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Headlines for Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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Emily Fisher

Fireworks Year-Round in Kansas? Lawmakers Are Considering It

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansans lawmakers have advanced a plan that would let residents buy fireworks all year long. Current state law only allows retailers to sell fireworks between June 27th and July 5th. The idea behind the bill is to get rid of that state rule and leave it all up to local governments. Cities and counties could still restrict the sale and use of fireworks to specific dates. In 2023, the state brought in about $2.7 million in sales tax from fireworks stands. The House Commerce Committee recommended the bill be passed. It now awaits action in the full House.


Kansas House Committee Okays Bill Concerning Rural Hospital Designation

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - A Kansas House committee has passed a bill that would expand eligibility requirements for rural emergency hospital designations. Currently, to be eligible for rural emergency hospital designation, hospitals must have been in business since at least December 2020. The legislation would expand that date to January 2015. Tara Mays, a vice president for the Kansas Hospital Association, says rather than compete with one another, facilities designated as rural emergency hospitals would help support existing in-patient hospitals: “It is very important for all of them to have access points to care and in particular, the rural emergency hospital is designed to be a stabilization center.” For the Kansas bill to go into effect, federal legislation introduced by Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran also must pass.

Tara Mays, a vice president with the Kansas Hospital Association, says one hospital in Kansas is currently designated a rural emergency hospital, and another is working toward that designation. “We believe the extension of this designation could be helpful as more of our hospitals in Kansas explore this option and as DC considers eligibility options in the future," she said. If the bill is passed, Mays says five other Kansas hospitals would be eligible for designation as a rural emergency hospital.


Kansas Legislature Considers Expansion of Access to STI Treatment

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) – Kansas lawmakers are considering expanding access to treatment for sexually-transmitted infections. Doctors say it would help combat STI rates that have nearly doubled in the last decade. The Kansas News Service reports that the legislation would allow the sexual partner of someone diagnosed with an STI to get prescription treatment without visiting a doctor. 46 states already allow that. Wichita doctor Patrick Allen says up to 30% of patients he treats are reinfected because their partners don’t get treated. He says his patients are often women who say their male partners refuse to go to the doctor. “Young healthy men often don’t have their own primary care provider, often they don’t have insurance… The man is likely to be asymptomatic and so they may not understand their need for treatment,” he added. The bill’s lone opponent said it would promote promiscuity. The Kansas Board of Healing Arts submitted neutral testimony suggesting the bill be revised to verify partners receive medication counseling.


Kansas Legislature Considering Bill to Eliminate Sugary Items from SNAP Benefits

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) – Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at preventing people from buying sugary foods with SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. The Kansas News Service reports that while SNAP is federally funded, the program is operated at the state level. A bill introduced in Kansas would ask the federal government to let the state ban people from buying candy or soft drinks with SNAP benefits. Proponents say food assistance shouldn’t be used on sugary items that can be unhealthy. Critics say education, not restriction, is key to helping people make healthier choices. So far, the federal government has rejected attempts by other states to implement similar restrictions.


Arrest Made in Theft of Jackie Robinson Statue

WICHITA, Kan. (KMUW) – Wichita police say they have charged a 45-year-old man in connection with the theft of the Jackie Robinson statue from McAdams Park. KMUW reports that Ricky Alderete, who had already been in police custody in connection with a different crime, was charged Monday with several crimes including felony theft. Authorities say they continue to search for more suspects in last month’s incident. The statue was part of the League 42 youth baseball complex. It was found destroyed several days after the theft. Police say the incident was not a hate-motivated crime. They say the thieves planned to sell the statue as scrap metal. League 42 says it intends to erect a new statue. (Read more.)

(–Additional Reporting–)

45-Year-Old Man Arrested in Jackie Robinson Statue Theft: Police Say Crime Was Not Motivated by Race

UNDATED (AP) – A 45-year-old man was arrested in the theft of a bronze Jackie Robinson statue that was cut off at the ankles and found days later smoldering in a trash can in a city park in Kansas, police announced Tuesday.

Ricky Alderete was taken into custody earlier this month in a kidnapping case and charged Monday with four counts stemming from the theft and a 2022 case, records show. Wichita police Lt. Aaron Moses said there was no evidence it was a "hate-motivated crime” but rather the intent was to sell the metal for scrap.

Wichita police Chief Joe Sullivan said it was “only the first arrest” and that there were more to come. He did not specify how police determined Alderete was a suspect in the theft.

"When you try to take something from this community, it won’t tolerate it,” he said, adding that he was eager to share more details about the investigation after more suspects are in custody.

Messages left with numbers believed to belong to his family members were not immediately returned. His attorney in the public defender’s office didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Thieves cut the bronze statue from its base last month at a park in Wichita, Kansas. Only the statue’s feet were left at McAdams Park, where about 600 children play in a youth baseball league called League 42. It is named after Robinson’ s uniform number with the Brooklyn Dodgers, with whom he broke the major leagues’ color barrier in 1947.

Fire crews found burned remnants of the statue five days later while responding to a trash can fire at another park about 7 miles (11.27 kilometers) away. A truck believed to be used in the theft previously was found abandoned, and police said the theft of the statue was captured on surveillance video.

Alderete, who is jailed on $150,000 bond, faces charges of felony theft and aggravated criminal damage to property in the statue case. He also was charged Monday with identity theft and making false information in an October 2022 incident involving a pawn ticket, the complaint said.

Police provided no details about the case that led to his arrest. But online court records also show he also is charged with kidnapping and aggravated burglary. The criminal complaint said that he entered a Wichita home on Feb. 1 with the intent to kidnap someone as part of an effort to interfere with law enforcement.

Alderete also has a criminal record that includes burglary and theft, state correction department records show.

Asked how many others might face charges, Moses said three people were seen on the surveillance video. He also noted that the statue was taken to a location where others were present. He said he could offer no further details because it was an active investigation.

Donations poured in after the theft, approaching $300,000, said Bob Lutz, executive director of the Little League nonprofit that commissioned the sculpture.

“The power of Jackie Robinson is extremely strong in 2024 and that’s testament to what he stood for,” Lutz said.

Lutz, whose friend, the artist John Parsons, made the statue before his death, said the mold is still viable and anticipated that a replacement can be erected within a matter of months. He estimated it would cost around $50,000 to replace the statue itself, leaving extra money that could be used to enhance some of its programming and facilities.

“It’s going to be put to good use,” he said. In April, for instance, the group opened the Leslie Rudd Learning Center, which includes an indoor baseball facility and a learning lab.

Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues before joining the Brooklyn Dodgers, paving the way for generations of Black American ballplayers. He’s considered not only a sports legend but also a civil rights icon. Robinson died in 1972.


Some Johnson County School Districts Pushing Back on Kobach Policies for Transgender Students

UNDATED (Johnson County Post) – Two of Johnson County’s biggest public school districts are pushing back against pressure from Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach over policies for transgender students. The Johnson County Post reports that in December, Kobach’s office sent letters to a handful of school districts statewide, saying they needed to alter or rescind policies he said violate parental rights. The policies in question, among other things, allow teachers and staff to use students' preferred pronouns at school. Kobach said in a press release last week that some of those districts…including Olathe and Shawnee Mission…had “dug in their heels.” Shawnee Mission Superintendent Michelle Hubbard issued a forceful rebuttal. She said Kobach’s assertions were based on “misinformation” and “incorrect assumptions.” Kobach has so far not threatened legal action against the districts. His office did not respond to the Johnson County Post's requests for comment.


Siemens Energy Chooses North Carolina over Kansas to Build First U.S. Plant for Large Power Transformers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Siemens Energy Inc. plans to create about 560 new jobs in North Carolina by 2028 while choosing Charlotte for its first U.S. plant to manufacture large power transformers designed to help modernize the electric grid, officials announced Tuesday.

The German company already has more than 1,250 workers in Charlotte and hundreds more in locations such as Raleigh, Selma and Forsyth County, according to Gov. Roy Cooper's office and a document provided by the state Commerce Department.

The expansion connected to the $150 million investment includes increasing the company's existing grid technology engineering operations in Wake County, where the Commerce Department said more than 80 of the new jobs would be created.

The minimum average wage for the other new Charlotte-area jobs will be $87,036, or just above current average wage in Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, the Cooper news release said.

Siemens Energy was choosing between Charlotte and a site in Hutchinson, Kansas to make the investment, according to information provided to a state committee that approves incentive packages. That Economic Investment Committee agreed earlier Tuesday to award Siemens Energy up to nearly $7 million in cash payments over 12 years if it met job-creation and investment targets.

Charlotte and Mecklenburg County officials also provided combined incentives valued at over $5.4 million, while other state incentives are valued at $2.9 million.

Siemens was also offered incentives in Kansas to build at the Hutchinson site, according to a North Carolina government document.


Former KCK Detective to Return to Federal Court in Civil Rights Violation Case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCUR) – Former Kansas City, Kansas Police Detective Roger Golubski will be back in federal court in Topeka Wednesday. He’s accused of violating the civil rights of several Black women by sexually assaulting them for years. KCUR reports that Golubski wants the judge to bar the testimony of seven women from the upcoming trial, claiming that the accusers are just trying to get money from a civil suit. Northwestern University Law professor Deborah Tuerkheimer says attacking victims can be persuasive. “One of those archetypes that comes up a lot in court and outside of it is that of the quote-unquote gold digger. Right? So this is the woman who lies to get money,” she explained. Prosecutors are trying to prove that Golubski has a pattern of serial sexual assault and using his badge to coerce women.


5-Year Agricultural Census Shows Consolidation, Aging Farmers

UNDATED (HPM) – Farmers in the U.S. are getting older according to new numbers from the national Census of Agriculture, which was released Tuesday. At the same time, the number of farms is decreasing. Harvest Public Media reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts a census of farmers every five years. This new one shows an aging farmer population and continued consolidation of farms. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says this census should be a wake up call. “It need not be that every five years we report fewer farms and less farmland. It doesn't have to be,” he explained. The Secretary called on policymakers in his department and in Congress to find new ways to support small farms.


Train Derails in South-Central Kansas

BARBER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A train derailed in south-central Kansas early Monday morning. Barber County Emergency Management officials say the train derailed east of Hazelton around 5:30 am. As many as 17 train cars were involved in the derailment. KSNW TV reports that no one was injured and no hazardous materials were involved. Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway operates the line. BNSF officials say personnel have been working to clear the tracks. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.


Wichita District Proposes Closing Six Schools Due to Declining Enrollment, Budget Woes

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) - Wichita school district leaders have proposed closing six schools at the end of this academic year. The plan calls for closing two middle schools - Hadley and Jardine. It also would close four elementary schools - Clark, Cleveland, Park and Payne. The district faces declining enrollment and a $42 million budget shortfall, and leaders say closing buildings is the only way to prevent job cuts. Wichita Superintendent Kelly Bielefeld says he considered a building’s age and condition when compiling the list. But that wasn’t all. “Those were factors, but we vetted literally dozens of schools to find the right fit that would save us the money we needed to save and be least disruptive to the system," he said.

The Wichita school district also has more than $1 billion dollars in needed repairs and maintenance. The closures would affect about 2,200 students and more than 300 employees. Teachers would be offered other positions across the district. School board members will vote on the plan to close the six schools at their next meeting March 4th.


Annual Pancake Race Tradition Between Olney, England and Liberal, Kansas Continues

OLNEY, England (AP) — Women in matching checkered aprons, headscarves and a rainbow of running shoes limbered up Tuesday as they prepared for the centuries-old pancake race in this English country town.

They rolled their shoulders in unison, raised up on their toes and did squats before stepping to the starting line — frying pans in hand.

At the word “Go” they sprinted through the streets, trying not to drop their pancakes as they roughly traced the path taken by a harried housewife in 1445, who legend has it heard the church bells signaling the Shrove Tuesday service and raced off with her skillet.

The tradition has been repeated over the centuries — not only in Olney but across England and even in the United States, where the Kansas town of Liberal copied the idea and has been trying to outrun their friendly British rivals for 75 years.

This year the U.S. leg won, with Pamela Bolivar, a 19-year-old college student and nursing assistant, crossing the line in a time of 63.03 seconds. It was one of the closest races ever.

The race is held the day before the start of Lent, the Christian period of repentance and sacrifice before Easter. Celebrated as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday in other parts of the world, the name Shrove Tuesday derives from the English word meaning to seek forgiveness or be granted absolution.

If a secret recipe behind winning the race exists, it probably would call for a pinch of skill, a dash of athleticism and an extra scoop of whimsy. The competition falls somewhere between the Great British Bake Off and zany local pursuits such as the rough-and-tumble cheese wheel chase down Cooper’s Hill.

Runners must flip the pancake at the start and finish.

The 415-yard sprint itself may be a form of penance ahead of Lent.

“It’s a horrible distance,” said Kaisa Larkas, 44, a mother of four who legged it past Eloise Kramer to capture the Olney title. “You just have to go flat out and then hope that you’re not gonna fall over. … But it’s good fun.”

Two Kansas sisters who competed in Liberal since they were children traveled to Olney this year to see where it all began.

“We’ve been talking about it for a long time,” said Amy Thompson, who painted her nails with British and American flags and, of course, pancakes. “We like those festival odd things and we decided to quit talking about it. It’s the 75th anniversary and...this would be the perfect time to come.”

Olney is a town in Buckinghamshire, and is about 60 miles northwest of London. Liberal is in southwest Kansas, just north of the Oklahoma state line and about 200 miles west of Wichita.


Kansas City Royals Release Plans for New Ballpark

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCUR) – The Kansas City Royals plan to build a new ballpark in the Crossroads arts district of downtown Kansas City. The $2 billion project will sit next to Interstate 670 near T-Mobile Center. KCUR reports that the project will take over the lot where the former Kansas City Star printing building resides. The team said the area is ideal because it’s close to existing entertainment districts, like Power and Light. Earl Santee, who works on sports stadiums for the planning firm designing the stadium, said “...the beauty of the Crossroads sites is that we can park all 9,000 people that we need to park, all 9,000 cars, with existing lots. We're not building new parking for this 9,000.” The team said it will invest one billion dollars in private funds. Jackson County, Missouri, voters will decide in April whether to renew an existing sales tax to help fund stadium construction.


Kansas City Chiefs Consider Prospect of a "Three-Peat"

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KPR) - The Kansas City Chiefs are already thinking about something that has never been accomplished in NFL history: three straight championships or a “three-peat.” With Bill Belicheck and Pete Carroll no longer holding NFL head coaching positions, Chiefs coach Andy Reid is now the oldest current head coach in the NFL. He says he hasn’t been talking about retirement. "I get asked (that question)," he said. "I really haven’t thought why or what or anything else, but people keep asking me." Reid says he recently learned that an NFL "three-peat" has never happened. And he says that’s inspiring him to lay out the plan for another championship next season.


KC Chiefs Victory Parade to Cost Around $1 Million

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCUR) - The Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade is free to anyone who attends on Wednesday… but it’s far from free for Kansas City itself. The city plans to spend close to a million dollars for the celebration, and Jackson County, Missouri, is chipping in $75,000. Kansas City Manager Brian Platt said the Chiefs are contributing as well. “It's a little over a million on their side and they've got some partners that they're helping, they're helping fundraise as well," he said. Platt said the funds cover equipment, police overtime and other personnel costs. The total cost of this year’s parade and rally have yet to be determined.

What About Taylor Swift?

The Chiefs may technically be the star of Wednesday’s Super Bowl victory parade, but many fans are also hoping for an appearance by pop star Taylor Swift. The singer attended the Super Bowl on Sunday, but it’s unclear if she’ll join the team’s convoy or take part in the rally at Union Station. City Manager Brian Platt thinks that Swift will draw even more people downtown regardless. He said the city already reached out to Swift’s team about security concerns if she decides to attend. “That's gonna be a whole second level of security issues that we have to deal with (but) we are more than ready. We have no concerns with our safety protocols," he said. The city says at least 600 Kansas City Police officers and more than 250 personnel from outside law enforcement agencies will work Wednesday's event.

(Additional AP reporting...)

Chiefs Fans Hope for Taylor Swift Appearance at Victory Parade

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City will be turning red on Valentine's Day as the Chiefs celebrate their come-from-behind overtime Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers with a parade. School cancellation announcements began just minutes after Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Chiefs became the first team since the New England Patriots with Tom Brady two decades ago to successfully defend their title. Parades are becoming commonplace in Kansas City with the Chiefs winning their third Super Bowl in five seasons. But this time, people are wondering if pop superstar Taylor Swift will attend with her boyfriend, Kelce. Swift has a concert in Australia on Friday.

Chiefs Get White House Invitation to Celebrate Super Bowl Win. Could Taylor Swift Tag Along?

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says it's looking forward to hosting the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs again. And it isn't ruling out the idea of having the team's most famous fan, Taylor Swift, tag along this time. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked at Monday's briefing with reporters if the pop star could tag along when the team visits to mark its second Super Bowl title in as many seasons. She said that would be up to the Chiefs. She added that she wasn't clear on whether the players would be able to bring guests. Swift is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Super Bowl LVIII Was the Most-Watched Program Ever in the U.S., Averaging 123.4 Million Viewers

UNDATED (AP) – The longest Super Bowl game will also go down as the most-watched program in U.S. television history. According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, Kansas City’s 25-22 overtime victory over San Francisco averaged 123.4 million viewers across television and streaming platforms. That shattered last year’s mark of 115.1 million for Kansas City’s last-play victory over Philadelphia and is a 7% increase. The game was televised by CBS, Nickelodeon and Univision and streamed on Paramount+ as well as the NFL’s digital platforms. Some of the increase can be attributed to a change in the way out-of-home viewers are counted.


Bill Self Gets First Ejection at Kansas While Becoming Third Big 12 Coach Tossed This Month

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — University of Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self said he didn't curse or yell, and wasn't really trying to get thrown out of the game. Still, he had seen enough in a lopsided road loss for his sixth-ranked Jayhawks.

Self was ejected for the first time in his 21 seasons at Kansas after getting two technical fouls in quick succession with just under six minutes remaining in a 79-50 loss at Texas Tech on Monday night. He became the third Big 12 coach this month with a first-time ejection at his school.

“I did say a magic word, I guess, multiple times that got me a couple of technicals,” Self said.

Those technical fouls came right after Kansas center Hunter Dickinson was called for an offensive foul under the basket, though that wasn't all that bothered the coach.

“I honestly feel the game’s not being called the way it needs to be called," Self said. “Regardless of it's our favor or their favor, it makes no difference to me.”

Pop Isaacs made all four free throws after Self left the court for a 63-43 lead.

“That was frustration, but I felt that all year,” Self said. “So, good officials...good officials, I just don’t see it the same way that it’s being called.”

Self said there has been a lot of physicality, “more this year than there has been in years past.”

It was the 722nd game at Kansas for Self, whose only other ejection in 31 seasons overall as a college head coach came in 1999 while with Tulsa at Wyoming.

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson got two technical fouls and was ejected with 15:08 remaining in a home win February 6. Sampson stormed to the other end of the court and started yelling at the officials for not calling fouls against Oklahoma State.

Sampson had to be restrained by his players and assistant coaches and ushered off the floor. It was his first ejection in 10 years of coaching at Houston.

Baylor's Scott Drew, who also in his 21st season is tied with Self as the Big 12's longest-tenured coaches, got his first career ejection February 2 after two technical fouls in a home win over Iowa State. Both fouls, one midway through the first half and the other with 11-and-a-half minutes left, apparently were because he was outside the coaching box.

The Big 12 fined Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades $25,000 and issued a public reprimand because of his criticism of officials after Drew's ejection. Rhoades called the officiating in that game “an embarrassment” for the league.


CORRECTION: Marion County Record Reporter Files Federal Lawsuit Against City of Marion Officials
This story was first published on Feb. 6. It was updated on Feb. 13 to correct that in Deb Gruver's lawsuit, she is seeking more than $75,000 in actual damages and more than $75,000 in punitive damages, not a total of $75,000 in damages.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A reporter for a weekly Kansas newspaper that police raided last year filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, February 6, 2024, against hometown and local officials, saying the raid caused her physical and mental health problems.

Marion County Record reporter Phyllis Zorn is seeking $950,000 in damages from the city of Marion, its former mayor, its former police chief, its current interim police chief, the Marion County Commission, the county sheriff and a former sheriff's deputy. The lawsuit calls them “co-conspirators” who deprived her of press and speech freedoms and the protection from unreasonable police searches guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Officers raided the newspaper's offices on Aug. 11, 2023, as well as the home of Publisher Eric Meyer, seizing equipment and personal cellphones. Then-Marion Chief Gideon Cody said he was investigating whether the newspaper committed identity theft or other crimes in accessing a local restaurant owner's state driving record.

But the lawsuit alleges Cody was “infuriated” that the newspaper was investigating his background before he became Marion's chief in May 2023. It also said Zorn was on Cody's “enemies list” for laughing off a suggestion that they start a rival paper together.

The raid put Marion, a town of about 1,900 residents about 150 miles southwest of Kansas City, at the center of a national debate over press freedom. Legal experts said it likely violated state or federal law, and Cody resigned in early October. Meyer's 98-year-old-mother, who lived with him, died the day after the raid, and he attributes her death to stress caused by it.

Zorn’s federal lawsuit is the second over the raid. Former Record reporter Deb Gruver sued Cody less than three weeks after the raid, seeking more than $75,000 in actual damages and more than $75,000 in punitive damages, and the parties are scheduled to meet with a mediator in April, according to court records. Zorn’s attorney is Randy Rathbun, a former top federal prosecutor for Kansas.

“I’m certainly not anti-law enforcement because that's what I did, but this kind of stuff just drives me crazy,” Rathbun said in an interview. “I know law enforcement, how they should react, and...this is not it.”

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation of newspaper, but it later had the Colorado Bureau of Investigation look into the civil rights issues. Their findings have not been made public.

The former Marion mayor, the sheriff and the county commission chairman did not immediately return telephone messages Tuesday seeking comment. Neither did Cody nor an attorney representing him in Gruver's lawsuit.

Marion City Attorney Brian Bina said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment, adding that typically the city's insurance company would later hire a lawyer. The amount sought by Zorn is more than the city raises annually from property taxes to help fund its budget, which was $8.7 million for 2023.

The lawsuit said before the raid, Zorn had seizures that were controlled by medication so that she had gone as long as five years without having one. Within days of the raid, the seizures returned.

“The seizures have been debilitating and have led to extreme depression and anxiety,” the lawsuit said.

Cody maintained that he had questions about how the newspaper verified the authenticity of a state document confirming that the local restaurant owner's driving record had been suspended for years over a past drunken driving offense, according to documents released by the city in response to open records requests.

Zorn's lawsuit said a tipster sent her a copy of that document and she and Meyer used an online, public state database to verify its authenticity. Meyer emailed Cody a week before the raid about the document and their verification.

The lawsuit said Zorn's and Meyer's actions were “clearly legal.” Cody and the city's current interim chief were involved in the raid, as was the sheriff. The lawsuit says the former mayor authorized Cody's investigation, and documents show that the former sheriff's deputy helped Cody draft search warrants.

The lawsuit alleges the county commission failed in its duty to properly train the sheriff's department to avoid civil rights violations.

This story was first published on Feb. 6. It was updated on Feb. 13 to correct that in Deb Gruver's lawsuit, she is seeking more than $75,000 in actual damages and more than $75,000 in punitive damages, not a total of $75,000 in damages.


This summary of area news is curated by KPR news staffers. Our headlines are generally published by 10 am weekdays and are updated through 7 pm. This ad-free news summary is made possible by KPR members. Become one today. And follow KPR News on Twitter.