Two School Districts Reverse Sports Decision; Kansas Reports 23 More COVID Deaths
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Amid protests and lawsuits, two more large Kansas school districts are reversing course and allowing sports to proceed despite increases in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. The school board for the Olathe district, which is the state’s second-largest with about 30,000 students, decided Thursday to allow fall sports and activities. Hundreds of parents had protested outside the meeting. The superintendent of the nearby Blue Valley district then decided Friday morning to follow suit. Statewide, Kansas added 23 COVID-19 deaths to its total from Wednesday to Friday, to bring the total to 481.
Six Black Lives Matter Murals Planned for Streets of KC
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Organizers of a plan to paint Black Lives Matter murals on six Kansas City, Missouri, streets say the project may be the largest of its kind. The Kansas City Star reports that the murals will be painted Saturday. Several other cities have seen street murals honoring the Black Lives Matter movement in the months since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. But Kansas City organizers said they’re unaware of any matching the scope of what they have planned. The project, KC Art on the Block, will cover 2,000 feet of street and involve 1,000 volunteers. Donations are paying for the project.
FBI: Kansas Coach Posed as Teen to Get Explicit Pics
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The FBI says an assistant boys high school basketball coach in Topeka posed as a teenage girl on social media to get explicit photos from other teenagers. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the FBI is seeking tips from anyone who may have been contacted by 40-year-old Jeffrey Pierce on Instagram, Snapchat, Kik and Grindr. The usernames he is alleged to have used included Addie Strode and Kennedy. Pierce was suspended from his job at Seaman High School because of the investigation that resulted in two federal counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing it. The Seaman school board will consider to terminate his teaching contract Friday.
4 Kansas Cities Seek to Land U.S. Space Command Headquarters
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Four Kansas cities have submitted proposals for the new U.S. Space Command headquarters. The governor’s office said Friday that Wichita, Derby, Leavenworth and Kansas City, Kansas, responded to requests from the federal government with proposed development sites in their communities. Gov. Laura Kelly says she has directed her Cabinet to use all resources necessary to support the selection of Kansas as the headquarters for U.S. Space Command, which is responsible for military operations in outer space.
Kansas Man Sentenced to 40 Years on Child Sex Crimes
ELLSWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man spend more than 40 years in prison on child sex crimes. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Friday in a news release that 59-year-old Karl Van Nice of Ellsworth was sentenced Thursday on two counts of rape, one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of aggravated sexual battery. He was convicted in February following a jury trial. The crimes were committed between September 2015 and January 2016.
South Carolina Student Drowned at Kansas Lake
HAYS, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified a college student from South Carolina as the victim of a drowning earlier this week at a Kansas lake. The Hays Post reports 18-year-old Khalil Fulton of Lake City, South Carolina, drowned Wednesday after doing a flip off the dock at State Lake in Montgomery County. The sheriff says witnesses told deputies Fulton resurfaced after going into the water then went back under once again and never resurfaced a second time. Fulton was a student at Independence Community College, which is located four miles from the lake.
Authorities Recover 26 Firearms during Topeka Search
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Local and federal law enforcement authorities recovered 26 firearms while executing a search warrant at a Topeka house. Topeka police said in a news release that 42-year-old Rodolfo V. Arzate of Topeka was taken into custody Thursday. He was booked on suspicion of criminal possession of a firearm, interference with a law enforcement officer and Topeka bench warrants. The arrest came after a joint investigation between the Topeka Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.