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Headlines for Friday, September 16, 2022



Former KCK Police Detective Indicted for Sexual Assaults

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - A federal grand jury in Topeka has returned a six-count indictment, charging former Kansas City, Kansas Police detective Roger Golubski with federal civil rights crimes for sexually assaulting two victims. Federal prosecutors accuse Golubski of sexually assaulting the first victim on multiple occasions between 1998 and 2001. The remaining three counts of the indictment charge Golubski with sexually assaulting the second victim on multiple occasions between 1999 and 2002.  If convicted, Golubski faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The FBI Kansas City Field Office investigated the case in conjunction with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. ( Read more.)

(–AP version–)

Ex-Kansas Police Detective Charged with Preying on Women

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective who has long been accused of sexually preying on Black women has been indicted on federal charges accusing him of using his position to sexually abuse two women. Sixty-nine-year-old Roger Golubski was arrested Thursday morning at his home in Edwardsville, Kansas, on six counts of civil rights violations. He is accused of sexually assaulting two women between 1998 and 2002. The indictment doesn't state the women's race. Lamont McIntyre, who spent 23 years in prison for a double murder he didn't commit, sued Golubski and other officers this year. He and his mother alleged that Golubski framed McIntyre after his mother refused Golubski's sexual demands. The lawsuit was settled for $12.5 million.


Former Lawrence Police Officer Will Now Stand Trial in Rape Case

LAWRENCE, Kan. (LJW) - A former Lawrence police officer will stand trial for allegedly raping a woman in 2017 while he was on duty. A Douglas County judge has set a trial date of February 27, 2023 for Jonathan Mark Gardner, of Tonganoxie.  The former officer has been charged with raping a 19-year-old while giving her a ride home after she had been drinking in downtown Lawrence. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Gardner is also charged with official misconduct and multiple counts of tampering with law enforcement computers.


Man Indicted for Murder on Kansas Reservation

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) – A federal grand jury in Topeka has returned an indictment charging a man with one count of murder in the second degree. According to court documents, 34-year-old Stryder Dane Keo is accused of shooting and killing a member of the Kickapoo tribe on the Kickapoo Reservation in July.  Keo lives on the Kickapoo Reservation. The federal government has jurisdiction over the case because the crime occurred within Indian country. The FBI is investigating.


Kansas Signs Significant Wheat Deal with Taiwan

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) – Taiwan has agreed to purchase 66 million bushels of wheat from U.S. farmers over the next two years. Kansas officials announced the grain deal today (FRI), saying the exported wheat will be supplied significantly by Kansas wheat farmers. The export agreement is worth approximately $576 million. Governor Laura Kelly said the state's agriculture exports recently surpassed $5 billion for the first time in history.

While a significant portion of this shipment will come from Kansas farmers, the terms, quantities, prices and conditions for the purchase and sale of wheat will be negotiated privately between individual importers and suppliers. In 2021, Taiwan was the fifth largest export market for Kansas agricultural commodities, which amounts to $224 million worth of Kansas agricultural goods including beef, oilseeds, cereal grains and wheat flour. 


Flames Catch 3 Homes on Fire in Kansas City Early Thursday Morning

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A fire spread to three homes early Thursday morning in Kansas City, but everyone made it out safely.  Crews responded shortly after 6 am to a house fire near 28th Street and Van Brunt Avenue. The house was engulfed in heavy flames, and firefighters worked to clear the home and the surrounding area. KCTV reports that the flames spread to structures on either side of the house, catching them on fire as well. Those homes sustained damage, but the house where the fire originated was destroyed. Investigators remained on-scene after getting the fire under control in order to figure out how it started. No cause has yet been determined. It’s not yet clear how many people were displaced.


Man Who Killed Eudora 10-Year-Old in Hit-and-Run Accepts Plea Deal

LAWRENCE, Kan. (LJW) - A man who killed a Eudora child in a hit-and-run accident in May has accepted a plea deal for involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Jose Alfredo Galiano Meza, of Overland Park, entered the plea deal Thursday in Douglas County. He's accused of hitting 10-year-old Brooklyn Brouhard with his van and fleeing the scene. The girl was a passenger on a motorcycle driven by her grandfather, who was also injured. The girl died the next day from injuries suffered in the crash.  The 29-year-old Meza, who is in the country illegally, was originally charged with second-degree murder and leaving the scene of an accident. Sentencing has been set for November 8.


Four Kansas City Gang Members Convicted of Drug Conspiracy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSHB) — Four members of Kansas City street gang 246 have been convicted in federal court on several drug-trafficking charges. On Thursday, a jury found 35-year-old Ladele Smith, 33-year-old David Duncan IV, 31-year-old Roy Franklin, Jr. and 42-year-old Gary Toombs guilty of conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana from January 2011 to October 2019. KSHB TV reports that Smith, Duncan and Franklin were convicted on multiple firearm charges, including one involving a drive-by shooting. Toombs was convicted of firearm charges as well.  Smith and Duncan are local rap artists who broadcast their music on social media platforms with references to 246: a group made up of residents from 24th, 43rd and 68th streets. The rappers are known for flaunting firearms and cash, along with expensive 246 watches and apparel, to their audience. According to federal law, each of the four defendants must serve a minimum of 10 years in federal prison without parole, with a maximum sentence of life without parole. Eleven others have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in this case.


Kansas Senators Split on Proposed Federal Abortion Bill

UNDATED (KNS) - The two Republican U.S. senators from Kansas, Jerry Moran and Dr. Roger Marshall, are split on whether to support a bill that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks (3.75 months) of pregnancy. Their differing stances come just over a month after Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have removed the right to an abortion from the state constitution. Senator Marshall says he supports the proposed bill. He says most Kansans support a 15-week ban. The state currently has a 22-week ban. Meanwhile, Senator Moran says a new federal ban is unlikely because  abortion is now a state-level political issue. Both senators have historically supported anti-abortion measures. Moran is up for reelection this fall, while Marshall won’t be tested again at the ballot box until 2026.


Kansas Governor Objects to Tighter Restrictions on Use of Atrazine

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly wants the federal government to back off of proposed tighter restrictions for atrazine, a common herbicide. Kelly cites studies that show atrazine is safe. But scientists say the chemical’s maker, Syngenta, has muddied the facts with studies it paid for. Jason Rohr is chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. "They have been clearly manufacturing uncertainty and bending the science," he said.  Atrazine is the second most common herbicide used by U.S. farmers. And Kansas is one of the states with the highest use.  Evidence suggests the herbicide is harmful to frogs and fish. Atrazine is banned in Europe.


Swatting Incidents Reported at Multiple Kansas, Missouri High Schools

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — The FBI is investigating after swatting calls about an active shooter forced high schools in Kansas and Missouri into precautionary lockdowns Thursday. Swatting is when someone makes a prank call in an effort to get police and emergency responders to respond to a fake emergency.  WDAF TV reports that police learned about a swatting call that mentioned North Kansas City High School Thursday morning. The high school was locked down while officers searched the school. No threats were found and the lockdown was lifted.  Other schools received similar swatting calls Thursday, including Turner High School in Kansas City, Kansas,  Hayden Catholic High School in Topeka and Wichita North High School. But in all cases, no threats were found. The FBI wouldn’t say how many schools across the two states were affected by swatting calls Thursday, but did acknowledge the bureau is involved in the investigation.


Kansas School District Pulls Messaging App After Data Breach

ANDOVER, Kan. (KWCH) - Officials at Andover Public Schools say they have pulled the popular messaging app Seesaw after the app was hacked. According to the Seesaw website, the app is used by 10 million teachers, students and family members, but the company declined to say how many users were affected by the hack. KWCH TV reports that school officials sent a letter to parents that said some parents across the country had received explicit pictures through the messenger service. The school district said it pulled Seesaw from all student and staff accounts as it works with the company to resolve the issue.


Joint KU, Wichita State Medical Complex Slated for Downtown Wichita Wins Initial Approval

LAWRENCE, Kan. (LJW) - A plan by the University of Kansas and Wichita State University to create a new medical school complex in downtown Wichita has won its first round of approval from the Kansas Board of Regents. The Regents unanimously approved a program statement for the new $302 million facility. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the KU’s portion of the project is expected to cost about $146 million, while Wichita State’s portion would total $156 million. KU Chancellor Douglas Girod says the project will serve as a replacement for the KU Medical School campus in Wichita.


KU Aerospace Engineering Students Earn Award in International Design Competition

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - A team of aerospace engineering students at the University of Kansas took second place in a prestigious international competition, continuing KU’s long history of success at the event. The students won recognition from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for their design of an unmanned hypersonic spy plane, which they named the “Hyperhawk” system. Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, professor of aerospace engineering, said the award is the 41st that KU students have received in the competition over the last decade. The KU team was led by graduate student Nathan Wolf, of Olathe. Other members of the team include KU students Isaac Beech, of Lenexa; Justin Clough, of Leawood; Garin McKenna, of Overland Park; Gerell Miller, of Goodland; Zach Rhodes, of Lawrence; and Jack Schneider, of Kansas City, Missouri. ( Read more.)


Kansas Highway Patrol Launches "Operation Clear Track" to Improve Rail Safety

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - According to federal statistics, a person or a vehicle is hit by a train every three hours in the United States. With that grim statistic in mind, the Kansas Highway Patrol will join Amtrak Police and others for "Operation Clear Track" on Tuesday. The goal of “Operation Clear Track” is to reduce pedestrian and driver injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks. During National Rail Safety Week, which runs from September 19-25, law enforcement officials will be stationed at targeted railroad grade crossings, handing out railroad safety cards to motorists and pedestrians and issuing warnings and citations to violators. More than 2,000 people are injured or killed every year in crossing and trespassing incidents in North America. More than 50% of those collisions occur at crossings equipped with lights and/or gates.


Kansas Lawmakers: New Audit Shows Questionable Spending of COVID-19 Relief Money

TOPEKA, Kan. (TCJ) - Hundreds of thousands of dollars of COVID-19 relief funds spent by state and local governments may have violated federal rules or was ill-advised. That's according to a report released Wednesday by the Legislature's nonpartisan auditing office. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the audit comes as state officials are still grappling with how to spend millions more in federal pandemic relief.  Of the $18 million in expenditures by county governments, nonprofits and businesses reviewed by the Division of Legislative Post Audit, officials flagged $1.1 million in spending as ill-advised, with an additional $264,000 considered wasteful or excessive. And while 85% of funding was considered to be allowable under federal guidelines, it was unclear whether $2.7 million in spending was acceptable. Another $48,000 was deemed to likely not be allowed.

Potentially problematic expenditures included a recipient of a small business grant who conducted a festival. Still other aid recipients purchased electronic signs, sports equipment and office supplies. In Bourbon County, officials gave a vendor $450,000 to start a grocery store in a part of Fort Scott considered to be a food desert. Despite concerns, the project was approved anyway but the store closed after a few months.

Kansas received roughly $34 billion in aid from the federal government over the five federal relief bills, though the majority of these funds were earmarked for specific uses. About $2.6 billion was considered discretionary, meaning the state had some flexibility in choosing where the money was spent.

Heidi Zimmerman, the auditor who handled the report, said part of the explanation for some of the questionable spending came from rules handed down by the federal government. Counties routinely complained during the process of a rushed timeframe for identifying needs and spending the funds, as well as confusing guidelines from Washington, D.C. Moreover, Zimmerman said, the funds had to be spent quickly or counties would lose them to the state.  "Often in these cases, recipients may decide to spend money on something that is less defensible, rather than lose the money," Zimmerman said. "And this can result in wasteful and unnecessary spending." ( Read more.)


Emporia State Will Cut Dozens of Faculty and Staff Positions in University Restructure

EMPORIA, Kan. (TCJ) - In what university officials acknowledge will be deeply unpopular cuts, Emporia State University (ESU) will begin a process of sweeping changes to the university’s program offerings after receiving the all-clear from the Kansas Board of Regents. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports(link is external) that the Regents unanimously approved a proposal Wednesday that will allow ESU to suspend its regular program review process and discontinue some majors, and lay off otherwise protected, tenured faculty.  While Emporia State has not yet identified which programs or faculty positions may be cut, the university plans to notify students and faculty in affected programs in the coming days. ESU President Ken Hush said the moves will affect only about 2% of students, who will all be given the opportunity to complete their programs of study at ESU. Hush said about 7% of the university’s approximately 800 faculty and staff positions will be eliminated, although any affected employees will be able to finish out the 2022-23 school year and receive three months of severance pay in May.


Southeast Kansas Town Declares Water Emergency, Bans Outdoor Water Use

CANEY, Kan. (KAKE) - A small southeast Kansas town has issued a "water emergency" and warned that residents could face disconnections or citations if they use water for outdoor purposes. KAKE TV reports that the city of Caney, in Montgomery County, has implemented a mandatory water conservation effort. The temporary ban on outdoor water use means water cannot be used for any outdoor purpose, including the watering of lawns, golf courses or washing vehicles. Violators could have their water service disconnected or receive citations.


KCK Police Investigate Shooting of Three Teenagers

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department is investigating after three teenagers were shot Wednesday afternoon. According to WDAF TV, the incident was reported at North 61st Street and Farrow Avenue, just north of Leavenworth Road. The three shooting victims have been identified as students at Washington High School. Police say all the injuries are non-life threatening. This latest shooting in KCK comes on the heels of another shooting Tuesday afternoon in which two teens were seriously injured. No suspects have been arrested.


Corrections Officer Arrested for Trafficking Contraband, Having Relationship with Inmate

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A corrections officer in Shawnee County has been arrested and jailed. WIBW reports it was discovered that the officer entered into an unlawful sexual relationship with one of her inmates. The Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Office said 23-year-old Saterah R. Hampton, of Topeka, was arrested by its Criminal Investigations Division. Hampton, a local corrections officer, was booked into the Shawnee County Department of Corrections for unlawful sexual relations with an adult male inmate and trafficking contraband into a correctional facility. The case remains under investigation.


USDA: Number of Honeybee Colonies Decrease Nationwide but Remains Stable in Kansas

TOPEKA (KPR) – A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has some farmers worried. According to their  recent findings, honeybee colonies nationwide dropped by 1% compared to the same time period last year. The report indicates the number of honeybee colonies in Kansas remained nearly flat year-over-year. Honeybees help pollinate crops in all 50 states.  According to the National Honey Board, about one-third of the human diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants, and honeybees are responsible for 80% of this pollination.


Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Hosts Short Film Festival

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) – Film enthusiasts in Topeka will join more than 100,000 people around the world during the week of September 22 through October 2 when the 25th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival screens at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. People may attend one of the following three screenings in Marvin Auditorium:

  • Friday, September 30, 2-5 pm
  • Friday, September 30, 6-9 pm
  • Sunday, October 2, 1-4 pm

Audience members will vote on the best film and best actor along with participants at each of the more than 500 festival venues. By virtue of their selection by Manhattan Short, each short film is automatically Oscar-qualified. The Manhattan Short finalists hail from eight countries with films from Scotland, the Czech Republic & Slovakia, Spain, Australia, Finland and Lebanon, alongside two films each from France and the United States. These films represent the best short films from among 870 submissions from 70 countries. The library will send Manhattan Short audience votes to Manhattan Short headquarters in New York and the winners will be announced at ManhattanShort.com on Monday, October 3.


Kansas Proposal Would Create Drop Boxes for Unwanted Babies

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - A renewed push is underway in Kansas to change state law to allow drop boxes for unwanted babies.  They are simply called baby boxes. Proponents describe them as high tech drop boxes people might see their local library. They are temperature controlled and have alarms that immediately let emergency services know someone just dropped off a child. Kansas state law currently allows people to drop off their infants at fire stations or hospitals. But they have to hand the baby to someone. Lawmakers are interested in changing state law to allow babies to be dropped off in these baby boxes. Angie Malik is one of those pushing for the change. “Communities need safe haven baby boxes because it provides the opportunity to proactively save the lives of children," she said.  A bill was introduced last session to allow for creation of these drop boxes, but it died in committee. The proposal could resurface in the next session.


EPA Conducting Free Lead Testing at Superfund Site in Southeast Kansas

LENEXA, Kan. (KPR) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it will offer free residential lead testing as part of a new assessment of a Cherokee County Superfund Site in southeast Kansas. Residents located within the area may sign up to have residential yards, private drinking water wells, agricultural land, and other areas (such as parks, playgrounds, streams, and mine wastes) tested for heavy metals associated with historic mining, such as lead, zinc and cadmium. Lead is the primary concern. The site in Cherokee County covers approximately 115 square miles and includes the Kansas portion of the former Tri-State Mining District (TSMD), a 2,500-square-mile area in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. At one time, the TSMD was one of the world’s largest producers of lead and zinc. ( Read more.)

To obtain no-cost lead testing, residents must fill out a permission form by contacting the EPA at (800) 223-0425 or by emailing the EPA at R7-TSMD@epa.gov.


KC Chiefs Rally Past Chargers 27-24 in Early AFC West Showdown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes, rookie Jaylen Watson returned an interception 99 yards for the go-ahead fourth-quarter score, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24. The Chiefs improved to 2-0 and lead the AFC West. This showdown featured two of the league's best teams led by two of the game's bright young quarterbacks. But it was an unheralded seventh-round draft pick who stole the show. The Chiefs' Jaylen Watson picked off Justin Herbert at the goal line early in the fourth quarter Thursday night, headed the other way and was never touched on a 99-yard go-ahead touchdown. Until a few years ago, Watson worked alongside his mother at a Wendy's restaurant.

The game was the first in the $13 billion, 11-year deal between the NFL and Amazon Prime to exclusively stream Thursday night games. The Chargers return home to face Jacksonville on September 25. The Chiefs visit Indianapolis the same day.


K-State on the Rise with Old-School Defensive-Minded Philosophy

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The hallmark of the early Bill Snyder teams at Kansas State University was a dominating defense. Turns out that’s becoming the hallmark of the early teams under Chris Klieman, too. The Wildcats opened the season with one of the handful of shutouts across Division I, a 34-0 victory over South Dakota that was even more lopsided than the final score. And they followed up with a 42-12 blowout of former Big 12 rival Missouri in which the only TD allowed came on an untimed down to finish the game. Next up is Tulane before a showdown at No. 6 Oklahoma in two weeks.


These area headlines are curated by KPR news staffers, including J. Schafer, Laura Lorson, Kaye McIntyre, and Tom Parkinson. Our headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays, 11 am weekends. This news summary is made possible by KPR listener-members.  Become one today. And follow  KPR News on Twitter.