4 Killed in Rollover Accident on Interstate 70 Near Abilene
ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — Four people are dead after a one-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 in northeastern Kansas. The accident was reported just before 10 o'clock this (TUE) morning in Dickinson County, near Abilene. Names of the victims have not been released. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner says the vehicle went off the roadway and rolled over. The cause of the accident isn't immediately known but snow was falling Tuesday morning, causing slick roadways in many parts of the state. Gardner says several vehicles have slid off of roads and highways because of the slick conditions, but no other fatal wrecks were reported.
Gubernatorial Uncertainty, Prison Unrest Among Top Kansas Stories of 2017
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The uncertainty surrounding Governor Sam Brownback's departure after his nationally watched tax experiment came to an end was among the top 10 stories in Kansas in 2017. President Donald Trump nominated Brownback for U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom at the end of July. But the post was in limbo after the U.S. Senate failed to vote on confirming him before finishing its business for year, lengthening an already awkward transition to a new governor. Also making the list were prison disturbances, an allegedly racially motivated bar shooting, wildfires, the release of two wrongfully convicted inmates, questions about the state's child welfare agency, a closer-than-expected Congressional race, a small town sexual assault case, the discovery of human remains in a storage unit and a revenue department shooting.
Missouri's Top Stories in 2017
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Protests that erupted after a white St. Louis officer's acquittal in a black suspect's shooting death was among the top 10 stories in Missouri in 2017. Hundreds of people were arrested at demonstrations after Jason Stockley was found not guilty in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Allegations of heavy-handed action by police led to an ACLU lawsuit and an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Another major story was Republicans rising to unprecedented power in Jefferson City. The 2017 legislative session marked the first time in Missouri history that the GOP controlled the governor's office while holding supermajorities in both legislative chambers. Also making the list was controversial Facebook posts about assassination and hanging by two lawmakers and the slaying of a transgender teen.
Gunfire Outside Kansas City, Kansas, Home Kills 1, Wounds 1
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Kansas man fatally shot during a Christmas Day gathering has been identified. Police say 71-year-old Ernest Moore Sr. was found about 6 p.m. Monday outside a home. A woman was also wounded by gunfire and was taken to a hospital, but her injuries are being called minor. Police say shots fired in an alley penetrated a house and struck the woman. Moore was fatally struck when he went out of the front of the house. He was found dead in a neighbor's yard. Police say there appeared to be a family gathering at the house at the time of the shooting. No arrests have been made.
Kansas City Man Dies of Gunshot Wound on Christmas Eve
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Police say a man has been shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri bringing the city's homicide total to 148 for the year. The Kansas City Star reports that the shooting was reported shortly after 6 p.m. Monday in the city's Old Northeast area. A suspect was arrested a short time later. The victim was identified only as a man in his 20s. A woman at the home was also shot but suffered only minor injuries. Kansas City finished last year with 130 homicides. The record high of 153 was set in 1993. As recently as 2014, the homicide total for the year ended at 82, but that was the lowest number in more than four decades.
Kansas High School Track Coach Accused of Rape, Inappropriate Touching
LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — A former high school track coach in southwest Kansas is facing criminal charges involving two students. The High Plains Daily Leader in Liberal reports that Tyson McGuire is jailed on charges of rape and sexual battery. He was arrested earlier this month. Police say a Liberal High School administrator contacted authorities in November, after two female students reported that McGuire touched them inappropriately while treating them for sports-related injuries. McGuire was placed on leave at that time, pending an investigation. The school board voted 6-0 on December 20 to terminate McGuire's contract.
Car Found in River After Driver Flees from Wichita Police
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a motorist who fled from police and then drove a car into the Arkansas River in Wichita. Wichita police Officer Charley Davidson says officers began pursuing the vehicle Sunday after the driver was seen leaving an area where a disturbance involving a weapon had been reported. The Wichita Eagle reports that officers ended the chase because the car was being driven recklessly. The car was spotted in the river a short time later. The car was empty, and the driver couldn't be found. Anyone with information is urged to call police.
All Kansas Courts to Mandate Electronic Filing Next Summer
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Supreme Court plans to require attorneys to file their documents electronically in all of the state's courts starting in late June. The high court says mandating electronic filing is an important step toward setting up a central system for managing court cases. The Supreme Court eventually hopes to make documents available to the public electronically. The Supreme Court is taking public comment on new rules designed to advance electronic filing. One would prevent attorneys from faxing documents. The electronic filing mandate takes effect June 25. People representing themselves still can make paper filings. The state's appellate courts have required electronic filing since November 2015, and 24 judicial districts covering 79 of the state's 105 counties require it. It's available but not mandated in the other seven districts.
Abuse of Boy Found in Concrete Was Recorded, Affidavit Says
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Video images of a 3-year-old Wichita boy being severely abused months before his body was found encased in concrete in the home where he lived with his mother and her boyfriend were described in court documents backing up the mother's and boyfriend's arrests. The Wichita Eagle reports the images appear to show the abuse occurred while Evan Brewer's father was frantically trying to get authorities to intervene. Miranda Miller and Stephen Bodine are charged with murder in the death of Miller's son, Evan Brewer. The toddler's paternal grandfather is former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer. Evan had been the subject of a custody battle, and his father contacted the Kansas Department for Children and Families and police with concerns. The new DCF leader wants a thorough review of the agency.
Wichita May Be Involved in Supersonic Jet Development
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Work on a supersonic business airplane could likely be headed to Wichita's aircraft suppliers. Aerion Corp. Executive Chairman Brian Barents said this week that it's probable some of the parts on the company's $120 million AS2 supersonic business jet will be made by Wichita suppliers. Barents says he fully expects Wichita's aviation industry to play a role in the development of the 12-passenger jet. The Wichita Eagle reports that the AS2 likely will be manufactured by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, which last week announced its agreement with Aerion to work together on a plan to engineer, certify and produce the jet. But Barents says there will be ample opportunity for Wichita suppliers to manufacture parts for the airplane. The jet is expected to make its first flight in 2023.
Wichita Police Horse Euthanized Because of Health Issues
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Wichita police horse has been euthanized because it was suffering from a painful intestinal obstruction. Officer Charley Davidson, a spokesman for the Wichita Police Department, says the horse, named Champ, had served with the mounted unit officers for the past six years. The Wichita Eagle reports that Champ was euthanized over the weekend after it was determined that his GI tract had ruptured. Davidson said Champ was "known for his kind and gentle disposition." David said he was "loved by the community and the mounted unit officers."
KCK Firefighter Found Dead in Bed at Station
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — An investigation is under way after a suburban Kansas City firefighter was found dead in his bed at the fire station. The Kansas City Star reports that 46-year-old Jason Garrett had been with the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department for more than five years. He was found dead in his bed Tuesday morning at Fire Station 19. The cause of death is not known but authorities believe Garrett died of natural causes. He was paramedic in addition to being a firefighter.
$3.1 Million Project to Repair Airport in Johnson County
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Five hangars at Johnson County Executive Airport in suburban Kansas City that were severely damaged by wind in March will be rebuilt at a cost of more than $3 million. The Kansas City Star reports that the Johnson County Commission on Dec. 21 approved a $3.1 million contract with Rothwell Construction to rebuild the T-hangars at the airport in Olathe. Straight-line winds reaching 85 mph hit the airport on the evening of March 6, damaging hangars at the airport that serves corporate, business and general aviation clients. Airport officials hope the work can be completed by September.
Man Convicted in Drive-By Killing in Topeka Gets Life Term
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 19-year-old Topeka man has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in a fatal drive-by shooting, but he'll be eligible for parole after serving 25 years. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Christopher Shawn Pattillo was sentenced Tuesday for the 2016 killing of 20-year-old Brian Miller. Pattillo was convicted of felony first-degree murder in July. Pattillo told the judge that he shouldn't be sentenced to more than 40 years in prison for something that he says he "didn't do." Witnesses at Pattillo's trial said another man charged in the crime, De'Angelo Megle Martinez, was the gunman who fired 14 shots from a van driven by Patillo. Jurors in the trial for Martinez deadlocked in September. A second trial is scheduled for February.
Wichita State to Offer Online Degree in Homeland Security
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State University plans to offer an online bachelor's degree in homeland security beginning next spring. The Board of Regents has approved the proposal to offer students an overview of homeland security with an emphasis on law enforcement operations. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Wichita State officials said the four-year program is designed to appeal to people wanting homeland security jobs in law enforcement or private security companies. In Kansas, two-year programs related to homeland security exist at Butler, Barton and Kansas City community colleges. Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina offers a bachelor's degree in homeland security that focuses on emergency management. Southwestern College in Winfield has a certificate program in homeland security.
Kansas Adds CPR Training to High School Graduation Requirements
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — All Kansas students will have to undergo CPR training to graduate high school starting next fall. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the state Board of Education approved the new requirement earlier this month. Kansas will be the 38th state to require CPR training for graduation. It's estimated that nearly 33,000 students will be trained in CPR across Kansas after the requirement goes into effect.
Kansas Bearded Sinners Group Donates Toys to Pediatric Unit
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Members of Kansas's Bearded Sinners Beard Club delivered stuffed animals to children in a hospital's pediatric unit two days before Christmas. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Kansas chapter of the national organization had collected donations to give Christmas gifts to three families in Topeka and Emmett. The group received so many toy donations that they arranged to bring several of them to the children at Stormont Vail Hospital on Saturday. Nicholas Hines, the Kansas chapter's vice president, says the Bearded Sinners are brought together by their beards and a shared desire to better their communities. He says members want to give back because they've all been in need of help at some point in their lives.
Kansas Tech School to Help Fill Nurse Shortage
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A technical school in Salina will begin offering a practical nursing program next year to help alleviate the shortage of nurses in Kansas. The Salina Area Technical College will begin offering the program starting next fall for up to 40 students. College President Greg Nichols said the school has already received more than 50 applications for the program. Program graduates will receive a practical nurse technical certificate that allows them to apply as a licensed practical nurse. Nichols said the certification takes three semesters including prerequisite classes. The total cost is expected to be between $13,000 and $14,000 but the board of trustees hasn't approved the tuition rate yet. Nichols said the college is also seeking approval to launch a registered nursing program in 2019. The Kansas Department of Labor projects that the state will need 90 new nurses a year for the next decade just to serve north-central Kansas.
Topeka Zoo Welcomes 2 Aging Malayan Sun Bears
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka Zoo is the new home of an aging bear couple named HoHo and Cupcake. The zoo welcomed the two Malayan sun bears last week. But they will be under quarantine for 30 days and construction might prevent them from being on display for a few months. HoHo, a male, and Cupcake, a female, are both 28. The city says they'll live in a space formerly occupied by Tiffany the gorilla, who died last August. The city said in a news release Thursday the two bears have lived together since they were about 2. Topeka officials didn't say where the bears came from but The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the bears came from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.
After 445 Days at KC Shelter, Big Dog Finds a Home
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — More than 10,000 pets go through the Kansas City Pet Project shelter each year, but a big Mastiff mix with droopy eyes had a heartbreakingly long stay. Now, after 445 days, Polina finally has a home. The Kansas City Star wrote about the plight of Polina earlier this month. She was sweet but always left behind when one prospective pet owner after another adopted other rescue animals, largely because Polina is scared of other dogs and children. But after the Star story, several people stepped forward to adopt Polina. In the end, she went to a Kansas City home where she can roam three acres of land and sleep on a large, warm bed. KC Pet Project staff chose Polina's new family after talking with them and visiting the home.
Kansas State Coach Snyder Considers Retirement After Cactus Bowl
PHOENIX (AP) — Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder could be coaching his final game when the Wildcats face UCLA in the Cactus Bowl tonight (TUE) in Phoenix. The 78-year-old coach says he has not decided whether he wants to return for a 27th season or retire to spend more time with his family. Snyder has coached Kansas State for 26 seasons helping to turn the struggling team into a nationally prominent program when he took over in 1989. He has led Kansas State to 19 bowl appearances, including three trips to the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. Snyder retired in 2005 but when the program went into decline, he returned to coaching in 2008.