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Headlines for Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Kansas Braces for New Round of Toxic Algae Blooms

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansas health officials are warning there could be major toxic algae blooms in the state this summer. And it could impact more than just recreation. A wet spring followed by a hot and dry summer is a recipe for an outbreak of toxic blue-green algae. Those are the exact conditions experts are predicting this summer. The state has already issued health warnings for Marion and Webster reservoirs. Blue-green algal blooms contain toxic cyanobacteria that cause skin irritations and vomiting if touched or ingested. The algae also cause problems for public water systems because it can make the water taste bad. The state is working with several universities on projects to better monitor and control the blooms.


Former Assistant KC Chiefs Coach Britt Reid Pleads Not Guilty to DWI

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KNS/KPR) - Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid, the son of head coach Andy Reid, has pleaded not guilty to felony DWI charges following an accident just three days before the last Super Bowl. The crash left a five-year old child with a severe brain injury. Monday's hearing settled whether Reid will be allowed to drive. An order prohibiting Reid from driving had been mistakenly included as part of his bond agreement. Prosecuting attorney Brady Twenter says it should be. "The judge ruled that Reid could drive, but with an ignition interlock that requires Reid to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting the vehicle," he said. Reid waived his right to a preliminary hearing and a pre-trial conference was scheduled for next month. No trial date has been set.  

(-AP version-)

Former Chiefs Assistant Coach Pleads Not Guilty in DWI Crash

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid has pleaded not guilty in a crash that left a young girl critically injured. The judge modified Reid's bond Monday to allow him to drive with an interlock device installed that requires him to pass a breathalyzer test before his vehicle will start. Reid, the son of Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, was charged in April with driving while intoxicated causing serious physical injury. Reid was charged two months after he hit two cars on an Interstate entrance ramp near Arrowhead Stadium. The crash left a five-year old girl with a severe brain injury. The collision happened just days before the Chiefs played in the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, Florida.  


Investigators: Deputy Killed Missouri Woman Holding Gun

GARDEN CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Authorities in suburban Kansas City say a sheriff's deputy has fatally shot a woman after being called to a home to check on the welfare of a resident there. The Cass County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that the shooting happened after deputies were called to a Garden City home Monday afternoon for a welfare check. When deputies arrived, they reported encountering a woman on the front porch of the home holding a gun. Officials say the woman ignored commands to drop the gun and pointed it at deputies, leading one deputy to shoot her. The woman was taken to an area hospital, where she died. Officials have not released the woman's name or the name of the deputy.


Kansas City Man Gets Lengthy Prison Term for Killing 2 Women

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A 32-year-old Kansas City man convicted of killing two women a decade apart has been sentenced to life in prison for one of the killings and 15 years behind bars for the other, with the terms to run consecutively. Kylr Yust was convicted in April of second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Jessica Runions of Raymore, and voluntary manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky of Belton. The Cass County jury that convicted him recommended life in prison for Runions's death and 15 years in Kopetsky's death.


Lawrence Woman Rescues Boy from Clinton Lake

LAWRENCE, Kan. (LJW/KPR) - A Lawrence woman has rescued a boy from possibly drowning in Clinton Lake. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that on Saturday afternoon, Mandy Dreiling saw a young boy disappear beneath the water near Clinton Marina. Not seeing anyone taking action to help the child, Dreiling jumped into the lake - with her purse still strapped to her shoulder. Dreiling pulled the boy out and got him to safety. A man who identified himself as the boy's father thanked the woman. He said the boy initially had a life jacket but had apparently slipped it off before getting into the water.


Owl Rescued After Getting Stuck in Batting Cage

MAIZE, Kan. (AP) — A great horned owl is on the road to recovery after getting stuck in the netting of a Kansas batting cage. KSNW-TV reports that the owl was discovered Monday in the small town of Maize. Police contacted a local raptor center for help. Ken Lockwood of Eagle Valley Raptor Center talked officers through the process of removing the owl from the netting. The owl was then placed in a cardboard box and delivered to the center. The owl had some damaged feathers but is expected to heal in a few weeks.


Police: Adult Handling of Gun Led to Shooting of 12-Year-Old

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 12-year-old is hospitalized after being accidentally shot in a Wichita apartment by an adult carelessly handling a gun. Wichita police say in a news release that the shooting happened around 8 p.m. Monday, when officers responded to reports of a shooting at the Magnolia Woods Apartments. Arriving officers found a 12-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to her arm and shoulder. The girl was taken to a Wichita hospital and is expected to recover. Police arrested 23-year-old Christian Lehl, whom investigators say was caring for the girl -- who is his niece -- along with another niece and nephew, all under 14. Investigators say Lehl was showing the gun to an 18-year-old friend when it accidentally fired.


Expansion Planned for Giraffe Facility at Topeka Zoo

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka Zoo is expanding and upgrading its giraffe facility, a move that also will provide new housing for other animals. Zoo officials say the project is expected to cost $7.75 million. Private donations will cover $6.25 million of the cost, and a countywide sales tax will provide $1.5 million. Plans call for a 10,000-square-foot giraffe facility known as Giraffe and Friends. The project also will include a 4,000-square-foot facility that can house antelope, gazelles and large birds. The zoo says a three-acre outdoor habitat will wrap around the Camp Cowabunga project. Officials say it will be the largest project ever at the zoo.


UPDATE: Teenager Dies After Shooting near KCK Elementary School

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police say a teenager has died after being shot near an elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas. The shooting happened Tuesday near Hazel Grove Elementary School. Police responding to calls about shots fired found a male teenager on the sidewalk near the school. He died later at a hospital. His name has not been released. No arrests have been made. The school, which is hosting summer school, went into lockdown after the shooting, but children were later released to go home. In a letter to families, the school said no children were in danger but some students witnessed the shooting.


Kansas City Police Investigate 2 Separate Homicides, Double Shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating two separate homicides and a double shooting Tuesday afternoon in Kansas City. Police said the first deadly shooting happened around 1:30 p.m. Investigators said a male shooter approached the victim and opened fire before leaving. KMBC-TV reports that the victim was taken to a hospital, but died a short time later. Two other shootings happened around 2:30 p.m. about a 15-minute drive apart from each other. Two people were wounded in one of the shootings. The victim of the other shooting didn’t survive. Police didn’t immediately release the names of the victims, a motive or details about suspects. 


Investigators Say Deputy Killed Missouri Woman Holding Gun

GARDEN CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities in suburban Kansas City say a sheriff's deputy fatally shot a woman after being called to a home to check on the welfare of a resident there. The Cass County Sheriff's Office says in a news release the shooting happened after deputies were called to a Garden City home around 3:40 p.m. Monday for a welfare check. When deputies arrived, they reported encountering a woman on the front porch of the home holding a gun. Officials say the woman ignored commands to drop the gun and pointed it at deputies, leading one deputy to shoot her. She was identified Tuesday afternoon as 42-year-old Crystal Guhr.


Teen Drowns in Wichita Apartment Complex Lake

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Police say a teenager has drowned in a lake on a Wichita apartment complex grounds. Authorities say the drowning happened Sunday afternoon when emergency crews were called to the Kingston Cove apartments in south-central Wichita. Officials say the teen was with a group of friends swimming in the lake when he went under the water and did not resurface. The teen's friends tried to rescue him, and several onlookers jumped in the water to try to help, but could not find him. First responders called to the scene found the teen within 30 minutes and pulled him from the water, but were unable to revive him. His name was not immediately released.


8-Year-Old Boy Dies in Lake of the Ozarks Boating Accident

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (AP) - An 8-year-old boy is dead after a boating accident at Lake of the Ozarks. The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Water Division said the accident happened Saturday afternoon. The patrol said a boy from Waynesville was struck by a propeller when he got out of the boat operated by his father. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released.


12-Year-Old Cousins Attacked at Worlds of Fun

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An attack at Worlds of Fun has some parents questioning whether it’s safe to go back to the Kansas City amusement park. WDAF TV reports that 12-year-old cousins were attacked by what their parents described as a gang of girls. The girls were treated for their injuries at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Saturday's attack was caught on camera and Kansas City police say they are investigating. Parents of the victims say the attack lasted 6 minutes and they're upset Worlds of Fun security didn’t step in to stop it. In a statement, Worlds of Fun confirmed the incident happened but said "Park security and off-duty local law enforcement personnel responded immediately and appropriately."


Half of Kansas Adults Now Vaccinated

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Half of all adults in Kansas are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Though half of adults in Kansas are now fully vaccinated, that still leaves many thousands who aren’t. And when you count kids, less than 40% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. So far, the shots are only available for people ages 12 and up. They’re free, even without health insurance. Covid has killed about 600,000 people across the U.S., including 5,000 in Kansas. 


Kansas Orders Less than 1% of COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas has ordered less than 1% of its COVID-19 vaccine allocation from the federal government for this week. The state ordered fewer doses because it still has more than a half-million unused doses. Health officials say they ordered only about a thousand doses of their federal allocation of 147,000 vaccines. Officials say nearly 43% of the state's 2.9 million residents have received at least one vaccine shot.


Kansas COVID-19 Case Count Passes 315,000; Death Toll Rises to 5,100

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported Monday that there have been 315,099 COVID-19 cases in Kansas, including 5,100 virus-related deaths, since the pandemic began. That's an increase of 244 cases and 16 new deaths since Friday. Another update is expected Wednesday.


Pandemic Aid Available for Former Foster Children

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - A new federal law means more young adults who were once in foster care can get financial help for rent, food and more. Young adults who were taken from their homes at age 14 or later and put into custody of the state, tribal authorities or juvenile corrections can contact the Department for Children and Families for details. The federal law temporarily expands assistance so more people will be eligible to get help with housing, childcare, college tuition, and other daily needs. And opportunities for support that are normally open only to people under the age of 21 are now open to people under the age of 27. 


Wichita Woman Tries to Run Over Husband, Hits Building

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wichita woman is accused of trying to run over her husband, and running into a business in the process. Formal charges have not yet been filed against the 42-year-old suspect. Wichita police were called Saturday night to a report of a vehicle striking a building on East Second Street. Officers discovered that a Dodge Challenger had struck a building. They also found the suspect and her 45-year-old husband at the scene. No one was hurt. Police say the investigation determined that the woman tried "multiple times" to run over her husband before striking the business with her car.


Bear Sightings Becoming More Common in Southeast Kansas?

PITTSBURG, Kan. (KOAM) - A man in southeast Kansas has reported seeing a bear. KOAM TV reports that Baxter Springs resident Josh Thompson says he was relaxing at home when he spotted the animal. Although such bear sightings are not usually common in Kansas, wildlife experts say that could change. Logan Martin, a Kansas Wildlife biologist, says "it’s something we should get used to, at least in the southeastern part of the state." Martin said that because neighboring states like Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma have established bear populations, there’s a good chance that they'll start spreading into Kansas. Martin offered some tips for anyone who may encounter a bear. He says the number one thing people can do is try to eliminate food sources for bears because that’s where most of the problems arise. He says those who have grills, pet food, or bird seeds outside should keep things clean and put away. Most importantly, Martin says, if you do spot a bear, it’s best not to make any sudden movements. He also says not to run but rather, to walk away slowly.


Wichita Burglary Leads to Fire, Injuries

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A man is hospitalized in critical condition after a burglary led to a fire that also caused minor injuries to four Wichita police officers. Police say the officers responded Sunday night to a 911 call about a burglary in progress inside a home's detached garage. Arriving officers found that the garage entry was barricaded from the inside. Officers eventually got inside and discovered a man had locked himself into a smaller room, where a fire had been set. Officers used fire extinguishers to put out the blaze and rescue the man. The officers were treated and released due to smoke inhalation.  


Weston, Missouri, Hosts Juneteenth Celebration

WESTON, Mo. (KPR) - Weston, Missouri, will host its inaugural Juneteenth celebration later this month. Organizers say Weston’s first Juneteenth Heritage Jubilee will honor the community's Black residents through song, spoken word, poetry, folk art and storytelling. The celebration will be held June 19 from 10 am to Noon at the Ben Holladay Pavilion in Weston City Park.  

Originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth is now celebrated annually on June 19 throughout the United States. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union Army general Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. President Abe Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had officially outlawed slavery in Texas and the other states in rebellion against the Union almost two and a half years earlier, but enforcement of the president's proclamation generally relied on the advance of Union troops. Texas, as the most remote of the slave states, had a low presence of Union troops as the American Civil War ended; thus enforcement there had been slow and inconsistent before Granger's announcement.


Could Be One of the Driest Seasons Ever Along Missouri River

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) - Two years after Missouri River flooding ravaged parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, officials are now dealing with what's shaping up to be one of the river's driest years. The Norfolk, Nebraska, Daily News reports that significantly less water is expected to flow into the river this year because conditions remain so dry and snowpack is below normal levels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says its forecast from last month hasn't changed. The Corps estimates that 17.9 million acre feet of water will flow into the river this year. That is only about 69% of the average, which would make this year the 22nd driest in the upper basin since 1898.  


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