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Headlines for Sunday, March 14, 2021

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Former Wichita State University Dies in Arizona

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — President Eugene Hughes, who served as president of state universities in Kansas and Arizona, has died in Flagstaff. He was 86 years old. Northern Arizona University, where he served as president from 1979 to 1993, announced Hughes' death on its website. He died Wednesday but the cause of death was not stated. Hughes left NAU to become president of Wichita State University, where he served about 5 1/2 years before retiring in 1998. NAU said services will be announced at a later date. Wichita State University will collect cards and remembrances of Hughes on campus and online tomorrow (MON).  Interim WSU President Rick Muma said, "President Hughes has left an indelible footprint on our university, and we’re grateful for his wholehearted commitment to strengthening the connection between the university and our surrounding community. Though many of us are mourning Dr. Hughes’ passing, we take comfort in his enduring legacy to Shocker Nation."

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Topeka School District to Meet, Discuss New Name

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Leaders of a Topeka school district that is named for an early 20th century Ku Klux Klan leader are meeting tomorrow (MON) to discuss whether to ditch the name. WIBW reports that the discussions come after student journalists at Seaman High School found information confirming that the district’s namesake, Fred Seaman, had a racist past.  The student paper, The Clipper, reported last fall that Seaman had been an “exalted cyclops,” or chief officer, in the Topeka KKK. Rumors of Seaman’s ties to the KKK had circulated for years in the Topeka district before the student newspaper confirmed it through newspaper clippings from the 1920s. A group of students plans to protest before the school board meeting.

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Lawrence Agrees to Pay Nearly $1 Million in Back Overtime

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence officials have agreed to pay nearly $1 million in back overtime to dozens of firefighter captains, police sergeants, and other city employees. The city said in a news release Friday that the city determined it had mistakenly misclassified some jobs as not eligible for overtime when they actually were. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the back payments will be made next month. The issue goes back to the summer of 2019, when captains from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical requested a formal review of their status as exempt from overtime, thinking that the city may have overlooked a change in federal standards.

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Missouri Sees Slight Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (AP) - The number of new COVID-19 cases in Missouri is ticking upward after months of decline.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the state's coronavirus infection rate has tumbled since the fall, when Missouri hit a peak seven-day average of 4,723 new confirmed cases in November.  That average fell as low as 343 earlier this month, but has since edged upward to almost 395 on Friday.  Dr. Sriram Vissa, chief medical officer at SSM Health DePaul Hospital, describes this as a "vulnerable time."

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