Ex-Public Defender Employee Charged with Smuggling Drugs into Prison
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a Shawnee, Kansas, woman on charges that she smuggled heroin into a state prison. 43-year-old Juliane Colby was a Missouri public defender employee in 2019 when she is accused of hiding drugs in an envelope marked “Legal Mail” that contained other information related to a criminal court case. The Kansas City Star reports that she faces charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, illegal use of a communication facility, and attempted distribution of heroin. Colby also is accused of trying to bring other contraband into the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron.
150 Rally in Overland Park against Anti-Asian American Rhetoric, Crimes
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) – About 150 people rallied in Overland Park yesterday (SAT) in support of Asian Americans. The Kansas City Star reports that the newly-formed group Allies Against Asian Hate rallied in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Island community and against anti-Asian hate and crimes. This follows the murder of eight people — six of them of Asian descent — in Atlanta earlier this month, and an increase in anti-Asian rhetoric and attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Man Convicted in 1984 Kansas Triple Murder Dies in Oklahoma Prison
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man convicted of killing an 18-year-old woman and the 2-year-old twins she was baby-sitting in 1984 has died in an Oklahoma prison. The Hutchinson News reports that the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office has confirmed that 54-year-old Arnold Ruebke Jr., of Kingman, died on Tuesday. He’d been in Oklahoma under an intrastate compact between the two states’ prison systems since shortly after his 1985 conviction. A Reno County jury found Ruebke guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of kidnapping for the deaths of Tammy Mooney and the two boys, Andrew and James Vogelsang.
Driver Arrested in Wichita Crash, Possible Shooting of Bicyclist
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a bicyclist is dead after a woman struck him with her van as he crossed a Wichita street and then apparently shot him. The Wichita Eagle reports that 31-year-old Charity Charmon Blackmon was booked into jail Friday night on suspicion of first-degree murder, driving with a suspended license, unsafe turning or stopping and failure to give proper signal. Wichita police chief Gordon Ramsay said the victim was either riding or walking his bicycle when he was hit Friday afternoon. Ramsay said the initial reports were that the suspect got out to shoot the man after the crash. Ramsay said police would know definitively if he was shot after an autopsy. The man’s name wasn’t immediately released.
Topeka Police Investigate Possible Fatal Shooting
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Chanute woman has been killed in a possible Topeka shooting, and police are trying to determine whether a nearby two-vehicle wreck is connected. Police said 39-year-old Kristi Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene Friday night. Police said two other people were rushed to hospital with injuries but are expected to recover. Police also are seeking two persons of interest in the case.
Man Charged in KCK Crash that Killed Good Samaritan
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A driver has been charged with hitting and killing a Good Samaritan as she tried to help the victim of an earlier crash in Kansas City, Kansas. Prosecutors announced Friday that 42-year-old Ramon Vazquez-Carmona faces one count of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence in the March 14th crash that killed Cindy Goulding. Vazquez-Carmona also faces a lesser charge of driving without a valid license. Kansas City, Kansas, police said Goulding exited her car to help after a sedan struck a sport utility vehicle. She then was struck by a pickup truck and declared dead at the scene.
GOP Lawmakers Push to Keep COVID Contact-Tracing Rules
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators are pushing to keep in place specific rules for tracing the close contacts of people exposed to COVID-19 despite public health groups’ opposition. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill making limits on COVID-19 contact tracing permanent, rather than repealing them May 1st. Its voice vote Friday sent the measure to the full Senate. The GOP-controlled Legislature enacted special rules last year, and supporters see them as protecting privacy. A key provision prevents people exposed to the novel coronavirus from being forced to disclose their close contacts. Public health officials have complained that the special COVID-19 rules hinder contact tracing.