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Kansas fiscal outlook a tad bit better…and more headlines: April 21, 2017

The state budget picture is a bit better now that officials and university economists are out with a new fiscal forecast. The new figures call for $156 million more in tax collections through June 2019. After that, the budget gaps fall to $889 million, when they’d previously topped $1 billion.
Fire officials in Reno County say four fires north of Hutchinson early last month are suspicious. A firework that puts off a shower of sparks was found close to where one of the fires started. Several witnesses claim they didn’t see any smoke before the fires broke out, only leading to more suspicion.
A man serving five consecutive life sentences after being convicted of murdering five people in the mid-seventies is up for parole. Francis Nemecheck was found to have picked up two women and a 3-year old boy near Ogallah, taken them to an abandoned farmhouse in Graham County and shot the women to death while leaving the boy to freeze in December 1974. Nemecheck later told police where to look for the remains of a college student who’d been abducted, and was convicted of abducting and murdering a Cedar Bluff State Park ranger. Both of those cases were from 1976. Anyone who wants to give public input can write the Prisoner Review Board in Topeka by May 19th.
The KBI investigates the death of a woman, found dead in the Russell County jail. She was being held on criminal threat and disorderly conduct charges, and was found, unresponsive, during a routine check. Investigators are waiting on an autopsy.
A woman in Topeka gets 2.5 years in prison for Medicaid fraud. Prosecutors claim she falsely billed the program for more than $480-thousand in services, and will have to pay that back. She was also accused of lying to get a license for her business providing day services to the developmentally disabled.

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