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Headlines for Monday, May 18, 2020

Fourth Inmate Dies of COVID-19 at Lansing Prison

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A fourth inmate has died of the coronavirus during an outbreak that has sickened hundreds at the state's largest prison. The Kansas Department of Corrections announced Monday today (MON) that the Lansing Correctional Facility inmate who died Saturday was over the age of 60 and had underlying medical conditions. His name wasn't released, but the corrections department said had been imprisoned since 1989 on charges that included aggravated robbery and first-degree murder. The prison near Kansas City has been the hardest hit in the state, with 88 staff members and 750 inmates testing positive. Two of the staff members have died.


More Businesses Reopen; Fourth Inmate Dies of COVID-19

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — More businesses are reopening in Kansas, even as the virus claimed another life at the state’s largest prison. The businesses allowed to reopen Monday include barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, gyms and fitness centers, although with restrictions. Janey McCarthy, the owner of Blondie’s Hair Designs in Topeka, said she was excited to get back to work as were her clients, who have been calling and sending pictures of what their roots and nails look like without professional help. She described the past couple months as “difficult and very stressful."


Shawnee County Investigates Coronavirus Cases Connected to Gatherings at Lake Perry

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR)  —  Shawnee County health officials are investigating coronavirus cases linked to gatherings at Lake Perry.  In a news release Saturday, the Shawnee County Health Department said at least 10 people from multiple counties and two states who participated in events at Lake Perry in May have confirmed cases of the coronavirus.  The department is investigating the gatherings, which appear to have violated the statewide stay-at-home order in effect at the time.  The department has linked some of the people who became infected at the lake with a recruit officer at the Topeka Police Department Recruit Academy who tested positive but who didn’t go to the lake. The recruit’s infection forced the academy to shut down temporarily and all the recruits are on quarantine, the department said.  

Statewide, Kansas has recorded 173 deaths and 8,300 cases, although the numbers are believed to be low with initial limits in testing.  For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, or death.


Kansas Reports over 8,300 Cases of COVID-19, Including 173 Deaths 

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) — As of Monday morning, state health officials reported 8,340 cases of COVID-19, including 173 deaths.  Cases have been reported in 84 of the state's 105 counties.  (The latest COVID-19 case numbers for Kansas are released here Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.)  


Coronavirus Infects Workers at FedEx Facility in Olathe

MISSION, Kan. (AP)  — FedEx has confirmed that workers from its facility in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe have tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesperson from FedEx Ground said in a statement Friday that it was working cooperatively with county health officials and offering voluntary COVID-19 testing to employees and vendors at the facility. The Kansas City Star reports that the positive tests are considered to be the first cluster of coronavirus cases tied to a workplace in Johnson County.  


KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Projects 12% Fall Enrollment Drop

LAWRENCE, Kan. — An enrollment projection for the biggest school at the University of Kansas is offering a glimpse at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic for the fall semester as it struggles to fill classes. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the university has told its faculty members in an email that enrollment for the fall semester is down 12% from where it was in 2019 and 9% from its three-year average. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that interim dean John Colombo, wrote that some mid-to-upper level classes are not expected to meet the minimum enrollment requirement of 12 students. 


Kansas Education Leader Hopeful for Fall In-Person Classes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas education commissioner is cautiously optimistic that the state's 500,000 public school students will be back in their classrooms when the fall semester begins. Commissioner Randy Watson concedes it's difficult to predict the future as it relates to the coronavirus pandemic. Concerns about spreading the virus prompted schools to go to mostly online learning since mid-March. Watson says the Kansas Department of Education intends to present a reopening guide to school districts by July 10. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Watson acknowledges that if cases surge again, things could change.


Kansas Congresswoman Davids Defends Vote Against Democratic COVID-19 Relief Package

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas Democratic Congresswoman Sharice Davids was among the few Democrats to vote against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill.  She said she did so because it faces such a small chance of making it through the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. Davids was among just 14 Democrats to vote against the bill Friday. The Kansas City Star reports that her vote came as a surprise because Davids has repeatedly called for aid to states and cities facing revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would provide $5.2 billion to Kansas over two years and another $5.1 billion to city and county governments in the state.


Missouri Sheriff Seeks Public's Help in Jackson County Killing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal shooting at a Kansas City gas station. The shooting was reported just before 2 am Sunday on East Truman Road. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said the 36-year-old victim was taken to a hospital, where he died. No arrests have been made. Authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward.


1 Man Dead, Another Injured in Kansas City Shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, are investigating a shooting that left one man dead and another hospitalized. The shooting happened just before 11:15 pm Saturday near Crestview Drive and Bannister Road. Names of the victims have not been released. No arrests have been made. Officers found the deceased victim inside a vehicle. The injured man went to a hospital before police arrived. He is in stable condition.


KCK Police: Domestic Altercation Led to Shooting Death

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man in his 20s was found dead inside a Kansas City, Kansas, home in what police say was an incident that began as a domestic altercation. Police said in a news release that the department received a report of a shooting at about 12:49 pm Friday and discovered the shooting victim inside the residence. Its initial investigation indicates the shooting stemmed from a domestic incident. No other details were immediately released.


20-Year-Old Man Dies at Topeka Apartment Complex

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Topeka are investigating the death of a 20-year-old man at an apartment complex. Police were called Saturday evening to apartments on Southwest Plaza Drive and found 20-year-old Keaton B. Knutsen deceased. The cause of death remains under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police.


Body of Topeka Man Who Tried to Rescue Dog Recovered from Creek

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The body of a 32-year-old Topeka man who tried to rescue a dog has been recovered from Mission Creek in western Shawnee County. The Shawnee County Sheriff's office on Saturday recovered the body of Cody L. Campbell. Authorities were called Friday morning after learning that Campbell had jumped into the creek to try and save a dog. Campbell was swept under by the fast-moving water. A man who was with him tried unsuccessfully to save Campbell before contacting authorities.


Heavy Rains Lead to Flooding in Parts of Kansas, Missouri

PLEASANT HILL, Mo. (AP) — Heavy rainfall caused rivers and creeks to rise sharply in parts of southwestern Missouri and south-central and southeastern Kansas late last week, leading to flooding and flash flooding. The National Weather Service reported dozens of gauges above technical flood stage, including several spots in Taney and Douglas counties in Missouri. There were no reports of injuries or significant damage. The worst flooding in Kansas was at Winfield, where the Walnut River was 6 feet above technical flood stage Sunday. The water level was falling fast, though, and expected to drop below flood stage sometime today (MON).  Transportation officials urge drivers to avoid crossing any flooded roads.


Lawrence Newspaper Ending Monday's Print Edition; News Moves Online

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Lawrence Journal-World will stop publishing a printed newspaper beginning May 25, the newspaper reported. Editor and Publisher Chad Lawhorn said the changes were aimed at making the company as efficient as possible in meeting reader and advertiser needs. Lawhorn said reader interest in digital-only subscriptions has grown. The newspaper will continue to publish the other six days of the week. The last Monday print edition will be published May 18. Many newspapers across the country have reduced the number of days they print editions as readers migrate to their websites and as they struggle with declining advertising revenue.


Arson Charge Filed in Tipi Burning at Kansas Indian School in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been charged with arson and trespassing in connection with a fire that damaged a ceremonial tipi at Haskell Indian Nations University. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 32-year-old Ryan Adam Sekayouma Simpson, of Lawrence, was arrested Thursday.  The following day, he was charged with arson, a felony, and two counts of misdemeanor criminal trespassing.  The tipi, which was built to honor the 2020 graduating class at Haskell, was destroyed by fire early on May 9 at the school's campus in Lawrence. The Lawrence-Douglas County fire department was assisted by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the investigation. 


Kansas Air National Guard Salutes Healthcare Workers Tuesday with Flyovers in Four Cities

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - The Kansas Air National Guard's 190th Air Refueling Wing is scheduled to perform a flyover across four cities in the state to salute healthcare workers, first responders and other frontline workers in the fight against the coronavirus.  Dubbed "Operation Kansas Strong," the flyovers will take place tomorrow (TUE), beginning at 1 pm in Emporia.  The Emporia flyover will be followed by flyovers in Manhattan, Topeka and Lawrence.  The detailed itinerary is below.

Col. Lee Norman, state surgeon for the Kansas Army National Guard, will be flying on the refueling tanker along with leaders from the Kansas National Guard. In addition to serving in the Kansas Army National Guard, Norman is secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  All arrival times are subject to change based on weather, air traffic and airspace requirements, so flyover times may shift slightly.

Flyovers for Tuesday, May 18, 2020

1 pm - Emporia Police Department
1 pm - Newman Regional Health Hospital
1 pm - Downtown Emporia

1:13 pm - Riley County Police Department
1:13 pm - Manhattan Surgical Hospital
1:13 pm - Manhattan Vet Center
1:13 pm - Ascension Via Christi Hospital
1:15 pm - Downtown Manhattan

1:26 pm - Stormont Vail Hospital
1:26 pm - St. Francis Campus
1:26 pm - State Capitol Building
1:28 pm - Topeka Veteran Affairs Hospital
1:29 pm - Topeka Police Department

1:34 pm - Lawrence Memorial Hospital
1:34 pm - Lawrence Police Department
1:34 pm - Downtown Lawrence
1:34 pm - Lawrence VA outpatient clinic

Officials with the Kansas Air National Guard says the Operation Kansas Strong flyover is incorporated into previously scheduled training missions and will come at no additional cost to taxpayers while serving as vital training for aircrews.  Officials say spectators are encouraged to take pictures of the flyover and tag #OperationKansasStrong on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Vanderbilt Adds Guard Isaac McBride as Transfer from Kansas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University has signed guard Isaac McBride as a transfer from the University of Kansas. Coach Jerry Stackhouse announced Monday that McBride will join the roster for the 2020-21 season. The 6-foot-1 guard from Little Rock was the 2019 Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year out of Baptist Preparatory School and rated a four-star player by for the 2019 class. McBride signed with Kansas but left school last September. He reportedly committed to Vanderbilt last December. Stackhouse just finished his first season with Vanderbilt going 11-21. 


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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