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Headlines for Wednesday, October 30, 2019

New Jersey Senator Wants Review of Pompeo Visits to Kansas

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic senator from New Jersey is questioning whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trips to Kansas violate federal election laws. Sen. Robert Menendez sent a letter Tuesday to the independent U.S. Office of Special Counsel seeking a review of Pompeo's four trips to Kansas this year. Pompeo's came last week for events on workforce development with Ivanka Trump. Fellow Republicans have speculated for months that Pompeo might run for the Senate in Kansas next year. Menendez is suggesting that Pompeo's trips could violate a law against federal employees engaging in political activity on the job. The State Department did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Pompeo said in a Fox News interview Monday that he will remain secretary of state as long as President Donald Trump wants.


Legislative Committee Approves Steps Toward Medical Marijuana

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas legislative special committee has approved two early steps toward advancing a medical marijuana bill.  The committee on Federal and State Affairs on Wednesday recommended that Kansas lawmakers consider allowing residents from other states where medical marijuana is legal to use the product in Kansas if they have permission from their home states. The committee also suggested Kansas study Ohio's approach to medical marijuana use. Ohio limits patients to 90-day supplies and prohibits smoking medical marijuana. Edibles, patches and oils are allowed. Supporters said the use and acceptance of medical marijuana is growing across the country, and in states adjoining Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports the committees vote is non-binding. And any legislation supporting medical marijuana will face continued opposition from law enforcement and some medical organizations.  


Inmate Death Reported at Lansing Correctional Facility

LANSING, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Corrections says an inmate with convictions in Wyandotte County has died at the Lansing Correctional Facility. Prison officials say 48-year-old Raymond Davis died Monday. The cause of death has not been determined. Davis was serving about 54 years in prison for convictions in Wyandotte County that include aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery.


Restaurant Owner Closes Two Lawrence Locations; Says He Faced Backlash, Vandalism over Politics

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A restaurant owner says he closed two locations in Lawrence because of backlash from people who believed he had ties to former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  Morrie Sheets closed two Jimmy's Egg restaurants Monday, less than six months after they opened.  He says customers wrote "(Expletive) Kobach" on the diner's tables and on his car, as well as smearing excrement on the car.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports Sheets says he's never met Kobach, who has drawn national attention for advocating tough immigration policies. But Wink Hartman, Kobach's running mate in an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2018, was an early investor in the parent company of Jimmy's Egg. Sheets say Hartman has been his banker for 10 years.  Campaign finance records show Sheets donated $4,000 to Hartman's campaign in 2017 and $2,000 to Kobach's campaign in 2018.


Wichita Homeowner Shoots, Wounds Suspected Burglar

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Wichita homeowner shot and wounded a suspected burglar after finding her inside his home with several other people.  The Wichita Eagle reports that that the woman was taken to a hospital with what police described as non-life threatening injuries after the Tuesday afternoon shooting in the western part of the city.  Wichita police Lt. Joe Kennedy says a homeowner fired one shot after arriving at his house and finding four or five people inside. The people inside then fled, and the wounded woman was found about 4.5 miles away from the home.  Kennedy says the homeowner is cooperating with the investigation, and detectives have yet to determine whether there was any property loss. There is no known prior connection between the homeowner and suspected burglars.


Oklahoma Fan Dies After Heart Attack at Kansas State Game

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — An Oklahoma football fan died after suffering an apparent heart attack at Saturday's game against Kansas State.  David Adams, director of Riley County emergency services, said paramedics were called to the stadium for a patient experiencing chest pain, and the fan collapsed after they arrived. He was treated at the scene and taken to a Manhattan hospital across the street from the stadium, where he was pronounced dead.  The Wichita Eagle reports the man was seated with friends and family at Bill Snyder Family Stadium when he collapsed shortly after Oklahoma took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.  The man's name has not been released.


Horticulturalist Slain in Kansas, Another Man Kills Himself

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a horticulturalist was slain outside his Kansas office, and a man in a vehicle that was linked to the original homicide scene killed himself hours later in Missouri as deputies attempted to stop him.  According to the Kansas City Star, Overland Park police say 59-year-old David Flick was shot Monday morning outside an office center, where his consulting firm was located.  The Clay County, Missouri, Sheriff's Department says that deputies later heard a single gunshot while attempting to stop a sport utility vehicle in Kearney. The SUV in which 60-year-old Scott MacDonald died by suicide matched a vehicle description released by Overland Park police in Flick's death.  Investigators say MacDonald may have been connected to Flick's death, but did not say how. No motive was released.


Kansas Prosecutors Drop Charges of False Rape Report Against KU Student

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors in Kansas plan to drop all charges against a University of Kansas student accused of falsely reporting a rape.  The Kansas City Star reports that Douglas County district attorney's office filed a motion Monday to drop the three felony counts of making a false report against the woman.  The woman's attorneys contend she is innocent , saying she was mistreated by police and prosecutors after reporting she was raped by a friend of her ex-boyfriend last year.  Prosecutors had contended the woman fabricated the story out of regret and to get back at her ex-boyfriend. Police have said text messages show the sex was consensual.  The woman contended the messages made light of the incident because she was not able to admit at the time that she had been raped.


Kansas Woman Sentenced in Home Foreclosure Fraud

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 74-year-old Kansas woman who helped defraud people facing foreclosure on their homes has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Federal prosecutors said Ruby Price, of Bonner Springs, was sentenced Wednesday for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister's office said Price was one of three people charged in January 2017 with several counts of fraud. The three told customers not to worry when they received foreclosure notices. They promised to customers obtain lower interest rates and loan modification. Tyler Korn, of St. Ann, Missouri, was sentenced earlier this year to four years in prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution. Amjad Daoud, of Lutz, Florida, fled before appearing for a change of plea hearing in January 2018.


Ex-Missouri Hospital Leader Pleads Guilty in Billing Scheme

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The former chief executive of a small north-central Missouri hospital pleaded guilty to participating in a billing scheme that caused more than $100 million losses.  Sixty-two-year-old David Lane Bryns, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit health care fraud while he was former CEO of Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville. He agreed in September to plead guilty and the case of transferred to Florida for his official plea.  As part his plea, Byrns agreed to forfeit $5.1 million. His sentencing has not been scheduled.  Byrns admitted that he and others submitted millions of dollars in fraudulent reimbursement claims to insurance companies and Missouri Medicaid for people who had no connection to the hospital. The hospital received $114 million in reimbursements, most of which was shared among Byrns and his co-conspirators.


Inclement Weather Forces Luke Bryan's Farm Tour Concert to Kansas City's Sprint Center

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Weather is disrupting county singer Luke Bryan's Farm Tour concert again.  A concert scheduled for October 3 at a farm in Louisburg was postponed after heavy rains flooded the field and made it too wet for equipment to be unloaded.  The concert was rescheduled for Wednesday. But with rain and snow forecast for northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri, organizers announced Tuesday that the concert will be moved inside to the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  Organizers say all tickets for the October 3 and October 30 event will be honored.  Weather forecasters say a wintry mix of snow and rain is expected throughout the region.  A winter weather advisory has been issued through Thursday morning.  


Capuchin Monkey Injured During Kansas Zoo Break-in Has Died

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A monkey that was injured last month trying to protect his offspring from being taken by an intruder during an apparent break-in at a Kansas zoo has died. Officials at the Wright Park Zoo in Dodge City say the 32-year-old Tufted Capuchin monkey was found unresponsive early Tuesday. City spokeswoman Abbey Martin says the zoo's veterinarian was unable to revive the monkey, named Vern. The Hutchinson News reports a necropsy will be done to determine the cause of death. Vern underwent surgery for broken bones after the Sept. 3 break-in. A younger monkey named Pickett was found loose within the city limits and returned to the zoo. Vern and a female monkey named Charro arrived at the zoo in 1988. Their two youngest sons, Jack and Pickett, are part of the zoo's current capuchin troop.


Prolonged Missouri River Flooding Could Last All Winter

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Flooding along the Missouri River has stretched on for seven months in some places and could endure through the winter. That could leave some Upper Midwest farmland and possibly some homes encased in ice.  The icy flooding is possible due to a still-high river, saturated ground, broken levees and a forecast for a wetter-than normal winter. It's possible some flooding could continue into spring.  In places along the lower Missouri River where levees broke in the spring, large areas of mostly farmland remains underwater. Fixing the broken levees will take several years.  Tom Bullock says there's no end in sight to flooding in northwestern Missouri, where he is Holt County's emergency management director.  Roughly 30,000 acres remain underwater in Holt County, and some of that floodwater is likely to freeze in place.


Wichita Police Arrest 3 Teens After Stolen Car Pursuit

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say three teenagers — including two 13-year-old runaways — were arrested after a police pursuit of a stolen car.  Police spokesman Charley Davidson says officers on Monday tried to stop a Honda Accord that had been reported stolen Sunday.  KAKE-TV reports the 16-year-old driver didn't stop until the car hit a utility pole. Six teenagers aged between 13 and 16 ran from the car.  Davidson said officers located all the teens in the surrounding neighborhood.  The driver was booked into juvenile detention for auto theft and for fleeing. The two 13-year-old runaways face auto theft, burglary and theft charges. The others were released to their parents.  The burglary charges are in connection with a case at a Subway in Wichita on October 20.


Kris Kobach Acknowledges He Failed to Properly Supervise Staff

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kris Kobach has acknowledged in a diversion agreement that he failed to properly supervise to his staff while representing himself as the then Kansas secretary of state during federal court proceedings.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the confidential agreement resolves complaints made to the Kansas Disciplinary Administrator's Office about Kobach's conduct in a voter registration case.  Details of the findings aren't disclosed under Kansas rules, but a public notice of the agreement says Kobach stipulates he didn't properly supervise lawyers and non-lawyers during the litigation. The lawsuit involved a challenge to a Kansas law requiring voters to show proof of citizenship to register to vote.  The disciplinary administrator's office says there was no finding of dishonest conduct by Kobach.  Kobach is seeking the Republican nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat.


Ex-Milwaukee Sheriff to Appear at Wichita Event for Kris Kobach

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A tough-talking former Wisconsin sheriff with a national following among conservatives plans to help Republican Kris Kobach raise money for his U.S. Senate campaign in Kansas.  Kobach has scheduled a November 12 fundraiser in Wichita with ex-Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Kobach's campaign is charging $25 for general admission tickets, $200 for VIP tickets and $350 to sponsor tables at the event.  The VIP package includes a photo with Clarke and Kobach and opportunity to win a .50-caliber black-powder muzzle-loading rifle.  Clarke was Milwaukee County's Democratic sheriff from 2002 to 2017, resigning to join a political action committee supporting President Donald Trump.  He gained national attention for supporting Trump and criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement but also faced criticism over multiple deaths at his county jail.


Topeka Zoo Euthanizes Elderly Malayan Sun Bear

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka Zoo officials say a 30-year-old Malayan sun bear was euthanized after suffering from several age-related medical conditions.  The female bear, called Cup Cake, was euthanized Monday. She and a bear called Ho Ho came to the zoo in 2017 after their exhibit at a previous zoo was closed for construction.  Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said both bears were elderly when they arrived in Topeka and zoo officials anticipated they would not live long. He says they were kept in an area with keepers who specialized in working with geriatric animals.  Cup Cake began limping on Saturday and her hind legs were useless by Sunday.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the decision was made to euthanize Cup Cake when she developed head tremors Monday morning.


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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