Harvester itineraries include some lengthy trips throughout the Midwest
ALDEN (AP) -- Alex Mazur has longed for adventure on the Great Plains of America.
His eyes flicker with excitement, like a boy with a new bicycle, as he looks up at a large combine at the shop located in the middle of Alden -- thousands of miles from his native Scotland.
"It's a love of these big-boys toys," the 20-year-old said with a grin. "I can't wait to get started."
He heeded the call and joined a wheat harvesting crew that will make it...
Survival of Flint Hills rests with burning, grazing
COTTONWOOD FALLS (AP) -- It's been called the "vast grassland empire" -- an expanse of rolling prairie, blackened in the spring by burning, brightened by green growth after the fire and aged to a rusty tan by autumn. The Flint Hills -- chiseled from sandstone, limestone and shale by the wind and water nearly 200 million years ago -- is an area from 30 to 50 miles wide stretching from Marshall County near the Nebraska border into Oklahoma, w...
Missouri panel sets moratorium on casinos
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Gaming Commission placed a moratorium Monday on new casinos until voters can decide this November on a ballot issue imposing a permanent casino cap and allowing existing facilities to win more money from bettors.
The commission's unanimous vote will, at a minimum, delay casinos sought in the Kansas City suburb of Sugar Creek and in Cape Girardeau. If the ballot measure passes, those casinos could be pe...
Southwest Kansan has an eye for design
GARDEN CITY (AP) -- Form. Texture. Line.
These are three simple things that transform an ordinary lawn into a landscape masterpiece.
Trees. Flowers. Water. These are three components that make a house a home.
Landscaping is a process of adding a splash of color or a line of texture to deceive the eye. It's a skill many possess, but only a few act on.
One of the most experienced landscapers in Garden City is Fred Palmblade.
Palmblade is known ...
Salina residents have been pondering the city's driving age limits recently
SALINA (AP) -- Ron Schmutz knows that, at some point, all children get a driver's license and soon drive on their own. And he knows that many children are very responsible when they get behind the wheel. But still. "You worry about them," Schmutz says. "I have an idea what my parents went through when I started driving. There is still so much to learn -- about driving on ice, and weather conditions, and lots of traffic situations you might...
Mets fire manager Willie Randolph
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Willie Randolph is out as manager of the New York Mets, fired in the middle of the night 2 1/2 months into a disappointing season that has followed the team's colossal collapse last September.
Bench coach Jerry Manuel takes over on an interim basis for Randolph, who led the Mets to within one win of the 2006 World Series. They got off to a strong start again last year but plummeted down the stretch and have been unable...
Nasty surprises await locksmiths
KANSAS CITY (AP) -- Locksmith Brent Fasse squints at the map, double-checking the address of a house off the Paseo.
"This is it," he says, as he parks his Chevy Astro van, filled with thousands of keys packed into plastic storage boxes.
For all the misery of the mortgage crisis, with its foreclosures and evictions and interrupted lives, it's a good time to be a locksmith. Almost all the locks Fasse changes these days are on foreclosed homes.
Radiant Trail offers great scenic beauty
SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) -- Hikers and mountain bikers alike can find a mixture of geography and native creatures along a nearby trail.
The Radiant Trail, a three-mile hiking and mountain biking path, opened about two years ago at Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site north of Sedalia. The trail took nearly a year to construct, said Jill White, site administrator at historic site.
Barney Knight, of Sedalia, came up with the idea after hearing about the...
Higher gas, food prices result in fewer vacations for families
KANOPOLIS LAKE (AP) -- Jane Darling admitted she had other plans for her Memorial Day -- a trip to Illinois to visit her grandchildren.
However, she didn't hesitate to take off for a weekend at the lake.
As storms moved in on Sunday afternoon and her arms a little pink from too much sun, the Alden-area woman and her family spent the day on a boat in the middle of Kanopolis Lake before heading back to the cabin for a night of storm watching an...
Judge sets hearing for nurse in 'pill mill' case
WICHITA (AP) -- A nurse accused of running a "pill mill" with her husband is entitled to an evidentiary hearing on prosecutors' claims that she is a flight risk, a federal magistrate judge ruled Monday.
Linda Schneider and her husband, Stephen, were arrested in December on a 34-count federal indictment that accuses them of directly causing four deaths and contributing to the deaths of 11 other patients.
The doctor was released in April pendin...
Gardner teen pleads no contest
OLATHE (AP) -- A suburban Kansas City teenager pleaded no contest Monday to aggravated battery in the death of a schoolmate who collapsed after a fight.
Dustin Howard, 16, of Gardner entered the plea the day that his trial was set to begin. Howard had been scheduled to stand trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge in Johnson County Juvenile Court for the February death of Dakota DeRemus, 16.
The judge can accept or reject the plea agreeme...
Past accusations surface
WICHITA -- Police looked into allegations that Elgin Robinson Jr
Past accusations surface
WICHITA -- Police looked into allegations that Elgin Robinson Jr. had taken indecent liberties with a minor and that he had raped another young girl almost two years before he would be charged with plotting the murder of a pregnant 14-year-old, a newspaper reported.
Robinson wasn't charged in either case, which authorities said was because of a lack of evidence or a lack of cooperation from a possible victim, The Wich...
'Clean' campaign offers Ryun advantage
TOPEKA -- Jim Ryun appears to be trying to give himself an advantage by calling for clean campaigning as he seeks the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District.
Ryun, the congressman ousted in 2006, and his GOP rival, State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, filed for office hours apart last week. In between, Ryun issued his call for a campaign free of the negative attacks that he said tend to alienate voters.
Such declarations -- complete...
Royals slam Diamondbacks
PHOENIX (AP) -- With the bases loaded in the fourth inning Sunday, David DeJesus was looking for a fastball from Micah Owings.
He delivered one and DeJesus hit it into Chase Field's pool area for his first career grand slam, lifting the Kansas City Royals to an 8-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. DeJesus also doubled and singled and had a career-high five RBI.
"He threw a changeup down for the first pitch, and then I was just ready if ...
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Pack up the championship trophy and book a flight back to Boston, the NBA finals aren't over yet.
The Los Angeles Lakers are headed East to try a historic comeback of their own.
Kobe Bryant scored 25 points and Lamar Odom added 20 as the Lakers prevented the Celtics from winning a 17th title Sunday night with a 103-98 win in Game 5 to close to 3-2 in this restored rivalry.
No team has overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals t...