Lawmakers aren’t expected to waste much time before tackling the budget, and the tax cuts championed by Governor Brownback are in the crosshairs. This is day one of the annual legislative session, typically more about ceremony than substance, although the House Taxation Committee also has its first hearing on the proposals this afternoon. The current budget has a projected $342 million shortfall.
A former student at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence who was originally charged with raping a fellow student will serve 60 days in jail under a plea deal that drew strong objections from his accuser and her family. He pleaded no contest in November to aggravated battery. His trial last summer on rape and battery charges ended in a mistrial, and prosecutors offered the plea deal in hopes of avoiding taking the case back to court.
A mother and son from California are dead after falling through the ice Friday at William Pack Memorial Park in Moundridge. The boy’s father was also on the ice at when it broke, but he was treated and released from the hospital.
Police in Lawrence say two officers were hurt during a confrontation with a suspected drunk driver who led them on a chase. Officers claim the whole thing started with a different traffic stop when a man driving a pickup truck hit a patrol car from behind, hurting an officer in that cruiser before speeding away. Police later chased that pickup truck into Franklin County before the driver lost control.
A man in Wichita admits to having a role in what authorities call a $3.5-million identity theft scheme involving credit cards. He admitted that another man charged in the case gave him a postal service roster with personal information for two workers there. That’s when prosecutors claim he used the identity of one of the workers to apply for a credit card with a $32,000 credit limit.