Three taken into custody after chase from Kansas City, Mo., enters KCK

A chase that started in Kansas City, Mo., and crossed into Kansas City, Kan., around 5:52 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, ended with three being taken into custody near 61st and State Avenue, according to police.

Three persons were taken into custody in Kansas City, Kan., according to police.

The suspects had rammed a police vehicle in Kansas City, Mo., police said.

They were in Kansas City, Kan., some minutes. They entered the city near I-670 and Wyoming, according to police.

There were no injuries reported.

Attorney general asks petroleum companies to eliminate synthetic drugs from stores

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and 42 other state and territorial attorneys general today asked nine petroleum companies to collaborate with their franchisees to eliminate synthetic drugs from retail locations operating under their brand names, including gas stations and convenience stores.

Synthetic drugs are chemical alternatives to cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. They are illegal and are often just as dangerous, if not more so, than the substances they mimic, according to the attorney general.

Manufacturers of synthetic drugs seek to evade state and federal law by creating chemical compounds not yet specifically regulated or prohibited in the United States, the attorney general stated. In recent years, state and federal law enforcement authorities have cracked down on synthetic drug sales in Kansas, including products commonly known as “K2″ and synthetic marijuana.

“Synthetic drugs are a dangerous and illegal attempt to use chemistry to stay one step ahead of the law,” Schmidt said. “They should not be given the cloak of legitimacy or safety by well-known brand name stores. Young Kansans are particularly vulnerable to marketing of these harmful products, which is why we are asking these reputable companies to make sure these products are not being sold on their shelves.”

Faith leaders call for repeal of death penalty in Kansas

Faith leaders who asked legislators to repeal the death penalty included, left to right, Donna Schneweis, emcee;  Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann,  Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ecclesial Province of Kansas; Bishop Dean E. Wolfe, Ninth Bishop of Kansas, the Episcopal Diocese in Kansas; the Rev. Leonard Dale, director of evangelical mission for the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Rev. Peter Goerzen, Western District Conference of the Mennonite Church USA and Campus Pastor of Bethel College; the Rev/ Kay Scarbrough, Topeka district superintendent, Great Plains, United Methodist Church.
Faith leaders who asked legislators to repeal the death penalty included, left to right, Donna Schneweis, emcee; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ecclesial Province of Kansas; Bishop Dean E. Wolfe, Ninth Bishop of Kansas, the Episcopal Diocese in Kansas; the Rev. Leonard Dale, director of evangelical mission for the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Rev. Peter Goerzen, Western District Conference of the Mennonite Church USA and Campus Pastor of Bethel College; the Rev/ Kay Scarbrough, Topeka district superintendent, Great Plains, United Methodist Church.

Five Kansas religious leaders representing nearly 700,000 Kansans of faith presented members of the Legislature with a call to end capital punishment.

A letter signed by more than 430 faith leaders asking for repeal of the death penalty was presented by:

• The Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ecclesial Province of Kansas;
• The Right Rev. Dean E. Wolfe, Ninth Bishop of Kansas, the Episcopal Diocese in Kansas;
• The Rev. Leonard Dale, director of evangelical mission for the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;
• The Rev. Kay Scarbrough, Topeka district superintendent, Great Plains, United Methodist Church;
• The Rev. Peter Goerzen, Western District Conference of the Mennonite Church USA and campus pastor of Bethel College.

“We know capital punishment is wrong. Even our youngest children know it is wrong to take a human life,” said Bishop Wolfe. Wolfe said the Episcopal Church opposes the death penalty also because it is ineffective, prejudiced and unjust.

“Society in general, and the church in particular, has a responsibility to surround with compassion and support the families of murder victims,“ said Archbishop Naumann, whose father was murdered. And the high cost of the death penalty, three to four times as expensive as non-death penalty murder cases, diminishes the state’s ability to participate in that capacity. “These resources can be better used to assist the families of victims,” Naumann said.

“Human beings are fallible and the execution of an innocent person is a mistake that cannot be corrected,” said the Rev. Dale. There have been 150 people exonerated since 1973, overturning previous convictions that sent them to death row.

House Bill 2129, which would replace the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, gives the Legislature the opportunity to protect society without killing.

The death penalty only contributes to the culture of violence, the Rev. Goerzen said. “The death penalty cheapens justice by trading its noble claims for those with a much different desire: retribution. Justice puts an end to cycles of violence with restoration and healing while retribution merely continues the cycles of our murderous desire.”

Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler, who introduced the bill, received the letter saying, “Three weeks ago Kansas was called the most pro-life state in America. That cannot be true. That cannot be true as long as the death penalty is in the pages of our law books.”

Becker was joined on the podium by Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, and Rep. William Sutton, R-Gardner.

Haley called repeal “a call to action for common sense.” He echoed statements challenging the morality of the death penalty saying, “We are bigger than that. We are better than that … because Kansas first and foremost is a moral state.”

The Rev. Kay Scarbrough, Topeka district superintendent, Great Plains, United Methodist Church, said the death penalty “denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings. All of us are diminished when our state punishes in this way.”

Legislators supporting a death penalty repeal included, left to right, Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler; Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick; Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, Kan.; and Rep. William Sutton, R-Gardner.
Legislators supporting a death penalty repeal included, left to right, Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler; Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick; Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, Kan.; and Rep. William Sutton, R-Gardner.