Kansas senators split on national emergency vote…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: March 15, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiMarch 15, 2019

The two senators from Kansas split in their votes on a resolution of disapproval of President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency along the border. The resolution passed 59-41. A dozen Republicans joined Democrats in passing the Senate resolution, which previously passed in the House.  Kansas Senator Jerry Moran was among the small group of Republicans who voted in favor of the resolution, while Pat Roberts was among the larger group of Republicans who sided with the president and voted against it.  The measure now goes to Trump’s desk. He has promised to veto the measure and it’s unlikely that enough votes exist for a veto override. Trump aims to divert Defense Department funds to help build a massive border wall.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is critical of tax legislation which passed Thursday. A bill that would reduce taxes for Kansas residents passed in the Senate 24-16. The House previously approved it 76-43. Critics say the bill would reduce state revenues by $500 million over three years.The legislation may prompt the Governor’s first veto. As passed, there are not enough votes to override a veto.  To override it, House Republicans would need 8 more votes and Senate Republicans would need 3 more.

An Oklahoma man caught in Kansas in connection with the discovery of more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine will spend nine years in federal prison.  Yesterday, a federal judge sentenced 23-year-old Guillermo D. Andrade on a single count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  He was busted in July after state troopers linked him to drugs found in a separate arrest.  The street value of the seized meth was estimated at more than 650-thousand dollars.

A Kansas man is dead following a crash on Interstate 235 in Sedgwick County. Police say it happened a little after 2 a.m. Thursday as 29-year-old Kenneth V. Piper was going south in a 2000 Honda Civic.  He  lost control of the vehicle, which spun out and hit a bridge abutment before ending up in the middle of the northbound lane.  It was then hit by minivan, causing Piper to be ejected from his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.   The driver of the other vehicle was hospitalized with unspecified injuries.

A 15-year-old boy is dead following a collision on US 56 Highway just east of Great Bend.  According to the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, it happened when an eastbound Dodge pickup crossed the centerline and slammed into a Ford pickup.  15-year-old Wyatt Henkle from the Stafford County Coummunity of Hudson died at the scene. Two other people reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital.

A federal judge is dismissing a former Kansas police officer’s sexual-discrimination lawsuit against the Wichita department and the city of Wichita.  Officials say the officer filed suit last year claiming she was not treated fairly in the department’s investigation into an alleged hit-and-run incident linked to her.  No charges were filed, but the department fired her, claiming she hadn’t been truthful in the ensuing investigation.  She was reinstated almost immediately but later quit the department, claiming that the work environment had become hostile.

Geary County officials say Wednesday-night hay fire was a case of arson.  Local crews got the call a little before 6 p.m. about the blaze just east of Milford.  They arrived to find multiple bales of hay and alfalfa on fire inside a barn.  The fire was brought under control by about 8:30 p.m., although some firefighters remained on scene until 9 a.m. yesterday.  The incident is under investigation.  Damages have not been determined.

A case of parking lot rage. A Kansas man is behind bars on charges he allegedly threatened a shopper whose cart dinged his vehicle in a parking lot.  Police say 41-year-old Patrick Douglas faces aggravated-assault and marijuana-possession charges in the incident, which happened in Overland Park. Douglas reportedly threatened to “put a cap” in the shopper’s (expletive deleted).  Police say he remains in Johnson County jail on $100,000 bond.

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