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Headlines for Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Kansas Governor: State Finance Council Likely to Stay Political

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said she expects the GOP-led State Finance Council to remain political and contentious at least until after November's election. Kelly spoke Monday, two days after a lengthy meeting that ended with an extension of the governor's emergency declaration involving coronavirus-related services provided by the state. Kelly said all council members knew the extension had to be approved but Republican members took the opportunity to "make political hay" by demanding a clause in the extension that said Kelly didn't intend to issue another statewide closure of businesses. Kelly also urged Kansans on Monday to get their flu shots this year to prevent overwhelming the state's health facilities.

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Suburban Kansas City Commissioner Warns of 'Coming War'

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A commissioner for the most populous county in Kansas urged constituents to buy firearms and prepare for a “coming war” in a Facebook post that described a chaotic end to law and order. Johnson County commissioner Mike Brown used the hashtags “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” as he described violence, “burning churches” and “looting stores” in the weekend posts. Brown, who is white, is up for re-election in November. The posts are no longer public, but Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, a Democrat who is Black, retweeted images of them Monday and described the messages as “racist” and “reckless.” 

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Judge Blocks Release of Agency Records for Slain Kansas Girl

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Wyandotte County judge has ruled that state agency records of a 3-year-old girl whose body was found this summer in a shallow grave should not be released to the public. Olivia Jansen’s body was found in a shallow grave on July 10, the same day her father reported her missing. He and his girlfriend have been charged with felony murder and other crimes in her death.  Several media outlets have filed requests for records from the Department for Children and Family Services. The Kansas City Star reports that the judge granted a motion to prohibit the release of agency records relating to the girl.

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KCK Man Charged After Daylong Standoff at Arrowhead Stadium

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A 33-year-old Kansas City, Kansas man has been charged with three felonies for his alleged role in a daylong standoff at Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City Star reports Joshua D. Newton was charged Monday with making a terroristic threat, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon. Kansas City police say Newton arrived at the Truman Sports Complex Saturday and fired several shots at employees but did not hit anyone. According to court records Newton told police that another man pointed a gun at him, so he raised his gun in response. He denied shooting.

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Kansas Reports Nearly 50,000 COVID-19 Cases, 534 Deaths Since Start of Pandemic

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas health officials say the state has recorded nearly 50,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.  The Department of Health and Environment reported 49,899 cases Monday, including 534 deaths. Coronavirus cases have been reported in all 105 Kansas counties.  The next update on case numbers will be released Wednesday. 

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Wichita Area Takes Tougher Stance on Face Masks, Bar Curfews

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita area health officials are cracking down on face masks and bar curfews to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Sedgwick County health officer Dr. Garold Minns made compliance mandatory in a new emergency public health order that took effect this (TUE) morning. The Wichita Eagle reports that the order runs through October 21. The health order has required face masks, an 11 pm curfew on bars and a 15-person limit on mass gatherings. But previous versions of the order said that while it was lawful, compliance was voluntary. The update removed wording that the order “cannot be enforced through criminal charges, fines, or civil penalties.”

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Health Official Concerned About Crowded Parties at KU

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Douglas County health official is reminding University of Kansas students to help stop the spread of the coronavirus after video of another large house party was posted to social media over the weekend. An associate professor shared videos of a crowded house party Saturday near the college campus, and said he saw two other parties where safety measures were not being followed. Lawrence is under an emergency order that bans gatherings of more than 45 people. On Monday, Kansas reported a statewide total of 1,513 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, for a total of 49,899. Kansas also had 23 new deaths, raising that number to 534.

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ACLU: Wichita Schools Disciplined Teacher over Facebook Post

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A civil rights group says a Wichita teacher who posted on Facebook about her concern over school reopening procedures was wrongly disciplined by the district. The Wichita Eagle reports the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas has asked the Wichita school district in a letter to rescind the reprimand. The ACLU says it is defending the teacher’s First Amendment rights. A school district spokesperson says it respects the teacher’s right to publicize views on their own time in a manner consistent with the district’s policies. The teacher had posted the video showing that the thermometer at a temperature check was not working properly. 

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Missouri Tops 100,000 Confirmed Cases of the Coronavirus

Missouri has reached a grim milestone, topping 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ coronavirus dashboard cited 1,974 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 101,134. The number is likely higher since many people with the illness go undiagnosed. The state also added three news deaths. All told, 1,704 Missourians have died from COVID-19. And the number of cases is growing at a rate faster than most places. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over the seven-day period of Sept. 4-10, Missouri saw the sixth highest number of new cases among all states. 

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Body of 23-Year-Old Woman Found Inside Pittsburg Home

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is helping to investigate the death of a 23-year-old woman whose body was found inside her Pittsburg home. The agency said in a news release that Pittsburg police received a 911 call Tuesday morning about an unresponsive person. Responding officers then found Tylei Messer dead inside the home. The KBI says special agents and a crime scene team were sent to the home. No other details were immediately released, including her cause of death.

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Police: 1 Killed, 2 Hurt in Wichita Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say one person has died and two others have been hospitalized following a shooting today (TUE) in northeast Wichita. Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says officers responded around 8:45 am and arrived to find a male victim who had been shot and has since died. KAKE-TV reports two other males later showed up at a local hospital after being shot. The investigation is ongoing. No immediate details on the case were available.

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Officials: 12-Year-Old Killed in ATV Crash West of Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in south-central Kansas say a 12-year-old child has died after an all-terrain vehicle and dirt bike collided on private property west of Wichita. Television station KSN reports that the accident happened Sunday afternoon in Reno County. Investigators say the 12-year-old and another juvenile were riding the ATV and dirt bike on the property when the two collided Sunday afternoon. Reno County Sheriff's deputies and medics responded to the crash, and the child was rushed to a hospital and later died. Officials have not released the name or gender of the child. Investigators say the child was wearing protective equipment at the time of the crash.

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Man in Butler County Standoff Fatally Shoots Himself with Deputy's Gun

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Authorities in south-central Kansas say a man fatally shot himself with a deputy's gun following a standoff with police.  KAKE TV reports the incident began Sunday morning when Butler County Sheriff's deputies were called to a home east of Wichita for a domestic violence report. Arriving deputies say a man who lived at the home barricaded himself in the house, then in a bus parked outside before approaching deputies. Sheriff Kelly Herzet says deputies used stun guns and other options to try to subdue the man, but the man was able to reach for one of the deputy's guns and shoot himself in the chest. The man, whose name has not been released, died at the scene.

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Kansas City Police Investigate Fatal Shooting of 41-Year-Old

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Police are investigating after a 41-year-old man was found dead inside an apartment in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday.  KCK police spokesman Dustin Dierenfeldt said officers were called to the apartment in southeastern Kansas City, Kansas, shortly before 10 am Sunday after gunshots were fired. Officers found the dead man inside with a gunshot wound to the head. Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting. Police said a person of interest had been identified in the case and that person was cooperating with investigators.

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Trial Delayed Again for Suspect in Death of Washburn Football Player

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A trial has been delayed for the second time for the suspect in the shooting death of a former Washburn University football player and the wounding of another player who went on to play for the New York Giants. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 19-year-old Francisco A. “Franky” Mendez was scheduled to be tried Oct. 26 in the April 2019 death of Dwane Simmons and the wounding of Corey Ballentine. Shawnee County District Judge Cheryl Rios granted Mendez a continuance in the case while scheduling a status conference to take place Nov. 12. Mendez was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder after the April 28 shooting in Topeka.

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Body Found in Kansas Lake After Kayaker Went Missing

FORT SCOTT, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have found a body in a Kansas lake while searching for a missing kayaker. Fort Scott police say emergency crews began looking Sunday in Lake Fort Scott for 19-year-old Raymond Harper after his friends recovered his kayak but couldn’t find him. A helicopter and divers were called in to help before a body that is believed to be Harper’s was found Monday afternoon.

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Happy Birthday, KANU!  Kansas Public Radio Turns 68-Years-Old!

LAWRENCE, Kan.(KPR) - Kansas Public Radio celebrates its 68th birthday today (TUE).  The non-commercial, public radio station, which is owned and operated by the University of Kansas, began broadcasting on September 15, 1952.  The Lawrence-based station started its life using a donated FM transmitter, called KANU FM 91.5.  The FCC certified the station as the nation's first non-commercial radio station to broadcast in stereo.  During the past 68 years, the award-winning station has added numerous additional FM transmitters and translators across eastern Kansas, including KANH in Emporia, KANV in Junction City and KANQ in Chanute.   Kansas Public Radio is funded, in large part, by listeners.  While KU provides some funding for the station, listeners represent the station's single largest source of financial support.  (You can support KPR too by making a tax-deductible contribution.)  KPR reaches 100,000 listeners a week and is the Kansas Association of Broadcasters' reigning Station of the Year.  KPR has earned this highly-coveted statewide award a record 19 times, more than any other radio or TV station in the state.  

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3 Mexican Wolf Pups Cross-Fostered into an Arizona Pack

PINETOP, Ariz. (AP) - Game and Fish Department biologists say three Mexican wolf pups have successfully been cross-fostered into a pack in northeastern Arizona. They say biologists used remote trail cameras on August 26 to document eight Mexican wolf pups in the Hoodoo Pack in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. In April, Arizona Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cross-fostered four genetically valuable wolf pups into the Hoodoo Pack from a litter in captivity at the Sedgwick Zoo in Wichita.  After cross-fostering was completed, there were five wild Mexican wolf pups and four cross-fostered pups in the litter. Biologists will begin fall trapping efforts later this month to document cross-fostered wolves that have survived.

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"Keeper of the Plains" Replica Statue Stolen from Wichita Park Recovered

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Keeper of the Plains replica statute that was taken from a Wichita park over the weekend has been found not far from where it was stolen. The Wichita Eagle reports that a resident spotted the statute in the grass beside a creek that runs by Colvin Elementary School. City maintenance workers retrieved the statute Monday evening. It's too soon to say what they'll do about the damaged statue. It is one of 13 Keeper of the Plains replica statues, each painted by different Wichita artists. The 10-foot-tall, 75-pound fiberglass statue was pried off its base.

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Deer Shot by Teenager May Set a New Kansas Record for Size

KIOWA COUNTY, Kan. (AP) - A 14-year-old Kansas girl may have set a new state deer hunting record with a buck she killed this month. Paslie Werth shot a 40-point whitetail buck while hunting in Kiowa County. The deer unofficially measured 282 6/8 inches, which would top the existing record of 280 4/8 inches. Before the record can become official, the rack of antlers on the deer Werth shot must dry for 60 days. Even if Werth's deer sets the record, it may not last long. A deer shot last fall in Chase County measured 321 3/8 inches, but that deer won't be officially certified until 2022.

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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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96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
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99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

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