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Updated: 16 min 43 sec ago

Woman falls from roof, firefighters finish hanging her Christmas lights

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 17:43

HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – Maureen Gile is tough.

“The top of my head is sore.”

But she’s in pain. She can’t even lift her right arm above her shoulder. And it’s all because of what she was doing on Monday.

Maureen was doing what she does every year, just putting some Christmas lights up.

“I never have been afraid to do stuff like this,” says Gile.

She had one foot on the roof, and the other on the ladder.

“I threw the lights and I was getting ready to step around the ladder and put the other one up when it came out and went from under me,” she says.

Maureen fell eight feet from the top of the roof.

“Just a little old lady falling off the roof,” says Gile jokingly.

She landed on a pile of metal. If she fell to the right she could have landed on her pointed metal gate.

“I could have broken my neck,” says Giles. “I could have died.”

But it was her heroes, Sedgwick County Ladder 34, who came to her rescue, and saved her holiday.

“As I was getting in my husband’s truck to go to the emergency room , I turned back around and here is all these firemen up on my house putting the lights on top of my house. And I said ‘You guys don’t need to do that!’ and one of them said, ‘Yeah we are the ones who have the ladder!'”

She says they did a great job.

“Oh, they look wonderful,” says Giles.

Maureen says the firefighters also volunteered to come back and put them up next year, so she toughed this interview out so everyone would know.

“I just thought that was the nicest thing for the fire department. You never hear about the nice things that they do for people, but you always hear about the bad stuff. They were an awesome bunch of guys,” says Giles.

Giles says she plans to surprise the first responders with some fresh cookies.

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Probable cause affidavits released in death of Evan Brewer

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 17:08

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There are new developments in the case of Evan Brewer, the three-year-old boy found encased in concrete in September. The details are disturbing.

Probable cause affidavits were released Wednesday and they outline the evidence that led police to arrest Evan’s mother, Miranda Miller, and her boyfriend, Stephen Bodine, for Brewer’s murder.

The two documents, both 12 pages long, detail pictures and video of Brewer while in Miller’s custody that appear to be taken inside the home on S. Vine, some using an app that uses phones and tablets as security cameras that can be set up to start recording using motion-detection.

One video shows “Miranda violently spanking Evan for moving while in bed.” It also describes a photo showing Evan “with what appears to be a dark, possibly leather belt around his neck.”

Documents show that police found a receipt dated for May 26, 2017 where concrete, threaded rod and a trowel were purchased. Those items were signed for by Miranda Miller.

The document goes on to say in October of 2017, while Bodine was in custody, he told an employee of the sheriff’s office where he was being held that his wife’s son died “probably from neglect” and “Bodine acknowledged he was the one who put the kid in the concrete in the laundry room.”

The documents also say that Brewer’s body was so decomposed when it was found that medical examiners have classified his cause of death as undetermined.

According to the documents, multiple calls were made to the Department for Children and Families alleging abuse or neglect against Evan.

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Garden City police will start wearing body cameras

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 16:02

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Newly-approved body cameras will help officers do their jobs, officials say. What’s unknown is how the cameras might impact the public.

“Police departments can benefit from it because it allows them to, for lack of a better term, cover their own butts,” said Christopher Velez, an attorney in Garden City.

The Garden City commission approved a bid of $446,942 for 64 body and 32 car cameras to be paid for over 5 years.

“Really it’s just an additional tool to help our officers in the line of duty and gives them that additional tool to do their job,” said Vice Mayor Roy Cessna.

Depending on the case, body camera footage could help or hurt a defendant.

“Especially if there’s a dispute about certain chains of events or what a defendant may or may not have done or what the officer may or may not have said,” said Velez, who also said available footage starts to open up legal issues. “Search and seizure fourth amendment concerns. All this data that comes in has to go somewhere, and it is an emerging area of law what departments are supposed to do with it.”

As of now, the police department has no policy in place regarding how footage is released or how long it will be stored.

“The chief told the city commission yesterday that they’d be working on putting together policies on the different aspects of the length of time,” said Cessna.

The chief told the commission the cameras will arrive as early as March 1.

KSN reached out to the police department to ask about how and when cameras will be used and how footage will be stored and released. The department declined to comment.

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WFD crews responding to two-alarm apartment building fire

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 15:56

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Fire crews are responding to a two-alarm apartment fire in Wichita.

The fire is in the Shirkmere apartment building in the 200 block of N. Topeka. There is smoke coming from the roof of the building.

Streets have been blocked off near the building, and drivers should avoid the area.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

KSN has a crew on the scene and we will provide updates as they become available.

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Former coach arrested for suspicion of rape, sexual battery

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 15:13

LIBERAL, Kan. (KSNW) – A former Liberal High School track coach was arrested December 7 without incident.

Tyson McGuire was terminated from Liberal High School in November following several accusations of sexual misconduct. Following an investigation, an affidavit of probable cause was submitted to the Seward County Attorney’s Office for review of potential criminal charges.

He was booked into the Seward County Jail for rape and sexual battery.

McGuire has made his first court appearance. His next court appearance is scheduled for January 8.

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Wichita police officer recovers stolen Christmas presents, vehicles

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 13:28

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A lieutenant with the Wichita Police Department helped solve a number of cases Tuesday. One included stolen Christmas presents belonging to a family and another included two stolen vehicles.

The officer was on routine patrol when he found two stolen vehicles at the Ramada Inn in the 5800 block of West Kellogg around 2 a.m. this morning.

One of the stolen vehicles, a black Kia, pulled out, and the officer began to pursue the suspect. The 19-year-old suspect was stopped at 2nd and West Street by a tire deflation device and arrested.

After the arrest, officers found the stolen presents in the back of the Kia. They were tied to a home burglary that happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 1800 block of Diane. Those presents were returned to the family.

As for the stolen vehicles, police said the Kia and Tahoe were taken from HD Automotive in the 1500 block of West Douglas early Tuesday morning around 4. Those two vehicles were later involved in a burglary call in the 3500 block of South Ida around 10:30 a.m.

Wichita police officer Charley Davidson said the 19-year-old man was tied to all those cases plus a domestic violence situation on South Illinois Street.

“I wouldn’t say they are all related. All incidents that occurred with that suspect or the vehicles that had been stolen,” said Davidson.

The 19-year-old man was booked for felon in possession of firearm, possession of stolen property, felony traffic charges, aggravated assault, domestic violence and burglary.

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Brownback sees rolled-back Kansas cuts still shaping debate

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:44

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback argues as he prepares to leave office that his experiment in aggressive tax-cutting pioneered a national debate over helping small business owners.

He said during a year-end interview with The Associated Press that what Kansas did on taxes influenced Congress and other states even if his home-state lawmakers rolled back the cuts.

The conservative Republican governor predicted that other states will look at lowering personal income taxes for small business owners. He pointed to provisions of a GOP federal tax overhaul as a sign that the idea has taken root.

Brownback is awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Looking ahead, he said he believes religious liberty issues are more visible globally and “the time is right” to focus on them.

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Wichita man killed in rollover on icy interstate

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:29

YELLOWSTONE COUNTY, Mont. (KLUR) – A 20-year-old Wichita man was killed Tuesday morning in a rollover in Montana.

It happened on I-90. The driver is identified as Trenton Lopez from Wichita.

Lopez was traveling eastbound when he lost control of the vehicle and rolled over into the median.

The Montana Highway Patrol said that icy conditions and speed contributed to the crash.

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Former Manhattan city attorney sentenced in child porn case

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 11:32

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – A former Manhattan city attorney has been sentenced to 17.5 years in prison on child pornography charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s office announced that 55-year-old Bill Raymond, of Andover, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Wichita.

Raymond pleaded guilty in August to three counts of transporting child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors say Beall committed the crimes in Butler and Riley counties.

He was city attorney in Manhattan from 2012 until he was charged in the child porn case in 2015. Before moving to Manhattan he was an assistant county counselor in Sedgwick County.

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Man buried in collapsed trench

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 11:04

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Emergency crews are working to rescue a man trapped in a collapsed trench. It happened around 10:30 a.m. near 53rd and Webb in Bel Aire.

The Wichita Fire Department is assisting Sedgwick County with the rescue response.

Bel Aire Chief of Police Darrell Atteberry said the man was working for Wilks Underground Utilities. The man was excavating a trench to put a pipe in.

“He was at the bottom of the hole when a piece of dirt, about a dump truck load, they estimate, the fire department estimates about 16 to 20 tons shifted and fell on top of him,” said Atteberry.

Look for the latest updates on KSN and KSN.com.

WFD assisting @SedgwickCounty FD1 w/ Tech Rescue response, E 53rd/N Webb where a construction trench has collapsed on a victim. Extrication is in progress. #ictfire #icttraffic

— WichitaFireDept (@WichitaFireDept) December 20, 2017

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Reno County man killed in crash early Wednesday morning

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 10:56

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – An 89-year-old Reno County man died in collision this morning. It happened on U.S. Highway 50 about one mile west of Hutchinson around 6.

A 61-year-old man driving a semi eastbound on Highway 50 struck a car driven by the 89-year-old man. Both victims were trapped. Fire crews were able to free both victims.

The driver of the semi was transported to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center for his injuries. The 89-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities haven’t released his name pending notification of family members.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Working semi rollover accident K96 and HWY 50 west bound lane down to one lane. Avoid area.@Hutchinson_Fire pic.twitter.com/aS3KQ1hWXQ

— Doug Hanen (@hutchdcdoug) December 20, 2017

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Suspect arrested in 2015 fatal shooting of Topeka 5-year-old girl

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 08:07

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Topeka police say they have arrested a 21-year-old suspect in a 2015 drive-by shooting that killed a 5-year-old girl.

The victim, Lily Mai Coats-Nichols, was in the back seat of a car in Topeka in July 2015 when shots were fired and a bullet hit her in the head.

Topeka police Lt. Colleen Stuart says the suspect, identified on arrest records as Jessie D. Hughes, was booked into the Shawnee County Jail Tuesday facing possible charges of first-degree murder and criminal discharge of a firearm.

At the time of the shooting, police said they had few leads, with only a vague description of a white car seen on the street around the time of the shooting.

Police did not say what led to Tuesday’s arrest.

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Last-minute holiday shipping dates

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 07:59

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — This week is the busiest week of holiday shipping for the United States Postal Service.

According to Wichita’s postmaster Ryon Knopik, post offices are seeing lines out the door this week.

A USPS press release said Kansas postal carriers expect to deliver 5.6 million packages this holiday season — a 10 percent increase from last year.

In Wichita, postal workers delivered more than 87,000 packages over the past weekend. With this week being the busiest week, workers are prepared for the increase of business.

Knopik said they aren’t adding extra workers, but postal workers are working extra hours to get packages delivered on time.

If you haven’t mailed your holiday packages yet, you still have time. Today is the deadline for Priority Mail, and Friday is the deadline for Priority Mail Express. The deadline for military and international mail passed.

Knopik encourages people to use other shipping options to avoid the long lines. Wichita post offices have self-service kiosks  that allow you to buy stamps, print shipping labels, and weight and ship packages. If you don’t want to leave your house, that’s an option too. You can visit the USPS website and look for the ‘Click-N-Ship’ option. This online option will send you the shipping supplies, and you can schedule a package pick-up.

According to USPS, they expect to deliver 26 million packages every day this week nationwide — for a total of 180 million packages.

The postal service offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. For more information on holiday shipping, visit the USPS website.

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Body found in Missouri amid search for missing Kansas woman

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 07:20

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Authorities have found a woman’s body in Kansas City, Missouri, while searching for a missing 18-year-old and say a person of interest in her disappearance has killed himself.

Kansas City police say a tip Tuesday night led officers to a wooded area where the woman’s body was found. Police are trying to determine if the body is that of Mikayala Norris, of suburban Overland Park, Kansas. She was last seen Sunday leaving a barbecue restaurant where she worked.

Police say the person of interest in the case was found dead Tuesday night behind a sporting goods store in suburban Liberty, Missouri. Police say he also fired shots Tuesday in Liberty at another woman while she was driving. She wasn’t struck but hit a tree. The man’s name hasn’t been released.

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Trump, GOP plan White House celebration as tax bill OK nears

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 06:17

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jubilant Republican lawmakers laid plans to join President Donald Trump at the White House for a victory celebration Wednesday as Congress moved one roll call away from approving the GOP’s paramount priority, the most thorough reshaping of the country’s tax system since the 1980s.

“Workers benefit. Wages go up. More jobs occur,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today,” describing what Republicans say will flow from a $1.5 trillion measure that affects everyone’s taxes but is dominated by breaks for business and higher earners. Democrats call the legislation a boon to the rich that leaves middle-class and working Americans behind.

“If they think this bill is a good political argument for them, let them think that,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters.

The Senate used a post-midnight vote to approve the measure on a party-line 51-48 tally. Protesters interrupted with chants of, “Kill the bill, don’t kill us” and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly called for order. Upon passage, Republicans cheered, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin among them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., insisted Americans would respond positively to the tax bill.

“If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work,” he said.

Trump planned a ceremony with GOP lawmakers Wednesday after final congressional approval.

In an eleventh-hour hiccup Tuesday, the Senate parliamentarian found that three minor provisions violated Senate rules, forcing lawmakers to strip them out.

Republicans had rammed the bill through the House 227-203 on Tuesday with all voting Democrats in opposition. Because of the language the Senate removed, the House had to revisit the measure Wednesday because each chamber must approve identical legislation before it can be signed into law.

Ryan, who has worked years toward the goal of revamping the tax code, gleefully pounded the gavel on Tuesday’s House vote. GOP House members roared and applauded as they passed a package that will touch every American taxpayer and every corner of the U.S. economy, providing steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy, and more modest help for middle- and low-income families.

Despite Republican talk of spending discipline, the bill is projected to push the huge national debt ever higher.

Ryan said Wednesday the GOP is willing to risk running up deficits with the aim of getting a higher annual economic growth rate.

Trump is aching for a big political victory after 11 months of legislative failures and nonstarters. The president tweeted his congratulations to GOP leaders and to “all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!”

Congressional Republicans, who faltered badly in trying to dismantle Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, see passage of the tax bill as crucial to proving to Americans they can govern — and imperative for holding onto House and Senate majorities in next year’s midterm elections.

“The proof will be in the paychecks,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said during the Senate’s nighttime debate. “This is real tax relief, and it’s needed.”

Not so, said the top Senate Democrat as the long, late hours led to testy moments Tuesday night.

“We believe you are messing up America,” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer told Republicans, chiding them for not listening to his remarks.

The GOP has repeatedly argued the bill will spur economic growth as corporations, flush with cash, increase wages and hire more workers. But many voters in surveys see the legislation as a boost to the wealthy, such as Trump and his family, and a minor gain at best for the middle class.

Democrats mocked the Republicans’ contention that the bill will make taxes so simple that millions can file their returns “on a postcard” — an idea repeated often by the president.

“What happened to the postcard? We’re going to have to carry around a billboard for tax simplification,” declared Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.

Tax cuts for corporations would be permanent while the cuts for individuals would expire in 2026 to comply with Senate budget rules. The tax cuts would take effect in January, and workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.

The bill would slash the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The top tax rate for well-off individuals would be lowered from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

The legislation repeals an important part of the 2010 health care law — the requirement that all Americans carry health insurance or face a penalty — as the GOP looks to unravel the law it failed to repeal and replace this past summer. It also allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The $1,000-per-child tax credit doubles to $2,000, with up to $1,400 available in IRS refunds for families that owe little or no taxes.

Disgruntled Republican lawmakers from high-tax New York, New Jersey and California receded into the background as the tax train rolled. They oppose a new $10,000 limit on the deduction for state and local taxes.

The bill is projected to add $1.46 trillion to the nation’s debt over a decade. GOP lawmakers say they expect a future Congress to continue the tax cuts so they won’t expire. That would drive up deficits even further.

___

Associated Press writers Matthew Daly, Kevin Freking and Alan Fram contributed to this report.

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Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter at http://twitter.com/stephenatap

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The Latest: Senate passes tax bill, sending it back to House

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 23:55

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the push in Congress to pass a sweeping tax cut bill (all times local):

12:46 a.m.

Senate Republicans have passed the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades, setting the stage for a final House vote Wednesday.

The House passed the bill earlier Tuesday. But the Senate had to make minor changes so the bill would comply with Senate budget rules.

The Senate vote was 51-48 on early Wednesday, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed.

Rewriting the tax code has been a longtime goal of Republicans and an effort championed by President Donald Trump.

Democrats complain that the package is a giveaway to corporations and the rich.

The tax cuts total nearly $1.5 trillion over the next decade and would take effect in January. Workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.

___

12:41 a.m.

Protesters chanting “kill the bill, don’t kill us” interrupted the Senate vote on passage of the tax bill.

Visitors in the Senate gallery stood up shortly after the vote began and started chanting on early Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding, stopped and repeatedly called on the sergeant at arms to restore order in the gallery.

The vote took place with a heavy U.S. Capitol Police presence outside the chamber in expectation of the protests.

Demonstrators had interrupted the House debate on the bill earlier in the day.

___

12:30 a.m.

The Senate has voted to strip three elements from the Republican tax bill that were deemed to violate Senate rules.

The vote was 51-48 early Wednesday. The finding by the Senate’s parliamentarian on the three minor elements was a temporary speed bump in the $1.5 trillion tax bill’s trajectory toward passage and President Donald Trump’s signature.

The Republican-controlled House passed the bill on a 227-203 party-line vote earlier Tuesday, but will have to vote again Wednesday. That will send the sweeping legislation to Trump to sign it into law.

Democrats say the provisions that triggered the glitch include language that would allow families to use tax-advantaged college savings accounts for the costs of home-schooling children.

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4:50 p.m.

Democrats say three provisions in the Republican $1.5 trillion tax bill violate Senate rules and will likely be removed before that chamber votes on the measure.

The House approved the legislation Tuesday. But this means the House will have to vote again on the legislation once it’s been amended and approved by the Senate.

Senate passage was expected Tuesday night or early Wednesday. GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office says the House would reconsider the bill Wednesday morning and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Democrats said the Senate parliamentarian had found three items that violated Senate rules.

These included one provision that would let families use tax-advantaged 529 accounts for home-schooling expenses.

The problem was revealed by Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden.

___

3:50 p.m.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (skuh-LEES’) says the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee should retain his position even though he voted against the GOP tax overhaul, the most important vote of the year to Republican leaders.

Scalise says New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (FREE’-ling-hy-zehn) long ago informed GOP leaders that he opposed the bill because of its impact on high-tax states such as New Jersey. Frelinghuysen voted against the bill Tuesday, leading some House conservatives to say he should be replaced as Appropriations chair.

Scalise called that an overreaction, saying Frelinghuysen is “doing a really good job in a tough position” on Appropriations.

Scalise praised an emergency spending bill largely crafted by Frelinghuysen that will offer $81 billion in emergency aid to states hard-hit by hurricanes and wildfires.

___

3:45 p.m.

A sweeping tax package speeding its way through Congress has cleared a key procedural vote in the Senate.

The Senate voted 51-48 to begin debating the bill. The House passed the bill Tuesday afternoon and the Senate is expected to pass it Tuesday evening, sending it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The $1.5 trillion package would provide steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy and more modest cuts for middle- and low-income families. The business tax cuts would take effect in January. Workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.

The bill would nearly double the standard deduction used by most taxpayers, while those who itemize would lose some deductions

___

3:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is celebrating the House’s passage of sweeping Republican tax legislation on Twitter.

Trump in a tweet is congratulating House Speaker Paul Ryan along with Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and what he said were “all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!”

The $1.5 trillion package would provide steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy and more modest cuts for middle- and low-income families.

The bill is now headed to the Senate for an expected vote Tuesday evening.

It’s Trump’s first major legislative win to date.

____

2:05 p.m.

The House has passed the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades. The bill now goes to the Senate for an expected vote Tuesday evening.

The House approved the bill by a mostly party line vote of 227-203. The bill represents the first major legislative victory for President Donald Trump.

The $1.5 trillion package would provide steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy and more modest cuts for middle- and low-income families. The business tax cuts would take effect in January. Workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.

The bill would nearly double the standard deduction used by most taxpayers, while those who itemize would lose some deductions.

___

2 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is hailing the Republican tax package, saying “today, we give the people of this country their money back.”

Ryan was wrapping up debate on the House floor on Tuesday ahead of the vote on the $1.5 trillion tax package. It was the realization of Ryan’s yearslong work on tax policy.

Protesters disagreed.

On woman yelled from the visitors’ gallery: “You’re lying. You’re lying. Only rich will benefit.” She was escorted out of the chamber by Capitol Police.

Another woman told the Wisconsin Republican he needs to learn math.

___

1:50 p.m.

Several protesters have briefly disrupted House debate on the tax bill, yelling, “kill the bill. Don’t kill us.”

Police removed the demonstrators from the visitors’ gallery and debate proceeded, with Republicans and Democrats alternating in speaking about the $1.5 trillion package.

Several Democratic lawmakers applauded. The last protester escorted out of the gallery nodded toward the Democrats and said, “thank you.” Republicans did not applaud, but several could be seen smiling.

The House was expected to pass the bill shortly.

___

12:05 p.m.

A sweeping tax package speeding its way through Congress has cleared a key procedural vote in the House.

The House approved the rule to begin debating the bill by a mostly party line vote of 233-193. The House is on track to pass the bill Tuesday afternoon, sending it to the Senate for an expected vote Tuesday evening.

The $1.5 trillion package would provide steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy and more modest cuts for middle- and low-income families. The business tax cuts would take effect in January. Workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.

The bill would nearly double the standard deduction used by most taxpayers, which those who itemize would lose some deductions.

___

10:25 a.m.

Gleeful House Republicans are taking a victory lap ahead of expected passage of their tax package.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, members of the GOP hailed the bill that would slash taxes for businesses and the wealthy while offering modest cuts for other Americans.

Republicans argue that corporations, flush with cash, will create more jobs and boost the economy.

Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters: “This is the greatest example of a promise being made and a promise being kept.”

Ryan rejected polling that shows the bill is widely unpopular. He insisted that “results are going to make this popular.”

Ryan was joined by other members of the House GOP leadership who called the day historic and praised the legislation.

The House was expected to vote around 2 p.m. The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday evening.

____

8:45 a.m.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the tax overhaul legislation facing votes today in Congress is a “huge deal for America.”

Speaking on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday, Sanders said, “Today is a huge day, not just for the White House, not just for Congress but most importantly for America.”

Sanders said middle class Americans will “see the biggest benefit out of this tax package.”

The sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill slashes the tax rate for corporations from 35 percent to 21 percent and reduces taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while making more modest tax reductions for most others.

It’s not expected to win any Democratic votes. Speaking in front of the White House, she said Democratic lawmakers should have been “banging down the door of the building behind me to be part of this process.”

____

6:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is hailing the performance of the stock market as the House and Senate brace for votes that majority Republicans are confident will produce the most far-reaching overhaul of the U.S. tax code in decades.

In an early morning tweet Tuesday, Trump savors what would be his biggest legislative accomplishment as president, and says “DOW RISES 5000 POINTS ON THE YEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER — MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

He also says, “Stocks and the economy have a long way to go after the Tax Cut Bill is totally understood and appreciated in scope and size.”

The president adds, “Immediate expensing will have a big impact. Biggest Tax Cuts and Reform EVER passed. Enjoy. And create many beautiful JOBS!”

___

3:55 a.m.

Their long-sought political goal within grasp, Republicans in Congress are set to catapult sweeping $1.5 trillion tax legislation through the House, rolling over a dozen GOP defectors from high-tax states.

The Republicans’ final drive to deliver the tax package to an eager President Donald Trump begins Tuesday with a vote in the House. Quickly following, a vote later in the day or on Wednesday in the Senate is expected to seal the deal. Both tallies likely will cling along party lines.

The Senate result was in doubt in recent weeks. Only on Friday did Republican leaders cement the needed support for the legislation, securing endorsements from wavering GOP senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Bob Corker of Tennessee. More holdout GOP senators— moderate Susan Collins of Maine and Mike Lee of Utah — came into the fold on Monday.

Categories: Local KSN News

Wichita State Defeats Arkansas State

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 23:17

WICHITA, Kan. – Samjae Hayne-Jones scored a team-high 27 points, and No. 11/11 Wichita State survived a scare from Arkansas State, 89-80, Tuesday evening at Charles Koch Arena.

WSU (9-2) trailed 50-44 at halftime and by as many as nine points in the opening minutes of the second half before bouncing back. The Shockers took the lead with just over 12 minutes to play and forged in front for good on Haynes-Jones three-pointer at the 10:39 mark.

WSU played without starting shooting guard Conner Frankamp, who suffered from a migraine.

Haynes-Jones (11-of-17, 4-of-7 from three) made the most of his increased minutes, scoring 18 of his 27 in the second half.

Landry Shamet finished with 18 points and six assists without a turnover. Darral Willis Jr. (14 points, seven rebounds) and Shaquille Morris (10) joined him in double-figures. Rashard Kelly had a strong all-around game with nine points, eight rebounds (six on the offensive end) and five assists.

Categories: Local KSN News

Safe Streets fights opioid crisis with bags that deactivate prescription drugs

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 22:48

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – What do you do with your unused drugs? Right now, there are just two places to drop them off in Sedgwick County.
But a local group is working to change that by giving people a new way to dispose of medicine.

Safe Streets, a program of Partners for Wichita, has handed out thousands of biodegradable bags that can actually de-activate drugs placed inside.
The goal is to help more people take un-wanted medications out of the wrong hands.

Inside this Wichita church, the Safe Streets team has been busy planning to hand these pouches out to people of all ages.

“She said that her husband had passed, and she had some of his old medications in the home and she didn’t know what she should do with them,” said Jan Chandler, Safe Streets.

4600 of the “Deterra” bags have been distributed since this summer at various community events.  They say more disposal options are important with the opioid epidemic making its mark in Kansas.

“Make people more aware there’s a problem, an upcoming problem of prescription drug misuse and like what I said earlier, we want to reduce the diversion, a drug overdose misuse and abuse and things of that sort,” said Chandler.

And hopefully, start a movement of safely tossing away prescription drugs for generations to come.

“As a mother, it’s terrifying to think that one of your children might get addicted to prescription drugs, or opioids,” said Danielle Ramirez, Safe Streets.

The group says they have hundreds of bags they plan to distribute next year. Also, they say the three-step process is easy.

“Zip it up and toss it in the trash, right there in your home,” said Chandler.

It’s really that simple what you do is take your unused medication, open the pouch, drop them into the bag, add warm water, zip it up and then throw it away.

The group says often the first misuse of prescription drugs was given by either family or friends. Because of this, they encourage people who are interested in the bags to contact them.

There are currently just two places in Wichita where you can drop off your unused prescription drugs year round.

That’s the Walgreens in the 3300 block at East Central and the Walgreens in the 500 block of North Maize Road.

If you would like some disposal bags to get rid of your medication, you can contact the Safe Streets team at 316-263-1389.

Categories: Local KSN News

Teachman’s Take: Enjoy the Warmth…For Now!

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 18:31

Temperatures today have stayed on the milder side in the 50s.  We do have a storm system that will travel to our southeast overnight.  This will produce areas of drizzle, a few light rain showers and fog mainly for areas to the southeast of the Turnpike.  We will stay above freezing, so I’m not expecting any slick stuff for the early Wednesday morning commute.

We only have 2 more days of mild conditions before the bottom falls out.

There will be a significant Arctic plunge later this week and into the holiday weekend.

I’m tracking a few storm systems that honestly, don’t have much moisture to work with.  But, there will be a few rain showers that will change to snow showers on Thursday as the front arrives.

By Saturday, another system will travel to the southeast of Wichita.  This will bring flurries and light snow to parts of southeastern Kansas.  Join me tonight on KSN News for an hour by hour look who will see the snow and how much temperatures will drop.  – Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

Categories: Local KSN News

Public split on more surveillance cameras in Wichita

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 18:18

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) City council found out on Tuesday that residents are divided about the addition of more downtown cameras.

“I have lived in Old Town so those cameras see every single, pretty much, action I take and I have mixed feelings about that,” says Katherine Camden, who lives near District 1.

What was supposed to be a discussion about Shot Spotter, a microphone system that can accurately detect gun shots, or 17 more surveillance cameras in the city turned into a debate almost mostly about the cameras.

“There are other ways to address this and I think the council should keep looking,” says another Wichita woman.

The area the cameras would go is in District 1, where police Chief Gordon Ramsay says responses to gun shots are among the highest in the city.

“The numbers are in the 60-70 range for 2017,” says Ramsay. “Cameras are great. Right? There is no doubt they help with crime. They help with safety and when used properly usually neighborhoods do fight for where they are going to go.”

“We are willing to step up and be a pilot program for these cameras,” says a man who went to the podium during the council meeting.

Andra Martin lives in Wichita and also works for the Housing Authority. She says, “If you not living in it you don’t understand the comfort it would bring us to have those cameras.”

But the discussion was cut somewhat short.

Cameras and Shot Spotter were both nixed though a motion was passed.

The united way and other partnering programs will get $290,000 to split between economic development, entrepreneurship and public safety, in the specific area of zip code 67214.

But council woman Lavonta Williams says those groups could decide to bring the cameras back into the discussion.

Some say that could cause dispute.

“It can cause problems with racial relations and make people feel like they are being profiled,” says Camden.

One of the reasons the conversation switched from Shot Spotters to cameras was the cost of Shot Spotter. It would initially cost $290,000 but would cost about $190,000 annually for upkeep. And for the initial price Chief Ramsay says they would only be able to afford a cheaper version of the program.

Categories: Local KSN News

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