Bid to arm teachers stalls
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — When a gunman killed 26 children and staff at a Connecticut grade school, Missouri state Rep. Mike Kelley quickly proposed legislation that would allow trained teachers to carry hidden guns into the classroom as a “line of defense” against attackers.
Similar bills soon proliferated in Republican-led states as the National Rifle Association called for armed officers in every American school.
Yet less than four months ...
Senate passes abortion bill
TOPEKA (AP) — A sweeping anti-abortion bill that blocks tax breaks for providers and outlaws abortions solely because of the baby’s sex cleared the Kansas Senate on Friday, setting up a House vote that could send the measure to Gov. Sam Brownback.
Senators voted 28-10 for a compromise version of the bill reconciling differences between the two chambers. The House was expected to take up the bill later in the day, and if passed, supporters expe...
Measure to allow alcohol to be served at Statehouse functions
TOPEKA (AP) — Senators approved a bill Friday that would make changes to Kansas liquor laws, including granting authority to legislative leaders to allow alcohol at approved Statehouse functions.
The measure — a collection of several liquor bills — grants the Legislative Coordinating Council the authority to allow liquor to be served in the building. The intent is to allow drinks to be served during an event to mark completion of more than 10...
Judge makes morning-after pill available to all
WASHINGTON (AP) — The morning-after pill might become as easy to buy as aspirin.
In a scathing rebuke accusing the Obama administration of letting election-year politics trump science, a federal judge ruled Friday that there should be no age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception without a doctor’s prescription.
Today, buyers must prove at the pharmacy that they’re 17 or older; everyone else must see a doctor first. U.S. District ...
Kansas gun measures make slow progress
TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas legislators are making slow progress on two gun measures that are expected to win approval from solid gun-rights majorities in the House and Senate.
Votes on the bills had been expected Thursday, but members spent much of the day drafting and reviewing final versions. House and Senate leaders now expect final action today.
One bill declares that the federal government has no power to regulate guns, ammunition and accessori...
Three face charges for synthetic pot
TOPEKA (AP) — Three Kansas men made millions of dollars concocting and selling synthetic marijuana at businesses in Lawrence and Oskaloosa and around the world, federal prosecutors have said.
Bradley Miller, 55, of Wichita; his brother, Clark Sloan, 54, of Tonganoxie; and Sloan’s son, Jonathan Sloan, 32, of Lawrence, are charged with conspiracy, distribution of misbranded drugs and mail fraud in the indictment filed Wednesday afternoon, The Ka...
Man pleads to reduced charge in player’s death
MCPHERSON (AP) — A former McPherson College football player who was charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of a player from a rival college pleaded no-contest Tuesday to a reduced charge and will testify against a teammate whose trial is scheduled to begin next week.
DeQuinte Flournoy, 20, entered his plea Tuesday to a charge of felony aggravated battery alleging he aided and abetted co-defendant Alton Franklin in beating Tabor...
Kerry heads back to Mideast
WASHINGTON (AP) — Evoking the U.S. shuttle diplomacy of decades past, Secretary of State John Kerry is making his third trip to the Middle East in a span of just two weeks in a fresh bid to restart long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Though expectations are low for any breakthrough on Kerry’s trip, which begins Saturday, his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders represent some of the Obama administration’s mos...
Kansas Senate rejects measure to lure new casino
TOPEKA (AP) — An attempt to bring a state-owned casino to Southeast Kansas failed Tuesday evening when the state Senate rejected a deal to help such a project but also kill off any possibility of slot machines at dog and horse tracks.
Senators voted 24-15 against a bill rewriting a 2007 state law authorizing both state-owned casinos and slots at dog and horse racing tracks. Under the law, the Kansas Lottery owns the rights to the new gambling ...
Kansas Senate passes abortion bill
TOPEKA (AP) — The Kansas Senate approved new restrictions for abortion providers Tuesday, moving the state’s most-sweeping legislation on the issue this year close to final passage.
The vote was 29-11 on a measure blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and prohibiting them from furnishing materials or instructors for sex education classes in public schools. The measure also would prevent abortion patients from including abortion costs when...
Jury indicts 35 in school cheating scandal
ATLANTA (AP) — Juwanna Guffie was sitting in her fifth-grade classroom taking a standardized test when, authorities say, the teacher came around offering information and asking the students to rewrite their answers. Juwanna rejected the help.
“I don’t want your answers. I want to take my own test,” Juwanna told her teacher, according to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard.
On Friday, Juwanna — now 14 — watched as Fulton County prosecut...
Connecticut reacts to gun law deal
NEWINGTON, Conn. (AP) — Customers packed gun stores around Connecticut on Tuesday ahead of a vote expected to bring sweeping changes to the state’s gun control laws, including a ban on the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown shooting and a new classification for more than 100 types of guns as banned assault weapons.
Lawmakers have touted the legislation expected to pass the General Assembly today as th...
District attorney’s killing puts others on alert
KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) — Deputies escorted some Kaufman County employees into the courthouse Monday, two days after the district attorney and his wife were found shot to death in their home in an attack that stirred fears that other public employees could be targeted by assassins.
Law enforcement officers were seen patrolling one side of the courthouse, one holding a semi-automatic weapon, while others walked around inside.
Authorities have said ...
War kills 6,000 Syrians in March
BEIRUT (AP) — March was the bloodiest month yet in Syria’s 2-year-old conflict with more than 6,000 documented deaths, a leading anti-regime activist group said Monday, blaming the increase on heavier shelling and more violent clashes.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the increased toll is likely incomplete because both the Syrian army and the rebel groups fighting the government often underreport thei...
Prosecutors seek death penalty in theater attack
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — For James Holmes, “justice is death,” prosecutors said Monday in announcing they will seek his execution if he is convicted in the Colorado movie theater attack that killed 12 people.
The decision — disclosed in court just days after prosecutors publicly rejected Holmes’ offer to plead guilty if they took the death penalty off the table — elevated the already sensational case to a new level and could cause it to drag o...
Kansas turns to crops with drought tolerance
WICHITA (AP) — Kansas farmers are planting fewer acres of thirsty crops, such as corn and soybeans, this spring and more acres of drought-tolerant crops like sorghum, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Thursday.
Overall, Kansas’ four major crops account for about 20.7 million acres — unchanged from the previous year — the agency said in its snapshot of prospective plantings.
Corn growers plan to plant 4.6 million acres in Kansas, ...
Brownback says sales tax reduction is not possible with budget
TOPEKA (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday that Kansas’ “budget reality” will push lawmakers toward approving his proposal to cancel a scheduled decrease in the state sales tax.
The Republican governor said he’ll consider “anybody’s proposal” as the GOP-dominated House and Senate negotiate the final version of tax legislation. But Brownback also said legislators have limited options for stabilizing the budget while seeking further cuts in ...
Legislators begin tax plan negotiations
TOPEKA (AP) — The Kansas Senate’s top negotiator on tax issues said Wednesday that it’s critical for the state to cancel a planned sales tax decrease if legislators want to cut individual income tax rates further.
Sen. Les Donovan, a Wichita Republican, defended GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to keep the sales tax at its current rate as negotiators for the House and Senate began work on the final version of tax legislation. The three senato...
Negotiators begin work on Kansas budget
TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas House and Senate negotiators held their first meetings Tuesday to settle differences over the 2014 and 2015 state budgets, a process expected to take at least the next couple of weeks.
The House and Senate have both approved $14 billion spending plans for each of the next two fiscal years that closely resemble a proposal offered by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. Two Republicans and one Democrat from each chamber met for ab...
Cosmosphere gets rocket engines
HUTCHINSON (AP) — Parts of rocket engines that boosted Apollo moon missions into space arrived Monday in Hutchinson, where workers at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center’s SpaceWorks division will clean, preserve and document them.
The F-1 engines were part of the giant Saturn V rocket used in Apollo moon missions in the 1960s and 1970s. After separating from the upper stages of the rocket, the lower stage containing five F-1 engines broke...