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Headlines for Saturday, October 24, 2020

Bollier Opposes Expanding Court in Senate Debate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democrat Barbara Bollier says she wouldn’t support adding additional justices to the U.S. Supreme Court or vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes on high-income earners if she’s elected to Kansas’ open U.S. Senate seat. Bollier made the comments during a televised debate Thursday evening with Republican nominee Roger Marshall as he described her as too extreme for their GOP-leaning state. Liberals want to add additional justices to the U.S. Supreme Court because conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s likely confirmation would give conservatives a 6-3 majority. Bollier said she has “no interest” in adding justices. Marshall countered that many Democrats favor the idea.

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Kansas Sees Record 7-Day Spikes in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has set new records for its largest seven-day increases in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The state has averaged more than 700 new cases a day this month. The figure was a record 768 for the seven days ending Friday, beating the previous high mark of 757 for the seven days ending Wednesday. The state now has reported 76,230 cases for the pandemic, up 1,774 since Wednesday. Kansas also reported 23 additional deaths, to bring the total to 975, with an average of 16.57 a day over the seven days ending Friday. Also, the state averaged 31 new hospitalizations a day for the seven days ending Friday.

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KC Police Fatally Shoot Homicide Suspect in Ride-Share Vehicle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say Kansas City police officers shot and killed a homicide suspect in a ride-share vehicle yesterday (FRI) during an exchange of gunfire. Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Bill Lowe say officers stopped the vehicle in which the man was riding around 12:30 p.m. Friday in an area near the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He noted that other occupants followed orders to exit the vehicle, but the suspect refused to get out. Lowe says the preliminary investigation found that the man pointed a handgun at himself before shooting at officers. The officers then returned fire, striking the man. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. No officers were hurt. The patrol, which is investigating the shooting, did not immediately release the man’s name. Police said officers were stopping the vehicle while investigating the killing of Shermaine  Taylor, who was pronounced dead Wednesday in an alley.

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KC Police: Body Identified as Missing Social Worker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposing body found in July has been identified as a missing Kansas City social worker. Police spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina said yesterday (FRI) that an FBI lab had confirmed that the remains are those of 39-year-old Marina Bischoff. She was last seen leaving a Kansas City police station in May. Police said Bischoff had been arrested the night before on suspicion of driving while impaired and leaving the scene of a crash. No foul play is suspected, but the final cause of death has yet to be determined. Bischoff's body was found in a creek by a 10-year-old boy in July.

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Hospitalization Data Flawed in Missouri, Other States

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — With the number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization rising at alarming levels, Missouri and perhaps a handful of other states are unable to post accurate data on COVID-19 dashboards because of a flaw in the federal reporting system. Missouri's health department says the number of hospitalized patients has been underreported since October 17th. The note blames the the crash of the portal used by theU.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It isn't clear how many states are impacted since some states rely on their own counts, not HHS data. But the COVID Tracking Project, says it identified a few other states "with anomalies in their hospitalization figures."

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Popular Lion Dies at Topeka Zoo

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An ailing 16-year-old African lion named Avus has died at the Topeka Zoo. The zoo said yesterday (FRI) in a Facebook post that the zoo had been able to manage the lion’s age-related issues until staff noticed a “significant decline in his well-being” this week. The staff tried a new medication and decided to euthanize him after his condition failed to improve. The post described Avus as “an easy favorite to staff and guests alike.” The zoo says the lifespan of lions in the wild ranges from 12-15 years of age.

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3.2-magnitude Earthquake Rattles Area on Kansas-Oklahoma Line

PONCA CITY, Okla. (AP) — A magnitude 3.2 earthquake shook an area on the Kansas-Oklahoma line Thursday night. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the tremor struck at 8:17 p.m. and was centered in a remote area 22 miles northwest of Ponca City, Oklahoma, at a depth of almost 5 miles. A Kay County, Oklahoma, sheriff's dispatcher said there were no reports of damage. Thousands of earthquakes have been recorded in Oklahoma in recent years, with many linked to the underground injection of wastewater from oil and gas production. Regulators have directed producers to close some injection wells.

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Police: Body of Wichita Homicide Victim Found in Motel Room

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the killing of a 33-year-old woman whose body was found inside a Wichita motel room. The Wichita Eagle reports that an employee of the Budget Motel found Stephanie Duran of Wichita dead shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday and called authorities. Police say Duran had injuries on her body, but they didn’t disclose specifics about them or say how she died. Police said Friday in an email that authorities are working to determine what happened.

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Wichita Police Officer Arrested, Accused of Stalking

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita police officer has been arrested and faces a misdemeanor charge of stalking a woman he knew. The police department says in a news release that Officer Ryan Jones was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail Tuesday evening following an investigation. Police say department officials requested that the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office investigate after learning of accusations that Jones might be stalking the woman. The Wichita Police Department says Jones has worked at the department for four years and has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of criminal and internal investigations.
 
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Fourth Person Arrested in Wichita Homicide

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a fourth person has been arrested in a July drug killing in Wichita. Jail records show the man is being held on suspicion of first-degree felony murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery and criminal possession of a firearm in the death of 47-year-old Roy Hayden of Wichita, whose body was found inside a vehicle. The Wichita Eagle reports that police said he was taken into custody around 12:40 p.m. Thursday. He also also was booked on suspicion of aggravated robbery and robbery in a separate investigation. Police say the case is being presented to prosecutors and that no outstanding suspects remain.

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