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Headlines for Tuesday, November 17, 2020

 

Kansas State Cancels Fall Commencement as Virus Surges

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University has canceled its fall commencement set for this weekend as the coronavirus outbreak worsens on campus and across the state. The Manhattan Mercury reports that university officials announced the cancellation this (TUE) morning. The graduation events in Manhattan and Salina had been scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The university instead will hold a virtual commencement in December and will release details on that event at a later date. KSU President Richard Myers said in a written statement that hundreds of new cases announced in both communities in recent days led university officials to consult with county health departments and the decision to cancel the ceremonies.

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BREAKING: Gregg Marshall Resigns as Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Wichita State University

WICHITA, Kan. (KPR ) - Gregg Marshall is out at Wichita State.  WSU's Director of Athletics, Darron Boatright, has accepted the resignation of the head men’s basketball coach, effective immediately.  “This was a difficult decision, but one I feel was necessary for my family, the university and, most importantly, the student-athletes,” Marshall said. “I remain grateful for my years at Wichita State.  "I am incredibly proud of this men’s basketball program and all it has achieved over the past 14 years and am confident of its continued success.”  As part of Marshall’s resignation, WSU has agreed to a contract settlement for $7.75 million to be paid over a period of six years.  Assistant Coach Isaac Brown will serve as the team’s interim head coach.

Marshall has been under investigation following allegations of physical and verbal abuse.   In October, the university confirmed it had hired a St. Louis-based law firm to conduct an internal investigation into Marshall's behavior following multiple allegations by former players.  Wichita State saw a mass exodus from its basketball program last spring.  The 57-year-old Marshall is the winningest coach in Wichita State history, leading the Shockers to eight NCAA tournament appearances since taking over in 2007. He led the Shockers to the Final Four in 2013.  Marshall also guided the Shockers through their transition from the Missouri Valley Conference to the American Athletic Conference in 2017.

(–Additional Reporting–) 

Wichita State Coach Marshall Resigns After Misconduct Probe

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Wichita State University men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall has resigned following an investigation into allegations of verbal and physical abuse. Marshall, who has long been known for his combustible sideline persona, came under scrutiny when former player Shaq Morris claimed he’d been struck twice by his coach during an October 2015 practice. Morris also claimed that he’d seen Marshall choke assistant coach Kyle Lindsted, who soon departed to become an assistant at Minnesota.

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Kansas COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates; Cases Top 120,000

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS/KPR) - Kansas has recorded more than 122,000 COVID-19 cases, which includes more than 1,200 virus-related deaths.  The state health department reported Monday that Kansas had identified 122,741 coronavirus cases and 1,266 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.  Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is urging all Kansans to wear face masks in public, avoid large crowds and practice social distancing.  Another update of Kansas COVID-19 cases will be released Wednesday. 

(–Related–)

Kansas Reports Another Record 7-Day Spike in COVID-19 Cases

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has reported another seven-day record for new coronavirus cases. The state Department of Health and Environment on Monday added 7,234 confirmed and probable cases to the state’s tally for the pandemic since Friday, increasing it to 122,741. The department also reported another 10 COVID-19-related deaths over three days, bringing the total to 1,266 since the pandemic reached the state in early March. The state had a record average of 2,741 new cases a day for the seven days ending Monday. Kansas reported 19,188 new coronavirus cases over the past seven days. That’s the equivalent of one in every 152 residents testing positive.

Kansas Health Officials Urge Communities to Do More Amid Surge

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Kansas health officials are urging communities to take stronger action as more hospital rooms are devoted to the care of coronavirus patients and hundreds of doctors, nurses and other workers are quarantined, leading some surgical procedures to be delayed. State health department head and Dr. Lee Norman said Tuesday that a system that he likened to air traffic control for coronavirus patients is being put in place so nurses from rural hospitals can make a single call to find a larger hospital that can take their sickest patients. In some cases, nursing staff and doctors have been spending up to eight hours looking for a large hospital with an opening. But Norman said these rural communities can’t leave it entirely to the state to help. Hospital emergency departments in at least two communities were holding coronavirus patients while waiting for space or staff to treat them elsewhere. The CEO of the Stormont Vail Health system in northeast Kansas called the local spread of the virus “uncontrolled.” Both Stormont Vail and the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center have held coronavirus patients in their emergency departments. Stormont Vail created new space for non-COVID-19 emergency patients in waiting rooms and hallways.

Kansas Officials: We Can't Help Half of Firms Seeking COVID-19 Assistance

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials say the state can't help at least half of the struggling small businesses seeking relief because of the coronavirus pandemic. Democratic Governor Laura Kelly called Monday for additional federal aid as the state reported another record for new coronavirus cases.  Kelly and state Commerce Secretary David Toland announced that Kansas awarded grants to nearly 2,000 small businesses to help them cover operating costs. Her office said the grants totaled $37.5 million, and Toland said the state hopes to award another $20 million to an additional 1,000 businesses. But Toland said 6,000 businesses sought relief so that half won't get funds unless Congress approves more funding.

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Kansas City-Area Officials Announce New COVID Restrictions

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Leaders of the Kansas City area have announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, days after St. Louis County announced similar new measures. Democratic Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said that effective Friday, all indoor gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people. Restaurants and bars must close by 10 pm and limit occupancy to 50% capacity. Masks must be worn at all indoor spaces and at outdoor spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. Separately, neighboring Kansas City, Kansas, along with Jackson County in Missouri and Wyandotte County in Kansas announced similar measures.

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Missouri Lawmakers Test Positive for Virus, Delay Work

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are postponing work on coronavirus aid funding after numerous legislators have been sickened by the virus. Republican Senate leaders on Monday said they're delaying work until after Thanksgiving. Leaders have not yet specified how many senators and staffers have tested positive for COVID-19. Republican Gov. Mike Parson called lawmakers back to the Capitol to give him the power to spend $1.1 billion in additional federal coronavirus aid. He also asked lawmakers to give hospitals, schools and businesses immunity from being sued for misconduct related to how they've handled the pandemic.

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Virus Cases Steadily Increase in Missouri

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases continues to steadily increase across Missouri and hospitalizations remain at a high level. The state reported 3,729 new virus cases Sunday for a total of 239,451 cases. The number of people hospitalized with the virus dipped Sunday to 2,447 from the previous day’s record of 2,523, but hospitalizations have doubled in the past month and capacity is strained in parts of the state. Local health officials have urged Gov. Mike Parson to impose tougher restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, but he has resisted requiring masks and largely left it up to local officials to impose restrictions.

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Black Hawk Helicopters on Standby Due to Risk of Wildland Fires

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - The Kansas Army National Guard has placed two Black Hawk helicopters on standby in Salina in response to the high potential for wildland fires today (TUE) and tomorrow (WED).  National Guard helicopters helped support firefighting efforts in Harvey County over the weekend.  Governor Laura Kelly declared a state of disaster emergency on Saturday (Nov. 14)  due to the potential for wildland fires in northwest and southwest Kansas.  "It is because wildfires can spring up so suddenly under these conditions that I have put this disaster declaration in place," Kelly said. "Placing resources such as these helicopters on standby help the state respond more quickly if a fire begins to spread."  The threat of wildfires has increased because of dry conditions and strong northwest winds gusting up to 65 mph.  The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka is currently activated in response to the coronavirus pandemic and will also be monitoring fire conditions across Kansas.

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Police: 2 Shot in Northeast Kansas City; Woman Dies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police say a woman is dead after she and a man were shot in a northeastern Kansas City neighborhood. Police say officers were called to Independence and Indiana avenues around 11:15 pm Monday for reports of a shooting. Arriving officers found both victims down on a sidewalk with gunshot wounds. The woman died at the scene. The man was taken to an area hospital and is expected to recover. Police say in a news release that they have no information on who the shooter might be. Detectives canvassed the neighborhood looking for witnesses, and crime scene investigators collected evidence at the scene.

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Kansas Supreme Court: Consent to Search Can be Non-Verbal

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court says an individual's conduct can be relevant in determining whether a person has expressed valid consent to search. The ruling Friday came in the case of Gianni Massimo Daino. He allowed police to enter his apartment when he opened the door and stood aside for them to come in. The appeals court reversed a Johnson County District Court ruling that suppressed evidence after the warrantless search led to the discovery of marijuana and other incriminating evidence. It ruled that an individual's nonverbal conduct can be relevant because a person may express valid consent through words, acts, or conduct.

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Texas Man Sentenced for Death of 2 Kansas Carnival Vendors

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A 37-year-old Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison in the deaths of a Kansas couple who were vendors at a Kansas county fair. Rusty Frasier, who was sentenced Friday, was one of several people charged in the July 2018 deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter. They were killed at the Barton County, Kansas, fair. Their bodies were later found in shallow graves near Van Buren, Arkansas. Investigators say one suspect posed as a member of a mafia group and ordered the couple's deaths as part of initiation. Police say there is no “carnival mafia.”

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Kansas College Settles Lawsuit over Recruitment of Athletes

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — A small community college in northeast Kansas has settled a lawsuit accusing it of directing coaches to recruit more white athletes and targeting Black prospective students with excessive scrutiny such as background checks before offering scholarships. A brief stipulation of dismissal was filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. The ACLU had alleged in the lawsuit that Highland Community College instituted a plan to reduce the number of black students. The college has said its recruiting is not determined by students' race or ethnicity and denied it ever instructed coaches to exclude out-of-state athletes from recruitment.

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Nebraska Expects to Meet Republican River Pact with Kansas

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — There appears to be enough water in Nebraska's stretch of the Republican River to satisfy the terms of a water-sharing agreement with Kansas next year. Todd Siel with the Lower Republican Natural Resources District said he expects the state will be able to meet the terms of the Republican River compact next year without putting additional restrictions on irrigation or pumping additional water into the basin. The Republican River Compact allocates the waters of the basins between the states of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

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Police: Topeka Teen Dies After Being Hit by Vehicle

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 16-year-old pedestrian hit by a vehicle in Topeka over the weekend has died. Topeka police say the crash happened around 5:30 pm Sunday on NW Lyman Road. Officers called to the scene found the teen gravely injured. The teen later died at an area hospital. Police have not released the teen's name or indicated whether charges are imminent in the case. Police are asking witnesses or anyone with information about the crash to contact investigators or Shawnee County Crime Stoppers.

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Wichita Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Stabbing of Man

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police have arrested a 34-year-old suspect in the stabbing death of a man there. Police say 59-year-old Bryan Turner of Wichita was found dead early Sunday after suffering multiple stab wounds at a home. Police spokesman officer Charley Davidson says Kenneth Junious was arrested Monday in connection with Turner’s death. The investigation showed Turner and Junious were visiting the home when they were involved in a disturbance.  Police say the death was not a random incident. Kansas Corrections records show Junious was on parole after serving prison time for aggravated battery and a weapons violation.

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No Injuries When Wind Gust Blows Small Plane off Runway

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say no one was injured Monday when strong wind gusts blew a small plane off the runway at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City. Airport officials say a Piper Meridian single-engine aircraft had landed on a runway around 10:30 am Monday when the wind pushed it off the east side of the runway into the grass. Officials say two people aboard the plane were uninjured. The runway was briefly shut down while crews removed the plane. The airport's other runway remained open.

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Kansas Man Dies in Rollover Accident

CLOUD COUNTY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man died after the pickup truck he was riding in rolled over in a roadside ditch. The Kansas Highway Patrol said the wreck happened around 11:15 pm Saturday in Cloud County about three miles north of Aurora. Investigators determined that a southbound GMC pickup left the road and rolled over after it entered a ditch on the east side of the road. Authorities said 38-year-old Ryan Peltier of Concordia died at the scene of the crash. The truck's driver, 40-year-old Amanda Applebee of Aurora was taken to Cloud County Hospital with serious injuries.

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Kansas Man Dies After Pulling Out in Front of Semi Truck

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 28-year-old Kansas man has died after a semitrailer truck smashed into his car. The Kansas Highway Patrol said the crash happened around 10:15 pm Friday southwest of Dodge City in Ford County. Investigators determined that a westbound 2013 Chevrolet Camaro pulled out into the path of a southbound semi after stopping at a stop sign along U.S. Highway 56. The Camaro's driver, Marcos Solis, was taken to Western Plains Regional Hospital where he died. The 27-year-old Iowa man driving the semi was not injured.

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Judge Rules Former Kansas Teacher Will Face Stalking Charge

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a stalking charge will stand against a former Olathe fourth-grade teacher accused of surreptitiously photographing one of his 10-year-old students. The Kansas City Star reports that a Johnson County judge has rejected the argument of ex-teacher James Loganbill's attorney that because the girl didn't know she was being photographed, she wouldn't have been fearful of the teacher, invalidating the charge reckless stalking. Police say the girl's classmates reported seeing Loganbill secretly taking photos of her from behind in class and on the playground. Investigators say that under questioning, Loganbill admitted taking the photos because he found the girl sexually attractive.

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Sedgwick County Commissioner Resigns Amid Kansas Cover-Up Plot

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican county commissioner in Kansas has resigned after the district attorney concluded there was sufficient evidence to begin ouster proceedings for his role in plotting to cover up their part in a false ad against a mayoral candidate in the state's largest city. The Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O'Donnell tendered his resignation Friday after District Attorney Marc Bennett notified his attorney that he intended to initiate legal proceedings for forfeiture of public office.

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KU Shuts Down Fraternity Following Hazing Investigation

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas says it will shut down the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity chapter on campus at the end of the semester after an investigation found evidence of hazing and drug use. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that KU officials informed the chapter that it would be shuttered on November 25. In a letter sent to the fraternity, KU officials say the earliest the chapter could rejoin as a student organization would be in the spring of 2026. A copy of the letter released by KU to the Journal-World says that the fraternity was found responsible for harming or endangering members, hazing students as part of initiation and of having an “open culture of illegal drug use.”

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KU Providing Free COVID-19 Testing for People Returning to High-Risk Households

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - The University of Kansas is offering additional COVID-19 testing options for certain campus community members who are preparing to head home after the end of in-person classes later this month.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that in-person instruction at KU will end on Tuesday, November 24, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, and students are encouraged to leave campus for the semester at that time.  In an email message to the campus, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said any students, faculty or staff members whose travel plans require a negative test — either mandated by an airline or their final destination — will be able to get tested. Additionally, any students, faculty or staff who are returning to a household with a person who is at high risk for complications from COVID-19 — as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — may receive a test. 

Testing will be available from November 16 to November 22 at KU Parking Lot 91, north of the Spencer Museum of Art. Those who qualify should not get tested, however, if they have previously tested positive for the virus within the past 90 days.  Qualifying individuals may receive a free saliva test by signing up for an appointment at covidtest.ku.edu.

After Thanksgiving, there will be a week for students to study for finals, which will then be conducted remotely, as they were during the spring 2020 semester.  KU’s spring 2021 semester will begin later than normal because of the pandemic, and it is scheduled to start February 1, with no spring break currently planned.

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Chiefs Sign Coach Andy Reid, GM Brett Veach to Contract Extensions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs signed Andy Reid and Brett Veach to contract extensions that will provide added stability by keeping the most successful coach and general manager combination in franchise history together well into the future. The Chiefs declined to announce the terms of the extensions Monday, though it’s unlikely Reid or Veach was going anywhere. They have built a juggernaut together, reaching back-to-back AFC championship games and delivering the Chiefs their first Super Bowl title in 50 years last season. And at 8-1, they are in good position to defend the title.

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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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