Local, state and national talking points


Arson in Wichita

Shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday, a young couple reported that someone lit their mountain bikes on fire at their home in east Wichita.

The couple told the Wichita Eagle that they heard someone running shortly before they saw flames. No one was injured in the fire.

Sgt. Ed Brower, spokesman for the Wichita Police Department, was quoted in the article as saying another fire, that occurred 20 minutes prior, may be related.

Deadly road accident on turnpike

Two members of a Nebraskan family died Saturday on the south side of Topeka. Police responded to a rollover at 5:25 p.m. around mile marker 177, according to a Topeka Capital Journal article.

Kansas Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Jeri Biehler was quoted in the article saying that the car was exiting north on 335 and took the exit ramp too quickly, causing the driver to lose control. Initial reports from the scene indicated two of the passengers had been ejected from the vehicle, according to the article.

The two victims were cousins, ages 20 and 22. One died on the scene and the other at the hospital.

Wichita shoe program

A Wichita-based group called Helping Our People Economically is collecting shoes for the less fortunate. The organization is collecting new and gently used shoes, according to a Wichita Eagle article.

After the shoes are given to H.O.P.E., they are sent to Florida before being shipped to developing countries. H.O.P.E. receives $3,000 for every 7,500 pairs of shoes it collects. The organization will use the funds to help with services that includes a inmate re-entry program and housing for low-income residents of Wichita.

New Justice in Kansas

Gov. Sam Brownback declared a new state Supreme Court justice this weekend. Justice Caleb Stegall, formerly Brownback’s lawyer, is a 42-year-old judge who can occupy the seat until his 75th birthday, according to a Kansas City Public Media article.

Stegall has has been a private practice lawyer for years and defended former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline when he was sued by Planned Parenthood. Stegall replaced Justice Nancy Moritz, who is moving to serve as a judge for the Federal Appeals Court.

Editor’s note: This article was updated Sept. 16 at 12:36 a.m. to reflect updated information.