TIME Accident

Kansas Airport Plane Crash Kills 4

Wichita Airport-Crash
Firefighters try to put out a fire at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kan. on Oct. 30, 2014 shortly after a small plane crashed into the building killing several people including the pilot. Brian Corn—AP

Approximately 100 people were in flight safety center when airplane plowed into it

A small airplane plowed into the top of a flight safety center at an airport in Kansas after losing engine power on takeoff Thursday, killing at least four people, injuring five and leaving four others missing, officials said.

The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air reported trouble after taking off from Mid-Content Airport in Wichita around 10 a.m. ET. It hit a two-story FlightSafety International building while trying to return to the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The crash sent up thick plumes of black smoke that could be seen for miles.

“There wasn’t a loud bang, there wasn’t a loud…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME celebrity

That Time Cam and Mitch from Modern Family Crashed a Frat Party

It went down at 2:30 a.m. at Eric Stonestreet's alma mater, Kansas State University

Last night on Conan, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitch on Modern Family, had a fun little anecdote to share. He and co-star Eric Stonestreet (who plays Mitch’s husband, Cam) took a trip to Kansas State University (Stonestreet’s alma mater) to host a panel discussion and answer questions about their work in the TV industry. After the event, the actors did some bar hopping and eventually, around 2:30 a.m., Stonestreet decided it would be a good idea for them to stop by his old fraternity house. You know, because most things seem like a good idea at 2:30 a.m.

The actors took photos with some of the college students they encountered (a few of whom were, uh, not properly clothed). See? This proves that even when they’re not on set, all kinds of shenanigans ensue when Mitch and Cam get together.

WATCH: Conan Weighs In On iPhone 6 ‘Bendgate’

WATCH: Conan Shows Us What the Minecraft Creator’s Really Doing with Newfound Billions

TIME States

Kansas Will Be Prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse

FRANCE-CINEMA-FANTASTIC-ZOMBIE
People dressed as zombies take part in the Zombie Walk event on Sept. 13, 2014, in the eastern French city of Strasbourg Frederick Florin—AFP/Getty

Or any other disaster, for that matter

If the zombie apocalypse arrives, one U.S. state will be ahead of the game.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed a “proclamation” naming October the state’s “Zombie Preparedness Month.”

The announcement, to be signed Sept. 26 in the governor’s ceremonial office in the Kansas statehouse, urges state residents to prepare an emergency plan and survival supplies that can last at least three days.

Of course, gathering up water, nonperishables and batteries to wait out a zombie siege sounds an awful lot like how a Kansas resident might prepare for a range of natural disasters — which, officials say, is exactly the point.

“We came up with the idea of Zombie Preparedness Month because it is an engaging way to get people on board with emergency preparedness,” the governor’s office says. “If you’re equipped to handle the zombie apocalypse then you’re prepared for tornadoes, severe storms, fire and any other natural disaster Kansas usually faces.”

It added: “If you’re prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for anything.”

TIME 2014 Election

Surprise Twist in Kansas Scrambles Senate Fight

Greg Orman Kansas Senate
Independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman poses with his wife Sybil at the Clint Bowyers Community Center in the west end of Emporia, Kans., Mark Reinstein—Corbis

A Democrat drops out of the Senate race, paving the way for an independent to take on vulnerable Republican incumbent Pat Roberts

Updated 4:20 p.m. E.T. on Sept. 4

The battle for the Senate could come down to Kansas, where a surprise contest in one of the country’s most conservative states has the potential to stymie the Republican bid to retake control of the chamber.

That unlikely outcome became a distinct possibility on Wednesday night, when Democratic candidate Chad Taylor withdrew from the race, paving the way for an independent challenger to take on GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. In a recent poll conducted before Taylor’s exit, Greg Orman, the independent, ran 10 points ahead of the embattled incumbent in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup. The race also features a long-shot libertarian candidate, who could muddle the math even further.

Just a month ago, Kansas wasn’t on the radar for observers surveying the Senate map. Its voters haven’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since the Great Depression. Suddenly, a deep-red state in the Koch brothers’ backyard is shaping up as a potential political firewall for Democrats as they fight to stave off a GOP takeover.

So what’s the matter with Kansas?

Part of the problem is Roberts, 78, a three-term senator whose appeal to Kansans has worn thin. Normally a mainstream Republican, he has tacked to the right to head off a primary challenge, even voting against the farm bill in an agricultural stronghold. During a bruising campaign against Tea Partyer Milton Wolf, the New York Times reported that Roberts doesn’t maintain a home of his own in the state. He emerged from the primary battered, with a 27% approval rating that is six points lower than even Barack Obama’s in the state.

These weaknesses created an opportunity for Orman, a wealthy businessman running as a moderate reformer. Orman, who has never held elected office, has donated to both Democrats and Republicans. He advocates tax reform and reducing the regulatory burden on business owners. He talks about beefing up border security, but also supports immigration reform and a path to citizenship. He is a gun owner who wants to expand background checks to cover private sales. He supports abortion rights, but has spent much of his campaign extolling a brand of fiscal conservatism that plays well on the right.

His unexpectedly strong campaign has also benefited from broad disillusionment with the state’s political status quo. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback took office in 2011 and launched what he once dubbed a “real, live experiment” in Tea Party governance. He cut taxes, pruned the welfare rolls, slashed spending and forced the legislature into lockstep with his vision. But the state’s finances are a mess, the economy has sputtered and the moves have sparked a surprising backlash. (A RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows Brownback trailing his Democratic counterpart, state House Minority Leader Paul Davis, by a few points.)

The lurch to the right has frustrated some conservatives, but Roberts was still running ahead of Taylor and Orman in a multi-way contest. Taylor’s surprise exit—which some Republicans believe was orchestrated by Democrats—frees up space for Orman to campaign as a fiscally conservative centrist. The independent possesses some crossover appeal, with the potential to stitch together both left-leaning voters and center-right Republicans who are fed up with the Tea Party. Orman has collected endorsements from more than 70 former Republican lawmakers in the state.

As for Roberts, he has been slow to recover his position after emerging from the primary. “Roberts has not been actively campaigning for about a month now,” wrote the Rothenberg Political Report‘s Nathan Gonzales. “The lack of a strong campaign infrastructure is one of the fundamental reasons why Roberts is in severe danger. He can’t count on the the traditionally red hue of Kansas in federal races to bail him out.”

Roberts got an unexpected boost Thursday when Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced that Taylor’s name would stay on the ballot because his withdrawal letter lacked a mandatory declaration that he was incapable of serving if elected. “The law is the law,” said Kobach, a Republican. In a tight race, the decision could siphon decisive votes from Orman.

Plus, the state’s hue certainly helps the Republican. Kansas remains as crimson as they come: Obama lost there by 22 points. Roberts has a massive fundraising advantage—his $1.4 million on hand dwarfs Orman’s $362,000—and his party is swinging into action to save his seat, dispatching top national strategists from Washington to oversee the stretch drive. But the race has emerged as a major September surprise.

If the GOP’s bid to retake the Senate withers and dies on the prairie, it would be one of the cruelest ironies imaginable.

TIME 2014 Election

The 5 Takeaways from Tuesday’s Primaries

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts greet each other at Johnson County Republican's election watch party Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Overland Park, Kan.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts greet each other at Johnson County Republican's election watch party, Aug. 5, 2014, in Overland Park, Kan. Charlie Riedel—AP

The fight for the soul of the Republican Party rages on

Most of the results in the primaries in Michigan, Kansas, Missouri and Washington on Tuesday were predictable. But Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s surprise exit in June has primed most political watchers to look for unexpected results as the fight for the soul of the Republican Party rages on. This week’s results proved a mixed bag, with one incumbent going down but others surviving. From a Santa impersonator to Barack Obama’s cousin, here are the most interesting results from Tuesday’s primaries:
 
Sen. Pat Roberts survived. Three-term Kansas incumbent Roberts beat off Tea Party challenger Milton Wolf, a radiologist whose claim to fame is that he is President Obama’s cousin once removed. Roberts overcame questions about residency—whether he even maintained a home in Kansas—that brought down his colleague Dick Lugar in Indiana last cycle. But Milton faltered over the revelation of Facebook posts in which he apparently mocked patient X-rays. Roberts, who outraised Milton by $4.7 million to $1.1 million, was always ahead in the polls. A loss here would’ve been a huge upset.

Rep. Justin Amash survived. In a year when establishment Republicans like Roberts have generally prevailed against Tea Party challengers, they have less successfully gone on the offensive against Tea Party incumbent troublemakers like Amash. Despite being outspent and in the crosshairs of the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove, the two-term Michigan Republican prevailed Tuesday night. Amash so angered House leadership with his antics, they stripped him of his Budget Committee membership in 2012. Apparently, being unpopular in the most unpopular institution in America is a winner with voters.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio didn’t survive. If Amash hadn’t played his cards right, he could’ve easily have ended up like fellow Michigan upstart Bentivolio. The reindeer rancher and Santa impersonator was an accidental congressman. He happened to be the only one left on the ballot in 2012 when Rep. Thaddeus McCotter failed to properly qualify for the GOP ballot. Bentivolio didn’t toe the party line and failed to properly fundraise, leaving himself vulnerable to a challenge. Businessman David Trott won the backing of the Chamber of Commerce and self-funded $2.5 million to prevail Tuesday night.

Rep. Mike Pompeo survived. The perception of being an old school, ear marking Republican hurt former Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s bid to take back his former seat from Pompeo. Tiahrt, who represented Kansas’s fourth district from 1997 to 2011, left office to make an unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 2010. At the last minute before the May filing deadline, Tiahrt challenged his successor to win the seat back. Pompeo, though, had the backing of the Koch brothers and the anti-tax group the Club for Growth, who ran ads mocked Tiahrt’s “earmark of the day.” Pompeo won easily.

Two Republicans advanced from a crowded Washington primary. Doc Hastings,10-term incumbent and chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, is one of nearly three dozen House incumbents beating an path to the exit, disgusted with Congress’s newly intractable ways. But that didn’t stop a dozen people from running for the chance to succeed him. Washington has a top-two advance system regardless of party affiliation but in the reliably Republican 4th district, two Republicans topped the polls: Clint Didier, a former NFL star who won two Super Bowl rings with the Washington Redskins and ran as a Tea Partier and Dan Newhouse, a former state legislator and agricultural director. Which means, voters in that district will have until November to decide their own Tea Party versus establishment battle.

TIME Appreciation

Here’s What It Feels Like to Ride the World’s Tallest Water Slide

This video gives you the adrenaline rush without the danger

At 17 stories high — or, more precisely, 168 feet and 7 inches — the Verrückt water slide in Kansas City’s Schlitterbahn Waterpark is the world’s tallest.

Verrückt, fittingly, is German for crazy or insane. Wondering what it would be like to take a ride on this monster? The point-of-view video above — recorded by strapping a camera to a sandbag — should give you a taste. Hopefully this video will tide you over until you can try it for yourself, for the opening of the ride has been delayed “several times” due to technical glitches, according to CNN.

TIME U.S.

City Forces 9-Year-Old Boy to Move “Little Free Library” From Front Yard

It violates a city code that bans detached structures

City officials in Kansas shut down a “little free library” that a boy set up in his front yard because it violates city code, and the family is fighting the decision.

Spencer Collins, 9, set up “Spencer’s Little Free Library” in Leawood, Kansas, so neighbors could “take a book, leave a book.” As he told FOX 4 News, “Reading is one of my favorite things to do. We built it on Mother’s Day as a present for my mom because she really wanted one.”

City code prohibits detached structures, so the family moved it earlier this week — reportedly to the garage — and set up a Facebook page Thursday to solicit support for petitioning the city to amend its code. By publication time, it boasted more than 1,000 fans nationwide and counting.

Spencer’s Little Free Library is part of a movement to promote literacy and lifelong learning that claims to boast about 15,000 of these homemade libraries nationwide.

(h/t ABA Journal)

TIME March Madness

Stanford Slays Kansas, Kentucky Stuns Shockers

Stanford v Kansas
Chasson Randle of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 60 to 57 during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center on March 23, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. Dilip Vishwanat—Getty Images

Yet another upset in the NCAA men's basketball tournament as the 10th-seeded Stanford Cardinals defeated the second-seeded Kansas Jayhawks 60-57. They'll make their first trip to the Sweet 16 in five years to face another Cinderella story, 11th-seeded Dayton

The madness never ends: 10th-seeded Stanford upset second seed Kansas 60-57 while Kentucky took down the first-seed Wichita State Shockers on Sunday.

Stanford beat seventh-seeded New Mexico on Friday in order to play the Jayhawks Sunday. Dwight Powell scored 15 points to put the Cardinals ahead of powerhouse Kansas. Even though superstar Andrew Wiggins played 24 minutes for Kansas, he had only four points on 1-for-6 shooting.

Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison (20 points) led the Wildcats to their shocking 78-76 win over the previously unbeaten Shockers. Their win advances the team to the Sweet 16, where they’ll play the defending champs, Louisville. Louisville dispatched the St. Louis Billikens 66-51 Saturday.

Stanford will head to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008, where they will play 11th-seeded Dayton, who took an improbable trip to the Sweet 16 themselves. The Flyers upset sixth-seeded Ohio State in the first round of the tournament before upsetting third-seeded Syracuse on Saturday.

TIME obituary

The House That Fred Built: Exclusive Photos of Fred Phelps and the People He Left Behind

Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church most widely known for picketing U.S. military funerals, died at the age of 84, Thursday, March 20. Photographer Anthony S. Karen captured these behind-the-scenes images of Phelps, his family and his church between 2008-2011, giving a remarkable inside look at the secretive and oft-despised group.

TIME Crime

Man Decides He Doesn’t Want a Naked Massage Afterall, Runs Away

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Back massage Getty Images

What do you mean there's no return policy

Here’s a weird thing to file a police report over.

A 30-year-old man hired a woman to come to his Wichita, Kansas hotel room Wednesday night to give him a naked massage. But according to a police report, things took a turn for the worse when the “victim” decided that he didn’t like how his masseuse looked naked and asked for his money back, The Wichita Eagle reports. Clearly perturbed, “Brittney” called her boyfriend to threaten the regretful client, causing him to flee the Howard Johnson Express Inn without his money.

It’s the classic case of business transaction gone wrong. If classic business transactions included nudity.

[Wichita Eagle]

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