Feud at Atchison company ends; CEO ousted
ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) - A battle for control of MGP Ingredients in Atchison apparently has ended, with an agreement to oust the CEO and drop all lawsuits.
The company announced Tuesday that CEO Tim Newkirk will leave, with two other executives serving as co-CEO until Newkirk's replacement can be found.
MGP's board of directors has been battling for most of the year with descendants of the company's founders, the Cray family. Six board members and Newkirk had proposed trying to sell at least part of the company. Two other board members, Cloud Cray Jr. and Karen Seaberg, opposed that plan.
The deal also requires both sides to drop lawsuits and limits potential sales or purchases of corporate assets.
And a long-delayed shareholders meeting will be held Dec. 17.
Accounting change to foist KPERS debt on locals
(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - About $10 billion in projected pension debts will be moving from the state of Kansas to the balance sheets of local governments thanks to a change in national accounting standards.
Alan Conroy, executive director of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, told a legislative committee Tuesday about the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's changes, which take place next year.
KPERS serves state employees as well as public workers from about 1,500 cities, counties, school districts and other local government units. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that starting next year, those entities will need to carry the KPERS debt as an unfunded liability on their own balance sheets, rather than the state carrying it all.
Conroy's office is working on a breakdown for each government entity.
Man charged in 4 Kan. slayings returning to court
OSWEGO, Kan. (AP) - A 22-year-old man is returning to court after being charged with capital murder in the deaths of a southeast Kansas mother and her three children.
Wednesday afternoon's hearing in Labette County District Court comes a day after Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt's office filed a complaint against David Cornell Bennett Jr. of Cherryvale.
Schmidt's office also charged Bennett with raping and making criminal threats against 29-year-old Cami Umbarger. Also, as an alternative to the capital murder charge, four counts of premeditated, first-degree murder were filed.
Umbarger and her three children, ages 4, 6 and 9, were found Nov. 25 in their Parsons home. Bennett remains jailed on $5 million bond.
Kansas law allows the death penalty for multiple, premeditated murders arising from a single series of events or scheme.
State plans to build 2 cell blocks at El Dorado
(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com)
EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) - State prison officials say they want to build two new cell blocks, with a total of 512 new beds, at the El Dorado Correctional Facility.
If the Legislature agrees to fund the project, the El Dorado facility would become the largest prison in the state.
Corrections spokesman Jeremy Barclay said the department hopes to open the first cell block on Jan. 1, 2017, with the second opening 18 months later.
The Wichita Eagle reports the project would cost an estimated $24.3 million, with annual operating cost of $8.3 million.
Barclay says if lawmakers refuse to approve the bonds for the project, the state will have to start housing inmates in other states or consider leasing space in county jails.
Man convicted of trying to run over Kan. trooper
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - A McLouth man will be sentenced Dec. 18 for trying to run over a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper.
The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that 33-year-old Kevin Reed was found guilty of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer in Leavenworth County.
The Leavenworth County prosecutor says the trooper tried to stop a car on May 22 for a traffic violation but the driver drove off. The trooper found the vehicle behind a barn with Reed at the wheel. When the trooper ordered him at gunpoint to get out of the car, Reed drove toward him.
The trooper fired four shots but Reed continued driving. He eventually abandoned the car and was later found hiding in a barn.
The trooper was not seriously injured.
Thieves hit SE Kansas library twice
(Information in the following story is from: Cherokee County (Kan.) News-Advocate, http://www.sekvoice.com)
COLUMBUS, Kan. (AP) - Somebody in southeast Kansas doesn't understand the concept of borrowing from a public library.
The Cherokee County News-Advocate reports burglars broke into the Columbus Public Library twice in the past week, making off with cash and computers.
Columbus Police Department spokeswoman Ann Sharp says the first break-in occurred sometime between the library's closing the day before Thanksgiving and its reopening on Saturday. The burglars entered through a basement window and stole money and a computer.
Library personnel returned to work again Monday to find that thieves had again broken in through the same window and stolen several more computers.
Sharp says police have no suspects bur are investigating leads.
Plans for wider highway endanger 'Points of Rock'
(Information in the following story is from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com)
DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) - Historic preservationists are fighting a plan to widen U.S. 50 in western Kansas, which would require demolishing a longtime landmark near Dodge City.
State transportation officials say the four-lane expansion from Dodge City to Cimarron would likely require leveling the "Points of Rock" monument, a steel sculpture of several horsemen sitting on top of a rock outcropping, with the words "Dodge City."
The Hutchinson News reports the plans include a 60-foot-wide median between the old and new lanes of the highway, which would take down a big part of the hill where the sculpture stands.
Transportation spokesman Kirk Hutchinson says state officials and preservationists have met to consider alternatives, but the options are limited.
Preservationists say the monument is an important landmark along the Santa Fe Trail.
STATE OF STATE
Kan. gov. to give State of State address Jan. 15
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is scheduled to give his annual State of the State address Jan. 15.
Brownback announced Tuesday that he had accepted an invitation from House Speaker Ray Merrick to address a joint legislative session on that date in the House chamber. The speech will come two days after lawmakers open their 2014 session.
The speech will give Brownback a chance to lay out his legislative agenda. It's scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the governor's office says it will be televised live on multiple stations.
The House speaker traditionally issues a formal invitation to the governor to speak in the chamber. For years, it's been scheduled in the evening to guarantee a bigger audience.
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