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Headlines for Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Orman's Campaign Treasurer Resigns to Support Democrat Kelly

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The campaign treasurer for independent candidate Greg Orman has resigned to endorse Democrat Laura Kelly in the Kansas governor's race. Tim Owens, a former Republican state senator from Overland Park, resigned Tuesday, effective immediately. In a news release issued by Kelly's campaign, Owens said it was time to unite behind Kelly and stop GOP candidate Kris Kobach. Kelly and Kobach are locked in a tight race with Orman a distant third in recent polling. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Owen said he has supported Orman's political ambitions for several years. He said he resigned because he believes electing Kobach would be one of the worst things that could happen to the state. Orman said he accepted Owens's resignation but he did not intend to leave the race.

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Embattled GOP Incumbent Tries to Paint Democrat as Radical

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Republican incumbent in danger of losing his Kansas congressional seat is aggressively portraying his Democratic foe as a radical leftist "rooting against this country" and tried to turn her criticism of President Donald Trump against her. GOP Representative Kevin Yoder and Democratic challenger Sharice Davids had their first and likely only debate in the Kansas City-area 3rd District only hours after Trump repeated an earlier endorsement of Yoder. Trump narrowly lost the district in 2016, encouraging Democrats to try to oust the four-term incumbent. Davids has received national attention as an openly LGBT and Native American candidate who also has fought mixed martial arts bouts. She described Yoder during the debate as someone who supports Trump "through thick and thin." Yoder suggested such comments show Davids can't be moderate.

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US Attorney to Send Monitor to Observe Dodge City Election

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister has notified a federal judge that his office in Kansas plans to send a monitor to Dodge City to observe voting in the November election. His court filing on Tuesday comes the same day that U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree scheduled a hearing for Thursday to hear arguments on the American Civil Liberties Union's request for a court order forcing Ford County to open a second polling site in the city. The southwest Kansas town has only one polling site to service 13,000 voters. For nearly two decades, that sole location was at the civic center in the mostly white part of town. The county last month moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop.

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Kelly Leads Kobach in Campaign Contributions by Nearly $1 Million

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Democratic state Senator Laura Kelly has raised $900,000 more than Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach since the end of July in the tight governor's race. The Kansas City Star reports that new campaign finance reports filed Monday show that Kelly has raised $2.3 million, Kobach $1.3 million and Independent Greg Orman $805,000 over that period. In the final weeks of the campaign, Kelly has half a million available to spend, compared to $61,000 for Kobach and less than $15,000 for Orman. Kobach, who is nationally known for advocating tough immigration and voter identification policies, enjoys the support of President Donald Trump. But Kelly said in a statement that her advantage is ``enthusiasm.'' She says Kansans of ``all political stripes have a home in our campaign to rebuild our state.''

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Kansas Militia Men Blame Trump's Rhetoric for Planned Attack

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys for three Kansas militia members who conspired to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali immigrants have asked the court to take into account what they called President Donald Trump's rhetoric encouraging violence at their sentencing next month. One attorney also asked the judge to consider the fact that all of them read and shared on their Facebook feed Russian propaganda designed to sow discord in the U.S. political system. A federal jury convicted Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against civil rights in April. Wright was also found guilty of lying to the FBI. Sentencing is November 19 and 20. Prosecutors are seeking life terms for all three while the defense is pleading for a shorter time.

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Water Park Co-Owner Faces New Charges, Including for Drugs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The co-owner of a Kansas water park who is accused in the decapitation death of a 10-year-old boy has been charged with drug possession and hiring someone for sex. The Kansas City Star reports that Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry surrendered to authorities in Kansas on Monday and was released on $100,000 bond. Henry's defense attorney, Carl Cornwell, hasn't returned a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment. Henry is already facing second-degree murder and other charges in the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. Henry is accused of rushing into service the 17-story Verruckt waterslide — which was billed as the world's largest — that Caleb was riding when he was killed. Henry is among several people charged in the tragedy . Deconstruction of the slide began Tuesday.

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Pfizer Looking for Hundreds of Workers for McPherson Plant

MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — Pfizer Inc. is looking for hundreds more employees for its plant in the small Kansas town of McPherson, where it already employs about 2,000 people. The company, which manufactures injectable medicines, is scouring the state for 350 more workers because of increased demand for its product, said Carole Johnson, Pfizer's McPherson site leader A 3.3 percent unemployment rate in Kansas is making it more challenging to find new workers for a variety of positions, including production supervisors, project managers, and microbiologists, Johnson said. "We're not just looking for people with a pharmaceutical background, because obviously there's not a lot of pharmaceutical companies around here," she told The Wichita Eagle . "We're looking for a lot of engineers ... as well as a lot of the skilled trades, because we need people to maintain and run the equipment," she said. Pfizer has held well-attended job fairs in Wichita and Salina and expects recruitment to stretch into next year. The plant annually produces 125 millions of units of medicine for ailments including high blood pressure, infections and pain relief. Many of the products are used in hospitals and emergency rooms. Since 2015, Pfizer has invested $350 million in the plant in McPherson, which has a population of just over 13,200. Many of the open positions don't require a scientific or medical education because the investment has brought new, more automated equipment to the plant.

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Kansas Senate Committee Approves 3 Regents Appointments

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Senate committee has approved three appointments to the Kansas Board of Regents. Gov. Jeff Colyer appointed former Rep. Mark Hutton, a Republican from Wichita, and former state Sen. Allen Schmidt, a Democrat from Hays. as new members to the board. He also reappointed former Rep. Bill Feuerborn, a Democrat from Garnett. The appointments must next be confirmed by the full Senate when it meets in January. However, they can begin serving immediately while they await confirmation. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee approved the appointments Wednesday. If confirmed by the full Senate, the three new members would serve until June 30, 2022.

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Relief: Police Recover Stolen Inflatable Colon

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — There was a sigh of relief after police recovered a giant inflatable colon that is used to teach about the dangers of colon cancer. Police in Kansas City, Missouri, announced on Twitter Tuesday that a tip led officers to locate the "pilfered intestine" inside a vacant house. The 10-foot tall, 150-pound prop, worth $4,000, was stolen this month from the back of a pickup truck. It had been purchased by the Colon Cancer Coalition, which hosts walking and running events under a "Get Your Rear In Gear" campaign, and was stored at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. There is a silver lining to the story. Donations poured in after the theft and the coalition was able to purchase two replacement colons. Police say no one is in custody.

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2 Arrested in Kansas in Apparent Interstate ATM Theft Ring

NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — Newton police have arrested two people suspected of stealing from ATMs in what authorities say is an interstate theft ring. Police arrested 44-year-old Alexandru Ion-Florin and 22-year-old Maria Bacelan Saturday after several thefts at Newton's Citizens State Bank locations. A total of $22,600 was taken in six cases. Newton officials said Wednesday that police departments have received reports in recent weeks about ATM thefts in Colorado and western Kansas. The thieves reportedly are using special cards that prompt the ATMs to dispense money without PIN numbers. Both of Newton's Citizens State Bank branches were hit several times Friday. The suspects were arrested the next day and booked into the Harvey County Jail. They are believed to be from Romania and are being held for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Shootings in Wichita, Haysville No Longer Believed Related

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say they no longer think that a deadly shooting at an event venue near Wichita is related to another shooting that left a man critically wounded. The Wichita Eagle reports that police initially thought a vehicle connected the shootings. But on Tuesday, Capt. Brent Allred said that is no longer the case. One man was killed in the first shooting, which happened early Sunday in Haysville after a party. Little information has been released about what happened. The next day, a man in his 20s was shot once in the chest in Wichita. Police say the driver of the vehicle involved in that shooting has been arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant but the suspected shooter hasn't. Haysville is about 10 miles south of Wichita.

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Disbarred Kansas Lawyer Sentenced for Hitting Nurse with Car

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A recently disbarred lawyer has been sentenced to two years and four months in prison for hitting a nurse while she was crossing a street. Fifty-five-year-old Mark Logan was sentenced for aggravated battery and failure to yield to a pedestrian. The victim, who was pregnant, was hit in October outside the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas. The collision broke both of her legs. Her baby is 10 months old and in good health. The Kansas Supreme Court disbarred Logan in June after he voluntarily surrendered his law license. The court noted in the disbarment order that Logan, who had a law office in Shawnee, faced six disciplinary complaints. He admitted to such violations as misappropriating client money and not cooperating with investigators.

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Atchison Officer Involved in Shooting with Resident

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — An Atchison homeowner was wounded when he was involved in a gunfight with a police officer. Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson said the officer was not injured during the confrontation Wednesday. Wilson says police responded to a call to help utility crews and a homeowner confronted the officer. Wilson says the man shot at the officer, who returned fire. The man's condition was not immediately available. The Atchison Globe reports details about what prompted the police call and the confrontation have not been released. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

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Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Shoots Suspect After Pursuit

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) - Jackson County, Missouri authorities say a deputy shot a man who allegedly was involved in several shootings in Independence. The sheriff's office says the man was shot early Tuesday inside a vehicle that ended up in the front yard of a home after a police pursuit that went into the city of Independence. Sheriff's deputies began following the vehicle in an unincorporated part of the county. Independence police spokesman officer John Syme says police identified the vehicle as one involved in several shootings Monday in Independence. The sheriff's office says the deputy shot the suspect while trying to arrest him. The suspect's injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. The Kansas City Star reports Independence police were not involved in the shooting but are now leading the investigation.

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Man Charged in Crash That Killed Wichita Officer and Son

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has been charged in a crash that killed an off-duty Wichita police officer and his son. Sedgwick County sheriff's Lt. Tim Myers said in a news release that 35-year-old James Neal Dalrymple, of Valley Center, was charged Wednesday with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and failing to yield the right of way. The crash on April 27 killed 37-year-old Stacey Woodson, and his 9-year-old son, Braedon. Woodson was a 16-year Wichita police veteran who worked in the motorcycle unit. Authorities have said the motorcycle the Woodsons were on collided with a pickup truck that pulled in front of them. Stacey Woodson died at the scene and his son died later at the hospital.

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Sprint Releases Fiscal 2Q Earnings Snapshot

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Sprint Corp. (S) on Wednesday reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $196 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company said it had net income of 5 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 1 cent per share. The wireless carrier posted revenue of $8.43 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.98 billion. Sprint shares have decreased nearly 3 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has decreased 18 percent in the last 12 months.
 

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