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ABORTION-KANSAS

Kansas governor signs technical abortion changes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed abortion legislation addressing legal issues raised in state and federal lawsuits filed by abortion providers.

Brownback announced his action on Friday. The changes take effect next week.

Abortion opponents have said the bill makes minor changes in existing laws without setting new policy. Planned Parenthood remained neutral on it.

The bill revises a requirement that the home pages of abortion providers' websites link to a state health department site about pregnancy and fetal development. Providers would no longer have to post a statement that the state's information is accurate and objective.

The measure also revises language in Kansas laws on medical emergencies in which abortion restrictions are waived.

Brownback, who is a practicing Roman Catholic, says the bill affirms "the sanctity of human life at all stages."

MEDICAID EXPANSION

Kansas extending ban on expansion of Medicaid

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Governor Sam Brownback has indefinitely extended a ban on expanding Medicaid in Kansas under the federal health care overhaul.

Brownback on Friday signed a bill approved by the GOP-dominated Legislature to keep the ban in place. The governor and other Republicans have been strong critics of the 2010 federal health care law.

A ban included in budget legislation last year is set to expire in July 2015.

Medicaid provides health coverage for the needy and disabled, and some provisions of the bill require prompt payments to health care providers.

Supporters of expanding Medicaid say it would help thousands of Kansans and that the federal government promises to pay most of the cost.

GOP lawmakers consider the health overhaul burdensome and question whether the federal government will keep its funding promise.

ULTRALIGHT FATALITY-DAHL

Former Kansas lawmaker killed in ultralight crash

HILLSBORO, Kan. (AP) - A former six-term Kansas House member who was appointed in December to the state's Supreme Court Nominating Commission has died in an ultralight plane crash near his hometown.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports 69-year-old Donald Dahl was flying at low altitude at 1:45 p.m. Friday when he ran into a tree branch 2 miles south of Hillsboro. The plane fell to the ground near a pond and flipped upside down into the water.

The retired U.S. Navy officer served in the House as a Republican from 1997 through 2008, including the last two years as speaker pro tem. He also was chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee for four years.

Governor Sam Brownback issued a statement Friday expressing sympathy to Dahl's family and friends.

SALINA HOMICIDE

Man pleads guilty in Salina woman's death

(Information in the following story is from: The Salina (Kan.) Journal, http://www.salina.com)

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - A 25-year-old Salina man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the death of a 27-year-old woman last April.

The Salina Journal reports Joel Heil entered his pleas Friday to the murder charge and attempted robbery for trying to steal purses from two women.

Kristin Tyler was killed on the night of April 25th or early morning of April 26th, 2013. Heil testified earlier this month in the murder trial of a co-defendant, 33-year-old Dane DeWeese, in exchange for prosecutors dropping lesser charges and agreeing not to seek a Hard 50 sentence.

DeWeese's girlfriend, 21-year-old Megan Wells, pleaded no-contest on Friday to a charge of obstructing apprehension for prosecution for helping DeWeese escape arrest.

DeWeese was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy after a two-week trial.

SEX OFFENDER-SENTENCE

Wichita man gets 2 life sentences for sex crimes

(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A 32-year-old Wichita registered sex offender has been given two life sentences for committing sex crimes against a 14-year-old girl.

The Wichita Eagle reports Gerrian Green was sentenced Friday for criminal sodomy and sexual exploitation of a child. Sedgwick County District Judge Bruce Brown ordered the sentences to be served consecutively and without the possibility of parole.

District Attorney Marc Bennett says Green is a documented gang member who committed the crimes in June when the girl was visiting his residence. He was on parole at the time.

Kansas Department of Corrections records show Green has been in and out of prison since 2000 on convictions that include aggravated battery and intimidation of a witness. He also was convicted of aggravated indecent solicitation of a 12-year-old girl in 2008.

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

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