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Headlines for Sunday, August 16, 2020

Trump's Top COVID Adviser in KC: Wear masks, Social Distance

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Trump’s top coronavirus adviser used a visit to Kansas to urge people to wear masks regardless of where they live. Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force said yesterday (SAT), that the epidemic is both urban and rural. She was in Kansas City, Kansas, for a meeting with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, as well as community and state health officials at KU Medical Center, The Kansas City Star reports.  She also stressed that people should socially distance and not have gatherings. Birx said when communities start seeing a rise in positive cases, leaders need to close the bars, restrict indoor dining, and ensure there’s a mask mandate.

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Kansas Teachers who Quit over Virus Concerns May Get Penalties

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas teachers who quit because they don’t feel safe returning to teaching in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic might have to pay their school districts up to $10,000 for backing out of their contracts. Penalties for quitting or resigning are meant to help districts find replacements, but educators say it’s unfair to charge teachers for escaping their contracts if they no longer feel safe returning to the classroom. According to KMUW-FM, educators say heading back to school seemed a lot safer before the resignation deadlines a few months ago when the coronavirus outbreak appeared nearly under control.

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Teen Leading in Kansas Race Admits Blackmail, Revenge Porn

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democrats are scrambling to deal with the strong possibility that a 19-year-old candidate for a Kansas House seat in Kansas City will unseat a veteran lawmaker despite making incendiary comments on social media and acknowledging abusive behavior online toward girls in middle school. Dishwasher and student Aaron Coleman holds a five-vote lead over 69-year-old state Representative Stan Frownfelter. Officials in their home of Wyandotte County are set to finish vote counting Monday. Coleman garnered headlines for social media posts on abortion and the coronavirus and for acknowledging online bullying, blackmail and revenge porn. He apologized for the comments and said his past actions were those of "a sick and troubled” 14-year-old.

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After 5-month Break, Classes Resume in Some Kansas Schools

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A handful of Kansas students returned to the classroom this week with masks and temperature checks, while several dozen more mostly rural districts are geared up for classes to begin next week. Columbus school district Superintendent Brian Smith has spent the week hauling furniture out of classrooms to make more space for students to socially distance. He said, “It is almost like you are preparing for war." Governor Laura Kelly sought to delay the reopening of the state’s K-12 schools for nearly a month until after Labor Day because of a resurgence in reported coronavirus cases. But the Republican-controlled State Board of Education blocked the plan last month.

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Lawrence Boy Out of ICU after Shooting

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A 6-year-old boy who was shot in the head earlier this month at a Lawrence home has been moved out of intensive care. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Tyeisha Bell said Friday that her son, Tayshawn Mack Harris, has been doing miraculously, although he still has a long way to go. He was flown August 5th to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, after the shooting. His mother said Tayshawn had gone to stay the night at a friend’s house. Lawrence police have released no information about the circumstances of the shooting except that officers did not suspect foul play.

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KBI Received 205 Reports of Priest Abuse; 120 Cases Opened

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says it has received 205 reports of abuse by Catholic priests and has opened 120 cases. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked the KBI nearly two years ago to investigate Catholic clergy sex abuse. A task force of six agents is investigating abuse reports received from the public and reviewing church documents. The investigation involves the state's four Catholic dioceses and the Society of St. Pius X, a breakaway Catholic group with a large branch in St. Marys. KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said the agency is continuing its investigation and it's unclear when it will be completed.

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Musician Sues Wichita over Injuries from Police Chase

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita musician Jenny Wood is suing the city over a police chase last year that killed two of her family members and left Wood with permanent injuries. The car being pursued by a Wichita police officer in May 2019 hit the Wood family's car, killing her mother and niece. Wood has permanent disabilities because of the crash. The lawsuit contends the officer who started the chase was not properly trained. The chase ran through downtown Wichita at speeds up to 75 mph before the collision with the Woods' car. City spokesman Jim Jonas declined to comment on the lawsuit.e said the person who tested positive is showing no signs of the infection.

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