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Headlines for Sunday, July 7, 2019

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Ex-Kansas Juvenile Corrections Head Enters Plea in Battery Case

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The former top administrator of Kansas' juvenile correctional facility accused of grabbing and shoving a female worker has pleaded no-contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kyle Rohr entered the plea Friday in Shawnee County District Court to bring an end to the criminal case. He had been found guilty last year of battery by a municipal court, but appealed to the district court for a jury trial. That trial has been set to begin Monday. Rohr was effectively fired last year following the municipal conviction. Rohr was accused of twice grabbing Michelle Valdivia in 2017 at the Topeka juvenile complex and shoving her into a cubicle. Rohr reportedly was upset with the planning of a holiday event for incarcerated juveniles. Valdivia is suing Rohr, the Kansas Department of Corrections and the state of Kansas for an undisclosed amount, saying Rohr was inadequately supervised.


Shawnee County Bat Tests Positive for Rabies

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A bat found in northeastern Kansas has tested positive for rabies. Topeka television station KSNT reports that the bat was found in Shawnee County. The Shawnee County Health Department is urging residents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of rabies and the steps to take if exposed. Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease that is typically transmitted by raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes. Health officials those who suspect they've been exposed to the disease should seek immediate medical treatment. Once a person begins to exhibit signs of disease, survival is rare. Symptoms include general weakness or discomfort, fever or headache and progress to confusion, agitation and delirium.


Kansas Expands Medicaid Support for Brain Injury Victims

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is expanding its Medicaid support for people with brain injuries to include those acquired through internal forces such as strokes or tumors, following years of advocacy for change. A quirk in Kansas' Medicaid statute had meant the only patients to qualify were those with a traumatic brain injury from a blow to the head. But the Kansas City Star reports that a bipartisan coalition of legislators approved the inclusion of an "acquired brain injury," which went in to effect July 1st. Those injuries are due to internal forces such as strokes, tumors or asthma attacks. Lawmakers also voted to extend services to children under 16 starting in October. Advocate Janet Williams says the expansion will save money for Kansas in the long term.


Kansas in Shrinking Minority of States without Measles

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The national measles outbreak has not hit Kansas yet, but it has come close with cases reported in neighboring Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Kansas health officials say they think a case in Kansas looks nearly inevitable given that more than 1,000 measles cases have been reported so far across the nation. Kansas is in a shrinking minority of states without cases. KCUR-FM reports that the state's annual survey of kindergartener vaccination rates suggests some counties do better than others at getting children their potentially life-saving shots. Kansas requires shots against illnesses such as measles, whooping cough and polio for school attendance. But the survey shows 15% of kindergartners last year weren't up to date on those vaccines.


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