Kansas and regional news

Fate of man who jumped from jail window still unknown
July 4, 2014
State and federal officials this week were unable to say whatever happened to Alberto Contreras Gonzalez, who left Kansas University Hospital holding a nearly $140,000 medical bill. His case was the subject of a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling. By Peter Hancock
More Kansas and regional news
KU student to stand trial in piano-handcuff sexual battery case
05:39 p.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 08:06 p.m.
A 22-year-old Kansas University senior was bound over for trial Friday on charges of aggravated sexual battery and criminal restraint.
Appeals court upholds Lawrence man’s sentence for drug possession
02:29 p.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 08:10 p.m.
Eric Waggoner was convicted of drug possession in 2013 and was sentenced to nearly three years in prison, plus another year of post-release supervision, based partly on a prior conviction as a juvenile in 1993. The Kansas Court of Appeals on Friday upheld that sentence. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Supreme Court clarifies standard in overturning DUI conviction
01:54 p.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 08:16 p.m.
In a 6-1 ruling, the Supreme Court said one of the three standardized field sobriety tests is too unreliable to give an officer probable cause to believe a driver is intoxicated. The court overturned the conviction of a Wichita man and remanded his case back to the district court. By Peter Hancock
Kansas tax collections $47M short of expectations in January
09:55 a.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 10:06 p.m.
The size of the state’s budget hole got bigger Friday when the Kansas Department of Revenue reported that January revenues came in $47.2 million short of projections. By Peter Hancock
Wichita residents will vote on marijuana proposal in April
January 30, 2015
Wichita officials say they are expecting a fight with the state if Wichita residents approve an ordinance that would lower penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Topeka police seek man suspected of lighting child’s hair on fire
January 30, 2015
Topeka police are searching for a man suspected of lighting a 6-year-old girl’s hair on fire while she was outside in her backyard.
Kansas Republicans hold Kansas Days convention
09:52 a.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 08:09 p.m.
Kansas Republicans are gathering for their biggest convention of the year.
Kansas, Missouri reps to discuss bi-state gun legislation
January 30, 2015
State representatives and other officials from Kansas and Missouri are announcing legislation aimed at reducing gun and domestic violence in both states.
Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL oil pipeline
03:58 p.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying a presidential veto threat and setting up the first of many battles with the White House over energy and the environment.
Man charged with sexual battery in connection with Kansas University dorm room incident
02:24 p.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:32 p.m.
A 20-year-old Kansas City man and former Kansas University student was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor sexual battery in connection with an April incident in a KU residence hall.
Kansas House panel eases off plan to delay school aid funds
10:33 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:40 p.m.
Public schools would have to wait before getting some of the increased aid they were promised last year, and some of that increased aid could actually be cut under bills being considered in the Kansas Legislature. In fact, the Lawrence school district stands to lose $1.3 million this year under one bill being considered in the Senate. If that were carried forward into future years, it would effectively negate the property tax increase that voters in the district approved this week in a mail ballot election. By Peter Hancock
Kansas governor to announce nominee for state appeals court
09:17 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:37 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback is preparing to announce his nominee for an open seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals.
US Senate rejects amendment on lesser prairie chicken
09:15 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
The U.S. Senate has rejected an amendment by Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas that would have removed the lesser prairie chicken from the federal government’s threatened species act.
Ex-fire chief in Kansas township sentenced for stealing
January 29, 2015
A former fire chief of a township near Leavenworth has been sentenced to a year of probation for felony theft.
Kansas police officers may be required to wear body cameras
09:10 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 09:56 a.m.
Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that may require police officers to wear body cameras, but opponents of the proposal argue that the costs may outweigh the benefits.
Douglas County man appealing status as violent sexual predator
January 28, 2015
A Douglas County man who has been judged as a violent sexual predator will ask the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday to overturn that conviction. By Peter Hancock
Kobach pushing bills to limit ballot withdrawals and to allow straight-party voting
05:40 p.m., January 28, 2015 Updated 11:00 p.m.
Last year’s controversy over Democrat Chad Taylor withdrawing from the U.S. Senate race is prompting Secretary of State Kris Kobach to push for changes in the state’s election laws. He also is pushing for legislation to allow voters to cast straight-party ballots. By Peter Hancock
New two-lane Wakarusa roundabout may be a little confusing at first, but it’s safer, city official says
08:26 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
The Wakarusa roundabout intersecting Inverness and Legends drives has been twisting traffic in the three weeks since its completion. City Engineer David Cronin said that’s the reason roundabouts are preferable to traffic lights or four-way stops: safety. The roundabout’s design keeps speeds low and reduces the number of “conflict points,” or opportunities for collision, thus reducing the likelihood of an injury accident, Cronin said. By Caitlin Doornbos
Senate bill would repeal Common Core standards
04:38 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:31 p.m.
A Senate bill would repeal many of the new academic standards adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education and would make future standards merely advisory for local school districts. By Peter Hancock