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Headlines for Wednesday, May 15, 2019

4 Die in 2 Fatality Crashes in Franklin County

WILLIAMSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say four people died in two separate crashes in the same northeast Kansas county. A Texas woman and her two children died around 9 a.m. Tuesday about 4 miles north of the Williamsburg exit on Interstate 35 in Franklin County. Fox4KC reports the Franklin County Sheriff's office said a vehicle driven by 25-year-old Brieyori McGowan went off the interstate, over-corrected, crossed a median and hit a vehicle in the opposite lane. McGowan and her children, 7-year-old Kamarria Williams and 6-year-old Nahajza Jackson. were pronounced dead at the scene. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the fourth victim, 47-year-old John Yaple, of Harrisonville, Missouri, died about 3 ½ hours earlier on Kansas 68 about 7 miles east of Ottawa when he hit a tractor-trailer that jackknifed after hitting a deer.


Rejected Kansas Court Nominee Says His Rejection Discourages Public Service

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Court of Appeals candidate whose nomination was rejected by the state Senate says its actions and members' comments about him will discourage qualified people from serving the state.  Labette County District Judge Jeffry Jack also said Tuesday that he is happy to put his record up against the Senate's record.  The Senate voted 38-0 against Jack's nomination to the state's second-highest court. His nomination was doomed by political tweets he made in 2017 criticizing President Donald Trump and other Republicans.  He's also facing a call for the state Commission on Judicial Conduct to review his behavior and consider whether he has violated judicial ethics.  Jack says he intends to remain as a trial-court judge and "apply the law to the facts without personal bias or partisan advantage."


Wichita Man Pleads Guilty in Death of 2-Year-Old Boy

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 26-year-old Wichita man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son.  District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a news release that Lucas Diel accepted a plea deal Monday in the death of Anthony Bunn. The boy was found unresponsive in a home in May 2018. Police say he suffered severe head injuries.  Under the plea deal, Diel is expected to be sentenced to nearly 49 years in prison when he is sentenced June 25. The district attorney says the sentenced is based on Diel's criminal history.  The boy's mother, Elizabeth Woolheater, has been charged with murder in his death. She is scheduled for a motions hearing later this month.


Garden City Community College Agrees to Outside Probe After Player's Death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas community college has agreed to an independent investigation into the heatstroke death last year of a football player who collapsed after the first day of conditioning practice. Trustees for Garden City Community College voted Tuesday evening to authorize the outside probe into the death of 19-year-old Braeden Bradforth of Neptune, New Jersey. The move came after the college faced mounting pressure, including calls by New Jersey's U.S. House delegation for an investigation. Bradforth was found unconscious outside his dorm room on Aug. 1 after practice. He died later that night at a hospital. His mother, Joanne Atkins-Ingram, said Wednesday that she's hoping the investigation will finally let her know her son's last moments. She said she hopes investigators find out what went wrong and how to correct it. 


Missouri Man Charged with Killing, Dismembering Kansas Man

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri, man has been charged with fatally shooting another man, dismembering his body and then setting the remains on fire.  Thirty-year-old Colton Stock was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and three other felonies in the death of 35-year-old Matthew Calkins, of Gardner, Kansas. No attorney is listed for him in online court records. Bond is set at $1 million cash only.  Police arrested him May 5 while responding to report of gunfire at a home where Calkins' remains were found. The Kansas City Star reports that police Sgt. Richard Sharp said investigators have not found all of Calkins' remains.  An autopsy determined Calkins was shot twice before his body was dismembered and burned. Sharp said Stock and Calkins had a "drug relationship."


Texas Woman Pleads Guilty in Kansas Fair Vendors' Deaths

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A Texas woman has admitted to her role in the deaths of a couple who were killed at a Kansas fair after one suspect ordered the killings as part of a "carnival mafia" initiation. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said 39-year-old Christine Tenney, of La Marque, Texas, pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated robbery and obstruction of justice. Tenney was charged after the July 2018 deaths of Alfred "Sonny" Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter, both of Wichita, at the Barton County Fair in Kansas, where they were vendors. Their bodies were discovered in a national forest near Van Buren, Arkansas. Three other people were charged with murder in their deaths. Fifty-four-year-old Michael Fowler Jr., of Sarasota, Florida, pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder. Another man is charged with obstructing apprehension. Investigators say there is no "carnival mafia."


Killing of 14-Year-Old in Kansas City Ruled Accidental

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say the death of a 14-year-old boy has been ruled an accidental shooting.  The boy was shot early Tuesday at an apartment complex in northern Kansas City.  Captain Tim Hernandez said in a news release that two juveniles were playing with a firearm while other family members were sleeping. A shot, fired accidentally, hit the victim in the head, causing fatal injuries.  Police say six children and two adults were inside the townhome at the time.  The teenager's name hasn't been released.


2 People Arrested After Missing Wichita Man Found Dead

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police says two people are in custody after a man who was reported missing on Saturday was found stabbed to death.  Police Lt. Jeff Gilmore said 25-year-old Royce Thomas and 24-year-old Micaela Spencer, both of Wichita, were arrested Monday. They were booked into jail on possible charges of murder and possession of stolen property.  Gilmore says Sedgwick County deputies found Thomas and Spencer inside a stolen trailer and connected recreational vehicle and they were arrested without incident.  The officers then found 50-year-old William Callison, of Wichita, dead inside the RV. Gilmore said he suffered several stab wounds.
Callison had been reported missing on Saturday.


Man Charged with Sexually Assaulting 3 Teens at YMCA Pool

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been charged with sexually assaulting three teenage girls in the pool area of YMCA in downtown Wichita.  The Wichita Eagle reports 31-year-old Keith Magoon was charged Monday with one count of rape and four counts of aggravated sexual battery. His bond was set at $150,000.  Wichita police say two 16-year-old girls and a 17-year-old girl reported being sexually assaulted in the indoor pool area by a man they didn't know.  Magoon described himself as homeless and unemployed in court documents. His next court appearance was scheduled for May 30, and he will be appointed a public defender.  Last month, a former YMCA worker was sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison for molesting two young girls in the downtown YMCA's daycare.


Police Look for Motorcyclist Who Hit Kansas Officer

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a man who intentionally hit a northeast Kansas police officer with his motorcycle.  The Kansas City Star reports that it happened around 3 pm Tuesday after the Bonner Springs police officer tried to stop the motorcyclist for taking a turn too fast and driving into an embankment on Interstate 70. Bonner Springs Sgt. Heather Pate says that instead of stopping, the motorcyclist turned and drove directly at the officer and then headed north on the highway.  The officer was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.  Police are looking for the motorcyclist who was driving a black sports bike with red accents, red and black wheels and stickers on the side.


Hutchinson Woman Alive After Being Hit by Train

HUTCHNSON, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old Hutchinson woman is alive despite being hit by a train as she walked home from work.  Hutchinson police Lt. Rob Rowe says Anais Saulters suffered deep cuts and a broken arm when she was hit Monday night — apparently by the train's cow guard.  The Hutchinson News reports Saulters told police she heard the train behind her but didn't realize how close she was to the tracks.  Rowe said the BNSF Railway train was traveling about 25 mph when Saulters was hit. She was knocked over by the collision and crawled under the train to go to a nearby business to call 911.  Rowe says Saulters didn't appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when she was hit. She could be charged with misdemeanor trespassing.


13-Year-Old Arrested for Threat Toward Garden City School

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — Garden City police say a 13-year-old middle school student has been arrested after making threats toward the school.  The boy was arrested Monday night after police received a report of a possible threat toward Horace Good Middle School.  This is the fourth threat made toward Horace Good Middle School in the past month.  KAKE-TV reports police said in a news release that an investigation found the student made several verbal threats toward the school.  The student is being held in the Southwest Kansas juvenile detention center.


Spirit AeroSystems Faces Nearly $200,000 in OSHA Fines

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Aircraft parts maker Spirit AeroSystems faces just over $193,000 in penalties after government officials alleged that the Wichita company exposed some employees to a known carcinogen.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Spirit AeroSystems for allegedly exposing employees to hexavalent chromium during aircraft painting. The agency found six violations, which include allegations that Spirit failed to monitor levels of the cancer-causing substance after a previous violation.  OSHA also alleged that painters were exposed to up to 44 times the permissible exposure level of airborne chromium concentration, and that facial hair on some employees prevented their respirators from sealing.  Spirit has 15 business days to contest the findings.


"Heartbeat" Abortion Ban to be Debated in Missouri Senate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators are set to take up one of the nation's most restrictive proposed abortion bans.  The Republican-led Senate is expected to consider legislation to ban most abortions after eight weeks pregnancy before lawmakers' Friday deadline to pass bills.  The only exception would be in cases of medical emergencies, not rape or incest.  If approved, Missouri would join four other states that have passed bans on abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That can occur about six weeks into a pregnancy.  The Missouri bill comes as abortion opponents across the U.S. push for new restrictions in hopes that the more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.  The Missouri measure also includes a near-total ban on abortion, but that would only kick in if Roe v. Wade is overturned.


Wichita Officer on Leave, 2 Women Jailed After Gun Incident

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say an officer is on leave after firing shots at a car when a woman pointed a gun at him.  Lt. Jason Stephens said no one was injured in the incident that began late Monday when officers responded to a domestic violence call.  He says when an officer shined a flashlight toward a vehicle, one of two women inside pointed a handgun at the officer.  The officer fired two shots and struck the vehicle.  One woman was arrested on charges of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, being a felon in possession of a handgun and outstanding warrants. The other woman was arrested on an outstanding warrant.  The officer, a 23-year police veteran, is on paid administrative leave, which is protocol for officer-involved shootings.


Head of Newman University Set to Retire After Decade-Long Tenure

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The president of Newman University is stepping down at the end of the calendar year from the Catholic school in Wichita.  The Wichita Eagle reports that Noreen Carrocci's retirement was announced Tuesday. Board of Trustees chairwoman Teresa Hall Bartels said in a news release that Carrocci "put Newman University of the map" after she was named president in 2007. The release says that under Carrocci's leadership, the four-year graduation rate improved by 30 percent. The university has also added more degree programs, including a seminary program, and built a new bio-science facility for its nursing and allied health programs.  Carrocci says that her "time at Newman has been a blessing both professionally and personally."  The university plans to immediately begin a nationwide search for its next president.


Man Guilty of Stalking Women Who Worked at Massage Parlors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 67-year-old man accused of stalking several women who worked at massage parlors has been found guilty on eight of 10 federal charges against him. Robert Gross, who has a criminal record dating back to the 1960s, was convicted Wednesday on two of four stalking charges and six gun-related charges. The Kansas City Star reports federal prosecutors accused Gross of stalking several women between Oct. 1 and Dec. 22, 2017, mostly employees of massage parlors in Lawrence and Johnson County, Kansas. The women told police their cars were keyed, screws drilled into their tires and their windows smashed out. The jury was shown a video of Gross abusing a Lawrence massage parlor worker. Charges are pending in that case. The Star reported in a 2018 series of stories that law enforcement officers suspect Gross is responsible for the killings of several people, including two women who worked in the massage business. He has not been charged in the homicides.  Gross's attorney presented no evidence during the trial. Gross was arrested in December 2017 after buying two guns in Liberty, Missouri.


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