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VOTING LAW-DELAY-KANSAS

Democrats sue over Kansas delay in start of 'vote anywhere'

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas and national Democratic Party groups have sued the Republican official who oversees the state's elections. The lawsuit filed Friday accuses Kansas Secretary Scott Schwab of violating voters' rights by delaying implementation of a law designed to make voting on Election Day more convenient. The lawsuit was filed in state district court in Topeka. Schwab says his office will need another year to draft regulations needed for counties to take advantage of a 2019 state “vote anywhere” law. The law permits counties to allow voters to cast their ballots at any polling place within their borders on Election Day.

AP-US-ABORTION-KANSAS-EXPANDING-MEDICAID

Kansas leader decries attempts to tie abortion, Medicaid

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A top Republican lawmaker in Kansas is disputing a key talking point for GOP colleagues who are blocking a bipartisan plan to expand the state's Medicaid program. Abortion opponents argue that expansion could lead to taxpayer funding of elective abortions. Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning sent an email to senators Friday decrying what he called “inaccurate verbal and written statements” used to justify opposition among abortion opponents to Medicaid expansion. They're trying to block expansion until a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution saying it does not “secure” a right to abortion gets on the ballot.

PRISON DISTURBANCE-KANSAS

Reports: Jail altercation in Kansas sparked by mealtime rule

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Reports show an altercation at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility lasted two minutes from the time the first punch was thrown to when inmates began following orders and the situation was deemed “controlled.” Twenty inmates were involved and five officers were injured. Documents obtained by The Associated Press obtained through an open records request portray a large disturbance on Feb. 4 which unexpectedly erupted, but which was quickly contained without any inmates injured and without damage to the facility. It was sparked by when guards tried to cuff inmates who refused to leave the chow hall until they had finished eating.

TOPEKA MURDER-STATE SUPREME COURT

Kansas Supreme Court denies request to withdraw murder pleas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has rejected a man's motion to withdraw guilty pleas in a Topeka homicide case. Thirty-year-old Coty Ryland Newman pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the October 2010 shooting death of 20-year-old Matthew Mitchell and to attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of Treshawn Wynne, then 17 on the campus of Topeka West High School. The court on Friday upheld a 2014 decision to reject Newman's attempt to withdraw his pleas. The court did overturn a 2014 order requiring lifetime post-release supervision for Newman after he completes his prison sentence.

AROUSAL STUDY-LAWSUIT-KANSAS

Man sued over Iowa sexual arousal study ran Kansas facility

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A child psychologist who was formerly the top administrator at a state hospital in Kansas is facing a federal lawsuit in Iowa involving sexual arousal experiments on residents at a state care center for people with intellectual disabilities. Jerry Rea conducted similar research in Kansas while running the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says its initial investigation of sexual arousal research in Kansas suggests ethics guidelines and proper protocols were followed. Six former employees filed the federal lawsuit Monday, alleging they were fired or forced to resign because they questioned Rea's activities.

SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENT-KANSAS TURNPIKE

Number hurt after school bus overturns in Kansas grows to 27

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — The number of children hurt when a bus overturned on a slush-covered Kansas highway has climbed to 27. The Wichita Eagle reports that the injury count increased Thursday based on a more detailed report by the Kansas Highway Patrol. It also said that one of the injured included an 11-year-old boy who sustained a suspected serious injuries. Early reports from state troopers and Wichita Public Schools about Wednesday's crash said 17 were taken to a hospital with minor injuries after the bus skidded off the side of the Kansas Turnpike about 14 miles south of Emporia.

DEADLY SHOOTING-WICHITA

18-year-old woman jailed in fatal shooting of her boyfriend

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say an 18-year-old Wichita woman has been arrested in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend. The Wichita Eagle reports that Rina Han Nguyen, is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling in the death of her boyfriend, 22-year-old Amare Holt. Her bond is set at $300,000. It wasn't immediately known if she had an attorney. Wichita police Lt. Jeff Gilmore said the two got into an argument before 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at Nguyen’s apartment. Gilmore said Holt was walking out the front door of the apartment when Nguyen pulled out a handgun and started shooting.

MISSOURI RIVER FLOODING

Flooding seems certain for some along the Missouri River

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The National Weather Service says there's an elevated flood risk along the eastern Missouri River basin this spring. That's because the soil remains wet and significant snow is on the ground in North Dakota and South Dakota. Communities along the lower Missouri River already were bracing for the prospect of more flooding this spring because many of their levees remain in poor shape after last year’s massive flooding. Nearly everywhere that flooded last year in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri is at some risk to flood again because of the extensive damage to levees.