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Headlines for Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Kansas Governor Candidates Court Business Crowd

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kris Kobach says he has no plans to moderate his sometimes brash style if he wins the GOP nomination for governor. Kobach made his comments Monday night during a gathering of nearly all Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and independent Greg Orman. The event in Lawrence was organized by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and featured each candidate answering questions in separate 10-minute sessions. The Wichita Eagle reports Kobach told the crowd people who want a governor who will try to make everyone happy and say what people want to hear shouldn't vote for him. Other issues discussed at the session included a possible constitutional amendment to give the Legislature authority over spending on public schools and immigration policies.


Kansas Will Print "Rep." on Ballot to Distinguish Candidates with Same Name

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A state board says a Kansas congressman's title will appear on the Republican primary ballot to distinguish him from a challenger with the same first and last names.  The State Objections Board decided Monday that GOP voters in the 4th District in the Wichita area will choose between Representative Ron Estes and Ron M. Estes. Both are from Wichita.  The secretary of state's office devised the plan. But Democratic candidate Laura Lombard objected and said the listing would give the congressman an unfair advantage in the August 7 primary.  But the all-GOP board led by Secretary of State Kris Kobach concluded that trying to distinguish the candidates by middle initials still would prove too confusing to voters.  The challenger did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.


Biofuels Plant Fire Near Minneola Leads to Evacuations

MINNEOLA, Kan. (AP) — Fire officials have asked residents near a biofuels plant in western Kansas to evacuate their homes as they fight a fire at the plant. Ford County Fire Lt. James Warnke said the fire at the EGE plant was contained after about four hours Tuesday. He said crews were waiting for the blaze to burn out at the plant about a mile west of Minneola. No injuries were reported. The Kansas Department of Agriculture says the plant manufactures additives for fertilizer that are designed to keep fertilizer from drifting into the air, and also might work with ethanol. Warnke said there are fewer than 10 homes in the 4-mile evacuation radius around the plant. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The plant is about 150 miles west of Wichita.


Four Found Dead at Domestic Shooting in Suburban Kansas City Home

PARKVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say one of four adults found dead in a suburban Kansas City home killed the other three victims before killing himself.  Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen identified the shooter in Sunday's deaths outside Parkville as 50-year-old Douglas Pauling. Owen said investigators believe he killed his mother, 73-year-old Sharmalee Pauling; her husband, 66-year-old Carl Deruyscher; and 49-year-old Margaret Girard.  The Kansas City Star reports a 14-year-old girl escaped the shooting and called police. She was the daughter of Douglas Pauling and Girard.  Owen has not released any information on a possible motive for the shootings.


1 Dead After Shooting in Topeka Neighborhood

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a dispute between acquaintances has ended in a deadly Topeka shooting.  Police said in a news release that 38-year-old Shane William Cunningham was shot Sunday and pronounced dead at a hospital.  Police say the suspected shooter was still on scene when police arrived and was taken into custody. The release says the case will be forwarded to prosecutors when the investigation is completed, "with the possibility of self-defense being a factor of consideration." No other details were provided.


Man Found Dead from Gunshot Wounds in McPherson

MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the shooting death of a man in McPherson.  McPherson police say officers who went to a mobile home park early Monday to investigate a report of shots being fired found a man suffering from apparent gunshot wounds dead in a parking lot.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting McPherson police with the investigation.  No further details were immediately released.


Police Identify 2 Killed in Weekend Shootings in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified the victims of two weekend homicides in Wichita.  Police say 68-year-old Leroy Hudson, of Wichita, was fatally stabbed Friday night after stopping his truck in a street. A 53-year-old man who is suspected of stabbing Hudson after a disturbance has been booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. Police say the suspect drove off in Hudson's truck after stabbing him.  Police also identified 37-year-old Isaac Lewis as the man killed Sunday morning at a bar. A 28-year-old woman also was treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the arm.  A 36-year-old man spotted running from the nightclub has been booked him into jail under suspicion of first-degree murder, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of drugs.


Kansas Man Accused of Driving Teens to Club Skips Sentencing

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man convicted of trying to sexually exploit two teenage girls has skipped his sentencing hearing and remains missing. Daelin Williams was convicted earlier this year of two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child after pleading no contest. The 25-year-old is accused of driving two 17-year-old girls to Lawrence and encouraging them to strip at an adult club in January 2017. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Williams registered as a sex offender as required, but he didn't attend his April 27 sentencing. Judge Peggy Kittel ordered a bench warrant for his arrest, which remained active as of Friday. Williams posted his initial $50,000 cash bond and was released from jail less than a week after being arrested in April 2017.


Spilled Potatoes Close Section of Kansas Interstate

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A six-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in eastern Kansas closed for nearly six hours and workers picked up a semi-trailer load of potatoes. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the potatoes were dumped Tuesday morning in Saline County near Solomon when the driver hit a bridge rail, separating the truck and trailer. The trailer landed in a ditch and the truck caught fire. The load of potatoes spilled, covering the road. The patrol says the driver of the truck was not hurt and no other injuries were reported. The highway was closed until early Tuesday afternoon while the potatoes were retrieved. KWCH reports Trooper Levi Fleming says the main concern was deer coming into the area to eat the potatoes, which could lead to other accidents.


37 Dogs Rescued from Trailer Home in Kansas

OLPE, Kan. (AP) — Animal shelter workers and sheriff's deputies have rescued 37 small dogs from a trailer home in central Kansas after someone reported finding one dead dog and another extremely sick one in a nearby dumpster.  Lyon County sheriff's officials say the sick animal was given emergency medical treatment Thursday.  The sheriff's office said deputies then discovered 37 dogs living in the home near Olpe. The owner asked authorities for assistance to find new placements for the rat terriers and rat terrier mixes.  The Emporia Gazette reports that Unleashed Pet Rescue of Mission, Kansas, helped recover the dogs Friday and Saturday. CEO Danielle Reno says the dogs are generally in good condition, but that they will be in foster care for some time because many aren't well socialized.  The investigation is ongoing.

This story has been corrected to reflect that 37 dogs were found in the home, 1 other was found alive nearby.


University of Kansas Paid $200,000 to Settle Assault Lawsuit

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Documents released by the University of Kansas show the school paid a $200,000 settlement to a former student who accused his theater professor of sexually assaulting him.  The Lawrence Journal-World filed an open records request and received the documents Monday. The newspaper says the university didn't admit wrongdoing in the confidential agreement signed in August 2017. The settlement was paid in exchange for the student dropping a federal lawsuit against the school.  At the time the student, called John Doe 58, sued the university and professor in 2017, the professor was no longer employed at Kansas. The professor is not identified in the lawsuit.  The lawsuit accused the university of failing to adequately respond and investigate, and then retaliating against the student when he reported the sexual assault.


Report: Winter Wheat Harvest Begins in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new government report shows the winter wheat harvest has begun in Kansas amid poor prospects for much of this season's crop.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 2 percent of the wheat in the state has been cut. About 29 percent of the wheat in Kansas is now mature.  The agency pegged 47 percent of the crop as poor to very poor condition, while 37 percent rated as fair. About 15 percent is in good and 1 percent in excellent shape.  Much of the wheat ready for harvest is in south central Kansas where 64 percent has matured. Southeastern Kansas is close behind at 61 percent maturity. But wheat is also rapidly ripening in central Kansas as well with 42 percent of the crop at maturity.


Kansas City Deems Measles Outbreaks Officially Over

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas City's two measles outbreaks are over, but officials are just starting to calculate the costs of containing them.  The Kansas City Star reports that the city deemed the outbreaks officially over as of Monday, when there had been no new cases in 42 days, or two incubation periods. The city had been combating the highly contagious virus since March.  More than $170,000 in taxpayer resources went to holding the outbreaks to 35 total cases, 22 of which were in Kansas.  The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says it spent about $46,000 on lab testing, vaccines and staffing costs. That estimate doesn't include costs to maintain Kansas' disease surveillance software.  The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services can't provide a cost estimate because much is wrapped into the state's ongoing disease surveillance.


U.S. Teacher Honored for Highlighting Polish Holocaust Hero

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish government and an American foundation are honoring a U.S. educator who together with his high school students made the world aware of Irena Sendler, a Polish woman who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust.  Sendler, a social worker and member of the wartime Polish resistance, risked her life to smuggle Jewish children out of Warsaw's ghetto and even under torture by the Germans refused to reveal the identities of those she saved.  Her story was largely unknown until Kansas history teacher Norman Conard and his students began producing a play about her in 1999.  Poland's Culture Ministry and the San Francisco-based Taube Philanthropies are presenting Conard with the 2018 Irena Sendler Memorial Award Monday in Warsaw.  Sendler died in 2008 at age 98.


Public Services Scheduled for Wichita Boy Who Was Found Dead 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A celebration of life for a 5-year-old Wichita boy whose body was found months after he disappeared will be open to the public. The family of Lucas Hernandez said Monday the memorial service will be June 30 at 1 p.m. at Wichita State's Eugene Hughes Metropolitan Complex. Emily Glass, the girlfriend of Lucas's father, reported him missing in February from their home, touching off weeks of searches that drew national attention. His body was found May 24 under a bridge in a nearby county. The funeral announcement says the family wanted to offer all those touched by Lucas's short life and his death the chance to say goodbye. Glass wasn't charged in the boy's death. She was found dead on Friday in what police said appeared to be a suicide.


New Wichita Program Could Help Offset Costs of Job Training

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita organization wants to help offset some costs to encourage more people to get up and move to the area for jobs. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Wichita Community Foundation announced its partnership Monday with WSU Tech to create Wichita Promise MOVE. The program will pay housing, transportation and other expenses for students who want to move to Wichita to train for certain high-demand jobs. The foundation plans to invest $1 million to create the Talent Ecosystem Fund. The fund will invest in workforce issues, talent development and lifelong learning. The initiative comes three years after the foundation hired analyst James Chung to look at Wichita's strengths, problems and potential. Chung said Monday the city must fundamentally change its approach to growth, otherwise Wichita's decades-long stagnation will continue.


Woman Who Killed Kansas Toddler Sentenced to Nearly 27 Years

 OLATHE, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas woman who beat her fiance's 2-year-old daughter to death has been sentenced to nearly 27 years in prison. Lindsey Thomasson of Gardner was sentenced Tuesday to 26 years and eight months in prison for the death of 2-year-old Presley Porting. The girl was found unresponsive in the family's home in February 2017. Assistant District Attorney Jason Covington said in April that Presley died from blunt force trauma to the head, which she suffered while Thomasson was babysitting her. Doctors testified that Presley could have been saved if she received immediate medical attention. Instead, the evidence showed Thomasson tried to cover up the crime by putting makeup on the girl to conceal bruises.  


Kansas City Businessman Gets 10 Year Sentence for Payday Lending Scam

 NEW YORK (AP) _ A Kansas City businessman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his conviction in a $220 million predatory payday lending operation that cheated over a half million people nationwide. U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in New York imposed the sentence Tuesday on Richard Moseley Sr. Prosecutors said Moseley's loan company exploited over 600,000 of the most financially vulnerable people in the country. Moseley was convicted last November of crimes committed between 2004 and 2014. Ramos said he could not understand how a man lived an honorable life until age 60 only to ignore numerous red flags that his new business was a criminal enterprise. Moseley said he felt shame about the harm he had caused so many people. A prosecutor said Moseley was ``enormously greedy'' and ``arrogant.'' 


3 Men Steal ATM from Wichita Bingo Hall

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say three men have broken into a Wichita bingo hall and used a truck to pull out an ATM.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the theft happened early Monday at the Bingo Casino.  Wichita police Officer Charley Davidson says two of the three robbers broke the bingo hall's glass front doors and then tied a tow-rope around an ATM in the front of the business. The truck then backed into the store and pulled the ATM outside. The men then loaded the ATM onto the truck and drove off.


Man Arrested, Suspected of Slapping Police Horse in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested after slapping a mounted police horse during a Wichita festival.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the 36-year-old man was been booked into jail on suspicion of battery of a police animal. Police officer Charley Davidson says the horse wasn't hurt when it was struck Saturday evening as Riverfest was winding down and crowds were leaving.  Only one other person was arrested at the festival. That arrest was for a minor in possession of alcohol and obstruction.


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