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Headlines for Saturday, October 30, 2021

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Kansas, Missouri, Join States Suing over Federal Vaccine Mandate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nineteen states are now suing to block President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors. One suit filed in Georgia also includes Kansas, Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia. A second suit filed in Missouri on Friday includes that state as well as Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Texas sued individually on Friday, while Florida filed a separate lawsuit Thursday. The lawsuits argue that the Biden administration overstepped its authority in requiring federal contractors to make their employees get the coronavirus vaccine. Biden has argued that sweeping vaccine mandates will help end the deadly pandemic.


Vaccine Mandates Compared to Holocaust in Kansas Hearing

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas labor leader on Friday compared President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews, and a top Republican lawmaker seemed to agree with the comparison. The comments Friday were from Kansas House health committee Chair Brenda Landwehr of Wichita, and Cornell Beard, the president of the Wichita district of the international machinists and aerospace workers union. They made their remarks as a legislative committee launched an effort to find ways for the state to fight Biden’s policies. A Kansas City-area Jewish organization called such statements “sickening," but a Republican lawmaker said critics see vaccine mandates as a life- and-death issue.


Man Sentenced for Crash that Killed Wichita Radio Host

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 44-year-old man was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for a crash that killed longtime Wichita radio host Don Hall. Ray Watkins was sentenced Friday for involuntary manslaughter. Police said Watkins ran a red light and hit Hall's car in April 2020. Evidence during Watkins' trial showed he had a blood alcohol content more than two times the legal limit at the time of the crash. Hall worked for more than 45 years in radio in Wichita. He was also the longtime arena announcer for Wichita State University basketball.


Baxter Springs Man Sentenced for Fire that Killed Neighbor, Injured Officers

COLUMBUS, Kan. (AP) — A 53-year-old Baxter Springs man who fatally burned his neighbor and injured two police officers has been sentenced to life in prison. Harvey Raymond Ortberg was sentenced Monday. He pleaded guilty in July to first-degree murder in the 2017 death of 65-year-old Sharon Horn. He also was sentenced to nine years and four months for injuring two officers. Prosecutors said Ortberg attacked Horn in her Baxter Springs home. When officers Jimmy Hamilton and Justin Butler arrived, Ortberg doused himself and the others with gasoline and set the fire. Hamilton suffered severe burns and was in a burn unit at a Springfield, Missouri, hospital for months before being released.   


Kansas Supreme Court Debates Discipling Judge who Shared Nude Photos

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is considering whether a retired judge should be disciplined for sharing nude photos online. The court heard arguments Thursday involving retired Russell County Magistrate Judge Marty Clark, who sent the photos of himself to a website for swingers. The Kansas Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded in May that Clark had violated ethical standards for judges. The commission's attorney argued Thursday that Clark should be barred from being a judge again unless he is educated on the integrity of the judicial branch. Clark's attorney argued Clark should not be disciplined for sending the photos to a private channel on his own time.


Olathe Police: Pedestrian Killed by Semitrailer

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Police in Olathe say a pedestrian has died in a crash early Friday morning on Old 56 Highway. Police say in a news release that the crash happened just after 4:30 a.m., when Olathe officers were called to the area on a report of a semitrailer hitting a pedestrian. Arriving officers found a middle-aged woman at the scene who had been hit. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not immediately release her name. Police say the truck driver remained on the scene and was not injured in the collision.  Officials closed a stretch of the eastbound lanes of Old 56 Highway while investigators reconstructed the crash.


Leavenworth County Man Sentenced for Fatal Crash

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for causing a crash earlier this year that killed a grandmother and injured her 6-month-old grandson. The Kansas City Star reports that 23-year-old Josiah Coleman of Leavenworth County was sentenced Thursday to 77 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter and methamphetamine possession. Prosecutors say Coleman was high on meth on February 21st when he drove more than 90 mph in a 40 mph zone, ran a stop sign, and crashed into a car driven by 62-year-old Donna Gay Osborne. Osborne died at the scene, and her infant grandson, who was in the car, suffered minor injuries.


Kansas Reports Fifth Child Death from COVID-19

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas health officials are reporting a fifth child has died from COVID-19 in the state. The health department said the child was in the 10 to 17 age group but no other details were provided, including when the death occurred. The health department reported Wednesday the state has recorded 5,807 new COVID-19 cases in the last week, including 1,460 children. Kansas also has seen 249 new hospitalizations, including seven children, in the last week. Another 160 deaths were recorded in the last week but that includes health officials recording death records from the past several months.


KBI, Hoisington Police Investigating Shooting Death

HOISINGTON, Kan. (AP) — Police in central Kansas are investigating the shooting death of a man in Hoisington. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that it is assisting the Hoisington Police Department in the investigation of the early Wednesday morning shooting death. Officials say police were called just after 3 a.m. Wednesday to a home by a 911 caller who reported a shooting. Arriving officers found 22-year-old Chase Anderson, of Hoisington, with a gunshot wound to his chest. Anderson was later pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say a 32-year-old acquaintance of Anderson's who was in the house at the time of the shooting was arrested on suspicion of unrelated drug possession counts. Police say no charges have yet been filed in Anderson’s death.


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