Governor Kelly Seeks Nonpartisan Panel after Gerrymandering Talk
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is calling for the creation of nonpartisan commission to handle redrawing state legislative and congressional districts after a video surfaced of a top Republican lawmaker discussing how gerrymandering can help oust the state’s sole Democratic member of Congress. Senate President Susan Wagle can be seen in the video talking to a conservative Wichita group in September that it's crucial Republicans have the votes to override an anticipated Kelly veto of a GOP-drawn congressional map. It's part of an attempt to unseat U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, who represents the 3rd congressional district in the Kansas City area.
Top Health Official: Kansas 'Losing the Battle' on COVID-19
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ top public health official has warned the state is “losing the battle” against the coronavirus as it reports another record increase in new cases. The state health department on Friday reported 1,855 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases since Wednesday to bring the total for the pandemic to 65,807. The state also reported another 40 COVID-19-related deaths, increasing the total to 763. Kansas saw an average of 671 new cases a day for the seven days ending Friday, breaking the state’s previous record of 667 for the seven days ending September 28th. Health department head Dr. Lee Norman said Kansas is doing worse than other states.
Wichita State Investigating Basketball Coach
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State University is conducting an internal investigation into allegations that men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall mistreated players. Stadium, a multiplatform sports network, says the inquiry began after the university learned it was conducting an investigation in which it interviewed 36 players and former coaches. Wichita State said in a statement Friday that it “acknowledges the allegations within its Men’s Basketball program brought forth by media” and that the investigation was being handled in an “expeditious and deliberate manner.” Marshall wrote in a text message Thursday to The Athletic, a subscription-based sports website, that he was fully participating in the process.
Remains in Crawford County Identified; Homicide Suspected
PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified remains found in rural Crawford County as a man who was reported missing on July 1st. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Crawford County Sheriff's office says the remains were those of 19-year-old Joseph Ruttgen. A family member reported him missing to Erie police. He was last seen in Parsons. The remains were found August 10th in western Crawford County. DNA was used to identify the body. Authorities say Ruttgen's death is being investigated as a homicide but did not provide further details.
Construction Begins on Disputed Wyandotte Tribal Casino
PARK CITY, Kan. (AP) — After years of legal battles, construction has begun on a tribal casino near Wichita. The Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma opened a small casino in a trailer on Wednesday in Park City, on land where it plans to build a larger casino. For now, the tribe can offer only gaming devices like electronic Bingo games. The state has asked a federal court to set aside a decision that allows the Wyandotte Nation to operate a casino in Park City. The state's lawsuit continues a decades-long dispute over the tribe’s legal authority to build a casino on the land.
Lawrence Man Charged after 6-year-old Boy Shot at Friend's Home
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence man has been charged after a 6-year-old boy was shot at a friend's home. Rashun Lewis was charged with aggravated endangering a child, which alleges he allowed the child to be placed in a situation where his life or health was endangered. The boy, Tayshawn Mack Harris, was flown to a Kansas City hospital in critical condition on August 5th after being shot at a friend's home. Lawrence police have not disclosed circumstances of the shooting except to say they do not suspect foul play. Lewis has been issued a summons and his first court appearance is scheduled for November 5th.
Topeka Man Arrested in 2019 Fatal Shooting of Teen
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a man has been arrested in the shooting death of a teen in his Topeka home last year. The Capital-Journal reports that 23-year-old Darnell Tyree-Peppers, of Topeka, was arrested Thursday. Police say Tyree-Peppers is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated robbery in the November 12th shooting death of 15-year-old Owen Hughes. Also killed in the shooting was 21-year-old Reginald McKinney Jr. Prosecutors have said Hughes died after McKinney and others forced their way into Hughes’ home, where McKinney and others fired guns and Hughes returned fire. Also charged in Hughes’ death is Larry Huggins III, 23, who is set to appear at an October 27th pretrial hearing.
Man Charged in Fatal KCK Stabbing
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a man in the fatal stabbing of another man last weekend in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as for a police chase the suspect is accused of instigating. The Kansas City Star reports that 40-year-old Gerald Chatman, of Kansas City, Kansas, has been charged in Wyandotte County District Court with second-degree murder and fleeing law enforcement charges. He is accused of fatally stabbing 45-year-old Thompson Stephenson on Saturday before fleeing. Officers called to the scene found Stephenson in the grass suffering from stab wounds. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. Police say Chatman fled the scene and was arrested after a car chase that involved the Kansas Highway Patrol.