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Headlines for Saturday, October 23, 2021

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KU, KState, Wichita State to Require Employees to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The three largest public universities in Kansas will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Officials with Kansas State, the University of Kansas and Wichita State all announced Friday that employees will need to be fully vaccinated by December 8th. The announcement came after the Board of Regents determined that an executive order from President Joe Biden applies to universities that work on federal contracts. Emporia State and Fort Hays are not subject to the mandate because they do not administer any federal contracts. Pittsburg State officials said the school was reviewing the requirements. Employees will be allowed to apply for religious or medical exemptions.  


Cerner Announces Layoff of 150 Employees

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - In another round of layoffs, Cerner is eliminating 150 jobs in the next month.  The Kansas City Star reports that CEO David Feinberg confirmed the layoffs by email after he noticed an anonymous commnet on Reddit mentioning upcoming layoffs.  A Cerner spokesperson said it's unclear how many of the impacted workers would be in the Kansas City metro area, where Cerner has its headquarters.  Feinberg has only been CEO of Cerner since October 1st, the same day Cerner announced a vaccine mandate for all its U.S. employees.  Cerner has made several rounds of job cuts over the past two years.


Overland Park Police Expand Mental Health Response for Calls

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — The Overland Park Police Department is expanding a team that responds to police calls involving mental health crises. The mental health unit will have more than a dozen members and six co-responders. The change comes after the Overland Park City Council voted in September to raise property taxes to fund the unit, and the city received a nearly $250,000 federal grant. When the mental health team responds to a call, it will be joined by a clinician from Johnson County Mental Health. Sgt. Stewart Brought said the department's goal is to let the mental health team help while officers keep everyone safe.


Man Charged in Wichita Shooting that Killed 1, Injured 6

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man is jailed on $5 million bond after being charged in a shooting at a Wichita club that left one dead and six injured. Keshawn Dawson made his first court appearance Thursday after being extradited from Arizona on Wednesday. Dawson is charged with first-degree murder, six counts of aggravated battery and criminal discharge of a weapon. He also faces drug and weapons charges in separate cases. Dawson fled after the shooting September 7th at the Enigma Club & Lounge. Police said he came back to the lounge and started shooting after being kicked out. He was arrested in Arizona on October 8th.  


Police: 14 People Found Hidden in Van in Liberal

LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — Police say a man has been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking after investigators found 14 people hidden in a van. The Liberal police department said a minivan going through the town on U.S. 54 on Thursday was stopped after an officer “suspected criminal activity.” The release said investigators found 14 people in the van. KAKE-TV reports police said some of the people were stacked on top of each other in the vehicle's trunk. Police arrested a 23-year-old man on a requested charge of human trafficking. His name was not released.


Fire Kills 77-year-old Man in Overland Park

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a fire at an Overland Park home killed a 77-year-old man who lived there. The fire was reported Thursday morning at a home east of the Oak Park Mall. The victim was identified as David L. Zabriskie. Firefighters say smoke was coming from the back of the two-story home when they arrived. They found Zabriskie on the second floor. He died later at a hospital. KMBC-TV reports the man's wife had recently died and he was frail. The cause of the fire is under investigation but no foul play is suspected. The fire was contained to a living room.


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