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Headlines for Monday, May 25, 2020


Flood Warnings and Watches in Effect for Parts of Kansas, Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The risk of heavy rain has prompted flash flood watches and warnings in several parts of eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Forecasters are calling for widespread rain and some storms, making for a wet Memorial Day. The National Weather Service offices in the Kansas City and Springfield areas of Missouri, as well as in Wichita have issued flash flood warnings or watches for dozens of counties. Unsettled weather is expected to continue through the early part of the week over much of the two states.

A Flood Warning remains in effect until 4:45 pm today (MON) for Manhattan, Junction City, Abilene and the following areas:

Northern Dickinson County
Geary County
Southern Riley County
Northwestern Morris County
Southern Ottawa County

Meanwhile, a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for much of Kansas, including parts of the KPR listening area, through Tuesday morning.  Find the most up-to-date weather for the KPR listening area at the National Weather Service office in Topeka.


KCK Police Report Fatal Shooting in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas City, Kansas police say a teenager or young adult has been fatally shot. Police responded to reports of a shooting early Sunday morning. The male victim was pronounced dead when police arrived at the scene. Police estimate the victim is between 17 and 20 years old. They haven't identified the victim yet or provided any additional information.


Man Hospitalized After Triple Shooting in KCK

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Kansas City, Kansas triple shooting. Police say they responded to the reported shooting Sunday. They found evidence at the scene and later located three men apparently hospitalized in connection to the shooting. One man is being treated for life-threatening injuries. Two other men suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police have not yet identified the victims or released any additional information.


Man Killed in Shooting Outside Kansas City Convenience Store

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police say a man has been fatally shot outside a Kansas City, Missouri convenience store. The Kansas City Star reports the man died Sunday. Police have not yet identified him. Kansas City police spokesman Captain David Jackson says two vehicles pulled into an unnamed convenience store early Sunday. After people in the vehicles spoke to each other, shots were fired. The victim was shot and taken to a hospital, where he later died. Police are investigating his death as a murder. The Kansas City Star reports that the man's death is the 71st killing in Kansas City this year.


Man Wounded in Shooting by 2 Kansas City, Kansas Officers

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Kansas, man was hospitalized after being shot by two police officers. Police say the confrontation occurred early Monday at an apartment complex. Spokeswoman Nancy Chartrand says the officers were patrolling when they spotted a car that had been stolen from Leavenworth. Police say a man got into the vehicle and drove toward one of the officers. Both officers fired their weapons. The suspect then reportedly ran into an apartment and officers were able to subdue him with a stun gun. He was taken to a hospital. His condition was not available.


Body Found in Kansas River at Edwardsville

EDWARDSVILLE, Kan. (KCTV-TV) — Police in the Wyandotte County town of Edwardsville are investigating after a body was found in the Kansas River. KCTV-TV reports that the body was discovered Sunday afternoon. Police were called to Riverfront Park around 2 pm after being notified that a body had been recovered. The name of the victim has not been released.


Body Pulled from Walnut River in Southern Kansas

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a body has been pulled from a river in southern Kansas. KWCH TV reports that Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet confirmed that the body was recovered Saturday from the Walnut River in Cowley County. No other details were immediately released.


Frito-Lay Worker at Topeka Plant Tests Positive for COVID-19

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A worker at a Frito-Lay plant in Topeka has tested positive for the coronavirus. The company said Friday in a statement that it has taken steps to identify and notify employees who had direct contact with the infected worker and asked them to quarantine themselves. Frito-Lay's Topeka facility employs about 1,000 people. According to the company, it has also implemented symptom screenings and temperature checks and provided personal protective equipment for employees at the Topeka facility.


Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks Packed with People Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Crowds are packing some bars and restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks despite a state social distancing order. Video posted on social media shows a crammed pool over the holiday weekend where people lounged close together without masks. Missouri’s statewide stay-at-home order expired earlier this month, but an order from the state health director requires people to keep at least 6 feet between each other until at least the end of May. It’s unclear what steps Lake of the Ozarks-area health officials are taking to enforce that order. Local law enforcement say they're overwhelmed.


U.S. Communities Face Tough Choices on Opening Public Pools

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Public pools in the U.S. will look very different this summer if they open at all with the coronavirus threat still looming. Among the changes pools are planning are putting their mostly teenage lifeguards in charge of maintaining social distancing among patrons and spotting COVID-19 symptoms. Dr. Justin Sempsrott, the medical director for the lifeguard certification program Starguard Elite, says pools also plan to screen patrons' temperatures, require lifeguards to wear masks and significantly reduce the number of swimmers allowed in the water and locker rooms. Industry groups and companies, meanwhile, report that sales of inflatable pools, swimming gear and kayaks are up.

*** Clarification: Virus Outbreak-Public Pools story

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — In a May 25 story, The Associated Press reported that public pools that open this summer will task teenage lifeguards with maintaining social distancing among pool visitors. The story should have made clear that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lifeguard certifying agencies recommend that lifeguards not be given that responsibility, even if some pools intend to do so.


About 1,000 Kansas City Workers Learn of Potential Layoffs Due to Pandemic

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — About 1,000 contract employees of a federal agency have received notice that their jobs face elimination in what would be one of the largest mass layoffs of the year for the Kansas City area. The Kansas City Star reports that the employees work for the National Benefits Center, which processes paperwork for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, at offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Overland Park.  The fee-funded U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has taken a financial hit amid the coronavirus pandemic and is seeking emergency funding from Congress, saying that it is going to run out of money this summer.


Kansas Reports Over 9,200 COVID-19 Cases, Including 188 Deaths 

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) — As of Monday, state health officials had reported 9,218 cases of COVID-19, including 188 deaths.  Cases have been reported in 88 of the state's 105 counties.  (Updated COVID-19 case numbers for Kansas are released Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.)  


Kansas Casinos Reopening, Checking Temperatures

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State-owned Kansas casinos are screening customers' temperatures as they begin reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Boot Hill Casino, Kansas Crossing Casino and Kansas Star Casino have already opened. Hollywood Casino is reopening slots Monday. That casino will use no-touch forehead scanners to take players' temperatures. The number of coronavirus cases in the state rose by 419 cases to 8,958 on Friday, the last day the data was released. State health officials also reported 185 deaths.


Health Officials: Kansas Meatpacking Plants Safe Enough to Remain Open

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) — Coronavirus outbreaks in Kansas meatpacking plants have killed at least seven people and sickened about 2,400 others.  Amid the ongoing pandemic, state health officials stand by their stance that meatpacking plants are still safe enough to remain open.  Kansas Health Secretary Lee Norman says the state is satisfied, so far, with steps that meatpacking companies have taken to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 within their walls.  Some workers at the packing plants have told the Kansas News Service that they work too close to each other and that the facilities should close temporarily for deep cleaning.  Through last Friday, Kansas reported nearly 9,000 cases of COVID-19, though many of those infected have since recovered.


Lawsuit: Kansas Mayor Deleted Posts Panning Virus Response

SCOTT CITY, Kan. (AP) — A woman is claiming in a lawsuit that the mayor of a western Kansas town violated free speech rights by removing social media criticism of how the town has responded to the coronavirus. Tracy Chambless says in a lawsuit against Scott City and Mayor Everett Green that the mayor removed criticisms from his Facebook page and another local news page that he controlled. The lawsuit also alleges that the town has barred citizens from participating in City Council meetings since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Green has declined to comment on the lawsuit.


Philanthropist, Kansas State Supporter Donna Vanier Dies

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A well-known philanthropist and supporter of Kansas State University and several Salina organizations has died. The family of Donna Vanier said she died Saturday at the age of 85. The cause of death was not released. Vanier earned the Kansas State University Medal of Excellence, which recognizes those who provided exceptional service, leadership and philanthropic contributions to the university. She served on several boards and organizations at Kansas State and in Salina, where she led the creation of the Donna Vanier Children's Center. Vanier lived most of her adult life with her husband on the CK Ranch outside of Brookville.


In-Person or Online?  Wichita State Prepares for Fall Classes

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) — Wichita State University is preparing for the possibility that classes will have to move back online in the fall because of the coronavirus.  The university is relabeling all traditional, in-person classes as hybrid courses. Professors can still do all their teaching on campus, so long as students are kept six feet apart. But classifying courses as hybrids makes it easier to switch to online-only.  University Provost Rick Muma says it's possible all classes will finish online after Thanksgiving break.  "We do know the issue if we give breaks to students if they travel home, particularly back to a state that has a lot more cases, creates some problems," Muma said.  The University of Kansas and Kansas State University also plan on allowing some in-person classes on campus this fall.


Kansas City's Smaller Colleges Could Benefit Amid Pandemic

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City’s smaller colleges and universities say their size could benefit them amid the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many other schools that have had to make cuts. KCUR Radio reports that several Missouri and Kansas colleges believe they could be an attractive option this fall for students who want to continue their education but need to save money or want to avoid overcrowded classrooms. College officials and administrators, however, worry the pandemic may have put college out of reach for low-income students. The Metropolitan Community College's chancellor expects students trying to save money to enroll at community colleges.


Legendary College Basketball Coach Eddie Sutton Dead at 84

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) — Funeral services are pending for legendary college basketball coach Eddie Sutton.  The native of Bucklin, Kansas, died over the weekend at the age of 84.  Sutton was the first coach to take four different schools to the NCAA tournament.  But he’s perhaps best remembered for taking the Oklahoma State Cowboys to the Final Four - twice.  Sutton’s family said in a statement Saturday night that he died of natural causes at home in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area.

Growing up playing basketball in southwest Kansas, Sutton became familiar with the great basketball schools of the state and their legendary coaches: Phog Allen at KU and Tex Winter at K-State.  But when he got the chance to play in college, Sutton decided to play for Henry Iba at Oklahoma State, then known as Oklahoma A&M.  Under Iba, the Cowboys became the first school to win back-to-back NCAA tournament championships.  That was in 1945 and ’46, before Sutton played there.  As a coach, Sutton sought bring the Cowboys back to that elite level.  "When I came back to OSU," Sutton said, "that was one of the commitments that I made to my school.  We would try to elevate it back to the glory days and we took a giant step toward doing that."

In a coaching career that spanned 36 years and several Division I schools, Sutton racked up more than 800 career victories.  In April, Sutton learned he would be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.


Highway Patrol: 15-Year-Old Dies in ATV Crash in Northwest Kansas

SELDEN, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old girl has died in an all-terrain vehicle accident in northwest Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol says a 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the ATV when it overturned shortly before 8 pm Friday on a rural road about 4 miles south of the town of Selden. Her 15-year-old passenger, Nikki Stuckey, of Hoxie, was thrown from the ATV and died. The 16-year-old girl was taken to a hospital for treatment.  


Driver Runs Red Light, Flips Kansas Police SUV

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a driver hit a Kansas police SUV and flipped it on its top. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the driver ran a red light and T-boned a Topeka police vehicle Sunday. The crash rolled the police SUV upside down. Police say the officer who was hit and a passenger from the other vehicle were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Police haven't released the names of the driver or the police officer.


DNA, Ballistics Link Man to April 2019 Kansas City Killing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man has been charged in an April 2019 shooting death in Kansas City based on DNA and ballistics evidence. Thirty-two-year-old Brandon Hill, of Independence, was charged Friday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 40-year-old Derrick White, whose body was found in a vehicle. The Kansas City Star reports that DNA taken from the door handle of the vehicle was later matched to Hill. Prosecutors say a handgun also linked him to the killing. Hill remains in federal custody in a separate case. He was indicted in April 2019 on a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms.


Kansas GOP Waits to See Whether Plumber's Senate Bid Surges

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The founder of a Kansas City-area plumbing company who's running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas acknowledges that he doesn't know how he'd go about getting a seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Bob Hamilton says he's an outsider who will have to be shown "how to do that." The comment came in response to a question to him and four other Republicans during a debate Saturday. Republicans are watching to see whether Hamilton's candidacy takes off in what had seemed increasingly like a two-person primary race between Congressman Roger Marshall and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.


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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