Today In Kansas Report – Jan. 14, 2020

Jackson SchneiderJanuary 14, 2020

Kansas lawmakers are back in Topeka for the start of a new year.  Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2020 Kansas legislative session.  Lawmakers are expected to address several key issues including the state budget, proposed Medicaid expansion and a possible constitutional amendment on abortion.  Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will outline her goals for the legislative session when she delivers her State of the State address tomorrow night.

A contract mail truck driver for the U.S. Postal Service was sentenced this week to two years on federal probation and ordered to pay more than $3,000 restitution for stealing money from the mail. 51-year-old David A. Logan of Fort Scott admitted stealing money from pieces of mail on his route. In one count, he admitted stealing two pieces of mail containing $50 and $675. In the other count, he admitted stealing three pieces of mail containing $100, $130 and $70. The crimes occurred in Chanute.


A woman is accused of leaving her dog locked in a crate in a dumpster.  Wichita police announced 26-year-old Raykesha Hardyway was arrested on one count of animal cruelty.  They say Hardyway placed an emaciated male pit bull mix in the dumpster of an apartment complex last Wednesday night.  A woman found the dog and took him to an emergency vet for treatment.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and KBI Director Kirk Thompson remind Kansans to stay alert when the public’s assistance is needed to help locate missing children. The reminder comes as National Amber Alert Awareness Day is observed this week. Since its inception in 1996, this national program has successfully brought 977 children home safely. In Kansas, 50 children have been safely returned since 2002. The Kansas Amber Alert system is coordinated by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the KBI. When an alert is issued, the media are notified to begin broadcasting the details of the missing child and suspect.  Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor. The goal of an Amber Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child. The Amber Alert program, named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.

After a nearly 40 year career in uniform, Kansas Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli is preparing to call it a a careeer. Tafanelli, who has served as the state’s Adjutant General since Jan. 8, 2011, will step down from his current post on March 31. The Adjutant General is the principal military advisor to the Governor. As the Adjutant General, Tafanelli oversees the activities of the Adjutant General’s Department, which includes the Kansas Army and Air National Guard. He also serves as the director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and director of Kansas Homeland Security. For budgetary and administrative purposes, he also is responsible for the Civil Air Patrol. Tafanelli also served in the Kansas House of Representatives.


A former two-term president of the South American nation of Colombia and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will present the first Landon Lecture of the spring 2020 semester at Kansas State University. Juan Manuel Santos will speak on Tuesday, Feb. 4th. Santos’ lecture is free and members of the university community and public are encouraged to attend. One of the most prestigious lecture series offered at a U.S. college or university, the Alfred M. Landon Lecture Series was instituted in 1966 by former Kansas State University President James A. McCain. The series is a tribute to Alfred M. Landon, who served as governor of Kansas from 1933-1937 and delivered the first lecture in the series.


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