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Headlines for Saturday, January 23, 2021

Kansas House Passes Anti-abortion Measure on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans have pushed a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution through the state House on the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision protecting abortion rights. The measure was approved yesterday (FRI) on an 86-38 vote, and abortion opponents had two votes more than the two-thirds majority necessary for passage. It goes next to the Senate for debate, possibly next week. The proposal would overturn a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court decision declaring access to abortion a “fundamental” right under the state’s Bill of Rights. The debate came on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Mahomes Cleared to Play in AFC Championship

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been okayed to play in tomorrow's (SUN) AFC championship game.  He was cleared yesterday (FRI) from the league's concussion protocol after Mahomes' third consecutive day of practice and released him to play against the Buffalo Bills.  Mahomes was injured in the third quarter of last weekend's Chiefs' divisional-round win over the Cleveland Browns. "This week has been a bunch of testing, a bunch of different things to make sure I'm good to go and there's no lingering effect and things like that," said Mahomes.  "Everything has been good."


Kansas House Panel to Warn New Member over Past Behavior

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A newly elected Kansas lawmaker accused of threatening two state officials and abusive behavior toward girls and young women before taking his seat will get a public warning about his past conduct. A House committee's decision yesterday (FRI) to send a public letter of warning to state Representative Aaron Coleman of Kansas City, Kansas, means he won't face possible removal from office. The committee said its letter will outline expectations for Coleman's future behavior. He promised to abide by what it spells out. Coleman denied an allegation that he threatened the House's top Democrat this summer but said a post-November election tweet about Governor Laura Kelly was inappropriate.


Demand Surges as Kansas Opens Up Vaccine to Second Group

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is seeing demand for the coronavirus vaccine surge as it moves beyond vaccinating health care workers and long-term care residents. The state is leaving it up to county health departments to determine how to distribute the vaccine to those in the second phase. The Kansas Association of Local Health Departments conducted a survey that found nearly three-quarters of health departments planned to tier residents in the second phase, with the remainder leaving everyone on equal footing. Many health officials noted in a comment section that they planned to focus on residents that were 65 and older. But others were prioritizing teachers, law enforcement officers and essential workers.


GOP Senators Reject Kansas Appeals Court Nominee Second Time

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans in the Kansas Senate have rejected Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s nomination of a public defender to the state’s second-highest court for the second time in eight months. The vote Thursday against Carl Folsom III came even though he had support from the state’s top federal prosecutor and dozens of other attorneys. The vote was 18-17, but Folsom needed 21 votes in the 40-member Senate to join the Kansas Court of Appeals. The Senate rejected him in June for a different Court of Appeals vacancy. Democrats said he is well-qualified for the court, but Republicans said his experience isn't broad enough and suggested that he would be an activist judge.


Sedgwick County Will Not Fight Firing of Election Official

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County commissioners have decided to not fight the firing of Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman after Secretary of State Scott Schwab promised the county a role in choosing her successor. Lehman lost her job for violating a policy by remotely accessing the state’s voter registration database when working from home while fighting cancer during the coronavirus pandemic. The Wichita Eagle reports commissioners complimented Lehman for conducting a nearly flawless election, but opted not to propose legislation to scale back Schwab’s authority to pick the top election official in the state’s four most populous counties.


Black Rhinoceros Born in Garden City Zoo

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A rare black rhinoceros has been born in captivity at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City. The zoo says in a news release that the male rhino was born Wednesday to 10-year-old Johari and her 7-year-old mate Jabari. The pair were moved from zoos in Cleveland and Atlanta in 2016 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Eastern Black Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan. A news release from the zoo says mother and baby will be kept indoors for bonding and until weather conditions are appropriate for them to venture outside. Eastern black rhinos are native to eastern Africa and are listed as critically endangered.


Wichita Man Arrested in Stabbing Death of Wife

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say 43-year-old Wichita woman has been stabbed to death and her husband is in jail. The Wichita Eagle reports that police responding to a call made by Rebecca Nimmo’s husband early Thursday morning found that Nimmo had been stabbed in the chest and was unresponsive. She died at the scene. Police said during a news conference Friday that her 47-year-old husband, Shawn Allen Nimmo, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder.


Topeka Man Sentenced to Prison in Assault Rifle Case

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A man who officers believed was intending to fire a semi-automatic assault rifle around closing time in a popular Lawrence bar district has been sentenced to 16 months in prison. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the judge told 19-year-old Dayson G. Kelley of Topeka during his sentencing Thursday that he or police officers could have lost their lives. Kelley was arrested in February after two Lawrence police officers saw him take a rifle out of the trunk of a vehicle in a parking lot. Police believed he intended to fire it. He pleaded no contest in December to two counts of attempted aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer.


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