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A 2-year-old boy was critically injured about 4:35 p.m. Nov. 24 by a hit-and-run driver in front of 1127 N. 32nd St., Kansas City, Kan.

According to police, the public’s assistance is needed in obtaining information about the accident.

Police said an older white four-door Chrysler struck the boy, then sped off after the incident.

The victim’s condition has improved, and he remains in an area hospital, a police spokesman said.

The accident remains under investigation by the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department’s Traffic Support Unit-Critical Collision Response Team, which is encouraging anyone with information to call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, has announced the retirement of four of her division directors.

Leaving the office Dec. 5 will be Marlyn Burch, life division; Neil Woerman, information technology; Steve O’Neil, consumer assistance; and Ted Clark, anti-fraud.

“The department is losing more than 125 years of outstanding service to insurance consumers and to state government,” Commissioner Praeger said. “We as Kansans owe them a tremendous thanks for their work in regulating insurance, educating consumers and advocating for them.”

An open house for the retirees will begin at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at the Kansas Insurance Department office, 420 SW 9th, Topeka. Each division will hold its own reception following open remarks by Commissioner Praeger.

Following is a short biography of the directors’ work at KID.

Marlyn Burch — Burch will leave state government as one of Kansas’ longest-serving employees. He has been at the department since 1961, for a total of 53 years. He has served five elected commissioners during his tenure.

He joined KID as a life insurance policy examiner and became director of the life division in 1963. Burch has seen the department housed in three different locations during his state employment. He has served as the department’s unofficial historian, especially for the agency’s current building.

During his tenure, Burch was instrumental in working with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to establish an Interstate Compact to gain uniformity for life insurance products.

Steve O’Neil — O’Neil came to the department in 1987 after 12 years at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. He began as a policy examiner in the accident and health division, but he moved to consumer assistance in 1988, where he was a consumer representative until being promoted to supervisor in 2005. He has been the division director since 2013.

Neil Woerman — Woerman has been IT director at KID since January 2003, following a lengthy stint at the attorney general’s office in various capacities, including chief of staff.

He began state service in 1978 in the attorney general’s office and held three positions there before becoming Commissioner Praeger’s IT director in 2003. For KID, he served as the chair of the Information Systems Task Force for the NAIC.

Ted Clark — Clark, after a law enforcement career, joined the department in 2003 to become head of the newly-formed anti-fraud division. He was formerly with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

A member of numerous state, regional and national anti-fraud organizations, Clark began his law enforcement career with the Topeka Police Department and later joined the KBI. He served at KID as the chair for the NAIC Anti-Fraud Task Force for eight years.

“The department has been extremely fortunate to have these men working for good insurance regulation for our citizens,” Commissioner Praeger said. “I have tremendous respect for these gentlemen and value highly their friendship and support during my time as commissioner.”

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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the Federal Trade Commission to make it harder for scammers to collect money from telemarketing victims.

Schmidt and a bipartisan group of 37 other state attorneys general submitted comments asking the FTC to crack down on telemarketing scams by strengthening the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule. The TSR is the main federal regulation that sets nationwide rules for telemarketers.

“Protecting Kansas consumers from scams, telemarketing fraud and other deceptive practices is a priority for our office,” Schmidt said. “Whenever possible, we work closely with federal authorities since the vast majority of telemarketing scams targeting Kansans originate outside the state and many originate offshore.”

In their comments, Schmidt and the other attorneys general say that changes in the marketplace and the continued prevalence of specific types of fraud and abuse require a tougher federal rule.

A principal focus of the request is to combat common scams, such as the “grandparent scam,” that target senior citizens and try to collect money through wire transfers and other types of instant payment methods commonly used in telemarketing fraud.

In addition to asking the FTC to tighten its rules to restrict certain payment methods commonly used by scammers, the attorneys general also address the use of pre-acquired account information, the use of negative option features, and requiring telemarketers to create and maintain call records.

“The ‘grandparent scam’ and many others that target senior citizens and vulnerable Kansans continue to be a top source of consumer complaints filed with our office,” Schmidt said. “We continue to vigorously enforce Kansas law, and changes such as these we are recommending would improve our ability to protect Kansas consumers when they are targeted by scammers from out of state or even overseas. Of course, consumers should not give out bank account information when called by a telemarketer and never should agree to wire money to a telemarketer for any purpose.”

Kansans with concerns about questionable sales or marketing practices can contact the Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-432-2310 or visit www.InYourCornerKansas.org for more information.

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