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Headlines for Monday, November 16, 2020

Kansas COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates; Cases Top 120,000

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS/KPR) - Kansas has recorded more than 122,000 COVID-19 cases, which includes more than 1,200 virus-related deaths.  The state health department reported today (MON) that Kansas had identified 122,741 coronavirus cases and 1,266 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.  Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is urging all Kansans to wear face masks in public, avoid large crowds and practice social distancing.  Another update of Kansas COVID-19 cases will be released Wednesday. 

(–Related–)

Kansas Reports Another Record 7-Day Spike in COVID-19 Cases

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has reported another seven-day record for new coronavirus cases. The state Department of Health and Environment on Monday added 7,234 confirmed and probable cases to the state’s tally for the pandemic since Friday, increasing it to 122,741. The department also reported another 10 COVID-19-related deaths over three days, bringing the total to 1,266 since the pandemic reached the state in early March. The state had a record average of 2,741 new cases a day for the seven days ending Monday. Kansas reported 19,188 new coronavirus cases over the past seven days. That’s the equivalent of one in every 152 residents testing positive.

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Churches Stop In-Person Services as Kansas Sets New Coronavirus Record

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some churches in Kansas have suspended indoor, in-person worship services and the capital city's zoo even has tightened its rules as the the state set another record for new coronavirus cases. The bishop of the Episcopal Church diocese for eastern Kansas this week directed its congregations to suspend indoor, in-person services through December 13. The United Methodist Church bishop for Kansas and Nebraska also encouraged its churches to suspend in-person services until further notice if they are in counties "identified as being in critical or dangerous statuses." Kansas averaged a record 2,553 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases daily for the seven days ending Friday.

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    Virus Cases Steadily Increase in Missouri

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases continues to steadily increase across Missouri and hospitalizations remain at a high level. The state reported 3,729 new virus cases Sunday for a total of 239,451 cases. The number of people hospitalized with the virus dipped Sunday to 2,447 from the previous day’s record of 2,523, but hospitalizations have doubled in the past month and capacity is strained in parts of the state. Local health officials have urged Gov. Mike Parson to impose tougher restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, but he has resisted requiring masks and largely left it up to local officials to impose restrictions.

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    Kansas Supreme Court: Consent to Search Can be Non-Verbal

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court says an individual's conduct can be relevant in determining whether a person has expressed valid consent to search. The ruling Friday came in the case of Gianni Massimo Daino. He allowed police to enter his apartment when he opened the door and stood aside for them to come in. The appeals court reversed a Johnson County District Court ruling that suppressed evidence after the warrantless search led to the discovery of marijuana and other incriminating evidence. It ruled that an individual's nonverbal conduct can be relevant because a person may express valid consent through words, acts, or conduct.

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    Texas Man Sentenced for Death of 2 Kansas Carnival Vendors

    GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A 37-year-old Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison in the deaths of a Kansas couple who were vendors at a Kansas county fair. Rusty Frasier, who was sentenced Friday, was one of several people charged in the July 2018 deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter. They were killed at the Barton County, Kansas, fair. Their bodies were later found in shallow graves near Van Buren, Arkansas. Investigators say one suspect posed as a member of a mafia group and ordered the couple's deaths as part of initiation. Police say there is no “carnival mafia.”

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    Kansas College Settles Lawsuit over Recruitment of Athletes

    BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — A small community college in northeast Kansas has settled a lawsuit accusing it of directing coaches to recruit more white athletes and targeting Black prospective students with excessive scrutiny such as background checks before offering scholarships. A brief stipulation of dismissal was filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. The ACLU had alleged in the lawsuit that Highland Community College instituted a plan to reduce the number of black students. The college has said its recruiting is not determined by students' race or ethnicity and denied it ever instructed coaches to exclude out-of-state athletes from recruitment.

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    Nebraska Expects to Meet Republican River Pact with Kansas

    KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — There appears to be enough water in Nebraska's stretch of the Republican River to satisfy the terms of a water-sharing agreement with Kansas next year. Todd Siel with the Lower Republican Natural Resources District said he expects the state will be able to meet the terms of the Republican River compact next year without putting additional restrictions on irrigation or pumping additional water into the basin. The Republican River Compact allocates the waters of the basins between the states of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

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    Police: Topeka Teen Dies After Being Hit by Vehicle

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 16-year-old pedestrian hit by a vehicle in Topeka over the weekend has died. Topeka police say in a news release that the crash happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday on NW Lyman Road. Officers called to the scene found the teen gravely injured. The teen later died at an area hospital. Police have not released the teen's name or indicated whether charges are imminent in the case. Police are asking witnesses or anyone with information about the crash to contact investigators or Shawnee County Crime Stoppers.

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    UPDATE: Wichita Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Stabbing of Man

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police have arrested a 34-year-old suspect in the stabbing death of a man there. Police say 59-year-old Bryan Turner of Wichita was found dead early Sunday after suffering multiple stab wounds at a home. Police spokesman officer Charley Davidson says Kenneth Junious was arrested Monday in connection with Turner’s death. The investigation showed Turner and Junious were visiting the home when they were involved in a disturbance.  Police say the death was not a random incident. Kansas Corrections records show Junious was on parole after serving prison time for aggravated battery and a weapons violation.

    (–Earlier reporting–)

    Wichita Police Investigating Fatal Sunday Stabbing of Man

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Wichita are investigating the stabbing death of a man there. Police say the incident happened around 1:20 a.m. Sunday inside a home along South Washington. Officers called to the scene found a 59-year-old man with multiple stab wounds. Police say he died at the scene. The victim's name has not yet been released. Police say an investigation showed the victim was visiting the home when he and a 34-year-old suspect fought. Police say that during the disturbance, the suspect pulled a knife and stabbed and slashed the victim before fleeing the scene. Police say they're searching for the suspect.

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    Kansas Man Dies in Rollover Accident

    CLOUD COUNTY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man died after the pickup truck he was riding in rolled over in a roadside ditch. The Kansas Highway Patrol said the wreck happened around 11:15 pm Saturday in Cloud County about three miles north of Aurora. Investigators determined that a southbound GMC pickup left the road and rolled over after it entered a ditch on the east side of the road. Authorities said 38-year-old Ryan Peltier of Concordia died at the scene of the crash. The truck's driver, 40-year-old Amanda Applebee of Aurora was taken to Cloud County Hospital with serious injuries.

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    Kansas Man Dies After Pulling Out in Front of Semi Truck

    DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 28-year-old Kansas man has died after a semitrailer truck smashed into his car. The Kansas Highway Patrol said the crash happened around 10:15 pm Friday southwest of Dodge City in Ford County. Investigators determined that a westbound 2013 Chevrolet Camaro pulled out into the path of a southbound semi after stopping at a stop sign along U.S. Highway 56. The Camaro's driver, Marcos Solis, was taken to Western Plains Regional Hospital where he died. The 27-year-old Iowa man driving the semi was not injured.

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    Judge Rules Former Kansas Teacher Will Face Stalking Charge

    OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a stalking charge will stand against a former Olathe fourth-grade teacher accused of surreptitiously photographing one of his 10-year-old students. The Kansas City Star reports that a Johnson County judge has rejected the argument of ex-teacher James Loganbill's attorney that because the girl didn't know she was being photographed, she wouldn't have been fearful of the teacher, invalidating the charge reckless stalking. Police say the girl's classmates reported seeing Loganbill secretly taking photos of her from behind in class and on the playground. Investigators say that under questioning, Loganbill admitted taking the photos because he found the girl sexually attractive.

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    Sedgwick County Commissioner Resigns Amid Kansas Cover-Up Plot

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican county commissioner in Kansas has resigned after the district attorney concluded there was sufficient evidence to begin ouster proceedings for his role in plotting to cover up their part in a false ad against a mayoral candidate in the state's largest city. The Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O'Donnell tendered his resignation Friday after District Attorney Marc Bennett notified his attorney that he intended to initiate legal proceedings for forfeiture of public office.

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    KU Shuts Down Fraternity Following Hazing Investigation

    LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas says it will shut down the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity chapter on campus at the end of the semester after an investigation found evidence of hazing and drug use. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that KU officials informed the chapter that it would be shuttered on November 25. In a letter sent to the fraternity, KU officials say the earliest the chapter could rejoin as a student organization would be in the spring of 2026. A copy of the letter released by KU to the Journal-World says that the fraternity was found responsible for harming or endangering members, hazing students as part of initiation and of having an “open culture of illegal drug use.”

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    KU Providing Free COVID-19 Testing for People Returning to High-Risk Households

    LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - The University of Kansas is offering additional COVID-19 testing options for certain campus community members who are preparing to head home after the end of in-person classes later this month.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that in-person instruction at KU will end on Tuesday, November 24, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, and students are encouraged to leave campus for the semester at that time.  In an email message to the campus, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said any students, faculty or staff members whose travel plans require a negative test — either mandated by an airline or their final destination — will be able to get tested. Additionally, any students, faculty or staff who are returning to a household with a person who is at high risk for complications from COVID-19 — as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — may receive a test. 

    Testing will be available from November 16 to November 22 at KU Parking Lot 91, north of the Spencer Museum of Art. Those who qualify should not get tested, however, if they have previously tested positive for the virus within the past 90 days.  Qualifying individuals may receive a free saliva test by signing up for an appointment at covidtest.ku.edu.

    After Thanksgiving, there will be a week for students to study for finals, which will then be conducted remotely, as they were during the spring 2020 semester.  KU’s spring 2021 semester will begin later than normal because of the pandemic, and it is scheduled to start February 1, with no spring break currently planned.

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    Chiefs Sign Coach Andy Reid, GM Brett Veach to Contract Extensions

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs signed Andy Reid and Brett Veach to contract extensions that will provide added stability by keeping the most successful coach and general manager combination in franchise history together well into the future. The Chiefs declined to announce the terms of the extensions Monday, though it’s unlikely Reid or Veach was going anywhere. They have built a juggernaut together, reaching back-to-back AFC championship games and delivering the Chiefs their first Super Bowl title in 50 years last season. And at 8-1, they are in good position to defend the title.

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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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