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Headlines for Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Kansas City Police Identify 1-Year-Old Killed in Triple Shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police have identified a child killed in a triple shooting there as a 1-year-old boy, making him the city's youngest homicide victim this year. Police say Tyron Payton was in the back seat of a car with three other adults when someone opened fire on their vehicle Monday afternoon. The child’s death is the 148th homicide this year in Kansas City. At this time last year, 114 homicides had been recorded. Federal agents have been sent to Kansas City and a handful of other cities this summer to help fight gun violence, part of a program called Operation Legend. The program is named after a 4-year-old Kansas City boy LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while sleeping in his father’s apartment on June 29.


Child Killed, 2 Adults Wounded During Kansas City Shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say a boy under the age of 5 died and two adults were injured when someone opened fire on their vehicle Monday afternoon. The shooting was reported just before 3 pm.  Authorities say the driver then pulled up to a local fire station to ask for help. Police say fire and EMS personnel tended to the unidentified man, woman and child and they were taken to a hospital where the child later died. Police say the preliminary investigation shows that the vehicle was stopped in front of a home when someone fired numerous shots into the vehicle from outside, striking three people.


KBI: Man Dies After Fight in Southeast Kansas

IOLA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a man's death after a fight in southeast Kansas. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that Iola police found 34-year-old Jamie Martin lying in a driveway Monday afternoon.  Police found him after responding to a 911 call about the fight. Martin was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.  


Kansas Senators Roberts and Moran Ready to Move Forward on Approving Next U.S. Supreme Court Nominee 

UNDATED (KNS) – Both U.S. senators from Kansas say they’re ready to vote on President Trump’s eventual nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg before the end of the year.  On Monday,  Republican Senator Pat Roberts said he supports a confirmation vote before the next inauguration. In 2016, he opposed confirming a Supreme Court choice put forward by President Barack Obama because it was an election year. Roberts tweeted that the difference between 2016 and now is the presidency and the Senate are controlled by the same party.  Roberts tweeted that the Senate has an obligation under the U.S. Constitution to fill high court vacancies.  Republican Senator Jerry Moran said much the same thing shortly after Ginsburg died Friday. Trump has said he may announce a nominee by week’s end.


Lawmaker: Kelly Staff Blocks List of Kansas PPE Suppliers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker says Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s office blocked a Kansas legislative committee from obtaining a list of the state’s personal protective equipment suppliers. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Sen. Dennis Pyle of Hiawatha released emails Tuesday during a meeting of a study committee showing that its request had been refused. The committee sought the list after testimony last month that some of the state’s personal protective equipment was defective. According to the emails released by Pyle, the Adjutant General's Department cited instructions from the governor’s staff in declining to release the list. Kelly’s chief of staff said the directive was an effort to narrow the committee’s request.


COVID-19 Case Total in Kansas Closes in on 54,000 and Includes 600 Deaths 

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas health officials say the state has recorded nearly 54,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.  The Department of Health and Environment reported Monday that the state has 53,959 cases, including 600 deaths.  Another update on Kansas case numbers will be released Wednesday.


More Kansas Schools Ending In-Person Classes, Sports

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — More Kansas schools have ended in-person classes and canceled sports because of coronavirus exposure and team quarantines. The Wichita Eagle reports both Haysville and Derby have quarantined their high school football teams. Chanute has canceled football games, but is continuing in-person classes. The school board in Atwood overruled the superintendent’s decision to move classes to remote learning then later reversed course. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is expected to identify active coronavirus clusters on Wednesday, including outbreaks at schools and on sports teams. State health officials reported on Monday 53,959 confirmed cases and 600 deaths _ an increase of 1,674 cases and four deaths over the weekend.


Johnson County School Wants 100 to Quarantine; Parents Protest

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Johnson County health officials are recommending more than 100 people quarantine after being in contact with a person at an Overland Park elementary school who tested positive for COVID-19. But some parents are pushing back, saying the recommendation is an overreaction. County health officials said they are investigating exposures at Timber Creek Elementary School in the Blue Valley district. They did not say whether a staff member or student tested positive. Several parents who want schools to fully reopen held a rally at the school Sunday to protest the quarantine. Christine White, a pediatrician, led the rally. She called the quarantine a “massive overreaction.”


Kansas Governor Concerned About State's Ability to Slow COVID-19 Spread

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP/KPR) — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says she is concerned about the state's ability to slow the spread of the coronavirus as newly confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise. She says the state's lack of coherent statewide mask mandates and an ineffective, patchwork response to the pandemic endangers state residents and could slow economic recovery.  On Monday, Kansas health officials said the state had recorded nearly 54,000 cases of COVID-19, including 600 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.  That's an increase of 1,674 cases and four deaths since last Friday.


Missouri Reports Nearly 1,400 New COVID-19 Cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri added nearly 1,400 new COVID-19 cases and 13 more deaths on Saturday. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported that the 1,387 new cases bring the total to 111,516 since the pandemic began. The death toll in the state now stands at 1,793. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Missouri has risen over the past two weeks from 1,317.57 new cases per day on September 4 to 1,567 new cases per day on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But data from The COVID Tracking Project shows that the positivity rate dropped over that period, going from 13.75% to 11.69%.


Construction Begins to Fix Deadly Section of Kansas River

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Crews have begun working to fix a dangerous stretch of the Kansas River where three people have drowned since 2007. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the two-year, $5.7 million project started Monday and aims to make a river weir in Topeka safer.  Friends of the Kaw executive director Dawn Buehler says the problem is that calmer, slow-moving water suddenly speeds up around the weir, creating a dangerous "washing-machine effect." Kelly Ryan, levee engineer at the Topeka Utilities Department, said construction will be done in two phases. That construction is expected to be completed by this winter, and once complete, kayakers should be able to pass by the weir without having to leave the water.


Police: Body Pulled from Missouri River at Sugar Creek  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — For the second time in as many months, a body has been pulled from the Missouri River in a small western Missouri city. The Kansas City Star reports that Sugar Creek police, firefighters and the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded late Sunday afternoon to La Benite Park after someone reported spotting the body. Officials recovered the body of a man, but have not released his identity. Police also said they don't yet know how the man died. Sugar Creek Sgt. Tom Butkovich says police have no reason to think the incident is connected to one last month when another body was found in the river at the same park. 


Wichita Man Pleads Guilty to Having 20 Pounds of Meth, Guns 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a man pleaded guilty to drug and gun crimes after authorities say they found 11 weapons and 20 pounds of methamphetamine at his Wichita home. Wichita officers who searched the rental home of 40-year-old Luiz Hernandez in December 2018 found several baggies apparently full of methamphetamine in the house and a barrel full of the drug in a detached garage. Hernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and unlawful possession of firearms by a person in the U.S. illegally. 


Baylor Football Coach Optimistic Team Will Play Big 12 Opener vs Kansas 

WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor coach Dave Aranda says he's optimistic about the Bears being able to play their Big 12 opener this week. The Bears had to call off two games scheduled against non-conference opponents during the past two weeks because of COVID-19.  Baylor didn't play last weekend against Houston after positive tests affected Baylor players.  Aranda wouldn't say which players or positions were affected, but says the Bears expect about five guys to return to the team this week. They are scheduled to play the University of Kansas at home Saturday. Louisiana Tech was supposed to play at Baylor September 12 before the Bulldogs had a widespread virus outbreak. 


KU, K-State Try to Rebound in Big 12 from Sun Belt Blows

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas and Kansas State University had plenty of reasons to believe this season, despite spring football scuttled by the coronavirus and an offseason unlike any other, would produce another solid brick for the foundation of their program. Turns out it was crumbling right from the start. There is still time to put the pieces back together, of course. But the Week 1 lumps taken by the Big 12 rivals at the hands of the Sun Belt — the Jayhawks lost to Coastal Carolina and the Wildcats to Arkansas State — means they head into conference play Saturday with very little momentum and a dramatic step-up in competition. Kansas plays Baylor while Kansas State visits Oklahoma.


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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