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AP-US-KANSAS-DHS-SECURITY-BRIEFING

DHS briefs Kansas lawmakers on business, agriculture threats

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators say they have been told in secret briefings that foreign governments are trying to get proprietary information about business and agricultural assets in the state. Participants in the first briefing Tuesday said the extraordinary events involved a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official. Lawmakers also said they were warned to be careful about opening emails from foreign sources. But they also said they did not hear about immediate threats. Legislators saw the briefings as highly unusual because they were conducted on a former Air Force base south of Topeka. Reporters and legislative staffers were not allowed to attend.

ELECTION 2020-SENATE-KANSAS

Rival GOP hopefuls in Kansas Senate race both talk to Trump

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Rival Kansas Senate candidates Kris Kobach and Rep. Roger Marshall have talked to President Donald Trump as some Republicans hope Marshall can keep the polarizing conservative Kobach from winning the GOP nomination. Marshall's campaign confirmed that the western Kansas congressman met Monday with Trump in the Oval Office. His campaign said in a statement Tuesday only that, “It was a positive meeting.” Kobach said Tuesday that Trump called him Monday from Air Force One to talk to him about the Senate race and immigration issues. Kobach has advised Trump regularly about immigration issues since Trump's campaign for president in 2016.

A PLACE FOR MOM-JOBS

A Place for Mom to hire more than 600 employees in Kansas

A Place for Mom, a senior care referral service, plans to hire more than 600 employees and open a new Overland Park office. The Seattle-based company says hiring is already underway and will occur over five years. It plans to open a temporary office next week and then build a new office in Overland Park. The firm will receive about $12 million in state incentives. The Kansas Department of Commerce awarded the economic development incentives through seven state programs. A Place for Mom helps families find nursing homes and senior care services for elderly family members.

60 POUNDS OF METH

Woman admits bringing 60 pounds of meth through Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 46-year-old California woman has admitted to bringing 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of methamphetamine through Kansas. Federal prosecutors say Maria Alvarez-Buenrostro pleaded guilty Monday to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Kansas troopers stopped her car Feb. 12, 2019, in Ellis County for a lane violation. A trooper found the drugs in 33 heat-sealed bags hidden in rear quarter panels and in both rear doors. According to the plea agreement, Alvarez-Buenrostro admitted she was taking the drugs to a dealer to sell. She will be sentenced April 16. She is facing at least 10 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $10 million.

NEW KANSAS LICENSE PLATES

New plates in Kansas will emphasize renewable energy

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas will begin issuing new personalized license plates Wednesday that emphasize the state's growth in using renewable energy. The plates will feature wind turbines profiled against a sunrise. Kansas Department of Revenue Secretary Mark Burghart says Kansas has become a leader in alternative energy. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a report last year said Kansas was the nation's top producer of wind energy, with more than 36% of total electricity coming from wind power. Residents can order the “Powering the Future” plates through their county treasurer’s office for $45.50, plus normal registration fees and taxes.

SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS-DEBT RATING DOWNGRADE

Moody's downgrades debt rating for largest Boeing supplier

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the debt rating for Spirit AeroSystems to junk-bond status after the major supplier of fuselages for Boeing's troubled 737 Max announced massive layoffs last week. Monday's downgrade comes after Spirit announced on Friday that it was laying off 2,800 workers in Wichita and that it planned smaller workforce reductions later this month at its plants in Tulsa and McAlester, Oklahoma. Spirit produced about 70% of the 737 Max, including the fuselage and other major components. Contracts with Boeing for the Max represents more than half of Spirit's annual income.

TRIAL BY COMBAT-IOWA

Man asks judge's leave for sword battle with ex-wife, lawyer

HARLAN, Iowa (AP) — A Kansas man has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney so that he can “rend their souls” from their bodies. David Ostrom, of Paola, Kansas, said in a Jan. 3 court filing that his former wife and her attorney had destroyed him legally. The Ostroms have been embroiled in various disputes. His filing says the U.S. has never explicitly banned trial by combat. Her attorney asked the judge to reject the request. The judge says he won't be issuing any decisions soon, citing irregularities with both sides' motions and responses.

MISSING BODY-HOMICIDE ARREST

Man suspected in Wichita death of man whose body is missing

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 53-year-old Wichita man is jailed on suspicion of second-degree murder even as police continue to search for the alleged victim's body. Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred says Jeffrey Hill was arrested Monday. He says a man reported that Hill was involved in a homicide in December and the victim's body was buried somewhere outside Wichita. Allred says investigators determined the victim was 50-year-old Jeffrey Jones of Hutchinson, an acquaintance of Hill's. KAKE-TV reports evidence and witness statements led police to Hill. Allred says police are trying to determine a motive for Jones' death.