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Regional Headlines for Tuesday, October 9, 2012



2 Women File Federal Suit Against Northeast Kansas DA

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two former employees are suing Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor alleging they were wrongfully fired for raising issues about race and gender discrimination. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Tuesday that Krystal Boxum-Debolt of Lawrence and Lisa Moore of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, filed the case earlier this month in federal court in Topeka. Moore was living in Kansas when the alleged wrongdoings took place. The two women allege they were fired by Taylor in August 2010 for questioning the lack of an area to pump breast milk and nurse. The suit also claims they weren't paid overtime and alleges race discrimination by a supervisor toward Hispanics. The Shawnee County Commission is also named in the lawsuit. Attorney General Derek Schmidt was served with the lawsuit, but isn't a defendant.


Proposal Would Add $3.5M to Addiction Treatment Assistance for Kansans

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state of Kansas would more than quadruple the amount spent to help residents struggling with addiction under a budget recommendation submitted to Governor Sam Brownback. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the state currently allocates $740,000 to help alcoholics, problem gamblers and other addicts. Gary Haulmark of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says the budget request would increase that amount to $4.2 million. Under state law, a portion of gambling revenue is placed in a special fund to be used to treat addicts. But in past years, the state reallocated more than 90 percent of the money in the fund for general government services. The proposal still would allow $3.5 million raised by the gambling fund to be funneled to state programs unrelated to gambling or addiction problems.


Kansas Governor Pleased with School Efficiency Task Force Effort

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback says he's pleased with the initial meeting of a school spending task force and what it may produce for Kansas education. The governor said Tuesday that he remains committed to protecting K-12 funding, public safety and Medicaid spending in the upcoming budget. But he says he wants to see more money make it to classrooms. A task force appointed by Brownback in September held its first meeting Monday. The goal is to find ways to make education funding more efficient while improving student performance, including reading and college readiness. Democrats have suggested that the conservative Republican governor is going to push for big cuts in aid to public schools next year after signing massive income tax cuts into law this year. Brownback denies that's his intention.


State of KS to Investigate Complaint Against Attorney General

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State officials will investigate ethics complaints filed against the Kansas attorney general and Johnson County district attorney over their handling of an investigation into practices at a Planned Parenthood clinic. The anti-abortion group Operation Rescue filed separate complaints in September against Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe. The group alleges the two men, both Republicans, helped engineer the dismissal of criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic in Johnson County. Operation Rescue announced Monday that the state Office of the Disciplinary Administrator said in a letter in late September the complaints would be investigated. Operation Rescue has the men undermined criminal cases started by former Attorney General Phill Kline against the late abortion doctor George Tiller and the clinic. The charges were dismissed in August.


Belfonte Recalls Some Ice Cream Containing Peanut Butter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Belfonte Ice Cream is recalling two types of ice cream that contain peanut butter because of the potential of salmonella contamination. The Kansas City-based company announced Tuesday that it was voluntarily recalling 56-ounce containers of Home Run Sundae and Mama's Choice Reverse Peanut Butter Pie. The ice cream was sold between April 2010 and October 2012 in retail and convenience stores in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The company says the recall was prompted by Sunland Inc.'s recall of everything made in its New Mexico plant after a peanut butter sold at Trader Joe's groceries was linked to a salmonella outbreak. Belfonte says Sunland notified its peanut butter blend supplier that their products could be contaminated with salmonella. Belfonte has received no reports of illnesses caused by its ice cream.


the recalled products are:

—Belfonte 56oz Rectangular Carton, Home Run Sundae, UPC code 83057-91023

—Belfonte 56oz Rounded Square Container, Mama's Choice Reverse Peanut Butter Pie, 83057-17033


Summit Focuses on Agriculture's Health Impact

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An all-day summit will focus on the influence of agriculture on Kansans' health. The Kansas Rural Center is coordinating the November 16 event in Topeka. It aims to attract people who want to learn more about how Kansas health, agriculture and food environments intersect. The event is called "Healthy Farms, Healthy People: Agriculture and the Health Care Summit." Sessions are planned on healthy eating behaviors, farming in Kansas, the role of food and farm policy and challenges in producing healthy food. Other entities involved in the meeting include the Kansas Health Institute, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Farmers Union and others.


Police: Computer Tinkering Fatal for Electrocuted Teen

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — Shawnee police say the death of a 16-year-old boy this summer underscores the dangers of working on computers without being fully trained to do so. The teen was found dead in his home August 16, and an autopsy indicated the youth was electrocuted after accessing the power supply area of a computer. KCTV reported Monday that the computer was unplugged at the time, and police believe the boy was stripping an older computer for parts. They say many people don't understand that computers carry a charge even when they are unplugged and broken. Police say it's not a good idea to strip an old computer to build a new one because of the danger it poses to people who don't know what they're doing.


Fort Riley Unit to Test Unmanned System

FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) — Soldiers of the Army's 1st Infantry Division will hold the first launch of a new unmanned aerial system from Fort Riley's Marshall Army Airfield. The flight scheduled for Wednesday is one of the final steps in the process of putting the Gray Eagle drones into service within the division. The aircraft will be flown by the division's Company F, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade. A release from the 1st Infantry Division says the unit is the second in the Army to receive the Gray Eagle, but it is the first unit to fly it from a home base in the United States. The Army says the Gray Eagle allows for longer battlefield reconnaissance time. The drone can be controlled by the Army's Apache helicopter.


Judge Orders Prosecutor to Testify in Kansas Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal magistrate says a prosecutor must testify in an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by a former Kansas City, Kansas police officer. U.S. Magistrate Judge James O'Hara on Tuesday rejected the government's decision to prohibit Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead from testifying. The judge did limit the scope of the deposition. Former officer Max Seifert sued the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and others. He claimed he was forced to retire in 2005 in retaliation for investigating Drug Enforcement Administration agents involved in a 2003 incident that left a man with permanent brain damage. Morehead is not a party to the lawsuit. Seifert wants to question her over statements she allegedly made claiming Seifert was not a credible witness. The U.S. attorney's office declined comment.


FBI Assisting KS Authorities in Search for Bank Robbery Suspect 

CHASE, Kan. (AP) — Rice County authorities and the FBI are looking for a man who held up a bank in the small town of Chase. The FBI says a man walked into the First Bank of Chase Tuesday morning, showed a weapon and demanded money. He left the bank in a green sports utility vehicle. KAKE-TV reports the suspect is a black man in his mid-30s, about 6-feet-5 inches, with dreadlocks. He was wearing a long coat. Chase is a town of 500 people west of Lyons on US Highway 56.

**this suspect was captured late Tuesday night. See regional headlines for Wednesday, October 10, 2012 for updates.


Georgia Man Pleads Guilty in Petro America Case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Georgia man is the ninth defendant to plead guilty in a $7.2 million securities fraud scheme that targeted church members across the country. Federal prosecutors in Kansas City say 65-year-old Clarence D. Moore of Atlanta pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud related to Petro America Corporation. The company told investors it had $284 billion in assets, including large amounts of oil. But prosecutors say the group had almost no assets. Moore claimed to be a certified public accountant. He prepared Petro's tax returns for the Internal Revenue Service and helped persuade investors that the company had billions of dollars in assets. Prosecutors say Moore was not a CPA and had been jailed for criminal forgery and fraud before working with Petro.


Pedestrian Killed After Stepping into KCK Traffic

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 69-year-old man from Kansas City, Kansas has died after stepping into traffic. Police say John E. Brewer died when he was hit Monday afternoon after walking into traffic on a busy street. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the vehicle that hit Brewer stopped at the scene. The man's family told authorities he had Alzheimer's Disease and had wandered away from home earlier in the day. The accident remains under investigation.


Kansas City Chiefs Fans Cast in Unflattering Light 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sports fans in Kansas City are back in the national spotlight. Once again, it's a glaring one. The latest flashpoint occurred Sunday, when Chiefs offensive lineman Eric Winston laid into a small percentage of Chiefs fans who cheered when struggling quarterback Matt Cassel suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of a 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Winston called the cheering fans "sickening," and his locker-room diatribe went viral, picked up by everyone from ESPN to "Good Morning America." It's left the city with a black eye, and has served as the impetus for a discussion of what is...and what should be...considered uncouth behavior.


KU Stepping Up Efforts to Recruit Legacy Students

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas Alumni Association is working harder to recruit the children and grandchildren of graduates after a fourth straight year of enrollment declines. As part of the effort, the association has hired a director of legacy relations. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that part of the job is to spread of the word about a scholarship geared to out-of-state legacy students. The biggest award goes to students scoring at least a 28 on the ACT or a 1250 on the SAT with a 3.5 high-school grade-point average. They can receive $11,675 per year for four years. Another responsibility is taking tips from alumni about interested students. As of fall 2011, about 22 percent of KU's undergraduates were legacy students — a number the association hopes to build upon.


Exchange National in Atchison to Purchase Bank in Troy, KS

TROY, KS (AP) — A bank in Atchison is buying Troy State Bank in Troy, Kansas.  The purchase by Exchange National Bank & Trust Company is expected to be completed by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval. Yesterday's (MON) announcement comes after Exchange Banks acquired the former Rushville (Missouri) State Bank in August.  Exchange Bank president Mark Windsor said there will be few outward changes at the Troy location but more products and services will be offered. The St. Joseph News-Press reports that Exchange Bank has four northeast Kansas locations, with assets of $360 million. Founded in 1856, it is the oldest bank in Kansas. Troy State Bank has assets of more than $28 million.


GPS System Allows KU Hospital to Navigate Heart

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Heart patients at the University of Kansas Hospital are benefiting from the same GPS technology that helps them navigate the streets in their cars. The Kansas City Star reports that doctors at the hospital are the first in the county using a new system called MediGuide Technology. It drastically reduces the amount of radiation used when inserting catheters to treat heart abnormalities. Typically, doctors use a rapid sequence of X-rays to see the heart and find their way around with a catheter. The problem is the method leads to relatively long periods of radiation. Doctors use radiation just once with the new procedure. They then use catheters with sensors at the tip. Those sensors show doctors where they are inside the heart, guiding them to damaged areas.

Kansas Fundraiser Aids Stray Bullet Victim's Family

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — About $8,300 has been donated to the family of an 8-year-old Wichita girl killed by a stray bullet. The Wichita Eagle reports that a motorcycle group called the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 3115 Riders collected the money during a fundraiser Saturday. Group president Terry Fletcher says the community "did an amazing job." The money will pay for more than $4,500 in funeral expenses for Kimbra Moore and help her family. Kimbra's mother was laid off from her job after missing work when her sleeping daughter was struck and killed last month. A 24-year-old man is charged in Kimbra's death. Contributions for the family can still be made into a fund at Emprise Bank. Checks should be made out to the Kimbra Rose Moore Memorial Fund.


KC Woman Accused of Slashing Son's Girlfriend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City woman is charged with using brass knuckles with a built-in-knife to slash the face of his son's girlfriend. On Monday, Jackson County (Missouri) prosecutors filed charges including first-degree assault against 42-year-old Vera Adams. It's not known if she has an attorney. The Kansas City Star reports that the 23-year-old victim is the mother of Adams's 11-month-old grandson. She brought the child with her when she returned a car she had borrowed from Adams. After driving the victim home, Adams became frustrated that the victim was taking too long to get out of the car. Authorities allege Adams pushed and kicked the victim as she held her baby's car seat. Adams then is accused of knocking the mother and baby to the ground and slashing the mother.


Expansion Planned for Western Missouri Biodiesel Plant

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City biodiesel plant plans to expand, allowing it to increase production by 40 percent. Paseo Biofuels LLC produces 40 million gallons of biodiesel and 30 million pounds of food-grade glycerin per year. The plant opened in 2008 and plans to finish its expansion in March 2013. The facility is a joint venture of Paseo and Cargill and is near the Paseo Bridge in Kansas City. The plant discussed its expansion plans Wednesday. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat,  traveled to Kansas City for the announcement. Nixon says the plant helps to expand markets for Missouri farmers.


Kansas Man Arrested after Deadly Nebraska Crash

LEXINGTON, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a 22-year-old Kansas man has been arrested after a fatal collision that ended a vehicle chase in south-central Nebraska. A Dawson County news release says Destry Swartz, of Coats, Kansas, is charged with vehicular homicide and other crimes. Swartz and a 17-year-old Lexington boy with him were not injured. Nebraska State Patrol Captain Jim Parish said Tuesday that the chase began at 11:57 pm Monday and ended six minutes later. Parish says a state trooper had tried to stop a pickup that violated a Lexington, Nebraska traffic signal, but the pickup raced south on U.S. Highway 283. It soon ran a red light and rammed into a westbound pickup, killing its driver, whose name hasn't been released. Swartz remains in custody. Online court records don't list his attorney's name.


41-Year-Old Reportedly Drowns in Hot Tub

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Reno County authorities are investigating the death of a 41-year-old woman after she was found dead in a hot tub. Sheriff Randy Henderson identified the victim Monday as Michelle Price. He said in a news release that authorities found her dead Sunday morning at a home in eastern Reno County. Henderson said a preliminary autopsy indicated that Price drowned. He says toxicology results will not be available for several months Two people were allowing Price to stay in the home.


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