Colby, KS

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Kansas wildfire mostly contained

andy lambertMarch 29, 2016
The biggest wildfire in Kansas history is mostly contained, though crews will be watching as more gusty winds hit the region. An emergency manager says the fire is out in Comanche County and Sunday’s snow means firefighters no longer need to watch for hotspots. The fire is more than 80 percent contained in neighboring Barber County. The Kansas Forest Service says crews are still patrolling areas hit by the wildfire that has burned at least 620 square miles in Oklahoma and Kansas since last week.
Federal seismologists believe the ground east of the Rockies is far more likely to shake this year with damaging earthquakes. Much of that is a byproduct of drilling for energy. The new map has Kansas in the area where the earthquake risk has jumped dramatically. Parts of north-central Oklahoma have a 1 in 8 chance of a damaging quake.
Prosecutors are calling the crimes of a man convicted in a quadruple homicide “extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile.” The sentencing phase of that trial in Franklin County is underway. The jury in Ottawa is hearing testimony to determine if the 30-year-old should be sentenced to death or to life in prison.
Kansas Democrats are protesting a bill to address education spending in the state. Republican supermajorities in the Statehouse quickly passed the bill last week in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that current school finance formula was inequitable. The Democrats’ formal protest puts their objections into records the Supreme Court likely will use to decide if the new bill is constitutional.
A Missouri woman charged with stealing more than $300,000 from the engineering firm Black & Veatch is being investigated in connection with an even larger theft at a Kansas company. Patricia Webb also worked at Garmin, where the FBI has uncovered a theft of more than $1 million. No charges have been filed in the Garmin case.

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