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Headlines for Sunday, April 4, 2021

Wichita State University Drops Mask Rule

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State University has announced it’s dropping its coronavirus restrictions. The Wichita Eagle reports that Friday’s announcement means masks are no longer required at the school and that there will be no limits on mass gatherings. In a letter posted on its website, the university encouraged persons on campus to “engage in these practices when possible” and encouraged “everyone to get the vaccine when eligible.” Wichita State's action comes as several variant strains of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kansas counties, and the Centers for Disease Control warn Americans not to relax safety protocols.

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Shawnee Couple Charged in Death of 2-year-old Son

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A Shawnee mother and father have been charged with first-degree murder in the alleged drug overdose death of their 2-year-old son. 29-year-old Shelly Vallejo and 26-year-old Jean Morales made a first appearance Friday. They also are charged with aggravated child endangerment and a felony charge alleging that they possessed Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is potentially deadly if misused. Each is jailed on a $1 million bond.

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Lawrence Considers Banning Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Minors

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence would ban so-called gay conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors under an ordinance that is headed to the city council for consideration. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the city commission will take up the ordinance on Tuesday. The idea for such an ordinance was initially discussed last year, and several commissioners indicated at that time they were interested. Vice Mayor Courtney Shipley, who initially brought up the idea, saidthat she did so after a member of the public told her that the city of Roeland Park in Johnson County had passed such an ordinance and wanted to know if Lawrence could do the same.

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Haskell University Faculty Casts 'No Confidence' Vote

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Haskell Indian Nations University faculty are signaling frustration with the college’s top leader over free speech and governance issues with a vote of “no confidence.” The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the resolution describing Ronald Graham’s leadership style as “autocratic” was certified Thursday with a unanimous Faculty Senate vote. Graham began his presidency in May 2020. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Journal-World. Graham angered the faculty when he sent a memorandum last month forbidding employees from expressing derogatory opinions about the administration and others, contending that such expression is “inappropriate” and not protected by academic freedom.

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Texas Man Sentenced in Fatal Kansas Crash

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Texas man has been sentenced to three years and two months in prison in a deadly Kansas crash. The Hutchinson News reports that Benjamin Buzzini also was ordered Friday to pay about $2,090 in restitution. He pleaded no contest in January to involuntary manslaughter resulting from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the April 2017 crash that killed Stephanie Futral, of Wichita, A state trooper testified at the preliminary hearing that the sport utility had been traveling at a speed of 150 mph just seconds before it began to roll near South Hutchinson.

 

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