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Headlines for Saturday, July 25, 2020

Kansas Senate Race Ads Approach $14 Million, Mostly from PACs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ open Senate race has generated close to $14 million worth of ads. Two-thirds of the spending is coming from political action committees as establishment Republicans fight to keep hard-right conservative Kris Kobach from winning the GOP nomination. The Senate Leadership Fund aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell launched television and radio spots this week praising western Kansas Rep Roger Marshall. The American Bankers Association’s PAC also began running a pro-Marshall television ad. The media tracking firm Advertising Analytics says Political committees are spending more than $9.3 million so far on ads. That compares to the candidates’ $4.6 million, the firm said.


Worst 7-day Spike in Kansas COVID-19 Deaths Since June 1st

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has reported its worst week-long spike in COVID-19-related deaths since June 1st as the number of reported cases rose past 25,000. The state Department of Health and Environment said Friday that Kansas has had 326 death since the pandemic reached the state in early March. That's up 18 or 5.8% since Wednesday. The state has reported an additional 27 deaths over the previous seven days for an average of 3.86 a day. The last time the seven-day average was that high was June 1st, when it was 4.14. Kansas also had 1,005 new reported coronavirus cases since Wednesday to bring the total to 25,109.


Trump Honors Former Track Star, Kansas Congressman Ryun

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has presented one of the nation’s highest civilian honors to Jim Ryun, a former Republican congressman and the first U.S. high schooler to run a mile in under 4 minutes. Ryun was the 1968 Olympic silver medalist in the 1,500-meter run and a three-time Olympian. Trump presented Ryun with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony Friday at the White House. In announcing the award, the White House described Ryun as one of the most accomplished American runners in history. Ryun was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1966, the year he smashed the world record in the mile at 3:51.3.


LaTurner Campaign Raises More than Watkins in Kansas Race

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Campaign finance records show that freshman Representative Steve Watkins had less campaign cash than his main Republican rival as the GOP primary race entered its final 20 days. State Treasurer Jake LaTurner had about $379,000 in campaign cash on July 15th, compared to Watkins’ $256,000. LaTurner raised nearly $173,000 in contributions from April 1 through Wednesday, including more than $10,000 after July 15th. Watkins received $141,000 in contributions after April 1st, including $1,050 on Tuesday. The race has been shadowed by felony election fraud charges filed against Watkins in Shawnee County District Court. The congressman has called those charges “bogus.”


Suspect in Wellington Homicide Turns Himself In

WELLINGTON, Kan. (AP) — Police say the suspect in a shooting death  in Wellington turned himself into authorities. 21-year-old Walter Edward Taylor III, of Wellington, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder. Wellington police chief Tracy Heath says Taylor is a suspect in the death of 34-year-old Travis Schneider, also of Wellington. Heath says Taylor was a passenger in a car driving next to a truck driven by Schneider Wednesday in Wellington. The two men got into an argument and Taylor fired one shot, which hit Schneider, who died at the scene. Taylor was arrested after he turned himself in. Heath says he's not sure what the men were arguing about.


Topeka Woman Arrested after Alleged Child Abduction Attempt

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 40-year-old Topeka woman is jailed after allegedly trying to abduct a child. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Shelby D. Parker was arrested Thursday after a nearly four-hour standoff. Police were called at 12:15 p.m. to a report that a woman entered a home and stole something, then tried to kidnap a child. Police Sgt. Ron Ekis says the child’s mother was able to thwart the abduction. Police say the woman then barricaded herself inside another home. She surrendered shortly after 4 p.m. The woman is jailed but it wasn’t immediately clear if she has been charged.


Questions but No Masks in Only Two Kansas Counties with No COVID Cases

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Rawlins and Wallace counties in western Kansas are the only two of the state's 105 counties that haven't had a reported coronavirus case. Some businesses there aren't requiring customers to wear face masks, but a few are asking customers to tell them whether they have traveled outside the county. Business owners say they agree with local officials' decisions to opt out of an order from Governor Laura Kelly requiring people to wear masks in public. But the two counties are among the 10 counties with the lowest testing rates in the state and a Rawlins County hospital spokeswoman says it's possible someone already has the coronavirus.


Second Stolen Alligator Recovered in Manhattan

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The second of two alligators stolen from a Manhattan store in June has been recaptured. The 5-foot alligator was captured Thursday after it was seen sunbathing near Wildcat Creek. The owners of Manhattan Reptile World reported the two alligators were stolen in early June. One was spotted in Wildcat Creek days later but it ultimately drowned in a trap. The second alligator, named Beauregard, was captured Thursday when a member of a construction crew, Hunter Cragg, waded into the creek and grabbed it, after efforts to catch it with bait were unsuccessful. Officials don’t know who took the alligators or how they ended up in the creek.


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