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This Hour: Latest Kansas news, sports, business and entertainment

CHASE-GIRL KILLED

Man charged in chase that ended in girl's death

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - An eastern Kansas man is charged with first-degree murder after an abduction and police chase ended in the death of a 5-year-old girl.

Thirty-year-old Marcas McGowan, of Atchison, was charged Wednesday with aggravated assault, two counts of criminal possession of a firearm, aggravated endangering of a child and trying to elude law enforcement officers.

Leavenworth County prosecutor Todd Thompson announced at a news conference that McGowan appeared in court early Wednesday and had the charges read to him. He is being held in the Leavenworth County jail.

Authorities say McGowan abducted Cadence Harris on Friday from a home they shared with the girl's mother in Atchison. Cadence was found dead in McGowan's car after a police chase ended with McGowan being shot when he pointed a gun at officers.

Leavenworth police chief Pat Kitchens says he is "satisfied" that the investigation so far indicates his officers did not fire the shot that killed Cadence.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Brownback supports phasing out Kansas energy rule

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Gov. Sam Brownback says he supports phasing out a renewable energy requirement for Kansas utilities over four years and is urging critics of the rule and wind-energy advocates to work on a compromise.

Brownback said Wednesday that he's backing a four-year phase-out of the requirement. It's part of a 2009 law.

The law requires utilities to have wind and other renewable sources account for 15 percent of their peak electricity-generating capacity by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020.

The mandate has been targeted by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity and the powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce. But wind-energy advocates have successfully blocked efforts to repeal the rule.

Brownback had an impromptu news conference with reporters, saying the debate's big players should have talks toward striking a deal.

VETERANS HEALTH CARE-KANSAS

Senator: VA center begged for surgical equipment

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran says a veterans medical center in Wichita left its laboratories unstaffed for entire shifts and sometimes resorted to "begging, borrowing and manipulation" just to obtain vital surgical equipment.

Moran made the allegations in a letter sent last week to Sloan Gibson, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair. The Kansas Republican senator says the problems at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center put veterans' lives at risk and forced employees to work under conditions of fear and retribution.

Moran cited whistleblower complaints and 177 pages of internal documents, including meeting minutes, budgets and equipment request lists.

The VA medical center Wichita confirmed it had received the letter a day earlier but was still reviewing it Wednesday.

BUSINESS-BORDER WAR

2 companies moving from Kansas to Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri has apparently won another round in the continuing border war with Kansas that involves using tax incentives to entice businesses to move across the state line that runs through the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Leawood, Kansas-based Cbiz Inc. and Mayer Hoffman McCann PC have announced plans to move their headquarters and 450 employees to Kansas City, Missouri's Country Club Plaza next summer.

The Kansas City Star reports the moves come as officials in Missouri and Kansas have been seeking a truce in the border war, in which each state has used tax incentives to lure businesses away from the other.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development says the moves will trigger millions of dollars in potential incentives from Missouri if the companies meet job creation and investment criteria.

TECHNICAL EDUCATION CENTER-PITTSBURG

Pittsburg commission approves fund for tech center

(Information in the following story is from: The (Pittsburg, Kan.) Morning Sun, http://www.morningsun.net)

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) - A proposal to build a technical education center in Pittsburg that would serve southeast Kansas has received a boost.

The Pittsburg City Commission on Tuesday approved appropriating $300,000 in economic development loan funds for the center, which would offer education and training to high school, community college and adult students while also providing workforce training for southeast Kansas businesses.

The vote came after more than two years of discussion about the center, which will cost an estimated $1.3 million. The Bicknell Family Foundation has donated $1 million to help buy a building and 18 acres.

The Pittsburg Morning-Sun reports a building in the Pittsburg Industrial Park that is currently used by Fort Scott Community College will house the center, with an expansion to allow additional programs.

MEASLES-SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

Texan gets measles after softball event in Kansas

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A Texan has been diagnosed with measles after attending a softball tournament in Kansas where health officials later warned of possible exposure to the virus.

Tarrant County Public Health officials in Fort Worth on Wednesday announced a resident tested positive for measles after traveling outside Texas.

Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Christine Mann says the person attended a July Fourth weekend softball tournament in Wichita, Kansas. Officials from both health agencies declined to release further details on the individual.

Health officials on July 17 announced more than 30 people from Texas who traveled to the tournament may have been exposed to the measles virus. At least three recreational softball teams from Texas played in Wichita.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness that spreads through coughing and sneezing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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