Officials: Kansas May be Near Peak of COVID-19 Cases
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — State officials said Friday Kansas may be nearing or has already reached its peak in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, leaving the state to focus on the economic fallout of closing businesses to stem the spread. Kansas saw the number of deaths drop Friday from 112 to 111 after an investigation determined that one of the previously counted fatalities was not related to the coronavirus. Positive cases increased by 295 to 2,777, with further increases anticipated, as the state boosts its testing rate, which has been among the lowest nationwide.
Governor Says May 3 Reopening of Kansas Remains in Doubt
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly says her goal is to start reopening the Kansas economy on May 3rd but she may not be able to do it because the state is “nowhere near” having the supplies needed for adequate coronavirus testing. Kelly’s comments Thursday came after hundreds of people protested around the Statehouse against a stay-at-home order from the governor set to expire May 3rd. Kelly said a key issue in lifting restrictions is being able to test enough to identify and contain outbreaks quickly and take steps to contain them locally. Kansas has struggled to get enough supplies from the federal government and private companies.
Police Investigating Shooting Death of Wichita Man
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Wichita are investigating the shooting death of a 30-year-old man. Police say in a news release that the shooting happened Thursday evening. Arriving officers found Blake Mayers, of Wichita, on the front porch of a home with a gunshot wound to his body. Police say Mayes was taken to a hospital, where he died. Police say an initial investigation revealed a disturbance had occurred at the home involving Mayes and three other people before Mayes was shot. No arrests had been reported by midday Friday.
Democrat Bollier Outraises Republican Kobach in U.S. Senate Race
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Republicans looking to protect their majority in the U.S. Senate have been unable to match the fundraising prowess of a party-switching Democratic state lawmaker in normally reliably red Kansas. But how much it matters that state Senator Barbara Bollier raised $2.35 million during the first three months of 2020, is unclear given that the potential GOP frontrunner to replace retiring GOP Senator Pat Roberts is prominent conservative Kris Kobach. While the more than $242,000 he raised for the quarter was a little more than a tenth of Bollier’s total, Kobach is well-known as a hard-right immigration policy advocate who served as Kansas secretary of state before losing the Kansas governor’s race in 2018.
Lawrence Bike Shop Salvages Trashed Bicycles
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence bicycle repair shop is earning praise for salvaging and donating dozens of bicycles dumped by a bike-share company at a scrap yard. The Journal-World reports that Lawrence Re-Cyclery used about $2,000 in donations from the community to buy and repair bikes from a 20-foot-tall pile scrapped by Veo, the bike-share company. Re-Cyclery co-owner Kristie Shay says the shop was able to salvage and repair 15 bikes that suffered only minor damage in the dump. But she says many of the Veo bicycles were heavily damaged. The shop was able to glean parts from the heavily damaged bikes to repair a couple dozen bikes from the pile. The repaired bikes are being donated to various shelters and organizations.
NY Governor Praises Kansas Farmer Who Donated N-95 Mask
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A retired farmer in Kansas whose wife has one lung shipped one of the couple’s five N-95 masks to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for use by a doctor or a nurse. Cuomo read the entire letter at his daily briefing as an example of courage and generosity in dark times. Cuomo’s eyes misted as he brandished the mask at his daily briefing. Dennis Ruhnke said he was surprised at the public attention.
Topeka Postpones Staff Pay Cut
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka officials have announced plans to postpone a 3% pay reduction for all city staff to deal with plummeting city tax revenues in the wake of measures to slow the COVID-19 outbreak. The city said in a news release Friday that pay cuts will be reconsidered in June when actual sales tax receipts for March and April will be available. However, the city’s governing body and City Manager Brent Trout are proceeding with a 6% salary reduction. That temporary cut begins with the pay period that starts May 2nd.
COVID-19 Slows Work on NBAF, the Kansas Biosecurity Lab
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic will delay the completion of a national biosecurity lab in Manhattan. Project officials say the pandemic has slowed shipping and manufacturing of some construction materials for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. And several out-of-state workers cannot get to Manhattan because of travel restrictions across the country. The Manhattan Mercury reports the project is not subject to Governor Laura Kelly's stay-at-home order and project officials had hoped the construction would be completed by December. But the completion could be delayed by 2.5 months, although project officials say the factors in the delay are constantly changing.
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