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KANSAS-CHILD ABUSE

Number of kids in state custody at all-time high

(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The number of Kansas children in state custody has risen to all-time highs as the number of child abuse and neglect complaints also is climbing.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports about 7,000 children were in state custody at the beginning of June, including 6,168 in out-of-home foster care placement.

Kansas Children's Alliance executive director Bruce Linhos says workers and government officials are struggling to find a cause for the increase.

An in-depth report by the Kansas Health Institute last month included comments from some advocates blaming state policies for straining poor families.

But a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families attributes the increase to heightened awareness and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

ROADWAY SHOOTING

Young Wichita driver says someone shot at her

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wichita teenager says someone shot at her from another vehicle while she was driving but she managed to get away.

KAKE-TV reports the girl said she was driving in south Wichita at 12:30 p.m. Sunday when another car pulled out of a parking lot and started following her.

The girl says she called 911 and was able to get away from the other vehicle.

Wichita police confirmed that the incident happened and that investigators were able to recover a bullet from inside the girl's car.

The victim says she didn't get a good look at a suspect or the vehicle involved in the shooting.

CAPITAL CASE-LAWMAKER

Lawmaker sees need for Kansas death penalty fixes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee's chairman says he'll push again next year for changes aimed at expediting appeals in capital punishment cases.

Independence Republican Jeff King says the cases of capital murder defendants Jonathan and Reginald Carr show that the state's system for handling death penalty cases is broken.

The senator pushed unsuccessfully earlier this year for legislation to shorten the appeals process.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday overturned the Carrs' death sentences for a crime spree that ended with the shooting of four people in December 2000 in a Wichita field.

King noted that the Carrs were convicted and sentenced to die in 2002 and said it shouldn't have taken so long for the high court to rule. He also disagreed with Friday's ruling.

KANSAS ABORTION CLINIC-CLOSED

Kansas City, Kansas, abortion clinic closed

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - One of four remaining clinics in Kansas that provide abortions has closed because its doctor and manager have retired.

The Aid For Women clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, closed Saturday and is referring patients to three other clinics in Kansas, two in suburban Kansas City and one in Wichita.

Clinic manager Jeff Pederson says former patients need to fight for reproductive rights instead of relying on clinic workers to wage that battle.

Wichita-based anti-abortion group Operation Rescue filed a complaint with the state Board of Healing Arts in 2012 alleging Aid for Women failed to report child sexual abuse. A lawyer for the clinic denied those claims.

Operation Rescue on Sunday hailed the clinic's closing and said it was told recently that the BOHA case against the clinic was ongoing.

KANSAS-SENATE RACE

Orman to submit petitions for Kansas Senate bid

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A northeast Kansas businessman running for the U.S. Senate as an independent says he has enough signatures from registered voters to get on the general election ballot in November.

Greg Orman of Olathe planned to have a news conference Monday morning on the south steps of the Statehouse before presenting petitions with his signatures to the secretary of state's office.

Kansas law requires an independent candidate for statewide office to gather 5,000 signatures. Orman is submitting his a week before the deadline.

Orman is co-founder of Denali Partners, a business capital and management services firm. In 2010, he helped create the Common Sense Coalition, a nonprofit group that describes itself as an advocate for "the sensible center."

He's seeking the seat held by Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

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