Manhattan area briefs for Feb. 10

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Campus Police cracks down on drunk driving
K-State Campus Police have arrested 15 people suspected of drunk driving so far this year, as of Feb. 6. The Manhattan Mercury reported the campus police were cracking down on drunk drivers on and around campus, stating they were dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists.
There are options available to people who drink who are unable to walk home. Safe Ride operates Thursday-Saturday from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., offering free transportation to students with a Wildcat ID across much of the Manhattan area. Up to four individuals can accompany a student with ID free of charge. Those without ID can still ride for $2. For more information on Safe Ride routes and rules, visit k-state.edu/osas/saferide/

Deadly shooting in Augusta, Kan. ruled murder-suicide
Police in Augusta, Kan. are investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide that occurred on Feb. 6. According to WIBW, Gary Weaver, 45, and Erin Weaver, 31, were both found dead in their home after Erin’s 12-year-old son called 911 and reported hearing gunshots in the house. The boy crawled out of a window to escape the residence on instructions from the police dispatcher. Police later entered the home to find the two adults dead. The couple had no prior record of domestic violence. KWCH News reports it is the first homicide in Augusta in three years. The boy, who was unharmed, is now in the custody of his biological father. Augusta is located in Butler County in southeast Kansas. The 2010 census reported the population as 9,274.

Bond approved for Chinese scientists accused of theft
Two scientists from China accused of stealing seeds from an agricultural research facility in Junction City have been approved to be released on bond, according to the Associated Press. Weiqiang Zhang and Wengui Yan were indicted on one count each of conspiracy to steal trade secrets and theft of trade secrets. They were denied bond at their hearings in December, but were granted new hearings by the federal court. They are allowed to be released on $50,000 bonds if they surrender their passports. As of Friday, it appeared neither had been released. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 18 in Kansas City, Kan.

Wichita bomb plot evidence to be shielded
A federal judge has ruled that government evidence against a man accused of trying to set off a bomb at a Wichita airport will be shielded from the public, according to the Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Monti Belot granted the prosecution’s request for a protective order, as the government believes that disclosing certain evidence to the public could jeopardize their ability to stop other terrorist plots. Among the evidence to be suppressed is the real and fake identities of the undercover agents used to set up the sting operation.
On Dec. 13, 2013, Terry Loewen was arrested when he allegedly attempted to drive a van full of fake explosives onto the tarmac of the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, where he was employed as an avionics technician.
The arrest and the fake explosives were part of a sting operation conducted by undercover federal agents. Loewen is being charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to use an explosive device to damage property and attempting to give material support to al-Qaida. He has entered a plea of not guilty. He is being held in jail until his trial, which is set for Feb. 18.

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