Firefighters battle blaze at Wendy’s at 78th and Parallel

Kansas City, Kansas, firefighters battled a blaze around 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Wendy’s restaurant near 78th and Parallel Parkway. Several fire trucks responded to the fire. More information will follow. (Photo copyright 2020 by Mary Rupert)
Firefighters battled a blaze around 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Wendy’s restaurant at 78th and Parallel Parkway. (Photo copyright 2020 by Mary Rupert)
Firefighters battled a blaze around 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Wendy’s restaurant at 78th and Parallel Parkway. (Photo copyright 2020 by Mary Rupert)
Firefighters battled a blaze around 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Wendy’s restaurant at 78th and Parallel Parkway. (Photo copyright 2020 by Mary Rupert)
Westbound Parallel Parkway was closed to traffic at 77th during the fire, and traffic was diverted onto 77th Street and eastbound Parallel. (Photo copyright 2020 by Mary Rupert)

California man sentenced for trying to smuggle heroin and meth to Kansas City

A California man was sentenced today to 6.5 years in federal prison for smuggling heroin and methamphetamine to Kansas, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Allan Bryan DeJesus, 40, Bakersfield, California, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin. In his plea, he admitted he was on his way to Kansas City on Jan. 5, 2019, when the Kansas Highway Patrol pulled him over on I-70 in Thomas County.

In DeJesus’ vehicle, a trooper found two pounds of heroin and 20 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.

McAllister commended the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lind for their work on the case.

Sen. Braun backing veterans home bill

Sen. Kevin Braun

State Sen. Kevin Braun, R-5th Dist., is backing a bill to establish a veterans home in northeast Kansas.

A study done by the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs in 2013 found a need in the northeast Kansas area for a veterans home, he said.

There are currently veterans homes in Dodge City, Kansas, and Winfield, Kansas, and the trend of the population is a move toward urban areas, he said.

The northeast Kansas area as defined by the bill would include Wyandotte, Douglas, Jefferson, Leavenworth and Shawnee counties, he said.

Currently, veterans can go to regular nursing homes and will be covered under VA services, and some may be covered by Medicaid. A home specifically for veterans would do a little better at making sure that veterans receive all of their veterans-related services, Sen. Braun believes.

The bill would require the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs office to submit an initial application to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for construction of a state veterans home facility in northeast Kansas. Funding would be through the veterans home construction grant program.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Braun into the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Braun is a member of the committee and is the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Veterans. He was instrumental in establishing the subcommittee in 2019.

Sen. Braun served 32 years with two deployments in the Kansas Army National Guard. He stated there was some inaction in the past on the part of the House in establishing a veterans home for northeast Kansas.