Headlines for Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Kansas City Rolling Gunfight Results in Death of Bystander, Injured Kids
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Kansas City police say one person is dead and six children are critically injured after a car accident that happened amid a gunfight. Police believe the occupants of two vehicles were exchanging gunfire last (TUE) night when one vehicle struck a nearby uninvolved vehicle. Authorities say 30-year-old Mariana Hernandez-Gonzales, who was in the uninvolved vehicle, was killed. Six children in the same vehicle were taken to hospitals.
Man Found Dead Outside Overland Park Bar
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) _ A man has been killed outside a bar in Overland Park. The body of 24-year-old Jurl Carter, of Olathe, was found in the parking lot of The Roxy bar early today (WED). Jim Kilroy, who owns the bar, says there was a shooting after a group of men started to fight outside the club. Kilroy says Carter got into a car parked in front of the club and started to back away, and that other men ran after the vehicle. Kilroy says he heard popping sounds. Police are seeking to interview a suspect who left in a large red truck.
After His Hometown Hospital Closes, GOP State Senator Considers Medicaid Expansion
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Some Kansas lawmakers are now considering the idea of allowing some form of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. This comes in the wake of the looming closure of Mercy Hospital in Independence. Officials with the southeast Kansas hospital partially blame the hospital's closure on the state's failure to expand Medicaid, a health insurance program for the poor. State Senate Vice President Jeff King lives in Independence and used to be against the idea of Medicaid expansion. But now says the state should at least consider the idea. King wants lawmakers to look into a state-centric approach to addressing poor residents' health care needs. Meanwhile, Republican leaders in the Kansas House have so far refused to debate bills regarding an expansion of Medicaid.
Koch Foundations Give $10.5 M for Wichita Arts Center
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Two Koch family foundations are making a $10.5 million donation in land and money to the new Wichita Center for the Arts. A new 38,000-square-foot center is planned for 17 acres owned by the Kochs. The project, without the land, is valued at $14 million. The Charles Koch Foundation is donating the land, which is valued at $4.5 million. The Fred and Mary Koch Foundation is giving $2 million and will offer another $4 million challenge grant. Liz Koch, an honorary trustee for the arts center, says the donation honors her mother-in-law, Mary Koch, a strong supporter of the arts center who died in 1990. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016 and be finished by late 2017 or early 2018.
New Bishop Named for KC-St. Joseph Diocese
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Pope Francis has appointed a new bishop to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, permanently replacing Former Bishop Robert Finn who was convicted of failing to report a suspected child abuser. The new bishop, James V. Johnston Jr., currently leads the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese. He will be formally installed in his new post November 4. Former Bishop Finn resigned in April as the highest-ranking church official in the U.S. to be convicted of not taking action in response to abuse allegations.
Court Documents Quantify Impact of Gay Marriage in Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Court documents are offering a glimpse at the early impact of the gay marriage ruling in Kansas. The latest filing Tuesday from state officials comes in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Kansas ban on same-sex marriages. A federal judge has ruled the state's ban is unconstitutional in the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized such unions nationwide. But he gave the parties extra time to make written filings on whether Kansas has made good on its assurances that it is complying. One affidavit shows that the Kansas State Employee Health Benefits Plan has granted health insurance coverage to 48 same-sex spouses. Another document shows Sedgwick County has issued at least 160 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while Douglas County issued about 60 such licenses
Former Presidents Bush Join Eisenhower Memorial Fundraising Effort
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush are joining a fundraising effort to build the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington. US Senator Pat Roberts and former Senator Bob Dole, both Kansas Republicans, announced the additions to the memorial's advisory committee Wednesday. The Bushes are being joined by former Secretary of State James Baker, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle, Bill Frist, George Mitchell and Trent Lott. Last week, Dole announced a renewed effort to raise funds to build the memorial with help from celebrities Tom Hanks, Tom Brokaw and others. The project won final approvals for architect Frank Gehry's revised design and now must raise $150 million dollars for the construction. The memorial would be situated near the National Mall.
Kansas State Fairgoers Decorate Trooper Care w/ Post It Note Messages
It all started on the first day of the Kansas State Fair, when a girl put a Post It note on a state trooper's patrol car, thanking the highway patrol for their service. Now, KSN TV in Wichita reports that the same patrol car is decorated with thousands of colorful sticky notes from people expressing similar comments about the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Hallmark Cards Announces Reorganization
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Hallmark Cards Inc. is creating three new independently operated businesses as part of a major reorganization of the greeting card company. The company announced Tuesday that the new businesses are Hallmark Greetings, Hallmark Retail and Hallmark Home and Gifts. Each of the businesses will be led by a separate president. Hallmark officials said the reorganization is expected to allow for more focused decisions to meet customer and marketplace needs in each business. As part of the changes, David Hall, formerly president of Hallmark North America, will be president of the entire company, which reported 2014 sales of $3.8 billion. The Kansas City Star reports the three new businesses join Crayola, Crown Media Holdings, Crown Center Redevelopment, and Hallmark International as separate businesses in the company's realigned structure.
Judge Reinstates Convictions in Kansas 'Pill Mill' Case
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A judge has reinstated convictions he had previously thrown out against a former Kansas doctor and his wife accused of conspiracy at a pain clinic linked to 68 opiate overdose deaths. The ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Monti Belot could affect how long Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, remain in prison. The Haysville couple will be resentenced September 24. They were convicted in 2010 of conspiracy to commit health care fraud resulting in those deaths, unlawfully prescribing drugs and money laundering. The legal maneuvering comes in the wake of an unrelated U.S. Supreme Court decision finding that the victim's drug use had to be the actual cause of death, not merely a contributing factor.
Kansas Auctioning Hundreds of Bottles of Liquor
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state of Kansas is selling hundreds of bottles of liquor accumulated by regulators on an online auction. The Topeka Capital-Journal reportsthe selection on the online auction site includes brandy, vodka and rum. The liquor was collected by the Alcoholic Beverage Control from the owners of newly acquired restaurants who can't legally sell alcohol that was left behind by the previous business owners. The bidding is open to any holders of state retail or wholesale liquor licenses. Kansas Department of Revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda says proceeds from the auction will be deposited into the state's general treasury. The auction closes September 28.
Kansas Hay Tonnage is Good But Quality is Low
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wetter weather in Kansas has brought needed moisture after years of drought, but it is causing problems for hay growers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's said Tuesday that Kansas has had good hay production when it comes to tonnage, but it is not the best quality in most cases. Untimely rains have damaged much of cut alfalfa in fields, making it is only good for grinding hay. Those rains have also delayed timely cutting, and much of the hay was overly matured when it was finally cut. It has been only in the past couple of weeks during the recent dry spell that some growers have been able to cut the top-quality, dairy hay off irrigated fields.
Lawrence Schools Adding Laptops to Increase Student Access
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Schools in Lawrence will be receiving additional laptops after some teachers raised concerns that digital textbooks were creating inequity for low-income students. Twenty-five additional laptops will be delivered to each of the city's two high schools. The laptops will be available for checkout for students enrolled in classes that rely on digital content including algebra and advanced placement history. Lawrence schools Superintendent Rick Doll says as new curriculum is adopted districtwide, more digital textbooks will go into use and the district will have to purchase more computers. The district is doing an inventory of laptops and tablets to determine how many computers are needed so that each student has access to a device.
Mother of Children Found in Kansas City Cave Released From Jail
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman whose two young sons were found inside an underground cave in Kansas City has been released from jail. Brittany Mugrauer was released from the Jackson County jail Tuesday. A judge ruled she cannot see her 4- and 6-year-old sons without permission from a Family Court judge. Mugrauer is charged with two counts of felony child endangerment. Her sons were found Friday in the cave that housed an auto repair shop. Investigators said the children were dirty, unsupervised and living in a wooden shipping crate inside the cave. However, the owner of the repair shop disputes those claims and says the children played at the shop while their mother worked there and the crate was a play fort for them.
Hutchinson Inmate Dies After Jail Altercation
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — An investigation has been opened into the death of an inmate at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. The Hutchinson News reports the inmate inmate died Friday at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center after allegedly getting into an altercation with another inmate and then becoming combative with officers. Jail spokesman Dirk Moss says the altercation between the two inmates occurred in the central unit medical clinic. One inmate was then sent to the administrative segregation unit where he became combative with correctional officers before he collapsed and became unresponsive. He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The second inmate was treated for injuries and later taken to the same hospital for further treatment.
Royals Shut Out Indians 2-0
CLEVELAND (AP) — Royals' pitcher Kris Medlen led the Kansas City Royals to a 2-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. Medlen (4-1) stifled the Indians before Royals manager Ned Yost turned things over to his top-ranked bullpen. Ryan Madson struck out two in the seventh, Wade Davis got through the eighth and Greg Holland worked the ninth for his 31st save. Alex Rios hit a home run in the fifth inning off the Indians' Josh Tomlin (5-2) as the Royals won for just the third time in 11 games as they close in on a probable AL Central title.