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Today in Kansas Report Headlines: December 31, 2015

andy lambertDecember 31, 2015
All five teenagers accused in a plot to attack Hutchinson High School have entered no-contest pleas to a single felony charge and a judge has sentenced them to four months of probation. Prosecutors dropped a charge of solicitation to commit murder as part of the plea bargain. The teenagers were arrested after threats were posted on social media in April.
Kansas officials are considering tougher penalties for water violators and will present four proposed changes to Governor Sam Brownback’s office by February 1. They’re part of the governor’s effort to develop ideas for preserving and extending the state’s water resources, which generally become more scarce the farther west you go. Meanwhile the Kansas Geological Survey will measure nearly 570 wells beginning early next month. The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources will measure about 830 additional wells. The annual undertaking is an effort to monitor changes in groundwater levels in western and central Kansas.
A woman from Kentucky will not face charges after walking into a bank in Newton and asking a teller if she’d get in trouble if she tried to rob the place. The teller said yes, and called police. Investigators determined she didn’t actually want to rob the bank and didn’t make any effort to, but she was wanting a $50-thousand loan.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital officials have told Kansas lawmakers that the three insurance companies managing the state’s Medicaid system routinely deny legitimate claims in order to hold down costs. And they say there’s often no explanation of why claims have been rejected. The contractors say that’s not true.
Manhattan expects thousands of people to turn out for its annual New Year’s Eve ball-drop modeled after the one in New York. The annual-end-of-the-year celebration in the Aggieville entertainment district will include music and fireworks leading up to midnight.

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