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Headlines for Sunday, January 31, 2021

Wrong-Way Collision Kills Two Kansans on I-35

OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say two people have been killed in a head-on collision on Interstate 35 in eastern Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol reports that 20-year-old Samuel Caldwell was headed southbound in the northbound lanes early Saturday when his Jeep Patriot collided with a Volkswagen Beetle about 2.5 miles east of Ottawa. The impact killed Caldwell, of Overland Park, and the Beetle’s driver, 19-year-old Kaitlen Riley, of Concordia.

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Federal Suit Filed Against Kansas Highway Department

TOPEKA, Kan. (TCJ) - Six women have filed suit against top Kansas Highway Patrol officials, alleging sex discrimination and a hostile work environment.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the women -- all current or former Kansas Highway Patrol employees -- filed suit in federal court Friday.  it's the latest in a series of accusations against the work climate at the Kansas Highway Patrol.

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Affidavit: Molestation Admission Triggered Fatal Stabbing

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Court records say a Wichita man charged with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of his cousin told police that the killing happened after his cousin acknowledged molesting two people. The affidavit released Friday in the case against 39-year-old Jason Payne said he told police that he tucked the body of 34-year-old Michael Montgomery in a basement crawl space and then drank and used drugs until he decided to surrender. Authorities received a 911 call on the morning of January 13th about a man who appeared to be disoriented who was lying down in the street. Officers who checked out the report heard Payne say that “he had ‘killed his cousin’” before he was taken to a Wichita hospital for help.

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Ottawa Cheer Coach Resigns after Dispute with Black Cheerleader

OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — A white woman has resigned as the head cheer coach at a private Kansas university after a Black cheerleader said she was kicked off the squad over an argument about her nearly 3-foot-long braids. The Kansas City Star reports that Casey Jamerson, said in a statement that continuing to coach at Ottawa University would likely be “a distraction” for the team, staff and community. Twenty-year-old Talyn Jefferson previously told The Star she refused to remove a hair bonnet earlier this month during cheerleading practice because she worried her long braids could hit a teammate in the face. A junior from Lawrence, she said she was kicked out of practice and off the squad.

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KCK Fire Department Seeks Minority Recruits

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas City, Kansas fire department is taking steps to improve recruitment and retention of minority and female candidates. Chief Michael Callahan said in a news release Thursday this year's recruit class did not come close to meeting the department's goals for increasing inclusivity. The department received a $2.3 million grant last year to add 18 firefighters. The initial pool of applicants included 48% more minority or female candidates, but when the candidates were selected, only 32% were minority and none were female. Callahan says the department plans to improve preparation for the physical agility test, restart a trainee program and eliminate past marijuana use as an automatic disqualification.

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KC Man Arrested in Fatal Stabbings of Aunt, Uncle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A 29-year-old Kansas  City man is charged in the stabbing deaths of his aunt and uncle in Raytown, Missouri.  The Jackson County Prosecutor's office announced Friday that Desmond Richardson is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.  Raytown police say Etta and Kenneth McKenzie were found dead in their home on January 13th.  Prosecutors requested a bond of $500,000 cash.

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