August 21st, 2013
05:16 PM ET

Girls injured when bus overturns in Kansas, police say

Children were injured when a school bus overturned in eastern Kansas on Wednesday afternoon, Kansas Highway Patrol spokesman Howard Dickinson said.

The number of children injured and information about the severity of the injuries weren't immediately available after the crash near Bonner Springs.

The bus - carrying 36 girls and a driver - slipped down a hill as it came around a curb and came to rest on its side, Dickinson said.

The crash happened just before 1 p.m. on southbound Kansas Highway 7, CNN affiliate KCTV reported.

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Filed under: Kansas
February 25th, 2013
03:58 PM ET

Kansas traveler killed in accident on icy roads

One person died in a car accident in Sherman County, Kansas, due to icy roads from a massive winter storm hitting the Great Plains, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Monday afternoon.

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Filed under: Kansas • Weather • Winter weather
Gotta Watch: Unconventional weddings
A twister touches down near a Kansas wedding.
May 22nd, 2012
07:41 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Unconventional weddings

Saying "I do" under unusual circumstances – Most wedding ceremonies are predictable and filled with special traditions and customs. However, we've found a few unconventional weddings off the beaten path, and they are worth a look!

See how a tornado, mermaids and one man's surprise plot played a role in these weddings.

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Tornado touches down during wedding

Caleb and Candra Pence exchanged vows as a tornado touched down near their outdoor wedding ceremony in Harper, Kansas.

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This underwater wedding has mermaids

Two couples in China held their wedding ceremonies underwater in an aquarium.

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Unsuspecting woman gets surprise wedding

One woman was shocked when her boyfriend surprised her with a proposal, immediately followed by their wedding.

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Filed under: Canada • China • Gotta Watch • Kansas • Nature • Tornadoes
Adviser to lottery winners: Take the money and hush
Neysa Thomas, the Kansas Lottery deputy executive director, presents a Mega Milions jackpot check to 'Anonymous.'
April 18th, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Adviser to lottery winners: Take the money and hush

The Butlers kept their secret for more than two weeks, but like most lottery winners they eventually had to let the world know of their millions.

It was revealed Wednesday that Merle and Pat Butler, a 60-something couple from the tiny St. Louis suburb of Red Bud, Illinois, had the third and final winning ticket in the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot from March 30.

Their take was $217 million, which comes to $158 million after taxes, and the couple had good reason for waiting so long to come forward.

“I figured the quieter I keep it, the better we are to get it set up and get it going before we did the claim,” Merle Butler said.

Michael Boone, a Bellevue, Washington-based wealth manager, said he often encourages clients with “found money” – that is, inheritance, lottery winnings or high-dollar sports contracts – to keep a low profile.

It seems at least a few lucky souls got similar advice. Of 10 past lottery winners CNN tried to reach, seven had changed their numbers. Of the three who answered their phones, two politely declined to discuss their experiences.

“I still prefer to remain anonymous,” said a past District of Columbia Lotto winner.

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Filed under: Finance • Illinois • Kansas • Lotto • Maryland • U.S.
March 20th, 2012
10:25 AM ET

Southern Miss takes disciplinary action against students for derogatory chant

Five members of the University of Southern Mississippi pep band have had their scholarships revoked and have been removed from the band after they yelled a derogatory chant at a Puerto Rican player during an NCAA basketball tournament game last week.

The school announced the disciplinary action in a statement Tuesday, saying the five "have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful."

"They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions," Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul said. "This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them."

The students will also be required to complete a two-hour training course on cultural sensitivity, the school said.

TV cameras captured the incident during the University of Southern Mississippi-Kansas State University game at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

As Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez shot free throws, several people could clearly be heard chanting, "where's your green card."

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Filed under: Basketball • Kansas • Mississippi • Sports
Tornado captured on video ripping through Kansas
Storm damage in Harveyville, Kansas.
February 29th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Tornado captured on video ripping through Kansas

Last night, a system of devastating storms swept through the Plains states, leaving trails of destruction in Missouri,  Illinois and Kansas.  Take a look at some storm-related video that's come in from the region, including one of a tornado touching down in one Kansas county.

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Reno County, Kansas

Storm chasers capture footage of a tornado touching down in Reno County, Kansas. Watch the funnel cloud form and lightning flash in this nighttime video.

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Harveyville, Kansas

— The small town of Harveyville, Kansas, was especially hard hit. This video shows the devastating damage that the town faces the morning after a suspected tornado struck.

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Edgar Springs, Missouri

Residents of Edgar Springs, Missouri react to damage in their town. See a flattened burger shop and listen to one man describe what he did when he heard a tornado coming.

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Filed under: Illinois • Kansas • Missouri • Natural Disasters • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
Heat a threat to man and machine
The National Weather Service says it's dangerously hot in 15 states.
August 4th, 2011
12:41 PM ET

Heat a threat to man and machine

Dallas has seen a solid month of triple-digit temperatures, and 15 states are under National Weather Service heat advisories. To put those figures into some historical and scientific context, here's a round of hot-weather factoids. If you're in one of those 15 sweltering states, please drink a glass of water while you read them.

  • NOAA has records of heat-related fatalities going back to 1986. For the first decade of data, the number of deaths did not top double digits until a disastrous 1995, when 1,021 people died. According to NOAA, about 700 of those deaths were in Chicago.
  • Between 1986 and 1997, the median annual number of heat-related fatalities was 36. Between 1998 and 2010, it was 158.
  • Seven high temperature records were broken Wednesday, and six were tied in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri.
  • In parts of Missouri, the previous record was from the day before. Wednesday's high of 110 degrees beat out the all-time high of 106 that was set Tuesday.
  • Participants in the raw foods movement do not eat food that has been prepared at temperatures greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They should therefore steer clear of picnicking in Dallas or Oklahoma City, where today's forecast high is 110 degrees.
  • Scientists say the average temperature on Earth during the Cretaceous period was just a chilly 82 degrees, though individual locations were much hotter.
  • Apple recommends not operating its iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone in temperatures greater than 95 degrees. They can be stored at up to 113 degrees, but parked cars get hotter than that.
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Filed under: Arkansas • Heat • Kansas • Missouri • Oklahoma • Texas • U.S. • Weather
7-Eleven birthday means free Slurpees for heat-ravaged U.S.
7-Eleven first served up free birthday Slurpees in 2002, when these two Florida youngsters capitalized on the promotion.
July 11th, 2011
11:53 AM ET

7-Eleven birthday means free Slurpees for heat-ravaged U.S.

Sure, it's a marketing ploy, but the timing is apropos.

As sweltering heat in 15 states is pushing the mercury to record levels, 7-Eleven is celebrating its 84th birthday by handing out 5 million Slurpees between noon and midnight Monday.

CNN reported earlier Monday that almost a third of U.S. states are likely to see temperatures top 105 degrees this week. Wichita, Kansas, saw 111-degree temps Sunday. Oklahoma City set a new record at 108.

All in all, it's nasty out there, and it's a good thing the free 7-Eleven icy beverages are only 7.11 ounces. Otherwise, they wouldn't stand ... well, a Slurpee's chance in Wichita. Sorry, couldn't resist.

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Filed under: Business • Kansas • Oklahoma • U.S.
June 19th, 2011
03:01 PM ET

7 states face extreme fire risk Sunday

Firefighters across the southwestern United States on Sunday could face some of the worst weather conditions of the season for battling blazes currently raging across the region.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for most of Arizona, all of New Mexico, much of north Texas and portions of Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Utah for Sunday. A red flag warning means weather conditions - mainly high heat, low humidity and strong winds - pose an extreme fire risk.

"The winds certainly will be very gusty and strong," said Ken Daniel, NWS meteorologist in Flagstaff, Arizona. "Any new fire starts would have the potential to have explosive growth."

Dozens of wildfires already are burning in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, according to InciWeb, an online interagency database that tracks fires, floods and other disasters.

Sunday's forecast calls for winds of 30 mph or more in some areas, with gusts of up to 50 mph, Daniel said.

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Filed under: Arizona • Colorado • Kansas • New Mexico • Oklahoma • Texas • Utah
Kansas governor eliminates state funding for arts
The Kansas Arts Commission's website notes that all programs and grant operations have been terminated.
June 2nd, 2011
12:11 PM ET

Kansas governor eliminates state funding for arts

Kansas has become the first state to have all its state funding for arts programs eliminated.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback used a line-item veto to cut public funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. The commission has been operating since 1966, a year after Congress set up the National Endowment for the Arts.

The commission's Web site announced the news starkly with the sentence:  "All Kansas Arts Commission programs and grant operations for Fiscal Year 2012 have been terminated effective immediately."

Brownback has been outspoken about his desire to make arts funding entirely private.

The conservative leader has pointed to Vermont as a state with a nonprofit arts agency that's privately funded. But Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Alexander L. Aldrich responded by writing an open letter to Brownback, noting that without state appropriations it would be unable to provide "underserved communities" with arts education or "accessibility services to hundreds of historic cultural venues that were built long before the passage of the (Americans With Disabilities Act), and a host of other grants that support our creative sector."

"... (E)very State SHOULD invest in the arts sector simply because it makes good economic sense," the letter also says.

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Filed under: Kansas • Politics
February 8th, 2011
02:37 PM ET

Plains and South brace for another winter storm

Snow began falling over Colorado and Kansas Tuesday as yet another round of winter weather began marching across the United States barely a week after a record-setting winter storm roared across the Midwest.

A powerful weather system poised over the Rockies is forecast to dump several feet of snow in the Mountain West and up to 10 inches in some parts of Oklahoma, forecasters said.

Much of Oklahoma is under a winter storm warning, but snow and sleet are predicted as far south as central Texas, with 2 to 4 inches expected to coat the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the National Weather Service said.

Later in the week, the system is expected to bring rain and snow to many areas of the Deep South before delivering a wintry mix along portions of the East Coast by Thursday.

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Filed under: Colorado • Kansas • Oklahoma • Texas • Weather • Winter weather
November 2nd, 2010
09:37 PM ET

Cuomo wins New York governor race; Texas Gov. Rick Perry wins re-election

Texas Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Perry has won his bid for re-election, CNN projects, beating Democrat Bill White.

New York Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has defeated Republican Carl Paladino in the race for governor, CNN projects. Democratic Gov. David Paterson is retiring.

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Filed under: Elections • Indiana • Kansas • New York • North Dakota • Politics
September 4th, 2010
03:02 PM ET

Man missing for 3 months found safe

A Kansas man missing for more than three months has turned up alive and unharmed, CNN affiliate KMBC reports.

Luke Stevens, 23, of Tonganoxie, Kansas, disappeared May 26 from the home of his father, Dan Stevens, according to the Kansas City Star newspaper's website.

The father's 1983 pickup was found 50 miles from home not long after Stevens vanished, but there was no sign of Stevens, KMBC reported. Sheriff's deputies, volunteers, dogs and divers scoured fields, woods, lakes and streams multiple times to no avail, according to the Star.

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Filed under: Kansas • U.S.