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Headlines for Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Senator Jerry Moran Disagrees with Trump's Remarks on Democratic Lawmakers

LOUISBURG, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas says President Donald Trump's suggestion that four Democratic congresswomen of color "go back" to where they came was inappropriate because the women are Americans. At a town hall meeting Monday in Louisburg, Moran says he disagreed with the congresswomen targeted in Trump's tweets on many policies. But he said there is "nothing to be gained" by personal attacks on elected officials or Americans. The president on Sunday said on Twitter that the four congresswomen hate America and should go back to their countries, and he continued his attacks Monday and Tuesday. All the women are American citizens. The Wichita Eagle reports that Moran said "It is inappropriate to suggest they go home to any place - they are home."


Texas Woman Dies, Transportation Worker Injured After Wreck

LYNDON, Kan. (AP) — A 52-year-old Texas woman died in a wreck that later led to a Kansas Department of Transportation worker being injured.  The Kansas Highway Patrol says Patricia Falconer, of Canyon Lake, Texas, died in the accident Monday on Interstate 35 in Osage County.  Falconer lost control of her vehicle and over-corrected, causing the vehicle to roll several times. She died at the scene. A passenger, 27-year-old Jeffrey Cadman, also of Canyon Lake, was seriously injured.  The patrol says about 90 minutes later, a state transportation worker who was helping direct traffic around the wreck was struck by a tractor-trailer.  The worker, Christopher Staley, of Williamsburg, was taken to Coffey County Hospital with minor injuries.


Man Enters Plea in Killing of Confidential Drug Informant

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first degree murder in the killing of a confidential drug informant whose body was found by deer hunters.  The Manhattan Mercury reports that 33-year-old Steven Meredith, of Junction City, entered the plea Friday. His trial had been scheduled to start Monday.  Prosecutors said that Meredith killed 48-year-old Carrie Jones in October 2017 because he believed she would provide information about him in a drug case in which he was later convicted. Her body was found in rural Riley County.  Meredith's sentencing is set for September 23. Assistant Riley County Attorney Kendra Lewison says the state agreed to seek a lesser sentence of 20 years in prison. Meredith will be allowed to ask for no less than 15 years.


Man Dies Cleaning Clogged Pond Overflow Pipe in Rural Kansas

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has died after his arm was sucked into a pond overflow pipe in rural Kansas.  Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan says deputies responded to a report about a possible drowning just before 2:30 am Monday east of Salina.  The Hays Post reports that 75-year-old Errol Redden, of rural Saline County, had gone out about 9:30 pm Sunday to clean a clogged overflow pipe on a pond on his property. When he didn't return, Redden's wife called their son to check on him.  Redden's body was found with his arm sucked into the overflow pipe. Soldan says it appeared that he was unable to free his arm and drowned. The suction in the pipe was so strong that firefighters were called in to remove the body.


Attorney General: 3 Kansas Cases on U.S. Supreme Court's Fall Docket

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the U.S. Supreme Court's fall docket includes three Kansas cases.  Schmidt announced Monday that it is the first time in modern Kansas history the state has three cases before the court at one time. Schmidt's office will represent the state in all three cases.  The first Kansas case to be heard this fall involves an appeal filed in a capital murder case filed by James Kraig Kahler, who killed four relatives in Burlingame in November 2009. Kahler argues Kansas law unconstitutionally prevented him from using an insanity defense.  A second case arises from an identity theft case out of Johnson County and the third involves a Douglas County traffic stop. The Kansas Supreme Court overturned convictions in both cases, and the state is appealing.


USDA: Under 40% of Transferred Ag Researchers to Make Move to Midwest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Department of Agriculture says fewer than 40% of the researchers whose jobs are being transferred from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City will make the move to the Midwest. The Kansas City Star reports that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced in June that the USDA would move more than 550 jobs in two research agencies to Kansas City. A USDA spokesperson told The Star Tuesday that 145 workers will follow their jobs to Kansas City, while 250 will leave the agency, meaning about 37% accepted the transfers. The USDA says the figures may fluctuate. Employees can change their decision until they are expected to report to Kansas City on Sept. 30. Members of the Kansas and Missouri congressional delegations and the states' governors praised the USDA's move when it was announced, saying the agencies are a good fit for the region. But critics argued that moving them will make it harder for federal policymakers to get objective research that might raise questions about President Donald Trump's policies. It's not yet clear whether the researchers will work in Kansas or Missouri. Economic development officials from both states worked to lure the jobs and cities in both states are working to land the USDA offices. Perdue said that moving most employees out of Washington would bring the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture closer to farmers and agribusinesses they serve. He also said the USDA would save about $20 million a year on rent and other employee costs, freeing up extra dollars for research. Critics said the research agencies have lost veteran employees and been unable to fill vacancies since the USDA announced last year it was considering moving their headquarters. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents workers at the two research agencies, opposed the plan. Employees at both recently unionized. The Economic Research Service examines a wide range of issues, including the rural economy, international trade, food safety and programs that provide food assistance to poor Americans. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides grants for agricultural research.


Police Wound Man While Responding to Domestic Disturbance

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say a 26-year-old man is recovering after being shot by an officer responding to an emergency call from the man's mother.  Police Captain Brent Allred said the officer fired three shots Sunday night after it appeared the man pointed a gun at the officer. Police later determined an object in the man's hand was not a gun.  The officer has been working with the department for seven months. He is on paid administrative leave, which is policy after a shooting.  Allred says the man was shot once in the abdomen and was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. He remains hospitalized Monday in stable condition.  The investigation is ongoing.


Woman Admits Crashing Car into Cabela's to Steal Guns

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 27-year-old woman has admitted that she and a co-defendant intentionally drove a car into a Cabela's store in Kansas in order to steal guns.  U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release that Brenda Tosh, of Kansas City, Kansas, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to steal guns from a federally licensed firearms dealer.  She admitted that she and a man crashed the car into a Cabela's in Kansas City, Kansas, in November . They attempted to steal several shotguns and rifles but Tosh was arrested before she could leave the store.  Her co-defendant, 29-year-old Kle Mendez, of Kansas City, Kansas, was arrested after trying to steal a car from a nearby dealership. He is scheduled for a change of plea hearing August 19.  Tosh will be sentenced September 30.


Wichita Police Investigate Woman's Death at Home

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police are investigating the death of a woman in northeast Wichita home.  Officer Kevin Wheeler said a woman in her 70s was found unresponsive in the home Monday evening.  Emergency responders tried unsuccessfully to revive the woman.  Wheeler says officers were notified about a possible disturbance at the home before the woman was found.  The investigation is continuing.


Wichita Man Sentenced for Burglary, Shooting at Police

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old Wichita man who exchanged gunfire with police during a chase has been sentenced to more than 23 years in prison. KAKE-TV reports Elijah Martinez was sentenced Tuesday to 280 months for intentional second-degree attempted murder and three counts of burglary after the confrontation in December 2017. Investigators say officers began pursuing Martinez after a man reported seeing two people stealing mail in west Wichita. Police said gunfire was exchanged at a business and when Martinez drove his vehicle toward officers. He then fled and was pursued in a chase with speeds reaching 80 to 100 mph. The chase ended when Martinez pulled into a parking lot, lost control of his vehicle and crashed. Martinez suffered a gunshot wound to the jaw. No officers were seriously injured.


Railway Cars Carrying Ethanol Derail in Hays; No One Hurt

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say three railway cars carrying ethanol derailed in Hays, causing officials to evacuate a handful of homes as a precaution.  The Hays Post reports that no one was hurt when the cars jumped the tracks Sunday afternoon. And Hays public information officer Kim Rupp says the public wasn't in danger because there were no leaks.  But fire officials set up a 300-foot perimeter around the area in the immediate aftermath, shutting down a few roads near downtown.  Pictures showed that one of the cars was on its side.


Missouri Jail Worker Put on Leave in Bra/Metal Detector Flap

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri jail employee says she was placed on leave after putting her bra through an X-ray machine as she was getting screened into work.  Charlotte Hardin says she had to take off her bra because it set off the metal detector at Jackson County Detention Center. She says the facility put her on leave in June, saying undergarments can't be X-rayed. She hasn't been given a return date.  Hardin's attorney filed a sex discrimination and retaliation complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Last month, attorney Laurie Snell said she had to remove her bra at the security gate during a trip to the jail.  Diana Turner, the Jackson County corrections department director, told KCUR her employees don't have issues with screening.


Man Banished from Kansas in Plea Deal Seeks to Return

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man who was permanently banished from Kansas as a condition of a criminal plea deal is seeking to return.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas says the punishment harkens to the vigilante justice of the Old West.  A Montgomery County judge will hear arguments on August 8 over the motion filed by ACLU that aims to allow Bo Dana Rupert to return to Kansas from Texas.  Rupert was sentenced to 12 months of probation in 2017 related to criminal threats. The court accepted the plea agreement Rupert had entered with Montgomery County Attorney Larry Markle that bars him from returning to Kansas.  ACLU Legal Director Lauren Bonds calls it one of the most bizarre and illegal sentences she has seen.  Markle did not immediately return a message.


Report: 81% of Winter Wheat Crop Now Harvested in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The government's latest crop update says 81% of the winter wheat in Kansas has now been harvested.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service said Monday that the wheat harvest is still behind the 95% that would be average for this late in the season.  Its report also rated the condition of the state's corn crop as 11% poor to very poor, 33% fair, and 56% good to excellent.  The agency says 2% of the soybean crops planted in Kansas have begun setting pods. About 6% of the sorghum in the state has headed.


Kansas City Royals Will Extend Protective Netting at Stadium

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals are planning to extend the netting at Kauffman Stadium to better protect fans.  The decision comes after a fan was hit by a ball Sunday during the Royals' game against the Detroit Tigers.  Spokesman Toby Cook told KSHB-TV the girl was kept at a hospital overnight for observation and was expected to be released Monday.  He said the club had commissioned a study on how to expand the netting before Sunday's incident. The timing of extending the netting depends on engineering and design challenges. But Cook says more netting could be added before the season ends.  Following recommendations from Major League Baseball, the Royals in 2016 extended the netting from the outside edges of the dugouts and raised it behind home plate about 8 feet.


KU's Pooka Williams Reinstated to Football Team

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — New Kansas football coach Les Miles says top running back Pooka Williams has been reinstated to the team, seven months after he was arrested and charged with domestic battery in a case involving an 18-year-old woman.  Williams later reached a domestic violence diversion agreement with the local district attorney's office.  Miles says Williams, who will be suspended for the season opener August 31 against Indiana State, went through a legal investigation and code of conduct proceedings with the university.  Williams ran for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman last season.  Miles was the head coach at Oklahoma State from 2001-04 before going to LSU, where he won a national championship.


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