Churches Halt In-Person Services as Kansas Sets COVID Record
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some churches in Kansas have suspended indoor, in-person worship services and the capital city’s zoo even has tightened its rules as the the state set another record for new coronavirus cases. The bishops of the two Episcopal Church dioceses that cover Kansas this week directed their congregations to suspend services and meetings. The United Methodist Church bishop for Kansas and Nebraska also encouraged its churches to suspend in-person services until further notice if they are in counties “identified as being in critical or dangerous statuses.” Kansas averaged a record 2,553 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases a day for the seven days ending Friday.
Judge: Former Olathe Teacher Will Face Stalking Charge
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a stalking charge will stand against a former Olathe fourth-grade teacher accused of surreptitiously photographing one of his 10-year-old students. The Kansas City Star reports that a Johnson County judge on Thursday rejected the argument of ex-teacher James Loganbill's attorney that because the girl didn't know she was being photographed, she wouldn't have been fearful of the teacher, invalidating the charge reckless stalking. Police say the girl's classmates reported seeing Loganbill secretly taking photos of her from behind in class and on the playground. Investigators say that under questioning, Loganbill admitted taking the photos because he found the girl sexually attractive.
KU Shuts Down Fraternity Following Hazing Investigation
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has announced it will shut down the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity chapter on campus at the end of the semester after an investigation found evidence of hazing and drug use. The Lawrence Journal-World reported Friday that university officials informed the chapter in a recent letter that it would be shuttered on November 25th. The letter says the earliest the fraternity could rejoin as a student organization would be in the spring of 2026. A copy of the letter released by KU to the Journal-World says that the fraternity was found responsible for harming or endangering members, hazing students as part of initiation and of having an “open culture of illegal drug use.”
KC Police Determine Man's Death was Homicide
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police in Kansas City have determined the death of a man over the weekend near Independence Plaza was a homicide. The Kansas City Star reports that officers were called to the area around East 12th Street and Cleveland Avenue around 7 p.m. Saturday and found a victim with injuries and unresponsive. The man, later identified as 39-year-old Rodolfo Ibarra, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police initially said Ibarra's cause of death was unclear, but investigators later deemed his death a homicide. Police have not released information on Ibarra's cause of death or the type of injuries he sustained. No arrests have been announced.
Police: Man Shot in KCK Park Dies, Second Man Wounded
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police say one of two people shot over the weekend in a riverside park in Kansas City, Kansas, has died. Police say the shooting happened just before 1 a.m. Sunday in Kaw Point Park. Officers who arrived on the scene found two men with gunshot wounds. The victims were taken to an area hospital. In a news release Thursday that one of the victims — 23-year-old Juan Perez — died Wednesday from his injuries. Police say the other man, whose name has not been released, remains in the hospital in serious but stable condition. No arrests have been reported in the case.
Lawrence Underground Railroad Barn Recommended for History Center
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — History buffs want to turn a Kansas limestone barn used in the Underground Railroad into a history center. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that history organizations pitched the idea to the Lawrence, Kansas City Commission this week. The barn was built in 1858 and was used to hide people escaping from slavery in Missouri. The city later used the barn as a fire station. The National Park Service officially recognized the site as part of the Underground Railroad in 2018. Now history groups are asking the city to turn it into an archival and digital research site.
Wichita Police: Arrest Made in Shooting Death
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say an arrest has been made in the shooting death of a 21-year-old man inside a Wichita home earlier this week. Television station KAKE reports that 18-year-old Leroy Gunter was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of first-degree intentional murder, aggravated assault and a weapons count in the shooting death of Christopher Bell. The shooting happened Monday afternoon at a home on the east side of the city. Bell was take by a private vehicle to a hospital, where he died. Investigators say Bell was inside the home when a disturbance broke out, and several shots were fired, hitting Bell.