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Regional Headlines for Monday, September 10, 2012



GOP Nominee for Kansas State House Seat Withdraws Over Residency Questions

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Republican nominee for a northeast Kansas seat in the state House has withdrawn after facing questions about whether he still lived in Idaho. The Kansas secretary of state's office said Monday that Republicans in the 63rd House District have three weeks to find a replacement for John Gotts, who'd listed Atchison as his home. In a statement withdrawing, Gotts said he'd intended to sell a business in Idaho but decided against the transaction. His Facebook page now lists Hailey, Idaho, as his home. Last week, Gotts's landlord in Atchison objected to his candidacy, saying Gotts never moved into the apartment listed as his residence. The 63rd District seat has been held since 1993 by Democrat Jerry Henry, of Cummings. Henry is seeking re-election.


UPDATE: Former Kansas Lawmaker Says Doubts about Home Are 'Crazy'

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former Democratic lawmaker seeking to return to the Kansas House is dismissing questions from a tea party leader about whether he lives in the district where he's running. Former Representative Tom Sawyer, of Wichita, said Monday the allegations by Kansans for Liberty president Craig Gabel are "crazy." Sawyer is the Democratic nominee in the 95th House District against freshman Republican incumbent Benny Boman. Sawyer also is a former House minority leader and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1998. Gabel says interviews with neighbors and other evidence gathered by the tea party group suggest no one lives at the address Sawyer listed when he filed for office in June. Sawyer said he's lived there since 1993. A state board is expected to consider Gabel's challenge to Sawyer's candidacy later this week.


Ex-Rival Backs Democratic Nominee for Kansas Congressional Seat

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen has picked up the endorsement of one of his former primary opponents in his race in for Congress in the 2nd District. Former rival and Lawrence attorney Bob Eye said voters in the eastern Kansas district would be well-served by electing Schlingensiepen in the November general election. Schlingensiepen is a Topeka minister and hopes to unseat two-term Republican congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. Eye said he believes it's important for Democrats to recapture control of the U.S. House, and Schlingensiepen's election would help. However, Jenkins is favored to win. Schlingensiepen received 40 percent of the vote in the August 7 primary, with Eye capturing 35 percent. A third candidate, Ottawa farmer Scott Barnhart, received 25 percent.


Kansas, US Reform Party Groups Fight over Presidential Nod

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas branch of the Reform Party is at odds with the national party over who should appear on the state's ballot as its presidential nominee. Kansas Reform Party officials favor Montana pastor Chuck Baldwin and submitted his name in June. But the party's national convention last month chose Andre Barnett, a business owner, model and military veteran from New York State. On Monday, the national organization formally objected to a decision by the Kansas secretary of state's office to list Baldwin as the Reform Party nominee. The State Objections Board expects to decide the issue later this week. A similar conflict arose in 2008, and the Objections Board sided with the state organization, also listing Baldwin as the presidential candidate.


Former Bank VP Sentenced to 30 Months for Fraud

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former bank vice president from Topeka has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for bank fraud. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a news release Monday that 40-year-old Jennifer Hughes-Boyles also was ordered to pay $712,144 in restitution. Jennifer Hughes-Boyles pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, which occurred in 2011 while she was vice president of Heritage Bank in Topeka. The investigation began when bank officials noticed Hughes-Boyles originated more than $2 million in real estate loans despite the struggling economy. They also noticed a change in her lifestyle during that time. An audit found that Hughes-Boyles fabricated or altered credit scores on loan applications.


UPDATE: Police Say Topeka Apartment Deaths Result of Murder-Suicide 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka police say the deaths of man and woman in the apartment during the weekend were a murder-suicide. The bodies of 22-year-old Kahlyn Hiene and 26-year-old Jeremiah Campbell, both of Topeka, were found in their apartment Saturday morning. On Monday, police said investigators determined the deaths were a murder-suicide, with Campbell shooting Hiene and then himself. No other details, including a possible motive, were released. Officers were dispatched to the apartment complex after a tenant reported finding a bullet hole in the wall of her apartment. The couple was found dead in an adjacent apartment.

Police: Woman May Have Slashed More Than 30 Tires 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say a 38-year-old woman could be responsible for more than 30 tire slashings in southeast Wichita in the past month. The woman was arrested Saturday after a man reported seeing her beside his car. He said he heard a hissing sound and saw his car tire deflating. Police say the man followed the woman and his yelling attracted the attention of other neighbors, who helped pursue her. Police say the woman threatened at least two men with her knife. The tire and knife will be taken to the CSI laboratory to determine if it is connected to other tire slashings in the area.


Kansas Farmers Now Planting 2013 Wheat Crop 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas farmers have begun seeding the 2013 winter wheat crop amid a grim fall harvest of other major crops in the state. Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 2 percent of the state's winter wheat crop had been planted by Sunday. Meanwhile, growers are harvesting their drought-stressed crops, with about 41 of the corn acreage now cut. Soybean harvest has begun in some parts of the state with 1 percent of that crop now harvested. Sorghum harvest also is under way with 4 percent cut. The condition of fall-harvested crops still in the fields remains sobering in spite of some scattered precipitation. The agency gave poor to very poor ratings to 71 percent of the corn, 70 percent of the soybeans and 68 percent of the sorghum.

6 Kansas Schools Earn National Honors

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has named a half-dozen schools in Kansas as National Blue Ribbon Schools for their efforts to improve student achievement. One elementary school — Marshall Elementary in Eureka — is among the 2012 honorees. The others are Basehor-Linwood High School; Blue Valley High School in Stilwell; Garden City High School; Goddard High School; and St. Thomas Aquinas High School, a private, Roman Catholic school in Overland Park. Blue Ribbon schools are honored as high-performing schools based on state assessment scores, or as exemplary improving schools that have shown progress in helping disadvantaged students improve on state tests. Marshall Elementary and Garden City High School were chosen as exemplary improvers. The other four were noted for high performance.


KC Law Firm Owner Charged in Father's 2010 Death 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City law firm owner has been arraigned in the deadly shooting of her father. The attorney for 44-year-old Susan Elizabeth Van Note entered a not-guilty plea on her behalf during a hearing Monday in Boone County. She has been indicted on forgery and first-degree murder counts in the October 2010 killing of 67-year-old William Van Note. The indictment says she used a forged legal document to deny her father life-sustaining medical treatment after he and his longtime partner, Sharon Dickson, were shot at their Lake of the Ozarks vacation home. Dickson died at the home in the Camden County town of Sunrise Beach. Van Note died four days later at a Boone County hospital. A couple from Shawnee, Kansas has been indicted on second-degree murder and forgery counts.


Body Recovered Following Kansas House Fire

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — Crews have recovered a body from the burned-out wreckage of a home in south-central Kansas. The fire near Derby was reported by a passerby shortly before 2 am Monday. Sedgwick County Fire District Division Chief Doug Williams the flames were visible from several miles away, and firefighters were unable to get inside. Authorities have not released the victim's name, but relatives identified her to The Wichita Eagle as a 53-year-old woman who lived alone in the home. The roof of the two-story, 3,000-square-foot home caved in. Crews brought in construction equipment to clear the debris and locate the body. The cause was under investigation.


KCK School Goes from Bottom Rankings to White House

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — An elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas has gone from one of the worst in the state to a nationally-recognized model of education reform. Three years ago, Emerson Elementary School was listed among the lowest-performing schools in Kansas. Because of it status, the federal government offered Emerson a three-year, $3 million grant in exchange for a radical restructuring. All the district's employees first had to prove they could help educate inner-city youths. Half the staff was transferred. The Kansas City Star reports in two years, the school increased reading proficiency by about 40 percentage points and math proficiency by about 20 percentage points. Achievement improved so much that last month two Emerson administrators were among a dozen educators honored at the White House as "champions of change."


100 Years Later, Temperance Union Continues Its Fight

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The Women's Christian Temperance Union is back at this year's Kansas State Fair, still preaching its message that alcohol is dangerous. It's the 100th straight year that the group has been at the fair. The Women's Christian Temperance Union led the drive for prohibition, which was in place across the country from 1920 to 1933. Kansas had statewide prohibition from 1881 to 1948, longer than any other state. The Hutchinson News reports that the organization has 125 members this year. The oldest member, 90-year-old Glenna Dellenbach, says there is renewed interest in the group. Dellenbach said she and others restarted a union group in March in Meade County because they still believe abstinence is the best response to alcohol abuse.

Missouri Anti-War Protesters Going on Trial

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two anti-war protesters are going on trial in federal court on misdemeanor charges of trespassing at central Missouri's Whiteman Air Force Base. Ron Faust is a retired minister from Kansas City and Brian Terrell is a member of the Catholic Worker Movement from Maloy, Iowa. Their trial is scheduled Monday in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City. Faust and Terrell were charged after entering the base near Knob Noster without permission in April during an organized protest of the use of unmanned military drones. Their lawyers said the men planned to plead not guilty. A third protester, Mark Kenney of Omaha, Nebraska is serving a four-month prison sentence after pleading guilty in June to trespassing.

Kansas Museum to Focus on Presidents

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Museum of History is hosting a new exhibit featuring presidents and presidential elections. "Hail to the Chief" opens Friday and runs until February 24 at the Topeka museum. The Kansas Historical Society says the exhibit marks the 2012 presidential election by looking back at national campaigns throughout history. Items on display include campaign materials, banners and personal items as well as souvenirs of candidates' visits to Kansas. Prominently featured are Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.

South Hutchinson Police Investigate 2 Deaths

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman at a home in South Hutchinson. The Hutchinson News reports that the deaths appear to be a murder-suicide. Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson says officers found the bodies around 2:30 am Sunday while responding to reports of gunshots. No other details were immediately released.

Western Kansas Teen Dies in Cow vs. Truck Collision

WESKAN, Kan. (AP) — A western Kansas teen is dead after a collision involving a pickup truck and a cow. The Kansas Highway Patrol says 13-year-old Nicholas Cox of Weskan died at a hospital soon after the early Sunday morning crash. After the truck hit the cow on U.S. 40, the pickup went into a ditch. It then hit an embankment and rolled two and a half times before landing on its top. The Salina Journal reports that the teen and his father weren't wearing seat belts. The teen's father also was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Kansas Man Commits Suicide in Missouri Prison

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a northeast Kansas man is dead after using his eyeglasses to cut his throat while jailed in western Missouri. The Kansas City Star reports that Eugene Hilliard was unresponsive when a deputy found him Saturday morning at the Clay County Detention Center. Sheriff Bob Boydston says the 46-year-old Ottawa, Kansas man was pronounced dead at the scene. Hilliard is suspected of breaking a portion of his eyeglasses. The initial report indicates that he created a sharp edge by rubbing the glasses on the concrete wall or floor. Hilliard had been in the detention center since Tuesday. He was moved to a segregated cell after other inmates learned he was being held on first-degree statutory sodomy charges. Boydston says Hilliard showed no signs of depression.

Marijuana Seized from SE Wichita Home

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An estimated $300,000 worth of high-grade marijuana has been recovered from a home in southeast Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports that the seizure happened last month after a real estate agent used a cellphone to photograph the drugs. After seeing the pictures on her real estate agent's phone, the owner of the home contacted police on August 30th. Sergeant Bruce Watts said Saturday that the woman told officers that her husband had given a key to the new tenant before the scheduled September 1st move-in date. A search of the home yielded 120 pounds of marijuana that had been grown indoors with hydroponic equipment The man who rented the house had a prior conviction for illegally entering the U.S. Immigration officials took custody of him while prosecutors consider possible charges.


2 Found Dead in Topeka Apartment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka police are investigating the deaths of a man and woman who were found dead at an apartment complex. Police said the bodies of 22-year-old Kahlyn Hiene and 26-year-old Jeremiah Campbell, both of Topeka, were found in their apartment Saturday morning. Officers were dispatched to the apartment complex after a tenant reported finding a bullet hole in the wall of her apartment. The couple was found dead in an adjacent apartment.

**this story has been updated. Please see above.


Ex-Kansas Lawmaker's Residency Doubted in Statehouse Race 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita tea party group's leader is questioning whether a former Democratic legislator who is running again for the Kansas House lives at the address he claims as his home. Kansans for Liberty President Craig Gabel is challenging former state Representative Tom Sawyer's right to run as the Democratic nominee in the 95th House District. Gabel said Monday that interviews with neighbors suggest that no one lives at the address. Online tax records list Sawyer as the home's owner. Sawyer did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment. A state board is expected to consider Gabel's challenge later this week. The seat is held by freshman Republican Representative Bennie Boman, who's seeking re-election. Sawyer ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1998 and last held the House seat in 2009.

**This story has been updated. Please see above. 



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