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Headlines for Monday, October 26, 2020


UPDATE: Kansas Reports More than 78,000 COVID-19 Cases, Including 976 Deaths

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says the state has now recorded more than 78,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.  KDHE released the latest numbers today (MON), reporting 78,676 cases of COVID-19, which includes 976 deaths.  Coronavirus cases have increased by 2,446 since last Friday, but only one new death has been recorded.  State health officials post online coronavirus data Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.


Missouri Has More Than 2,000 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri health officials reported more than 2,000 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, continuing a string of days or more than 1,000 newly confirmed cases. The health department reported 169,495 newly confirmed cases, an increase of 2,043 from Saturday. That comes after the state reported over 1,000 new cases between October 16 and October 22. On Saturday, the state reported an increase of 2,918 new cases of COVID-19 but health officials said those numbers reflected a high number of tests and case records received on Thursday and Friday. Missouri also has recorded 2,805 deaths since the pandemic began.


Two Boys Dead, 2 Girls Found Safe, Father in Jail After Leavenworth Abduction

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Authorities found two girls who were abducted from a home near Leavenworth where two boys were discovered dead Saturday. A suspect is in custody. The girls, 3-year-old Aven Jackson and 7-year-old Nora Jackson, were found near Erick, Oklahoma. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says the girl’s father, 40-year-old Donny Jackson was arrested. Leavenworth County officials say that Jackson is also a person of interest in the homicides. The Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call around 1:15 p.m. Saturday and found the homicide scene. It wasn’t clear how the boys were related to Jackson or the girls.


Winter Weather Advisory in Effect

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the entie KPR listening area.  About 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation is expected across most of eastern Kansas.


Doctors: Getting Flu Shot Will Ease Strain on Kansas Hospitals

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KNS) — Physicians say flu shots will help reduce the number of people showing up at hospitals with symptoms that can look like COVID-19.  Compared to a normal year, some clinics and hospitals say more workplaces are inviting them to give flu shots on site and more people are coming to drive-through and walk-in testing locations.  Konza Prairie Community Health Center, which serves Junction City and Manhattan, typically uses up its 400 to 600 doses over the course of several months. This year, it ran out of flu shots in October and had to order more supplies.  Salina Regional Health Center held a community event early this month and administered 300 more shots to children than last year. 


Lawrence Commission Looks for Ways to Shelter Homeless During Pandemic

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ The City of Lawrence is looking for ways to shelter more than 100 homeless people who are sleeping outside as the city's shelter operates at reduced capacity in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Commissioners could consider as soon as November 3 whether to allow schools, event centers, recreation centers and other such buildings to operate as temporary overnight homeless shelters. Currently, only churches and other religious organizations can operate temporary shelters without a permit. The commission has already approved increasing the occupancy for temporary shelters from 15 to 40. The discussions come after the Lawrence Community Shelter reduced its capacity from 125 to 40 people amid the pandemic. That has contributed to more people camping near the Kansas River and on city parkland. The shelter is working to make changes too, including adding a tiny home village on the shelter's property that will house up to 48 people when it opens in May. The shelter also is using federal relief funding to help house people in hotels and move them into permanent housing. The city is using some of the money for portable trailers that will house facilities for those staying at a temporary campsite.


HHS Deputy Secretary Discusses Vaccines in Visit to KU Medical Center

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KNS) — The deputy secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services was in Kansas City, Kansas, on Friday discussing COVID-19 vaccines. Eric Hargan held a virtual press conference from KU Hospital, where he stressed the importance of Black and Latino populations taking part in trials and getting vaccinated. When asked when a vaccine would be available, Hargan did not echo President Trump’s prediction that it would come within a few weeks.  Hargan said it’s important to make sure a possible vaccine is safe and effective and he said that it will take time to collect adequate data. KU is involved in the AstraZeneca vaccine trial, which is currently on pause due to safety concerns. A KU spokeswoman said the hospital is unsure when the trial will resume.


Kansas Democrat Raises $25 Million in Bid for U.S. Senate Seat

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democrat Barbara Bollier has raised $4.3 million this month in her campaign for Kansas’ open U.S. Senate seat. That extends her fundraising advantage over Republican Roger Marshall and boosts her state record for fundraising to nearly $25 million. Reports filed by their campaigns show Bollier has raised more than five times as much money as Marshall so far in October. Marshall’s total for October so far was about $791,000, to bring his fundraising to about $6.3 million dollars. The race is the most expensive political contest in Kansas history. The campaigns and outside groups are expected to spend more than $55 million on advertising.

Kansas Voters Will Elect Two Board of Education Members in November

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansans are electing two state Board of Education members this fall. The panel has gained attention amid the coronavirus pandemic for its decision not to mandate a delay in the start of school. Democrat Melanie Haas is running against Republican former state legislator Benjamin Hodge for an open seat representing northern Johnson County. Republican incumbent Kathy Busch and Democrat Betty Arnold are running for the board seat representing Wichita, home to the state’s largest school district.


Protesters Temporarily End Encampment in Kansas City

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Demonstrators who set up tents outside City Hall in Kansas City, Missouri, three weeks ago to demand police reform after an officer placed his knee on the back of a pregnant Black women have announced a temporary end to their encampment. The Kansas City Star reports that Black Rainbow, one of the groups that organized the occupation, announced on Instagram that they had declared a "ceasefire" after beginning talks with public officials about divesting funds from law enforcement. Ryan Sorrel, a leader with Black Rainbow, said the demonstrators will return if they don't see the changes they want.


KC Police Identify Homicide Suspect Killed in Ride-Share Vehicle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police have identified a homicide suspect who was killed by police in an exchange of gunfire. The Missouri State highway Patrol says 26-year-old Ennice Ross Jr. was killed Friday after officers stopped the ride-share vehicle in which he was riding.  A police spokesman said the other occupants exited the vehicle and Ross pointed a handgun at himself before shooting at officers. The officers then returned fire, striking Ross, who was pronounced dead at a hospital. No officers were hurt. A Police spokesman said officers were stopping the vehicle while investigating the killing of Shermaine Taylor, who was pronounced dead Wednesday in an alley.


KC Police: Body Identified as Missing Social Worker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposing body found in July has been identified as a missing Kansas City social worker. Police spokesman Sergeant Jake Becchina says that an FBI lab had confirmed that the remains are those of 39-year-old Marina Bischoff. She was last seen leaving a Kansas City police station in May. Police said Bischoff had been arrested the night before on suspicion of driving while impaired and leaving the scene of a crash. No foul play is suspected, but the final cause of death has yet to be determined. Bischoff's body was found in a creek by a 10-year-old boy in July.


Man Killed in Shooting at Wichita After-Hours Night Club

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita police are investigating a fatal shooting at an after-hours club. Police say 41-year-old Costella Reed of Wichita died after being shot early Saturday at the Apple Lounge in north Wichita. Police say he was inside the club when a disturbance broke out. One shot was fired and Reed was hit. Police say it was not a random shooting. The suspect has not been arrested and the investigation is continuing.


Police Fatally Shoot Arkansas Man in Southeast Kansas

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says law enforcement officers shot and killed an Arkansas man who they say shot at officers during a chase. The KBI says 32-year-old Wesley Jordan, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, died in the shooting Friday in southeast Kansas. The chase began after a victim reported being robbed in Coffeyville. The KBI says a passenger in the minivan fired at officers during a chase involving the Kansas Highway Patrol and Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies. A patrol officer shot Jordan when he eventually got out of the van. The driver of the minivan, a 26-year-old Coffeyville woman, was arrested on charged related to the robbery.


Kansas Man Dies as Truck Collides with Train Near Udall

UDALL, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Highway Patrol says a 60-year-old Wichita man died when his truck was struck by a train near Udall. The patrol says Mike Saengsavath died in the collision Saturday. The patrol says Saengsavath failed to yield at a railroad crossing before his truck was struck by the oncoming train. A passenger in the pickup, 55-year old Chomchanh Khaikham, also of Wichita, was seriously injured. He was taken to a Wichita hospital. The operators of the train were not injured.


Missouri Highway Patrol Officers Shoot, Kill Man They Say Had a Knife

GARDEN CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri State Highway Patrol says troopers shot and killed a man who they say threatened troopers with a knife. The shooting occurred late Saturday in Garden City, about 48 miles south of Kansas City. The Cass County Sheriff's office asked the patrol for assistance during a disturbance. The patrol says the man, 35-year-old Richard Jones of Garden City, ignored repeated orders to drop the knife and then charged toward one of the troopers in a threatening manner. Several troopers fired at Jones, who died at the scene. No law enforcement officers were injured.


K-State Study: Rising Temps Will Affect Kansas Corn and Soybean Farmers

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A recent Kansas State University study has found that growing corn and soybeans will become increasingly challenging for Kansas farmers as the climate warms. The Wichita Eagle reports that the study found that drought and heat are currently the biggest reason for crop yield losses and expect that these losses will become more common because of climate change. The study found that if temperatures rise another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, risks to crop yields will increase by 32% for corn and 11% for soybeans.


Popular Lion Dies at Topeka Zoo

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An ailing 16-year-old African lion named Avus has died at the Topeka Zoo. The zoo announced in a Facebook post that lion handlers had been able to manage the animal’s age-related issues until staff noticed a “significant decline in his well-being.” The staff tried a new medication and decided to euthanize him after his condition failed to improve. The post described Avus as a favorite to staff and guests alike. The zoo says the lifespan of lions in the wild ranges from 12-15 years of age.


Kansas City Chiefs Defeat Broncos in Denver

DENVER, Colo. (KPR) — For the tenth straight time, the Kansas City Chiefs have beaten Denver Broncos. The score Sunday in Denver was 43-16. With a season-high four interceptions, two on forced fumbles and two on passes by former University of Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, the Chiefs defense stood out. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, with a touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill, extended his streak of 17 straight games with a TD pass thrown. The Chiefs, now 6-1, return home Sunday to play 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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