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Headlines for Saturday, July 24, 2021

KU Coach Self Tests Positive for COVID

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has tested positive for the coronavirus.  KU Sports reports that Self made the announcement yesterday (FRI) in a tweet, saying he began experiencing minor symptoms Thursday, is currently in isolation, and is "feeling pretty good right now."  Self said he is fully vaccinated and believes his symptoms would be much worse if not for the vaccine.  A KU spokesperson says the basketball program has a vaccination rate of 100%, meaning that all players, coaches, and staff are fully vaccinated.


FritoLay Workers Vote to End Strike

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - Union workers at FritoLay in Topeka have voted to end their strike.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that union members voted yesterday (FRI) to approve the proposal, despite leadership encouraging members not to.  The proposal gives union members a 4 percent pay raise over two years and guarantees workers at least one day off each work.  The strike began at midnight July 5th and affected more than 500 workers at the Topeka plant.


Shawnee Chief Wants Kansas Site Included in Investigation

UNDATED (AP) - The leader of an American Indian tribe wants the federal government to include a former boarding school for Native American children in Kansas in a new federal program investigating whether Indigenous children were buried in unmarked graves in the 1800s and early 1900s. Ben Barnes, chief of the Oklahoma-based Shawnee Tribe, says the tribe wants to know what happened to children at the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway. It is unclear if the Shawnee site will be included because it was run by Methodists, not by the government. But Barnes says federal agents persuaded tribes to send their children to the church-run schools, and the government now has an obligation to locate any missing remains.


Kansas to Continue Extended Federal Unemployment Benefits

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly said the state does not intend to stop paying expanded federal unemployment benefits that began in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Companies, business groups, and Republican leaders are pressuring Kelly to end the benefits, which include $300 weekly payments. They argue the extra money is stopping people from seeking work, at a time when many businesses can't find enough employees. But Kelly said Thursday the state has focused on improving child care programs and other programs that would help people return to the workforce. The federal program is scheduled to end September 6th.


Court Upholds Convictions in Torture Killing of Wichita Man

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld most convictions against a Wichita woman for torturing and killing a man in a crime that the trial judge called “horrific beyond imagination.” Heidi Hillard and her husband, Jeff, were convicted of participating in the November 2016 killing of 33-year-old Scottie Goodpaster Jr. of Wichita. She was sentenced in 2018 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years. The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Heidi Hillard’s convictions and sentences for premeditated first-degree murder, felony murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery and rape. It overturned her conviction for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance after concluding the state presented insufficient evidence to support that charge.


Teenager Injured in Crash while Fleeing Atchison Police

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a 15-year-old boy was seriously injured in a crash as he was fleeing from Atchison police. The patrol says officers began pursuing a pickup truck early yesterday (FRI) in Atchison. The report does not indicate what prompted the pursuit. The truck eventually left the road and hit a building. The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the truck. He was taken to the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas. No one else was in the pickup.


Kansas Pins Hopes on Vaccines to Stop Delta Variant

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly is pinning Kansas’ hopes of keeping the COVID-19 delta variant in check on more people getting inoculated because it is spreading rapidly among the unvaccinated. Kelly acknowledged Thursday that there’s not enough time before K-12 schools resume classes in mid-August to get all students ages 12 and older fully vaccinated. But she added that the state will focus on giving at least the first of two doses to as many as of them as possible. She called more vaccinations the only thing that’s going to stop the fast-spreading delta variant. The number of confirmed delta variant cases in Kansas has tripled this month, to more than 1,100.


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