TSA: 2 Loaded Guns Confiscated at Wichita Airport
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say two loaded guns have been found at security screening checkpoints at the Wichita airport this week. The Transportation Security Administration tells the Wichita Eagle that a .38 caliber handgun loaded with five rounds was found on Sunday, and a 9mm handgun loaded with six rounds was found on Thursday. A TSA news release says Wichita Airport Police took possession of the weapons and interviewed the individuals after they tried to go through security with the guns at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport. Officials say seven guns have been found by TSA agents at the airport so far in 2018. That compares with four guns found in all of 2017.
House Rejects Bill Allowing Agencies to Refuse LGBT Adoptions
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has rejected a bill that would have allowed adoption and foster care contractors to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples based on religious grounds. The Wichita Eagle reports that the House voted down the measure Thursday, hours after the state Senate approved nearly identical legislation. The bill now goes to a conference committee, where lawmakers from the House and the Senate will negotiate a final bill. Senator Barbara Bollier, of Mission Hills, called the legislation "sick discrimination." But supporters of the bill say it's needed to attract more organizations to help in adoptions. In other parts of the country, the American Civil Liberties Union has taken adoption agencies to court over similar policies. ACLU of Kansas says it would be willing to do so as well.
Kansas Facing Skilled Worker Shortage
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A shortage of skilled workers is a growing concern for companies that repair and maintain airplanes in Kansas. Lynn Nichols has a fixed-base operation, Yingling Aviation, which does aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul. He tells The Wichita Eagle that there's a tight labor market for aviation skill sets. Nichols says the need for airframe and power plant mechanics and avionics technicians is increasing. The 2018 Global Fleet & MRO Market Assessment estimates the global aviation maintenance market will grow to $114 billion in 2028 from $77.4 billion this year. The report commissioned by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association also shows a shortage of aircraft mechanics less than four years from now. According to the report there will be a 10 percent shortage of mechanics by 2028.
Kansas Unveils New App for Renewing Vehicle Registrations
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas residents can now review their vehicle registrations on a smartphone or other mobile device. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Gov. Jeff Colyer unveiled the "iKan" app in March. The app only offers vehicle registration renewals for now. But officials hope to add other services, including voter registration applications and access to birth certificates. The app was developed by PayIt LLC, a company that creates digital platforms for customer transactions for governments. CEO John Thomson says the app was extensively tested in Shawnee County. Thomson says the data is secure from hackers. He says information won't be sold or transferred to third parties. People are charged $2 for each transaction. The state's interim chief information technology officer, Donna Shelite, says that will go to the company.
Lawsuit Blames Wichita Officer for 2016 Crash
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by an Illinois woman injured in a 2016 crash with a Wichita police officer says the officer is to blame for the crash. The Wichita Eagle reports that Breanna Parsons' lawsuit says Officer Samuel Floyd didn't yield to oncoming traffic when he turned to follow a truck at an intersection on December 4th, 2016. The lawsuit says Floyd didn't turn his emergency lights on until he had already made the turn in front of traffic, when Parsons' car was less than a car length away from Floyd's patrol car. The amended petition filed Tuesday in Sedgwick County accuses Floyd of being "willful, wanton, reckless and negligent." She is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. The Wichita city and police officials declined to comment to the newspaper.
Wichita Man Killed in Late Night Shooting
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 36-year-old man has died in a shooting at a Wichita apartment complex. Police say the shooting happened just before midnight Friday, after the man had gone to the apartments with his girlfriend to meet another man. Witnesses told police the men fought before the victim was shot several times. He died at the scene. Police had not released the victim's name by midday Saturday and had not announced any arrests. The death is Wichita's 11th homicide for 2018.
Reviewer Backs Study Calling for $2 Billion Boost in K-12 Spending
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An independent reviewer is backing the validity of a study that found improving Kansas' public schools could cost an additional $2 billion a year. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Legislature hired Jesse Levin, of the American Institutes for Research, to conduct a peer review of the recent cost study. He told lawmakers Thursday that the study was "fairly cutting-edge and done very, very well." The study found that Kansas needs to add between $1.8 billion and $2.1 billion a year in education spending in order to boost its high school graduation rate to 95 percent and to raise significant numbers of students up to grade level or college readiness on statewide reading and math tests. Legislators are facing a Kansas Supreme Court mandate to increase spending on public schools.
Emporia Professor Placed on Leave Amid Harassment Investigation
EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — An Emporia State University professor has been placed on administrative leave after a campus newspaper reported about the findings of a sexual harassment investigation. University President Allison Garrett sent an email Wednesday to students, faculty and staff, saying the psychology professor was the subject of an investigation following a case of "significant community interest." The letter provided no details. The student newspaper, The Bulletin, reported in February that a student reported that the professor tried to kiss her in May 2017 after taking her into a private room. The student provided the paper more than 150 pages of correspondence with administrative officials and official documents. The final summary of the investigation said there was a "preponderance of evidence" that the professor violated the university's sexual conduct policy.
KCMO Man Sentenced in Killing of Kansas Gun Store Owner
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A third man has been sentenced to life in prison in the killing of a suburban Kansas City gun shop owner during an attempted robbery. 22-year-old Nicquan Midgyett, of Kansas City, Missouri, won't be eligible for parole for 29 years under the sentence imposed Thursday for first-degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and aggravated battery. Gunfire erupted during the January 2015 attempt to rob a Shawnee, Kansas, gun store called She's a Pistol, which catered to women. Forty-four-year-old Jon Bieker was killed and three would-be robbers, including Midgyett, were wounded. Bieker's wife also was punched. Two other defendants, Hakeem Malik and Londro Emanuel Patterson, were sentenced earlier to life in prison. A fourth defendant, De'Anthony Wiley, will be sentenced next month.
Former Teacher Arrested at Lawrence Middle School
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence middle school teacher who resigned after he was accused of making racist comments during class has been arrested at the school where he once taught on suspicion of disorderly conduct. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that South Middle School was placed on lockdown for about 10 minutes Thursday after the former teacher showed up unannounced. District spokeswoman Julie Boyle says the man was using swear words and making threatening comments. Police Sgt. Amy Rhoads said in an email that he was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing, interference with duties of a police officer as well as disorderly conduct. No one was hurt. The teacher was suspended with pay in fall 2016 after a parent raised concerns and later resigned. The former teacher has denied the allegations.
Court Reinstates Lawsuit over Ark City Trampling Death
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A wrongful death lawsuit over an Oklahoma man's 2013 trampling death at a southern Kansas cattle processing facility has been reinstated. The Wichita Eagle reports that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Thursday. The appeals court found that a federal judge overlooked the significance of how fencing and pens were configured in ruling that Creekstone Farms Premium Beef was not liable in the death of 57-year-old Richard Gates, of Blackwell, Oklahoma. The appellate court found the pen set-up created what the court called a "blind alley" that caused a cow to turn and run at Gates, who was a truck driver. He had just delivered a load of cattle to the Arkansas City, Kansas, facility when he was knocked down and injured.