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Headlines for Tuesday, April 30, 2019

UPDATE: Suspect in Sheriff's Shooting, Father Found Dead

STERLING, Kan. (AP) — A man suspected in the 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend shot and critically wounded a Kansas undersheriff who attempted to arrest him on a federal firearm charge, then killed his own father and shot a sheriff in the leg before killing himself during a standoff, authorities said Tuesday. Kansas Bureau of Investigation senior special agent Steve Rosebrough identified the dead during a news conference as David Madden, a 37-year-old former Marine, and his father, 65-year-old Thomas Madden. David Madden was indicted last week for illegal possession of an AK-47 assault rifle, federal court records show. KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said Undersheriff Chad Murphy, 48, was aware that Madden was wanted on the federal charge when he attempted to stop Madden in his car near the small town of Sterling around 5:10 p.m. Monday. Madden, who had a woman and child in the car with him, then shot Murphy four times, including once in the neck, KBI said. Murphy was flown to a hospital in critical condition and Madden fled. Sterling is about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Wichita. Madden then drove the three of them to his home in Alden to retrieve weapons, then the three of them traveled a couple of miles more to his father's home near Raymond, Rosebrough said. Madden apparently killed his father before Sheriff Bryant Evans, 53, and a deputy arrived around 5:40 p.m. The sheriff was shot in the leg in an exchange of gunfire with Madden and was taken to a hospital in good condition. Law enforcement subsequently surrounded the home. They found Thomas Madden's body first and his son's around midnight.

Rosebrough said it is unclear whether the woman and child accompanied Madden willingly. The woman, who left the house before David Madden was killed, has been located and is being interviewed and the house is being searched. Rosebrough didn't know the relationship between Madden, the woman and child.

Madden had been under investigation in the disappearance of 22-year-old Megan Renee Foglesong, of Oneida, Illinois, who was last seen in Rice County in 2015. Former Rice County Undersheriff Brian Treaster told KAKE-TV in February that there have been six large searches for Foglesong and some small ones, too. He said previously that foul play was suspected, but didn't say why. KBI searches of Madden's home in early 2017 led to the discovery of two wooden crates containing two dozen pipe bombs, each wrapped with baling wire and black tape, and an AK-47 assault rifle that had been stashed under his bed. Madden told KBI agents that he found the weapon in Fallujah, Iraq, while he was stationed there. Federal weapon possession charges were not filed against Madden until earlier this month. It was unclear why there was a filing delay in the federal case. Madden was also listed as an absconder from a program that supervises felony offenders. A Kansas Department of Corrections spokeswoman didn't immediately return a phone message, and online records provided no details about why he was listed as an absconder.

(– related –)

Woman, Child with Man When He Wounded Lawman

STERLING, Kan. (AP) —  Authorities say a woman and child were with a man when he shot and critically wounded a Kansas undersheriff. Kansas Bureau of Investigation senior special agent Steve Rosebrough says the woman and a child left 37-year-old David Madden on Monday night before he shot the Rice County sheriff in the leg and killed himself. The KBI says Madden also killed his father, 65-year-old Thomas Madden. The KBI says it's unclear whether the woman and child accompanied Madden willingly. The relationship between Madden and the woman wasn't known. Madden also is a suspect in the 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend. Rosebrough said the undersheriff's injuries aren't believed to be life-threatening. He is in critical but stable condition. The sheriff has been released.

(earlier reporting)

2 Bodies Found After Wounding of 2 Law Enforcers in Central Kansas

STERLING, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have found two bodies in a Kansas home after a standoff that followed the shooting of a sheriff and undersheriff.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that the Rice County undersheriff was shot and critically wounded around 5 pm Monday after attempting to stop a car north of the small town of Sterling, about 70 miles northwest of Wichita.  The release says the sheriff and a deputy then pursued the suspect to a home in a nearby town, where the sheriff was shot in the leg in an exchange of gunfire.  KSNW-TV reports that a KBI official said at the scene early today (TUE) that two men's bodies were found at the home after a standoff. Authorities haven't released their identities, but the bureau says there is no risk to the community.

Kansas Sheriff, Undersheriff Shot Separately, Suspect Sought

STERLING, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas sheriff and undersheriff were shot, one during a traffic stop and one during a shootout at a home.  According to a Kansas Bureau of Investigation statement, the Rice County undersheriff attempted to stop a car driven by 37-year-old David L. Madden just north of the Sterling city limits Monday at about 5:10 pm. Madden, of Alden, had a warrant.  The release says that within thirty seconds of initiating the car stop, the undersheriff radioed dispatch that he'd been shot. He was shot four times and is in critical, but stable condition.  Following that shooting the Rice County sheriff tracked Madden to a residence in rural Rice County, southeast of Raymond. He and another sheriff's deputy exchanged gunshots with the suspect and the sheriff was struck in the leg. He's listed in good condition.  Kansas Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Melissa Underwood says law enforcement officers think they have the suspected shooter surrounded at the home.


Kansas Governor Names New Appeals Court Judge Amid Lawsuit

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly has nominated a new judge for the Kansas Court of Appeals despite a lawsuit over whether she has the power to fill the vacancy after her first nominee withdrew. The Democratic governor announced Tuesday that she was submitting Lenexa attorney Sarah Warner's name to the Republican-controlled Kansas Senate for confirmation. Kelly was forced in March to withdraw Labette County District Judge Jeffry Jack as her first nominee because of political posts on his Twitter feed in 2017. Senate President Susan Wagle contends that Kelly missed the deadline to make a proper nomination and the choice now falls to Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. Attorney General Derek Schmidt petitioned the Supreme Court last week to settle the issue. The court plans to hear arguments May 9.


Kansas Medicaid Patients Can Now Get Antiviral Hepatitis C Drugs

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A court settlement will allow Medicaid beneficiaries in Kansas infected with the Hepatitis C virus to be able to receive the treatment they need regardless of how far their disease has progressed. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree approved on Monday the agreement in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of enrollees in the privatized Medicaid program, also known as KanCare. The lawsuit challenged a Kansas policy that restricted the more costly treatment by direct-acting antiviral drugs to only the sickest Medicaid beneficiaries. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas lawsuit is among several nationwide demanding state Medicaid programs cover the treatment. An attorney says 335 Kansas Medicaid beneficiaries were initially denied treatment since 2016 and another 2,600 enrollees suffering from the disease will now have access to the drugs.


22 Calls to 911 About Wichita Home Where 2-Year-Old Died

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — At least 22 emergency 911 calls were made about what was happening in a Wichita home before a 2-year-old was found dead there and the toddler's 4-month-old brother severely injured.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Wichita police found Zaiden Javonovich dead on April 11. Police say his body was facedown and bound in his crib.  The affidavit unsealed Thursday said Zaiden weighed just under 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) and had cuts on his face consistent with someone pushing his head down into something. His baby brother had broken ribs and a bruised head.  Most of the calls came from Zaiden's mother, 22-year-old Brandi Marchant, and his father, 28-year-old Patrick Javonovich. They are charged with felony murder and child abuse. But Zaiden's grandmother also called seeking help for the children.


Ex-Topeka Correctional Employee Charged with Abusing Inmates

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors say a former Topeka Correctional dental instructor has been charged with inappropriate conduct with female inmates.  The Kansas Department of Corrections said Friday that Shawnee County officials charged Tomas Co with seven counts of unlawful sexual relations.  Co supervised inmate training in a program that taught inmates to make dentures.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports each charge against Co involves a different inmate in incidents that allegedly occurred between 2014 and 2018.  The newspaper said documents it obtained show the corrections department was made aware of the alleged sexual misconduct more than two years ago. State and federal auditors recommended Co be fired but he continued to work until he was placed on administrative leave in November 2018.  Co was arrested in Oklahoma and booked into jail there April 8 as a fugitive from justice.


Official: Contraband Drugs Probed in 4 Kansas Inmate Deaths

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas's corrections secretary said Tuesday that officials believe contraband drugs could be involved in the recent deaths of four inmates at three prisons but are awaiting autopsy and lab results to determine the substances. Roger Werholtz said possibilities include methamphetamines, cocaine, or K2, a synthetic mixture of industrial chemicals intended to mimic the effects of THC, the naturally occurring active compound found in marijuana. The four inmates have died since Friday.

"Right now, we're really dealing with an unknown," Werholtz said.

Ethen Thornton, an inmate at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility, died Friday morning at a hospital. Later that afternoon, Quinn Martin, an inmate at the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, died at a hospital. The following day, Kendrick Gracey died at the El Dorado Correctional Facility. Then on Monday, Jeremy Waller died at the Hutchinson facility. The Kansas Department of Corrections said in a news release that the deaths are under investigation by the corrections department and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.


Kansas Took over 22 Struggling Nursing Homes in 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers have tightened the financial requirements for a license to operate nursing homes after state regulators were forced to take over 22 struggling facilities last year.  Officials with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services told The Kansas City Star they had no choice but to step in because nursing home managers had fallen behind on bills for basics like food and utilities, putting the health and safety of residents at risk.  The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a package of health care legislation this month requested by Democratic Governor Laura Kelly's administration that will require much more financial information from people who apply for nursing home licenses.  "It gives us a better opportunity to maybe know in advance if somebody coming in is maybe in financial difficulties," said Rep. Brenda Landwehr, a Wichita Republican who chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee.  Fifteen of the 22 homes the state had to take over last year were run by Skyline Health, a company owned by a family of investors and headquartered above a pizza parlor in New Jersey.

The Star reported last year that when Kansas issued the 15 licenses to Skyline in 2016, the company had already missed payments to vendors for laundry, housekeeping and food for its facilities in other states. Skyline owed almost $2 million when it was granted its Kansas licenses, according to a lawsuit filed by one of the vendors.  At the time, the state required applicants to provide financial statements showing they had enough cash or equity to meet at least one month's operating expenses.

Under the new law, nursing home applicants must furnish a detailed budget for the first 12 months of operation, which matches Missouri law. They must also document that they have enough working capital to carry out that budget, and they must provide a list of all other nursing homes in the U.S. or abroad where they have ever had an ownership stake.  It also streamlines the legal process for the state to take receivership of nursing homes, which requires a court order.

Mitzi McFatrich, the executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, said she thinks the Kelly administration may seek more reforms in the future, but wanted to get a bill passed quickly this spring to address some of the problems that caused last year's unprecedented situation.


Kansas Tornado Was Small, but Still Caused Damage

PAOLA, Kan. (AP) — The National Weather Service says a tornado near the eastern Kansas town of Paola was a small one, but it was still enough to cause damage. The Kansas City Star reports that the twister with winds estimated at 80 mph to 85 mph was reported at 4:10 a.m. Monday just south of Paola. Jason Leighton of the National Weather Service says it was an EF-0, 15 yards wide, and lasted three minutes. The tornado damaged the roof of Trinity Lutheran Church and toppled headstones in a nearby cemetery. It also bent a flag pole. No injuries were reported. The twister was the first one of the year reported in the weather service's Kansas City region. Paola is a town of 5,600 residents 45 miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri.


Lawmakers Seek Probe in Heatstroke Death of GCCC Football Player

NEPTUNE, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's U.S. House delegation called Tuesday for an independent investigation into the heatstroke death of a Kansas community college football player from their state. The state's 12 representatives wrote to Garden City Community College President Ryan Ruda requesting the probe of 19-year-old Braeden Bradforth's death. Bradforth, who was a defensive lineman from Neptune High School, died in August about an hour and a half after practice. An autopsy report from December blamed his death on exertional heatstroke. School administrators said last year they were conducting an internal review of the circumstances of his death.

Messages seeking comment have been left with the college. New Jersey's representatives — 11 Democrats and one Republican — say the probe should at least review health and safety practices at the school.

"Most regrettably, the Bradforth family's tragedy is not the first of its kind. Exertional heat stroke is one of the top three causes of sudden death in athletes, yet it is preventable," the lawmakers wrote.

Bradforth was found unconscious by an athletic trainer outside his dorm room Aug. 1. He died that night at a hospital. Bradforth is the second Garden City football player to die in two years. Sean Callahan, 19, a sophomore offensive lineman, died at a home in Kismet, Kansas, in May 2017 of what a sheriff's office called natural causes.


Student Arrested in Threat to Northwest Missouri Schools

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A student is in custody after a threat posted on social media threatened some schools in northwest Missouri.  St. Joseph police Sgt. James Langton says an adult male student made the threat on SnapChat.  The student was taken into custody Monday in Andrew County after a threat on SnapChat suggested he was planning to commit mass violence against several schools.  The St. Joseph News-Press reports several schools in the city, along with Savannah High School and Hillyard Technical Center either increased security or were put on soft lockdown, which means students can attend classes but are not allowed outside. The lockdown lasted about three hours on Monday.


Wounded NFL Draftee from Topeka, Corey Ballentine, Will Attend NY Giants Minicamp

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The New York Giants say cornerback Corey Ballentine, who was shot Sunday in Topeka, is recovering and will join the team for its minicamp this weekend.  Ballentine was injured and his friend, Dwane Simmons, was killed while attending a party hours after Ballentine was drafted Saturday by the Giants in the sixth round.  Police have said people inside a car pulled up to the home and, after exchanging words, shot Ballentine and Simmons, who were teammates on the Washburn University football team.  Giants general manager Dave Gettleman told SiriusXM NFL radio Monday that the team spoke to Ballentine Sunday and he was "coming along fine." He said Ballentine is expected to join the Giants Thursday for the team minicamp this weekend.


Female High School Wrestlers in Kansas to Get Own Tournament

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas will host its first state-sanctioned high school wrestling tournament for girls only next year. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Kansas State High School Activities Association board voted Friday to add girls wrestling to its competitions. The association's executive director, Bill Faflick, says the first girls state wrestling tournament will be held in Salina on Feb. 27, 2020. High school girls are already allowed to wrestle, but they've had to join boys' teams. More than 375 high school girls wrestled on boys' teams across Kansas this winter. The change means that boys and girls will still meet during the regular season, but they must participate in their respective regional and state tournaments. aflick says they hope the decision leads to more female participation in high school wrestling across Kansas.


Kansas Man Sentenced for Not Paying Employment Taxes

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 62-year-old Kansas man has been sentenced to three years of probation — including eight months of home detention — for not paying payroll taxes to the government.  Federal prosecutors said David Monhollon, of Ozawkie, was sentenced Thursday for failing to pay payroll taxes. He also was ordered to pay $68,000 in restitution and a $3,000 fine.  Monhollon owned First Call Medical Group, which provided medical staffing services to health care providers.  In his plea, Monhollon admitted he didn't pay a total of $68,261 for seven quarters of the company's payroll taxes. He said he knew the taxes were due but spent the money on other things.


Pittsburg State Students Develop Sustainable Food System

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Pittsburg State University students are experimenting with developing a sustainable food production system that can grow plants without soil while also raising fish.  The Joplin Globe reports that the group is working with the university's biology department and Enactus, a nonprofit that encourages entrepreneurship.  Hydroponics is growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water. The students say they're growing arugula, red kale, romaine, collard greens and butter lettuce in a garden built from PVC pipes. The rooftop greenhouse plants are covered with mosquito netting to diffuse sunlight.  Enactus donated a hydroponic prototype to the project. The prototype was also used to establish a hydroponics operation at a Haitian orphanage.  Fish will soon arrive for use in the Pittsburg food production system and their waste will provide nutrients for the plants.


Chicago Photographer Draws Inspiration from Kansas Prairies

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A photographer from Kansas City keeps trying to capture the prairie life that first inspired her to take her camera to vantage points above ground.  KCUR Radio reports that Chicago-based Terry Evans has her photography on display through June in an exhibit called "The Power of Place" at the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence.  Evans found her love for landscapes after she began taking pictures for the Land Institute in Salina, where scientists were working on sustainability efforts by studying the self-sufficient prairie ecosystem.  Evans says she believed that if she could understand the prairie, the whole universe would reveal itself to her.  Evans spent last winter photographing a single oak tree on the South Side of Chicago.  She says "the Oak Savannah is the ecosystem that is the transition between prairie and forest."


Conservationist Warns of Missouri's Disappearing Prairie

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A conservation expert says Missouri's prairies are disappearing and the loss is hurting the state's ecosystem.  Carol Davit is executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Davit tells KCUR-FM that prairies are rich in nutrients, serving as a natural habitat for pollinators that fertilize crops.  She says further destruction of prairies would reduce pollinators' ability to thrive, which could affect food security in the state.  Davit is pushing to protect prairies from the development projects and agriculture efforts that have been plowing them down. She says restoring the grasslands could be beneficial as Missouri grapples with severe flooding this spring.  Prairie vegetation can absorb substantial amounts of stormwater, as well as reduce soil erosion.  Davit is calling for the planting of more native vegetation to restore some of the prairie's ecological functions.


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