Kansas state sues Marotta for $6,000 in child support for four-year-old girl

Kansas firm rides in on UK gas revolution

AS THE UK moves closer to a more competitive gas market, one of the winners is likely to be Utilicorp, a gas and electricity supply company based in the American Midwest.

Obituary: Ewing M. Kauffmann

Ewing M. Kauffmann, businessman, died Mission Hills, Kansas, 1 August, aged 76. A wealthy pharmaceutical executive, he became the first owner of Kansas City Baseball Team.

Kansas holds its breath

WASHINGTON - The levees in Kansas City are holding, Congress is at last coughing up some money and the forecasters are finally predicting a spell of dry weather in the upper Midwest. But a challenge is looming: a combined monster crest of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers that this weekend will pose the greatest threat so far to the stretched defences of St Louis, writes Rupert Cornwell.

Rivers close in

Thousands of businesses and residents piled sandbags at their doors, boarded up their windows and cleared out as the Missouri and Kansas rivers closed in, AP reports from Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas and Missouri rivers were both expected to crest just below their flood walls.

Obituary: Olive Ann Beech

Olive Ann Mellor, businesswoman: born Waverly, Kansas 25 September 1903; Founding Partner, Beech Aircraft 1932, President 1950-68, Chairman 1950-82, Chairman Emeritus 1982-93; married 1930 Walter Beech (died 1950; two daughters); died Wichita, Kansas 6 July 1993.

RIFFS / Easing the heat: Iris Dement on 'Together Again'

THIS IS not my favourite song, but I like it because it reminds me of a time when I was just starting out. I had just moved from Topeka, Kansas, and was living alone in Kansas City, Missouri, in a single room and I had a beat-box on the floor by my mattress. I used to listen to Emmylou Harris tapes in the night when it was so hot I couldn't sleep. It's just one person talking about a couple who've had a breakup and gotten back together again. It's pretty short - it's just about this feeling of relief and happiness at their being back together again.

FILM / You promised me a miracle: Leap of Faith (PG) Richard Pearce (US); The Ox (12) Sven Nykvist (Swe); Paris is Burning (no cert) Jennie Livingston (US); Best of the Best 2 (18) Robert Radler (US)

STEVE MARTIN's a dab hand at playing wild and crazy guys, but when he takes on complex characters he becomes a prickly, unappealing screen presence. In Grand Canyon, he was a schmucko producer of ultra-violent exploitation movies; in Leap of Faith he's a sleazy con-man turned revivalist preacher. Neither character is comfortable with himself, and the actor doesn't have the knack of making us, the audience, understand and like them.

BOOK REVIEW / Slaves to the American dream: Theory of war - Joan Brady: Andre Deutsch pounds 14.99

OF THE various illusions which have attached themselves to modern American history, that of the land of opportunity is the most persistent. The log cabin to White House view of individual destiny may have withered a little recently - though the Clinton presidency is a reminder not to forget it entirely. Even so, anyone whose conception of mid-19th-century America is based, say, on a reading of Mark Twain or Bret Harte's tales of the prospecting camps, is likely to come away with the impression of a tough but fundamentally decent life, full of keen-eyed young men 'making good' in an environment where 'freedom' was something more than a politician's abstract. Orwell's essay Inside the Whale restates this classic assumption of old-world liberalism with unusual fervour:

TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Portrait of the killer

Thanks to a legal battle between the Home Office and Central Television over an interview with mass-murderer Dennis Nilsen, Murder in Mind, tonight's VIEWPOINT 93 (10.40pm ITV), cropped up as frequently in the news pages as in the television pages last week. Mike Morley's gruesomely gripping film examines psychological profiling, one method by which police attempt to track down serial criminals. Its use is becoming more and more widespread - and not just in such movies as Silence of the Lambs. (Hampshire police are calling on experts at Leicester University in their hunt for the so-called 'horse ripper'.) The documentary features footage of some of the world's most grisly murderers, captured through psychological profiling. American Arthur Shawcross was caught after returning to the scene of one of his killings to masturbate. Kansas businessman Bob Berdella matter-of-factly recalls torturing men for days on end until they became his 'willing sex toys'. And, the most prolific serial killer of all, Andrei Chikatilo, who killed 53 people in Russia, is shown re- enacting some of his more horrible crimes with a dummy and a replica knife. The film ends on an even more disturbing note. As EC border controls relax, will such serial killers, roaming across Europe, become harder to catch? (Photograph omitted)

BOOK REVIEW / Bison with Mr Breakfast and a tornado chaser: Storm country - Pete Davies: Heinemann, pounds 16.99

BEFORE Pete Davies set off through the centre of America, he decided he should buy his own wheels. He was looking for something that wouldn't shudder and break up during the 7,500 miles he intended to cover, and he found it in Coffeyville, Kansas: a second-hand Ford pick-up truck the size of a traction engine. Many would have balked at the reading on the clock: 117,843 miles. But as Davies says, 'In 10 years in Kansas, that's the equivalent of one careful lady owner.'
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