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Headlines for Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Here's what we know so far.

Kansas Employee Pay Raises Lead to Confusion, Resentment 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A formula that Kansas lawmakers have used to determine which state workers would get raises this year has sparked confusion and resentment among employees. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that state lawmakers approved a budget in June that gives some employees their first pay raise in several years. The method leaves out employees who have received raises under separate contracts and divides the rest into two categories. Workers who've been employed over five years and haven't had a raise since at least 2012 were to get a 5 percent raise. Those who've been on the job less than five years would get a 2.5 percent raise. University of Kansas employee Sara Vancil is excluded from the raise. She says it's "kind of a slap in the face to longer-serving workers."


Judge:  Kobach Has Shown Pattern of Misleading Court 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge says Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has demonstrated a pattern of misleading the court about the facts and record in a voting rights case. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson refused Tuesday to reconsider a $1,000 fine and order requiring Kobach to submit to a deposition by the American Civil Liberties Union. Kobach's spokeswoman says they're reviewing the ruling. A magistrate judge had fined Kobach for misrepresenting the contents of documents he took into a November meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump and a separate draft amendment to the National Voter Registration Act. Robinson cited three earlier instances where Kobach mischaracterized the record or exhibits. She says sanctions are necessary to deter him from misleading the court in the future. Kobach is vice chairman of President Donald Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.


Guards: 2 Unreported Uprisings at Troubled Kansas Prison 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Guards at a Kansas prison housing some of the most dangerous criminals say there were two previously unreported disturbances during which inmates took control of the yard for hours before an third uprising that was disclosed last month. Two corrections officers and a person with access to emergency logs, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals from their employer, say low staffing, overcrowding and 16-hour shifts created dangerous conditions at the El Dorado Correctional Facility. They say inmates took over the yard for hours during a disturbance the week of May 8 and on June 24. Neither incident has been disclosed by the Kansas Department of Corrections. A third incident on June 29 was revealed when inmates got a cellphone and called relatives.


Kansas Senators Vote to Move Forward on Health Care Debate 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Both Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran have voted in favor of having the Senate debate health care legislation. The two Republicans were on the same side Tuesday even though they've taken different stances on a proposal from GOP leaders for overhauling health care. Roberts has backed the measure, although he acknowledged in an interview last week that he is not entirely pleased with it. Moran made national headlines for opposing the plan, costing it enough GOP votes to pass and stalling the health care debate. Moran said in a statement that he's still opposed to the GOP plan. But he said he will vote to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature 2010 Affordable Care Act and work on a replacement over the next two years.


Topeka Man Gets 30 Years in Fort Riley Bomb Plot

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A 22-year-old man who admitted he tried to detonate what he thought was a bomb outside an Army post in Kansas to aid the Islamic State group was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.  John T. Booker Jr., of Topeka, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas. He pleaded guilty in February to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to destroy government property by fire or explosion.  Booker admitted he tried to set off a 1,000-pound bomb outside Fort Riley, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of Topeka. He was arrested near the post in April 2015 as he was trying to arm the device, which was inert.  He plotted the bombing with two contacts, who were actually confidential FBI sources.


Ex-Lawrence Night Club Owner Guilty of Sex Trafficking

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The owner of a closed Lawrence nightclub pleaded guilty to operating a sex trafficking operation in several states.  U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said Monday in a news release that 43-year-old Frank Boswell, of Topeka, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He is the former owner of the defunct Club Magic in Lawrence.  Prosecutors say Boswell's organization recruited mostly homeless or drug-addicted women to work in the prostitution ring.  The plea agreement calls for a sentence between four to five years. Sentencing is scheduled for October 23.  Prosecutors say up to 20 prostitutes worked in the organization at any given time in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.  Five others people have pleaded guilty in the case.


Thousands in Kansas City Still Without Power After Weekend Storms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - More than 24,000 people in the Kansas City metro area remain without power after weekend storms brought down trees and power lines.  Kansas City Power & Light reported more than 18,000 customers were without power Monday afternoon. More than 1,200 Independence Power & Light customers were without power and the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities, which covers the Kansas City, Kansas, area, reported fewer than 5,000 outages by Monday afternoon.  That number is down considerably from the nearly 100,000 people across the metro area without electricity Sunday morning after storms that carried 70 mph winds and excessive lightning hit the area Saturday night.


Kansas Lawsuit over Unsuccessful SWAT-Style Raid Reinstated 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit filed by a suburban Kansas City couple after a SWAT-style raid of their home in an unsuccessful search for marijuana. Robert and Adlynn Harte sued the Johnson County Sheriff's Office after the 2012 raid at their Leawood home. Authorities targeted the Hartes, both former CIA employees, after seeing Robert Harte leaving a store that sold hydroponic gardening equipment. Officers armed with assault rifles raided the couple's home while their young children were present. A 2½-hour search found only tomato plants the family was growing with the hydroponic equipment. The Kansas City Star reports that a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2015 but a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated parts of it on Tuesday.


Kansas Hunting Guide Pleads Guilty to Violating Hunting Laws 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas hunting guide was sentenced to five years on probation after admitting that he routinely violated state and federal laws while taking groups on hunting trips. Federal prosecutors said 26-year-old Jerad Stroot, of Colwich, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Tuesday for one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacy Act. Stroot said while taking hunters on $300-a-day hunting trips, he baited ponds for waterfowl, helped hunters exceed their daily bag limits and didn't follow state and federal laws on processing, tagging or transporting birds. Stroot may not hunt, trap or guide during the five years and must pay a $5,000 fine. A co-defendant, 35-year-old Josh Hedges, of Grenola, owner of Eagle Head Outfitters, is scheduled for a change of plea hearing July 31.


Bob Dole Nominated for Congressional Gold Medal

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas statesman Bob Dole has been nominated for the highest civilian honor Congress bestows.  Kansas Senator Pat Roberts and Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins are seeking to honor Dole with the Congressional Gold Medal.  Roberts and Jenkins jointly introduced resolutions yesterday (MON), two days after Dole's 94th birthday.  The resolution says that Dole has "embodied the American spirit of leadership and determination.''  Co-sponsors include the entire Kansas delegation, along with a bipartisan list of representatives and senators from around the country. Two-thirds of the House and Senate must agree to co-sponsor the resolution to award the medal.  Dole served 27 years in the Senate and 10 years in the House. Dole was the GOP presidential nominee in 1996, losing the election to Bill Clinton.


11-Year-Old Kansas Boy Dies After Fireworks-Related Accident

MAYETTA, Kan. (AP) - A northeast Kansas sheriff says an 11-year-old boy died after suffering severe blood loss when fireworks he was experimenting with exploded.   The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says Colby Harris was found dead at his home southeast of Mayetta on Friday.  Officers who responded to a call from Colby about an explosion found the boy's body inside the home.  The sheriff's office said investigators determined Colby was experimenting with fireworks and other "minor explosive devices" while he was left alone at home for a short time.  An autopsy performed Monday determined Colby died from a massive blood loss caused by shrapnel. The sheriff's office says the death was accidental.   Mayetta is about 20 miles north of Topeka.


Kansas Lawyer Linked to Bernie Sanders Runs for Congress

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) - A Bonner Springs lawyer who worked for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign is seeking the Democratic nomination for a Kansas congressional seat currently held by Republican Kevin Yoder.  Brent Welder, a labor lawyer from Bonner Springs, on Monday announced his candidacy for the 3rd Congressional District seat.  Welder previously worked for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Sanders nominated him last year to the Democratic National Platform Committee year after Welder helped with grassroots support for the Vermont senator's victory in the 2016 Kansas caucus. He also worked on Barack Obama's campaign field staff in the 2008 presidential election.  Other candidates include, Tom Niermann, Andrea Ramsey, Reggie Marselus and Chris Haulmark. Jay Sidie, the Mission Woods businessman who lost to Yoder in November, also intends to run.


Competency Evaluation Ordered for Kansas Homicide Suspect

TROY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas judge has ordered a competency evaluation for a homeless man charged with killing a man whose body was found in the Missouri River. The St. Joseph News-Press reports that proceedings in the Doniphan County case against 40-year-old Christopher Colhour are on hold until the evaluation is completed. Colhour is being held without bond on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and felony theft in the death of 64-year-old Daniel Purvis, of St. Joseph, Missouri. Colhour's defense attorney says Colhour previously has been diagnosed as being schizophrenic, bipolar and suffering from auditory hallucinations. Law enforcement in Missouri and Kansas searched streams and rivers for Purvis after he disappeared around May 22. The Buchanan County Sheriff's Department in Missouri recovered Purvis' body May 27 just south of St. Joseph.


Man Dies at Hospital After Fire at Kansas Apartment 

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has died after he was found in a Kansas apartment where a fire was intentionally set. KSNT-TV reports that 37-year-old Derrick Anthony Williams was found Monday while crews were putting out the fire in the ground floor apartment in Junction City. The fire department said in a news release that Williams was taken to a hospital, where he later died. His cause of death wasn't immediately known, pending an autopsy. The fire damage was limited to the one apartment, where officials have determined the blaze was intentionally set in the kitchen. Some surrounding apartment units had smoke damage. Authorities aren't seeking any suspects, and no suspects are believed to be at large. The estimated amount of damage is $20,000.


Catholic Priest Charged in Kansas with Child Sex Crimes 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Catholic priest charged in Kansas with child sex crimes has been arrested in Maryland. The Wyandotte County, Kansas, prosecutor's office announced Tuesday that the Reverend Scott Kallal was charged Friday with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.  Online court records show the 35-year-old was arrested Monday in Rockville in Maryland's Montgomery County. Prosecutor's office spokesman Jonathan Carter said he didn't know whether Kallal had an attorney. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announced last week that Kallal was pulled from public ministry duties after two sources accused him of "boundary violations." The archdiocese said its preliminary investigation revealed violations of guidelines governing youth interactions. The archdiocese said in a follow up statement Tuesday that it would "continue to cooperate" with law enforcement.


Royals Win Six Straight, Beat Tigers 5-3 in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) _ Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas hit consecutive homers in the 12th inning, and the Kansas City Royals won their sixth straight game, 5-3 over the Detroit Tigers last (MON) night.  The Royals remain 1.5 games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.



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