CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER RETIRING
Former TV meteorologist wins Kansas Senate seat
SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas City area TV meteorologist has won a Kansas Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of one of the Legislature's most conservative members. Mike Thompson, who served as chief meteorologist for WDAF until he retired in 2018, was chosen Saturday to replace retiring Republican Mary Pilcher-Cook. Thompson, of Shawnee, plans to fill the remainder of Pilcher-Cook’s term and then run for a chance at a full four years in November 2020. Two other candidates — Republican state Rep. Tom Cox and Shawnee City Councilwoman Lindsey Constance, a Democrat — have said they planned to run for the seat.
Kansas woman pleads guilty to role in her son's death
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas woman has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2018 death of her baby. Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said 32-year-old Catherine Smith, of Leavenworth, pleaded guilty on Friday to manslaughter, child endangerment and obstruction of law enforcement. She had been previously charged with second-degree murder in her son's death. Prosecutors say the boy died of hyperthermia when his body temperature got too high. The temperature in the home was set to 75 degrees, and the child was dehydrated at the time of his death.
HOUSE FIRE INJURY
Fire officials: Man critically injured in Wichita house fire
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in Wichita say a man is in critical condition after being pulled from a house fire on Saturday. Television station KAKE reports that the fire was reported around noon Saturday in the southwestern part of the city. Arriving firefighters found the home and a car engulfed in flames, and crews soon found a man who had suffered burns. The man was taken to a Wichita hospital with critical injuries. Investigators are trying to find out what caused the fire.
Winter storm Friday, Saturday slicks eastern Kansas roads
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Forecasters say a winter blast that left little more than an inch of snow in parts of eastern Kansas on Friday is moving out of the state. The system left roads icy and caused several crashes Friday night in northeastern Kansas, including a semitrailer that crashed just south of Topeka. The National Weather Service says moderate to heavy snow will continue to move across east-central Kansas through mid-afternoon Saturday, with the heaviest snow generally south and east of Interstate 35, where up to 4 inches total accumulation could be seen. Officials warned motorists in those areas to take it slow.
KANSAS LEGISLATURE-KEY ISSUES
Kansas lawmakers to fight over taxes, abortion and maybe pot
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers expect a push to overturn a state Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights during this year's legislative session. They're also anticipating a contentious debate over income tax cuts and some bipartisan harmony on Medicaid expansion. The GOP-controlled Legislature convenes Monday. Lawmakers may also tackle medical marijuana. The session will open with a deal between Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and the Senate's Republican majority leader on expanding Medicaid that has bipartisan support, making passage likely. All 165 legislative seats are on the ballot in November, and politics will shadow lawmakers' work. So will layoffs in the aviation industry.
Boeing travails begin to ripple, 2,800 jobs lost in Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Problems for Boeing and its troubled 737 Max aircraft are beginning to ripple outward with a major supplier announcing that it will lay off more than 20% of its workforce in Kansas, where it is based. The announcement of 2,800 layoffs at a major employer in Wichita, the state's biggest city, come one day after documents became public showing that Boeing employees raised doubts about the safety of the 737 Max. The layoffs threaten to damage a state economy that's been solid for months, with low unemployment. Spirit produced about 70% of the 737 Max, including the fuselage. Contracts with Boeing for the Max represents more than half of Spirit's annual income.
Report: Kansas farmers plant same amount of wheat acreage
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas farmers seeded an estimated 6.9 million acres into winter wheat. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday that this winter wheat acreage is equal to the area planted a year earlier in Kansas. Winter wheat is planted in the fall for harvest the following year.
Grounding of 737 Max takes growing toll on Kansas suppliers