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Weekend Headlines for October 27-28, 2018

ACLU Sues to Open Second Dodge City Voting Site

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas is seeking a court order to open an additional voting site in Dodge City after the election office sent new registrants a notice with the wrong location for its lone polling site. The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Kansas seeks a temporary restraining order on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens and voter Alejandro Rangel-Lopez. Ford County Clerk Deborah Cox did not return a call for comment.Cox recently moved the polling site from the Civic Center to a facility located outside city limits because of construction.  The lawsuit asks the court to order Cox to also reopen the original polling site to avoid confusion since many registrants received notices directing them to vote there in November.

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Officials: Meth Addiction Fuels Growing Kansas Crime Rates

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas and Wichita-area leaders say that growing methamphetamine addiction is driving up the state's crime rates and filling jails with individuals who would be better served in treatment centers. The Wichita Eagle reports that state and local officials met with community members at the Wichita Crime Commission's Sedgwick County Drug Summit on Thursday. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter says seven out of 10 inmates at the county jail are struggling with drug addiction. Easter says law enforcement can't use arrests to solve the problem. The county's district attorney Marc Bennett says 11 percent of all charged felony cases his office handles have at least one count of meth possession. After the panel, Easter said an oversight board and a strategic plan could help slow the growth of meth addiction.
 
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$1,000 Reward for Information on KU's Stolen Inflatable Colon

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — There is now a $1,000 award being offered for anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the return of the University of Kansas Cancer Center's giant inflatable colon. The Kansas City Star reports that the American Society of Gastroenterology donated the reward money in hopes of returning the stolen colon. The 10-foot long, 150 pound inflatable was stolen earlier this month from the back of a pickup truck in Brookside. It's valued at $4,000 and is owned by the Cancer Coalition, which hosts walking and running events under a campaign called "Get Your Rear In Gear." The Cancer Coalition ships the inflatable colon across the country to help see in a unique way the progression of colon cancer.

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Cosmosphere to Bring Spacecraft Exhibit to Overland Park

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A spacecraft that sank after its descent on the second U.S. manned space flight nearly 60 years ago is headed to northeastern Kansas as part of a temporary exhibit. The Hutchinson News reports that the exhibit featuring the Liberty Bell 7 capsule is expected to open in Overland Park next year as a preview to a proposed satellite location of the popular Hutchinson space museum, the Cosmosphere. The upcoming Cosmosphere Innovation Space at Bluhawk in Overland Park announced the temporary exhibit on Monday. The Cosmosphere assisted in the recovery of the space capsule, which was pulled out of the Atlantic Ocean in 1999.Cosmosphere chief development officer Mimi Meredith says the museum wanted to offer local residents a taste of the Cosmosphere experience while the satellite location is decided.

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Hearing in 1990 Leavenworth County Murder Delayed

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A hearing has been delayed for a 73-year-old man who's challenging his sentence in a 1990 murder in Leavenworth County. Sherrill Brinkley was scheduled to have a status hearing Thursday in Leavenworth County, but the hearing was continued until December. The Leavenworth Times reports Brinkley is arguing that his life sentence for first-degree murder was illegal and he should be released. Bishop was convicted in 1993 of killing Everett Bishop in rural Linwood. The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the conviction in 1994, but found that a district judge erred in the sentencing. Brinkley was not resentenced at the time because he was serving a federal prison sentence for unrelated charges. He was resentenced for the murder charge last year, but has filed a petition arguing the sentence is illegal.

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Sedgwick County Commissioner Wants AG to Rule on Quorum

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Sedgwick County commissioner is asking Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to define what constitutes a quorum for the five-member board. The Wichita Eagle reports that Jim Howell is seeking clarity after his fellow commissioners recently voted to reduce its official quorum from four to three members. The attorney general's office advises officials on legal matters related to application of state law, and those opinions guide law unless overturned by a court. Earlier in October, three of the five commissioners voted to set parameters for a personnel investigation. However, they were unable to meet in closed session because of a lack of a quorum — Howell and the other dissenting member boycotted the proceedings. On Wednesday, the commission voted 3-2 to lower the quorum requirement.

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Huge Crane Set to Dismantle KCK Water Slide

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A crane as tall as the Verruckt water slide in Kansas City, Kansas, is in position to dismantle the attraction where a 10-year-old boy was killed more than two years ago. A spokeswoman for the Schlitterbahn water park tells the Kansas City Star that demolition work is expected to begin Thursday. The 17-story Verruckt slide was billed as the tallest water slide in the world. In August 2016, Caleb Schwab was killed when the raft he was in went airborne and he struck a metal rod that held a safety net in place. The demolition has been delayed because of disagreements over which parts of the slide should be preserved as possible evidence in criminal cases. Caleb's family received nearly $20 million in settlements.

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Ex-Wichita Police Officer Gets Probation in Gambling Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former Wichita police officer will serve a year on supervised probation for not reporting what he knew about illegal poker games. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said 46-year-old Bruce Mackey, of Goddard, was sentenced Friday. He pleaded guilty in August after admitting that while he was a police officer, he didn't report people who were running the illegal gambling business. Prosecutors said during an illegal poker game in February 2014, Mackey told organizers of the game that one of the gamblers was a Wichita police officer. An FBI affidavit in the case says investigators began looking into an illegal gambling business with ties to public corruption in Wichita in November 2011.

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Legal Fees Mount as Kansas Landscaping Dispute Continues

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Court of Appeals will take up the case of a long-standing landscaping dispute that has run up legal costs approaching $1 million. The Kansas City Star reports that the board of the Avignon Villa Homes Community Association in Olathe has filed notice that it is appealing a ruling issued in January by Johnson County District Judge Rhonda K. Mason. Homeowner Jim Hildenbrand filed suit against the association in 2013. Mason found that the association treated Hildenbrand unfairly when it denied his application for the landscaping project, but that Hildenbrand violated rules by failing to fill out the proper application before installing the project. She ordered Hildenbrand to pay $25,000 in damages to the association.

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Kansas Nurse Pleads Guilty to Stealing Care Center Drugs

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Johnson County nurse has pleaded guilty to stealing opioid drugs while working at a residential care facility in Gardner, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports 41-year-old Jeremy Keith Bailey pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of a controlled substance, theft and Medicaid fraud. The Kansas Attorney General's Office said that Bailey surrendered his nursing license as part of the plea agreement. Bailey was charged earlier this year with stealing the Percocet while working as a registered nurse at the Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital. He will be sentenced December 18th.

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Science City Partners with KC Engineering Firm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Science City in Kansas City's Union Station is partnering with an engineering firm to improve science, technology, engineering and math education. The multimillion-dollar partnership between Science City and Burns & McDonnell was announced Thursday. The agreement is scheduled to last at least five years. The center will now be named "Science City Powered by Burns & McDonnell." The Kansas City Star reports the agreement includes the firm committing to two more Battle of the Brains competitions for K-12 students across the region, with the winning concepts becoming $1 million permanent center exhibits. Burns & McDonnell employees will provide talks and demonstrations at the science center, and the company will help with maintenance at Science City. Burns & McDonnell has made more than $8 million in contributions to Science City.

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