News Briefs: April 4

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The designer of Verruckt water slide in Kansas City Schlitterbahn was arrested in Dallas. Joe Schooley was arrested in Dallas International Airport on Monday, charged with second-degree murder in the 2016 death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab. Schooley is expected to appear before a Wyandotte County judge. The Kansas City Star reports that Schooley and Jeff Henry, co-founder of Schlitterbahn, have both been charged with aggravated endangerment of a child and aggravated battery. Schlitterbahn has denied the charges and denied that any employees have withheld any relevant information to the case.

Kansas House Bill 2445 would provide $500 million to K-12 public schools. The bill would phase the budget increase over the next five years. On Monday, the Kansas House voted against the same bill 55-65, but voted 71-53 Tuesday. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Senate is working on its own funding plan for Kansas schools and is expected to vote on the bill soon.

President Trump discussed sending U.S. troops to U.S.-Mexico border to combat illegal immigration. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the troops would be stationed along the border until the proposed border wall is built. Presidents Bush and Obama have used similar measures when they sent National Guards to combat drug trafficking or provide support when hiring new border agents. Federal law prohibits the use of U.S. military as law enforcement within the U.S. borders unless passed by Congress. The Pentagon did not specifically state whether troops sent would be National Guard or other branches of the military.

The Justice Department is issuing immigration quotas to federal immigration judges. NPR reports the quotas are meant to speed up a backlog of immigration cases. Currently the number of cases awaiting trial is approaching 700,000. Judges will be required to try 700 cases annually with only 15 percent being overturned by appeals. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to decrease the amount of time that immigrants who face deportation stay in the United States. Critics of the quotas have cited concerns with deterioration of judicial independence and erosion of due process.

Homeland Security acknowledged foreign cell phone listening devices in Washington D.C. Tuesday, which were detected in 2017. Fox News reports that the cellphone-site simulators work by tricking local phones to use their network to listen to calls. This is the first time federal agencies have officially confirmed the use of these simulators. The Federal Communications Commission started a task force four years ago to investigate their use. The agency has come under fire for their lack of response.

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