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Hesston grieves…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: February 29, 2016

andy lambertFebruary 29, 2016

Grieving residents of a Kansas town parked riding lawnmowers with American flags beside them on some streets and adorned them with “Hesston Hustler Strong” signs in a reference to the lawn equipment brand from the plant where a gunman killed three co-workers. The Excel Industries factory has long been an economic hub for the peaceful community of 3,700. The quiet was shattered on Thursday when Cedric L. Ford came into the plant during the second shift and opened fire.

The battle over school funding gets expensive. The state has reportedly spent $1.4 million on outside lawyers to support the policy, while the four school districts arguing the state doesn’t adequately fund education have spent nearly $2 million in total. While Kansas GOP leaders argue that money would be better spent in classrooms, the districts argue there’s much more on the line than what’s been spent.

Officials outside Emporia believe a string of grass fires was intentionally set. One fire that started just north of I-35 had 14 starting points. Investigators are looking for a pickup truck and the two men seen driving it.

An Olathe woman will stand trial in the death of her newborn daughter, whose body was found in a trash can. That 20-year old is charged with first-degree felony murder and aggravated abandonment of a child.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the plane that crashed into a FlightSafety building at the Wichita airport in 2014 was only off the ground for 26 seconds. That Beechcraft King Air B200 killed four people when it crashed into the building.

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