Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2003

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December 13, 2003

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TOPEKA

Kerry, Lieberman file for state caucuses

Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut have filed as candidates in the state's Democratic presidential caucuses.

Both of their campaigns paid a $1,000 fee to the party -- Kerry's on Wednesday and Lieberman's last month.

Democrats plan to begin holding caucuses in each of 40 state Senate districts on March 13, with a final, state convention set for April 24. Kansas has 41 delegates to party's national convention.

Kansas generally is considered a safe Republican state. The last Democrat to carry it in a presidential election was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.

Kansas inmate dies out of state

An inmate from Kansas has died in custody in South Dakota while being housed as part of an interstate agreement, the state Department of Corrections said Thursday.

Jose Cordoba, 43, died Thursday at a Sioux Falls hospital, where he had been since Dec. 6, the department said in a release.

Cordoba was sentenced in August 1985 in Sedgwick County, Kan., to life in prison for first-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree rape and first-degree robbery, according to Michael Winder, a Department of Corrections spokesman.

Prison records indicate Cordoba was born in Georgia and that he was moved to the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls in January of 2000 on his request.

An autopsy will be done to determine why he died.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

Union Station, museum hit attendance goal

With almost a month to spare, the nonprofit organization that runs Union Station and the Kansas City Museum exceeded its 2003 attendance goal for the two attractions.

The nonprofit Union Station organization set a combined goal of 433,000 visitors at the two facilities, and as of Dec. 7, 433,044 people had passed through their doors. That's a 6 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

The group started setting combined annual attendance goals for both facilities after the two merged in 2000. Spokeswoman Sarah Bliss said much of this year's increase could be attributed to Union Station, which had an 8 percent increase over a year ago.

Union Station's Science City museum saw a 26 percent increase in attendance.

Officials also attribute the attendance boost at Union Station to traveling exhibits and events.

TOPEKA

Fourth body found in house-fire wreckage

Authorities have found a fourth body in the wreckage of a home that burned earlier this week southeast of Topeka.

Martha Lutz, spokeswoman for the Shawnee County Sheriff's Department, said the cause of the fire Wednesday had not been determined. Missing after the fire were: 41-year-old Traci Grady and three of her children, McKenzie, 7; Christopher, 4, and Clayton, 2.

Authorities presumed the bodies, all discovered Thursday, belonged to the missing family members.

Lacey Grady, 19, escaped the fire by jumping from a second-floor window, carrying her two-month-old son to safety.

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