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Headlines for Tuesday, November 10, 2020

 

Kansas COVID-19 Cases Exceed 100,000; Deaths Nearing 1,200 

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS/KPR) - Kansas has surpassed 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the state reporting nearly 6,000 new cases. The increase is largely coming from more populated areas, including the Kansas City and Wichita metro areas.  But University of Kansas Health System chief medical officer Steve Stites says there’s still serious concern about high per capita rates in western Kansas. He says hospital staffers statewide are stretched thin and if trends continue, it will be harder to give everyone the care they need.  Kansas averaged more than 2,000 new cases a day for the seven days ending Monday.  The state has now recorded 103,553 coronavirus cases, including 1,181 virus-related deaths, since the pandemic began.  Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is urging all Kansans to wear face masks in public and to practice social distancing.  The next online update of Kansas COVID-19 cases is expected Wednesday. 

(–Related–) 

Kansas Counties, Biggest School District Set New COVID Rules

 TOPEKA, Kan. _ Kansas's largest public school district has scrapped plans to allow its middle and high school students to attend some in-person classes amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the state. Three counties also have imposed new restrictions inspired by the coronavirus pandemic. Kansas is seeing its largest numbers of new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached the state in early March. The state health department is now reporting more than 103,000 cases and 1,181 deaths. Public health officials say people aren't wearing masks enough and are letting their guard down at gatherings, including family events such as birthday parties and baby showers. In Wichita, the state's largest city, the local school board decided Monday that middle and high school students will continue to take classes remotely until the end of the current semester. The district had planned to allow them to have in-person classes twice a week, starting this week. Sedgwick County, where Wichita is located, imposed new restrictions on gatherings, as did neighboring Harvey County. Jefferson County in northeast Kansas imposed a mask mandate.

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UPDATE: KC Police: Man Fatally Shot in Restaurant Identified, 3 People Arrested

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) _ Police in suburban Kansas City say a man has been shot to death inside a fast-food restaurant. Police in Blue Springs say the shooting happened Monday night at a McDonald's on Highway 7, south of Interstate 70. Blue Springs police say officers called to the scene found 19-year-old Harry Bowers, of Lee's Summit, inside a restaurant bathroom with gunshot wounds. Bowers was taken to an area hospital, where he died. Police say three people suspected in the shooting have been arrested.

- Earlier reporting -

Police: Man Shot to Death in Suburban Kansas City

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) _ Police in suburban Kansas City say a man has been shot to death inside a fast-food restaurant. Police in Blue Springs say the shooting happened Monday night at a McDonald's on Highway 7, south of Interstate 70. Station KCTV reports that officers called to the scene found a man inside a restaurant bathroom with gunshot wounds. The man was taken to an area hospital, where he died. Police have not yet released the victim's name. No arrests had been reported by Tuesday morning, but police say they're looking for two suspects.

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Lawrence Woman Killed After She Becomes Trapped Under Car

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Lawrence police say a 29-year-old woman died after she was trapped under her car while it was being towed. Police spokesman Patrick Compton said the vehicle was being placed on the tow truck at the woman's home Monday when it began to roll. Compton said the woman was behind the vehicle when it rolled and she became trapped underneath. She was pulled from underneath the vehicle but lifesaving measures failed and she was pronounced dead at the scene.  Compton said the death appeared to be a "tragic accident."  

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Volunteer Firefighter in Kansas Dies in Crash on Way to Fire

EASTON, Kan. (AP) _ Authorities in northeast Kansas say a volunteer firefighter died in a crash while on his way to a fire over the weekend. The Leavenworth Times reports the crash happened Sunday in Leavenworth County, near Easton. The Easton Township Fire Department announced on its Facebook page that one of its volunteers "was killed in the line of duty in a traffic accident while responding to the fire.'' The sheriff's office says 23-year-old Johnny Ivison Jr. died in the crash after his pickup truck went off the road and rolled several times. His family says Ivison was the father of two young children.

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Parachute Jump, KC Symphony Concert Scheduled for Veterans Day at National WWI Museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KPR) - The National World War I Museum in Kansas City is planning a full slate of events for Veterans Day, including a parachute jump featuring veterans from many of America's wars and conflicts.  A ceremony to honor veterans will feature Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Bob Kendrick of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and a special concert by the Kansas City Symphony.  The veterans' tandem parachute jumping team will be skydiving at 6:30 Wednesday morning at the WWI Memorial.  Later in the day, Birdman Parrott will make a BASE jump from the Liberty Memorial Tower. Admission on Veterans Day is free for all veterans and active duty military personnel, and half price for the general public. 

For a complete schedule of events, visit TheWorldWar.org.

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Jackson County, Missouri, to Add Context to Statues

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) - Jackson County, Missouri, will add explanatory signs to statues of President Andrew Jackson that stand in front of two county courthouses. Last week, county residents rejected a proposal to remove the statues of Jackson because of his history of mistreating minorities.  County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker said Friday her office will pay for the signs, which will explain that Jackson owned slaves and approved the removal of Native Americans from their lands.  Baker said the signs were approved last year but were delayed by budget constraints and by racial injustice demonstrations across the country earlier this year. The signs are expected to be in place in the next few weeks, weather permitting.

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Kansas Man Facing Murder Charges in Deaths of 2 Sons

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - A 40-year-old man charged with killing his two sons is now being held without bond after being returned to Kansas. A judge ordered Donald R. Jackson Jr. to remain in the Leavenworth County Jail without bond during Jackson's first court appearance Friday.  Jackson is charged with capital murder in the deaths of his 12- and 14-year-old sons. Their bodies were found October 24 at their home in Leavenworth. Authorities say Jackson fled with his two young daughters, who were with him when he was arrested in Oklahoma. He was returned to Kansas on Thursday.

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KBI Investigates Shooting Death of 13-Year-Old Girl in SW Kansas

ASHLAND, Kan. (AP) - Authorities are investigating the shooting death of a 13-year-old girl while she was at a friend's house in southwest Kansas. The KBI says the Clark County Sheriff's Office was called to a home in Ashland Friday afternoon. Officers found the teenager suffering from a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at a hospital. The KBI says the girl was at a friend's house with four other juveniles when the shooting occurred. No other information has been released.  

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Fewer Corn Bushels to Be Harvested in Kansas 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ A new government report shows Kansas farmers are forecast to harvest 759 million bushels of corn this season, down 5% from last year's production. The National Agricultural Statistics Service's forecasts Tuesday for the fall harvest of other major crops in the state are more optimistic. Sorghum production is projected at 237 million bushels, up 16% from last year. The state's soybean harvest is forecast at 200 million bushels, up 7% when compared to a year ago. 

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Former Lawrence Banker Sentenced to 5 Years for Loan Scheme

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ A former Lawrence banker has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for a loan fraud that caused millions of dollars in losses. Troy Gregory was sentenced Tuesday and also ordered to pay $4.7 million in restitution. Gregory, a former officer of University National Bank in Lawrence, was found guilty in August 2019 of four counts of bank fraud and two counts of making false statements. Prosecutors say in 2007, Gregory tried to secure a $15.2 million construction loan for bank customers who wanted to build an apartment complex in Junction City. He misrepresented the strength of the borrowers and used some of the money for other purposes. 

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Bridge over Kansas River in Topeka Closed Because of Fire 

UPDATE: The bridge opened at midday Monday.  According to the Topeka Fire Department, a large pile of wood and debris was found near the east end of the bridge. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials have shut down a bridge that spans the Kansas River in Topeka after a fire erupted underneath it early today (MON).  Televisions station KSNT reports that the Sardou Bridge that connects north Topeka to the Oakland neighborhood is closed until further notice. Police say firefighters were called to the bridge just before 2 am for a blaze under the east end of the bridge. Firefighters extinguished the fire, but the bridge will remain closed until officials can determine it is safe to use.

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Key Departures Signal Agriculture Shakeup for Capitol Hill

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defeat of U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson in Minnesota and some key retirements...including U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas...mean a shakeup is coming for agriculture on Capitol Hill. Observers say power is likely to shift from the Midwest to the South and the coasts. Both the House and Senate agriculture committees will get new chairs. Names in the mix include lawmakers from Southern and coastal states, and urban districts. Observers say they’re likely to prioritize Southern crops such as peanuts, rice and cotton over traditional Midwest concerns of corn, soybeans, sugar beets and dairy. And it likely means a new emphasis on nutrition programs that serve the poor.

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Kansas City Man Sentenced in Fatal Police Pursuit Crash

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 33-year-old Kansas City man was sentenced to 18 years in prison after admitting that he caused a fatal crash while fleeing from police. Miguel Ayala pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder, resisting arrest and driving while intoxicated. Prosecutors said Ayala was fleeing police in February after a woman reported he tried to hit her with his car. Ayala eventually hit another vehicle. The driver, 38-year-old Rebecca White, later died from her injuries. A 3-year-old child in the victim's car also was injured but survived. Court records indicate Ayala had a blood-alcohol content of .347 after the crash.

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KPR's daily headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day. KPR's weekend summary is usually published by 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays. 

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