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Headlines for Monday, September 19, 2022

 

UPDATE: Judge Orders Ex-Kansas Cop Released from Jail Pending Trial

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective accused of preying on poor Black females for decades will be released from custody pending his trial. U.S Magistrate Judge Rachel Schwartz said Monday that Roger Golubski has such serious medical problems that he is not as much of a risk as he was when most of the alleged crimes were committed. Golubski was charged last week with sexually abusing a Black woman and a teenager more than two decades ago. Civil rights advocates have said he abused Black females in Kansas City, Kansas, for decades. Prosecutors on Friday filed a motion including complaints from seven other women about Golubski. He has pleaded not guilty.

(–Additional reporting–)

Judge Orders Release of Accused Former Detective 

TOPEKA, Kan. (KC Star) - A judge has released accused former police detective Roger Golubski from detention today (MON), citing Golubski's health issues. The Kansas City Star reports that Golubski, who has been charged with six counts of civil rights violations, will be required to be under location monitoring technology. He must not violate laws, possess a gun, or contact any witnesses or victims. Golubski, who retired in 2010 as a captain with the Kansas City, Kansas police department, is accused of sexually abusing and kidnapping a woman and a young teenager in separate incidents from 1998 to 2002. Golubski has pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, he will face a maximum sentence of life in prison. The judge's decision upset activists in the courtroom today (MON), including a woman who said she was stalked by Golubski. Lamonte McIntyre,  an innocent man who alleges Golubski framed him for a double homicide, got up and left in the middle of the hearing. 

Former KCK Detective Accused of Sexual Assault Back in Federal Court

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS/KCUR) - Former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective Roger Golubski is due back in federal court in Topeka today (MON) to determine if he should remain in jail until his criminal trial. The FBI arrested Golubski last week on civil rights charges stemming from alleged sexual assaults against two women twenty-plus years ago. On Friday, federal prosecutors filed a motion arguing that Golubski is too dangerous to let out on bond. The memo laid out in graphic detail how, during his decades as an officer, Golubski engaged in a pattern of preying on vulnerable women, and made violent threats if they told anyone about what happened. Golubski’s attorney says the now retired detective has serious health problems, including the need for dialysis about every other day because of his failing kidneys. (Read more.)

(–AP version–)

Prosecutors Want Former Cop to Stay in Jail Before Trial

UNDATED (AP) – Federal prosecutors seeking to keep a former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective in jail for allegedly preying on poor Black females have filed a motion containing graphic details of his alleged abuse of seven more girls and women. Roger Golubski faces a hearing Monday in which prosecutors will argue that he should stay in jail until his trial. Golubski was charged last week with six counts alleging civil rights violations against a woman and teenager. He has pleaded not guilty. In the filing Friday, prosecutors detailed other cases of abuse to bolster their argument that he should stay in jail. Golubski is not charged in those cases.

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Florida Governor Campaigns in Olathe for Kansas GOP Gubernatorial Candidate

OLATHE, Kan. (KNS/KCUR) - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came to Olathe Sunday for a campaign rally where he encouraged voters to back Republican Derek Schmidt in the Kansas governor’s race.  Schmidt pledged to bring the Florida governor's stance on immigration and LGBTQ policies in schools to Kansas. DeSantis has come under criticism recently for sending Venezulan migrants on a plane to Martha’s Vineyard. Several attendees said they hoped support from DeSantis for Schmidt will make Kansas more conservative. Scott Callaway came to the rally specifically to see DeSantis. “The fact that the voters are supporting Ron DeSantis means Derek Schmidt will probably also receive some support as well," he said. Schmidt said that if he's elected governor, he would immediately sign a transgender sports ban and the so-called parents bill of rights, both of which were vetoed by current Democratic Governor Laura Kelly. Hundreds of people gathered in Olathe to hear the Florida governor give his support to Schmidt. The event also drew more than 50 protesters.

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Kansas Voters Will Decide on Republican-Backed Proposal to Limit Governor's Political Power

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KNS) — Lawmakers have made a proposal to voters in Kansas: Give us more power. Take away clout from the governor. The Kansas News Service reports that a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution would create a legislative veto — effectively giving the right to lawmakers to cancel regulations imposed by state agencies even when those rules put into practice laws passed by the Legislature. Regulatory powers historically have defined a key function of executive branches. If the measure on the November 8 passes, state agencies would find themselves newly accountable — critics might say beholden — to lawmakers.  In Kansas, where the governor’s office has toggled between Republican and Democratic hands while control of the Legislature remains dominated by the GOP, it would deliver more power to one party to decide how much to regulate industries. (Read more.)

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DOJ Probes Racism Allegations in Kansas City Police Force

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into allegations of discrimination against Black officers by the Kansas City Police Department that reportedly begins during hiring and extends to promotions and discipline. The federal agency announced the inquiry in a letter sent Monday to the Board of Police Commissioners and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. The agency has not elaborated on how it was alerted to the concerns. The announcement comes after The Kansas City Star published a series of stories examining allegations of racism and harassment. The department’s interim police chief, Joseph Mabin, has vowed to cooperate fully with the federal investigation. The police union has not responded to a request for comment.

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Man in Custody After Threatening Topeka Police Officer with Sword-Like Knife, Brick

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - One man is in custody after police say he threatened an officer with a sword-like weapon and a brick. WIBW TV reports that an officer stopped a suspicious person walking along the road (near 24th and SE Minnesota) Friday afternoon for having an open container. Over the course of the stop, police say the man gave the officer multiple fake names. But the officer learned the man’s true identity and discovered he had a felony warrant out for his arrest. The officer attempted to take 45-year-old Kevin Teeter, of Topeka, into custody but the man drew a “samurai-style knife.” The officer pulled out his weapon and Teeter dropped the sword and ran into the backyard of a nearby house. A struggle ensued and Teeter allegedly grabbed a brick and attempted to hit the officer. The officer was able to take Teeter into custody using a non-lethal beanbag gun. The incident happened close to Highland Park High School, which had just finished their Homecoming parade. Police say nobody was seriously injured. Teeter was booked into Shawnee County Department of Corrections on various charges.

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Butler County Residents Back in Leon After Evacuating Due to Fire

LEON, Kan. (KSNW) — A fire in the town of Leon caused an evacuation of all homes within city limits  Saturday morning. KSNW TV reports that the fire broke out around 12:30 Saturday morning at a few buildings that contained liquid fertilizer, and because of the hazmat risk, Leon authorities called for an evacuation of all residences within the city limits. Fire officials say senior housing was near the flames, and they wanted to get all seniors out safely. In all, roughly 25 people went to the emergency shelter that was set up at nearby Bluestem High School.  Residents were able to return to their homes around 4 am. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

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UPDATE: New Mexico Man, Cousin Arrested in Kansas in Homicide Case

TOME, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a New Mexico man and his cousin have been arrested in Kansas in connection with the shooting death of a woman. Valencia County Sheriff’s officials say 37-year-old Karla Aguilera of Tome was reported missing Sept. 6 by family members. A body was found Wednesday in Torrance County and an autopsy confirmed it was Aguilera. According to a criminal complaint, Aguilera was shot four times and her case is being investigated as a homicide. An arrest warrant was issued for 50-year-old Rosalio Aguilera-Gamboa and he was arrested Saturday in Garden City, Kansas along with his cousin Maria Guadalupe Nevarez Aguilera. Authorities say Aguilera-Gamboa is facing multiple charges including an open count of murder but it's unclear what charges Nevarez Aguilera is facing.

(–earlier reporting–) 

New Mexico Woman Found Dead, Husband Arrested in Kansas

TOME, N.M. (AP) — A missing New Mexico woman has been found dead and her husband has been arrested in Kansas in connection with the case. Authorities in Valencia County, New Mexico, say 37-year-old Karla Aguilera, of Tome, New Mexico, was reported missing by family members September 6. New Mexico officials say a body was found Wednesday and an autopsy confirmed it was Aguilera. An arrest warrant was issued for 50-year-old Rosalio Aguilera-Gamboa and authorities said he was arrested Saturday in Garden City, Kansas. (Read more.)

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Northeast Kansas Sheriff Warns of New Twist on Amazon Scam

BROWN COUNTY, Kan. (KSNT) – A new twist on a recent scam is surfacing in Brown County and Sheriff John Merchant is warning residents again, don’t be afraid to hang up. KSNT reports that the sheriff is warning residents the new twist includes calling people and telling them that if they hang up, Amazon will charge them $200 and Mastercard will charge them $900. The caller then says to avoid the charges, the person must dial #1. When they press #1, an individual will try to get personal information from them. Earlier this month, Sheriff Merchant warned residents of the scam and encouraged people to hang up and “never call them back.”  At that time, residents were being told an expensive item had been charged to their Amazon account and to press #1 for further details. Instead, those who press #1 find themselves on the line with someone who asks for their Amazon account information. The sheriff says some residents have received as many as 20 calls in a day.

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More Than Two Million Sports Bets Placed in Kansas Since September 1

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Since sports betting in Kansas was officially legalized on September 1st, residents from all over the state have been attempting to win big. According to the Kansas Lottery, from September 1 - September 11, over 2.4 million bets were placed in the state. WIBW TV reports that those bets cashed in over $47 million in winnings. Lottery officials say the most popular teams that bets were placed on were the Chiefs, Royals, followed by the in-state colleges of KU and K-State. Lottery officials also say the September 11th NASCAR races at Hollywood Casino and Barstool Sports broke Penn Gaming’s record for a new property opening.

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State of Kansas Wants Feedback on Plan to Clean Up Toxic Site in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (KMUW) - The state of Kansas is asking residents to share feedback on a $13.9 million plan to clean up a contaminated rail yard in northeast Wichita. KMUW Radio reports that feedback is requested before October 16. The 29th and Grove site, which is owned by Union Pacific, has a chemical known as trichloroethene in its soil and groundwater that is strongly linked to kidney cancer. In 2007, groundwater concentrations of the chemical at the site reached 86,000 times the standards set by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Concentrations in the soil reached over 8,000 times the standard. Contaminated groundwater also extends in a 2.9-mile long plume south of the rail yard site, all the way to Murdock Avenue. This runs through many historically Black neighborhoods northeast of downtown Wichita.

Since 2004, Union Pacific has taken multiple steps to clean up the rail yard site. This includes removing up to six feet of contaminated soil and a bioremediation program that uses bacteria and nutrients to break down contaminants until they are harmless. And in 2009, Union Pacific installed a system along Murdock and east of I-135 to ensure the contaminated groundwater did not spread any further.

But Mary Daily, a professional geologist with Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said that the levels of contamination in the groundwater and soil are still too high — both at the rail yard site, and along the plume of groundwater. Tests from May 2021 showed the concentration of the chemical in the groundwater was still 164 times higher than the standard.

The state is recommending a $13.9 million plan for remediation, which Union Pacific will pay for. (Read more.)

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Small Town Kansas Post Office Closing, Leaving Residents Worried

VASSAR, Kan. (KSNT) – For people living in one eastern Kansas town, getting the mail just became another long-distance errand.  KSNT reports that plans to close the post office in Vassar have been in the works for a while. Residents in the Osage County town will now have to make the drive to Lyndon to get their mail. While it’s only 7 miles out of the way, that can still be problematic for several people. “There are a lot of seniors in the area that I see,” Vassar Resident Stephanie Burdett said. “Their daily outing is walking to the post office for their mail. With that closing, now they’re going to have to find some way if they don’t drive, they’ll have to have a family member drive to Lyndon," she said. The hours of the Lyndon post office, which closes at 4:30 pm on weekdays, could cause issues as well.

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Chiefs Starting LB Willie Gay Suspended 4 Games by NFL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay was suspended by the NFL for four games Monday for violating its personal conduct policy. Gay was arrested in January in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas, and charged with misdemeanor criminal property of damage of less than $1,000. Gay’s representative, Maxx Lepselter, said at the time that Gay broke a vacuum that belonged to the mother of his son during an argument in which nobody was harmed. Gay agreed to a diversion program in June to resolve the criminal case.

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Kansas Public Radio Searches for New Statehouse Bureau Chief

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas Public Radio (KPR), at the University of Kansas, is seeking a new Statehouse Bureau Chief.  This position works primarily at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. The position duties include managing all aspects of KPR’s capital news bureau, which provides broadcast and digital news reports to a number of radio stations in Kansas and Missouri. This position is primarily responsible for reporting on all aspects of state government. This includes but is not limited to covering the Kansas legislative session, the governor, attorney general, supreme court, the state’s congressional delegation and statewide elections. The KPR Statehouse Bureau Chief researches, writes, reports and produces spot news, digital stories and long-form audio features for KPR and its reporting partners. Learn more about this position.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy.

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These area headlines are curated by KPR news staffers, including J. Schafer, Laura Lorson, Kaye McIntyre, and Tom Parkinson. Our headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays, 11 am weekends. This news summary is made possible by KPR listener-members. Become one today. And follow KPR News on Twitter.

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