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Headlines for Saturday, October 9, 2021

Wichita Boil Advisory Lifted

WICHITA, Kan. (KPR/AP) — A boil order for Wichita has been lifted, about 36 hours after a large water main break.  The city issued the boil order on Thursday, closing Wichita-area schools and prompting residents to make a run on bottled water.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the boil order was lifted for Wichita proper early Saturday after all water samples came back free of bacterial contamination, but several surrounding communities remain under an advisory.  The boil advisory affected Wichita's nearly 400,000 residents and some surrou ding communities.  Mayor Brandon Whipple asked residents not to hoard bottled water, but many area stores shelves were wiped out of water by later Thursday.

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Overland Park High School Choir Director Charged in Child Sex Case

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors in northeastern Kansas say a high school choir director in Overland Park has been charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and two counts of breach of privacy. The Johnson County District Attorney's Office says it charged 45-year-old Joseph Martin Heidesch on Thursday following his arrest Wednesday morning. Investigators say the Saint Thomas Aquinas High School choir director was found with images of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Officials also say he used a hidden camera to secretly record two victims as they were undressing. Investigators say the incidents happened between 2019 through September of this year. The school says Heidesch has been placed on administrative leave.

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Johnson County GOP Chair Resigned after Sexual Harassment Accusation

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Republican Party chair for the most populous county in Kansas has resigned following disclosure of an accusation that he forcibly kissed another local GOP leader at an anti-abortion group’s fundraiser this summer. The Kansas City Star reported that Fabian Shepard’s decision to step down as the GOP’s Johnson County chair was confirmed Thursday by the county party’s vice chair and the Kansas Republican Party’s executive director. Wyandotte County GOP Vice Chair Stephanie Cashion said earlier this week that she filed a battery complaint with Bonner Springs police accusing Shepard of kissing twice her without her permission at an August 20th Kansans for Life event. He has denied the allegation.

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Masks Touted as Kansas Reports on School COVID Outbreaks

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Health officials are frustrated that many school boards remain reluctant to adopt mask mandates, even though most COVID-19 outbreaks in Kansas schools are occurring in districts without such requirements. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Wednesday that Kansas has 68 active school clusters, down from 79 a week ago. Those clusters are connected to 596 cases, one hospitalization and one death. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that of those active outbreaks, only 29% were in districts that reported having a mask requirement. Only about 20% of school districts report requiring masks for most or all of their students. Those districts educate about 63% of the state’s student population.

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Hearing in KC Strickland Triple Murder Case Set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man who is seeking to be exonerated in a triple murder committed more than 40 years ago could get his chance to make his case to a judge in about a month. KSHB-TV reports that Retired Missouri Court of Appeals Judge James Welsh set the evidentiary hearing for Kevin Strickland for November 8th after a hearing Friday in Jackson County Court. Both sides in the case have argued over discovery issues. A conference will be held before the November 8th hearing to be certain both sides have what they need for the hearing.

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