Kansas Supreme Court Again Weighs School Funding
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas Supreme Court is weighing whether state legislators boosted spending on public schools enough this year to provide a suitable education to all children, as the high court had ordered. The justices heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys about a new school finance law but appeared skeptical that the funding plan offers enough money for education. That law phases in a $293 million increase in education funding over two years. The justices ruled in March that the state's then-$4 billion a year in aid to its 286 school districts was inadequate. School districts suing for more funding say the state needs to add nearly $900 million over two years for funding to be adequate. But an attorney for the state countered that the new law vastly improved the previous way schools were funded.
Judge Dismisses Suit Against Kansas Sexual Predator Program
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Kansas sex offenders confined indefinitely in a state program for post-prison mental health treatment. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled this week that the suit failed to provide details to support claims that the treatment the offenders are receiving at Larned State Hospital in western Kansas is so inadequate that their confinement is unconstitutional. Kansas law allows the courts to order sex offenders held indefinitely for treatment after they've served their prison sentences. The 25 men who filed the lawsuit in 2014 are among more than 250 offenders confined in the program. Only a relative few have been released since it began in 1994. The U.S. Supreme Court declared the program constitutional in 1997 because of the promised treatment.
Judge Preliminarily Approves Deal in Kansas Jail Lawsuit
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has given her approval to a deal in a lawsuit filed against the Wilson County sheriff over his jail's policy of allowing inmates to receive and send only postcards in the mail. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson preliminarily approved on Wednesday the class action settlement that would allow inmates to receive letters at the southeast Kansas jail. The jail houses an average of 40 people daily. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and the Social Justice Law Collective sued Sheriff Pete Figgins last year alleging the policy violated the free speech and due process rights of prisoners and the people who write to them. A fairness hearing on the settlement is set for October 25 in the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas.
Second Man Arrested in Killing of Semi-Pro Football Player
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A second suspect has been arrested in the weekend shooting death of a semi-pro football player in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2uzalKA ) reports that the 18-year-old Wichita man was booked into jail Monday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the killing of 19-year-old Timothy Golden, who was a tight end for the Kansas Cougars. He hasn't yet been formally charged. Police say Golden was found dead Saturday afternoon inside an apartment building and that another 18-year-old suspect was arrested that day. Police had been searching for three men in the shooting. Police say more than a dozen rounds were fired into Golden's apartment.
Kansas Priest Suspended as Conduct Probe Unfolds
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas says an associate pastor at two churches is suspended as state child-welfare workers and the archdiocese investigate his conduct, in one case involving a juvenile. The archdiocese said Tuesday that Father Scott Kallal was suspended from public ministry duties after two sources accused him of "boundary violations." Archdiocese spokeswoman Anita McSorley declined to elaborate. The archdiocese says Kallal's suspension was announced last weekend during Masses at two churches he served — Overland Park's Holy Spirit Church and St. Patrick Church in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas Department for Children and Families declined comment Tuesday.
Overland Park Man Killed During Argument
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a man has shot and killed his 62-year-old stepfather during an argument at a suburban Kansas City townhome. The Kansas City Star reports that the shooting happened early this (WED) morning in Overland Park. Police spokesman John Lacy says the suspect's mother called 911 and told dispatcher that her son and her husband were arguing. Officers heard gunshots as they approached the townhome and took cover. Lacy says the mother told dispatchers her son had shot his stepfather. The suspect was arrested after leaving the townhome. The victim was found dead inside the townhome, and his name wasn't released. Lacy said he didn't know why the two had been arguing. A weapon was found inside the home.
Woman Suspected of Stealing Car with Child Inside Surrenders
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a woman suspected of stealing a car from a Kansas City, Kansas, gas station as a 3-year-old girl slept in the back seat has surrendered. The Wyandotte County prosecutor's office said 29-year-old Karri Reich turned herself in Tuesday. She and an alleged accomplice, 28-year-old Tyler Letzig, are charged with kidnapping, aggravated child endangerment and theft. A KSHB-TV station crew aboard a helicopter spotted the abandoned vehicle in Tonganoxie about an hour after last week's theft. Police say the girl wasn't hurt but was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Reich's attorney, Josh Allen said in a written statement that his client "very much looks forward to addressing this situation and concluding the same in the near future."
Kansas 18-Year-Old Gets Prison Term for Causing Deadly Crash
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A central Kansas 18-year-old has been ordered to spend four years in prison for causing a several-vehicle crash that killed one of the other drivers. The Salina Journal reports Hunter Burns was sentenced Monday to three years and five months in prison on an involuntary manslaughter count while under the influence and six months for aggravated child endangerment. Burns pleaded no contest to both felonies in May. The judge also ordered Burns to pay $4,500 in restitution to the family of Diane Boos, the 53-year-old Salina woman fatally injured in the crash in August of last year. Burns' attorney told the judge his client "was really sorry for what he has done," that he accepts responsibility and "will try to change his life in a positive manner."
Charges Mount in Corruption Probe at Kansas City Jail
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — New federal indictments accuse a fifth person and add more charges against the previous four defendants in an alleged contraband-smuggling scheme at the county jail in Kansas City, Missouri. A criminal complaint had accused Jackson County Detention Center corrections officers Andrew Dickerson and Jalee Fuller, inmate Carlos Hughley, and Fuller and Hughley friend Janikkia Carter of one count of telephone use to further unlawful activity. But a new indictment Tuesday accuses the four of conspiracy and now accuses Carter and Hughley of three counts each of the unlawful telephone use counts. The indictment added Marion Byers — another Fuller and Hughley acquaintance — and charges him with two telephone-related counts. A separate indictment accuses Dickerson of conspiracy and three more counts involving telephone use to further criminal activity.
Bethany College Has Probation Lifted over Finances
LINDSBORG, Kan. (AP) — Bethany College in Lindsborg no longer is on probation over its finances. The Salina Journal reports the college was notified Monday that the Higher Learning Commission's governing board has removed it from probation and reaffirmed the college's accreditation. The college received probation in mid-2015 for noncompliance with criteria relating to finances and operational processes. The school still remained fully accredited. The college's president, William Jones, said the lifting of probation "allows us to move forward without an albatross around our neck." The college's latest audit showed a positive balance for the first time in eight years, with a total change of net operating assets from a nearly $5.5 million loss in fiscal year 2015 to a gain of more than $77,000 in fiscal year 2016.
Police Say a Victim Shot a Robbery Suspect in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a robbery victim has fatally shot an armed man at a gated apartment complex in south Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports that police responded to the shooting just before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Police say two men were loading items into their car when the robber approached them demanding the items. The victims initially complied. But one of the men pulled out a handgun and shot the robber when he tried to force the men inside their apartment. Police say the robber ran before collapsing moments later and dying. Police didn't say what the men were loading into their vehicle when they were robbed or whether the gates to the complex were closed. The identity of the man who died wasn't immediately released.
Texas Agency Apologizes for Out-of-State Toll Billing Errors
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Department of Transportation has apologized to drivers who received incorrect toll tag bills or violation notifications for travel in some other states, including Kansas. TxDOT, in an online statement Tuesday, offered regrets and said agency personnel are working on the problems. The out-of-state issues involve drivers with tags — such as EZTag, TxTag and TollTag — from toll authorities in the Houston, Austin and Dallas areas. Texas officials seek to have toll tags work with Kansas and other states but the transfer of some account information between partnering agencies was delayed. Names of the additional states weren't immediately available. TxDOT says some customers received pay-by-mail invoices and violations in error. Department officials have advised Texas toll tag users to call the agency that handles their account to dispute the charges.
Detroit Tigers Pound Royals, 9-3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) —The Detroit Tigers' Nicholas Castellanos homered twice and drove in five runs in the second inning as the Tigers cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night and win their fourth straight game. Castellanos also tripled to finish a double shy of the cycle. Victor Martinez drove in a pair of runs, and the Tigers gave starter Matt Boyd (3-5) plenty of support in his return from the minors. Boyd allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings, striking out three and walking one. It was his first big league win since April 16, a skid that included four losses and four no-decisions.
He out performed the Royals' Travis Wood (1-3), who allowed six runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.