Headlines for Monday, September 21, 2015
Friday Tornadoes Damage Homes Along Kansas - Missouri State Line
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several homes were damaged but nobody was severely injured as a pair of E-F1 tornadoes touched down in eastern Kansas and western Missouri Friday. The National Weather Service says the first twister touched down around 6:30 p.m. Friday in Miami County, Kansas, damaging a few homes in a rural area west of Hillsdale Lake. The second tornado touched down half an hour later near the Cass County, Missouri, town of Freeman, 40 miles south of Kansas City. The Cass County Sheriff's Office says the tornado broke windows and damaged some structures at the Cass Midway High School football field northwest of Freeman. Miami County officials say there were some minor injuries, but nothing life-threatening.
Federal Grants for Police Body Cameras Awarded to 3 Kansas Law Enforcement Departments
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The federal government has awarded grants for law enforcement body cameras to Wichita, Dodge City and Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Monday the U.S. Justice Department grants are among $23.2 million awarded to 73 law enforcement agencies in 32 states to increase the use of body cameras. President Barack Obama has proposed buying 50,000 body cameras for law enforcement agencies in three years.tWyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, will receive $352,500; Wichita will get $250,000 and Dodge City will receive $45,205. The money can be used to establish a plan to use the cameras and provide training before the cameras are purchased. The grants require a 50/50 local match. And the local governments must pay for long-term storage of information from the cameras.
SE Kansas Hospital Closing Doesn't Change State GOP's Medicaid Position
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Governor Sam Brownback and other Kansas Republicans aren't changing their stance on Medicaid expansion after a hospital in southeast Kansas announced it is closing because of insufficient funding. The Wichita Eagle reports that Mercy Hospital in Independence plans to close next month. A hospital spokeswoman says expanding Medicaid would have brought the hospital about $1.6 million in additional revenue. Kansas is one of 20 states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Brownback says the state doesn't have the resources to expand the program. House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, says the problem isn't Medicaid expansion. He blames, what he calls, the disastrous effects Obamacare is having on the entire country.
State Appeals Court to Hear Cases at WSU, KU, KSU
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Court of Appeals is moving its proceedings to Kansas college and university campuses to commemorate the September 17, 1787, signing of the U.S. Constitution. Three-judge panels will hear cases Tuesday at Wichita State University, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. After arguments, the audience will have a chance to ask general questions about the judicial process. Chief Judge Thomas Malone will be among the judges hearing cases at Wichita State. He said in a news release that moving the proceedings gives students "a chance to see their judicial branch of government at work" and might "help spark an interest in pursuing a legal career."
Wichita Reopens Search for Next Police Chief
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita is reopening its search for the city's next police chief. City Manager Robert Layton said Monday the job had been offered to Joel Fitzgerald, Jr., the police chief of Allentown, Pennsylvania. But he is also a finalist for police chief in Fort Worth, and Layton says Fitzgerald "expressed a stronger commitment" to that vacancy than the job in Wichita. That left as finalist Terri Moses, a former Wichita deputy police chief who now is executive director of safety services for the Wichita schools. But Layton says community groups want someone with a "new and different perspective." Wichita has the state's largest police department with 836 employees and an $82 million budget. Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley has been overseeing the department since Norman Williams retired a year ago.
Prosecutor Asks Judge to Drop Charges Against City Officials
GALENA, Kan. (AP) — A special prosecutor has asked a judge to throw out felony charges against seven elected officials in southeast Kansas accusing them of misusing public funds. The Joplin Globe reports prosecutor Jennifer Brunetti filed a two-page motion in Cherokee County District Court this week saying the alleged conduct of the defendants doesn't qualify as misuse of public funds. Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby and six current or former city council members were accused of misusing funds in June 2013 by purchasing property for the city to settle a private-party lawsuit against companies owned by a business partner of the mayor. Brunetti said in a motion filed Wednesday that the charge of misusing public funds doesn't include actions such as the Galena City Council's vote to settle the lawsuit.
Kansas State Fair Wraps Up in Hutchinson
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas State Fair has wrapped up its annual 10-day run in Hutchinson. The Hutchinson News reports that the grandstand events turned a profit this year. The fair's interim general manager Lori Hart says the Sam Hunt show was the most popular, with about 7,700 tickets sold. Hart said it was the most tickets sold for a concert since Toby Keith performed in 2013. The youth livestock exhibits put up record numbers this year. Between cattle, swine, sheep and goats, more than 1,600 livestock were shown at the fair. Bird flu concerns meant exhibitors couldn't show live poultry, they instead used posters, videos and demonstrations to educate the public.
North Carolina Horse Deaths Linked to Kansas Hay
NASHVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Agriculture officials say six horses have died in North Carolina after eating hay containing blister beetles. The Rocky Mount Telegram reports that state Department of Agriculture investigators have linked the deaths to a load of alfalfa hay delivered from Kansas last month to two feed stores in North Carolina. The two stores sold the hay from August 11 until Monday, when the state issued a stop-sale order. Officials say a poison in the blister beetle can be fatal to horses and can also sicken cattle, goats and sheep. D&B Acres' owner Dolly Colbert says four of the farm's horses died within 12 hours of eating the contaminated hay. Three of the Colberts' other horses are recovering. Pamela Colbert says they probably didn't eat as much as the others.
Ex-OSU Basketball Player Dies in Kansas City Bar Shooting
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Former Oklahoma State basketball player Royce Jeffries has died in a shooting at a Kansas City bar. Police say the 46-year-old Kansas City man was dead when authorities arrived around early Sunday at Bob's N Motion bar. The Kansas City Star reports that Jeffries worked as a security guard at the bar. Police say there was a disturbance and employees were moving the people involved outside when the suspect started shooting. The suspect was gone when officers arrived. Jeffries played basketball at Oklahoma State from 1986 to 1990. The 6-foot-6-inch Jeffries averaged 13.1 points per game as a senior.
Police: 2 Men Tried to Lure 2 Girls in Wichita with Candy
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are investigating after a woman says two men tried to lure her two daughters into their vehicles with candy. The Wichita Eagle reports a 29-year-old woman called police Saturday night to report the incident involving her daughters, ages 8 and 9. According to Sergeant Bob Gulliver, the girls told their mother they were approached by two men. Gulliver said the men drove away, but returned a short time later and watched the girls as they played. The suspects have not been located. Police say the suspects may be in their 30s or 40s.
Fall Enrollment Down by 554 Students at Kansas State
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Fall enrollment for Kansas State University is down for the first time since 2006. The Manhattan Mercury reports that overall enrollment for 2015 is 24,212, down 554 students from fall 2014. President Kirk Schulz discussed the numbers Friday while presenting his annual State of the University address. He says the situation will be discussed as the university puts together an enrollment management task force to set goals and look for ways to grow. The fall enrollment count has increased steadily each year since 2006, when the number fell by 40 students from 23,181 to 23,141. Schulz pointed out classes haven't yet reached the 20th day, which is the time of the official count for fall enrollment each year. The number is likely to fall slightly more by that time.
World Series Ball Raises $30K for Kansas Batboy's Memorial
LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — The sale of a 1962 autographed World Series baseball has raised $30,000 for a memorial statue honoring the 9-year-old Kansas batboy who died when he was accidentally hit by a bat. Kaiser Carlile, batboy for the Liberal Bee Jays, died August 2, a day after he was hit in the head by a player's swing near the on-deck circle during a National Baseball Congress World Series game in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports that Randy Watson, whose 13-year-old brother Rudy died in 1966 after a foul ball struck his head at a baseball game, donated the ball to a silent auction because of the similarities between Kaiser and Rudy. The autographed baseball from the 1962 New York Yankees will be displayed at the Seward Community College in Liberal.
KU Graduate, KS Native Writes Screenplay for 'Black Mass' Film
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A University of Kansas graduate is winning accolades after his adaptation of the 2001 true-crime book made it to the big screen in a movie starring Johnny Depp. Mark Mallouk attended the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of "Black Mass" last Monday. The film is based on his adaption of the book "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob." The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Mallouk grew up in Prairie Village and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1995. He later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting. "Black Mass" opened Friday at more than 3,500 movie theaters nationwide.
Wichita Volunteers Fire Engines on Restored WWII Era Bomber
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 15-year effort to restore and fly a B-29 Superfortress got a boost over the weekend when all four of its engines started for the first time since 1956. Volunteers successfully started the World War II bomber's engines, pushing the group closer to the next milestone of getting the plane up in the air. The Wichita Eagle reports the plane was built in Wichita 70 years ago and named “Doc” after being assigned to a squadron of eight bombers named for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was recovered from a bombing range on California's Mojave desert in 1987 and brought to Wichita. A group of business leaders and aviation enthusiasts bought the plane in 2013 and immediately started restoring it.
Kansas Land Institute President Steps Down
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — The co-founder of the Land Institute in Salina says he plans to step down as president next summer. Wes Jackson, who co-founded the institute in 1976, says he plans to resign as president when he turns 80 in June but will continue working there, as well as writing and lecturing. The Institute seeks to replace current agricultural systems that it considers unsustainable with ones that mimic the natural prairie. In that system, called perennial polyculture, several species of plants grow in the same field. Jackson says he's confident the institute will prosper because it has assured funding from a $1.5 million annual gift from the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation.
Kansas Man Pleads Guilty in Credit Union Robbery
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man pleaded guilty in a credit union robbery that ended when he wrecked his car.cU.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a news release that 41-year-old Harold Carl Deloach Jr., pleaded guilty Monday to robbing the Credit Union of America in January. Prosecutors say he gave the teller a note saying "Put the money in the bag." He was arrested after rolling his car in a residential yard about three miles from the bank. Sentencing is set for December 14. Deloach faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Kansas Sunflower Farm Attracts Visitors From Across the World
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A sunflower farm in northeast Kansas attracted attention from across the world this year. More than 25,000 people made their way to the Grinter Farms sunflower fields between Lawrence and Tonganoxie, including visitors from Japan and Guatemala and a BBC camera crew. They came to see what acres and acres of sunflowers — an estimated 1 million plants — look like in full bloom. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Ted and Kris Grinter allow people to wander through the fields and take pictures, asking only for a $1 donation for every sunflower taken. This year's season is over now and harvesting has begun, so visitors are asked to stay away until next year. The Grinters harvest the sunflowers and sell the seeds as bird feed.
Morales Hits 3 homers as Royals Beat Detroit 10-3
DETROIT (AP) — Kendrys Morales homered three times and set a team record with 15 total bases as the Kansas City Royals routed the Detroit Tigers 10-3 on Sunday, avoiding a Tigers' sweep in the three-game series. Morales also hit a triple — only his second of the season — and Christian Colon had a career-high four hits for the AL Central-leading Royals. The Royals' Kris Medlen (5-1) allowed three unearned runs and five hits in five innings for Kansas City, which entered the day with an 11-game lead over second-place Minnesota in the ALC division. KC reliever Danny Duffy pitched four innings to earn his first career save. Detroit's Alfredo Simon (13-10) allowed eight runs and 13 hits in 4 1-3 innings.