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Headlines for Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Horticulturalist Slain in Overland Park, Another Man Kills Himself

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a horticulturalist was slain outside his Kansas office, and a man in a vehicle that was linked to the original homicide scene killed himself hours later in Missouri as deputies attempted to stop him.  According to the Kansas City Star, Overland Park police say 59-year-old David Flick was shot Monday morning outside an office center, where his consulting firm was located.  The Clay County, Missouri, Sheriff's Department says that deputies later heard a single gunshot while attempting to stop a sport utility vehicle in Kearney. The SUV in which 60-year-old Scott MacDonald died by suicide matched a vehicle description released by Overland Park police in Flick's death.  Investigators say MacDonald may have been connected to Flick's death, but did not say how. No motive was released.

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Prosecutors: More than 220 Pounds of Methamphetamine Seized in KCK

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors say federal agents seized more than 220 pounds of methamphetamine in a drug trafficking bust in the Kansas City, Kansas, metro area.  U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release Monday that 14 defendants are charged in the case.  "Opioids are often in the news," McAllister said. "But methamphetamine remains our biggest drug problem in the Midwest."  Court records show the 33-count indictment was unsealed last week. Charges include conspiracy, distribution, possession with intent to distribute and interstate communications in furtherance of drug trafficking.  The government says investigators found the methamphetamine when serving a search warrant at a house in Kansas City, Kansas, where one of the defendants lives.

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Former Kansas Secretary of State Acknowledges He Failed to Properly Supervise Staff

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kris Kobach has acknowledged in a diversion agreement that he failed to properly supervise to his staff while representing himself as the then Kansas secretary of state during federal court proceedings. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the confidential agreement resolves complaints made to the Kansas Disciplinary Administrator's Office about Kobach's conduct in a voter registration case.  Details of the findings aren't disclosed under Kansas rules, but a public notice of the agreement says Kobach stipulates he didn't properly supervise lawyers and non-lawyers during the litigation. The lawsuit involved a challenge to a Kansas law requiring voters to show proof of citizenship to register to vote.  The disciplinary administrator's office says there was no finding of dishonest conduct by Kobach.  Kobach is seeking the Republican nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat

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T-Mobile Says Close of Sprint Deal Delayed Until Next Year

T-Mobile says it expects its merger with Sprint to close next year as it awaits a December antitrust trial with a group of state attorneys general.  The company previously planned to complete the deal this year.  The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission have approved the deal, but a coalition of 15 states and the District of Columbia are trying to block it, saying it will drive up prices for consumers.  The states' group has lost Colorado and Mississippi, which reached agreements with the companies.  T-Mobile and Sprint announced their deal in April 2018.

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Ex-Milwaukee Sheriff to Appear at Wichita Event for Kobach

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A tough-talking former Wisconsin sheriff with a national following among conservatives plans to help Republican Kris Kobach raise money for his U.S. Senate campaign in Kansas. Kobach has scheduled a Nov. 12 fundraiser in Wichita with ex-Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Kobach's campaign is charging $25 for general admission tickets, $200 for VIP tickets and $350 to sponsor tables at the event. The VIP package includes a photo with Clarke and Kobach and opportunity to win a .50-caliber black-powder muzzle-loading rifle. Clarke was Milwaukee County's Democratic sheriff from 2002 to 2017, resigning to join a political action committee supporting President Donald Trump. He gained national attention for supporting Trump and criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement but also faced criticism over multiple deaths at his county jail.

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Weather Sends Luke Bryan's Farm Tour Concert to Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Weather is disrupting country singer Luke Bryan's Farm Tour concert again. A concert scheduled for Oct. 3 at a farm in Louisburg was postponed after heavy rains flooded the field and made it too wet for equipment to be unloaded. The concert was rescheduled for Wednesday. But with rain and snow forecast for northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri, organizers announced Tuesday that the concert will be moved inside to the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Organizers say all tickets for the Oct. 3 and Oct. 30 event will be honored. Weather forecasters say a wintry mix of snow and rain is expected throughout the region by Wednesday. A winter weather advisory has been issued for 10 p.m. Tuesday through 4 a.m. Thursday.

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Douglas County Prosecutors Dropping Charges Against KU Student in Case of False Rape Report

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors in Kansas plan to drop all charges against a University of Kansas student accused of falsely reporting a rape.  The Kansas City Star reports that Douglas County district attorney's office filed a motion Monday to drop the three felony counts of making a false report against the woman.  The woman's attorneys contend she is innocent , saying she was mistreated by police and prosecutors after reporting she was raped by a friend of her ex-boyfriend last year.  Prosecutors had contended the woman fabricated the story out of regret and to get back at her ex-boyfriend. Police have said text messages show the sex was consensual.  The woman contended the messages made light of the incident because she was not able to admit at the time that she had been raped.

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Kobach Criticism Leads Owner to Close Lawrence Restaurants

 LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ A restaurant owner says he closed two locations in Lawrence because of backlash from people who believed he had ties to former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Morrie Sheets closed two Jimmy's Egg restaurants Monday, less than six months after they opened.  He says customers wrote ``(Expletive) Kobach'' on the diners' tables and on his car, as well as smearing excrement on the car. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Sheets says he's never met Kobach, who has drawn national attention for advocating tough immigration policies. But Wink Hartman, Kobach's running mate in an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2018, was an early investor in the parent company of Jimmy's Egg. Sheets says Hartman has been his banker for 10 years. Campaign finance records show Sheets donated $4,000 to Hartman's campaign in 2017 and $2,000 to Kobach's campaign in 2018.

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Kansas City Police Settle Suit over Flash-Bang Grenade Raid

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Police Department has settled a lawsuit over a raid in which an officer tossed a flash-bang grenade into a home with a 2-year-old, the child's 84-year-old grandmother and two other women inside.  The Kansas City Star reports that no details were released about the settlement that was reached last week with relatives of the child. Settlement procedures began after a federal appeals court issued an opinion sharply critical of the SWAT team's conduct during the November 2010 raid. It ended with police leaving the home after about 20 minutes, unable to find a cellphone and other items they sought in a search warrant as part of a homicide investigation.  The court found that "Blindly throwing a flash-bang grenade into the residence under these circumstances was obviously unconstitutional."

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Topeka Zoo Euthanizes Elderly Malayan Sun Bear

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka Zoo officials say a 30-year-old Malayan sun bear was euthanized after suffering from several age-related medical conditions. The female bear, called Cup Cake, was euthanized Monday. She and a bear called Ho Ho came to the zoo in 2017 after their exhibit at a previous zoo was closed for construction. Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said both bears were elderly when they arrived in Topeka and zoo officials anticipated they would not live long. He says they were kept in an area with keepers who specialized in working with geriatric animals. Cup Cake began limping on Saturday and her hind legs were useless by Sunday. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the decision was made to euthanize Cup Cake when she developed head tremors Monday morning.

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Oklahoma Fan Dies After Heart Attack at Kansas State Game

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — An Oklahoma football fan died after suffering an apparent heart attack at Saturday's game against Kansas State. David Adams, director of Riley County emergency services, said paramedics were called to the stadium for a patient experiencing chest pain, and the fan collapsed after they arrived. He was treated at the scene and taken to a Manhattan hospital across the street from the stadium, where he was pronounced dead. The Wichita Eagle reports the man was seated with friends and family at Bill Snyder Family Stadium when he collapsed shortly after Oklahoma took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The man's name has not been released.

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Wichita Police Arrest 3 Teens After Stolen Car Pursuit

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say three teenagers — including two 13-year-old runaways — were arrested after a police pursuit of a stolen car. Police spokesman Charley Davidson says officers on Monday tried to stop a Honda Accord that had been reported stolen Sunday. KAKE-TV reports the 16-year-old driver didn't stop until the car hit a utility pole. Six teenagers aged between 13 and 16 ran from the car. Davidson said officers located all the teens in the surrounding neighborhood. The driver was booked into juvenile detention for auto theft and for fleeing. The two 13-year-old runaways face auto theft, burglary and theft charges. The others were released to their parents. The burglary charges are in connection with a case at a Subway in Wichita on Oct. 20.

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Officials Pitch Missouri for High-Speed Hyperloop Test Track

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri panel wants a test track for an ultra-high-speed Hyperloop system to be built in the state.  The group of Missouri elected officials and business leaders made the recommendation Monday as part of a study commissioned by the House speaker.  Hyperloop technology involves a tubular track through which a train-like pod carries passengers at speeds of more than 600 mph. Advocates want to connect Kansas City to St. Louis with the high-speed system.  The report says Missouri first would need to apply to be the site for a roughly 15-mile test track that could cost between $300 million and $500 million.  The estimated cost to build a full hyperloop system across Missouri ranges from $30 million to $40 million per mile, or about $7.3 billion to $10.4 billion total.

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Prolonged Missouri River Flooding Could Last All Winter

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Flooding along the Missouri River has stretched on for seven months in some places and could endure through the winter. That could leave some Upper Midwest farmland and possibly some homes encased in ice.  The icy flooding is possible due to a still-high river, saturated ground, broken levees and a forecast for a wetter-than normal winter. It's possible some flooding could continue into spring.  In places along the lower Missouri River where levees broke in the spring, large areas of mostly farmland remains underwater. Fixing the broken levees will take several years.  Tom Bullock says there's no end in sight to flooding in northwestern Missouri, where he is Holt County's emergency management director.  Roughly 30,000 acres remain underwater in Holt County, and some of that floodwater is likely to freeze in place.

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Father, Son from Oklahoma Killed in Head-On Kansas Crash

HICKOK, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a father and son from Oklahoma have been killed in a head-on crash in rural Kansas.  The Kansas Highway Patrol says the crash happened Saturday when a tractor-trailer failed to yield the right-of-way at an intersection in southwest Kansas' Grant County and drove directly into the path of a pickup truck. The patrol identified the victims as the pickup's driver, 57-year-old Kevin Coyle, and his passenger, 81-year-old Gerald Coyle.  The crash happened near the small town of Hickok, which is about 70 miles northwest of the victims' hometown of Turpin, Oklahoma.

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Report: Kansas Winter Wheat Planting Makes Progress

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new government report shows Kansas growers are on track with planting next year's winter wheat crop.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 88% of the wheat is now in the ground in Kansas. That is ahead of the 75% planted at this time last year and near the 65% average.  The weekly snapshot shows farmers have harvested 74% of their corn crops along with 56% of the soybeans and 51% of the sorghum crops in the state.

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Kansas Could End Unusual Census Adjustment for Redistricting

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas could soon end an unusual policy of using its own numbers in addition to federal census data to redraw the boundaries of state legislative districts.  The longstanding practice costs college communities political clout. The biggest winners from a change are likely to be Lawrence and Manhattan.  Voters statewide will decide November 5 whether to approve a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution to eliminate a requirement for the state to adjust federal census figures when the Legislature redistricts itself. The adjustment counts college students and military personnel not where they're living but in a "permanent" home elsewhere.  Kansas is among only a few states that adjust federal census figures for redistricting. Critics see the adjustment as archaic and expensive, and there's no organized opposition to the proposed amendment.

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California Man Sues over Missouri Amusement Park Ride Name

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — A California man who once turned his garage into a haunted house is seeking to block a Missouri amusement park from naming its water ride the "Mystic River Falls" because he alleges it's too close to the "Mystic Motel" name he dubbed his own attraction.  The Springfield News-Leader reports that Scott D'Avanzo argues that Silver Dollar City should change the name of the ride that opens next summer to avoid confusion and unfair competition.  Silver Dollar City sued in response, saying in court documents filed this month that it doesn't believe its multi-million-dollar ride will be mistaken for the haunted house D'Avanzo created in 2013 at his Orange County home.  The lawsuit says D'Avanzo's haunted house is no longer operational, and the "Mystic Motel" name doesn't appear to be in use.

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