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Headlines for Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Kansas Supreme Court Says School Funding Still Inadequate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) —  The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the state's spending on public schools remains inadequate despite an increase approved earlier this year, but gave the state another year to come up with more funding. The court on Monday rejected arguments from the state that a new law phasing in a $548 million increase in funding over five years is enough to provide a "suitable" education for every child as specified in the state constitution. But the court delayed its mandate until June 30, 2019, or until further order of the court. It was the third time in two years the court declared education funding inadequate. This year's increase came after the Legislature boosted funding and raised income taxes last year. The court ruled in a lawsuit filed in 2010 by four school districts. The districts say that this year's increase still left the state up to $1.5 billion a year short of adequate spending.


9 Kansas Child Detainees Were Separated from Parents

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Nine of 44 immigrant children placed under the care of a Kansas nonprofit working under contract with the federal government were separated from their parents at the border. The Kansas Department for Children and Families cited the number of separated children on Monday. DCF says in a news release that a staff member on Friday visited the non-profit called The Villages Inc. at the request of Governor Jeff Colyer. The inspection looked at group homes operated by the Villages outside of Topeka. The DCF says that of the 44 children in placement, nine were separated from their parents and the rest were unaccompanied minors. Colyer says in a statement that it is the state's "hope and expectation" that the children will be reunited with their families "in the near future."  A Democratic lawmaker says that nine of the children under the age of 12. House Minority Leader Jim Ward and former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom are working to reunite the children with their parents. Grissom has assembled a team of 10 lawyers to provide legal services to the children. Grissom says they have been led to believe some of the children were separated from parents in a crackdown on illegal crossings of the U.S-Mexico border, but that is not confirmed. Grissom, Ward, state officials and officials from The Villages, which operates five group homes home on a 400-acre site outside Topeka, are set to meet on the issue Wednesday.


17 States Sue to Force Trump to Reunite Families

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seventeen states, including Washington, New York and California, are suing to force the Trump administration to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The states, all led by Democratic attorneys general, joined Washington, D.C., in filing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday. It's the first legal challenge by states over the practice. Immigration authorities have separated about 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks, sparking global outrage as images of weeping children emerged. The president last week issued an executive order designed to end the practice, but the states say his order is riddled with caveats and fails to reunite parents and children who have already been torn apart. The lawsuit says the migrants have been denied due process and their right to seek asylum. Kansas is not among the states involved in the lawsuit. The states suing for reunion of the migrant families all have Democratic attorneys general. 


Image of Immigrant Child Removed from Topeka Mural 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The image of an immigrant child clinging to her mother has been removed from a mural near the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site in Topeka. Michael Toombs, the artistic director overseeing the project, said "we all have been touched by what is happening to our children" and initially was going to leave the image that artist bj McBride painted in protest of the separation of parents and children arrested at the U.S. border. But Toombs said he painted over the clinging child Monday because "this was not the place." The 130- by 30-foot (40- by 9-meter) mural tells the story of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that ended segregated education and faces a former all-black school in Topeka where the lead plaintiff's child was a student, The Kansas City Star reports. "I could see the way things were starting to germinate in the media that the story was becoming more about the addition than about all the good creative community labor that it took to create the mural," Toombs said. McBride said she "spontaneously" painted the child Friday and wasn't opposed to removing the image, which she later decided was "distracting." "In a collaborative effort, any time the spotlight is put on one artist it is not good," McBride said. "I don't have any issue in celebrating all the artists and keeping the focus on what we came there to do." Sarah Fizell, executive director of the nonprofit ArtsConnect behind the mural, said the clinging child didn't fit with the mission of the mural, which was was three years in the making. About 30 professional artists worked with children to paint the mural, and members of the public were invited to paint a portion as well. In all, about 2,000 people participated, including visitors from all over the world. The mural is expected to be completed by the end of the week and celebrated by a community event that will feature a time lapse video of its creation, including a shot showing the mural with the clinging child followed by one with the child painted over.


Massachusetts Man Sues to Run for Kansas Attorney General

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the state is hiring a Wichita law firm to defend it against a federal lawsuit filed by a Massachusetts man seeking to appear on the Republican primary ballot for attorney general. Schmidt said Tuesday that as a candidate himself for attorney general he has a personal interest in the outcome. He says his office has hired the Hinkle Law Firm in Wichita to avoid any potential conflict of interest that could delay the case and risk disruption of the primary. Political activist Vermin Love Supreme sued Friday arguing he should be allowed to run for Kansas attorney general because residency is not a requirement. He is from Rockport, Massachusetts, and had planned to run for governor but decided instead to run for attorney general.


Trump Denies Blame for Closure of Harley-Davidson's Kansas City Plant

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Donald Trump is denying that his trade policy is responsible for Harley-Davidson's decision to some motorcycle production overseas. The company says it's doing so because of tariffs it's facing in a trade dispute between the U.S. and the European Union. But Trump says that's an excuse. Trump says in tweets this (TUE) morning that the company had already announced it was closing its Kansas City plant before the announcement of his new trade policy. Union officials have said those jobs are going to Thailand. Harley-Davidson has denied that.  President Trump says he is having success in getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, and open up closed markets. 


Bernie Sanders Endorses 2016 Delegate Brent Welder in Kansas 3rd District Race

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) _ U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is endorsing one of his 2016 presidential campaign volunteers in the race for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District.  Yesterday (MON) Sanders announced his support for attorney Brent Welder. He's one of six Democrats seeking the Democratic nomination for the suburban Kansas City congressional seat currently held by Republican Representative Kevin Yoder. Yoder's seat is a top target for Democrats because President Trump narrowly lost the district in 2016. Welder served as a delegate for Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He also worked as a grassroots organizer for Sanders' presidential campaign. Sanders described Welder, who lives in Bonner Springs, as a ``bold progressive.'' The primary is set for August 7th. 


Injured Girl's Family: Video Should've Been Released Sooner

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Relatives of a 9-year-old girl who was injured when a former Wichita police officer fired at her family's dog are criticizing the city for waiting six months before releasing the officer's body-camera video. The Wichita Eagle reports that the video shows Officer Dexter Betts firing two shots in December at close range at the girl's 35- to 40-pound dog. She screams after a bullet fragment ricochets off the floor and hit her. The family's attorney, Charley O'Hara, says the fragment left a scar above her eye. He says the family is considering suing. The department fired Betts afterward, and he's awaiting trial on an aggravated battery charge. Police Captain Doug Nolte says it wasn't appropriate to release the video sooner because it was an investigative record in a felony case.


Pizza Hut Sued After Kansas Woman Dies in Delivery Crash

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has filed a lawsuit against Pizza Hut alleging the company's delivery practices are at least partly responsible for a crash that killed his mother and injured his grandmother. The Wichita Eagle reports that Michael Capps filed the wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against Pizza Hut earlier this month. The lawsuit alleges the pizza chain's promise to get customers "hot pizza quickly" is responsible for Courtney Clodfelter's speedy driving when he rear-ended Karen and Jaunita Capps in February. The women were stopped along a roadside in Wichita waiting for a funeral procession to pass when they were hit. Karen Capps died at the site, and her mother survived but had six broken ribs. Pizza Hut of Southeast Kansas didn't return phone messages seeking comment.


Textron Aviation to Stop Production of Cessna Citation X

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas company Textron Aviation is ending production of its iconic business jet, the Cessna Citation X, after two decades. The Wichita-based plane manufacturer confirmed the decision in a statement to the Wichita Eagle on Monday, saying that with the upcoming entry into service of the Citation Longitude jet, it is discontinuing production of the Citation X. No job cuts will be made. Citation X employees will move to other production lines. The first Citation X was delivered to golf legend Arnold Palmer in 1996. Data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association shows that through early this year, Textron Aviation has delivered 338 of the Citation X jets.


Missouri Water Ride Shut Down After Rider Flung from Tube

EUREKA, Mo. (AP) — A water ride at Six Flags in suburban St. Louis has been closed after a woman said she was flung from a tube and suffered whiplash. Sondra Thornhill, of the Missouri town of Lebanon, told KMOV-TV that the accident happened Saturday on the Typhoon Twister at Hurricane Harbor in Eureka. She was taken to a hospital, where she underwent a CAT scan and X-ray. "Only my hands were on the handles. My whole body went off the raft and of course, when it went back down, my hands were still on it and it threw it me so far forward and back so fast, all I heard was my neck pop," Thornhill said. "I thought I broke it at first then it was just a little sore and I stopped panicking. I'll be alright." Six Flags said in a statement that it's investigating but released no information how long the ride will be closed. "The well-being of our guests is always our priority," the statement said. "As standard protocol, we have closed the ride while we look into the circumstances surrounding a guest coming out of their tube." The park hasn't returned phone or email messages Tuesday from The Associated Press. In neighboring Kansas, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated in August 2016 while riding the 17-story Verruckt waterslide at the Schlitterbahn water park. Two other women riding with Caleb also were injured when their raft went airborne. Two Schlitterbahn maintenance workers, the park's co-owner and the designer of the ride have been indicted in Caleb's death. The Verruckt never reopened afterward and plans call for it to be demolished.


Police: Two Men Fatally Shot in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Police are investigating a shooting that left two men dead in Kansas City last (MON) night. Police say the shooting happened around 8:30 p.m. Monday in the city's Midtown area. The wounded men were rushed to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Their names weren't immediately released and no suspect information has been released. Police are asking anyone with information to call the Kansas City police tips hotline. 


Police Charge Three Teenagers in Party Bus Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Three teenagers have been charged in a drive-by shooting that wounded a 19-year-old woman as she rode on a party bus in Wichita. Police announced Monday that a 16, 17 and 18-year-old are accused in the shooting that sent the woman to a hospital earlier this month with a shoulder wound. The youngest teen faces the most serious charge of criminal discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Police say riders on a Spots Party Bus were being dropped off when someone outside fired several shots at the bus and a nearby vehicle. The shooting happened near a 44-foot tall steel sculpture called the Keeper of the Plains. The sculpture stands at the point where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together in downtown Wichita.

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