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Headlines for Saturday, March 13, 2021

KU Withdraws from Big 12 Basketball Tournament

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas has withdrawn from the Big 12 Tournament after a positive COVID-19 test within the men’s basketball program. They were due to play the Longhorns in the semifinal round yesterday (FRI) when an unidentified player tested positive for the coronavirus. Kansas had gone the entire season without an outbreak that caused it to cancel or postpone a game. The Jayhawks learned earlier this week they would be without center David McCormack and backup forward Tristan Enaruna due to COVID-19 protocols.  Yesterday's withdrawal by KU came a year to the day after the Big 12 halted its 2020 tournament because of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.  That day ended up being the end of the 2020 college basketball season.

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Error Forces Lawrence Hospital to Throw out 570 Vaccine Doses

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Officials say a Kansas hospital had to throw away 570 doses of a coronavirus vaccine because of a refrigeration mistake. Lawrence Memorial Hospital said in a news release that city and county health officials transferred the doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the hospital on Wednesday. The hospital then put them in a freezer, not realizing they were thawed. Confusion arose because most doses are shipped frozen, but the health department had received this batch in a refrigerated state. The hospital reached out to Johnson & Johnson for guidance and was instructed that the doses would have to be discarded.

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500 Immigration Agency Jobs to Return to KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal immigration agency says it plans to restore 500 jobs in the Kansas City region that were cut last year. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service laid off 800 workers last year because of budget concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The agency has a National Benefits Center in Lee's Summit and Overland Park. Employees process immigration-related paperwork, including international adoptions. The agency is funded by fees on immigration applications. It blamed last year's layoff on a decline in immigration activity during the pandemic. Some of the jobs had been restored in December.

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Police: Wichita Man Shot Two Before Suicide

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say a man suspected of shooting two others — one fatally — before turning the gun on himself has been released from a hospital and booked into jail. Police say 26-year-old DeAdrian Johnson was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on Wednesday night on suspicion of first-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. Detectives say they suspect Johnson was under the influence of drugs Saturday night when 20-year-old Christopher Terrell and a 16-year-old boy were shot. Officers sent to investigate the shooting also found Johnson with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. All three were taken to hospitals, where Terrell died.

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Family Wants Topeka Officers Returned to Wrongful Death Lawsuit

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The parents of a man who was shot and killed by Topeka police are asking a judge to reinstate two officers as defendants in a lawsuit they filed over his death. Attorneys for the family of Dominique White filed a motion seeking to add a wrongful death count against officers Justin Mackey and Michael Cruse. A federal judge last September removed the two officers from the lawsuit. The officers shot White after a struggle in September 2017. Attorneys for the city said in a motion March 1 that they object to the officers being reinstated to the lawsuit.

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KDOT Worker Finds Alligator Carcass in River

WELLINGTON, Kan. (AP) — The carcass of an American alligator has been found in a south-central Kansas river, and wildlife officials say the animal was likely being kept as a pet before being released into the wild when it got too big. Kansas City television station WDAF reports that a Kansas Department of Transportation worker recently discovered the carcass in the Ninnescah River in Sumner County as he worked along the river bank. A zoologist determined the reptile, which is native to the southeastern U.S., was about 3 years old. Alligators can't survive the harsh winters of the Midwest and Plains states out in the wild.

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Kansas Grass Fire Burns through 7,000 Acres, 2 Homes

CEDAR POINT, Kan. (AP) — A fire fueled by dry grasses and strong winds burned some 7,000 acres of grassland and two homes in east-central Kansas on Wednesday. Several fire departments were called to the area in Marion and Chase counties for what was dubbed the Clover Fire. Marion County Emergency Management Director Randy Frank told station KWCH that two homes were destroyed by the fire, but fire crews were able to save several other homes. The two homes destroyed were described as abandoned, and no injuries from the fire were reported. The fire was first reported around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near Burns in southeast Marion County and was pushed east into Chase County by high winds. Officials had the fire under control by Wednesday night.

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Kansas House Speaker's Father Sworn in as New State Senator

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr.’s father is now serving in the Kansas Senate. Republican Senator Ron Ryckman Sr. of Meade took his oath of office during the Senate’s brief Senate session as family members watched, including the House speaker. The elder Ryckman also served in the House from 2011 through 2016, when he decided not to seek reelection. He and his son served together in the House for four years, starting in 2013. The younger Ryckman grew up in western Kansas but lives in Olathe. The elder Ryckman replaces the late Republican Senator Bud Estes of Dodge City, who died last month.

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