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Headlines for Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Family of Woman Killed by Neo-Nazi Settles Lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The family of a woman killed in Kansas by a man who wanted to kill Jews has settled a lawsuit with Walmart over the sale of a shotgun used in the shooting. Terri LaManno was killed in 2014 outside the Village Shalom care center in Overland Park, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports the terms of the settlement announced Tuesday was not disclosed. LaManno was shot by avowed neo-Nazi F. Glenn Miller Jr. Miller was a felon who couldn't legally buy a gun. The lawsuit alleged he used someone else to buy the weapon for him at a Walmart store in Republic, Missouri. Miller also killed William Corporon and his grandson, Reat Underwood, outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. Their family settled a similar lawsuit in August 2017.


Kansas Sex Offender Gets Life in Prison for Raping 7-Year-Old

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been sentenced to life in prison for raping a 7-year-old girl in a stranger's apartment six weeks after he was freed from prison for another rape.  The Wichita Eagle reports that 24-year-old Corbin Breitenbach won't be eligible for parole under the sentence ordered Tuesday for attempted capital murder, rape, aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated burglary.  The attack happened in June 2017 while the victim was spending the night at a friend's condo in Wichita. Prosecutors say Breitenbach quietly sneaked in, choked her into unconsciousness and sexually assaulted her.  The girl, now 9, described the attack as "scary" in a video that was played before the sentence was imposed. District Attorney Marc Bennett gave her a fist bump before she left the courtroom surrounded by family.


Suspect in Fatal Kansas Hoax Call Pleads Guilty

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game, Twenty-six-year-old Tyler R. Barriss pleaded guilty to making a false report resulting in a death, cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly swatting case in the Kansas. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for at least 20 years, if the judge accepts it. He had previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas.  As part of the plea agreement, Barriss pleaded guilty to a total of 51 charges that included similar charges initially filed in California and the District of Columbia.  Barriss is accused of falsely reporting a shooting in December 2017 following a dispute over a $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game between two gamers. Wichita police responded and Andrew Finch was fatally shot at his Wichita home.  Sentencing was set for January 30.


Lawrence Officer Wants Charges Dropped After Shooting Man

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence police officer who shot a man during an arrest is asking that criminal charges against her be dropped. In a motion filed last week in Douglas County, attorneys for 26-year-old Brindley Blood argued that Blood shot 35-year-old Akira Lewis in self-defense, which makes her immune from prosecution under Kansas law. Blood was charged with aggravated battery after shooting Lewis in May. Lewis and another officer were fighting when Blood arrived and eventually shot him. Lewis was hospitalized with a gunshot wound in the back. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Blood thought she drew her Taser rather than her gun before firing the shot. The motion doesn't address that part of the case. As of Wednesday, the Douglas County District Attorney's Office had not filed a response to Blood's motion.


Manhattan Police Investigate Death of 2-Month-Old Boy

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 2-month-old baby has died three days after he was found not breathing in Manhattan.  Riley County Police Department spokeswoman Hali Rowland says the boy died Sunday. The Manhattan Mercury reports that dispatch received a call at 8:30 am Thursday of a child not breathing on the east side of the city. The infant was taken to Via Christi in Manhattan before being flown to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.  Rowland says an autopsy will be scheduled and the investigation is ongoing. The name of the child wasn't immediately released.


Former Basketball Player Killed in Kansas Murder-Suicide

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified a former college basketball player in Kentucky as the victim of a murder-suicide in suburban Kansas City. Police in Shawnee, Kansas, found the bodies of 27-year-old Courtney Bivins, of Kansas City, Missouri, and 34-year-old Joshua Mobley, of Mission, Kansas, near a park on Sunday. Police say Mobley shot Bivins and then himself. Police in Kansas said they were "close friends" but weren't in a domestic relationship. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Bivins played in 19 games at Western Kentucky University before transferring to Campbellsville University, where she graduated in 2013 with a biology degree. Campbellsville said Bivins, who previously went by the last name of Clifton, was a nurse and had been "actively pursuing a career field in anesthesiology." Campbellsville Sports Information Director Jordan Alves said Bivins, who ranked 14th in the NAIA for three-point shooting and 18th for total scoring during her senior year, could "shoot it with the best of them." She is also ranked 14th on Campbellsville's women's all-time scoring record. "We are deeply saddened by the news of this tragedy," Campbellsville President Michael V. Carter said in a release. "Courtney was fun to watch on the court, and I remember her talents fondly during her time as a Lady Tiger. We ask that everyone involved with Campbellsville University keep the Clifton and Bivins families in their prayers during this time." The university said funeral arrangements have not been made.


Man Pleads Guilty to Running Over Wichita Police Officer

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The man accused of running over a Wichita police officer last year has pleaded guilty. Justin Terrazas pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated battery and other charges. Prosecutors say Terrazas ran over officer Brian Arterburn while fleeing in a stolen vehicle in February 2017. Terrazas will be sentenced January 14. KAKE-TV reports District Attorney Marc Bennett said the state and defense have agreed to a 39.5-year prison sentence. Arterburn, a 25-year police veteran, suffered chest, abdomen and brain injuries when the vehicle hit him as placed spike strips on a road in south Wichita. He spent nearly 10 months in hospitals in Colorado and Texas before returning to Wichita last November. Earlier this year, the city approved Arterburn's medical retirement.


Crash in Southwest Kansas Kills 3 People, Closes Highway

WELLSFORD, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says three people have died in a crash involving two semi-trailer trucks. The head-on crash occurred early Wednesday on Highway 54 near the town of Wellsford in Kiowa County. The patrol says both trucks caught fire. The highway was closed for several hours after the crash. One truck was empty and the other was carrying pork products. The names of the three people killed have not been released.


2017 Kansas Deaths from Domestic Violence Highest in 2 Decades

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas recorded more domestic violence related homicides in 2017 than it had in more than two decades.  A Kansas Bureau of Investigation report shows the 38 domestic violence deaths in 2017 was twice as many as 2016.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the agency says 20 of the deaths were female and 18 were male. Also, 33 of the suspects were male while five were female. And firearms were used in 26 of 38 cases.  KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood says 2017 was the second highest number of domestic violence-related deaths since records began in 1993, with 41 deaths.  Erin Reazin, a victim services coordinator for Topeka's YMCA, says society needs to changes the culture from telling females they are responsible for reducing their risk to finding only the perpetrator at fault.


Kansas Governor-elect Laura Kelly Picks Veteran, Bipartisan Group to Lead Transition

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor-elect Laura Kelly has named a veteran, bipartisan group of four people to lead her transition team.  Kelly announced the appointments Tuesday. The team includes Jordanna Zeigler, the manager of the incoming Democratic governor's campaign.  The group also includes Joyce Allegrucci. She served as chief of staff to former Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius and worked on Sebelius' transition after the 2002 election.  Kelly also appointed Natalie Haag, general counsel and chief of staff to Republican Governor Bill Graves. He was governor before Sebelius.  The team also includes Duane Goossen, who advised the Kelly campaign. He is a former Republican legislator who served more than 12 years as state budget director under Graves, Sebelius and Democratic Governor Mark Parkinson.  Goossen and Haag also worked on the Graves-to-Sebelius transition.


Kansas Man Admits to Shooting Southern Illinois Officer

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A Kansas man has pleaded guilty to several charges in connection with a shooting that wounded a southern Illinois police officer during a July 2016 chase. The Jackson County state's attorney office says the plea agreement with 24-year-old Alex Karcher of Salina, Kansas, calls for him to face a prison sentence of at least 25 years. Karcher pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of aggravated battery to a police officer, aggravated discharge of a firearm and marijuana distribution. Charges related to shots Karcher fired that missed Carbondale Officer Trey Harris were dismissed. Officials say one shot wounded Harris in the eye, causing him to lose vision. Authorities say Harris was among officers chasing Karcher and three other men after gunshots were fired in a dispute over 15 pounds of marijuana.


Kansas Man Pleads Guilty in Shooting of Illinois Officer

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — A Kansas man has pleaded guilty to charges he fired the shots in July 2016 that wounded a southern Illinois police officer during a chase. Alex B. Karcher of Salina, Kansas was charged with firing several shots at Carbondale Officer Trey Harris. Officials say one shot wounded Harris in the eye, causing him to lose vision. Authorities say Harris was among officers chasing Karcher and three other men after gunshots were fired in a dispute over 15 pounds of marijuana. Karcher was arrested on drug charges soon after the shooting. Jackson County (Illinois) State's Attorney Michael Carr says Karcher pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated discharge of a firearm and conspiracy to deliver a substance containing cannabis. A sentencing date hasn't been set for Karcher, who is being held in the Jackson County Jail.


Man Sentenced for Secretly Filming Women at Tanning Salon

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A man who secretly photographed and made videos of women as they undressed at a Kansas tanning salon has been sentenced to 60 days in jail. The Great Bend-Tribune reports that Tracy Driscoll also was ordered Friday to serve three years of probation when he's released from jail. Driscoll pleaded no contest in September in Barton County to six counts of breach of privacy. While on probation, he won't be able to use the internet or a phone with a camera. He also must pay fines and for counseling for one of the victims. Additionally, three victims are suing. The sentence was the maximum possible for the charges. Driscoll has a previous felony conviction stemming from a 2007 hit-and-run crash in Russell that killed Kansas State University sophomore Rebecca Trible.


Caroline Rose Hunt, Texas Oil Heiress, Philanthropist, Dies

DALLAS (AP) — Caroline Rose Hunt, a philanthropist, luxury hotel magnate and daughter of Texas oilman H.L. Hunt, has died at age 95. Family spokesman Andy Stern says Hunt suffered a stroke Oct. 31 and died Tuesday in Dallas. Services are pending. Hunt's wildcatter father provided a trust for her and the operating company was The Rosewood Corporation in Dallas. Caroline Rose Hunt founded Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in 1979, which operated The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas. The company was sold in 2011 to New World Hospitality, now known as Rosewood Hotel Group. Hunt married twice. She had five children, 19 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. She had 14 siblings including sports tycoon and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who died in 2006, and oil executive Nelson Bunker Hunt, who died in 2014.


Lawrence Man Sentenced for Soliciting Porn from Teen

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A 40-year-old Lawrence man was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for soliciting a 16-year-old girl to send him images of her in sexual poses. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said Wednesday that Jamie Drake was sentenced for coercion and enticement of a minor. Drake admitted that he asked the girl from Franklin County to send him sexual photos. Drake offered to pay the girl's bills and send her money. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the girl's older sister notified law enforcement in July 2016. A plea agreement filed in June said investigators found Drake had solicited several minor girls. One of those was the girl from Franklin County, who told Drake she was only 16.


K-State Student Honored for Returning Scholarship Money He Didn't Need

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas State student who gave back a scholarship he didn't need is being honored with a new scholarship named for him.  Justin Schmutz, a senior in biological systems engineering, had twice earned a $12,000 4-H Vanier Family Scholarship. The Manhattan Mercury reports Schmutz returned this year's scholarship after deciding he could graduate debt free without it.  He told the Kansas 4-H Foundation and the Vanier family in May that he thought someone else could use the money more than him.  Mary Vanier says family members were so touched by Schmutz's decision they decided to endow a Justin Schmutz 4-H Scholarship. The family surprised Schmutz with a presentation last week at his fraternity.  The Vanier Family 4-H Scholarships go to students who have overcome challenges to pursue their educational goals.


Exam Ordered for Johnson County Man Accused of Attack in Foster Care Office

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has ordered a mental competency examination for a 19-year-old man charged with sexually assaulting a girl in a child welfare office.  Michael Anthony Hamer is charged in Johnson County with rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child.  Prosecutors allege Hamer assaulted a 13-year-old girl in May while they were at a KVC Health Systems office in Olathe. They were both in the state foster care system at the time.  The Kansas City Star reports defense attorney Courtney Henderson sought the evaluation because he thinks Hamer doesn't fully understand the gravity of the charges against him and would not be able to effectively help in his own defense.  District Judge Brenda Cameron granted Henderson's request. A hearing on the competency issue is scheduled for January 10.


Merriam Restaurant Owner Sentenced for Claiming to Pay Minimum Wage

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The owner of a suburban Kansas City restaurant was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for falsely claiming he was paying his workers minimum wage.  U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister announced Tuesday that 39-year-old Yong Lin, of Overland Park, was sentenced for falsifying records submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor.  Lin owns the China Garden restaurant in Merriam.  A federal investigation determined Lin was not complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act because he did not pay employees overtime after 40 hours. In his plea agreement, Lin admitted he said he was paying employees back wages but instead paid servers with paychecks to bring their hourly pay up to minimum wage. He then required the servers to cash their payroll checks and give the money back to him.

This story has been corrected to reflect that Yong Lin owns the China Garden, not U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.


Jackson County Won't Prosecute Most Marijuana Possession Cases

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jackson County, Missouri, Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker says her office will not prosecute most marijuana possession cases.  Voters last week overwhelmingly approved amending the Missouri constitution to allow medical marijuana.  Peters said Tuesday voters spoke loudly on the issue, noting three out of four Jackson County residents approved the measure. She says the office has also noted changing attitudes toward marijuana from juries.  The Kansas City Star reports the exceptions will include selling or distributing marijuana without proper authority and possession of items associated with illegal sales, such as individual packaged bags of the drug.  Another exception would be when large amounts of cash or firearms are found in conjunction with drug cases.  The office also will prosecute cases involving drugged driving or when marijuana results in a child being harmed.


Kansas City Health Changes Course on Homeless Picnics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One week after trashing and bleaching food meant for the homeless, Kansas City health officials allowed the gatherings to continue at parks around the city.  On November 4, inspectors from the Kansas City Health Department shut down the picnics. At one spot, inspectors dumped chili, sandwiches, soup and other food prepared by with Free Hot Soup Kansas City and soaked some food in bleach.  At the time, health department director Rex Archer, told The Kansas City Star the food was a public health risk because it wasn't prepared in licensed or approved kitchens.  Inspectors didn't show up at gatherings held Sunday. Health department spokesman Bill Snook said the investigators were told most of the volunteers would be providing prepackaged food items from permitted establishments, which is a low risk for health concerns.


Man Convicted in 2013 Salina Homicide Dies in Prison

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A man who helping to beat a Salina woman with a chain before strangling and drowning her has died.  The Kansas Department of Corrections says 30-year-old Joel Heil died Sunday.  Hiel was in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the 2013 death of 27-year-old Kristin Tyler.  Corrections department spokesman Samir Arif confirmed Heil's death but said he was not in state custody and couldn't provide details about Heil's death.  The Salina Journal reports Heil was incarcerated at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility but was taken to Leavenworth County last Thursday for a court hearing.  Tyler's battered body was found in May 2013. Prosecutors say she was killed because Heil and another man, Dane DeWeese, thought she had stolen money and drugs and suspected her of being a police informant.


REI Co-op to open first Store in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — REI plans to open its first store in Oklahoma next fall.  The outdoor retailer announced Tuesday that the 23,000 square-foot store in Oklahoma City will offer quality gear and expertise for the region's recreational activities, including hiking and paddling. REI says the new store will employ nearly 50 people.  A member-owned co-op, REI offers workshops and classes to help people connect to life outdoors. REI also plans to invest in Oklahoma's outdoor community and work with local nonprofits to help maintain local trails, parks and other amenities.  Officially known as REI Co-op and based in the Seattle area, the chain operates 154 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, including stores in Texas and Kansas. REI says it has 17 million members, including 46,500 in Oklahoma.


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