KBI Investigating Second Officer-Involved Shooting
SUN CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating after a man died when he was hit by a bean bag round fired by officers during a confrontation in south-central Kansas. The shooting Friday evening in Barber County resulted in the death of 42-year-old Steven Myers of Sun City. The KBI says Barber County Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of a man threatening people with a gun outside a bar in Sun City. When officers arrived, the man had left but they later found him in a shed. The KBI says when the man came out of the shed, he didn't follow several orders given by deputies. One deputy shot him with a bean bag. Myers was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured. No further information was released. Meanwhile, the KBI has released the name of a Garden City man killed in a separate officer-related shooting. In a press release, the KBI identified the victim as 29-year-old Cristino Umana-Garcia.
KCK Police get Grant for More Body, Street Cameras
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A new federal grant will mean more body cameras for Kansas City, Kansas police. The police department said the $342,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department will buy body cameras for 228 officers. A separate $499,402 grant will fund up to 25 more intersections tothe video camera network, with crime prevention areas as the top priority. Last year, the Unified Government spent $500,000 to build a fiber network to download and transmit video from the cameras. Earlier this year, the government approved another $300,000 to buy the cameras. The new grant will fund the purchase of even more cameras.
Wichita Sharply Reduces Shelter Pet Euthanasia Rate
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita officials say the city's animal control department has reduced the euthanasia rate for shelter pets by about two-thirds in the last eight years. A report presented to the city council this week shows the city euthanized 6,300 dogs and cats in 2009. That number dropped to 2,000 in 2016. Wichita police Capt. Michael Allred, who runs the animal control department, attributed the decline to a better relationship with the Humane Society and rescue groups. He alsocites a commitment to keeping shelter animals alive twice as long as state law requires. The Wichita Eagle reports state law requires pet owners to reclaim their animals in three days. Wichita made a policy decision to hold animals for six days before euthanasia is considered.
Fourth Kansas Teen Announces Plans to Run for Governor
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A fourth teenager is running for governor in Kansas, entering an already crowded field of more than a dozen candidates. The Hutchinson News reports that 17-year-old Dominic Scavuzzo, of Leawood, appointed his father as his campaign treasurer Wednesday. The senior at an all-boy Jesuit school in Kansas City, Missouri, says the race is a "good opportunity" to gain experience. Kansas doesn't set any qualifications to run for governor, including any age restrictions. Teens from suburban Kansas City and Wichita already have announced plans to run in 2018. Scavuzzo and two other teen candidates are Republicans; the other is a Democrat. Friends University political science professor Russell Fox says the teens won't have the money to run effective campaigns and described their candidacies as a "stunt."
Kansas-Based Treatment Centers Settle ADA Complaint
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas-based operator of addiction treatment centers will pay $25,000 to settle a complaint that it treated its clients with HIV or AIDs differently than other patients. U.S. Attorney Tom Beall announced Friday the policies of Valley Hope Association in Norton violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The company was accused of requiring people with HIV or AIDS to stay in separate rooms during residential treatment unless they revealed their status to potential roommates. The clients also were not allowed to participate in some work activities. Valley Hope Association operates 16 addiction treatment centers in seven states. The company will be required to adopt a non-discrimination policy and to provide mandatory annual training to its employees and contractors.
Federal Insurance Delay Could Impact Kansas Kids
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are considering options if Congress doesn't reauthorize a program that helps provide health insurance for nearly 80,000 children in the state. The Children's Health Insurance Program provides insurance for children in low- and moderate-income, working families. Congress didn't reauthorize funding before the end of the September deadline. Gerald Kratochvil, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, told The Topeka Capital-Journal that if the program isn't reauthorized, funds in Kansas won't run out until March 2018. He says about 37,000 Kansas children are enrolled in CHIP, with another 42,000 in a hybrid CHIP-Medicaid program. Republicans pushed a bill extending financing the program through a House committee Wednesday, but partisan conflict over how to pay for it could delay the approval.
Affidavit: Wichita Doctor Stabbed 165 Times, Possibly Run Over
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Court records show a slain Kansas psychiatrist was stabbed about 165 times outside his clinic in Wichita last month. The arrest affidavit for the suspect, 21-year-old Umar Dutt, was released Thursday. He's charged with first-degree murder in the September 13th death of Dr. Achutha Reddy at his Holistic Psychiatry Services clinic. The affidavit says a clinic employee reported hearing Reddy calling for help and then seeing Dutt stabbing the psychiatrist. The employee was able to briefly separate the two. The affidavit says Reddy also suffered "blunt force trauma" and may have been run over by a vehicle. Dutt was a patient of Reddy's. Investigators haven't released a possible motive. Dutt is jailed on a $1 million bond. His attorney tells The Wichita Eagle "more evidence will be coming to light."
Kobach Plan for Trump Included Changes Federal Voting Laws
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach drafted a proposal for Trump to change federal voter registration laws. A federal court document unsealed Thursday shows the proposal was part of a strategic homeland security plan prepared by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach serves as vice chairman of Trump's commission on election fraud. Kobach was photographed taking the document into a meeting with Trump in November when Trump was president-elect. The portion dealing with federal voter registration laws was not fully visible. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson also unsealed a second document prepared by Kobach and shared inside his office. It contained the text of the proposed changes to federal law. Kobach was forced to turn over the documents as part of a voting-rights lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Kansas Residents Push Against Saltwater Injection Wells
WINDSOR, Kan. (AP) — Kansas residents are broadening the fight over an oil-related waste disposal well in the Flint Hills into a protest of similar wells across several counties and an effort to lobby lawmakers for regulatory changes. KCUR-FM reports that residents of Chase, Morris and other counties known for open pastures and tallgrass ecology lost efforts last month to block operation of a saltwater injection well near the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City. Petitioners say they're now focusing on fighting plans of additional wells across several counties. Energy companies use such wells to dispose wastewater resulting from oil production. U.S. Geological Survey officials say a proliferation of these wells is behind the recent earthquake spike in Oklahoma and south-central Kansas. Flint Hills residents say the same can happen in their area.
Federal Grant Boosts Kansas Town's Grocery Store Effort
ST. JOHN, Kan. (AP) — A small Kansas town's effort to replace its lone grocery store is getting a big boost from the federal government. A $780,000 Community Economic Development Grant will pay about a quarter of the cost of bringing a new grocery store, pharmacy and gas station to St. John, a town of about 1,300 people in Stafford County. The Hutchinson News reports the award makes officials hopeful they could break ground on the $3 million project this year. The Stafford County Economic Development agency decided to build the grocery, which will include fuel pumps and a pharmacy, after St. John lost its only grocery last year. It will provide fresh food and about 30 jobs. The plan is to lease the grocery to Kingman-based White's Foodliner, which will stock and operate it.
Officers Fatally Shoot Man in SW Kansas
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 29-year-old suspect has died after being shot by an officer following an officer-involved shooting in southwest Kansas. Garden City officials say in a news release that deputies were called Thursday to a rural area and a deputy encountered a person armed with a knife. Police say the suspect was wanted by Garden City police and the sheriff's office asked Garden City officers to transport the suspect on those charges. Undersheriff John Andrews says the suspect became aggressive during a standoff with law enforcement. When he advanced toward officers in a threatening manner, officers shot the man. The suspect's name was not released. The KBI is investigating the incident. Garden City police and the Finney County Sheriff's Office are also conducting internal investigations.