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

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GOVERNOR-KANSAS

Gov. Christie stumps for Kansas Gov. Brownback

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is lending Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback support in his tougher-than-expected race against Democrat Paul Davis.

Speaking Wednesday at Oklahoma Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas, the Republican Governors Association Chairman praised Brownback as a leader.

Christie said Brownback took on difficult issues, including reforming the public employee pension system.

He said he never expected Kansas to be an easy win for Brownback, noting that the state previously elected Democrat Kathleen Sebelius as governor. Christie called Kansas voters "independent thinkers."

Brownback used the campaign stop to talk about job creation and criticize Davis as an "Obama Democrat."

Christie also had a private campaign event in Mission Hills.

OBIT-KANSAS LAWMAKER

Kansas Rep. Joe Edwards dies

HAYSVILLE, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas lawmaker who lost his re-election primary battle earlier this month has died.

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick of Stilwell announced Wednesday that Rep. Joe Edwards of Haysville died late Tuesday of a suspected heart attack. Smith Mortuary in Haysville confirmed his death.

The 60-year-old Republican legislator served one term before losing the primary election to John Whitmer in the 93rd District.

Clay Barker, the executive director for the Kansas Republican Party, said Wednesday that Edwards was well liked by his fellow representatives.

Barker said Edwards was on the conservative side, but had a populist streak and was always looking out for the common man.

Smith Mortuary says funeral arrangements are pending.

FATAL CHASE-SENTENCE

Kansas man sentenced in fatal police chase

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas City, Kansas, man was sentenced to more than 22 years and five months in prison for second-degree murder and other crimes arising from a fatal accident while he was fleeing from police.

Twenty-nine-year-old Christopher Bradley Stewart was sentenced Monday for the February traffic crash. He was fleeing from police when his car hit one driven by 62-year-old Graciela Olivas, who was killed.

Stewart pleaded guilty in July to second-degree murder and eluding a police officer. He also pleaded guilty to a previous drug possession case. He was wanted for skipping sentencing in that case at the time he killed Olivas.

TRAFFIC DEATH-PLEA

Man pleads to manslaughter charge in traffic death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A 20-year-old Wichita man has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a car crash that killed a 6-year-old girl.

Raudel Sandoval Jr. was initially charged with second-degree reckless murder for the June 2012 death of Feodora Two-Hatchett.

Police and witnesses said Sandoval was driving up to 70 mph in a 35 mph zone when his car hit a vehicle driven by Feodora's mother at an intersection. The girl died at the scene.

The Sedgwick County prosecutor said Wednesday that Sandoval told police after the crash that he had just left a carwash and was driving fast to dry his car.

Sandoval is to be sentenced Oct. 17.

CITY CLERK-FRAUD

Former Altoona city clerk charged with bank fraud

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The former city clerk of Altoona in southeast Kansas is accused of embezzling public funds.

A federal indictment on Wednesday charges 30-year-old Chrystal M. Scherbarth, of Altoona, with three counts of bank fraud.

Prosecutors allege she used her access to the to the city's payroll system to raise her own salary, issue unauthorized checks to herself and give herself vacation and sick leave she had not earned. The indictment also accuses Scherbarth of making more than $36,700 worth of unauthorized charges on a city credit card.

Court documents do not show an attorney and no home phone number could be found for her.

She was employed with the city from June 2011 through November 2013.

If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in federal prison.

MOVIES-INDICTMENT

Kansas man indicted in movie fraud scheme

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A southern Kansas man has been indicted on charges of creating dozens of false identities so he could buy discounted DVD and Blue-ray movies and then resell them.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday that 45-year-old Harvey Self, of Derby, is charged with nine counts of mail fraud, plus money laundering and tax fraud.

Self told The Associated Press he has eight children and was raising money to support his kids by buying discs in bulk and selling them individually. He says armed agents came to his house last year and took what they wanted. He says they also cleaned out his bank account and that of his then 75-year-old mother.

The indictment says agents seized more than 2,800 DVDs and Blu-ray discs from his home.

UTILITIES-WIND ENERGY

Missouri utilities look to Kansas for wind energy

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri utilities are looking to Kansas companies to help meet carbon dioxide emission targets proposed by a federal agency.

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal that offered specific emission targets for each state, the first of which would kick in by 2020. The rule is expected to be finalized next year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Empire District Electric Co. and Kansas City Power and Light are utility companies that serve customers in Missouri and Kansas.

Both utilities say Kansas wind turbines could play a major role in helping Missouri meet its EPA-proposed targets. But one of the utilities says that assumes both states are willing to work together.

SCHOOL FIGHT

Controversy over closed school in SE Kansas

(Information in the following story is from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com)

MCCUNE, Kan. (AP) - A controversy over the future of a closed school in southeast Kansas continues to brew.

The Southeast School District is offering to lease a former elementary school in McCune to the city for $1 a year.

But some city officials say the building already belongs to taxpayers and they want the city to have unrestricted ownership of the building.

The school has been the center of controversy since the district, which is based in Cherokee, voted to close the McCune Attendance Center in May, despite strong opposition from residents.

The Joplin Globe reports the district is reluctant to transfer ownership of the building to the city because some McCune residents want to ask another school district to reopen it as an elementary school.

COSMOSPHERE-ASTRONAUTS

Cosmosphere hosting astronauts this weekend

(Information in the following story is from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com)

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - Several astronauts will touch down this weekend in Hutchinson, as part of a fundraiser for the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke and Apollo 13 astronauts Fred Haise and Jim Lovell will be among those attending the annual Fly Around, Dine Around event at the center.

The Hutchinson News reports others attending include shuttle astronauts Catherine Coleman, Steven Hawley, Mike Mullane and Charles Walker. The guests will participate in several activities throughout the weekend, including book and model signings, a progressive dinner and a reception.

The event comes as the center reports a 5 percent increase in attendance from August through June, when compared with the same time a year ago. The Cosmosphere averages about 105,000 visitors a year.

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

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