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Regional Headlines for Saturday, February 11, 2012




Kansas House GOP Issues Tax Plan


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- House Republican leaders are proposing a plan to cut Kansas income taxes, but with a different emphasis from Governor Sam Brownback's plan. The plan outlined Friday calls for reducing the rates in all three individual income tax brackets, with emphasis placed on the lowest bracket.

However, unlike Brownback's plan that eliminated the earned income tax credit for the poorest households, the House plan cuts the rate from 18 percent to 9 percent. Under the plan, all incomes would pay less in taxes.

House Tax Chairman Richard Carlson of Saint Marys said the plan is less expensive than the governor's, costing the state $41.7 million to implement compared to $89.9 million in Brownback's plan. Carlson said the bill will be introduced Monday and hearings would begin soon.


Court Finds Kansas Man Competent to Stand Trial for Threats Against U-S President

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal judge has found a Kansas man competent to stand trial on charges of threatening the life of President Barack Obama.

U-S District Judge J. Thomas Marten on Friday set an April 3 trial date for Michael Ramsey. The judge conducted a competency hearing for Ramsey on Thursday. Ramsey is charged in a two-count indictment with making threats in 2009 and 2011 against Barack Obama.

Thursday's hearing was held after Ramsey underwent a psychological examination and evaluation at a federal medical center. Officials determined he had the ability to understand the proceedings against him and assist in his own defense.


Trial Over KCMO School District Transfer Policy Set for June 25

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A June 25 trial date has been set in a lawsuit over the unaccredited Kansas City School District's policy for allowing students to transfer to accredited school systems.

Jackson County Judge Brent Powell set the trial date during a hearing Friday.

Missouri law requires unaccredited school districts to pay to send students to accredited districts. The Blue Springs, Independence, Lee's Summit, North Kansas City and Raytown school districts sued the Kansas City district, arguing its plans for covering certain costs are vague and inadequate.

A judge refused in December to block the transfers. But the suburban districts insist they won't accept students unless their policies governing out-of-district transfers are followed.

One issue is that the Kansas City district wants to pay tuition in monthly installments. The surrounding districts want the money upfront.



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