU's Free Speech Lawsuit Proceeds Against District

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A months-long dispute between a Kansas City school district and students alleging free speech violations has escalated into a court battle involving the American Civil Liberties Union. The Kansas City Star reports that the ACLU of Kansas asked the court this week to allow its lawsuit to proceed against the Shawnee Mission School District. The response comes after the district filed a motion last month asking to dismiss the federal lawsuit filed in May. The dispute began April 20 when students alleged district officials stopped their participation in a nationwide walkout protesting gun violence. The lawsuit accuses the district of suppressing students' political speech on campus "merely to avoid controversy." District officials say they'll continue to work to ensure staff members respect students' First Amendment rights.

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Rookie Officer Says She Meant to Stun Man but Shot Him

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A rookie Kansas police officer charged in a shooting that wounded a man told investigators that she intended to fire her Taser but instead used her firearm. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that an affidavit released Thursday in the case against Lawrence Officer Brindley Blood says she didn't realize she had shot Akira Lewis until she looked for the Taser wires to see if they had hit their mark and realized there weren't any. Blood was charged last month with aggravated battery in the May 29 shooting. The affidavit says it happened after a fellow officer pulled Lewis over for a suspected seat-belt violation, and Lewis refused to cooperate. Lewis is accused of hitting another officer before he was shot. He was treated at a hospital and charged with several misdemeanors.

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Lawrence Officer Won't Face Charges in Non-Fatal Shooting

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence police officer who shot at the car of a man suspected in a double shooting will not face criminal charges. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announced Thursday that Sergeant Robert Neff would not be charged in the July 2 shooting in Lawrence. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Neff followed at a vehicle that police believe was associated with a double shooting earlier in the day. The suspect in the car, Tommy May, drove away and eventually crashed into a yard. Police say Neff got out of his patrol car and ordered May to get out of his vehicle. Instead May ran into Neff's patrol car and eventually hit the officer. Neff then fired at the vehicle as it drove away. Neither man was seriously injured.

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Ex-KU Chancellor Gray-Little to Be Honored for Service

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas will honor former chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little for her service to the university. University officials announced Thursday that Gray-Little will receive the 2018 Fred Ellsworth Medallion for extraordinary service. The award will be presented by the KU Alumni Association during a fall meeting of its board of directors on September 14. Gray-Little retired in 2017 after eight years as the school's 17th chancellor. During her tenure, she led a $1.6 billion fundraising campaign, guided the implementation of new admissions standards and launched a new undergraduate curriculum. She also oversaw 50 capital improvement projects totaling $700 million. The award is named after Fred Ellsworth, a 1922 Kansas graduate who was the Alumni Association's chief executive for 39 years. The honor has been awarded since 1975.

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Heavy Rains Reduce Parking for Kansas State Football Game

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Fans attending the Kansas State-Mississippi State game Saturday are encouraged to arrive early to look for parking spots. Kansas State Athletics announced Thursday parts of grass parking lots around the football stadium are still under standing water or muddy because of torrential rains that hit the Manhattan area this week. The school said parking will be reduced in some of the lots. Some areas received up to 10 inches of rain and more is forecast through Friday, leaving little time to improve ground conditions before the 11 a.m. contest Saturday. Only 300 of the 1,000 spaces in the Ag Lot bill be available for parking and all grass parking near the Grain Sciences areas are closed. And at least half of the 1,000 unpaved spaces in Lot 9 are unavailable.

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Pittsburg Man Sentenced to Life for 2 Linn County Murders

MOUND CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 33-year-old Pittsburg man was sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 killings of two family members.  Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said David Patrick McNabb was sentenced Wednesday to life with no chance of parole for 100 years.  McNabb pleaded no contest in April to two counts of first-degree premeditated murder for the deaths of his uncle, Kenneth McNabb, and grandmother, Betty McNabb.  He also pleaded no contest to felony theft and interference with law enforcement.  The victims were reported missing from rural Pleasanton on November 11, 2016. Their bodies were found buried on rural property west of Pittsburg on November 15.

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Kansas Man Charged with Killing Woman Aboard Cruise Ship

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man is charged with killing a woman while they were aboard a cruise ship in January. Federal prosecutors announced 53-year-old Eric Newman was charged with second-degree murder and made his initial court appearance Thursday. The indictment alleges the Topeka man and 50-year-old Tamara Tucker, of Lawson, Missouri, were aboard the Carnival Elation, a vessel registered in Panama. The cruise departed and arrived from Jacksonville, Florida. Tucker's obituary and a news release from Park University, where she taught, describe Newman as her longtime partner and love. Prosecutors say Newman killed Tucker aboard the ship. No further details were released. Tucker was a full-time faculty member in the social work department at Park University in Parkville, Missouri, from 2012 to 2017. She was an adjunct instructor before that, beginning in 2007.

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Wichita Parents Charged in Death of 2-Month-Old Boy at Motel

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The parents of a 2-month-old boy found dead at a Wichita motel are now charged with involuntary manslaughter and several counts of child endangerment.  The baby's father, Kyle Kempton, and his mother, Christy Rollings, were both charged Tuesday in the death of Patrick Kempton at the Scotsman Inn.  The parents will have court-appointed attorneys and are due back in court on September 20.  The Wichita Eagle reports the boy was found dead beside his father in a motel bed last Thursday. His twin was not injured and was put into protective custody.  Officer Charlie Davidson says officers found the parents intoxicated two days before the child was found dead. The children were placed with a relative after that incident but the relative returned them to their parents.

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Andover Man Dies in Hospital After Fire at Home

ANDOVER, Kan. (AP) — Fire officials say a 65-year-old man who was pulled from a house fire in Andover has died.  Andover Fire and Rescue Chief Chad Russell said in a news release the man was rescued from a home in Andover Tuesday night but died Wednesday.  Another person inside the home was able to escape.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.  Russell says the fire destroyed the house, which is considered a total loss.  No firefighters were injured during the rescue.

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Kansas Governor Declares State of Emergency

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has issued a state of emergency declaration for five Kansas counties hit by flooding during the Labor Day weekend.  Jewell, Kingman, Marshall, Pratt and Riley counties are named in Tuesday's declaration. The governor's office said in a news release that the declaration could be expanded as damage assessments are conducted.  The five counties were hit by up to 9 inches of rain Sunday night into Monday, and more than 300 people were evacuated from around Manhattan.  No deaths or serious injuries were reported. Besides flooding, the counties reported washed out roads, bridges and culverts.

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Kansas Collected $6 Million More in Taxes than Expected in August

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is reporting that it collected $6 million more in taxes in August than expected to extend its longest streak of better-than-anticipated revenues in at least 50 years.  The state Department of Revenue reported Monday that tax collections were $494 million last month. The state's official forecast had predicted $488 million.  The monthly surplus was 1.3 percent.  It was the 15th consecutive month that tax collections have been better than forecast. An AP spreadsheet compiled from monthly reports shows the state hasn't seen such a long streak since at least February 1968.  Since the current fiscal year began in July, tax collections have run almost $18 million ahead of expectations for a 1.8 percent surplus. The state also ended its last fiscal year on June 30 with better-than-expected tax collections.

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2 Women Killed When SUV Crashes into Turning Car in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say two women have been killed in a Wichita crash.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the crash happened Tuesday afternoon as the women were turning left. Wichita police Officer Paul Cruz says the driver of a sport utility vehicle collided with passenger side of the women's car. The impact knocked the car off the road and onto nearby grass.  Cruz says the 20-year-old female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. The car's 21-year-old driver died at a hospital. Police don't know the relationship between the women. Their names were immediately released. Police say the driver of the SUV was taken to a hospital with injuries that weren't life threatening.

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#NotInvisible: Why are Native American Women Vanishing?

VALIER, Mont. (AP) — They're called an invisible and disposable population. Native American women have gone missing and been murdered for years, but many cases remain unsolved. Now the push is on for answers — and ways to stop these tragedies.  Federal and state lawmakers have proposed or adopted a series of measures designed to address the problem of missing and murdered Native women and girls and related issues, such as human trafficking, domestic violence and rape.  No one knows precisely how many of these cases there are because some go unreported, others aren't documented thoroughly and there isn't a specific government database to track them. But one U.S. senator with victims in her home state calls this an epidemic, a long-standing problem linked to inadequate resources, outright indifference and a confusing jurisdictional maze.  Kansas is home to four federally-recognized Indian tribes.

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Despite Past Reforms, Native American Women Face High Rates of Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A wave of legal reforms in the past decade aimed at protecting Native American women from crime has proven limited.  Statistics showing high rates of victimization among Native American women prompted Congress to close legal loopholes that had prevented tribes from prosecuting many of those who harm them.  Lawmakers also passed laws to improve data collection and increase funding for training of tribal police.  Years later, a federal report found those data collection and reporting efforts are still in development, and funding for training remains limited.  Many tribes have not been able to take advantage of various reforms because of costly mandates.  Now, advocates are pushing for more changes as the disappearances of Native American and Alaska Native women and girls gain attention.

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Man Arrested in Kansas City, Kansas Bank Robbery

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say man has been arrested in a Kansas City, Kansas, bank robbery. FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton says in a news release that the robbery happened around 8:35 a.m. Thursday at the Bank of Labor. Patton says in an email that the robber gave a note to the teller before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash. The robber was arrested near the bank without incident. The release says the robber didn't show a weapon, and no one was hurt.

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New Orleans AAA Baseball Club Applies to Relocate to Wichita

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The agency which oversees state-owned sports facilities says New Orleans' minor league baseball franchise has filed an application to relocate to Wichita, Kansas, after the 2021 season. Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District chairman Kyle France calls the decision by the New Orleans Baby Cakes "sad." But France asserts that the LSED remains committed to keeping the suburban New Orleans baseball stadium occupied by a professional baseball franchise long-term. New Orleans has been home to the AAA-level franchise since it moved from Denver in 1993. The team name was the Zephyrs until two seasons ago, when a recently installed management team changed it. The name Baby Cakes was polarizing and alienated many fans. Although it was meant to be an allusion to the plastic babies hidden in Mardi Gras king cakes, the anachronistic phrase was never previously associated with the pastry.

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