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Headlines for Sunday, November 8, 2020

Wichita Mayor, Council Quarantined after Member Contracts COVID-19

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A council member in Kansas’ largest city has tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the mayor and other council members to quarantine for about two weeks. Wichita announced Council Member Brandon Johnson’s positive result Saturday in a tweet. The city says Mayor Brandon Whipple, members of the City Council and some staff, including city manager Robert Layton, must temporarily stay away from city hall. The Wichita Eagle reports that Johnson said he had a cough Thursday that worsened Friday, so he went to be tested. He received his results Saturday morning.

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Kansas Budget Gap Mostly Gone after New Fiscal Forecast Released

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas on Friday saw most of a projected state budget shortfall melt away. A new fiscal forecast for state government is less pessimistic about the economy and tax collections than a dire forecast issued this spring during a statewide lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic. The forecasting group boosted the state’s projections for tax collections by $463 million or 6.3% for the current, 2021 budget year that began July 1st. The Legislature’s nonpartisan research staff now projects a $153 million budget shortfall for the state’s 2022 budget year. The researchers in July had projected that the shortfall would approach $1.5 billion.

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KCK Man Charged with Killing Two People, Wounding Third

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 27-year-old man has been charged with fatally shooting two people and wounding a third person at a gas station parking lot in Kansas City, Missouri. Juan Berumen, of Kansas Cty, Kansas, was charged Friday with two counts of second-degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Floyd Freeman and 37-year-old Margarita Paez. He also is charged with second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and three counts of armed criminal action. Kansas City police responded early Friday to the scene in a Kansas City warehouse district known as the West Bottoms.

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Man Killed in KC Shooting; 165th Homicide of 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man who was found on a sidewalk outside a Kansas City home with gunshot wounds has died. Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department spokeswoman Officer Donna Drake said officers found the man shortly before 7 a.m. when they responded to reports of a shooting. The man died at the scene of the shooting. His name wasn’t immediately released Sunday. No arrests were reported Sunday morning. The Kansa City Star reports that this shooting was the 165th homicide of the year in Kansas City. At the same time last year, there had been 129 homicides in the city.

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Missouri Breaks Another Record in COVID-19 Cases

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri has recorded yet another record increase in COVID-19 cases, straining hospitals and raising the possibility of another stay-at-home order in the St. Louis area. The 4,559 cases that were added Saturday brought the pandemic total to 205,066 in Missouri. The state also added 19 deaths, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities to 3,150. And the state’s seven-day average of new cases reached 2,811 on Saturday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said Friday that the city aims not to enact another stay-at-home order, but is considering the option.

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Kansas High Court Expands Parental Rights of Same-Sex Couples

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that parenting intentions at the moment of a child’s birth are critical to establishing parental rights. The rulings Friday come in separate cases in which birth mothers who conceived through artificial insemination were fighting petitions by their former same-sex partners to establish parentage. In both cases, the women had not married and did not have co-parenting agreements. The court found that a woman seeking to establish parentage only needed to show that she acknowledged maternity at the time of birth and show evidence the birth mother consented at that time to share the care and custody of the child.

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Teen Fatally Shot at Friend's House in Rural Kansas

ASHLAND, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 13-year-old girl was fatally shot while at a friend’s house in rural southwest Kansas. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that the Clark County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about the shooting around 3 p.m. Friday and rushed to the home in Ashland. The teen was pronounced dead at a hospital. Her name wasn’t immediately released. The release said four other juveniles were at the home when the shooting occurred. The release provided no other details about what happened and said the investigation is ongoing.

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Oklahoma Man Sentenced to Prison after Wichita Crime Spree

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An Oklahoma man has been sentenced to nearly nine years in prison after a series of crimes in Wichita. The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Friday that 28-year-old Taylor Kremer of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, set his car on fire in an alley following a hit-and-run crash in 2018. Kremer then pulled a bicycle from the burning vehicle and fired shots at occupants of a nearby home who followed him. He then stole a car after ordering people of a home inside at knifepoint. Kremer pleaded guilty in September to 15 counts including  kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.

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