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Headlines for Monday, October 19, 2020


Kansas Approaches 73,000 COVID-19 Cases, with 872 Virus-Related Deaths

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - State health officials say Kansas has recorded nearly 73,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The Department of Health and Environment reported today (MON) that the state had 72,968 cases, including 872 deaths. That's an increase of 2,133 cases and 13 deaths since Friday. The next update will be released Wednesday.


Kansas Averages 700 New Cases a Day; County Sees Top US Jump

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is seeing an average of more than 700 new coronavirus cases a day, and a county in the northwestern part of the state had proportionally the nation’s largest increase over two weeks. The state Department of Health and Environment reported Monday that Kansas had 2,113 new confirmed and probable novel coronavirus cases since Friday to bring the pandemic total to 72,968. Kansas had an average of 729 new cases a day for the seven days ending Monday. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins, Norton County had the largest number of new cases per 100,000 residents of any U.S. county for the two weeks ending Sunday.

10 Residents Dead Amid Virus Outbreak at Kansas Nursing Home

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak has killed 10 residents in a nursing home in a northwestern Kansas county that already had proportionally the nation’s largest increase in cases over two weeks. The health department in Norton County reported Monday night that all 62 residents and an unspecified number of employees at the Andbe Home in Norton had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The nursing home's outbreak came after more than 100 cases at the state’s prison in Norton. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Norton County had the largest number of new cases per 100,000 residents of any county in the U.S. for the two weeks ending Sunday.


Police: Man Upset with Mask Mandate Threatened Wichita Mayor

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a retired firefighter who was upset with a mask ordinance in the city of Wichita has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill the mayor. The Wichita Eagle reports that police say the 59-year-old suspect could face a charge of criminal threat. Democratic Mayor Brandon Whipple said someone had read him text messages received by another city official that asked about the mayor's address and threatened his life. Whipple says the suspect talked about tyranny in the messages and was upset about the mask mandates and not being able to see his mother because of coronavirus restrictions.


Missouri Reports Record Number of Virus Cases over Weekend

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri continued to report record numbers of coronavirus cases over the weekend and the rate of positive cases remains high across the state. On Saturday, the state reported a record 2,357 new cases of COVID-19. Sunday’s increase of 1,768 cases reported on the state's online virus tracker was smaller but still substantial. The state now has 156,696 cases of the virus and 2,582 deaths since the pandemic began. The state said the positivity rate for coronavirus tests over the last seven days is 19.7%, and six counties reported rates above 50%. Governor Mike Parson has refused to require mask wearing in Missouri.


Kansas Counties Make Their Own Rules on Poll Worker Masks

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas counties are making their own rules about whether to require poll workers to wear masks as the public votes. Secretary of State Scott Schwab has not issued a mandate requiring masks for poll workers statewide, even though the state spent $1.28 million to buy personal protective equipment for every polling location. Schwab's spokeswoman says every county election office works with its local health department to determine COVID-19 protocols. That's created a patchwork of masking practices around the state. While the state's more urban counties generally require poll workers to mask up, rural counties often don't.


Topeka School Considers Racist Past of Its Namesake

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Leaders of a high school in Topeka, Kansas, are considering how the community should react to a report that the man the school is named for was a chief officer of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century. The Seaman High School newspaper reported last week that Fred Seaman, a prominent Kansas education figure, was an exalted cyclops in the KKK. Tristan Fangman and Madeline Gearhart, co-editors of The Clipper, said someone provided a newspaper clipping to their history teacher about Seaman. That prompted them to do more research and find other articles detailing his KKK activities.


Lyons Police Officer Shot, Another Man Injured in Kansas Shooting

LYONS, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a police officer and another man were injured by gunfire in Kansas. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says the Lyons police officer was shot after responding to a 911 call Friday afternoon from a man who said he had been threatened with a gun. The bureau says 36-year-old police officer Cory Ryan was shot multiple times by a man who lived there. Two bystanders who saw the shooting drove the officer to a hospital in their vehicle. Additional officers then found a 56-year-old Lyons man outside who had also been shot. Ryan was listed Saturday in critical, but stable condition.


Dodge City Man Shot by Andover Police After Brandishing a Gun

ANDOVER, Kan. (AP) — A 46-year-old Kansas man was shot and wounded by a police officer Saturday after he brandished a gun outside a convenience store. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said the 46-year-old man from Dodge City was shot Saturday afternoon outside a Kwik Shop in Andover in south-central Kansas. Authorities said the man was shot by an Andover police officer after a verbal exchange between officers and the man. The suspect fled after he was shot, but he was arrested at a nearby business after a short foot chase. The man sustained serious injuries but they are not believed to be life-threatening.


Kansas Deputy Shoots Colorado Driver of Stolen Vehicle

COLBY, Kan. (AP) — Law enforcement authorities say a Thomas County sheriff's deputy shot and wounded the driver of a stolen vehicle at a rest stop in northwest Kansas. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says the deputy was responding Friday night to a report of a stolen vehicle from the Pilot Travel Center. The deputy located the vehicle about 10 miles west of Colby.  The deputy shot 24-year-old Jackson Bayer of Colorado during the encounter. Bayer is in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.


Kansas Police Arrest Man in Connection to 2 Killed Friday

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. (AP) — Police have arrested an 18-year-old man in the Friday deaths of two men in southwestern Kansas. KSNT reports that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Independence police served an arrest warrant Sunday night at the Labette County Jail to 18-year-old James Gofourth, of Independence, who was already in the jail on a separate case. The arrest warrant accuses Gofourth of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 27-year-old Tyler Cook and 24-year-old Rodricus Dawson, and one count of attempted first-degree murder for injuring a 27-year-old Independence woman, who remains hospitalized. Officers found all three inside inside a vehicle that had crashed into an apartment building early Friday morning after someone reported gunshots in the area.


Long Lines as Missouri Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri’s first licensed marijuana dispensaries opened this weekend in the St. Louis area with long lines. Two dispensaries run by N’Bliss opened Saturday in Ellisville and Manchester. Another dispensary is expected to open today (MON) in the Kansas City area. The openings come nearly two years after Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana sales. The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services expects most of the state’s 192 approved dispensaries to be open by the end of the year. To buy the drug, people need a doctor's approval and a state medical marijuana card. Prices are expected to be high initially because of limited supply.


Feds to Execute Woman Who Killed Victim, Cut Baby from Womb

WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman convicted of fatally strangling a pregnant woman, cutting her body open and kidnapping her baby is scheduled to be the first female inmate put to death by the U.S. government in more than six decades. The Justice Department says Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed December 8 in Terre Haute, Indiana. She'd be the ninth inmate to be put to death since the federal government resumed executions in July after a nearly 20-year hiatus. Officials also scheduled the execution of Brandon Bernard for December 10. He was convicted in the 1999 killing of two youth ministers in Texas.  A co-defendant in his case was executed last month.


Amazon Plans Large Fulfillment Centers in KCK, Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Amazon is planning to build two fulfillment centers in Kansas and says the centers will create a combined 1,000 jobs — 500 in each location. The online retailer announced the expansion Friday, with new one-million-square-foot centers in Kansas City, Kansas, and in Park City, near Wichita. Both are expected to open next year. Amazon already operates more than 110 fulfillment centers across North America, and already has one in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as in the Kansas towns of Lenexa and Edgerton. Amazon also Amazon recently selected a Wichita site for another distribution center. That 140,000-square-foot delivery station opens later this year.


1-Year-Old Drowns in Private Pond in Western Missouri

SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — A 1-year-old boy has drowned in a private pond in western Missouri. The incident happened just before noon Thursday in Pettis County. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the child got out of a home and was found in pond. Life-saving efforts were unsuccessful and the child was pronounced dead at the scene. The child’s name was not released. The patrol did not provide any further details.


Missouri Woman Whose Arrest Sparked Outrage Gives Birth

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The attorney for a Black Missouri woman whose arrest when she was nine-months pregnant sparked outrage says she's given birth to a girl. Deja Stallings of Kansas City, Missouri, had an emergency cesarean section late Wednesday. Attorney Stacy Shaw told The Kansas City Star that the newborn is in the neonatal intensive care unit. The infant was born two weeks early and had an elevated heart rate. Stallings ended up on the ground with a Kansas City, Missouri, police officer’s knee in her back during the September 30 arrest that was captured on video.


"Black Lives Matter" Painting to be Removed from Parking Lot

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials plan to wash away the words "Black Lives Matter" from a Topeka parking lot because the yellow block letters were painted without permission in a decision that has angered activists. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the phrase appeared in June on the main lot in the North Topeka Arts District. Shawnee County County commissioner Bill Riphahn says the Parks and Recreation department is removing it next week, but organizers can ask to get a new, county-approved mural. Topeka resident Ariane Davis says she cried after hearing the painting was being removed and is focusing on creating a new one.


Kansas City Police Say Man Found Fatally Shot in Parking Lot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police in Kansas City say a man has been found fatally shot in a fast-food restaurant parking lot in the Hickman Mills neighborhood on the south side of the city. Police say in a news release that officers were called to a McDonald's parking lot around 11 a.m. Monday and found the victim inside a vehicle with gunshot wounds. The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police have not yet released the victim's identity and say no arrests have been made in the case. Police ask anyone with information on the shooting to contact detectives or the TIPS Hotline.


Deer Hunters May Have Hard Time Finding a Butcher this Fall

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — Deer hunters across Kansas may have trouble finding a local butcher to process their deer this fall because many of them are booked up for weeks or even months. The situation is a byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic. More ranchers turned to small and medium-sized meat processors after the virus forced many major meatpacking plants to shut down temporarily or reduce production in the spring and backlogs developed in the system. So this fall, Burkhart Meats is unable to process deer at its shop in Kinsley for the first time in 50 years. Smoky River Meats in Salina is also turning away deer hunters.


Bankers Economic Survey: Rural Areas in Midwest Feeling More Optimistic

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A majority of bankers surveyed in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states are showing more enthusiasm for the state of their local economies than they have since the coronavirus pandemic began. The Rural Mainstreet Survey’s overall index surged to 53.2 in October, up from 46.9. in September and well ahead of the 35.5 reading in March, when the index bottomed out as the outbreak began. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy. Bankers from Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota,  North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.


Buffalo Bills Welcome Back White, Brown for Game Against Chiefs

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills welcomed back starting cornerback Tre’Davious White for tonight's (MON) game against the Kansas City Chiefs. White is active after a back injury kept him out of a 42-16 loss at Tennessee on Tuesday. Starting receiver John Brown is also active after missing the Tennessee game because of a knee injury. Buffalo’s defense will be without starting linebacker Matt Milano, who will miss his second straight game with a pectoral injury. The Chiefs are minus starting receiver Sammy Watkins, who had already been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Newly signed running back Le’Veon Bell is also not active. Bell signed with the Chiefs on Thursday after being cut by the New York Jets.


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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