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Headlines for Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hundreds Protest in KC over Minneapolis Death

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KPR)  About 300 people gathered in Kansas City yesterday (FRI) to protest police brutality and the recent death of George Floyd.  The Kansas City Star reports that the protest was largely peaceful, although police used pepper spray to disperse the crowd last night after police say some of the marchers broke a window in the Westport area. A spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department said that police received reports of several  people with guns and that police had "addressed it" but did not give further specifics.  Nor injuries or arrest were reported.  The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City planned to close early Saturday and remain closed Sunday because of planned protests.  Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that rallies are planned for today (SAT) in Wichita and at the Kansas Statehouse.

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Kansas Health Official Urged Keeping COVID-19 Limits

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s top public health administrator acknowledges that he would have preferred that she not lift statewide coronavirus restrictions on businesses. State Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman also said yesterday (FRI) that local officials shouldn’t allow bars and nightclubs to reopen yet. Norman said said he advised Kelly on “public health principles” before she acted Tuesday to end statewide restrictions that would have kept bars and night clubs from reopening and would have limited mass gatherings. Health officers in each of the state’s 105 counties now decide the rules. The Democratic governor had faced weeks of criticism from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

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KCK Officials to Meet with Clergy over George Floyd's Death

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Officials in Wyandotte County say that they plan to meet with clergy early next week in the wake of a black Minnesota man's death after a white police officer knelt on his neck. Wyandotte County Sheriff Donald Ash, Interim Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Michael York and county-city Unified Government Mayor Mayor David Alvey expect to participate in Monday’s meeting. They said they want to discuss how to ensure police respect the “life and dignity” of all people. The Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck was arrested on murder charges yesterday (FRI).

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Missouri Man Charged in Leavenworth Bridge Shooting

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A 37-year-old Kansas City-area man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and eight other felonies after authorities say he randomly fired into traffic on a bridge that connects Kansas and Missouri. The charges filed yesterday (FRI) in Leavenworth County District Court against Jason Randell Westrem, of Houston City, Missouri, include four counts of firing into an occupied vehicle, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated endangerment of a child. One person was wounded in the shooting on the Centennial Bridge near Fort Leavenworth before a soldier stationed at the the Army post hit the shooter with his car to stop the firing.

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Flash Flooding in Kansas City Area Traps Drivers in Vehicles

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials in the Kansas City area say police and rescue crews responded to dozens of reports of drivers becoming trapped in their vehicles by flash flooding following heavy rains. The flooding on Thursday hit low-lying streets as the National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings across parts of Johnson, Wyandotte and Jackson counties. Cass, Clay and Platte counties were also included in the flash flood warnings. Television station KMBC says Kansas City Fire Department says it responded to 30 or 40 calls for water rescues, while Kansas City police responded to 22 calls for help in less than three hours. No injuries were reported.

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Police: Wichita Man Killed in Motorcycle-Car Crash

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 21-year-old Wichita man has died after his motorcycle collided with a car in south Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports that the crash happened Wednesday night, killing Gauge Fuqua. Investigators say Fuqua had been operating a motorcycle when a car driven by a 37-year-old woman turned in front of him and the two collided. Fuqua was pronounced dead at the scene. Officer Charley Davidson says it appeared “speed involving the motorcycle and alcohol involving the driver” of the car contributed to the crash.

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Wichita Man Accused of Kidnapping, Raping Runaway Girl

WICHITA, Kan (AP) — Police say a 26-year-old Wichita man has been charged with the kidnapping and rape of a runaway girl he lured into his car. KAKE reported that Gerardo Aguero-Hernandez was arrested Thursday on charges of rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery. Police say the victim was younger than 14. The girl told police she had run away from a foster home on May 22nd and was walking along a Wichita road when Aguero-Hernandez offered to give her a ride. Police say that instead of taking her to the place she asked to be driven, Aguero-Hernandez drove to a park and assaulted her in the car. She was later able to escape and have someone call 911.

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El Dorado Refinery Reaches Agreement over Clean Air Violations

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — The owners of an oil refining plant in El Dorado have agreed to pay a $4 million fine for violations of federal clean air regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Kansas announced the agreement with HollyFrontier on Thursday. Regulators say the plant exceeded emission limits and did not comply with chemical accident prevention and safety requirements. As part of the agreement, the company agreed to make improvements at the refinery to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, and to improve risk management practices. The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

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