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ACLU slams state’s ‘low’ felony diversion rates, including in Douglas County

If Douglas County granted diversions for accused felons at the national average rate, it could save $155,000 a year in incarceration costs, according to a newly released American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas report. The report, released Wednesday, concludes that Kansas county prosecutors on average use diversion at an “abysmally low” rate of 5 percent of felony cases. Douglas County’s felony diversion rate is 5.6 percent, according to the report, while the national average — which the ACLU uses as a benchmark — is 9 percent. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson called that a “sweeping claim” that ignores the particulars of the issue. “This is a political piece written in an intentionally misleading fashion to cast an inaccurate picture of prosecution in Kansas,” Branson said.

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KU pays $395,000 to settle Title IX lawsuits by women who alleged sexual assaults by football player

The University of Kansas is paying $395,000 for two former female rowers to drop their Title IX lawsuits against the school, settlement agreements reveal. The out-of-court agreements ending the highly publicized lawsuits were provided to the Journal-World Friday, in response to the newspaper’s recent Kansas Open Records Act request to the university. The women sued KU after they said they had been sexually assaulted by a football player.

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Court OKs novel tactic to resolve ex-Lawrence police officer's excessive-force case without trial

Officials think this is first time county has used third-party mediation in a criminal case

For what’s thought to be the first time, Douglas County District Court is trying mediation to work out a criminal case without going to trial. It happens that the defendant in this criminal case is an ex-Lawrence police officer accused of using excessive force against a man who was arrested.

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Kansas stands out for lack of diversity in its judicial branch

Women and minorities make up only a small fraction of all the judges on state courts in the United States, but Kansas stands out as having one of the whitest and most male-dominated state court systems in the country.

Lawrence attorney suspended for 3 years over allegations of mishandling retirement account

Brandy Sutton, of the Pendleton and Sutton law firm, has been suspended from practice for three years following a complaint that she mishandled an employee retirement account.

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KU: Request for records related to Title IX lawsuits’ resolution in ‘legal review’

The University of Kansas is not immediately producing records shedding light on any agreements that led to the dismissal of two highly publicized Title IX lawsuits against KU.

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Defendant in 2014 Cedarwood Apartments slaying is fit to stand trial, judge rules

Rontarus Washington is mentally fit to stand trial for the 2014 murder of a young woman at Lawrence’s Cedarwood Apartments, a judge ruled this week.

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Attorney: Alleged Haskell rape victim settles with federal government in civil lawsuit

The U.S. government has paid to settle a lawsuit by a former Haskell Indian Nations University student who said she was raped by two fellow students in a dorm in 2014, her attorney says.

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Judge demands documents in 30-year-old Randy Leach case, will review before ruling whether to release

Before ruling on whether to release publicly some 2,000 pages of documents from the case of a boy who disappeared in 1988, a judge plans to review them himself.

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Psychologists fill in picture of man accused of violently stabbing young Lawrence woman to death

Rontarus Washington had disturbing behavioral problems that began during his childhood in Greenville, Miss. Washington acknowledged that those problems included fire-setting, cruelty to animals, fighting with weapons, truancy and drug use, according to two psychologists who evaluated him this year. They said Washington also struggled and was bullied in school, and told them he acted as a class clown in an attempt to deflect attention from his learning disabilities.

A car chase trial, the city's homeless population, Tiller donations and football

The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a flash flood watch for Northeast Kansas from 1 p.m. Tuesday until 7 a.m. Wednesday. A slow-moving front and plenty of humidity will lead to high storm chances, mainly during the afternoon ...

Parkinson takes over as Kathleen Sebelius heads to Washington

A strong surge of moisture will provide the fuel for thunderstorms to quickly develop and overspread the area. Some of these storms could dump torrential rainfall. With saturated soils, water will quickly run off into area watersheds. Flash Flood Watches ...

Guilty pleas entered in Burger King robbery

Sunny and comfortable weather in the forecast today with a high of 67 degrees. Winds will be out of the NW around 10 mph. Partly cloudy skies overnight and cool, with lows dipping into the mid 40s. Even warmer weather ...

West side of town has more voters going to the polls

A strong east wind and scattered showers will dominate the day. The chance of showers picks up toward the evening. Look for a high of 59 degrees with a gusty east wind between 15 and 30 mph. The wind and ...

Topeka woman leads cops on county chase

Today's forecast: Cold, topping out at around 37 degrees with a chance of snow. Topping our news today: A Topeka woman hits and injures a Lawrence police officer during a high-speed chase; a jury convicts a Lawrence man of stabbing ...

City's water, sewer intake a concern

Today's forecast: Strong winds and much colder temperatures will dominate the day. Expect a high of only 41 degrees with a north wind between 15-25 mph and gusts near 30. That strong wind will keep the wind chill into the ...

Animal health campaign targets pudgy pooches, tubby tabbies

Dense fog will burn off as we head into mid-morning leaving us with a mostly sunny sky for the afternoon. Look for a daytime high of 89 degrees with the wind picking up out of the south between 5-10 mph ...

District Attorney Charles Branson files for third term

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces he will seek a third term in office.

Landowner Files Lawsuit over Trees Cut from Property Without Permission

Douglas County landowner Mike Capra talks about the events leading up to a lawsuit he has filed against a neighbor he believes cleared over 60 trees from his property to sell for firewood.

Drug offenders in Lyon County get a second chance with courts drug program.

Drug offenders in Lyon County get a second chance with the help of a strict program that helps some offenders get a straight and a new life.

Try Your Luck in Small Claims Court

Lawrence Journal-World reporter Chad Lawhorn gives us a look at what one could expect when trying your luck in small claims court.

New Douglas County Judge Kay Huff talks to LJWorld.com

New Douglas County Judge Kay Huff talks with Journal-World reporter George Diepenbrock.

Lawrence man bound over for trial after prelim hearing

A Lawrence man accused of a hit and ran accident involving a pack of bicyclists is bound over for trial. Scott Young's preliminary hearing was held Wednesday afternoon. Several witnesses took the stand, including the victim, as 6News reporter Theresa Freed explains.


Much warmer weather is on the way

Judge Jean Shepherd: Each of these cases is about someone's life

Retiring Douglas County family court Judge Jean Shepherd talks about the cases she's heard and the children she's met over her career, and gives her advice for anyone taking her place.

Web Weather Oct 16-17

Spectacular Weather For The Weekend

Suspects charged in shooting incident

Four Topeka residents were charged in court Wednesday for their involvement in a Monday morning shooting. The four people involved planned the robbery before committing the crime.