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Headlines for Saturday, January 25, 2020

Kansas Congressman Watkins Changes Voter Registration Again

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A freshman Kansas congressman has changed his voter registration for the second time in six weeks after coming under investigation for potentially violating state election laws. Republican Representative Steve Watkins has faced scrutiny because he previously listed a UPS Inc. store has his residence. The Kansas secretary of state's office confirmed that Watkins listed a Topeka apartment as his residential address in registration form filed January 17th. Watkins listed an address for the same complex's office when he previously changed his registration Dec. 6. Watkins is still using a box at the UPS store as a separate mailing address.

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Geary County Snowplow Kills Two Pedestrians

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A snowplow has killed two pedestrians in Kansas after winter storm coated roads across parts of the Midwest with snow. The collision involving a Riley County plow happened shortly after 5 a.m. Friday. The Kansas Highway Patrol says 22-year-old Stephen Toler and 20-year-old Jayden Rosa, both of Manhattan, were walking in a lane of U.S. 24 when they were struck by the snowplow north of the Kansas State University campus. The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and a large swath of Missouri.

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Woman Found Dead in SE Kansas Possibly Victim of Hit-and-Run

OPOLIS, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a woman found dead in southeast Kansas might have been hit by a vehicle. The Crawford County Sheriff's office on Friday identified the woman as 35-year-old Brandi Moore, of Pittsburg. Her body was found Wednesday in Opolis, an unincorporated town in Crawford County. Sheriff Danny Smith said in a news release a pathologist indicated her injuries were consistent with being hit by a vehicle. An autopsy and official cause of death are pending. Smith says the driver of the vehicle has not been determined. It appears Moore was struck between 8 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

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Wichita Police Exploring Use of Genetic Genealogy Databases

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Wichita are looking into using genetic genealogy databases to help solve cold murder and rape cases. Captain Jeff Weible said the department isn’t ready to decide whether it will use the technique to solve any local crimes. But to help find out how the technique could be used, the department co-hosted a two-day training conference on it this week. The Wichita Eagle reported that it drew more than 60 people from law enforcement agencies and other organizations in Kansas, Wyoming and California to downtown Wichita.

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Kansas Lawmakers Discuss Fake Meat Labeling

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill to restrict how producers of meat alternatives could market their products in the state. The bill lists 22 meat-related terms that producers of alternative foods won't be able to use, such as jerky or burger, unless they label their products as “imitation” or add a phrase that the product does not contain meat. The bill is being pushed by the Kansas livestock industry, which argues it would eliminate consumer confusion about which products contain meat. Opponents say the proposal violates free speech rights by restricting how plant-based and other alternative products can be marketed. Lawmakers had a hearing on the bill Thursday.   

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Kansas GOP Opposition Likely to Block New 'Netflix Tax'

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Opposition from top Republican lawmakers in Kansas appears to have doomed Democratic Governor Laura Kelly's plan to tax streaming services, e-books and movie and music downloads like most other states. Kelly and fellow Democrats pitch it as basic fairness. Consumers who buy a DVD of their favorite “Star Wars” movie pay the state's 6.5% sales tax but they don't if they stream the same movie or download it on a computer.  But GOP lawmakers in Kansas strongly oppose the idea and say it would have little public support. Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said Thursday that it is “dead on arrival.”

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Salina Man Charged with Threatening President Trump

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Salina man has been charged with threatening on social media to kill President Donald Trump. The Wichita Eagle reports that Aaron McDowell was charged Thursday in federal court with one count of threatening the President of the United States. Federal prosecutors said he wrote Tuesday on Facebook that he was going to kill the president at 7 p.m. that day. Another person commented on McDowell’s post, stating “Yo prove it.” A Secret Service agent wrote in the affidavit that McDowell responded with “You’ll see it on the news."

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Kansas Trooper Shoots, Wounds Suspect During I-35 Pursuit

MATFIELD GREEN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper has shot and critically wounded an armed man amid a confrontation after his vehicle became disabled during a pursuit. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that the chase started Thursday afternoon after troopers encountered 40-year-old Dustin Schultz-Bergin at the Matfield Green Service Area, a toll road rest stop along Interstate 35 in Chase County. The KBI says the pursuit ended when tire-puncturing stop sticks were placed in his path. Schultz-Bergin, who is from Olathe, was taken to a Wichita hospital.

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