Effort continues to prevent juvenile gambling in Wyandotte County

by Mary Rupert

An educational effort to help prevent juvenile gambling is underway in Wyandotte County.

According to Andrica Wilcoxen of the Northeast Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force, the educational effort is now in its second phase.

Information has been passed out to retailers that sell lottery tickets in Wyandotte County, pointing out that it is a felony for anyone to sell a lottery ticket to a minor, Wilcoxen said.  Ninety-seven educational packets were delivered to retailers, the packets were paid for with donated funding, and the project is continuing out of the task force’s existing budget, she said.

She said the effort’s other planned phases are for task force representatives to visit retailers with a minor and to give them a warning if a ticket is sold to a minor; then, for law enforcement to visit the retailers; and further educational training. She added the retailers were told in advance that this effort was underway.

Wilcoxen noted that this program to prevent juvenile gambling did not specifically receive state funding recently, as it was decided to transfer $2.5 million in the problem gambling fund to other state uses, such as school finance. The problem gambling fund is mandated by law from 2 percent of the casino revenues.

While its efforts will continue, the task force could get more done with increased funding, she believes.

The Northeast Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force also had requested some administrative help, but that was not funded, she added.  As volunteers, task force members all have full-time jobs and donate their time to the task force, she said.

The task force also hopes to educate the community about signs of problem gambling, she said.

Another educational program the task force is sponsoring is a youth rap contest. Students were invited to write a 25-second rap or spoken word about a solution for problem gambling, she said. The winners of the contest, selected by outside judges, will receive a cash prize and their winning entries will be played on a local radio station.

Kansas residents who have a gambling problem and want to seek help may call the problem gambling help line at 800-522-4700, or visit the website ksgamblinghelp.com.

Johnson County judge to sit with state Supreme Court for five cases

Johnson County District Court Judge Gerald Elliott will sit with the state Supreme Court April 29 to hear oral arguments in five cases.

After hearing oral arguments, he will join the Supreme Court justices in their deliberations and opinion drafting.

All Supreme Court oral arguments are webcast live through the Watch Supreme Court Live link in the right-hand column of the Kansas Judicial Branch website at www.kscourts.org.

One of the five cases originated in Wyandotte County. Keaira Brown, also known as Keaire Brown, appeals her conviction of felony murder and attempted aggravated robbery. She was sentenced to a hard-20 term.

Issues are whether the district court erred instructing the jury that it could convict Brown of felony murder if it found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she had killed the victim in “flight from attempting to commit aggravated robbery.” Also, whether both convictions must be vacated on alternative means grounds, whether the district court erred authorizing adult prosecution, and whether the prosecutor committed misconduct during her closing argument. Also, whether the Kansas sentencing scheme that requires a district court to sentence a juvenile to life in prison without possibility of parole for 20 years, and gives a judge no discretion to depart, is unconstitutional.


Rain in today’s forecast

National Weather Service graphic

Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

A 30 percent chance of rain today will increase overnight to 80 percent.

Today’s high will be near 77, and winds will begin to pick up. Winds of 11 to 21 mph from the southeast could gust to as high as 30 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The likelihood of rain and storms increases after 4 a.m. Thursday. Between a tenth and quarter of an inch, with higher amounts in storms, is possible.

Some strong thunderstorms are possible Thursday orning as a cold front sweeps through the area. They are likely to start before sunrise, and small hail and strong winds are possible.

Showers and thunderstorms may continue Thursday before 1 p.m. The high will be near 70. Winds may gust as high as 23 mph.

The weather clears Thursday night, and Friday’s forecast is sunny with a high near 77. Winds could gust as high as 23.

On Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday, the chance of showers and thunderstorms returns. A chance of rain also is in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. There is a potential for severe storms Sunday and Monday.

National Weather Service graphic