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Regional Headlines for Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Drought Blamed for Disease in Kansas Horses

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A bacterial disease more commonly seen in the dry Southwest is infecting a large number of horses in Kansas.  WIBW-TV reports veterinarians at Kansas State University blame the outbreak of pigeon fever on the persistent drought and this year's unusually hot summer.  Professor of equine medicine Laurie Beard says pigeon fever is painful for horses but not usually fatal. The disease causes muscles abscesses, most commonly in the pectoral muscles. That gives an infected horse a pigeon-like swollen chest.  Pigeon fever is caused by bacteria found in soil. Veterinarians at Kansas State say they treated a large number of horses throughout the fall and are still seeing more cases. They're hoping the outbreak will subside as winter weather moves in.


Judge Says No Conflict of Interest in Theft Case

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — A district judge has ruled that service as a member of a county historical society board does not disqualify Ellis County prosecutor Tom Drees or his office from handling a case involving the organization.  The Hays Daily News reports Connie Douglas is accused of using the Ellis County Historical Society's PayPal account to make nearly $3,000 in unauthorized purchases. Her attorney asked Judge Glenn Braun to disqualify the prosecutor's office from handling the case because of Drees' long involvement as a member of its board.  Braun ruled Friday that there's no evidence indicating Drees is handling the woman's felony theft count any differently than he deals with similar cases, so there's no conflict of interest that would require a different prosecutor.  An assistant county attorney is prosecuting the case.


Report: Understaffing Contributed to Election Woes

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A task force looking at election day reporting problems in Sedgwick County says the office overseeing them is understaffed and needs more updated training.  Their six-page report released Monday was completed in response to problems that included final vote counts being delayed for hours after polls closed. The task force found that the Sedgwick County commissioner's office has the lowest number of full-time staff with the second highest number of registered voters when compared with the three other large Kansas counties. The group found vote totals were never incorrectly reported and no laws or policies were broken.  The group recommended county commissioners appropriately staff the office and contract for at least the next two years for on-site election day support with the vendor who supplied the election software.


Convicted Killer's Wife Files for Sanctions

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The wife of a man convicted of killing a rural Kansas woman is asking for compensation after her name was dropped from a wrongful death lawsuit.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the children of 58-year-old Patricia Kimmi of rural Horton filed a wrongful death lawsuit more than a year ago.  It named their estranged father, Eugene Kimmi; Roger Hollister; and Hollister's wife, Rebecca Hollister. The lawsuit claimed the three conspired to cause Patricia Kimmi's death. 
Hollister's husband, Roger, is serving life in prison for the 2009 killing. But an Atchison County ruled earlier this month that the plaintiffs had presented no evidence to prove Rebecca Hollister was involved.  A motion filed late last week on behalf of Rebecca Hollister asks the court for sanctions, including expenses and attorneys' fees.


Chiefs Assistant Cited for Suspected DWI

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs has received a citation for suspected driving while intoxicated after a one-vehicle crash.  Police said Adam Zimmer was alone in his vehicle and unhurt in the accident around 9 p.m. Sunday on a street south of the Country Club Plaza shopping district. He was arrested and given a municipal citation and was released about five hours later on cash bond.  The investigation was continuing Monday.  Zimmer is listed on the Chiefs' website as a defensive assistant and assistant linebackers coach. He's in his third year with Kansas City.  Head coach Romeo Crennel said Monday the Chiefs did not yet have complete information about the arrest.

Meanwhile, the 2-and-13 Chiefs are now tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst record in the NFL heading into the season's final week. The 2-13 Chiefs are at Denver on Sunday while the Jaguars visit Tennessee.


KU Men's B-Ball Team Moves Up to No. 6 in AP's Top 25

UNDATED (AP) — Kansas has jumped up three spots to number-six in this week's AP Top 25 college basketball poll. Missouri moved up from 12th to seventh. Both teams are 10-1 on the season. Kansas State is 9-2 and is ranked 25th this week.


NORAD Takes Record Number of Santa-Related Calls

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) — Volunteers for the North American Aerospace Defense Command's Santa tracker have answered a record number of calls from children — and some adults — curious about when the man in the red suit will land at their house.  NORAD Spokeswoman 1st Lt. Stacey Fenton says that as of midnight Tuesday, trackers answered more than 111,000 calls. That's more than last year's record of 107,000.  Trackers started taking calls early Monday. They included service members and first lady Michelle Obama, who picked up the phone while vacationing in Hawaii.  NORAD Tracks Santa began in 1955 when a newspaper ad listed the wrong phone number for kids to call Santa. They wound up calling the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD's predecessor.  The operation is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

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