Cedric Ford

Police say protection order likely set of Kansas attack

HESSTON, Kan. — A man who stormed into a Kansas factory and shot 14 people, killing three, had just been served with a protective order involving a former girlfriend that probably set off the attack, authorities said Friday.

The assault at the Excel Industries lawnmower plant in the small town of Hesston ended when the police chief killed the gunman in a shootout.

The gunman was identified as Cedric Ford, a 38-year-old worker at the factory. As a felon, he was prohibited from owning any kind of firearm. A woman was charged with supplying him with an assault rifle and a pistol.- AP

Midlands lawmakers to address conservatives

Nebraska and Iowa Republican lawmakers will be among the speakers at an influential gathering of conservatives next week in Maryland.

Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, along with Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Steve King of Iowa, are set to appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which begins Wednesday and runs through March 5. The gathering is run by the American Conservative Union.

More than 50 people are listed as speakers, including Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.- Robynn Tysver

Man kills himself after shooting his family

BELFAIR, Wash. — A gunman who killed four people in rural Washington state called an officer he previously encountered to say he shot his family, leading to an hours-long standoff at a home Friday that ended with his suicide, authorities said. A 12-year-old girl related to the victims survived; her condition was not immediately known.

The officer who took the shooter's call went to the home across Puget Sound from Seattle with another deputy. Authorities negotiated with the man for about three hours before a SWAT team entered the house in a heavily wooded area and found the bodies.

Neither the gunman nor his four victims have been identified.- AP

Oregon city fires landscape goats over cost and smell

SALEM, Oregon — When fourlegged landscapers made an appearance in Oregon's capital, the move was popular with park visitors. But officials are giving them the boot.

Salem officials say the city's pilot project employing goats to remove invasive species cost nearly five times what they would have spent using conventional methods.

And that's not the only drawback: Officials noted that the city had to clean up the "heavily fertilized area" left behind by the goats.- AP

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