Pro-Trump Militiamen on Trial in Plot to Blow Up Muslims in Kansas Apartment

Curtis Allen (left), Gavin Wright (center) and Patrick Stein (right).

Patrick Stein, a right-wing militia member who thought Trump was “the Man” and Muslims were “cockroaches” that needed to be exterminated, met what he thought was a weapons dealer in a remote field in western Kansas.

“I’m sick of seeing these motherfuckers coming into this country,” Stein told the man, referring to Muslim refugees, Huffington post reports. “They’re here for one reason and one reason only.”

It was about a month before Donald Trump was elected president, and Stein had no idea he was actually meeting with an undercover FBI agent.

A few days later, the FBI arrested Stein, who was charged with a litany of federal offenses, including plotting to kill Somali refugees who lived in an apartment complex in nearby Garden City.

Since then, 18 months have passed, and Stein and his allege co-conspirators Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen are on the third week of a trial in Wichita.

While Stein met with the undercover agent in search of a weapon manufacturer, the co-conspirators did not demonstrate they were serious about the plot, their defense attorneys said.

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Vandalism of an entrance sign at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, via Twitter.

The Secret Service is investigative the vandalism of an entrance sign at the Trump International Golf Club near the president’s Florida estate Mar-a-Lago resort over the weekend.

Red plant was splattered onto the entrance of the club at West Balm Beach, Fla. on Saturday night, and authorities found a can of paint nearby, ABC News reports.

Images online show paint covering some of the letters on the polished stone structure.

The Secret Service declined to comment.

The golf club is about 5 miles from Mar-a-Lago.

Trump was spotted at the golf club this weekend.

Devin Kelley killed 26 people in a Baptist church in a rural Texas town.

Steve Neavling

A majority of the assailants in mass attacks in the U.S. last year shared strikingly similar traits, a new Secret Service report found.

An analysis of 28 mass attacks, which killed 147 people and injured nearly 700 more nationwide, found that all suspects were male and 64% experienced mental health issues before the assaults.

Before the attacks, 79% of them had engaged in threatening or suspicious behavior witnessed by others, according to the National Threat Assessment Center report on Mass Attacks in Public Space.

About 71% of the suspects had a criminal history, and one-third had been charged with domestic violence. Two-thirds had a history of violence, though not all of it was reported or ended in charges.

In the five years before the attacks, more than half experienced financial hardships, and 82% “exhibited behaviors that were indicative of aggressive narcissism,” the Secret Service found.

Nearly half of the suspects were driven by a personal grievance, whether real or perceived.

Less than two months before the report was released, Nikolas Cruz is accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school after he passed a background check to buy an AR-15 assault-style rifle.

Cruz exhibited nearly every trait found in a majority of last year’s attackers.

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State moves to take over 15 nursing homes after owner says it can’t make payroll | The Wichita Eagle

Kansas government has filed court papers to take over 15 nursing homes across the state, including in Wichita, Wellington and El Dorado, because the owner can’t make payroll, officials said Thursday.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services — KDADS — is moving to take over the homes and contract with an operator to try to make sure patient care doesn’t suffer for 854 elderly and disabled residents.

"Our most pressing concern at this point is stability," Tim Keck, secretary of KDADS, said in a statement. "We want to ensure the residents of these facilities continue to receive the care they need, and to make sure the staff, which provides that care, continues to be paid.”

All of the care homes are operated under a variant of the name "Care and Rehabilitation Center" and are owned by a company called Skyline Health Care. Skyline is based in Wood Ridge, N.J., and acquired the Kansas facilities in 2016, according to KDADS.

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On the list locally are the Wichita, Wellington and El Dorado Care and Rehabilitation Centers. The Wichita facility is at 4007 E. Lincoln.

“This is a highly unusual situation, but we have identified a nursing home management group that is willing to step in immediately and begin overseeing these facilities," Keck said.

Mission Health Care, which operates 14 nursing homes in Kansas and four other states, will operate the facilities until a permanent solution is found, KDADS said.

In addition to the local facilities, the situation affects three Care and Rehabilitation Centers in Edwardsville and one each in Cottonwood Falls, Downs, Eskridge, Lansing, Neodesha, Pittsburg, Springfield, Wakefield and Wilson.

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Wichita remains the most affordable top-100 city in the U.S., according to Apartment List – Wichita Business Journal

Wichita remains an affordable place to rent an apartment.

That’s according to a monthly report released by Apartment List, a website that aggregates national apartment listings.

The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city is about $750 while a one-bedroom fetches on average about $560 per month, the March report said. That represents a slight increase of 0.6 percent from the same month in 2017.

From January to February, the average price for a two-bedroom jumped by 0.3 percent, the report said. The national average — from a list of the 100 most-populated cities in the U.S. — for a two-bedroom apartment is about $1,160 per month.

Wichita’s year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 1.6 percent and the national average of 2.3 percent. Of the largest 10 cities that Apartment List tracks in Kansas, six saw rents rise year-over-year.

The most expensive city to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to the release, is San Francisco ($3,040) while the most affordable city for a two-bedroom continues to be Wichita.

"Wichita’s growth rate is well below both the national average and the Kansas state average," says Apartment List housing economist Chris Salviati. "The median two-bedroom rent in Wichita is quite affordable compared to many of the nation’s large and mid-sized cities."

Oklahoma City experienced the largest dip in rents over the past year with a 2.1 percent drop.

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Woman accused of killing Wichita mother, kidnapping baby competent for trial

Yesenia Sesmas (left) and Laura Abarca-Nogueda with Baby Sophia


A judge has ruled that a 35-year-old woman accused of killing a Wichita mother and kidnapping her newborn child is competent to stand trial.

Trial for Yesenia Sesmas is scheduled to begin on March 26. She’s charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated interference with parental custody and other counts.

The Texas woman allegedly drove from Dallas to Wichita in November of 2016 to meet 27-year-old Laura Abarca, a friend she had met years ago working at a local restaurant.

Abarca had her baby just five days before she was shot in her west Wichita apartment and her newborn taken across state lines. Abarca’s boyfriend discovered the new mother dead on a couch and their newborn baby missing.

The break in case happened when authorities were able to track Sesmas as a potential suspect through a chatting app on Abarca phone. Baby Sophia was found two days later in the Dallas home where Sesmas lived.

During a previous interview with detectives, Sesmas admitted to shooting Abarca after Abarca allegedly went back on a deal to give Sesmas her baby.

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If downtown Wichita ever does get a grocery store, would Trader Joe’s fit the bill? – Wichita Business Journal

At a recent WBJ Emerging Leaders forum, the topic of a downtown grocery store was brought up.

It’s not a new topic, of course, but as apartment dwellings in Wichita’s core continue to be erected and renovated, it’s likely that more people will be living downtown.

With more people living downtown, more people will likely join the chorus of downtown residents that would like to see a grocery store. According to the Downtown Development Corp., somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,100 people currently live in downtown Wichita.

As developers have pointed out in the past, that number would probably have to grow substantially for the area to be able to support a full-service grocery store. One concept that was brought up at the recent forum was that of Trader Joe’s, a popular niche grocery chain with smaller stores.

Right now, Trader Joe’s has the Wichita market surrounded — literally — with stores in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Okla., the Denver area and the Kansas City area. Not to mention the cities of Lincoln and Omaha in Nebraska.

I thought I’d reach out to the Trader Joe’s folks to see if the Wichita market might be in their future plans. Here’s the response I got from company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel last week:

“I have no knowledge of a Trader Joe’s store coming to Wichita in the next two years,” she told me in an email. “As for would a (Trader Joe’s) location ever come to the area — yes, it is possible. We are always exploring new locations that we feel could/would be a great fit, so there’s always a possibility.”

There you have it — it’s a possibility. Of course, it’s also possible that Wichita State brings back football and Amazon decides out of the blue that Wichita is a fine place for its coveted second headquarters.

Like everything else, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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Wichita rescue on proposed pet bill: ‘Do I want to afford state fees or do I want to save more animals?’

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A proposed bill relating to the Kansas pet animal act has some people and numerous organizations concerned.

House Bill 2477 would amend the pet animal act by updating license and permit fee amounts. It would also change the annual expiration dates for pet animal act licenses and permits.

One of the proposed fee increases would be for licensed fosters. Right now a foster must pay $10 annually to be licensed. Under the proposed bill, a foster would have to pay $30 annually to obtain a license.

Wichita Animal Action League (WAAL), a Wichita animal rescue, would be directly affected by the price change if the bill passes.

“WAAL rescues actually pays the licensing fees for all of our fosters,” said WAAL President Sarah Coffman. “So in September we re-licensed 49 foster homes for the amount of $490. If it was to go up to $30, now we are paying almost $1,500 to re-license somebody for a year.”

WAAL, like many rescues, spend a large amount of money to keep animals off the streets and adopt them from local animal shelters. Coffman said a big chunk of her nonprofit’s money goes toward vet bills for many of the animals they save. She said the proposed fee increase could negatively impact the group’s save rate.

“Animal control will get an animal in that’s injured and they can’t afford those vet bills so WAAL will step in and pay those vet bills. I might be left with a decision, do I want to pay a vet bill for an injured animal or do I want to pay a licensing fee for 49 fosters? If i can’t pay both of those then an animal may get euthanized because now I can’t afford it,” Coffman said.

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, enactment of HB 2477 would result in additional revenues of $167,585 and additional expenditures of $77,868, for a net increase to agency fee fund revenues of $89,717.

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Agriculture said the additional money would go toward oversight, licensing expenses, among other things.

“It’s important for us that the state is protecting both the animals that are living within these facilities and the people who are working with the programs so that everyone is held to an appropriate standard of cleanliness, safety and being able to keep that process going protects all of the businesses as well as all of the people and the animals,” said Department of Agriculture Communications Director Heather Lansdowne.

During a hearing on Tuesday, several proponents and opponents of the proposed bill gave testimonials.

The Kansas Pet Professionals wrote in its testimonial in part, “We know firsthand the importance of an inspection program. It keeps the breeders, pet stores, shelters and fosters in compliance with state laws…”

HB 2477 is currently in a house committee.

View full testimonials here:

Justin Brokar, Director of Community Engagement and Development Helping Hands humane Society, Inc.

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Wichita seller’s market expected to continue well into 2018 – Wichita Business Journal

Not skipping a beat, the robust Wichita housing market finished 2017 with a bang.

Released Monday, South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service data showed that home sales last month jumped by 3.6 percent when compared to December 2016.

While the weather has continued to cool, the market remains red-hot, says Wichita Realtor Kirk Short.

"Housing values continue to improve and options are getting thinner," Short says. "Buyers are having to settle on homes that have more work to do after they purchase them. This means homes that buyers may do construction loans with or remodel loans like the "FHA 203K" loan."

A total of 812 units sold last month, compared with 784 the previous December.

Among existing homes in the five-county area (Butler, Sedgwick, Cowley, Sumner and Harvey counties) that makes up the MLS south central Kansas region, 751 sold in December, representing an increase of more than 4 percent from the December 2016 total of 721. In November of last year, 752 existing homes sold.

The average sale price for an existing home in December was just over $139,200, a decrease of more than 4 percent from the December 2016 average. New construction lagged slightly in December as 61 sales took place compared with 63 in December 2016.

"Now is the time to buy, however buyers need to be more creative as the move-in home is getting harder to find," Short says. "When it is there, we’re seeing multi-offer situations. I’m having an extremely strong January and February is looking the same.

A total of 580 contracts for sale were written last month. That number reflects a slight decrease from the 583 written in December 2016. Short says he expects interest rates to climb as 2018 moves along.

"I’m curious to see the impact or pressure on housing the increased hiring will have at Spirit and other places as our workforce gets stronger," Short added. "I’m really excited for Wichita and the state of real estate sales in and around Wichita. I’m also excited to see more out-of-state investors coming into Wichita buying up properties."

The MLS reported 2,214 active listings at the end of last month, which represents a slight dip from the 2,278 active listings on the market at the end of December 2016. That means about a 2.7-month supply of homes are on the market.

A figure representing less than five months of supply is generally thought of as a seller’s market.

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AVANA Capital Arranges $17.2 M Loan for Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facility in Wichita, KS

GLENDALE, Ariz., Jan. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — AVANA Capital has provided $17.2 million through a conventional bridge loan to Mainstreet Property Group LLC, a private real estate development company specializing in healthcare. The loan was used to acquire the Healthcare Resort of Wichita, a 94-bed facility located 12 miles from downtown Wichita, Kansas.

AVANA Capital (PRNewsfoto/AVANA Capital)

Construction of the Healthcare Resort of Wichita was completed in 2016; the resort has 70 skilled nursing and 24 assisted living beds. Because the facility did not yet have its operating license, a process that was in progress, and there was a tight closing timeline, Mainstreet needed a lender able to navigate the complexity of the deal and still close quickly.

In looking for alternative and responsive financing sources, Mainstreet discovered AVANA Capital and closed on the acquisition within 35 days. Furthermore, AVANA was able to mitigate the lack of an operating license and allow the borrower the additional time (six (6) months) to secure the license.

"Financing this property presented certain challenges," explained Zeke Turner, founder and CEO of Mainstreet. "Fortunately, we found AVANA Capital. They overcame every hurdle and moved quickly to do the loan over the Thanksgiving weekend. Every interaction with the AVANA team has been positive, and we look forward to continuing to grow the relationship."

Mainstreet has developed more than 50 assisted living and senior care facilities under the guidance of Turner, who won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015.

"We have a goal to transform the way healthcare is delivered nationwide. The Healthcare Resort of Wichita is designed to give aging Americans what they want – more services, more amenities and more attention," Turner said.

The facility offers private skilled nursing rooms and assisted living units, a large therapy area where extensive rehabilitation services will be offered, and spacious common areas for socializing.

Matt Hunt, Chief Credit Officer at AVANA Capital said, "We are delighted that we were able to provide financing for Mainstreet on this facility in such a short amount of time."

"Mainstreet’s extensive experience in developing and operating high-quality, post-acute healthcare properties allowed us to feel confident in backing the Healthcare Resort of Wichita," explained Hunt.

The Healthcare Resort of Wichita will employ at least 90 people on a permanent basis. "One of our corporate missions is to create jobs and fulfill entrepreneurial dreams. We found in Mainstreet a partner that shares not only our way of thinking but, more importantly, our values," said Sanat Patel, Chief Sales Officer at AVANA Capital.

About AVANA Capital:
With roots dating back to 2002, and more than $1 billion in loans nationwide, AVANA Capital is a commercial real estate debt fund that offers private commercial real estate loans nationwide by sourcing funds from an array of accredited global investors. We leverage our expertise by lending in niche industries such as hospitality, solar and assisted living facilities and are committed to protecting our investors’ capital by subjecting our investments to a meticulous review process. For our borrowers, once we commit our funds to a project we guarantee certainty of execution in closing and funding. Above all, we believe in strong values imbedded in the way we conduct our business as a team, through our employees and management. For more information visit

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How To Find The Best Wichita Kansas Apartments

If you are looking to make a big change in your life, you may want to consider making a move to a new state. While there are many states that are available, you want to ensure that you choose the best for your needs and wants. Many people are wanting to get back to their roots and enjoy a country style of life. However, they do not want to give up all of the convenience of living in a city. One of the best options to get a little bit of both is to move to an area like Wichita Kansas.

However, while this area may have both factors which makes it very appealing to all people, it can still be difficult to find the right form of housing. If you have never lived in the Wichita area before, it would be wise to look at renting an apartment first. This will allow you the chance to get to know the city and see if it is going to be a good fit for you. With that in mind, we wanted to share some tools that will help you find the best Wichita Kansas apartments. If you follow these simple tips, you will have no problem getting the right apartment.

Wichita is a decent size city with just under 400,000 people. With so many people you know you are going to get good areas and bad areas. The key to finding the right area so you will be sure that you will not have to move in the near future. You can easily do this with the help of a Wichita Kansas city data website. These websites hold all of the key information about the area. These are the statistics that you need to know to find the right area to move to. Simply search out the things that are most important to you such as good schools, low crime, and average income.

When you have found several neighborhoods that meet these criteria, you will want to begin searching online for various apartments in that specific area. You can use an online apartment locator to ensure you have searched the area for an apartment that is going to be not only the right size but the right price as well.

If you follow these simple tips, you will have no issues getting the best Wichita Kansas apartments!