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Headlines for Tuesday, June 29, 2021


Governor: Kansas Will Keep Providing Extra COVID Food Aid

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly has moved to keep 63,000 households from losing extra food aid because Kansas is no longer under a state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement Tuesday that Kelly plans to continue the extra $14.5 million a month in aid came two weeks after top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature ended the state of emergency. The Democratic governor’s chief of staff had told reporters that the extra pandemic-related aid would end once the state of emergency expired June 15. Republican leaders had argued that Kansas could continue to manage its pandemic response without an emergency declaration. The aid averages about $230 a month per household.


Kansas Audit Says COVID Top Cause of Death for Last 4 Months of 2020; GOP Suspicious

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A legislative audit says COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in Kansas during the last four months of 2020. The report Tuesday prompted Republican lawmakers to call for more investigation of the numbers based on unsubstantiated theories that they could have been inflated. The short report from the GOP-controlled Legislature’s auditing division said COVID-19 caused more than 2,500 deaths during those four months, surpassing deaths from each of the traditional top 10 causes. But Republican Sens. Caryn Tyson of Parker and Mike Thompson of Shawnee said they want more information about how doctors and medical examiners have concluded that COVID-19 is the underlying cause of a death.


Explosion, Fire at Suburban KC Duplex Injures 3 People

RAYTOWN, Mo. (AP) — Three people, including two children, have been injured in an explosion at a suburban Kansas City duplex. Firefighters, police and medics responded around 7 p.m. yesterday (MON) to the explosion and subsequent fire at the Raytown home. Witnesses reported seeing two boys who were conscious and alert wheeled from the scene on gurneys. A man also was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment. Officials have not said what caused the explosion that leveled part of the duplex, but neighbors told television station KMBC they believed fireworks set off in the area led to the explosion and fire. The Missouri Fire Marshal is investigating with assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.


Wichita Man Sentenced to 46 Years for 2018 Homicide

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to more than 46 years in prison for a 2018 homicide at a west Wichita motel. Prosecutors said in a news release that District Judge Bruce Brown handed down the punishment yesterday (MON) to 25-year-old Cory Bentley of Wichita. Bentley plead guilty to second-degree murder in May for the shooting death of 43-year-old Jackie Jerome of Wichita. He was shot on October 18th, 2018, in the parking lot of the Delux Inn in Wichita. The judge also ordered Bentley to pay $760 for Jerome’s funeral as well as $500 in expenses to the victim’s son who traveled from Iowa after learning of his father’s murder.


Clemency Is Rare in Kansas; Advocates Hope for Change

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas trails most states in how frequently clemency is applied for and granted, but advocates are hoping that will change under Democratic Governor Laura Kelly. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the eight clemency petitions she acted upon last week were the most in at least 15 years. Five were commutations, which reduce or eliminate a sentence altogether. The other three were pardons, which effectively wipe away a prior conviction, enabling applicants to apply for professional licenses or permanent residency. Most of the crimes occurred years prior, were non-violent drug offenses or, in some cases, fell into both categories.


Motorist Accused of Striking Officer with Car, Fleeing

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a Salina woman who is accused of backing a car into an officer and then fleeing. Salina Police Capt. Paul Forrester said officers responded Sunday to a report that 33-year-old Delilah Ross was on a property in violation of a protection from abuse order. Forrester said that as officers tried to arrest her, she was able to get the key in the ignition and start the car. He said that as she was backing away, her open driver’s side door struck an officer. The officer fell down and suffered minor scrapes and bruises. Forrester said Ross then fled and was arrested in the parking lot of the Salina Regional Health Center after a pursuit.


Victim Dies After Shooting at Plaza Hotel in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a person who was shot at a hotel in the upscale Country Club Plaza shopping and dining district has died. Police spokeswoman Captain Leslie Foreman says the victim was suffering from critical injuries when officers responded Tuesday to the Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza. The victim later died at a hospital. Foreman says a person has been detained. Police didn’t immediately release either of their names or a motive.


Airline Adds Nonstop Service from Wichita to Florida

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Allegiant Airlines is adding a new nonstop route from Wichita to Florida. KSNW reports that the airline announced Tuesday that flights from Eisenhower National Airport to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport will begin on Nov. 19, operating twice weekly. The company is offering introductory one-way fares for as low as $49. This will be Allegiant’s sixth destination from Wichita.


Report: Kansas Wheat Harvest Behind Schedule

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The government’s latest crop snapshot shows the Kansas winter wheat harvest is running a bit slower than usual for this time of year. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported yesterday (MON) that about 41% of the state’s wheat has been cut. That is behind both the 44% at this time last year and the 48% five-year average for this date. The report reflects crop conditions as of Sunday and comes amid recent rains that have kept many combines out of fields. The agency also reported that 83% of the wheat had already matured.


Kansas Man Dies in ATV Accident in Phillips County

PHILLIPSBURG, Kan. (AP) — A man is dead after an ATV accident in northern Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol says 64-year-old Terry Gitchel of Phillipsburg was driving the all-terrain vehicle in a pasture in Phillips County Saturday night when he tried to go up a steep incline. The ATV flipped over backwards. Phillips County is about 60 miles north of Hays.


Truman Presidential Library Set to Reopen after Two Years

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — After nearly two years of renovations, the Harry S Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, is ready to welcome visitors again. The museum looks similar from the outside, but the inside has been completely reimagined in how it presents Truman's story and his legacy for the modern world. The nearly $30 million project is the most extensive since the museum opened in 1957. Work was slowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The new museum presents Truman's story from his Missouri childhood until his death. It has interactive exhibits and videos combined with hundreds of artifacts. Museum director Kurt Graham said a primary focus was explaining how decisions Truman made still affect today's world.


Officer Shoots, Kills Hays Woman

PLAINVILLE, Kan. (AP) — State authorities are investigating after a police officer shot and killed a woman with a gun in the small town of Plainville. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said the shooting happened around 1 a.m. Sunday at a convenience store in Plainville, when an officer tried to arrest 29-year-old Nicole Dechant of Hays on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. The KBI said Dechant pulled a gun out of her bag when the officer tried to arrest her. After Dechant ignored commands to drop the gun the officer fired several times and fatally wounded her. The officer wasn't hurt in the incident.


Topeka Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Shooting

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police have arrested a suspect in a Topeka shooting death from last week. Topeka police said Sunday that 38-year-old Marshall Stewart IV has been arrested on charges of second-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a gun in connection with Thursday’s shooting. Officers found 51-year-old Bradley Bellinder of Topeka with a gunshot wound after a shooting was reported Thursday night on Northwest Polk Street.


KC Police Identify Homicide Victims

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City police have identified the victims in two weekend homicides.  Police said in a news release yesterday (MON) that officers found 49-year-old Erron I. Holley inside a vehicle with gunshot wounds early Sunday morning after a shooting was reported.  Holley was taken to a hospital where he died.  Police said the investigation into Holley's death is continuing.  In a separate incident about two hours earlier, police were called to an apartment complex where 27-year-old Ronnell Buchanan was wounded.  He later died at a hospital.  Police said yesterday (MON) that a person of interest has been identified but no one has been charged at this time. 

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