Kansas Sees Weekend Jump in COVID Cases
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas saw a significant jump in the number of COVID-19 cases this weekend. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports more than 6,751 cases, with 157 deaths. That's 250 more cases since Friday, the 10th highest jump in cases since the state's first reported case on March 7th. Finney County made up more than 40 percent of the overnight jump in cases, with more than 100 new cases reported. Wyandotte County made up about 20 percent of the jump, with 53 new cases yesterday (SAT); Johnson County reported 10 new cases and four more deaths. The jump in cases comes as Kansas prepares to gradually reopen.
Fire Destroys Haskell Tipi
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) Officials are investigating a fire that destroyed a tipi at Haskell Indian Nations University. The Lawrence Journal World reports that firefighters were called to Haskell early yesterday (SAT) morning, where nearly all the tipi's covering had burned away. The tipi had been built to honor Haskell's 2020 graduates. Anyone with information about the fire is encouraged to contact the Lawrence Fire Department.
Kansas Farmers Struggle to Recruit Foreign Crews
BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — With the start of the winter wheat harvest just weeks away, harvesters in Kansas and across the country are struggling to get the foreign workers they usually rely on to run their combines. Embassies have been shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic and governments have closed their borders. Overseas workers who already have visas cannot get on a flight, and those who can travel would be quarantined on arrival. Harvesters are trying to hire American workers to fill the gap, but many lack the skills or desire to work in agriculture. Up to half of the workers who harvest U.S. grain crops usually are seasonal foreign workers.
Kansas Lawmakers to Meet Online to Prep for Upcoming Session
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are turning to virtual meetings to prepare for an upcoming session aimed at dealing with the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., a Kansas City-area Republican, announced Friday that the virtual meetings, which will be broadcast live on the Legislature’s YouTube channel, can begin before the Legislature reconvenes on May 21st. Among the issues committees are discussing are the allocation of federal relief funding and the Kansas Department of Labor’s dated information technology infrastructure. The agency has been overwhelmed by the surge in unemployment claims.
Lawmakers Tweet Support for Barber who Operated Amid Virus
MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — Two Republican U.S. Senate candidates are tweeting their support for a Kansas barber who ran afoul of the law for operating his shop during the pandemic. Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and U.S. Representative Roger Marshall weighed in after Luke Aichele, a barber at Luke’s Barber Shop in McPherson, wrote about his troubles Friday on Facebook. Wagle wrote that an arrest warrant was issued for Aichele; Marshall wrote the barber was threatened with one. The Wichita Eagle reported that police could not be immediately reached for comment on the discrepancy.