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Wichita, KS News Weather and Sports
Updated: 2 hours 44 min ago

Wichita Fire Department offers fireworks safety tips

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 14:12

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita Fire Department on Monday reminded residents to take precautions when shooting fireworks. With the 4th of July holiday approaching, City officials are are warning residents about the added danger of hot and windy weather and encouraging them to follow safety tips:

  • Keep fireworks away from grassy areas or structures;
  • Do not light fireworks if it’s windy;
  • Consider attending a fireworks show in the area;
  • Use only fireworks sold in Wichita (others may be illegal);
  • Place a garden hose, fire extinguisher, and/or water bucket nearby to douse fireworks;
  • Closely supervise children using fireworks;
  • Use fireworks as they are designed to be used;
  • Safely dispose of used fireworks in a metal container, do not place in trash until safe.

In Wichita, fireworks may be lawfully sold Tuesday, June 27 through Wednesday, July 5.  Legal fireworks may be discharged during the same time period, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and midnight each day. Approved fireworks emit sparks no more than six-feet in any direction, and are not labeled as emitting flaming balls.

The WFD and Wichita Police Department (WPD) will enforce local fireworks laws, which can include citations and confiscating illegal fireworks. Citations will result in a mandatory court appearance. Those convicted face up to $2,500 in fines and possibly up to a year in jail.

Sedgwick County Emergency Communications will staff a non-emergency line for fireworks complaints on July 1-4 from 6:30 p.m. until 3 a.m.  During non-operational hours, any calls to the non-emergency line will transfer to the 911 system.  The non-emergency phone number to use these nights will be 316-290-1011.

Buying and using fireworks tested and approved by the WFD in a safe manner will help prevent accidents, injuries and deaths. For additional information, please contact Fire Prevention 268-4441, visit www.wichita.gov, or find WFD on Facebook.

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Kansas lawmakers adjourn session, await ruling on schools

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 13:00

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators have adjourned their annual session and are waiting for a state Supreme Court ruling on education funding later this summer.

The House and Senate met briefly Monday to formally end the session weeks after passing an income tax increase and a plan to boost spending on public schools.

The Supreme Court plans to hear arguments from attorneys July 18 on whether the new school funding law is adequate under the state constitution. It phases in a $293 million increase in education funding over two years.

Some lawmakers believe the court will rule that the funding increase isn’t large enough and force legislators to return for a special session.

But Kansas Association of School Boards officials praised the new school finance law Monday as a good start.

Governor Sam Brownback issued the following statement following the session:

“This legislative session made history, but for all the wrong reasons. Passing the largest tax hike in state history, this legislature passed the biggest budget in state history—and they’ve already spent every dime.

“The legislature—despite borrowing and delaying payments—chose to spend over $200 million in new spending on top of increased funding for schools. This budget pays for a legislative wish list on the backs of working Kansans.

“This session marks a drastic departure from fiscal restraint. I trust that future legislatures will return to a pro-growth orientation that will once again set Kansas on the path toward becoming the best state in America to raise a family and grow a business.”

The Governor signed 102 bills into law this sesion, vetoed four and allowed one to become law without his signature.

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Topeka man took part in robbery while wearing GPS monitoring device

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 12:46

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Topeka man admitted Monday that he took part in a robbery while he was wearing a monitoring device.

U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said Christopher Allen Bush, 26, of Topeka, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting a commercial robbery. In his plea, Bush admitted he picked up co-defendant Marsoleno Devon Ryland after Ryland robbed Casey’s General Store at 600 S.E. Rice Road.

At the time of the robbery, Bush was wearing a monitoring device because he was on post-release supervision in a criminal case in state district court. Data from the GPS device verified that Bush picked up Ryland just south of Casey’s General Store and drove him to the 2300 block S.E. Bellview, where police located the two men shortly after the robbery.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 25. Both parties have agreed to recommend Bush be sentenced to 36 months in federal prison. Co-defendant Ryland is set for sentencing Sept. 18.

Beall commended the FBI, the Topeka Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag for their work on the case.

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Babysitter arrested after taking child from home

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 11:52

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A babysitter was arrested over the weekend after taking a five-year-old boy from his home.

Wichita police report that officers were dispatched to a home in the 2500 block of South Pattie around 11:00 p.m. Friday evening responding to a lost juvenile. A 24-year-old woman told officers her 5-year-old son and her son’s babysitter were not at the home.

The woman was also unable to contact her son or the babysitter.

The Wichita Police Department sent out information on social media and on their app, asking for the public’s help with information on the case.

Police later spotted a vehicle involved in the case in the area of Lincoln and Hydraulic. The vehicle was stopped and the babysitter, 49-year-old Celeste Culver, was questioned then booked into jail for interference with parental custody and child endangerment.

Five-year-old Jeremiah was located safe at a residence in the 1600 block of East Galena.

Wichita police expressed appreciation of the community’s help in sharing the post to help get the word out.

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Donors to GOP: No cash until action on health care, taxes

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 11:44

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — At least one influential donor has informed congressional Republicans that the “Dallas piggy bank” is closed until he sees major action on health care and taxes.

Texas-based donor Doug Deason has already refused to host a fundraiser for two members of Congress and informed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., his checkbook is closed as well.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” Deason said in a pointed message to GOP leaders. “You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done. Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Indeed, there was a sense of frustration and urgency inside the private receptions and closed-door briefings at the Koch brothers’ donor retreat this weekend in Colorado Springs, where the billionaire conservatives and their chief lieutenants warned of a rapidly shrinking window to push their agenda through Congress and get legislation to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

No agenda items mattered more to the conservative Koch network than the GOP’s promise to overhaul the nation’s tax code and repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care law. At the moment, however, both are bogged down by GOP infighting that jeopardizes their fate.

At least one Koch official warned that the Republican Party’s House majority could be in jeopardy if the GOP-led Congress doesn’t follow through.

“If they don’t make good on these promises … there are going to be consequences, and quite frankly there should be,” said Sean Lansing, chief operating officer for the Koch network’s political arm, Americans For Prosperity.

Deason, who is keeping the “Dallas piggy bank” closed for now, said he was recently approached by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, about hosting a fundraiser.

“I said, ‘No I’m not going to because we’re closing the checkbook until you get some things done,'” Deason said, noting he’s encouraged nearly two dozen major Texas donors to follow his lead.

“There is urgency,” said AFP president Tim Phillips. “We believe we have a window of about 12 months to get as much of it accomplished as possible before the 2018 elections grind policy to a halt.”

The window for action may be even smaller, some Koch allies warned at the three-day donor retreat that drew roughly 400 participants to the base of the Rocky Mountains. The price for admission for most was a pledge to give at least $100,000 this year to the Kochs’ broad policy and political network. There were also at least 18 elected officials on hand.

Some hosted private policy discussions with donors while others simply mingled.

In between meetings, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., predicted dire consequences in next year’s midterm elections should his party fail to deliver on its repeated promises.

“If we don’t get health care, none of us are coming back,” he said in a brief interview. “We said for seven years you’re gonna repeal Obamacare. It’s nowhere near repealed.”

It’s the same for an overhaul of the tax code, Brat said: “We don’t get taxes through, we’re all going home. Pack the bags.”

While some donors threatened to withhold campaign cash, Koch’s team outlined a broader strategy to help shape the debate.

Already, Americans For Prosperity claims a paid staff of more than 400 full-time activists in 36 states. Koch officials said that the network’s midterm budget for policy and politics is between $300 million and $400 million.

The group is actively lobbying Senate Republicans to change their current health care proposal, which it views as insufficiently conservative.

“We are not committed to the Senate bill in its current form, but there is still time to make changes and we’re actively working to improve it,” Phillips said.

At the same time, Koch’s allies are aggressively pushing forward on taxes.

The network is running what it describes as “a first wave” of digital ads calling on more than 50 House and Senate Republicans in both parties to overhaul the tax code. Later in the summer, Philips said, his organization will begin hosting rallies and other events to generate momentum for a tax overhaul in all 36 states where they have full-time operations.

Another Koch donor, Chris Wright, of Colorado, predicted Republicans have a 10-month window before any chance of major policy action is suffocated by next year’s midterms.

“If we don’t get anything done by then, the elections probably don’t go very well,” Wright said. “They may not go well anyway.”

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Court partly reinstates Trump travel ban, fall arguments set

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 11:07

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is letting a limited version of the Trump administration ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect, a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.

The court said Monday the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen could be enforced as long as they lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The justices will hear arguments in the case in October.

Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being cleared by courts.

The Trump administration said the 90-day ban was needed to allow an internal review of the screening procedures for visa applicants from those countries. That review should be complete before Oct. 2, the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term.

A 120-ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a limited basis.

Three of the court’s conservative justices said they would have let the complete bans take effect.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and that it will suffer irreparable harm with any interference. Thomas said the government’s interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.

Two federal appeals courts had blocked the travel policy, which Trump announced a week after he took office in January and revised in March after setbacks in court.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump’s campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination. That court also put a hold on separate aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for 120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees in the current government spending year that ends September 30.

Trump’s first executive order on travel applied to travelers from the six countries as well as Iraq, and took effect immediately, causing chaos and panic at airports over the last weekend in January as the Homeland Security Department scrambled to figure out who the order covered and how it was to be implemented.

A federal judge blocked it eight days later, an order that was upheld by a 9th circuit panel. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it would revise the policy.

In March, Trump issued the narrower order.

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Supreme Court rejects gun rights appeal

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:21

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is rejecting yet another call to decide whether Americans have a constitutional right to carry guns with them outside their homes.

The justices on Monday left in place an appeals court ruling that upheld the San Diego sheriff’s strict limits on issuing permits for concealed weapons.

The high court decided in 2008 that the Constitution guarantees the right to a gun, at least for self-defense at home.

But the justices have refused repeated pleas to spell out the extent of gun rights in the United States, allowing permit restrictions and assault weapons bans to remain in effect in some cities and states.

More than 40 states already broadly allow gun owners to be armed in public.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch said the court should have reviewed the appellate ruling. Thomas said the decision not to hear the case “reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”

The high court also turned away a second case involving guns and the federal law that bars people convicted of crimes from owning guns.

The Trump administration had urged the court to review an appellate ruling that restored the rights of two men who had been convicted of non-violent crimes to own guns.

The federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled for the two men. The crimes were classified as misdemeanors, which typically are less serious, but carried potential prison sentences of more than a year. Such prison terms typically are for felonies, more serious crimes.

The administration says that the court should have upheld the blanket prohibition on gun ownership in the federal law and rejected case-by-case challenges.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor said they would have heard the administration’s appeal.

Daniel Binderup of Manheim, Pennsylvania, was 41 when he pleaded guilty to “corruption of minors” after acknowledging that he had been involved in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old employee of his bakery business. The crime is a misdemeanor yet carries with it a maximum prison term of five years, although Binderup was given probation instead of time behind bars.

Julio Suarez was convicted in Maryland of carrying a handgun without a license, a misdemeanor with a possible prison term of up to three years. Suarez received a six-month sentence, which was suspended, and a year of probation.

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Authorities probe bomb found in Kansas field

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:05

ALLEN, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in east-central Kansas’ Lyon County are investigating a small bomb they say was found in a field.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department tells the Emporia Gazette that the improvised explosive device was found shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday near Allen by a person who was leasing the field.

Sheriff’s officials contacted the Fort Riley 744th EOD Bomb Squad which responded to the scene and disabled the device.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Office at 620-341-3205 or Crime Stoppers at 620-342-2273.

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Supreme Court takes on new clash of gay rights, religion

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 09:54

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking on a new clash between gay rights and religion in a case about a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in Colorado.

The justices said Monday they will consider whether a baker who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds can refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The case asks the high court to balance the religious rights of the baker against the couple’s right to equal treatment under the law. Similar disputes have popped up across the United States.

The decision to take on the case reflects renewed energy among the court’s conservative justices, whose ranks have recently been bolstered by the addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the high court.

The court will review a Colorado court decision that found baker Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop discriminated against the gay couple under Colorado law.

Phillips told the Supreme Court he has free speech and religious rights under the First Amendment that should protect him. He said he should not be compelled to bake a cake specifically to honor a same-sex marriage.

Colorado’s anti-discrimination law protects people on the basis of their sexual orientation. Charlie Craig and David Mullins filed a complaint against Phillips and his suburban Denver shop after Phillips said he would not create and decorate a cake in honor of their marriage.

Colorado did not permit same-sex couples to marry until 2014. Two years earlier, Craig and Mullin were planning to fly to Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage was legal, and host a reception in Denver upon their return to Colorado. They wanted the cake for the occasion.

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Philando Castile family reaches $3M settlement in death

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 09:37

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last year, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement in his death, according to an announcement Monday by her attorneys and the Minneapolis suburb that employed the officer.

The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile, who is the trustee for her family in the case, will avoid a federal wrongful death lawsuit stemming from Philando Castile’s death. The 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker was killed by St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop July 6 after Castile told the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun.

The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

Yanez, who is Latino, was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges earlier this month. The jury’s decision prompted days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down Interstate 94 for hours and ended with 18 arrests.

The $2.995 million settlement will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, which holds the insurance policy for the city of St. Anthony. The plan for distribution of funds requires approval by a state court, which could take several weeks. The statement from the city and Castile’s attorneys says no taxpayer money will be used to fund the settlement.

Robert Bennett, who along with attorney Glenda Hatchett is representing Valerie Castile, said the idea behind the settlement was to move expeditiously rather than have the case drawn out in federal court, a process that would “exacerbate and reopen terrible wounds.” The settlement will also allow the family, the city and community to work toward healing, Bennett said.

“No amount of money could ever replace Philando,” the joint statement said. “With resolution of the claims the family will continue to deal with their loss through the important work of the Philando Castile Relief Foundation.”

Bennett said the foundation’s mission is to provide financial support, grief counseling, scholarships and other help to individuals and families affected by gun violence and police violence.

Bennett said Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, is not part of the settlement announced Monday.

Reynolds has also hired an attorney, but it’s not clear if she is still planning a lawsuit or has any standing for a federal claim. Reynolds’ attorney did not return messages seeking comment Monday.

During his trial, Yanez, 29, testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out his gun. The officer said he feared for his life. According to squad-car video that captured the shooting, Castile said: “I’m not pulling it out” before Yanez fired seven rapid shots. Castile’s last words after the shooting were “I wasn’t reaching …”

Reynolds later said Castile was reaching for his wallet.

The squad-car video shows the shooting, but does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez saw, leaving room for reasonable doubt.

After Yanez’s acquittal, the city of St. Anthony said it was offering Yanez a “voluntary separation agreement” from the police department, and he would no longer be an on-duty officer. The department serves the cities of St. Anthony, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights, where the shooting occurred.

Messages left with the city were not immediately returned Monday.


Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyforliti . More of her work can be found at: https://apnews.com/search/amy%20forliti

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KSN Threat Tracker for Monday, June 26, 2017

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 07:08

7:00AM We had a beautiful sunrise this morning. Clouds and sun will mix together this afternoon and we will have a possibility of a few stray showers and storms as well.

6:00AM A few stray showers in SC Kansas and some patchy fog to the west… Fog will lift by mid-morning.

5:00AM A few stray showers this morning in SC Kansas otherwise, you are looking at a pretty mild June day headed your way. Your live radar is always available at ksn.com/weather

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Frank Mason’s Mindset as a King

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 00:09

Frank Mason made some incredible memories in his Kansas career. Sending the game to overtime during the epic comeback win versus West Virginia, senior night at The Phog, and countless others. Now he’s a Sacramento King. “It’s a great feeling honestly one of the happiest moments for me and my family. And my friends and everyone I love. You know it’s something I’ll always remember and it’s something I’ve worked my whole life for,” said Mason.

Mason was a superstar in college and has the chance to be a great NBA player. But just like his time in Lawrence, he puts others first, whether it’s the fans, or teammates. “I just want to make sure everyone’s happy around me my team’s winning and just always looking at the bigger picture. And that’s the franchise here in Sacramento,” said Mason.





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Proceeds from Toni Anderson memorial show to grow her memory

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 23:19

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Friends remember Toni Anderson for her positivity, love for nature and passion for music.

Anderson was the Wichita native who went missing in Kansas City in January shortly after a traffic stop. Her body and her car were found months later in the Missouri River and her death was ruled accidental, but many remain skeptical of the details surrounding her disappearance.

In order to raise money for a small memorial and to plant a tree near where she passed, friends threw a “Toni Anderson memorial show” at Old Town’s Rock Island Live. The concert featured some of Anderson’s favorite bands.

“One thing she always loved was a packed show. She never had a show dedicated to her, she always talked about wanting a birthday show or something and even though she isn’t around to see it, I know that if there is an afterlife, she’s happy to see it,” friend Michael Burks said.

Burks was one of Anderson’s friends who she frequented concerts with. Anderson had a known love for electronic dance music, as well as pop and punk-rock. Another friend, Travis Boaz, remembers travelling with Anderson to concerts. Boaz felt Wichita was an ideal setting for her memorial show since Anderson was from here, graduating from Wichita East.

“She was always so positive and wanted to bring in community and she was so nice to anyone she came across. She was very involved in the music scene here in Wichita,” Boaz said.

A $5 cover charge gave concert-goers the chance to see four bands and remember Anderson and grow her tree memorial fund. The proposed memorial near the Missouri River will give her many friends a place to mourn her.

“It’s something to be able to give us that isn’t as depressing as a graveyard and she loved nature so the idea of planting a tree was just completely idealistic and superb. Because, she always considered herself growing like a tree. So, to see an actual tree growing in her memory is really beautiful,” Burks said.

Friends estimate upwards of 200 people attended Anderson’s memorial show. Extra money raised past the goal of the tree fund will benefit Team Watters, the non-profit sonar search and rescue group who recovered Anderson and her car from the Missouri River .

Though the concert was upbeat Sunday evening, a somber feeling remains in Anderson’s friends hearts. Burks said he takes all new developments in her case, including the accidental death ruling, with a grain of salt.

“I really want people to try their best to figure out what happened to her. Even if that is…going out and protesting in front of the Kansas City courthouse or whatever. I want to bring as much attention to the fact that this could very possibly be a situation completely different than we all know,” Burks said.

The GoFundMe account for Anderson’s tree is separate from a previously set up account by her family to fundraise toward their search efforts.

Tree memorial link: https://www.gofundme.com/toni-anderson-memorial-benchtree

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Bloomberg to launch $17M contest for US cities

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 20:36

NEW YORK (AP) — Eager to help local leaders bypass Washington, New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s foundation is putting up more than $17 million for a new contest that encourages the nation’s mayors to address critical issues themselves.

The new effort, to be announced publicly on Monday, comes as local leaders are increasingly concerned about the impact of the Trump administration’s policies.

Thirty five cities will ultimately win $100,000, while four more receive $1 million and one grand prize winner gets $5 million. There is no limit to the focus of the projects, but some are expected to address Bloomberg priorities such as climate change, the opioid epidemic, illegal guns and obesity.

“It’s a critical moment to support U.S. cities,” said James Anderson, a senior official at Bloomberg Philanthropies. He suggested mayors currently face challenges “from all directions,” including overbearing elected officials in state capitals and Washington.

He did not address intensifying concerns from local leaders about President Donald Trump, whose policies on several issues clash with those of many mayors and Bloomberg himself.

Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, noted that he did not vote for Trump during an appearance last week on ABC’s “The View,” but he offered signs of tepid support for the Republican president.

“In the end, we’re a democracy. The public has spoken whether you like the results or not, other than with a little help from the Russians, he was elected,” Bloomberg said.

But Bloomberg, a former Republican turned independent, is not necessarily putting his money where his mouth is.

The new contest is part of a larger $200 million initiative aimed at helping America’s cities that he plans to announce Monday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami. He is increasingly using his personal fortune to encourage policymakers to work around Washington.

Bloomberg already plays a significant role in shaping some of the nation’s fiercest policy debates, having invested millions of dollars in one advocacy group that pushes for stronger gun control and another that promotes liberal immigration policies. He has also made $80 million in donations to the Sierra Club in recent years to help combat climate change.

He last funded a similar contest for U.S. mayors in 2013, but moved the initiative to Latin America and Europe in recent years. Past winners include a project to fight childhood obesity in Chile, another to combat climate change in Sweden and a project to improve public safety in Philadelphia.

All American cities with at least 30,000 residents are eligible to apply. Applications are due in October with the winners to be announced in October 2018.

Providence, Rhode Island, will among those competing, said Democratic Mayor Jorge Elorza.

His city won the competition in 2013 with a project that helped improve early childhood development in low-income homes. Elorza predicted strong interest from city leaders this time around given widespread fear about the Trump administration’s policies on immigration, education and health care.

“There’s a big change in anxiety level,” Elorza said. “The fate of our communities is on us.”

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Gay pride parades sound a note of resistance _ and face some

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 20:35

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tens of thousands of people waving rainbow flags lined streets for gay pride parades Sunday in coast-to-coast events that took both celebratory and political tones, the latter a reaction to what some see as new threats to gay rights in the Trump era.

In San Francisco, revelers wearing rainbow tutus and boas held signs that read “No Ban, No Wall, Welcome Sisters and Brothers” while they danced to electronic music at a rally outside City Hall.

Frank Reyes said he and his husband decided to march for the first time in many years because they felt a need to stand up for their rights. The couple joined the “resistance contingent,” which led the parade and included representatives from several activist organizations.

“We have to be as visible as possible,” said Reyes, wearing a silver body suit and gray and purple headpiece decorated with rhinestones.

“Things are changing quickly and we have to take a stand and be noticed,” Reyes’ husband, Paul Brady, added. “We want to let everybody know that we love each other, that we pay taxes and that we’re Americans, too.”

Activists have been galled by the Trump administration’s rollback of federal guidance advising school districts to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. The Republican president also broke from Democratic predecessor Barack Obama’s practice of issuing a proclamation in honor of Pride Month.

At the jam-packed New York City parade, a few attendees wore “Make America Gay Again” hats, while one group walking silently in the parade wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts as they held up signs with a fist and with a rainbow background, a symbol for gay pride. Still others protested potential cuts to heath care benefits, declaring that “Healthcare is an LGBT issue.”

“I think this year is even more politically charged, even though it was always a venue where people used it to express their political perspectives,” said Joannah Jones, 59, from New York with her wife Carol Phillips.

She said the parade being televised for the first time gives people a wider audience. “Not only to educate people in general on the diversity of LGBTQ community but also to see how strongly we feel about what’s going on in office.”

In Chicago, 23-year-old Sarah Hecker was attending her first pride parade, another event that attracted wall-to-wall crowds. “I felt like this would be a way to not necessarily rebel, but just my way to show solidarity for marginalized people in trying times,” said Hecker, a marketing consultant who lives in suburban Chicago.

Elected officials also made a stand, among them New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said his state would continue to lead on equality. Cuomo, a Democrat, on Sunday formally appointed Paul G. Feinman to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Feinman is the first openly gay judge to hold the position.

But the pride celebrations also faced some resistance from within the LGBT community itself. Some activists feel the events center on gay white men and are unconcerned with issues including economic inequality and policing.

The divide disrupted some other pride events this month. The No Justice No Pride group blocked the Washington parade’s route, and four protesters were arrested at the parade in Columbus, Ohio.

In Minneapolis, organizers of Sunday’s Twin Cities Pride Parade initially asked the police department to limit its participation, with the chairwoman saying the sight of uniformed officers could foster “angst and tension and the feeling of unrest” after a suburban officer’s acquittal this month in the deadly shooting of Philando Castile, a black man, during a traffic stop.

The city’s openly gay police chief called the decision divisive and hurtful to LGBT officers. On Friday, organizers apologized and said the officers were welcome to march.

But anti-police protesters disrupted the parade with chants of: “No justice, no peace, no pride in police” and carried signs reading “Justice for Philando” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Meanwhile, pride march organizers have taken steps to address the criticisms about diversity.

Protesters for “Black Lives Matter” also delayed the start of the Seattle parade, parade-goers said.

“The pride celebration is a platform for that dialogue to happen,” San Francisco Pride board president Michelle Meow said this week. The large “resistance contingent” leading San Francisco’s parade includes groups that represent women, immigrants, African-Americans and others along with LGBT people.

New York parade-goers Zhane Smith-Garris, 20, Olivia Rengifo, 19 and Sierra Dias, 20, all black women from New Jersey, said they did not feel there was inequality in the movement.

“Pride is for gay people in general,” Dias said.

There were scattered counter protests and a few disruptions, including a small group in New York urging parade-goers to “repent for their sins.” But most attending were unified in celebration and in standing up against a presidential administration they find unsupportive.

“This year, especially, it’s a bit of a different atmosphere,” said Grace Cook, a 17-year-old from suburban Chicago who noted the more political tone in this year’s parade, including at least one anti-Trump float.


Associated Press writers Rebecca Gibian and Colleen Long in New York and Martha Irvine, an AP national writer in Chicago, contributed to this report.

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9 dead, 28 missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 20:27

GUATAPE, Colombia (AP) — A tourist boat packed with about 170 passengers for the holiday weekend capsized Sunday on a reservoir near the Colombian city of Medellin, leaving nine people dead and 28 missing, officials said.

Rescuers including firefighters from nearby cities and air force pilots were searching for survivors at the Guatape reservoir where the four-story El Almirante ferry sank. A flotilla of recreational boats and jet skis rushed to the scene, pulling people from the boat as it went down and avoiding an even deadlier tragedy.

Dramatic videos circulating on social media show the turquoise and yellow trimmed party boat rocking back and forth as people crawled down from a fourth-floor roof as it began sinking into the water.

“Those on the first and second floors sank immediately,” a female survivor who wasn’t identified by name told Teleantioquia. “The boat was sinking and all we could do was scream and call for help.”

Margarita Moncada, the head of the disaster response agency in Antioquia state, said that according to a preliminary report 99 people were rescued and another 40 managed to find a way to shore on their own and were in good condition. Speaking to reporters from the reservoir, she said nine people had been killed and around 28 are still missing.

It’s unclear what caused the boat to sink but survivors said that it appeared to be overloaded and nobody on board was wearing a life vest.

Daniel Giraldo, owner of an Italian restaurant in Guatape, said he went to the bay after hearing the sound of ambulances. When he got to the shore people told him the ship had gone under.

“It sank in a matter of four minutes,” he said.

Next he went to the hospital where he said he saw a baby girl in a wet dress who had been saved but whose mother he was told is missing.

Authorities were at a loss to say exactly how many people were on the boat and asked passengers or their loved ones to report to a rescue center hastily set up along the shore. They also made a call for scuba divers to assist with the search.

The reservoir surrounding the soaring rocky outcrop of El Penol is a popular weekend destination a little more than an hour from Medellin. It was especially busy Sunday as Colombians celebrated a long holiday weekend.

AP Writers Christine Armario from Bogota, Colombia and Joshua Goodman from Caracas, Venezuela contributed to this report

Categories: Local KSN News

Residents say they want to fight for Minisa Pool

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 18:20

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The city of Wichita is in the process of closing six different local pools and the Minisa Park Pool is one of them.

McAdams Park Pool already locked its gates this summer but Minisa is set to close in 2020 and for that reason, some residents say it’s time to enjoy the pool while it’s still here.

The Riverside North Neighborhood Association said they have been fighting for the pool to stay open, even before the close was officially announced.

“We have provided quite a few opportunities to folks in the area, like free swim day,” said the Riverside North Neighborhood Association’s Vice President, Sharon Quincy. “This is about getting people back into the pool, like they used to be.”

The association says all this is in an effort to get people involved in the community and make them aware that this pool is on the chopping block.

“We anticipate in the neighborhood, perhaps establishing a more wide scale support to keep our pool open as well as other city pools that are being closed,” said Quincy.

The group said it plans to meet every Sunday and Wednesday at the Minisa Park Pool for water aerobics. The class is free but there is a $3 charge to use the pool facility.

Categories: Local KSN News

Food trucks are back at The Fountain

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 17:44

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Dozens of people piled into The Fountain to enjoy a large selection of local Wichita food trucks Sunday.

“We’ve been coming for about 3 years now, faithfully,” laughed Barbara Stinson. “We love the food and it’s a nice Sunday outing for the family.”

The event is hosted by The Flying Stove food truck and they said one of the reasons people keep coming back, is the food.

“We switch our menu up every 3-4 months so we’ve gone through a lot of different dishes but most people’s favorite dishes are truffle fries or our Mexican fired fries,” said Flying Stove co-owner, Jeff Schouf.

People in attendance had the option to nibble on culinary delights from nearly 30 different local food trucks. Visitors could find everything from crepes to organic juices, to pizza and even tacos. Most there said it’s the perfect spot to stop and grab some lunch.

The event started with a yoga session and ended with live music and a fountain show for folks to sit out and enjoy as they ate their lunch.

“For the people who couldn’t come today, they can come out for the next one,” said Schouf.

The food trucks will be lined up at The Fountain every last Sunday of the month, until November.

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Categories: Local KSN News

KSN Threat Tracker for Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:48

4:55PM Still tracking showers across the state, with a few storms possible in southwest Kansas. The latest now on KSN News at 5!

4PM A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Morton, Stanton, and Stevens counties in Kansas, plus Texas County in Oklahoma until 11PM. Strong storms are moving into this area now, so stay alert! No more watches or severe weather is expected across any of the rest of the KSN viewing area tonight.

3:45PM Scattered showers are popping up around the Wichita Metro this afternoon. Be sure to check the radar before you head out! http://ksn.com/weather/interactive-radar/

Categories: Local KSN News

Gov. Brownback signs budget bill

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:29

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Sam Brownback has signed the Senate Substitute for House Bill 2002.

“This budget, passed on the 113th day of the legislative session, unnecessarily increases government spending in several areas and fails to adopt common sense cost saving measures identified by the legislature’s own efficiency study.” said Governor Brownback in a statement released Sunday. “However, I am signing the budget, despite my concerns about excessive spending, to avoid a break in core functions of government and to provide state workers with well-deserved pay increases.”

Governor Brownback returned the bill with the following line item vetoes:

  • Limitation on the ability of KDADS to best serve vulnerable Kansans
    • Section 174 – Vetoed broad language limiting the ability of KDADS to implement changes, no matter how minor, to some programs and services.
  • Redirection of funding for KDADS Clubhouse Model Program Fund
    • Section 99-(q) and Section 1-(o) – Vetoed language establishing a funding receptacle which was made unnecessary by the veto of HB 2313. Governor Brownback has directed KDADS to work with the Community Mental Health Centers to establish a pilot with Clubhouse Model Program providers in fiscal year 2018 in order to expand the scope of this program.

“This move is going to make it difficult for an override of this line-item veto,” says Representative Jim Ward (D) -Wichita. “This move essentially takes away up to $8 million over two years from social services.”

Ward says there may be an override of the Governor’s line-item veto on Monday. Monday is the ceremonial last day of the session.

Ward also says social program that provide things like services for people with autism and traumatic brain injuries may have trouble keeping their doors open.

“Their funding was supposed to come from lottery machines, and that’s the way the legislature set this up,” says Ward. “But now the funding is essentially taken away.”

The Brownback administration has asked community mental health centers to work together to establish a model that would come up with a way to provide services.

Brownback’s full message to the legislature can be found here.

Gov. Brownback has signed 102 bills into law this session, vetoed four, and allowed one to become law without his signature. By law, Brownback has 10 calendar days to sign the bill into law, veto the bill or allow the bill to become law without his signature.

Categories: Local KSN News