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Headlines for Saturday, October 2, 2021

Pottawatomie County Restoring Systems after Ransomware Attack

WESTMORELAND, Kan. (AP) — Pottawatomie County officials say computers systems are being restored after the county was hit by a ransomware attack. The county said in a news release Friday that hackers launched the cyberattack against several servers on September 17th County Administrator Chad Kinsley said the county resolved the attack by paying less than 10% of the hackers' original demands. He did not specify how much the county paid. County officials said additional sensors have been installed on all servers to prevent further attacks. The investigation into how hackers accessed the servers is continuing. Officials say most county offices are functional but wait times for various services may be longer than normal.


Wichita Police Investigate Fatal Shooting at Hotel

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are searching for a suspect in a shooting death at a hotel. Police say 42-year-old Michael Martinez of Wichita was fatally shot Thursday evening at a hotel in east Wichita. Investigators are looking for 31-year-old Patricio Gomez in connection to the shooting. Police said in a news release that Gomez and a female went to the hotel for a drug deal. Police say a disturbance broke out and Martinez was shot. Gomez and the female fled the scene. Their vehicle was found at a Park City hotel Friday. A SWAT team and officers surrounded the hotel but Gomez was not there.


Kansas Expands Voter Registration to State Agencies

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas residents can now register to vote at the state agencies where they receive public benefits under an agreement with civil rights groups that brings the state back into compliance with federal election law. Governor Laura Kelly said Friday that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department for Children and Families have expanded opportunities for residents wishing to register or update their voter registration. The National Voter Registration Act requires voter registration assistance for state agencies providing public assistance benefits. The governor's office says previous administrations allowed the agencies to abandon those obligations.


Kansan Killed, 4 Injured after Driver Swerved to Avoid Box

GREEN, Kan. (AP) — Police say a Kansas driver died and a woman and three children were seriously injured after the driver swerved to avoid a cardboard box in the road. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the crash happened Thursday night in Clay County, while 51-year-old Kevin Dettmer was driving a sport utility vehicle on a county road about 8 miles north of Green. Investigators say Dettmer swerved when he came upon a box in the road, lost control and hit a bridge pillar, killing him. The patrol says a 39-year-old woman and three children, ages 11, 8, and 5, suffered serious injuries. The patrol says none of the occupants of the SUV were using safety restraints.


Midwest Report: Business Confidence in Economy Plummets

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new monthly survey of business leaders in nine Midwest and Plains states shows their confidence in the economy over the next six month plummeted to its lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. The overall index for September of the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions released Friday dropped to 61.6 from August’s 68.9. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth. But the survey's business confidence index, which looks ahead six months, fell more than 16 points to 37 from August's 53.5. The monthly survey covers Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.


Autopsy: No Fatal Injuries Found in Death of Kansas Teen

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say preliminary autopsy results show that a 17-year-old youth who died after being restrained at a Kansas juvenile facility didn't suffer any injuries that would have been life-threatening. Law enforcement officials said Thursday they are awaiting a toxicology report as they investigate the circumstances surrounding his in-custody death last weekend. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter says the early results of the autopsy found only scratches and a bruise on Cedric “CJ” Lofton's body. Lofton's cause of death is undetermined. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said he expects to receive a report from investigators either next week or the following week once the toxicology results come back.


Two Kansas City Teens Charged in Double Murder

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Authorities said two juveniles have been charged in the shooting deaths of Kansas City teenagers.  Investigators say Dominik Simmons and Dominique Nelson, who were both 15 years old, were shot to death in March in south Kansas City.  Police said the suspects, who are 15 and 17 years old, have each been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of armed criminal action.  They are being held at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center.


Missouri Now Accepting Applications for Expanded Medicaid

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several thousand Missourians who previously were not eligible for Medicaid are expected to seek the health care coverage, now that voter-approved expansion of the program has taken effect.  Friday marked the day the health care program began processing applications.  Voters approved Medicaid expansion in August 2020.  The constitutional amendment passed with 53% of the vote.  Previously, Missouri's health care program did not cover most adults without children, and its income eligibility threshold for parents was one of the lowest in the nation, at about one-fifth of the poverty level.  The expansion is expected to add Medicaid eligibility for up to 275,000 low-income Missourians.

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