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Headlines for Monday, October 10, 2022


KS Highway Patrol: 3 Children Killed Saturday in Turnpike Crash

SHAWNEE COUNTY, Kan. (TCJ/Wichita Eagle) - Three children were killed in a Saturday morning crash involving a minivan and a semi-truck on the Kansas Turnpike in Shawnee County. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 32-year-old Amber Peery, of Topeka, was in a Dodge minivan with five passengers, all children, when her vehicle collided with a semi-truck. Three children were killed in the crash: two 9-year-olds - Laila El Azari and Kylie Lund - and 8-year-old Brooklyn Peery, all of Topeka. The driver of the minivan, Amber Peery, and two other children, ages 5 and 9, were taken to the hospital with injuries. The driver of the semi, 70-year-old Robert Russell, of Huntsville, Alabama, was uninured. (Read more.)

(–Additional reporting–)

3 Children Killed in Weekend Crash on Kansas Turnpike

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say three children have been killed in a weekend crash on the Kansas Turnpike in the Topeka area. The Kansas Highway Patrol said the crash happened Saturday morning when the minivan went through a barrier wall and collided with a tractor-trailer. The patrol identified the victims as Laila El Azari and Kylie Lund, both 9, and Brooklyn Peery, 8, all of Topeka. The minivan’s driver, a 5—year-old boy and and a 9-year-old girl also were taken to a hospital. The rig’s driver wasn’t hurt.


Police Investigate Kidnapping and Rape in Missouri Town Near KC

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) _ Authorities are investigating a suspected kidnapping and sexual assault in a small Missouri town just northeast of Kansas City that was discovered when a malnourished woman escaped and screamed for help. Clay County prosecutors charged a man with rape, kidnapping and assault after the woman ran from his house in Excelsior Springs Friday morning. She was hospitalized in stable condition Friday where she reunited with her family. The woman told police there may have been two other victims, but authorities haven't said whether any additional victims have been found. Investigators have continued to search the home the woman escaped from, and Excelsior Springs Police Chief Greg Dull asked the public Saturday to be patient.


Kansas Sports Wagering Off to Robust Start

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - In the first month that sports wagering has been legalin Kansas, it has generated a total of $1.3 million in revenue, which includes nearly $130,000 for the state. Governor Laura Kelly announced the news today (MON). “These revenues reinforce what we already knew: Legal sports betting is a common-sense solution that keeps Kansans’ money in Kansas and supports Kansas businesses," she said.  “While legal wagering is just in its infancy, these revenues will continue to grow and benefit the state over time.” State officials say revenues reported by the Kansas Lottery are from settled and completed bets and don't account for 'future wagers' placed like bets on the Super Bowl, World Series, or MVP awards.


Concerns Raised over Problem Gambling in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KMUW/KNS) - Following the legalization of sports betting this year, some counselors worry Kansas is unprepared for an increase in gambling addictions. The Kansas News Service reports that the state dedicates 2% of money generated from gambling to its Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund. Stephenie Roberts is a gambling counselor in Wichita. She says the issue is that not all of that money goes to problem gambling. State documents show much of it is used for Medicaid mental health services. Since 2013, an average of 7% of the fund - about $600,000 thousand dollars - has gone to problem gambling services annually. "There are a lot of gamblers out there that don’t know this help is available, and that is sad because the suicide rates go up when you don’t address gambling issues, debt goes up," she said. Joyce Markham, with the Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling, says only a small percentage of the fund goes to gambling addiction services like advertising the help hotline. "I bet you ask ten people today where would you go if you had a problem with problem gambling, they’re probably not going to tell you they’re going to call the hotline," she said. A spokesperson for the state says Kansas is reviewing budgetary needs for problem gambling resources.


Kansas Governor: No Plans to Pardon Inmates with Marijuana Convictions

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) - President Biden has asked state governors to pardon all Americans convicted of simple marijuana possession, but Kansas governor Laura Kelly has not committed to doing so. This comes as advocates pressure state lawmakers to ease the state's strict marijuana laws. The Kansas News Service reports that Kansas is one of 19 states that jails people for possessing a small amount of marijuana. And Black Kansans are 4.8 times more likely to be arrested for possession than White Kansans, according to the ACLU. Micah Kubic, with the ACLU of Kansas, says “There’s absolutely no doubt that race is a contributing factor here.” He says a pardon would help hundreds of people in Kansas jails and prisons and on parole and probation for marijuana charges. A spokesperson for Governor Kelly that she’ll continue to consider individual pardon requests, but she’s focusing on legalizing medical marijuana… something her challenger Derek Schmidt has voiced limited support for. 38 states have already legalized medical marijuana including neighboring Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado.


22-Year-Old Sheriff's Deputy Killed when Vehicle Hits Her Squad Car

WICHITA, Kan. (LJW) — A county sheriff's deputy in south-central Kansas was killed when another vehicle collided with her squad car while the officer was responding to a disturbance call. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Sedgwick County Deputy Sidnee Carter died at the scene of the crash that happened about 9:30 pm Friday at the intersection of two roads near Maize. The other driver was taken to an area hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The 22-year-old Carter had served in the county detention office for about 18 months before transferring to the law enforcement bureau in February. She graduated from the law enforcement academy in July. The crash remains under investigation.


Arrest of Wichita Officer is 3rd for the Force Within 2 Weeks

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita police officer has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, become the city's third officer to be apprehended within about two weeks. Police say the officer, who was off-duty, is also facing a charge of possession of a gun while intoxicated. The officer, who has been with the department for two years, has been placed on administrative leave while a criminal and internal investigation is conducted. The incident follows two other arrests of Wichita officers within five days at the end of last month, one for suspicion of DUI and another on suspicion of criminal threat.


Topeka Police Warn of Scam Calls from Departmental Number

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - If someone calls saying you’ve missed your court date and are now in trouble with the law, chances are, it's a scam. According to WIBW TV, the Topeka Police Department is warning the public that someone is calling residents and identifying themselves as "Sgt. Marr." The call may even look legit on caller ID systems because the calls appear to be coming from a departmental phone number. But Topeka police say these calls are a scam.  While the department has an employee named Sgt. Marr, the calls are not coming from the Topeka Police Department.  Police say the imposter tells people they have missed a court date and now have a warrant out for their arrest. The scammer has also been asking people for personal and bank account information. In reality, Topeka police say they never make such calls.


Giraffes Move into New Home at Topeka Zoo

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Topeka Zoo has been working all week to move its giraffes to their new enclosure. KSNT reports that by using an alleyway, the giraffes are able to freely walk from their current enclosure to their new space at their own pace. Most zoos move their animals by hauling them in a trailer, but Topeka Zoo officials didn't think that would be the best way to do it. “There’s always that potential, as small as it may be, for either a person or an animal to get injured,” said Brendan Wiley, Topeka Zoo Director. “This just seemed, maybe not the easier way, but the friendliest way to do it with our animals.” The goal is to have the giraffes in their new enclosure and the zoo fully functioning by “Boo at the Zoo” on October 22.


Kansas Public Radio Seeks New Statehouse Bureau Chief

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas Public Radio (KPR), at the University of Kansas, is seeking a new Statehouse Bureau Chief.  This position works primarily at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. The position duties include managing all aspects of KPR’s capital news bureau, which provides broadcast and digital news reports to a number of radio stations in Kansas and Missouri. This position is primarily responsible for reporting on all aspects of state government. This includes but is not limited to covering the Kansas legislative session, the governor, attorney general, supreme court, the state’s congressional delegation and statewide elections. The KPR Statehouse Bureau Chief researches, writes, reports and produces spot news, digital stories and long-form audio features for KPR and its reporting partners. Learn more about this position.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy.


Much of Kansas Still Affected by Extreme or Exceptional Drought

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The latest information from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) shows much of Kansas remains under extreme or exceptional drought conditions. KWCH TV reports that just a small portion of Kansas, toward the north-central part of the state, is not affected by at least abnormally dry conditions. That portion of Kansas accounts for just 1.5% of the state - the rest is experiencing some level of drought or dry conditions. More than half of the state is experiencing severe or extreme drought.


Olathe Health Plans to Join KU Health System

OLATHE, Kan. (KNS/KCUR) - Olathe Health is planning to join the University of Kansas Health System.  The proposed merger will affect patients across several Kansas counties.  KU Health System leaders says the merger will allow them to improve existing clinics and expand specialized services to patients in the Olathe Health coverage area. That includes parts of Johnson, Miami, Franklin and Linn counties. All existing Olathe Health employees are expected to be retained. KU Health System president Bob Page said at a press briefing that the merger is still in its beginning stages. “What’s effective immediately is that we have a signed letter of intent. What now we are doing is starting the due diligence process," he said. The health systems did not give a date when a final agreement may be reached.


Lenexa Gets New Lab and 230 Jobs

LENEXA, Kan. (KCUR) - A new medical testing laboratory in Lenexa is expected to bring 235 jobs to Johnson County. Eurofins Viracor, a clinical and drug development company, has unveiled the new facility that will house local operations and a corporate headquarters. Clinical Diagnostics President Michelle Altrich says the company was able to create the new positions after partially moving its operations into Kansas earlier this year. “We actually started testing at our new facility back in April," she said. "We created a lot of those kinds of new jobs here in Kansas when we moved.” A total of 460 employees will be employed at the new facility in Lenexa.


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Resurfaces in Kansas 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KPR) – The Kansas Department of Agriculture says highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been identified in Johnson and Neosho counties. This comes as the viral disease that can infect and kill chickens, turkeys, and other birds is having a resurgence nationwide. This outbreak has affected a wider range of bird species than in past outbreaks, and includes wild and domestic waterfowl. The Ag Department said in a press release that the new cases of HPAI were found in non-commercial mixed-species flocks, and that it's working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its response. The affected flocks have been quarantined and birds on both properties destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. For more information on mitigation and prevention measures, visit the KDA Division of Animal Health webpage. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern.


K-State Climbs to Top of Big 12 Football Standings

AMES, Iowa (KPR) - The Kansas State Wildcats find themselves all alone atop the Big 12 football standings after results from the past weekend. The Wildcats are 3-0 in the conference and 5-1 overall as they head to a bye week. After a 10-9 road win at Iowa State on Saturday night, Wildcats head coach Chris Klieman says the weekend off will be welcomed. "We’ve got a lot of guys beat up pretty good, which is to be expected. Then you throw the five weeks of camp of top of that. It comes at a perfect time," he said. KU meanwhile is coming off a 38-31 loss against TCU and with the prospects of losing quarterback Jalon Daniels for an extended period because of a shoulder injury. The Jayhawks, 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12, will play at Oklahoma this Saturday. The Wildcats moved up three spots in the latest AP poll, checking in this week at #17.  And, despite KU's close loss to TCU on Saturday, the Jayhawks are still ranked at #19.


Lawrence Businesses Affected by KU's Surging Football Team

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KCUR) - The early success of the Kansas Jayhawks football team is drawing thousands of fans to Lawrence. Saturday’s game was the third straight sellout of KU' David Booth Memorial Stadium. The crowds are benefiting some businesses, but others say the congestion is making it difficult to operate. Claudia Navarret works at Wonder Fair on Massachusetts Street. She says she and her co-workers must fight through a lot of traffic on game days, just to get to work. “We’ve definitely noticed that getting to work on the busy mornings has been kind of a hassle," she said. KU’s next home game is set for November 5th against Oklahoma State.


KU Announces Plans for Major Football Renovations

UNDATED (AP/Forbes) – The University of Kansas has announced plans for long-awaited renovations to Memorial Stadium, the Anderson Family Football Complex and other facilities. The school has long studied ways to renovate the aging stadium, one of the oldest football venues in major college football, but support has been tepid as the Jayhawks struggled through year after year of losing seasons. But buoyed by a 5-0 start to the season, which has energized fans of the No. 19 Jayhawks, the school decided it was time to make public the behind-the-scenes discussions that have been taking place for the last several months. (Read more in Forbes.)


KPR's Fall Membership Drive Sets New Record, Raising $337,000

LAWRENCE – Kansas Public Radio listener-members came through for the public radio station during their fall membership drive, which took place from Sept. 22-30 and raised more than $337,000 – the most successful fall campaign in KPR’s 70-year history. Generous members also provided more than $53,000 in matching challenge grants in order to encourage their fellow KPR fans to contribute to the station. The station relies on private support more than ever, as the majority of funds come from individuals who contribute to the station in order to ensure it can continue broadcasting and serving the community. Of the total raised, more than half now can be attributed to KPR Sustainers, or those who give monthly on an ongoing basis. “Reflecting on the 70-year history of what is now known as Kansas Public Radio, it is clear that our public radio service is a labor of love. Like the state of Kansas motto, ‘Ad astra per aspera,’ KPR continues to reach for the stars even when faced with difficulty," said KPR Director Dan Skinner. (Read more.)


Chiefs Face Raiders on Monday Night Football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KPR) - The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Las Vegas Raiders tonight (MON) at Arrowhead on Monday Night Football. Kansas City sits alone atop a division it has won for the last six years, ranked second in points scored and fourth in total yards. Chief's head coach Andy Reid’s record against the Raiders is 16-3 since his arrival in 2013.


Arriola's Goal Sends Dallas Past Sporting KC 2-1

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Paul Arriola scored in the 65th minute to send FC Dallas to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in a regular-season finale. Dallas (15-9-11) had already qualified for the playoffs before going out and earning its 53rd point — 20 more than last season. Dallas snapped a two-game home skid against Sporting KC (11-17-7). Sebastian Lletget scored in the 33rd minute to give Dallas a 1-0 lead at halftime. Jesús Ferreira and Arriola notched assists on Lletget's first goal of the season. Graham Zusi's second goal of the season came in the 51st minute and pulled Sporting KC even. Dallas regained the lead for good on Arriola's 10th goal of the campaign.


These area headlines are curated by KPR news staffers, including J. Schafer, Laura Lorson, Kaye McIntyre, and Tom Parkinson. Our headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays, 11 am weekends. This news summary is made possible by KPR listener-members. Become one today. And follow KPR News on Twitter.

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