Kansas, Oklahoma Continue Uptick in Abortions Following Texas Law
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Abortion clinics in Kansas and Oklahoma say they're still seeing a high volume of patients from Texas as a new state law there banning most abortions remains in effect. The Biden administration this week sued Texas over the law, arguing it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution." The Justice Department is asking a judge to quickly declare the law invalid, although it is unknown how quickly a court might rule. In the meantime, the Trust Women abortion clinics in Kansas and Oklahoma say at least half their patients at both locations this week were from Texas. And appointments are booked through the end of the month.
Homicide Suspect Dies After Being Shot by Topeka Police
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka police say a homicide suspect who was shot by officers has died. Police said in a news release yesterday (FRI) afternoon that 33-year-old Jesse Lees died hours after several officers shot at him. Interim Topeka Police Chief Bryan Wheeles said multiple officers were involved in the shooting Friday morning. No officers were injured. Police said Lees had been wanted for questioning in the death of Jennifer Morris. Her body was found inside a Topeka home Wednesday evening. No other information was immediately released. Wheeles said the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will take over the investigation into the shooting.
Missouri Governor to Challenge Biden COVID Vaccine Mandate
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Governor Mike Parson is considering calling a special legislative session to challenge President Biden's plan to require COVID-19 vaccation or testing for many workers. In an interview with the Kansas City Star yesterday (FRI), Parson said that Missouri will oppose the White House initiative on "multiple fronts." He didn't elaborate but left open the possibility of a special session. President Biden announced sweeping new orders Thursday that will require employers with more than 100 workers to mandate immunizations or offer weekly testing.
Missouri Judge Orders Blue Springs Restaurant to Close for Mask Violations
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri judge has ordered a Kansas City-area restaurant to close because it continues to defy a mask mandate. Jackson County had sought a temporary restraining order against Rae's Cafe in Blue Springs, Missouri, after the owner ignored a health department order to close because of repeated violations of the county's order requiring masks inside businesses to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The business reopened as a private club in an effort to avoid the mandate. Rae's Cafe could face sanctions for violating the order. The temporary restraining order will last for 21 days or until the court enters another order.
GOP Group Held 'War Games' for State AGs Before Trump Loss
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An offshoot of the Republican Attorneys General Association held a special meeting weeks before the election to discuss its strategies if then-President Donald Trump lost. The Rule of Law Defense Fund later gained notoriety for sending a robocall urging people to support Trump at the January 6th rally that preceded the storming of the U.S. Capitol. Its two-day conference in September 2020 was among 20-plus meetings the group held in the four months before the November presidential election for senior aides to Republican state attorneys general. It was a special event with “off the record” conversations and expenses covered. It was in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic with vaccines months away.
KU Student Leader Rejects Resignation Calls over Tweet
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Two Kansas education officials are criticizing the president of the University of Kansas student body for retweeting a message that included the phrase “death to america.” Student President Niya McAdoo says she doesn't regret retweeting the message, “happy friday everybody. death to america," (sic) last week and that she doesn't intend to resign. McAdoo, who is Black, says America has a long history of mistreating minorities and is not a country that supports her. Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod and Cheryl Harrison-Lee, the chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents, say McAdoo's has a right to express her views, but that those views don't represent the university or the regents' beliefs.
Kansas Pandemic Panel Approves Extra Nurses’ Pay
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas hospitals will receive $50 million to provide extra pay for nurses, but a plan approved by a state task force will require them to report monthly on how many nurses they’ve lost and why. The money comes from federal COVID-19 relief funds, and Kansas law required a bipartisan pandemic response task force to spell out how it would be spent. The task force added the reporting requirement during a Friday meeting. The meeting came a day after President Joe Biden imposed new vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt signaled that he's likely to join other Republican officials in challenging Biden's mandates.
Sedgwick County Inmate Facing Charges after Attacking Officers
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An inmate in the Sedgwick County jail is facing more charges after he allegedly used a metal shank while attacking three jail employees. Sedgwick County Sheriff's Lt. Benjamin Blick said 56-year-old James Brown faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder after the altercation. The sheriff's office says three deputies were taking Brown back to his cell Wednesday night when he pulled out a metal shank and began swinging it. Two of the deputies suffered injuries to their hands. Brown was treated at a hospital before being returned to jail. He was originally jailed after he allegedly struck his girlfriend and her dog with a sword during a fight in March.
Arrest Made in Wichita Drive-by Shooting Death
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police have announced an arrest in the drive-by shooting death of a Wichita man earlier this week. Police say 21-year-old Jesus Manzano-Legarda was arrested early yesterday (FRI) morning on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Jacquez Carter. Investigators have said Carter was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon as he sat inside his vehicle at a Wichita intersection. Police believe Carter was shot by a passenger in a white sport utility vehicle that pulled up beside his car. Carter was shot several times. He sped away, then crashed into a utility pole a few blocks away and died inside his vehicle. Police have said they don't believe the shooting was random.
Former Kansas Legislator Charged with COVID Relief Fraud
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted former Kansas state Representative Michael Capps on 19 counts alleging that he tried to defraud federal, state and county government organizations out of more than $450,000 in coronavirus relief funding. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas said in a news release Thursday that the Wichita Republican filed forms inflating the number of employees he had at two businesses and a sports foundation, and then applied for loans to pay the non-existent employees. Capps is charged with multiple counts of making a false statement, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The Associated Press couldn't immediately find a phone number for Capps to reach out to him for comment about the charges.