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Regional Headlines for Saturday, December 22, 2012



Kansas Groups Knock NRA Response to Connecticut Shooting

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two Kansas education groups are criticizing the National Rifle Association's call to put an armed security officer in every school in the U.S. in the wake of last week's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary. Even a state legislator known as a gun rights proponent had some doubts Friday about the NRA's idea. Kansas teachers union lobbyist Mark Desetti said the NRA's proposal would turn schools into armed fortresses. Kansas Association of School Boards official Mark Tallman said the move could prove expensive. Republican state Rep. Forrest Knox, of Altoona, agreed that someone with a firearm would help stop and prevent mass shootings. But he said a killer would likely try to take out an officer first. The Kansas State Rifle Association said it fully supports the NRA proposal.


Kansas Jobless Rate Falls to 5.4 Percent

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- State labor officials say the unemployment rate in Kansas fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.4 percent in November despite slowing job growth. The Department of Labor reported Thursday the unemployment rate had fallen from 5.7 percent in October. The rate is a full 1 percent below the seasonally adjusted rate in November 2011. Interim Labor Secretary Lana Gordon said the job market is moving in the right direction. Kansas added 1,100 private sector jobs in November and employers have increased payrolls by 4,900 jobs over the past year. The workforce has shown slight growth in recent months, standing at 1.49 million in November, up about 7,000 people since September. On a county level, Wilson had the highest jobless rate in Kansas at 7.8 percent. 



NE Kansas Couple Wins $50M Powerball Jackpot

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas husband and wife have come forward to claim a $50 million Powerball jackpot. The Johnson County couple, both retired and in their 70s, were announced Friday as the winners in Wednesday night's drawing of the multistate lottery. They've chosen to remain anonymous, as allowed by Kansas law. The couple said they've spent a couple of sleepless days trying to decide what to do with their winnings. They've chosen the cash option, which works out to a lump sum of nearly $23 million after taxes. They have three children and five grandchildren and plan to share some of the money with family and friends. The winning ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven store in the Johnson County town of Shawnee.


2 Dead in Wichita House Fire

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Investigators are seeking the cause of a house fire that killed two people in Wichita. Firefighters were called to the scene in southeast Wichita around 9:40 a.m. Friday. One person was found dead in the house. The other died later at a hospital. Relatives told KAKE-TV the victims were a man in his 60s who had trouble walking and a younger nephew who lived with him. Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says a 911 caller reported the fire and said pets may have been trapped in the home. Crews quickly brought the flames under control and found one victim in the living room and the other in a bedroom.


Parents in Kansas Kids Bound Case Plead No Contest

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Two Illinois parents accused of binding and blindfolding two of their children in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas have pleaded no contest to charges. Adolfo Gomez of Northlake, Ill., pleaded no contest Friday to two counts of felony child abuse and three misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that his wife, Deborah Gomez, pleaded no contest to three counts of child endangerment on December 14th. Sentencing for Adolfo Gomez is scheduled for February 8th. Prosecutors are recommending a 30-month sentence for Adolfo Gomez and a year of probation for Deborah Gomez. Both parents were arrested June 13 when Lawrence police found two children, ages 5 and 7, tied up near their vehicle in the Walmart parking lot. Three other children were in the car unrestrained.



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