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Headlines for Saturday, September 17, 2022



Kansas City Woman Pleads No Contest to 2 Child Sex Crimes in Douglas County

LAWRENCE, Kan. (LJW) - A woman pleaded no contest Thursday in Douglas County District Court to two child sex crimes as part of a plea deal in a case that originally involved dozens of charges. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 25-year-old April Caitlin Ticer, of Kansas City, Kansas, pleaded no contest to two felony counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child. She was charged in April with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor by promoting a sexually explicit performance of a child under the age of 14 and an additional 50 counts of exploitation of a minor — possession of media of a child under the age of 18, according to charging documents.

The charges came after Lawrence police were tipped off by the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children to more than 600 images of children under the age of 8 on a laptop registered to an IP address in Lawrence. The laptop had two registered users, Ticer and her co-defendant, 37-year-old Brandon Michael Torneden. Torneden was sentenced in May to 12 months in prison for each of two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, after he pleaded no contest to the charges.

Both Ticer and Torneden are required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Ticer is scheduled to be sentenced October 26.


KC Police Identify Woman Fatally Struck by Dump Truck at Zona Rosa

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Kansas City police have identified a woman killed after being struck by a dump truck at Zona Rosa this week. WDAF TV reports that police were called to the Northland shopping district Tuesday afternoon where the incident occured. Officials say the driver of the dump truck was turning left as 24-year-old Abigail Stiner was crossing the street when his truck hit her. The driver said he didn’t see the woman. Stiner was pronounced dead at the scene.


Explosive Device Found in Southeast Kansas Town

PARSONS, Kan. (KSNF) — A homemade bomb was found in Parsons Thursday afternoon, forcing authorities to block an area. KSNF TV in Joplin, Missouri, reports that around 2 pm, Parsons police received a call about a suspicious object. Officers arrived on the scene and found the device tested positive for explosive material. The Kansas Highway Patrol Hazardous Device Unit was called in to collect and dispose of the device. Parsons Fire and Labette County Emergency Medical Services were staged in the area just in case the device detonated. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an improvised explosive device is defined as a homemade bomb and/or destructive device to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Parsons Police Department at (620) 421-7060.


Emporia State University Sacks 33 Faculty, Staff

EMPORIA, Kan. (KNS/KPR) - Emporia State University has terminated 33 employees, including tenured faculty, as part of sweeping cuts approved this week by the Kansas Board of Regents. KSNT reports that about 100 ESU students participated in a sit-in at Plumb Hall Friday to protest the layoffs. University officials say they're eliminating some majors and cutting the workforce by about 7 percent to make up for declining enrollment and budget deficits. Most job cuts so far have been in the fine arts and humanities.


Felony Charges Filed Against Both People Accused of Vandalizing Lawrence Churches

LAWRENCE, Kan. (LJW) - Felony charges have now been filed in Douglas County District Court against both people who are accused of spray-painting Lawrence churches ahead of the August 2 election in Kansas. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the two two allegedly painted “Vote No” and other messages on two churches before the election in which Kansas voters were to decide on an abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution. A “no” vote was a vote against the amendment. Prosecutors say 30-year-old Austin Edward Schmidt, of Lawrence, and 27-year-old Miranda Jean Rocheleau, of Lawrence, are each charged with one count of felony criminal damage to property in connection with vandalism at Victory Bible Church. Rocheleau is facing an additional misdemeanor criminal damage charge in connection with damage to Calvary Temple Assembly of God church.

The charges relate to vandalism with spray paint. At the Victory Bible Church, two of the church’s brick walls and the church’s billboard sign were painted. In addition, multiple wooden crosses in the church’s yard were knocked over. The church had openly supported the amendment to remove the right to abortion from the Kansas Constitution and the church was using the billboard to encourage people to vote yes on the amendment.


Funeral held for Kansas City Chiefs QB Legend Len Dawson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Kansas City said goodbye to legendary Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson on Friday. Dawson leaves behind a legacy that includes two Super Bowls and Hall of Fame inductions as a player and broadcaster. WDAF TV reports that hundreds gathered to pay their respects at his funeral Friday morning at Country Club Christian Church. With the service open to the public, everyone from family and friends to longtime fans were able to attend.


Regents Considering Obstacles to Changing Athletic Conferences

TOPEKA, Kan. (LJW/KPR) - The Kansas Board of Regents is considering a proposal to require its schools to jump through a few more hoops if it wants to change athletic conferences.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Regents are considering a new policy that would require any Regents university to get approvals from the chair, vice-chair, and president/CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents before moving to a new conference.  The proposal comes amid major realignments in the Big 10 and the Pac-12 conferences.


Former KCK Policeman Indicted on Federal Sexual Abuse Charges

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KNS) - A former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective 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 at his home in Edwardsville 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, but Golubski has long been accused of sexually preying on Black women and was sued for framing Lamont McIntyre for double murder when his mother refused Golubski's advances.  The lawsuit was settled for $12.5 million. ( Read more.)


Kansas AG Defends Florida Governor's Relocation of Migrants

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is defending a move to fly dozens of migrants to an unexpecting town in Massachusetts.  Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said he paid for the migrants to be flown to Martha's Vineyard.  Schmidt defended the controversial move to highlight the need to address illegal immigration at the Mexican border.  DeSantis will be in Olathe this weekend for a campaign event with Schmidt, who is running for governor of Kansas.  


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.