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Headlines for Saturday, October 17, 2020

Wichita Man Arrested in Plot to Kidnap, Kill Mayor

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) - Police in Wichita say they arrested a man who threatened to kidnap and kill the city's mayor because of a local mask mandate.  Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple told the Wichita Eagle that another city official received a series of texts from a man making threats against Whipple's life.  59-year-old Meredith Dowty was allegedly angry about the city's mask mandate.  Wichita Police are continuing their investigation and say the man could face a charge of criminal threat.  In response to the threat, Whipple tweeted a message of unity, saying the city is stronger together, even when times are at their toughest.  This is at least the second incident where an elected official was threatened after supporting coronavirus restrictions.  Several man in Michigan were arrested last week for plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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Police Officer Shot, Another Man Injured in Kansas Shooting

Authorities say a police officer and another man were injured by gunfire in Kansas. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says the Lyons police officer was shot after responding to a 911 call Friday afternoon from a man who said he had been threatened with a gun. The bureau says the officer when to a residence and was shot by a man who lived there. Two bystanders who saw the shooting drove the officer to a hospital in their vehicle. Additional officers then found a 56-year-old Lyons man outside who had also been shot.

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KC Hospitals "Bursting at Seams" amid COVID-19 Surge

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Kansas City hospitals were forced to turn away ambulances this week amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.  Officials at St. Luke's Health System say eight hospitals in Kansas and Missouri reported such high volumes of patients Wednesday night that they temporarily stopped accepting ambulances.  Two of those hospitals were part of the St. Luke's system and the others were not identified.  Dr. Marc Larsen of St. Luke's told the Kansas City Star that hospitals in the city's metropolitan area are "bursting at the seams."

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Amazon Plans Centers in KCK, Wichita Area

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Amazon is planning to build two fulfillment centers in Kansas and says the centers will create a combined 1,000 jobs — 500 in each location. The online retailer announced the expansion Friday, with new one-million-square-foot centers in Kansas City, Kansas, and in Park City, near Wichita. Both are expected to open next year. Amazon already operates more than 110 fulfillment centers across North America, and already has one in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as in the Kansas towns of Lenexa and Edgerton. Amazon also Amazon recently selected a Wichita site for another distribution center. That 140,000-square-foot delivery station opens later this year.

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Black Lives Matter' Painting to be Removed from Parking Lot

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials plan to wash away the words “Black Lives Matter” from a Topeka parking lot because the yellow block letters were painted without permission in a decision that has angered activists. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the phrase appeared in June on the main lot in the North Topeka Arts District. Shawnee County County commissioner Bill Riphahn says the Parks and Recreation department is removing it next week, but organizers can ask to get a new, county-approved mural. Topeka resident Ariane Davis says she cried after hearing the painting was being removed and is focusing on creating a new one.

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Democratic Kansas Senate Candidate Outraises GOP Pick

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Democratic Senate candidate in Kansas is massively out-fundraising the Republican hopeful in an unexpectedly tough race in the conservative state. Campaign finance reports filed Thursday show Republican Roger Marshall raised close to $2.7 million from mid-July through September. Democrat Barbara Bollier brought in roughly five times that amount in the same time frame. Her recent haul was nearly $12.5 million. Bollier is a Kansas City-area state senator who was a lifelong Republican before she switched parties at the end of 2018. Marshall is a two-term congressman for central and western Kansas.

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Former Kansas Teacher Charged in Second Child Sex Crime Case

MCLOUTH, Kan. (AP) — A former northeast Kansas high school science teacher has been charged in a second child sex crime case. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that after the initial case was filed in May, Anthony Kuckelman was charged in a second case involving a different student with electronic solicitation of a minor, attempted unlawful sexual relations and promoting obscenity to minors. The student from the first case also has filed a civil case that was moved this week from state to federal court. The suit alleges that Kuckelman began sexually assaulting her when she was in his science class at McLouth High School.

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