Kansas City, KS – Wyandotte County's Unified Government will spend almost $500,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged police misconduct.
The federal lawsuit claimed that Kansas City, Kan., officers violated the civil rights of a black family and two of their friends when they broke up a birthday party in 2005. The suit alleges that officers forced their way into the family's duplex, demanded that people leave and fought with the residents.
Members of the family say the white officers used racial slurs, punched and kicked them and hit them with flashlights.
Lexington, MO – Prosecutors in Missouri have filed 15 additional charges against a father and his sons who are all accused of sexually abusing children.
The additional charges against 77-year-old Burrell Mohler Sr., and his four adult sons include rape, sodomy and use of a child in a sexual performance. The new charges were filed Monday.
All five men are to be arraigned Tuesday on the earlier charges. The men are being held in the Lafayette County jail. It's not clear if any of them had lawyers. No attorneys were listed on any of the court documents.
Lenexa, KS – Two people were charged Thursday in federal court with poisoning salsa at a Lenexa, Kan., Mexican restaurant twice in August and making nearly 50 people sick.
Thirty-year-old Arnoldo Bazan and 19-year-old Yini De La Torre are accused of putting the pesticide Methomyl into salsa at Mi Ranchito restaurant to get back at the owner for Bazan losing his job and car.
Prosecutors say De La Torre put the poison into salsa on Aug. 10, and the next day 12 diners immediately became sick. She is accused of doing the same thing on Aug. 30, making 36 people ill.
Topeka, KS – William Avery, a one-term Republican governor in the 1960s and former U.S. House member, has died, the governor's office said Thursday. He was 98.
Gov. Mark Parkinson's office said Avery died Wednesday and ordered flags across the state lowered until Nov. 14.
"Governor Avery led our state during a time of tragic loss and national attention. Kansas honors his long life and service to our state. Our thoughts and prayers are with his children and family," Parkinson said in a statement.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas' governor Mark Parkinson said Wednesday that he's prepared to make additional spending cuts this year to keep the state's budget balanced, and key legislators predicted he'll be forced to further trim aid to public schools.
Parkinson wouldn't speculate during a news conference about what steps he'll take to close any projected deficit for the fiscal year that began July 1. But he said he won't leave the job of closing a shortfall to legislators when they reconvene in January.
Kansas City, MO – The U.S. Senate has approved $32 million for a massive Kansas lab aimed at research on foot-and-mouth and other diseases.
The money is in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that the Senate approved on a vote of 79-19 Tuesday. The House has already approved the $44.1 billion compromise spending bill, which is headed to President Barack Obama.
WaKeeney, KS – The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks says its staff have verified that a big cat photographed by the hunter northwest of WaKeeney was a mountain lion. The agency says it's the first documentation of a live, wild mountain lion in the state.
In a statement Tuesday, the department said the hunter was in a tree stand when the mountain lion appeared near a pile of corn. The hunter took multiple photos as the lion approached within 10 feet of the stand and looked up before moving out of sight.
Manhattan, KS – A judicial board at Kansas State University has suspended the Phi Delta Theta fraternity for a hazing incident that left a student hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.
The 18-year-old freshman was found unresponsive at the off-campus fraternity house in late September. He recovered and is still a member of the chapter.
The Interfraternity Council imposed the sanctions on Phi Delta Theta. The fraternity will be on probation until September 2011, will have to pay fines and won't be allowed to have any event involving alcohol until February 2011.
Kansas City, MO – A water treatment plant on the Kaw in Lawrence reports finding zebra mussels starting to clog an intake pipe. And plant officials are pondering how often they may have to clean the molluscs out. Tim Banek of the Missouri Department of Conservation explains how prolific the Eurasian species is. He tells of a test conducted by putting plastic signs under water in a Missouri lake.
Topeka, Ks – Outbreaks of seasonal and swine flu continue to be widespread across Kansas, even as the first shipments of vaccine arrive in the state.
The Department of Health and Environment reports that there were 30 deaths from pneumonia or influenza out of 456 deaths in the state for the week ending Oct. 10, or about 6.6 percent. That's slightly higher than the national average of 6.5 percent for the preceding week.
Overall, 75 of the 105 Kansas counties had confirmed cases of swine flu.
Jefferson City, MO – A public beach at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks is closed because of high levels of E. coli.
The Department of Natural Resources says it closed the beach after tests Friday showed high levels of bacteria in the lake's main channel. The agency blames runoff from last week's rains for the contamination.
It's the same beach that was not closed in May despite two tests showing high E. coli. An internal investigation found several other examples of beaches that were not properly closed.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas may be about to botch efforts to lure a corporate office complex and major league soccer stadium to Kansas City, according to some legislators who are pressuring Gov. Mark Parkinson's administration to close a deal.
Medical software maker Cerner Corp. and the owners of the Kansas City Wizards are proposing a $414 million development near NASCAR's Kansas Speedway. The project includes an office complex for 4,500 Cerner employees, an 18,500-seat stadium for the Wizards and two dozen soccer fields for amateur teams.
Kansas City, MO – The Institute for Urban Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is receiving an 8 million dollar federal grant.
The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help the four-year-old institute expand its efforts to train education majors to work in urban classrooms. The grant will allow the institute to hire more professors and increase student enrollment in the program.
The school of education's dean says the grant suggest the focus on urban education is cutting edge and nationally relevant.
The U.S. Senate has confirmed former Kansas education commissioner Alexa Posny's appointment to a federal education post.
President Barack Obama nominated Posny as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services in July. She worked for the U.S. Department of Education from 2006-07 as director of special education before becoming Kansas education commissioner.
When announcing Posny's nomination, the White House noted her experience as both an administrator and a teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Kansas City, MO – Illegal sex is a problem in Kansas prisons, but it's not as widespread as inmates and staff suggest, the state's top prisons official.
Corrections Secretary Roger Werholtz responded to an investigation by the Topeka Capital-Journal, which reviewed hundreds of documents on the Topeka Correctional Facility and interviewed inmates and prison employees. The investigation concluded as many as a third of the prison's 250 staff members have been involved in an illegal black market, including exchanging sex with female inmates for drugs.
Kansas City, MO – High bacteria levels may have been fairly common at the Lake of the Ozarks this summer. Newly released Missouri water records show a spike this year in bacteria levels at two state beaches.
Results from E. coli tests at the popular central Missouri tourist attraction were high enough in 2009 that the state's two beaches should have been closed 11 times since May. That's more than twice the number of times those beaches were to be closed from 2003 until 2008. It's also more than this year's closings at every other Missouri waterway.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore says he's pushing for a public option in national health reform legislation. Moore, a Democrat from Lenexa, is part of the Blue Dog Coalition. The group is made up of more than 50 fiscally conservative Democrats in the U.S. House. Moore says he hopes a public option will be part of a bipartisan bill.
Moore: "It's not about trying to establish some kind of national health care plan. It's about giving some competition to some other players out there and making sure that everybody has an opportunity for health care in this country."
Kansas City, MO – President Barack Obama has nominated Beth Phillips to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, which is centered in Kansas City. The Obama administration announced the nomination yesterday.
Phillips has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Kansas City office since last year and has prosecuted child exploitation cases. She served as an assistant prosecutor in Jackson County from 1997 to 2001, when she entered private practice.