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Headlines for Monday, April 27, 2020

 

Kansas Now Has More than 3,300 Cases of COVID-19

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) —  As of 8 am today (MON), Kansas health officials had recorded 3,328 cases of COVID-19, including 120 deaths.  Cases have been reported in 75* of the state's 105 counties.  Get the latest updates here.  

Top Nine Kansas Counties with Most Cases of COVID-19

Wyandotte County (Kansas City, Kansas) = 573
Ford County (Dodge City) = 516
Johnson County (Overland Park) = 440
Seward County (Liberal) = 349
Sedgwick County (Wichita) = 339
Leavenworth County (Leavenworth) = 184
Finney County (Garden City) = 175
Lyon County (Emporia) = 147
Shawnee County (Topeka) = 105   

*a person reported to have a case of COVID-19 in Scott County was determined to be a resident of the state of Colorado, so Scott County no longer has a case, and the number of counties has dropped by one since yesterday (SUN) to 75. 

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Kansas Coronavirus Deaths Increase by 2 to 120

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Kansas reported two more coronavirus deaths as state officials work on a way to reopen the economy. As of Monday, the number of deaths rose to 120, and the number of positive cases increased by 154 to 3,328. But the actual number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest that people can be infected without feeling sick. As the economic fallout ripples throughout the economy, University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod announced Monday that the school was temporarily slashing the pay of high-ranking administrators and athletic staff.

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Kansas Has 1st Prison Virus Death; Meatpacking Cases Increase 

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has reported its first death in a prison coronavirus outbreak and saw the number of positive cases in six meatpacking plants rise to 378 as the state works to reopen its economy. But Dr. Lee Norman, the state’s health director, said the good news was that the number of influenza-like illnesses reported in the state was “dropping like a rock.” He also noted that most of the infected meat packing workers were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. None have died and at most one is hospitalized. 

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Virus Cases Top 100 Among Residents of Kansas Nursing Home

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases among residents of a Kansas nursing home has topped 100, after nine additional cases were confirmed. The additional cases were identified this week at the Riverbend Post Acute Rehabilitation facility in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reported that the latest rise in cases occurred after some residents who were said to be COVID-19-negative were retested and found to be positive. All told, 103 residents from the nursing and rehabilitation facility have tested positive. The health department also announced that another Riverbend resident has died, the 28th victim of the coronavirus from that facility.

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Some Missouri Businesses Reopen with COVID-19 Precautions

WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) — Some businesses near St. Louis are reopening with some safety measures in place, after local officials lifted restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the relaxation of the Franklin County order allowed golf courses, movie theaters, concert halls, gyms, fitness studios, tanning salons, bowling alleys and skating rinks to reopen Saturday as long as they adhere to social-distancing guidelines. As of Sunday, health officials reported that 274 people in Missouri had died of COVID-19 and that there had been 6,997 confirmed cases of the disease.

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Pandemic Not Expected to Delay Kansas Property Tax Deadline

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic does not appear to be delaying the quickly approaching May 10 deadline for Kansas property taxes. Zach Fletcher, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Revenue, says the state believes delaying property tax deadlines is more of a local government decision. He says property taxes collected at the local and county level help fund critical functions like public safety and schools. Fletcher told The Lawrence Journal-World that the governor cannot unilaterally change property tax structures or payments in general, and would not be inclined to cut critical funding sources during a prolonged public health emergency.

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University of Kansas Announces Pay Cuts Among Top Officials

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ The University of Kansas is temporarily slashing the pay of high-ranking administrators and athletic staff in anticipation of the coronavirus causing tens of millions of dollars in financial losses. Chancellor Douglas Girod announced Monday that the school will save $853,000 by cutting the salaries of nearly 40 university leaders by 10% for six months. The salaries of men's basketball coach Bill Self, football coach Les Miles, and Athletic Director Jeff Long also will also be slashed by the same percentage, generating $500,000. 

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Authorities: 7-Year-Old Shot in Hunting Accident Improving

McPHERSON, Kan. (KAKE-TV) — Authorities in central Kansas say a 7-year-old boy shot in a weekend hunting accident is improving. Wichita television station KAKE reports that the shooting happened around 5 pm Saturday while the boy was turkey hunting with his parents south of Roxbury in McPherson County. Sheriff's Captain Doug Anderson says another hunter shot the boy, believing he was shooting at a turkey, but was actually shooting at a turkey decoy next to the boy. The boy was shot in the head and flown to a Wichita hospital. Authorities say the boy was expected to be released from intensive care today (MON).

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KU's Miles, Self, Long Take Salary Cuts Equal to $500,000

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas athletic director Jeff Long, football coach Les Miles and basketball coach Bill Self have taken a 10% salary reduction for the next six months in an effort to save the athletic department nearly $500,000. The move comes as the COVID-19 pandemic is putting pressure on collegiate athletic departments nationwide to cut costs. Many schools have asked their highest-paid employees to take salary cuts during the pandemic. A few have taken the more aggressive step of eliminating some sports entirely.

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Kansas Governor, Churches Reach Deal on COVID-19 Lawsuit

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says she has reached a deal that could resolve a legal challenge to her order banning religious gatherings of more than 10 people to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Kelly said in a news release late Saturday that under the agreement, the two churches that challenged her order agreed to extend a judge's temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of Kelly's ban. The churches, meanwhile, agreed to continue complying with social-distancing guidelines, including making sure worshippers keep a safe distance from one another. The Democratic governor is finalizing plans to loosen some coronavirus restrictions starting May 4.  (Read more about this story.)

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Deadline Nears for Atchison Toxic Cloud Victims

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A deadline is near for those who believe they were victims of a 2016 toxic gas release over the Kansas town of Atchison. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that federal prosecutor are urging victims to submit written victim statements by Friday. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister says sentencing of Harcros Chemicals, Inc., and MGP Ingredients Inc., is May 27. Both companies pleaded guilty to violating the federal law and each agreed to pay a $1 million fine. In October 2016, two chemicals were mistakenly mixed to form a cloud of chlorine gas over Atchison.

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Missouri Will Reopen Businesses Monday, with Guidelines

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says businesses and social events across the state will be able to reopen next Monday, with certain social distancing requirements. The governor announced Monday the first phase of the state's reopening will begin May 4. Parson said citizens and businesses must continue to follow social distancing requirements, and local governments may impose stricter guidelines. There will be no limits on crowd sizes at social gatherings if 6 feet of distance can be maintained between individuals. And the governor said some businesses will need to take additional precautions, such as limiting occupancy.  

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Pedestrian Man Killed, Woman Hurt in Missouri After Hit by Vehicle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police say a vehicle struck two pedestrians on the east side of Kansas City, Missouri, killing a man and seriously injuring a woman. The Kansas City Police Department said in a news release that responding officers arrested the driver. The westbound Cadillac sedan hit the man before turning southbound and striking the woman at about 7:20 pm Saturday. It then crashed into a yard. Police say a 68-year-old Kansas City man died at the scene.

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U.S. States Build Stockpiles of Malaria Drug Touted by Trump

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State and local governments across the United States have obtained about 30 million doses of a malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump to treat patients with the new coronavirus, despite warnings from doctors that more research is needed. The states acquired the medication as Trump regularly promoted it from the podium in White House briefings. Reporting from the Associated Press shows at least 22 states and Washington, D.C., secured shipments of the drug, hydroxychloroquine. Sixteen of those states were won by Trump in 2016. Five of them, including North Carolina and Louisiana, are now led by Democratic governors.

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Kansas Democrat Tops GOP Hopefuls in Fundraising for U.S. Senate Race

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Republicans looking to protect their majority in the U.S. Senate have been unable to match the fundraising prowess of a party-switching Democratic state lawmaker in normally reliably red Kansas. But how much it matters that state Senator Barbara Bollier raised $2.35 million during the first three months of 2020, is unclear given that the potential GOP frontrunner to replace retiring GOP Senator Pat Roberts is prominent conservative Kris Kobach. While the more than $242,000 he raised for the quarter was a little more than a tenth of Bollier's total, Kobach is well-known as a hard-right immigration policy advocate who served as Kansas secretary of state before losing the Kansas governor's race in 2018.

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2 Dead in Haysville; Murder-Suicide Suspected

HAYSVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Police in a suburb of Wichita, Kansas, are investigating the deaths of two people as a possible murder-suicide. KAKE-TV reports that responding officers on Friday found two people dead inside a home in the town of Haysville. Police Chief Jeff Whitfield said it appeared to be a murder-suicide but did not disclose further details. The names of the victims were not immediately released.

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Wichita Police Investigate Shooting Death of 30-Year-Old

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Wichita are investigating the shooting death of a 30-year-old man. Police say in a news release that the shooting happened just after 7 pm Thursday in the city's Delano neighborhood. Arriving officers found Blake Mayers, of Wichita, on the front porch of a home with a gunshot wound to his body. Police say Mayes was taken to a hospital, where he died. Police say an initial investigation revealed a disturbance had occurred at the home involving Mayes and three other people before Mayes was shot.

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Artist Richard Bergen, Builder of Statehouse Statue, Dies at 95

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Richard Bergen, the artist who built the 22-foot-tall bronze statue of a Native American that sits atop the Kansas Statehouse dome, has died. He was 95. His daughter, Lori Bergen, said he died Wednesday at an assisted living facility in Salina of complications from a stroke. Bergen created several other public art pieces through the state, including in Marysville, Salina, Junction City, Wichita and Manhattan. He was named Distinguished Kansan of the Year in 2006. But his most well-known work is the 4,420-pound Capitol sculpture that depicts a loincloth-clad hunter with his bow drawn and arrow aimed at the North Star. 

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Gift of the Mask: New York Governor Lauds Retired Farmer's Gesture

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A retired farmer in Kansas whose wife has one lung shipped one of the couple's five N-95 masks to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for use by a doctor or a nurse. Cuomo read the entire letter at his daily briefing as an example of courage and generosity in dark times. Cuomo's eyes misted as he brandished the mask at his daily briefing. Dennis Ruhnke said he was surprised at the public attention.

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Virus Expected to Reduce Meat Selection and Raise Prices

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Meat isn't going to disappear from supermarkets because of outbreaks of the coronavirus among workers at U.S. slaughterhouses. But as the meat plants struggle to remain open, consumers could face less selection and slightly higher prices. Industry leaders acknowledge that the U.S. food chain has rarely been so stressed and that no one is sure about the future, even as they try to dispel concerns about shortages. On Sunday, the meat processing giant Tyson Foods ran a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and other newspapers outlining the difficulty of producing meat while keeping more than 100,000 workers safe and shutting some plants. 

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Lawrence Bike Shop Salvages Trashed Bicycles for Donation

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence bicycle repair shop is earning praise for salvaging and donating dozens of bicycles dumped by a bike-share company at a scrap yard. The Journal-World reports that Lawrence Re-Cyclery used about $2,000 in donations from the community to buy and repair bikes from a 20-foot-tall pile scrapped by Veo, the bike-share company. Re-Cyclery co-owner Kristie Shay says the shop was able to salvage and repair 15 bikes that suffered only minor damage in the dump. But she says many of the Veo bicycles were heavily damaged. The shop was able to glean parts from the heavily damaged bikes to repair a couple dozen bikes from the pile. The repaired bikes are being donated to various shelters and organizations.

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Wake Forest Fires KU Basketball Legend Danny Manning

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Wake Forest has fired coach Danny Manning after six seasons in which the Demon Deacons had a winning record only once. The school announced the decision Saturday. That came more than six weeks after the Demon Deacons lost to Pittsburgh in the opening game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Manning went 78-111 in Winston-Salem with a 30-80 mark in ACC regular-season games. He made the NCAA Tournament just once, in 2017. Athletic director John Currie said associate head coach Randolph Childress will be the acting coach for now. Manning played for 15 seasons in the NBA after a legendary college career at the University of Kansas.  He returned to KU for six seasons as an assistant coach with the Jayhawks, lead Tulsa as head coach for two seasons, leading the Golden Hurricanes to the NCAA tournament in 2014. 

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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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