Feds Threaten Funds for Kansas Mental Hospital
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The federal government is threatening to cut off funding for patient care at the state mental hospital in western Kansas, saying the facility is not complying with federal rules. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services said Friday that the federal government is giving the state a month to correct problems at a 104-bed unit of Larned State Hospital. The government is threatening to cut off the funding in January. Aging and Disability Services Secretary Timothy Keck told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that the state agency expects to spend about $1 million making renovations designed to decrease the risks of patients hanging or strangling themselves. He said in addition to those risks, the hospital also was cited for one case each of verbal and minor physical abuse of a patient by staff. Keck said most problems have already been addressed.
Judge Refuses to Release Suspect in Garden City Bomb Plot
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to release pending trial a Kansas man accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and an apartment complex housing Somali refugees. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled Friday that Gavin Wright is a flight risk and a danger to the community. Wright and co-defendants Patrick Stein and Curtis Allen are charged with conspiring to detonate truck bombs at an apartment complex in the meatpacking town of Garden City in western Kansas. Wright also faces a separate count for allegedly lying to investigators. They've pleaded not guilty. Melgren says the evidence suggests Wright was deeply involved in planning these atrocities and intended to carry out the plan to fruition. He says few charges are more serious than that of planning to commit an act of terrorism.
Authorities Seize KCK Camel Milk
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have seized camel milk in Kansas that prosecutors allege falsely claim unproven health benefits. The Kansas City Star reports that legal action was filed Thursday in federal court seeking forfeiture of the seized products. Prosecutors allege the California company selling the products advertises them for treatment of autism, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer and other diseases. Investigators with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Kansas Department of Agriculture saw products in August at a distribution center in Kansas City, Kansas, that were labeled as raw camel milk, raw camel milk colostrum and Keifer made from raw camel milk. The litigation involves more than 4,300 bottles worth an estimated $70,000. Federal regulators earlier this year warned that camel milk is an ineffective and potentially dangerous treatment for autism.
Lawsuit: Prison Officials Neglected Fatal Inmate Fungus
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Relatives of man who died at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility are alleging that a fungus infected his brain and slowly killed him while his pleas for help were ignored. The lawsuit claims Marques Davis died in April after suffering for four months while his vision blurred, his speech slurred and he became so disoriented that he drank his own urine. The Kansas City Star reports that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Davis' mother and his daughter, who live in Wichita. The lawsuit names private prison health care contractor Corizon, 14 company employees, three doctors and 11 nurses. Corizon provides health care throughout the Kansas prison system. Corizon spokeswoman Martha Harbin said the company sympathizes with Davis' family but cannot discuss the details of care he received in prison.
Gubernatorial Candidate Forum Features Four Kansas Teens
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Four teenagers who are running for governor of Kansas got a chance to discuss their policy positions at a forum in front of other high school students. The candidates, all under 18, appeared together Thursday at Lawrence Free State High School, where they discussed issues such as abortion, taxes, gun control and legalizing marijuana. The teens are able to run because Kansas doesn't set any age restrictions for gubernatorial candidates. Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old Democrat from Wichita, was the first to file for the race, saying he wanted to get other young people involved in politics. He was quickly followed by three 17-year-old Republicans, Tyler Ruzich from Johnson County; Ethan Randleas from Wichita Heights High School; and Dominic Scavuzzo from Johnson County.
Third Man Arrested in Lawrence Triple Homicide
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting three people earlier this month in a popular downtown area of a Kansas college town. Lawrence police said in a news release that the U.S. Marshals took 20-year-old Anthony Laron Roberts Jr. into custody Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri, on charges of murder and attempted murder. One day earlier, two others were charged with less serious offenses. The shooting happened early October 1st as people were leaving bars, concerts and other events on the main downtown Lawrence street. About 100 people witnessed the shooting, which police said was caused by an earlier altercation. Charges against Roberts were filed Friday but not released until he was arrested. Police say he's awaiting extradition to Kansas and that the investigation is ongoing.
Kansas Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty in Back Wages Case
MERRIAM, Kan. (AP) — The owner of a Kansas City-area restaurant has pleaded guilty to impeding an investigation into the withholding of employees' pay. The U.S. Department of Labor says Yong Lin, president of China Garden Buffet in Merriam, Kansas, could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000. The department said in a news release Thursday that Lin twice supplied false records to investigators, who later determined the company owed 56 employees a total of $709,539 in back wages. Investigators say the employees earned the back wages but China Garden Buffet violated overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. A 2011 investigation also found that China Garden Buffet owed back wages of $15,504 to 16 employees, citing similar violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Whooping Cranes Spotted in Kansas Wildlife Refuge
STAFFORD, Kan. (AP) — Two adult whooping cranes have been spotted at a south central Kansas wildlife refuge. The Wichita Eagle reports that the cranes' Thursday appearance in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Stafford marks the beginning of their fall migration through the state. Nearly 60 birds pass through the area each fall. The 5-foot-tall birds feed and rest in the open salt flats and wetlands before continuing migration. The birds don't appear every day, but sightings are scattered throughout the end of October and November. Barry Jones is a visitor services specialist at the refuge. He says visitors shouldn't go near the birds if they see them. Adult whooping cranes are white with dark legs, bills and a dark red cap. The younger birds are rusty-brown in color.