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Regional Headlines for Sunday, October 7, 2012


Machinists Union Rejects Contract, Strike Looming Monday

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A spokesman for the Machinists union at Bombardier Learjet says workers have rejected a contract offer and voted to strike. Bob Wood said that union members voted 79 percent in favor of rejecting the proposed five-year contract Saturday night. They also voted in favor of a strike and will start walking the picket line just after midnight Monday. Bombardier Business Aircraft spokewoman Danielle Boudreau says the company believed the offer was "fair and reasonable" and is disappointed workers didn't accept it and voted to strike. The proposed contract offered no raises the first year and a 1 percent raise for each subsequent year. It would have retained pension plans but increased the cost of health care. 


Hensley Returning Hallmark Donation

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A state senator is returning a donation he received from Hallmark because of the greeting card company's decision to close its Topeka plant. Senator Anthony Hensley, a Democrat, says he'll return the $500 donation from Hallmark he received this week. Hallmark announced this week that it's consolidating operations in Topeka, Leavenworth, and Lawrence. The move is expected to cut about 300 employees. Hensley said his wife worked at the Topeka plant for 19 years as an assembly employee. He says he cannot accept a campaign contribution from a company that's leaving Topeka. Casey Moore, Hensley's Republican opponent in the upcoming election, says Hensley is right to return the donation. But he says it would have been better Hensley "had worked to keep jobs here."


Veterans Group to Receive $25K Dole Prize

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- A group dedicated to helping veterans who have been wounded in combat is receiving the 2012 Dole Leadership Prize from The University of Kansas. The Wounded Warrior Project is receiving the honor and the $25,000 prize from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence. Previous recipients include President George H.W. Bush, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Senators Howard Baker and George McGovern. Dole, a former  Republican U.S. Senator from Kansas, was himself a wounded veteran, suffering his injuries while serving in the Army during World War Two. Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute, says the Wounded Warrior Project shares Dole's lifelong devotion to helping the nation's veterans. 

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