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

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Kansas revenues in July beat expectations by $1.6M

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas collected $1.6 million more in taxes than anticipated in July, breaking a streak of monthly shortfalls in collections.

The Department of Revenue reported Thursday the state took in almost $409 million in taxes in July, when the state's official fiscal forecast predicted revenues of $407 million.

The July surplus was only four-tenths of 1 percent, but it was a sharp break from collections in April, May and June, which fell a total of $334 million short of expectations.

Those shortfalls sparked an intense debate about whether the state underestimated the effects of personal income tax cuts enacted at Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's urging in 2012 and 2013.

Brownback's administration said the shortfalls were due to investors reacting to uncertainty about federal tax policies.


Kansas predicts 22 percent primary turnout

(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The top election official in Kansas is predicting 22 percent of registered voters will participate in next week's primary election.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says of the more than 1.7 million registered Kansas voters, he expects more than 381,000 will cast ballots in the Aug. 5 primary. Kobach says turnout was about 23.2 percent in the state's 2012 primary.

Kobach says the predicted turnout for next week is based on recent primary voting history, early voting totals in the current primary and lack of a statewide get-out-the-vote operation.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that voter turnout in Wichita and other areas of the 4th Congressional District could approach 27 percent because of the contest between U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo and Republican challenger Todd Tiahrt.


Parents of baby left in closet appear in court

(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wichita couple who left their baby in an apartment closet while the mother drove the father to work have appeared in court on charges of misdemeanor child endangerment.

The Wichita Eagle reports a judge entered not guilty pleas Wednesday for 18-year-old Destiny Lee and 19-year-old Donivan Turner. Preliminary hearings for both are scheduled Aug. 13.

A maintenance worker repairing an air conditioner found the 1-year-old boy May 6 inside a closet in the couple's apartment. Police said at the time the temperature in the closet was about 90 degrees. The baby had been there about 20 minutes.

The mother told officers she had been putting the sleeping boy on a mattress inside the closet for about two months while she took the father to work.


Suspect charged in triple-fatality crash

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Bond is set at $500,000 for a Wichita man charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed three people.

KAKE-TV reports 31-year-old Juan Gandara-Rodel made his first appearance Thursday in Sedgwick County District Court. He's charged with three counts of second-degree murder or three alternative counts of involuntary manslaughter, plus aggravated battery and leaving the scene of an accident.

The collision happened around 2 a.m. Sunday in west Wichita. Police say Gandara-Rodel was speeding in an SUV when he ran a red light and struck a car.

The collision killed three passengers in the car, identified as 21-year-old Emily Phillips, of McPherson, and Jake Hallacy and Zachery Taylor, both 26 and from Valley Center. The driver and a fourth passenger were injured.

Gandara-Rodel did not have a lawyer Thursday.


Kansas tank maker plans expansion

(Information in the following story is from: Parsons (Kan.) Sun,

PARSONS, Kan. (AP) - A southeast Kansas company that makes tanks for customers worldwide is planning a major expansion.

The Parsons Sun reports Tank Connection is adding equipment and employees to expand production by 50 percent.

The Parsons-based firm was established 10 years ago with two employees. The addition of 35 workers will bring total employment to more than 400.

Tank Connection manufactures shop-welded, field-welded and hybrid storage tanks as well as aluminum dome covers. The company has two plants in Parsons and one each in Baxter Springs, Oswego and Galesburg.

Company president Bill Neighbors most of the new equipment will be installed at the Galesburg plant. A third shift will be added there and at the Parsons facilities.


Auburn seeks more than $200,000 in lawsuit

(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,

AUBURN, Kan. (AP) - The city of Auburn has filed a civil lawsuit against a former city clerk who pleaded guilty to a federal embezzlement charge.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Auburn is seeking more than $200,000 in its civil lawsuit against 61-year-old Alice Riley. Riley pleaded guilty Tuesday to the federal charge and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 17.

Federal prosecutors said Riley embezzled at least $186,000 from Auburn, where she managed payroll and other accounts as the city clerk for several years.

In the civil lawsuit filed July 23 in Shawnee County District Court and served to her Tuesday, the city of Auburn is seeking $196,000, as well as reimbursement in excess of $20,000 for the cost of investigation to determine the amount of the theft.

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

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