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Headlines for Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Big 12 Suspends 4 Players from KU-KSU Brawl 24 Games Total

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Big 12 has suspended four players from Kansas and Kansas State a combined 24 games for their roles in a melee that spilled off the court. The brawl erupted into a section of disabled seating in Allen Fieldhouse near the end of the third-ranked Jayhawks' win over the Wildcats. Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa was suspended indefinitely by Jayhawks coach Bill Self earlier Wednesday. He was given a 12-game suspension by the league office. His teammate, David McCormack, was suspended two games while Kansas State forward James Love received an eight-game suspension and Antonio Gordon a got three-game suspension.

(–earlier reporting–)

KU Suspends De Sousa Indefinitely for K-State Brawl

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — No. 3 Kansas has suspended forward Silvio De Sousa indefinitely for his role in a brawl with Kansas State near the end of their game. De Sousa was the main instigator on the Kansas side, but he may not be the only one facing punishment. Several other players that left the bench and were involved in an ugly fracas that spilled into disability seating behind one of the baskets in Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night. 

Kansas Basketball Coach Bill Self: School Preparing Punishments for Tuesday Night Brawl

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Kansas basketball coach Bill Self says the school has thoroughly examined footage from the Jayhawks' brawl with Kansas State near the end of their game Tuesday night and vows that punishments will be handed out quickly. The exact nature of those punishments have not been decided because the school is still discussing the incident with Big 12 Conference officials. Suspensions are likely for forward Silvio De Sousa and several other players.

Ugly Brawl Breaks Out at End of KU / K-State Men's Basketball Game

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Third-ranked Kansas and Kansas State ended their bitter showdown with a wild melee behind the basket that included punches, shoving and at least one player picking up a stool. The brawl started moments after the Jayhawks tried to dribble out the time on their 81-60 victory. Silvio De Sousa was stripped by the Wildcats' DaJuan Gordon near mid-court and Gordon tried to go in for a layup. The Jayhawks' big man recovered and blocked his shot, sending Gordon to the floor, then stood over him barking. That triggered benches to empty and punches to be thrown.

Fight Breaks Out at KU / K-State Men's Basketball Game in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - In men's college basketball, the 3rd ranked Kansas Jayhawks easily disposed of K-State Tuesday night, posting an 81-to-60 victory in Lawrence.  But it was an ugly brawl that broke out toward the end of the game that captured the most attention.  The brawl erupted between the two teams toward the end of regulation play at Allen Fieldhouse.  Players and some coaches from both teams were involved in the fight or in trying to break-up the fight.  Director of KU Athletics Jeff Long issued this statement after the game: “The conduct of a few of our student-athletes at the conclusion of tonight’s game vs. Kansas State was simply unacceptable and not reflective of who we are.  Coach Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State to determine appropriate consequences. There is no place for this conduct in college athletics or here at KU. I would like to apologize to the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State University, Gene Taylor, Bruce Weber and all fans for the lack of sportsmanship from members of our team this evening.”  Player punishments are still pending.
 
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Wintry Mix of Freezing Rain & Snow Expected Across Eastern Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - A wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow has been falling across eastern Kansas this (WED) morning.  Rain & snow are also possible again tonight (WED) and tomorrow (THUR).  Snow accumulation of 1 to 4 inches is possible.  The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for eastern Kansas.  

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Court: Kansas "Ag-Gag" Unconstitutionally Bans Free Speech

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that provisions in a Kansas law that ban the secret filming at slaughterhouses and other livestock facilities unconstitutionally criminalizes free speech. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil mostly sided on Wednesday with a coalition of animal rights and consumer protection groups which had challenged the state's “Ag-Gag” law, which was enacted in 1990. The law makes it a crime for anyone to take a picture or video at animal facilities without the owner’s consent or to enter them under false pretenses. The judge says the Kansas law only targets negative views about animal facilities.

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Proposals to Reverse Kansas Abortion Rights Ruling Advance

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers have pushed two separate but identical versions of the same proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution past their first hurdles in the GOP-controlled Legislature.  A House committee on Wednesday endorsed a measure that would overturn a Kansas Supreme Court decision last year declaring access to abortion a “fundamental” right under the state constitution. The amendment would declare that the Kansas Constitution does not “secure” a right to abortion and allow legislators to regulate it as far as federal court decisions allow. A Senate committee approved its own version of the same proposal less than two hours later. 

(–earlier reporting–)

Kansas Lawmakers Consider Constitutional Change on Abortion

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Abortion opponents and abortion rights supporters have packed the Kansas Legislature's largest committee room and two panels are reviewing a proposal for overturning a state Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights. Anti-abortion groups want to amend the Kansas Constitution to declare that it does not grant a right to abortion and to allow lawmakers to enact restrictions. The state Supreme Court declared last year that access to abortion is a "fundamental" right under the Kansas Bill of Rights. If the measure before lawmakers Tuesday were approved by two-thirds majorities in both chambers, it would go on the August primary election ballot.

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Abortion Rights Backers Unsure of Strategy in Kansas Fight

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion rights backers are grappling with how to derail a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution. Abortion foes marked Wednesday's anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision by advancing two versions of the proposal out of committee Wednesday in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Top GOP lawmakers want to amend the state constitution to overturn a Kansas Supreme Court decision last year protecting abortion rights. Abortion rights lawmakers are pondering whether the measure will be objectionable enough to fail if it's left alone. Some want to rewrite the measure but doing so could help it pass the Legislature.

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Kelly Names Air National Guard Leader New Adjutant General

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An Air National Guard brigadier general will be the state's new adjutant general. Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday announced that David Weishaar will replace current Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli, who plans to resign March 31. Weishaar commands the Air National Guard in Kansas as assistant adjutant general. He has served in the military for 39 years.  In Kansas, the adjutant general is the top military adviser to the governor, leads the state’s Army and Air Guard operations and directs the state’s division of emergency management and homeland security.

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Officer-Involved Shooting in Central Kansas Leaves Suspect Wounded

DIGHTON, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a Kansas sheriff's deputy has shot and wounded a fleeing motorist.  It happened yesterday (TUE) morning, after the motorist he attempted to carjack another vehicle when two of his tires were flattened. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says a Ness County Sheriff's deputy attempted to stop the motorist yesterday (TUE) morning along Kansas Highway 96, east of Ness City.  The deputy was trying to stop the suspect because he was driving a pickup truck that matched the description of one used in an armed robbery at a Dollar General store about 30 miles away in Dighton. The wounded suspect was flown to a Wichita hospital, where he underwent surgery. He's expected to survive.  

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Court: GEICO Must Pay Injured Kansas Man for Care Administered by Wife

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled an insurance company must reimburse a Kansas man for the personal care his wife provided after he was injured in an automobile accident. The decision handed down Tuesday overturns a Court of Appeals panel ruling that GEICO General Insurance Co. did not have to pay insured customer Royce Williams because the wife's obligation to help her husband “was incurred as a result of the marital relationship itself.” The state's highest court disagreed and reinstated the $2,625 in benefits that the district court had initially awarded Williams.

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Kansas Mother Pleads Guilty in Abuse and Starvation of Child

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - A 28-year-old Kansas woman has pleaded guilty in a case involving the starvation of a 5-year-old boy. Elizabeth Marie Francis, of Shawnee, pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated criminal sodomy and child abuse. She and her boyfriend, 36-year-old John Carter, were charged after the boy was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital in December 2018. The Johnson County District Attorney's office says doctors said the boy was bruised and malnourished from starvation. The staff said the child had lost 10 pounds since he had been in the hospital in September 2018. Francis will be sentenced March 9. Carter pleaded not guilty to child abuse and endangerment charges. His case is pending in court.

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Missouri Man Charged with Killing Man as He Walked His Dog

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man has been charged with fatally shooting a man who was walking his dog when he apparently interrupted a vehicle break-in. Prosecutors announced Tuesday that 25-year-old Malcolm Weston is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Ricardo Ortiz. He was shot in the leg in November and died at a hospital. His wife said he had been walking his dog before the shooting. His sport utility vehicle was found parked in the street outside his home with the rear driver's window shattered. Prosecutors requested a bond of $250,000 cash.

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Lawrence Mayor Says Vandalism of Her Home Was Political

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Lawrence mayor is calling the vandalism of her home during a commission meeting that focused on homelessness politically motivated. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Mayor Jennifer Ananda said Tuesday that someone threw a brick through one of her home's windows last week in the midst of an at times tense discussion about funding for the local shelter. She said the brick contained a message related to the homeless issue. Speaking at the start of this week's meeting, Ananda said that though she understands and applauds conscious and heartfelt activism, the vandal’s violent actions were unproductive and harmful.

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GOP Right Looks to Put Own Mark on Kansas Medicaid Expansion

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Conservative Republican lawmakers are looking to modify a bipartisan plan for expanding Medicaid in Kansas by adding provisions that Democratic Governor Laura Kelly opposes. GOP conservatives want to insert a work requirement for able-bodied adults who receive the state's Medicaid health coverage under the expanded program.  They're also looking to add a "right of conscience" provision that would allow medical personnel to decline for religious reasons to provide services such as abortion, birth control and gender reassignment care. Chairman Gene Suellentrop said Tuesday that the Senate health committee will consider those ideas when it debates Medicaid expansion.

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Deputy Wounds Fleeing Motorist After Carjacking Attempt

DIGHTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas sheriff's deputy shot and wounded a fleeing motorist after he attempted to carjack another vehicle when two of his tires were flattened. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation identified the man Wednesday as 42-year-old Timothy Kellebrew, of Ashland City, Tennessee. The KBI says in a news release that a Ness County Sheriff's deputy attempted to stop Kellebrew Tuesday east of Ness City because he was driving a pickup that matched the description of one used in an armed robbery of a Dollar General store about 30 miles away in Dighton. Kellebrew was in fair condition Wednesday.

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California Man Sentenced in Stolen Tax Refund Checks Scheme

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A California man was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole for his role in a scheme to cash more than $447,000 in stolen refund checks. Prosecutors say the multi-state scheme involved cashing the checks by using fake driver's licenses. Dante Chestnut, of Ontario, California, pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Chestnut admitted that he and others stole tax refund checks from the mail in April 2016. They then used fraudulent driver’s licenses and identification documents to cash the checks at Academy Bank branches in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.  

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Consultants Recommend Renovating Docking State Building

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Consultants are recommending that the state spend more than $100 million to renovate the Docking State Office Building in Topeka. Former Governor Sam Brownback's administration had recommended demolishing the building. But a report released Tuesday to a state Senate committee dismissed that idea. Instead, the report recommends either completely renovating the building or reducing the 12-story building to three floors and adding three floors of new construction. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, secretary of the Kansas Department of Administration, says the report gives lawmakers a starting point for discussing how the building can best be used for Kansas residents.

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Party-Switching Lawmaker Abandons Bid for Kansas Senate Seat

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A lawmaker who made national headlines for switching to the Democratic Party has ended her campaign for a state Senate seat and will run for re-election to the House instead. Rep. Stephanie Clayton of Overland Park said Tuesday that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly encouraged her last week to drop out. Clayton's decision to run for the Senate had set up an August primary contest with Ethan Corson of Fairway. Corson is a former executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party.Clayton switched from the GOP at the end of 2018 and said her dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump was a factor.

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Leawood Police Dispatcher Suspected of Computer Crimes

LEAWOOD, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says a Leawood police dispatcher is charged after allegedly sharing confidential information with unauthorized individuals. The KBI says 39-year-old Kallie Turnbow, of Olathe, was arrested Tuesday. Johnson County prosecutors charged her with four felony counts of unlawful acts concerning computers and four misdemeanors of official misconduct. The KBI says it began investigating Turnbow in October 2019 after receiving a tip that she was sharing criminal histories and driver's license information. She was placed on administrative leave that month.  

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Suspect in Fatal KC Nightclub Shooting Had Prior Gun Charges Dismissed

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A man who opened fire outside a Kansas City nightclub, killing a woman and injuring 15 others, had a  previous weapons charge against him dismissed. Twenty-nine-year-old Jahron Swift had been in trouble with the law before he opened fire on people outside the 9ine Ultra Lounge in eastern Kansas City late Sunday.  Swift had a prior weapons charge dropped after Missouri lawmakers loosened the state's gun laws.  He was killed by a security guard but not before he shot and killed 25-year-old Raeven Parks, of Kansas City.  He wounded at least 15 other people.  

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KU Memorial Union Restaurant Tries Beer and Wine Sales

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The University of Kansas is allowing beer and wine sales at a restaurant in the Memorial Union. The Impromptu Cafe in the union began selling beer and wine Tuesday. David Mucci, director of the union, said the cafe is the only place on campus where alcohol is sold in a retail setting. He says it's a way to "test the waters" for businesses on campus that could sell alcohol on campus. Alcohol is also sold at the university's football stadium on games days. Mucci says he wants to use the alcohol sales in the union to promote safe drinking habits.

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Wichita Man Charged in Death of 2-Month-Old Son

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 2-month-old son. Twenty-three-year-old Marlin Williams was charged Wednesday after his son, Marrell Williams, died Jan. 16. Marlin Williams is also charged with three counts of aggravated battery. Wichita police say they were called to a home Jan. 10 on a report that a child was not breathing. The boy was taken to a hospital after being found unresponsive. He suffered critical injuries and medical personnel found he had previous injuries. His twin sister had a healing broken femur. Williams is being held on $500,000 bond.  

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Trims Water Flowing into Lower Missouri River

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The amount of water being released into the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam will be reduced slightly to protect drinking water supplies even though the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still working to eliminate water from last year. The Corps said Tuesday it is trimming the amount of water flowing out of Gavins Point to 27,000 cubic feet per second. Corps spokeswoman Eileen Williamson said the new lower releases will allow the level of Lewis and Clark Lake to stabilize and ensure communities will be able to continue drawing drinking water from the lake.

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University of Kansas to Close its Languages School

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The University of Kansas will close its Languages, Literatures and Cultures schools but departments within the school will continue to operate. John Columbo, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said in an email that budget cuts forced a change in the administrative structure of the school. He says the changes will not affect degree offerings or curriculum and students will not be impacted. The school has administrative oversight for six departments. The closing at the end of the academic year means one staff position will be cut but the director and co-director of the school will return to their respective positions in their academic units.

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