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Headlines for Friday, September 4, 2020

 

Governor Hopes to Land Space Command Headquarters in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) – Governor Laura Kelly wants the new U.S. Space Command headquarters to be located in Kansas.  In a news release, she said four Kansas communities have submitted proposals to become home to the headquarters of the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM), which is responsible for military operations in outer space. Derby, Kansas City, Leavenworth and Wichita have responded to requests for information from the federal government with proposed development sites in their communities.  “I have directed my Cabinet to use all resources necessary to support the selection of Kansas as the headquarters for the U.S. Space Command,” Governor Kelly said. “Our strong teams of state and local economic development professionals have the tools available for the attraction, growth, and retention of the Space Command headquarters. Kansas is the perfect place for this facility, and we are prepared to do the work to get it here. We look forward to further discussion with the U.S. Air Force as it works toward a decision on the U.S. Space Command headquarters’ location.”   (Read more about this story.)
 
 
(AP version)

4 Kansas Cities Seek to Land U.S. Space Command Headquarters

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Four Kansas cities have submitted proposals for the new U.S. Space Command headquarters. The governor's office said Friday that Wichita, Derby, Leavenworth and Kansas City, Kansas, responded to requests from the federal government with proposed development sites in their communities. Governor Laura Kelly says she has directed her Cabinet to use all resources necessary to support the selection of Kansas as the headquarters for U.S. Space Command, which is responsible for military operations in outer space.

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Kansas Records 23 New COVID-19 Deaths, Identifies 1,280 New Cases

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas added 23 COVID-19 deaths to its total as the number of positive cases rose above 45,000. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said today (FRI) that the new deaths brought the total in the state to 481. No details were immediately released about the reason for the large increase. The state also added 1,280 new COVID-19 cases from Wednesday to Friday, bringing the state's confirmed total to 45,220 since the pandemic began. Amid the increases, some of the state's largest districts, including Olathe and Blue Valley, have been backtracking on plans to cancel fall sports.

(-Related-) 

Kansas Reports More than 45,000 COVID-19 Cases, 481 Deaths Since Start of Pandemic

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas health officials say the state has recorded more than 45,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.  The Department of Health and Environment reports today (FRI) that there are now 45,220 cases, including 481 deaths. Coronavirus cases have been reported in all 105 Kansas counties.  The next update will be released next week on KDHE's coronavirus webpage

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More Kansas Schools to Play Sports; State Adds 23 Deaths

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Amid protests and lawsuits, two more large Kansas school districts are reversing course and allowing sports to proceed despite increases in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. The school board for the Olathe district, which is the state’s second-largest with about 30,000 students, decided Thursday to allow fall sports and activities. Hundreds of parents had protested outside the meeting. The superintendent of the nearby Blue Valley district then decided Friday morning to follow suit. Statewide, Kansas added 23 COVID-19 deaths to its total from Wednesday to Friday, to bring the total to 481.

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COVID-19 Outbreaks at Kansas Schools Lead to Quarantines  

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds of students are quarantined at several Kansas universities as a growing number test positive for the coronavirus heading into a holiday weekend. At Pittsburg State, 600 students are in quarantine. At Emporia State University, officials announced Wednesday that all athletic activities were temporarily suspended. At the University of Kansas, the number of positive cases resulting from compulsory testing of students arriving on campus had grown to 546. And at Benedictine College in Atchison, health officials in the county want to put all of the school's 2,000 students in quarantine for 14 days.

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Tyson Foods to Open Medical Clinics at Some Meat Packing Plants

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Tyson Foods says it is planning to open medical clinics at several of its U.S. plants to improve the health of its workers and better protect them from the coronavirus. The Springdale, Arkansas-based company, which processes about 20% of all beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., said Thursday that its plan to open the clinics was in the works before the coronavirus struck this year, but that they will undoubtedly help the company respond to the pandemic. Tyson says it would initially set up clinics near seven of its plants, including in Storm Lake, Iowa, and Holcomb, Kansas, in a pilot program. Tyson joins a long list of companies that have clinics on or near their worksites.

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Douglas County Tightens Rules on Alcohol Sales

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) — Douglas County is tightening rules on serving alcohol to help control the coronavirus. The county previously closed bars. It will now require any business with a liquor license to stop serving alcohol at 9 pm and close its in-person facilities by 10 pm. Restaurants that don't serve alcohol are unaffected. In a news release, officials said the new rules have been put in place to stop the spread of the virus, noting risky behavior taking place at some establishments where alcohol is served.    

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Kansas Man Sentenced to 40 Years on Child Sex Crimes

ELLSWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man spend more than 40 years in prison on child sex crimes. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Friday in a news release that 59-year-old Karl Van Nice of Ellsworth was sentenced Thursday on two counts of rape, one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of aggravated sexual battery. He was convicted in February following a jury trial. The crimes were committed between September 2015 and January 2016.

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Coach at High School in Topeka Charged with Producing Child Porn

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An assistant boys high school basketball coach in Topeka has been charged with federal child pornography counts. The U.S. Attorney's Office for Kansas says 40-year-old Jeffrey Pierce, of Topeka, is charged with two counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. Pierce is a coach at Seaman High School in Topeka. A district spokeswoman says Pierce has been suspended and that the school board will soon vote on a resolution to fire him. Prosecutors say the production crimes occurred March 10 and March 14 and the possession crime occurred September 2. Officials have not given other details about the alleged crimes.

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Kansas City Police Find Two People Shot to Death in Car

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say officers found two people shot to death inside a car on the city's east side. Spokesman Sgt. Jacob Becchina says officers found the man and woman dead inside the car early Thursday after caller reported a suspicious vehicle and occupant. The deaths are being investigated as a double homicide. Detectives are trying to determine if the victims lived in the area. No other information is available.   

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Authorities Recover 26 Firearms During Search of Topeka Home

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Local and federal law enforcement authorities recovered 26 firearms while executing a search warrant at a Topeka house. Topeka police said in a news release that 42-year-old Rodolfo V. Arzate of Topeka was taken into custody Thursday. He was booked on suspicion of criminal possession of a firearm, interference with a law enforcement officer and Topeka bench warrants. The arrest came after a joint investigation between the Topeka Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Community College Football Player Drowns in Montgomery County

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. (KPR) — A football player for Independence Community College who died by drowning earlier this week has been identified.  According to the Montgomery County Chronicle, 18-year-old Khalil Fulton, of Lake City, South Carolina, died at the Montgomery State Fishing Lake late Wednesday night.  Montgomery County Sheriff Ron Wade said several individuals were swimming near the lake dock at the time.  Witnesses say Fulton performed a flip off the dock, resurfaced after going into the water and went back into the water again. He never resurfaced.  His body was recovered Thursday morning.  Wade said there was no indication Fulton was in distress and foul play is not suspected.  

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Spencer Finney, the First, First Gentleman of Kansas, Dead at 89

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Spencer W. Finney Jr., husband of the late Democratic Governor Joan Finney and the state's first "first gentleman," has died. He was 89. His daughter, Mary Holladay of Topeka, says her father died Thursday of natural causes at his home in Topeka. He served as the state's first gentleman from 1991 to 1995, when his wife served a single term as the state's governor — the first woman in Kansas to hold that office. Spencer Finney was born on January 20, 1931, in Chanute.  He graduated from Topeka High School in 1949 and went on to work for the Santa Fe Railroad for 30 years. A private funeral service is planned.

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Wichita Man Dies in City's Third Hit-and-Run this Week

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say a 56-year-old man died after he was hit by a vehicle that didn't stop. Police say Harold Long was crossing a street Wednesday night when he was struck. The vehicle involved is believed to be a dark-colored Chevy Tahoe. The city had two other hit-and-run reports this week but this is the first fatality. A woman was hit by a car Monday evening and a bicyclist was hit early Wednesday.

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7,000-Plus Missouri College Students Test Positive for COVID-19

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — More than 7,000 college-age people in Missouri have tested positive for the coronavirus since colleges and universities opened for the fall semester, fueling spikes in cases in college towns across the state. Governor Mike Parson said Thursday that one-day positive test rates in some college towns are as high as 45% for people in the 18-24 age group. According to the seven-day average from The Covid Tracking Project operated by The Atlantic, that’s more than eight times the national positivity rate of 5.5% for people of all ages. Parson notes that none of the college-age students have become seriously ill, but he acknowledges that worry persists.

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Missouri Athletes Lead Campus March for Social Justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of people joined Missouri athletes on a march for social justice through the school's Columbia campus. Wednesday's “March with Mizzou” was led largely by the Mizzou Black Student Athlete Association, a new group that formed this summer amid racial injustice protests across the country. The group's president, Cason Suggs, a junior on the school's track and field team, urged the crowd to stay engaged in efforts to overcome racial injustice in the country. Athletic director Jim Sterk and coaches of several Missouri sports teams participated in the march and rally.

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6 Black Lives Matter Murals Planned for Streets of KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Organizers of a plan to paint Black Lives Matter murals on six Kansas City, Missouri, streets say the project may be the largest of its kind. The Kansas City Star reports that the murals will be painted Saturday. Several other cities have seen street murals honoring the Black Lives Matter movement in the months since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. But Kansas City organizers said they’re unaware of any matching the scope of what they have planned. The project, KC Art on the Block, will cover 2,000 feet of street and involve 1,000 volunteers. Donations are paying for the project.

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2 Missouri Councilmen Answer for Racist Halloween Costumes

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — One St. Joseph, Missouri, councilman has come under fire for wearing blackface to a Halloween party and another has apologized in a Facebook post for dressing as a slave owner one year and as someone who was mentally disabled the next. Councilman Brian Myers issued his apology Wednesday. Myers had said days earlier that Councilman Kent “Spanky” O’Dell owed the public an apology when a picture resurfaced of O'Dell dressed as Aunt Jemima in blackface at a Halloween party in 2012. Myers said it would make him a “huge hypocrite" not to acknowledge his “own insensitive actions."

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KPR's daily headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day. KPR's weekend summary is usually published by 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays. 

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