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Weekend Headlines for September 30-October 1, 2017

Here's a look at area news headlines.

Five Shot, Three Dead, in Downtown Lawrence

Five people were shot, three of them fatally, in downtown Lawrence early this (SUN) morning.  Around 1:39am, Lawrence police were near the area of 11th and Massachusetts Street when they heard multiple gunshots.  At the scene, officers encountered a large crowd and several victims suffering from gunshot wounds.  Five victims have been identified from the shooting. The three victims who were killed have been identified as 22-year-old Leah Elizabeth Brown, of Shawnee, 20-year-old Colwin Lynn Henderson, of Topeka, and 24-year-old Tremel Dupree Dean, of Topeka.  Two other victims are being treated at area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries.  Officers are seeking the public's help in identifying the shooting suspect or suspects involved.  Police are requesting anyone with information to contact the Lawrence Police Department at (785) 832-7509 or Crime Stoppers of Lawrence and Douglas County at (785) 843-TIPS. Tips made to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous.


Plan to Double-Bunk Kansas Prisoners Worries Lawmakers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators are debating how much the decision to house more inmates two-to-a-cell has fueled unrest at state prisons in recent months. Some worry about plans for opening a new state prison with a majority of its cells double-bunked. Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood told a legislative committee this week that the cells at the new prison to replace the existing one in Lansing would be large enough to hold two inmates. That would include maximum-security prisoners. The department does not believe greater double-bunking was a factor in multiple disturbances earlier this year at the state's maximum-security prison in El Dorado or a riot early this month at a low-security prison in Norton. But lawmakers in both parties have noted that the problems came after more inmates were housed two-to-a-cell.


Kansas Working on Real ID License Issues

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is about two months into issuing new driver's licenses that comply with the federal Real ID Act, but some residents aren't bringing the right documents. The Wichita Eagle reports that starting October 1st, 2020, residents who use their driver's licenses to board domestic flights in the U.S. and enter some federal facilities such as military bases will need to have upgraded identification. Kansas Department of Revenue's driver's license manager Breana Berroth told the Wichita Eagle that some residents looking to renew their licenses haven't brought the proper documents. Residents seeking to upgrade their licenses must show proof for their Social Security number and provide a birth certificate or U.S. passport. Those who've changed their name should also bring documents proving the legal name change. New licenses cost $8.


Baxter Springs Woman Dies after Being Set on Fire

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — A 65-year-old southeastern Kansas woman has died after being assaulted and set on fire along with two police officers. The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said Sharon Horn of Baxter Springs died Saturday morning at a Springfield, Missouri, hospital. The sheriff's office said the man suspected of assaulting her and a Baxter Springs police officer remained hospitalized. The sheriff's office said the man entered Horn's home early Saturday and began assaulting her. When two police officers arrived, he threw fuel on them and Horn, setting all three on fire. A third officer arrived and sought to extinguish the fire. Horn, the suspect and the three officers were injured, but two officers were treated at a Joplin, Missouri, hospital and released. The sheriff's office said the victim and suspect were acquaintances.


Hundreds in Wichita Receive Doubled Water Bills by Mistake

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds of Wichita residents have received bills that mistakenly doubled what they owed for water and sewer services. KWCH-TV reports that the city has confirmed that about 1,400 residents received the bills with the erroneous charges. The incorrect bills were sent out at the beginning of the week. The city attributed the problem to an error by a third-party printer handling its bills. The city said it is investigating the overcharges so that it can prevent them from happening again. The city also said it would send apology letters with corrected bills to affected residents on Monday.


Kansas Woman Found Dead

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 60-year-old Kansas woman missing since Wednesday has been found dead, and police say there is no evidence of foul play. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that officials with the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office found the body of Nadezhda Pavlovna Gorchakova Friday morning near home southeast of Topeka. Authorities say the investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding her death. Relatives had not had contact with Gorchakova since Wednesday afternoon.


Shawnee Woman Sues over Misdiagnosis, Surgery

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas woman's lawsuit claims she underwent a complex surgery at the University of Kansas Hospital for a cancer diagnosis that proved to be wrong, but she was never told of the mistake. The Kansas City Star reports that Wendy Berner's lawsuit says the Shawnee woman learned about the wrong diagnosis in a business publication's report about the mistake and alleged cover-up efforts. Berner was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had surgery in September 2015 to remove several organs. The lawsuit names Meenakshi Singh, the doctor who misdiagnosed Berner, surgeon Timothy Schmitt, the hospital and other entities. Attorneys for the university, Singh, and Schmitt have disputed allegations of medical malpractice and cover-up. A hospital spokesman says in a statement that patient care is the hospital's top priority.


Witness: Suspect in Topeka Triple Slaying Forced to Help

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Witnesses have testified that three people were killed in a Kansas drug home over a rape allegation and that one of the suspects was forced to participate to save his life. The details about the case were revealed during a preliminary hearing that ended Wednesday with a judge finding sufficient evidence for 19-year-old Shane Mays, 33-year-old Brian Flowers, and 31-year-old Joseph Lowry to be tried on charges that include first-degree murder. Two other people also are charged in the killings. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that witness Richard Folsom testified that Mays was told he had to take part in the killings in March in Topeka to "dirty his hands." A detective testified that the violence stemmed from an unproven rape allegation against Leavitt.


Deal Reached in KCK Public Housing Harassment Lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Justice Department has reached a settlement in its 2015 lawsuit against the Kansas City, Kansas, Housing Authority and three of its officials over sexual harassment claims. A joint motion for dismissal and settlement agreement was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Kansas. The deal requires the housing authority to submit for approval a policy prohibiting sexual harassment of public housing applicants and tenants and to establish a complaint procedure. It permanently bans former hearing officer Victor L. Hernandez, former property manager Derrick Estelle, Sr., and former housing director Ronald Cobb from participating in public housing programs. Under the agreement, the defendants must pay $350,000 to fifteen women. They also must pay a $5,000 civil penalty. The agreement also requires Hernandez and Estelle to pay one woman $10,000.


Man Fatally Shot by Topeka Police Had Prison Record

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Records show that a black man fatally shot by two police officers in Kansas' capital was months out of prison after being prosecuted for burglary and illegal gun possession. Authorities confirmed Friday that 30-year-old Dominique Tyrell White had a criminal record and spent seven months in prison starting in October 2016. White died Thursday. Topeka police said he struggled with officers responding to a reported disturbance near a park, tried to flee and reached for a pocket containing a handgun. Authorities haven't identified the officers. Department of Corrections and court records showed White was sentenced to probation in 2015 for felony burglary and was discharged in August 2016. The records show he went to prison in October 2016 for illegal possession of a firearm as a felon and was released in May.


Overall Enrollment at State Universities Shows Slight Drop

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents says enrollment at public universities fell less than 1 percent this fall. Enrollment figures released Friday show enrollment increased more than 3 percent at Fort Hays State University and Wichita State University. The University of Kansas reported a 1.1 percent increase in fall enrollment compared with last fall. Kansas State University reported the largest enrollment drop, of 4.1 percent. Emporia State's enrollment declined 2.6 percent and enrollment was down 2.7 percent at Pittsburg State. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports cumulative enrollment at the six state universities was down 239 students, or 0.25 percent. The 19 community colleges in Kansas reported 1,500 fewer students enrolled, while the state's technical colleges added nearly 1,000 students.


Topeka Police: Two Brothers Dead after Family Dispute

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say two brothers are dead after an apparent family dispute in Topeka. Topeka police said in a news release that officers responded Thursday afternoon to a report about a possible shooting in a wooded area near the Kansas River. The officers found two people who had sustained injuries consistent with gunshot wounds. Police on Friday identified the dead as 29-year-old Shawn Paul Jacobs and 36-year-old Robert Raymond Jacobs Jr., brothers from Topeka. Police say there is "no threat to the public" but provided no other information about what happened.


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