State and Region

Scam alert: Don’t pay the impostor Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will never ask you for money to deal with legal issues or to avoid being arrested. That’s a message that Jenn Hethcoat, a department spokeswoman, wants to ensure Lawrence and Douglas County residents know. In a phone scam that has made the rounds in ...

Ex-Kansas Gov. Colyer seeks primary challenger for Rep. Watkins

Story updated at 5:14 p.m. Tuesday TOPEKA — Former Kansas Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer on Tuesday urged the state treasurer to drop his Senate bid and instead challenge freshman Rep. Steve Watkins in the GOP primary, arguing the move would help “nominate a candidate that can ...

$1.45 million settlement reached in taping of Kansas inmate calls

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Inmates who alleged their calls with attorneys were illegally recorded at the Leavenworth Detention Center in Kansas have reached a proposed settlement with the prison operator and the provider of the phone and video system. The settlement, which needs court approval to ...

Former Kansas Gov. Colyer not running for U.S. Senate seat

TOPEKA — Former Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer is not running for the U.S. Senate next year. The ex-Republican governor made the announcement Monday. He said he is doing "interesting things" in the private sector and medicine. Colyer is a reconstructive plastic surgeon and a recently named fellow ...

Kansas Rep. Watkins faces calls for tougher gun laws at town hall

TOPEKA — Republican Rep. Steve Watkins got heat Monday from frustrated eastern Kansas constituents who pressed the freshman congressman to publicly endorse tougher gun laws following recent mass shootings. Several people left a Watkins town hall meeting in Topeka unhappy that he didn't ...

Federal tariffs, severe weather leading to ‘tough year’ for Kansas farmers

The farming season troubles for Jimmy Neis began in the early spring. The soil on his farm, Neis Brothers Farms just south of Eudora, was so wet that he had to slightly delay planting his corn until mid-April, he said. Then severe storms came in May. “It rained for several weeks and it ...

KBI: State’s fingerprint database is in danger of crashing

Topeka — A database of finger and palm prints used by law enforcement and child welfare workers is in danger of failing and needs to be replaced, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation official told lawmakers. The system contains more than 2 million finger and palm prints and if it stops working ...

Kansas prisons chief abolishes list of 7,000 banned books

Topeka — The new Kansas corrections chief has abolished a list of 7,000 books banned from state prisons and adopted a policy that allows for the review and appeal of confiscated publications. Jeff Zmuda became the acting secretary of the state Department of Corrections last month. His ...

Judge rules immigration law unconstitutional in case involving Lawrence company

Story updated at 2:32 p.m. Thursday KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A federal judge in Kansas has ruled that a law making it a crime to "encourage" or "induce" immigrants to enter or live in the country illegally is unconstitutional. KCUR-FM reports that U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia issued his ...

Court: Attorney can’t claim immunity in Floyd Bledsoe case

Story updated at 2:33 p.m. Thursday TOPEKA — A federal appeals court has ruled that a former Kansas county prosecutor does not have absolute immunity in lawsuits filed by a man who spent nearly 16 years in prison for a murder his brother later confessed to committing in a suicide note. The ...

Company sees retaliation in Kansas ending literacy grant

TOPEKA — The president of the company that formerly ran a literacy program for Kansas’ public elementary schools alleged Monday that the state canceled the multimillion-dollar grant in “retaliation” for the firm’s opposition to major changes state officials were seeking. The Kansas ...

Survey finds 1,040 Kansans ignored school bus stop signs in 1 day

TOPEKA — Kansas education officials are expressing concern that many motorists are ignoring a state law that requires them to stop when approaching a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children. A recent survey found 1,040 motorists illegally passed school buses in Kansas during ...

Kansas cancels grant for early literacy program in schools

Story updated at 4:35 p.m. Friday TOPEKA — Kansas has canceled a grant for an early literacy program for public school children after a previously unreleased audit found that the company administering the course received millions of dollars it wasn't entitled to during former Republican Gov. ...

Friday morning earthquake near Hutchinson measured magnitude 4.2

HUTCHINSON — A series of earthquakes shook parts of Kansas on Friday morning near Hutchinson, knocking down ceiling tiles and breaking some windows. The largest earthquake measured 4.2 and struck around 8 a.m., with an epicenter about 3 miles from Hutchinson. The U.S. Geological Survey ...

Republicans still waiting on Pompeo in Kansas Senate race

TOPEKA — Even though U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared a Senate run to be "off the table" next year, many fellow Republicans in Washington and his home state of Kansas aren't buying it. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is among the GOP senators encouraging the former ...

Armed man arrested at Missouri Walmart says he was ‘foolish’ but has no regrets

Springfield, Mo. — A man who walked into a Missouri Walmart wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons acknowledges the timing was bad but said he didn’t intend to hurt anyone and doesn’t regret his actions. Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, is charged with making a terrorist threat after ...

Mother of man killed at Lawrence motel found dead; estranged husband said he killed her before shootout near Legends

A missing woman was found dead in Arkansas hours after police fatally shot her estranged, rifle-toting husband near a popular shopping area in Kansas City, Kansas, authorities said Wednesday. The body of 49-year-old Sylvia Ussery-Pearson was found Tuesday night in northwestern Arkansas' Benton ...

Ruling holds U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas in contempt

Story updated at 11:52 a.m. Thursday WICHITA — Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas City, Kansas, improperly listened to recorded communications between inmates and their defense attorneys and willfully violated court orders during an independent investigation of the systemic ...

KCK police fatally shoot rifle-toting man near Legends shopping area

Story updated at 3:59 p.m. Tuesday KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Kansas City, Kansas, police shot and killed a man on Tuesday who told a hotel manager that he had killed his wife and was heading to a popular shopping and restaurant area. The "very angry and distraught" man entered the Country Inn ...