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Headlines for Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Watkins Acknowledges He Didn't Build a Company from Scratch

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican congressional candidate Steve Watkins is acknowledging that he did not own or start a small business in the Middle East despite making that claim several times on the campaign trail. Watkins is running against Democrat Paul Davis for the 2nd District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins. Watkins claimed during at least three campaign stops that he started an engineering and security company called VIAP Inc. in the Middle East that grew from three up to 470 employees. The Kansas City Star reports records show the company existed long before Watkins was a consultant, and company officials credit other people for the company's growth. Watkins acknowledged to the Star that he didn't own VIAP, but says he did create some systems and products for its clients.

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Ethics Officials Fine Wagle $100 for Kobach Endorsement

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle's endorsement of Republican Kris Kobach before the August primary election in the governor's race will cost $100 because one of her employees distributed the endorsement using government equipment. The state ethics commission on Wednesday imposed a $1,000 fine but waived $900 if Wagle's campaign paid the $100 and if Wagle arrange ethics training for her staff. The Wichita Eagle reports Wagle spokeswoman Shannon Golden acknowledged in a legal document that she sent Wagle's endorsement while working as a state employee. Golden said Wagle was unaware she was going to send the endorsement on a state computer. She also said she didn't know using the government computer for endorsements was an ethics violation. Golden said Wagle's office reported the situation to ethics officials as soon as questions were raised.

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Rural Riley County Sustains $1.35 Million in Damage During Flood

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A flood on Labor Day caused $1.35 million in damage in rural Riley County.  County emergency management director Pat Collins told county commissioners during their Monday meeting that 28 homes outside of Manhattan were damaged.  Officials announced earlier that the flooding caused $17.2 million inside Manhattan city limits.  The Manhattan Mercury reports Collins said the Red Cross helped 327 people in 139 homes in the region and between 15 and 30 people stayed at their two shelters each day.  Nearly 9 inches of rain fell during the Labor Day weekend, causing Wildcat Creek to overflow its banks and forcing more than 300 people to evacuate their homes

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Kansas Teacher Arrested on Sex-Related Charge

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A man who abruptly resigned from the Shawnee City Council after being placed on leave from his teaching job has been arrested and charged with having sexual relations with a student.  Thirty-three-year-old Justin Adrian was arrested on Tuesday, after he was charged on Friday with unlawful sexual relations with a student.  Adrian left his teaching position at Olathe East High School and resigned from the Shawnee City Council earlier this month.  Fox4KC reports court documents say the alleged incident occurred with an Olathe East student older than 16 at the school September 7.  He was a social studies teacher at the high school.  Adrian's next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

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Video Connected to Federal Lawsuit Shows Use of Force by Officer 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police have released body camera footage of a Topeka police officer taking a man to the ground and breaking his jaw in a confrontation that has led to a federal lawsuit. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that it obtained the recording of 35-year-old Timothy Harris' arrest through an open records request. Harris alleges that constitutional rights were violated in January after the officer approached as he was sitting in his car. After Harris gets out of his car, the officer then is heard saying that he didn't tell Harris to do so. The officer takes him to the ground moments later and tells Harris to stop trying to get up several times. Harris was convicted of parallel parking too far away from the curb and interference with a law enforcement officer.

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Day Care Worker's Sentencing for Baby's Death Delayed

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The sentencing for a Kansas home day care worker who was convicted in the death of a 9-month-old baby has been pushed back. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the sentencing for 44-year-old Carrody Buchhorn has been rescheduled for Jan. 18. Two days have set aside beforehand for her attorneys to make their case that Buchhorn deserves a new trial. She got new attorneys after she was convicted in July of unintentionally but recklessly causing the death of Oliver "Ollie" Ortiz in September 2016 in Eudora. Her attorneys are challenging the testimony of the coroner, who ruled that the baby's death was a homicide. Buchhorn, who was on house arrest prior to her conviction, is now jailed without bond pending sentencing. She faces nine to 10 years in prison.

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Man Charged in Drive-By Shooting, Home Invasion in Kansas

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have linked a drive-by shooting suspect to an armed home invasion near Atchison. The Atchison Globe reports that 19-year-old Marcell Bailey made his first appearance Wednesday on 13 felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He is jailed on $500,000 bond after the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him Tuesday in Topeka. He doesn't yet have an attorney. Atchison County Sheriff Jack Laurie says Bailey is suspected of being among the armed men who stormed into a house with children inside last month. The intruders are accused of demanding a safe containing at least $500 in cash and other valuables before fleeing. Bailey also is accused of firing into a pickup truck with five people inside on Sept. 5 in Atchison. No one was hurt in either incident.

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Man Sentenced in Drug Robbery-Related Homicide in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ An 18-year-old was sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for a June 2017 shooting death in Topeka.  Lamero Dunstan was sentenced Tuesday in the death of Justice Mitchell in the parking lot of a Church's Chicken.  Dunstan also was to pay more than $3,800 in restitution related to medical expenses and nearly $16,000 for funeral expenses to Mitchell's mother. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports after he serves his time, Dunstan must register as an offender for 15 years.  Mitchell and a friend, Ernest Williams, arranged a marijuana sale and at the Church's Chicken. Investigators say a 16-year-old, Shayden Byrd, recruited Dunstan to rob Mitchell. Byrd was sentenced in December to serve five years in prison plus six months of aftercare. Williams was acquitted of murder. 

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Man Pleads Guilty in Heroin Ring Linking Kansas and Mexico

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) _ A 45-year-old man involved in a heroin distribution network that allegedly connected an Overland Park couple to Mexican drug cartels has pleaded guilty. Julian Felix-Aguirre pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine and other charges. He was one of 24 people indicted in the drug ring, which distributed at least 30 pounds of heroin and large amounts of methamphetamine in the Kansas City area. Prosecutors say the investigation into the ring began in late 2015 after officials received a tip that an Overland Park couple was receiving shipments of drugs from Mexico.  The couple was seen meeting with Felix-Aguirre. The Kansas City Star reports the court documents don't include details about the alleged cartel connections in Mexico.

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Retrial of Woman Charged with Killing 2 in Topeka Delayed

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The second trial of a woman charged with killing her ex-husband and his fiancee in 2002 has been delayed until January 29. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports 58-year-old Dana Chandler's trial was scheduled to begin Monday. Chandler was seeking a 60-day continuance because several motions remain unresolved. Chief deputy district attorney Dan Dunbar said the 60 days would put the trial too close to the holidays. Chandler was convicted six years ago for the 2002 murders of Michael Sisco and Karen Harkness. The Kansas Supreme Court overturned her conviction in April because of misconduct by the prosecutor.  
The next motion hearings are scheduled for October 22 and 30.

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Motorcycle Driver Dies After Colliding with School Bus

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police are investigating a crash between a Kansas school bus and a motorcycle that killed the motorcycle driver.  None of the nine pre-K children and two adults on the bus was injured in the Tuesday morning accident.  Officer Zac Blair says the bus was turning left when the motorcycle collided with it.  The driver's identity has not been released.  The investigation is continuing.

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Washburn Honor Bob Dole with Friday Dedication of Bronze Statue

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Washburn University will dedicate a statue to former Kansas Senator Bob Dole to celebrate his life of public service.  Dole, who is 95, plans to attend the dedication ceremony Friday in Topeka along with his wife, Elizabeth. Dole graduated from Washburn with bachelor's degree and law degrees by applying college credits he earned elsewhere while serving in the U.S. Army.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the ceremony will be 11 am near Carnegie Hall on the Washburn campus.  Dole served in the Kansas House, as Russell County attorney and in the U.S. House before being elected to the U.S. Senate. He was President Gerald Ford's running mate in 1976 and won the GOP nomination for president in 1996.  He has received the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Iconic Gay Bar in NYC Holds Fund-Raiser for Kansas Democrat Sharice Davids

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An iconic gay bar in New York City is hosting a fund-raising event for a Democratic Kansas congressional district candidate.  The Stonewall Inn will host the event Tuesday for Sharice Davids, a gay Native American, who is running against Republican incumbent Congressman Kevin Yoder in Kansas 3rd congressional district.  The Kansas City Star reports tickets for the event start at $100, with prices ranging up $2,700 to be a host.  The Stonewall Inn was declared a national monument in 2016. Riots that began at the bar in 1969 when gay patrons protested against police raids are considered a turning point in the gay rights movement.

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Democrats Accuse Kansas GOP of Illegal Coordination with PAC

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Democratic official has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that the state Republican party illegally coordinated with a super PAC in the state's 3rd congressional district.  The complaint filed Tuesday by Andy Sandler, Democratic chairman for the 3rd congressional district, concerns an ad showing Alana Zimmer-Roethle criticizing Democrat Sharice Davids, who is running against GOP incumbent Kevin Yoder.  The ad doesn't disclose that Zimmer-Roethle is the secretary of the Kansas GOP party.  The Kansas City Star reports the Congressional Leadership Fund, a PAC working to maintain GOP control in the U.S. House, spent nearly $2 million as of September 21 to support Yoder.  Jim Joice, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said the party didn't know about the ad or Zimmer-Roethle's involvement until it was televised.

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Police: Adult, Not Child, Shot Man While Playing with Gun

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man who thought he and a child were playing with toy guns accidentally shot another man in a Wichita home.  Wichita police initially said a child had fired the gun. But on Tuesday afternoon officer Charlie Davidson said a 24-year-old man accidentally fired a shot that hit another man in the leg.  The Wichita Eagle reports several people were eating together Monday night at the home. Davidson said a 5-year-old boy was playing with guns when the 24-year-old started playing with him. Davidson said the man switched guns with the child and thought the gun he had was a toy. The man fired, hitting a 35-year-old man. The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  No one else was injured.

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Border Patrol's First Female Chief Hopes to Inspire Women

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost says she hopes she can inspire other women to sign up with the agency, which has just one female agent for every 20 men.  Provost tells The Associated Press in an interview, "If you're a woman in law enforcement, I don't care where you're at, you're a minority."  Provost joined the agency in 1995 and became its acting chief in April 2017. She took over last month as the first female chief in its 94-year history.  The Border Patrol and its 19,000 agents have been under a constant spotlight and faced sharp criticism for its policies. Curbing immigration remains at the top of President Donald Trump's priorities, and the administration plans to add 5,000 Border Patrol agents.

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Mother Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Death of 2-Month-Old

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A mother has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment after one of her 2-month-old twins died after a week of heavy drinking with the babies' father at a Wichita hotel. The Wichita Eagle reports that 39-year-old Christy Rollings entered the plea last week. Police said in the affidavit that Rollings told officers she awoke on August 30 to find her son, Patrick Kempton, not moving or breathing while snuggled against the chest of his father, 34-year-old Kyle Kempton. Rollings told investigators that she heard Kempton say "I must've rolled over on him." He's also charged with manslaughter. Police found the couple drunk two days earlier and took the twins to Rollings' mother. But Rollings picked the babies up the next morning and returned to the hotel.

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2 Kansas Men Take Plea Deal in Missouri Robbery, Killing

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Kansas men have reached plea deals in a deadly southwest Missouri robbery.  The Joplin Globe reports that 21-year-old Brock Robinson and 20-year-old Azaiah Forester agreed to testify against a third man, Erik Jones, as part of the murder plea.  The plea deal says Taven Williams was killed in January 2017 when he attempted to stop the three Columbus, Kansas, men from robbing another man in Joplin, Missouri. The target of the robbery was wounded.  No one was arrested until two months later when Joplin police stopped a pickup truck that Robinson owned and Jones was driving. Jones was cited with driving while intoxicated, and the officer found a handgun in the truck that matched the serial number of a gun stolen from the home where Williams was killed.

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Kansas Board of Regents Seeks $25 Million for Financial Aid Program

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents is seeking $25 million from state lawmakers to fund a financial aid program for college students.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the board's budget request is part of a plan to funnel up to $50 million into need-based financial aid for Kansas students enrolling in technical schools and universities. The financial aid would also be available for private schools that aren't part of the Regents system.  Qualifying students could receive up to $5,000 each.  Elaine Frisbie is the board's vice president of finance and administration. She says state funding would be matched with private donations through university endowments or foundations.  Frisbie says lawmakers would consider the $25 million request in the next legislative session but it wouldn't begin until fiscal year 2021, if approved.

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Quirk Resolved: Border Missourians Get Missouri Addresses

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A quirk in the mail delivery system that forced some rural Missouri residents living along the Arkansas and Iowa borders to have mailing addresses in their neighboring states has been fixed.  The idiosyncrasy affected a relatively small number of people but created problems and red tape when they voted, paid taxes — even when they died.  Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill learned about the quirk last year and began inquiries to the U.S. Postal Service. In a letter to McCaskill on Monday, Postmaster General Megan Brennan wrote that the issue has been resolved and those people affected are now using Missouri as their state designation.  The exact number of affected residents was unknown. Also unclear is why Missouri residents were assigned Iowa and Arkansas postal addresses in the first place.

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