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Headlines for Saturday, December 19, 2020

Governor 'Okay' with Smaller Second Round of Vaccines; Kansas Economy Slumps

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly is expressing little concern over a smaller-than-expected second shipment of a coronavirus vaccine for Kansas. The governor added Friday that she expects the state’s plan for distributing shots in coming months to boost an economy that has slowed recently. Kelly said the reduction in the state’s second shipment of a vaccine made by Pfizer is “more of a smoothing process” by the federal government to make sure health care workers who received the first of two doses this week can get the second in January. Optimism about the vaccine comes amid bad economic news for the state. Claims for unemployment benefits have jumped in recent weeks.

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Spokeswoman: Governor Kelly to Seek Second Term in 2022

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A spokeswoman says Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is running for reelection in 2022. Spokeswoman Lauren Fitzgerald confirmed the Democratic governor’s plans four days after Kelly announced that Commerce Secretary David Toland also would serve as the state’s next lieutenant governor. Toland was the treasurer for Kelly’s 2018 campaign for governor and is highly regarded by some business leaders. Naming Toland lieutenant governor could position him for a future run for governor and prompted speculation that Kelly might not run again. In an emailed statement to The Associated Press, Fitzgerald said Kelly is focused on the coronavirus pandemic and the state's economic recovery, but "of course she is running for reelection.”

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Attorney Alleges Man was Deliberately Run Over, Officers Engage in Cover Up

An attorney representing a Black man who was run over by a sheriff’s patrol truck as he ran across a field says law enforcement authorities have engaged in a cover-up that began as soon as emergency medical personnel arrived. Lionel Womack alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday that Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez intentionally drove over him during the August 15th incident that was captured on dashcam video. His attorney Friday released a copy of the report from emergency medical responders which show the undersheriff at the time denied to a paramedic that Womack had been run over.  

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Kansas Tops 200,000 COVID-19 Cases

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS/KPR) - Kansas has reached another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic.  The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state has now topped more than 200,000.  New figures released yesterday (FRI) by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment show that more than 58,000 new cases were confirmed since Wednesday and 88 more deaths.  Meanwhile, Kansas City has reached its own milestone.  the Kansas City Star reports that 1,000 ore coronavirus cases were confirmed in the metro area this week, bringing the total number over 100,000.  The Star also reports 80 more COVID-19 deaths in the Kansas City area this week.

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Investigators: Emails to Dodge City Mayor weren't Threats

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Investigators have concluded that angry emails about mask requirements that prompted a Kansas mayor to resign did not directly threaten her safety. Dodge City Mayor Joyce Warshaw resigned Tuesday. City police, the city attorney and the Ford County prosecutor reviewed three emails sent to Warshaw. The Dodge City Daily Globe says the emails were written by a man in Kentucky who was upset the city didn't implement a mask requirement sooner. The mandate was imposed November 16th. Warshaw said Thursday that she is relieved with the finding, but that she has received verbal and other communications that she finds concerning.

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Manhattan Man Arrested in Toddler's Death

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A 21-year-old Manhattan man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old child. The Riley County police say Gage Anderson was arrested Thursday. He was also charged with child abuse. Officers went to Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan Thursday after receiving a report of a severely injured child. The child died later that day. The police department says Anderson and the child lived together. Anderson is being held at the Riley County Jail on a $500,000 bond. No further details were released. The lawsuit says Womack sustained serious injuries to his back, pelvis and thigh as well as to his right knee, ankle and foot. Rodriguez remains on patrol and Kiowa County Sheriff Chris Tedder has not responded to Associated Press requests for comment.

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