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Headlines for Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Kansas GOP Congressman Faces Probe of Voter Registration

TOPEKA, Kan. — Authorities plan to investigate whether a freshman Kansas congressman broke state laws by listing a UPS Inc. store as his address on a voter registration form and for obtaining a mail-in ballot in a November election. Rep. Steve Watkins's spokesman said Wednesday that the Republican congressman's use of the UPS store's address in southwest Topeka was an inadvertent mistake that will be corrected.  But his actions raised a question of whether Watkins improperly cast a vote in a local City Council race Nov. 5. The local district attorney said he has asked the sheriff's department to investigate. 


Trump Says He Would Talk to Pompeo About a Senate Run in Kansas, If GOP's Hold on Seat Starts to Slip

LONDON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he would talk to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about running for an open Senate seat in Kansas if Republicans appeared at risk of losing it next year. Trump’s comments to reporters Tuesday during a NATO meeting in London came as Pompeo dismissed speculation about his seeking the seat held by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. Trump said if he thought Republicans might lose their first Senate race in Kansas since 1932, “I would have to talk to Mike.” Pompeo is a former Kansas congressman. Republicans have speculated for months that he will run for the Senate. Some Republicans fear that ex-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will capture the party’s nomination and put the seat in play after losing the Kansas governor’s race last year.


Prisoner Rights Group: Kansas Prisons Unfairly Block Books

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A prisoner rights group says the Kansas Department of Corrections unfairly censors publications even with the adoption of a new policy and the elimination of a banned book list. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that The Human Rights Defense Center has cited a list of more than 200 books and magazines that administrators have recently blocked, including Richard Powers's Pulitzer Prize winner "The Overstory.'' In May, the center revealed that the prison system maintained a list of 7,000 banned books. Corrections Secretary Jeff Zmuda abolished the list after his arrival in July. He adopted a policy that allows for the review and appeal of confiscated publications earlier this year. Department spokesman Randy Bowman says the policy is based on the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on obscenity.


After Long Debate, Olathe Approves Nondiscrimination Ordinance

UNDATED (AP) — The city of Olathe has approved a nondiscrimination ordinance to provide protections to LGBTQ residents. The city council's vote on Tuesday came after months of debate and before a packed meeting room. The ordinance prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It includes exemptions for educational, religious and political institutions. Olathe is the last of the major cities in Johnson County to adopt such an ordinance. 


KCK Police Officer Sues County over Alleged Discrimination

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Kansas, police officer says in a federal lawsuit that Wyandotte County has been slow to eliminate racism and sexism in the police department. The officer, Z'lontae Womack, a black woman, contends the police department disciplines black and female officers more severely than male, white officers. She said white, male officers are not disciplined for offenses for which she has been disciplined. A police spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. 


Youngest of 4 Kids Killed in Thanksgiving Crash Was 9 Months

BELLEVILLE, Kan. — Authorities say four children killed in a Thanksgiving Day crash in Kansas had been headed with their mother and her boyfriend to a relative's house when their sport utility vehicle overturned in wintry weather and landed on its top in a pond. A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper identified them in a crash report released Tuesday night. Their mother, 38-year-old Jennifer Lovelace, who was behind the wheel, was released from a hospital Tuesday. Her boyfriend was not seriously injured. Authorities say the children and their mother were from Tularosa, New Mexico, and had recently moved to Scandia, Kansas.


Wichita City Council OKs $500 Million Water Plant Contract

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Wichita City council has awarded the largest single contract in the city's history to a group that includes two companies that spent thousands of dollars on former Mayor Jeff Longwell. The council voted on Tuesday to award the $500 million contract for the city's new water treatment plant to Wichita Water Partners. Longwell's relationship with the group became an issue in the mayor's race but it was not mentioned during the council meeting. Council members said they approved the contract to avoid losing federal funding and because they weren't sure any other companies would bid on the project. 


Railroad Worker Killed in Accident in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say a 46-year-old man from McPherson has died while moving train cars at an industrial site in Wichita. Police spokesman Charley Davidson says the man died Tuesday evening. Davidson says employees were moving trains at the Union Pacific facility when the man became stuck under a car and was run over. The man died at the scene. The man's name hasn't been released. 


KCK Police Search for Evidence in 20-Year-Old Cold Case into Missing Person

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say a detective shot and killed a man at a home on the city’s east side.  Spokesman Tim Hernandez said Tuesday’s confrontation began after officers were investigating a disturbance between two vehicles. When a police helicopter tracked one of the vehicles to a home, a detective approached a man sitting inside a vehicle and eventually shot him. Hernandez said the detective was “put in position where he had to discharge his firearm” but he did not provide further details.  He said the man’s hand was hanging out of the car and a handgun was found on the ground in that area.  No officers were injured.  The second vehicle involved in the initial disturbance was stopped at another location. Police say everyone involved is in custody.


Man Jailed in Suspected Drug-Related Shooting in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a suspect has been arrested in a suspected drug-related shooting that left one man dead and another wounded in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports that 20-year-old Carver Khalid Soliman is jailed in Sedgwick County on suspicion of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. Wichita police say 24-year-old John Buess-Wheeler, of Augusta, was suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest when officers were dispatched early Saturday to the shooting at a home in the southern part of the city. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. The second shooting victim drove himself to a hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators determined there was a fight among the three men, and the suspected killer shot his gun during the fight, hitting the other two people.


Kansas City Police Detective Fatally Shoots Man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say a detective shot and killed a person at a home on the city’s east side. Spokesman Tim Hernandez said Tuesday’s confrontation began after officers were investigating a disturbance between two vehicles. When a police helicopter tracked one of the vehicles to a home, a detective approached a man sitting inside a vehicle and eventually shot him.  Police also say a gun was found at the scene.


Southeast Kansas School Bus Crash Injures Student, Vehicle Driver

RIVERTON, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol is investigating after a southeast Kansas school bus was hit from behind while it was stopped on a highway picking up a student. Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said the Riverton school bus carrying 13 students was hit Tuesday morning on U.S. 166 about 3 miles (4.83 kilometers) east of Baxter Springs. The patrol says a 13-year-old male student on the bus and the driver of the vehicle were taken to Mercy Hospital in Joplin. Riverton superintendent Todd Berry told The Joplin Globe the student was later released from the hospital. The driver’s condition was not available. The patrol said the bus and the vehicle both were severely damaged.


Eastern Missouri Man Sentenced for Hiding Mother’s Corpse in Shed

FARMINGTON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to probation for hiding his mother’s corpse in a makeshift coffin and wooden vault in an outbuilding after she died of what appear to be natural causes. The Daily Journal reports that 52-year-old Nicholas McClure, of Farmington, also was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service after pleading guilty to abandonment of a corpse. Court documents don’t explain why he hid the 85-year-old woman’s death.


Chiefs' McCoy Reaches Settlement in Suit Filed by Ex

ATLANTA (AP) — Court records show Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy has settled a lawsuit filed against him by his former girlfriend. Delicia Cordon had sued McCoy last year, saying he failed to protect her from a violent July 2018 home invasion at a house he owned just outside Atlanta. McCoy was not at the home during the attack. He played for the Buffalo Bills at the time. The parties notified the court last month that they had resolved the lawsuit. The terms of the settlement are not disclosed in online court records. A judge on Wednesday ordered the case closed.


KPR's daily headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day.  KPR's weekend summary is usually published by 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays.


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