Kansas Turnpike shut down and vehicle rescues due to flooding Wednesday…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: May 9, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiMay 9, 2019

Heavy rains are causing flooding throughout Kansas.  Floodwaters forced officials to close the Kansas Turnpike between Wellington and the Oklahoma state line yesterday.  Mulvane Fire Rescue crews responded to nine vehicle rescues between Tuesday night and yesterday morning.  No injuries have been reported due to the flooding.

Commissioners in Reno County are declaring a local disaster due to flooding and severe weather.  Floodwaters have led to several road closures in the county and in the city of Hutchinson.  Flooding has been reported along Crow Creek, which is expected to rise to more than 12 feet on Sunday.  Residents are asked to not drive around barriers onto flood-covered roads.

A woman is under arrest following a deadly crash.  24-year-old Mia Collins was booked on two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated battery, hit and run and driving with a suspended license.  Authorities say Collins was fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle on Sunday when she was involved in a three-vehicle collision in Wichita. 70-year-old Maria Wood and 12-year-old Rosemary McElroy died while Collins and three others were injured.

A fund to help in the recovery of a Kansas Sheriff  who was shot in the line of duty has been established. Back on April 29th Rice County Undersheriff  Chad Murphy was shot 4 times  He was flown to a hospital in Wichita in critical condition. Murphy’s condition has improved enough that early this week he came home. Murphy is getting better every day, however two of the injuries have caused very limited mobility to both of his arms and he will have to spend an extended amount of time in rehab.

A Salina man is facing federal charges after admitting he unlawfully received controlled prescription drugs from his wife, who was a pharmacist. 29-year-old admitted he fraudulently received 450 tablets of hydrocodone with acetaminophen and 360 tablets of alprazolam from his wife. He would consume the medication himself or trade tablets to other people for marijuana. Hartley admitted he knew his wife was altering legitimate prescriptions in order to divert the medications to him. Co-defendant Kirsty Hartley pleaded guilty last month to one count of distributing and dispensing controlled substances without a legitimate medical reason. She admitted unlawfully dispensing more than 21,000 tablets of hydrocodone with acetaminophen.

Police are investigating after thieves targeted a car dealership.  Officers were called to Rusty Eck Ford in Wichita after 11 vehicles were stolen from the lot.  Multiple vehicles were also damaged or moved.  The suspects are two white men, one in his 30s and one in his 20s.

Extreme restrictions by other states on the recognition of out-of-state concealed carry licenses unconstitutionally deprive Kansas travelers of their Second Amendment rights.  Kansas concealed carry permits are recognized by 40 states, including Kansas. But in the other 10 states, Kansans with valid concealed carry permits are not allowed to publicly carry a concealed firearm. Illinois is one of those remaining states that does not recognize Kansas permits. In a legal brief filed last week by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and 15 other state attorneys they asked a federal court  to reconsider a recent ruling by a three-judge panel upholding an Illinois statute that categorically prohibits the residents of 45 states from publicly carrying firearms in Illinois. Kansas is one of the states whose concealed carry permits are not recognized by Illinois.

Hostess Brands is opening new distribution center in Kansas. The company says the new location in Edgerton creates synergies with proximity to Hostess’s corporate office as well as its Emporia bakery, access to a highly skilled labor pool and additional opportunities for future projects.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is turning her attention to establishing a new comprehensive plan for economic development, which she says would be the first since 1986. The Kansas Department of Commerce, in partnership with key economic development organizations, is seeking professional consulting services to research and analyze Kansas economic development and deliver a comprehensive economic development blueprint, one with innovative strategies for business retention and business recruitment.

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