Kansas attorney general comments on merger of Sprint – T-Mobile

A Sprint – T-Mobile merger was approved by a New York court Feb. 11, and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said it was “welcome news for Kansas.”

Schmidt said in a statement that competition should increase in the state and that quality coverage should expand in many rural areas in Kansas.

In addition, he expected the merger to expedite the development of 5G technology in Kansas, while protecting and expanding Kansas jobs, according to the statement.

“We intend to hold the merged company to its promises of investment in its Kansas network and of maintaining substantial employment at what will become the combined company’s ‘second headquarters’ in Overland Park,” Schmidt noted in his statement.

On July 26, Schmidt joined Kansas with the U.S. Department of Justice and four other states in a filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia formally approving the merger subject to certain conditions designed to main competition and enhance technology deployment.

The company also provided assurances it would remain a major employer in Kansas with its second headquarters in Overland Park. The attorney general’s office handled this matter for Kansas because it enforces both federal and state antitrust laws, according to Schmidt’s news release.

After that approval, a group of other states led by New York filed a lawsuit in federal district court in New York arguing the merger violated antitrust law and seeking to block it. Today’s judicial ruling rejected New York’s arguments, clearing the path for the merger to proceed.

Overland Park man pleads guilty in case involving male enhancement drugs

An Overland Park man pleaded guilty today to importing and selling misbranded pharmaceutical-grade erectile dysfunction drugs from China and marketing them as herbal remedies for men, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Rick Shepard, 60, Overland Park, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import misbranded drugs. In his plea, he admitted he was doing business as Epic Products when he sold a product called Euphoric to adult novelty stores in multiple states.

He marketed Euphoric as “all natural herbal supplements for male enhancement.” In fact, the product contained prescription drugs Tadalafil and Sildenafil, the active ingredients in Viagra and Cialis.

Shepard purchased the drugs from a supplier in China, according to prosecutors. He repackaged the capsules, applied his own labels and distributed them to stores in Kansas, Missouri and Colorado.

Sentencing is set for April 20. He could face a sentence of up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Food and Drug Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble is prosecuting.

Hundreds of impeachment supporters rally in Overland Park

Stacey Arey, of Shawnee, Kansas, joined hundreds of protesters outside the Overland Park office of U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. The event, held Tuesday, Dec. 17, was part of a nationwide effort supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chris Haxel, KCUR, Kansas News Service)

by Chris Haxel, Kansas News Service

Ahead of a presidential impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, and with a trial looming in the Senate, hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday evening outside the Overland Park, Kansas, office of U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in an effort to convince him to break with his Republican colleagues in a vote that is expected to fall largely along party lines.

Roberts, who plans to retire when his fourth term expires next year, has not publicly stated how he intends to vote.

About 200-300 protestors lined the intersection of College Boulevard and Quivira Road next to the senator’s regional office beginning around 5:30 p.m.

“I love this crowd,” proclaimed Stacy Arey, a Shawnee resident who held a sign saying “No one is above the law.”

“This is Johnson County, this is Kansas,” she said. “Kansas is turning blue… I’ve never seen an administration this lawless. I want them to be held accountable.”

A similar protest near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, drew a crowd that participants estimated to be in the hundreds. The events were part of a nationwide effort Tuesday to hold rallies to support the impeachment and removal of President Trump from office.

More than 600 such events were expected across the country, which organizers said took place before an expected vote Wednesday on whether to impeach President Trump in the U.S. House of Representatives. A trial in the Senate is expected in January.

The rallies were planned by MoveOn.org, a progressive adovcacy group that was founded in response to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.

“We’ll head to every congressional office and public square to declare that Nobody Is Above the Law as representatives finalize their positions and senators look on,” the organizers wrote online.

That most recent impeachment proceeding was on the mind of David Lewis, an attorney from Leawood who attended the Overland Park rally.

Roberts voted to impeach Clinton, Lewis noted.

“So now here’s his chance to show what he’s made of. If he’s going to vote for somebody that was lying to Congress… now vote for Trump’s impeachment. In other words, don’t just go party lines — vote for your conscience and the country.”

Chris Haxel is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email him at chaxel@kcur.org, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisHaxel. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to kcur.org.
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