HAYS — Strong winds and heavy rain blew over semi-trailer trucks and downed power lines and caused damage across parts of western Kansas.
Ellis County and Hays city officials said in social media posts that Tuesday’s storms caused flooding and wind damage across the county. The Hays school district cancelled the first day of school on Wednesday because of the damage.
Ellis County dispatchers reported about 20 semi-trailer trucks were blown over, and the Kansas Highway Patrol reported power lines down. Interstate 70 was closed for a few hours Tuesday between Hays and WaKeeney to clear the debris.
Flash flooding also was reported in Oakley, Colby, Ellis, Jennings and near Hill City.
KCK police say child is fatally shot
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City, Kan., police say a child shot while riding in the back of a vehicle has died.
A man who was in the backseat was in serious but stable condition after also being shot Tuesday. Their ages and names have not been released.
The man told police that people he didn’t know fired at their car from another vehicle. No suspect or vehicle description was released.
Man dies in tractor vs. train collision
SPEARVILLE — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a 59-year-old Kansas man died when his tractor collided with a train.
The patrol says Bernard Stegman of Spearville died Tuesday after the collision at a railroad crossing near U.S. 50 about 3 miles southeast of Spearville.
None of the three men on the train were injured. They were from Wichita, Stafford and Sedgwick.
Aetna still not living up to contract terms
TOPEKA — The Kansas health department says insurance company Aetna is still not living up to the terms of its $1 billion contract with the state’s Medicaid program.
The state has rejected a corrective action plan Aetna submitted in response to a noncompliance letter Kansas sent it last month.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment released Tuesday Aetna’s proposed plan. The company says it’s addressed several concerns and many others are “well on their way to being brought into compliance” under the contract.
But the state says the company’s plan doesn’t adequately address its concerns. It asked Aetna to submit a new one and plans to negotiate with company officials for a resolution. A request for comment to Aetna was not returned.
Man drowns in public pond
SYRACUSE — The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says a 23-year-old man drowned in a public pond near Syracuse.
The sheriff says the body of Joaquin Vazquez Hernandez of Syracuse was recovered from the pond Tuesday evening.
Emergency responders were called about 2 p.m. Tuesday after a man went underwater in the pond and didn’t resurface.
People near the pond tried unsuccessfully to rescue the man.
Man arrested after shooting death
GREAT BEND — Barton County officials say a 23-year-old man has been arrested after a man was found shot to death in Great Bend.
The sheriff’s office says officers responded Tuesday after shots were fired west of the Great Bend airport. Deputies and the Kansas Highway Patrol found a 34-year-old man dead of several gunshot wounds.
Information about a possible suspect was shared with first responders. Firefighters returning from an accident later Tuesday saw the suspect’s vehicle in Great Bend and called police.
The suspect, Nicholas Pethel, was arrested and booked into the Barton County jail on possible murder charges. He is being held on $1 million bond. The name of the victim has not been released.
Tenn. man in chase with baby, guns
LAWRENCE — A Tennessee man faces several felonies after allegedly leading sheriff’s deputies on a 3.5-mile chase with a baby and loaded guns in his truck.
Kenneth Jeremy Leedom, 32, of Woodbury, Tenn., was charged Monday with aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer, aggravated endangering of a child, attempting to elude a police officer and possession of stolen property. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says Leedom was arrested Sunday after driving off from a traffic stop.
He allegedly rammed a patrol vehicle as deputies were trying to stop him.
The charges indicate the boy with him was 9 months old. A woman also was in the truck. No one was injured.
Boy charged with murdering drunken mom near Wichita
WICHITA — Prosecutors have filed a second-degree murder charge against a boy who was 14 when he shot and killed his drunken mom at a mansion near Wichita.
Juvenile court Judge Patrick Walters said during a court hearing Tuesday that the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office filed the more severe charge in an amended complaint on Monday.
The boy had initially been charged last month with voluntary manslaughter in the death of his 41-year-old mother on June 20, 2018.
His attorney contends the teen shot his mother to defend himself and his then 12-year-old brother against a drunken attack.
The autopsy found the woman had “acute and chronic alcoholism” and scarring of the liver.
Her blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit for driving.
Teen jailed after girl, 7, shot
WICHITA — Police say they’ve arrested a teen who injured 7-year-old Wichita girl while was firing a handgun in a backyard next door.
Responding officers found the girl had a minor injury to one of her fingers. The girl was playing in her backyard when she heard two loud bangs and a projectile struck her finger.
Police spokesman Charley Davidson says a 16-year-old boy was booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated battery, criminal possession of a firearm by a juvenile, obstruction and an outstanding warrant.
Police believe he was shooting at some type of target when the girl was struck. Davidson says the teen did not live at the home.
KC pledges ‘border war’ truce
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Local officials are helping Kansas and Missouri preserve a truce in an economic “border war” that had seen the states use incentives to lure jobs across their border in the Kansas City area.
The cooperation came ahead of a summit Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., between Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.
The Port Authority of Kansas City’s board agreed Monday to limit incentives to companies relocating to Missouri to 10-years, the existing limit in Kansas. Mayor Quinton Lucas has promised to push for a similar limit in Kansas City, Mo.
The governors issued an executive order declaring that their states won’t lure existing jobs across the border.