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Weekend Headlines for October 13-14, 2018

Vacant Teaching Positions Increase in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas public school districts are finding it harder to fill vacant teaching positions this year, even though increased funding allowed many districts to offer higher salaries. A report released this week by the Kansas State Department of Education said 612 teaching positions are vacant this fall — a 19 percent increase from the same time last year. Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander told the Lawrence Journal-World that it is getting more challenging to get people to apply for those positions. The report said the majority of the vacancies are in special education. That's followed by elementary education, English language arts, science and math. The largest concentration of vacancies — 21 percent — are in the 5th District, which includes most of western Kansas.

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Company Seeks to Hire 250 Workers in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Faneuil, a Virginia-based company that plans to bring hundreds of jobs to downtown Wichita, is looking to hire 250 workers in the next few weeks. The company says it will interview customer care representatives on Tuesday for a call center. Faneuil will train employees, who must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. The Wichita Eagle reports the hiring rush is prompted by the annual open enrollment period for health insurance. Many of the positions will work with people enrolling in health insurance plans. Jay Hinckley, senior director of the company's Wichita sites, said with the new hires, the company will have 600 employees in Wichita. Union Station in downtown Wichita is being renovated to accommodate up to 700 Faneuil employees.

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Topeka Veterans Affairs Opens New Women's Health Center

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Female veterans now have their own Veterans Affairs' health center in Topeka. The Topeka VA opened the new women's center on Friday. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports said nearly 4,000 women veterans use the VA Eastern Kansas Health Center. VA Eastern Kansas director Rudy Klopfer said that 10 years ago, the organization had one provider for women housed in a small, one-room space. The new center boasts five exam rooms, two primary care providers, a full-time gynecologist, a mental health provider and a social worker. In 1945, women made up 2 percent of the military. Today 15 percent of those on active duty are women.

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Kansas Town won't Block Kobach's "Gun" in Parade

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An attorney says organizers of a small-town Kansas parade won't try to stop Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach from riding in a jeep with a replica machine gun on the back. But attorney Daniel Schowengerdt said Friday night that the organizing committee for Iola's Farm City Days expects Kobach to put a sign on the jeep during Saturday's parade saying the committee doesn't condone the display of "large scale military weapons" during the event. He said the sign will say the committee does support gun rights. The organizers previously told Kobach he had to remove the gun because it clashed with the event's message of bringing farms and cities together. Kobach says he believes keeping the gun out of the southeast Kansas parade would violate his free speech rights.

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Wichita Man Accused of Robbing Same Bank That He Robbed 7 Years Ago

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man suspected of robbing a Wichita bank earlier this week spent time in federal prison after pleading guilty to robbing the same bank seven years ago. Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Brent Allen Drees, of Wichita, is charged with one count of bank robbery. They allege Drees walked into the Conway Bank Tuesday, gave the teller a note saying, "Give me $3,000 and you won't get hurt." The Wichita Eagle reports Drees was released from federal prison in July 2017 after serving a 46-month sentence for bank robbery. Federal court records show Drees previously pleaded guilty to two Wichita bank robberies, including the Conway Bank in September 2011 and the Emprise Bank later that month. Similar notes were used in all three bank robberies.

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Former Kansas Deputy Sentenced for Lying about Missing Uzi

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former deputy with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for lying to investigators about a missing machine gun. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release that 60-year-old Robert Doty, of Guymon, Oklahoma, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to lying to a federal investigator. In his plea, Doty admitted that in March 2018 he lied to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent who was investigating a report that an Uzi machine gun was missing from the sheriff's office. Doty told the agent he took the gun to a range to shoot and returned it. Doty actually took the gun to a third party's house and left it there. Doty's certification as a law enforcement officer has been revoked.

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Authorities Charge Man who Exchanged Shots with Topeka Police

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 23-year-old man who authorities say twice exchanged gunfire with Topeka police before being shot by officers is expected to recover. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Trevon Brown, of Topeka, was shot several times during a gun battle with three officers Thursday. No officers were injured. Police first encountered Brown early Thursday morning while patrolling a neighborhood. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the suspect shot at officers as he fled and two officers returned fire. No one was injured. The man returned to the scene later in the day. The KBI says when officers tried to arrest him, the man ran again and exchanged gunfire with three officers, who shot him several times. The five officers who fired their weapons in the two shooting incidents have been placed on administrative leave.

UPDATE -- Trevon L. Brown was discharged from the hospital, and immediately transported to the Shawnee County jail.  According to a news release from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Brown was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of felony possession of a firearm, interference with law enforcement, and criminal use of a weapon.  The KBI investigation is ongoing.

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Kansas Woman Found Dead in Car after Floodwaters Recede

PAOLA, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas woman who was reported missing has been found dead in her car after floodwaters receded. The Miami County Sheriff's office says deputies found the body 78-year-old Hazel Phillips Friday inside her car near Osawatomie. The sheriff's office said her car was in an area that flooded after heavy rains this week but the waters receded enough Friday to expose the car's roof. Her cause of death is still under investigation. Investigators say Phillips told her family Tuesday evening that she planned to drive to Drexel, Missouri, Wednesday. A Silver Alert was issued after she didn't reach her destination.

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Lawsuit: KCK Man Convicted after Mother Rejected 'Dirty Cop'

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A lawsuit alleges that a man from Kansas City, Kansas, who spent 23 years in prison for a double murder he didn't commit was targeted because his mother rebuffed a homicide detective's sexual advances. Forty-two-year-old Lamonte McIntyre and his mother, 64-year-old Rose Lee McIntyre, sued Thursday in federal court. Lamonte McIntyre was freed last year . He was 17 when he was arrested in 1994 in the deaths of 21-year-old Doniel Quinn and 34-year-old Donald Ewing. They were shot in broad daylight in a drug-infested neighborhood. No physical evidence linked him to the crime, and he didn't know the victims. The lawsuit blames his arrest on a "dirty cop who used the power of his badge to exploit vulnerable black women." A police spokesman says the department is reviewing the lawsuit.

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'Dazzling fast' Election Results Promised for Johnson County

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The head election official for Kansas' most populous county is pledging to have "dazzlingly fast" results after fixing a problem that left the rest of the state waiting more than 12 hours for primary election results. The Kansas City Star reports that Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker said Thursday that software that was blamed for the August 7th delays has been updated and "exhaustively tested." Johnson  County rolled out new machines for the primary election. After the last polling location closed shortly before 8 p.m., it took until 8 the next morning to get final unofficial results, including in the high-profile Republican gubernatorial primary that was being watched by a national audience. Those results revealed a razor-thin margin between Gov. Jeff Colyer and challenger Kris Kobach, who eventually won.

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Johnson County DA Sues Repair Shop Owner after Complaints

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Johnson County's district attorney is suing a repair shop owner after multiple consumer complaints alleging that their cars were stripped rather than fixed. The Kansas City Star reports that Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe has filed a lawsuit against Fred Goebel and his business, Showroom Carstar LLC. The county's case comes after two similar lawsuits against Goebel and related complaints on social media. The county's lawsuit says Goebel is believed to be living in Florida and has left behind more than $111,000 in paid-for but unfinished work, as well as vehicles missing parts. The lawsuit says Goebel still hasn't returned a customer's car. Goebel says he's unaware of the county's lawsuit. Records show that Goebel and his business faced financial issues, including tax liens exceeding $17,000 in 2015 and 2016.

 

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