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CRUISE SHIP DEATH-PLEA

Kansas man admits killing Missouri girlfriend on cruise ship

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 55-year-old Kansas man has admitted that he killed his girlfriend during a fight aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Florida last year. Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that Eric Duane Newman, of Topeka, pleaded guilty in federal court to second-degree murder. Prosecutors say Newman and 50-year-old Tamara Tucker were on a cruise ship heading to the Bahamas in January 2018 when they began fighting inside their cabin. Newman admitted strangling Tucker and pushing her over the cabin room balcony railing. She fell from the 13th deck to the 11th deck. Tucker, of Lawson, Missouri, died from blunt force trauma from the fall.

SHUTTLE BUS COLLISION

Collision involving van for disabled in Kansas City kills 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two people died and two others were injured when a shuttle bus carrying two disabled adults collided head-on with a minivan. Police spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina said the collision occurred Thursday in south Kansas City, when the minivan crossed the center line and hit the shuttle bus. Becchina says the bus driver honked the horn and tried to avoid the crash. The minivan driver and a passenger sitting behind the bus driver died at a hospital. The bus driver was critically injured. A passenger in a wheel chair in the back of the bus was seriously injured.

BENTON ART-LAWSUIT

Lawsuit: Artwork by late artist Thomas Hart Benton lost

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by the family of the late Kansas City artist Thomas Hart Benton alleges more than 100 pieces of his art has been lost through mismanagement by UMB Bank. The lawsuit contends the bank lost track of some artwork and didn't adequately care for it. It also claims the bank sold some pieces for less than their market value and engaged in self-dealing. The bank has called the allegations by the family "misguided." The lawsuit seeks removal of UMB Bank as the trustee as well as seeking unspecified damages for the alleged breach of trust.

FATAL GOLF CLUB BEATING

Missouri man accused beating father to death with golf club

HILLSBORO, Mo. (AP) — An eastern Missouri man is accused of beating his father to death with a golf club after the older man tried to stop his son from attacking a woman. Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak said 27-year-old Nicholas Smoot was charged Thursday with second-degree murder. Marshak says 53-year-old Eric Smoot died after his son beat him early Thursday at the family's home near Hillsboro. He says the father intervened when Nicholas Smoot was assaulting his fiance. Nicholas Smoot is also charged with armed criminal action and domestic assault.

DOUBLE SHOOTING-REVENGE MOTIVE

Authorities: Man may have shot man suspected in son's death

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say the father of a 3-year-old boy who was shot to death is accused of shooting a man who is a person of interest in the child's death. Twenty-three-year-old Marcus Donnell Haislip Jr. is charged with two counts of first-degree assault after two men were shot Nov. 29 at a gas station in Kansas City. In May 2017, Haislip's son was killed and Haislip and another relative were shot while riding in a car. Authorities said Wednesday prosecutors are studying the boy's shooting to determine if charges should be filed in the boy's death against one of the men wounded at the gas station.

OFF-DUTY OFFICER-SHOTS FIRED

Officer's account of shots-fired incident questioned

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say an off-duty officer who said he had fired shots at an intruder inside his home has left the department amid an investigation that was unable to substantiate the officer's story. Police said Wednesday that an investigation into “any potential criminal wrong-doing” was ongoing. Police initially said in a release that the officer came on his radio around 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 9 and asked for help. The officer said he was alone in his home when he heard sounds, went downstairs, found an unknown man inside and fired multiple shots. There were no reports of injuries.

JACKSON COUNTY ASSESSMENTS-LAWSUIT

ACLU sues Jackson County and assessor over reassessments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has claimed in a lawsuit that Jackson County and its assessor favored predominantly white areas over minority neighborhoods during this year's real estate reassessment. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the ACLU contends the director of the county's assessment department violated the federal Fair Housing Act during the reassessments. Assessment director Gail McCann Beatty capped increased assessments at 14.9% in some neighborhoods. The ACLU contends the cap was imposed on mostly white areas, while some minority homes saw their assessments at least double. Jackson County officials haven't returned phone calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.

SCHOOL BUS WRECK-INJURIES

6 teens, 3 adults hurt in Kansas City area school bus wreck

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a school bus wreck in the Kansas City area injured six teenagers and three adults as they headed to a wrestling meet. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the wreck happened Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 470 in Lee's Summit when another vehicle merged in front of the bus from the Center School District. The bus then hit the vehicle, causing a chain-reaction crash that involved two other vehicles. The patrol says the six teens were taken to Children's Mercy, one with moderate injuries and the others with minor injuries. They ranged in age from 14 to 17. The patrol described the injuries of the three adults as minor.