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Headlines for Friday, March 27, 2020

UPDATE: Kansas Coronavirus Death Toll Rises to 4, with 202 Cases

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas now has 202 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Health officials said Friday that a Kansas City-area man in his 80s with underlying health concerns was the fourth death recorded in the state. On Friday, the state's reported number of infections rose by 34 to 202 from a day earlier. Dr. Lee Norman, the state's health secretary, says data suggests the state's coronavirus cases could peak in mid- to late April, with at least 900 cases. Norman says if the projections are true, he is confident the state will have the hospital capacity to treat all the cases.  

(– earlier reporting –)

Kansas Coronavirus Death Toll Grows to 4; KUMed Has 10 in ICU

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City-area man in his 80s with underlying health concerns is the fourth person in Kansas to die of the coronavirus. State health officials said Friday that he was diagnosed Monday and died Thursday. The state reported Friday that it has at least 202 confirmed cases of the virus.. The other three people who died also lived in the Kansas City area. The University of Kansas Health System reported Friday that it is treating 18 confirmed cases, including 10 in intensive care. 

Coronavirus Cases Surge in Kansas, Affecting Inmates, Sales Taxes and Pastures

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are looking for extra hospital beds, releasing jail inmates and bracing for a slump in state tax collections because of the coronavirus pandemic. They also on Thursday added farmers' and ranchers' springtime practice of burning pastures to the list of things to avoid during the coronavirus pandemic. Confirmed coronavirus cases have almost quadrupled over the past week, to 168, with three deaths reported since March 11. More than 1.7 million of the state's 2.9 million residents are facing local stay-at-home orders. That's taking an economic toll, and Governor Laura Kelly says it's likely already hurting state revenues.

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Kansas Has 12 Times as Many Weekly Unemployment Claims than Week Before

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The number of jobless workers in Kansas who filed initial unemployment claims last week was 12 times as high as it was the week before as measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus took their toll on the economy. The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that Kansas had almost 23,700 initial claims for unemployment for the seven-day period ending Saturday. The department said the figure for the previous week was less than 1,800. The increase was 1,250%. It was easily the largest percentage jump in at least 20 years. Some 62% of the state's residents face local stay-at-home orders.

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Missouri Swamped by Unemployment Claims as Cases Exceed 500

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved Missouri's request for a federal disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office announced Thursday that Trump had approved the declaration, which will help the state, local governments and nonprofits recover expenses related to the outbreak. Parson's request for federal assistance for crisis counseling, unemployment assistance and disposal for hazardous waste related to the outbreak are pending. Parson requested the federal disaster declaration on Tuesday. The announcement comes as Missouri on Thursday reported 502 cases of the virus, up from 356 a day earlier, and eight COVID-19 deaths.

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Counties Disagree on Whether Bass Pro Can Stay Open Amid Pandemic

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (The Kansas City Star) — Officials in neighboring counties disagree on whether Bass Pro Shops on opposite sides of the Kansas-Missouri border should remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. The Kansas City Star reports that officials in Johnson County, Kansas, say the company's store in Olathe is allowed to remain open because the chain sells packaged foods and it falls under the exemptions for grocery stores in the county’s order. In Jackson County, Missouri, however, the Bass Pro location seemed to be selling primarily guns and ammunition and a county health official said the agency would be telling the owners they're violating the county's order. Bass Pro Shops has kept both locations open because it believes the public has the right to access guns and ammunition during an emergency.

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FBI: Bomb Suspect Dead After Warrant Served near Kansas City

BELTON, Mo. (AP) — The FBI says a man who was fatally injured by agents in Missouri was the subject of a long terrorism investigation. The agency said in a news release Wednesday that 36-year-old Timothy Wilson died Tuesday in Belton while agents were trying to serve a warrant. The statement says Wilson was planning a bombing at a Kansas City-area hospital that was providing critical care during the current coronavirus pandemic. The FBI says Wilson was driven by racist, religious and anti-government beliefs. It also said Wilson had taken steps to acquire what he needed to build a bomb. The statement did not detail what happened when agents arrived or how he died.

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Kansas Firefighters Battling Wildfires in Barber County

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas National Guard has sent two helicopters to help local firefighters battle wildfires burning about 20-25 miles southwest of Medicine Lodge in Barber County. The agency says the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Kansas National Guard's 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation out of Salina are equipped with collapsible 660-gallon water buckets. The Kansas Forest Service has also deployed an air tanker to make water drops. Governor Laura Kelly has issued a disaster declaration for the area because of the fires.

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$4 Million Paid to Settle Lawsuits Involving Former Coach

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A total of $4 million was paid to settle two lawsuits that accused a former Missouri high school coach of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student while the coach's father was the superintendent of the school district. A judge approved the settlement in February, but the amount was not released at the time. The Kansas City Star reported the figure after obtaining the amount this week through a records request. One lawsuit alleged Joseph Dahman had sexual contact with the girl after she began attending Harrisonville High School as a 14-year-old in the 2016-17 school year.

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Court Filing: Former KU Football Coach "Encouraged" NCAA Rule Violations

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Athletics Inc. contends in a newly unsealed court filing that it has evidence former football coach David Beaty "allowed and encouraged NCAA violations" while at the University of Kansas. The memo was filed by the university's lawyers in January and unsealed this past week. It says those alleged violations "resulted in several hundred thousand dollars" in legal fees for Kansas Athletics. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the filing includes transcripts of interviews with players and members of the football staff that that the university says suggest that NCAA rule violations occurred under Beaty.

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Father: Kansas Grants Parole to Nancy Shoemaker's Kidnapper

WICHITA, Kan. (The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle) — The family of a 9-year-old Wichita girl who was killed in 1990 says a man who kidnapped her and watched as she was raped and strangled has been granted parole. Her father, Bo Shoemaker, told The Wichita Eagle that the family was notified of the decision to grant parole to Donald Wacker. Wacker and Doil Lane snatched Nancy Shoemaker off a busy Wichita street on July 30, 1990 and drove her to a field in Sumner County where Lane raped and strangled her with a belt. Her body was found seven months later.

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Live Tweeting Replays Helping Fill the College Hoops Void

UNDATED (AP) — Coaches and players live tweeting replays of epic NCAA Tournament games are giving fans a hoops fix in a time of fear and isolation. March Madness may have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak but the live tweeting of replays adds insight and a dash of humor to games where the outcome is already known. Kansas coach Bill Self and multiple players from Villanova's 2016 national championship team have joined in the live tweeting so far. 

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