River Watchers Already Wary about 2020 Spring Flooding
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — After a year that has seen some of the worst flooding ever in parts of the Midwest, concern is already rising that the spring of 2020 may bring more high water to places that still haven’t fully recovered. Flooding ravaged much of the Missouri and Mississippi River basins earlier this year, reaching record levels in many places. Eight months later, parts of the Missouri River are above flood stage at a time of the year when river levels traditionally run low. Conditions are only slightly better on the Mississippi River. High river levels aren’t the only worry. National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs cites two other factors: Soil is extremely saturated in several upper Midwestern states, and the long-range forecast offers a strong possibility of a wetter-than-normal winter.
4 Children Killed in Kansas Thanksgiving Day Crash
BELLEVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say four children have been killed in a Thanksgiving Day crash. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner said in a tweet that the crash happened around 11:30 a.m. when a vehicle went off the side of a road and into a pond in Republic County, near the state’s border with Nebraska. Gardner initially tweeted that the children were 8 and younger, but said it now appears two of them may be older. Their names weren’t immediately released.The patrol says the mother of the children was taken to a hospital, and an adult male in the vehicle is being interviewed. The man wasn’t seriously injured, and his relationship to the family wasn’t immediately known. None of the victims are believed to be from Kansas. The investigation is ongoing.
SE Kansas Police Chase Ends in Fatal Shooting in Missouri
PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in Kansas and Missouri are investigating an officer-involved fatal shooting after a police pursuit in both states. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that an officer from the Pittsburg Police Department attempted a traffic stop early Friday morning because the license tag was registered to a different vehicle. The driver failed to stop. When the fleeing vehicle became disabled along the Kansas and Missouri state line, the driver ran out of it with a shotgun into a field. The officer pursued on foot into Barton County, Missouri, where the shooting occurred. The driver, identified as 34-year-old Jeremy Pelican of Pittsburg, died at Pittsburg hospital of his injuries. No officers were hurt. The Missouri State Highway Patrol will lead the investigation that occurred in their jurisdiction.
Man Honored After Helping after Undersheriff’s Shooting
LYONS, Kan. (AP) — One of the Good Samaritans who tried to help after a Kansas undersheriff was shot will receive an award this month. The Wichita Eagle reports that Michael Craven Sr. and William Cundith pulled in behind Rice County Undersheriff Chad Murphy’s truck in April after David Madden shot him four times, possibly scaring Madden away. While they called for help and tended to Murphy’s wounds, Madden went to fetch more weapons. He then fatally shot his father, wounded the sheriff and killed himself. Madden had been under investigation in the 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend, Megan Renee Foglesong. Next week, Craven is scheduled to receive the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association Citizens Award at Sterling College, where he now works. The undersheriff says he owes his life to Craven and Cundith.
Lawsuit Dismissed over KSU’s Handling of Rapes
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by two women who alleged that Kansas State University refused to investigate complaints that they were raped in off-campus fraternity houses. Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer permanently dismissed their federal Title IX lawsuits against the university earlier this week. The university said in a news release that it provided no monetary payment or other form of compensation to either plaintiff. The women’s attorney, Jonathon Fazzola, told The Manhattan Mercury that the women are pleased with the precedent they established through the litigation. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education weighed in during the litigation, saying the university's policy to not investigate complaints of student-on-student rape when the attacks occur off-campus is wrong. The Associated Press doesn't generally name sexual assault victims, but the women have made their case public.
3 Charged in Wichita Motel Parking Lot Shooting
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three people have been charged in the shooting death of a man in a motel parking lot in Wichita. 49-year-old Bryant Damon Bailey, 52-year-old Robyn Leah Murphy and 60-year-old Annette Williams made their first appearance Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder in the death of 55-year-old Timothy Austin. Austin was found wounded early Sunday at the Countryside Inn. Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred says Austin had lived at the motel off and on, as well as other places around town. Allred says he got into a fight in the parking lot and was shot once in his upper body while standing outside of a vehicle. He died at a hospital.
Police say the shooting was drug related.
Bison Called Bright Spot for Kansas Agriculture
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — One of the promising industries for agriculture harkens back to the days when bison roamed the Kansas prairie. The Hutchinson News reports that when Moundridge rancher Dick Gehring started his bison ranch more than 30 years ago, he did it for the money. The animals quickly became his passion. Gehring is the owner of Black Kettle Buffalo in McPherson County. He now calls bison ranching one of the “bright spots in agriculture.” Bison are adaptable and thrive in different environments. The animals are self-sufficient and low maintenance and have a small carbon footprint, making them good for the environment. The National Bison Association says there are an estimated 385,000 bison in North American private, public and tribal herds.