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Headlines for Tuesday, September 8, 2020

KBI Helps Topeka Police with Homicide Investigation

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) – Authorities say a man in Topeka, who demanded a ride at gunpoint, was shot and killed by the man he threatened. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) has been asked to investigate the fatal shooting that took place over the weekend in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Early Sunday morning, Topeka police responded to 911 calls about shots being fired at the Prospect Hills Apartment complex on SW Fairlawn Avenue. When searching the area, they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. The man, later identified as 29-year-old Albert E. Meade, Jr., was transported to Stormont Vail hospital where he died. Preliminary information indicates that around 3 am Sunday, a 19-year-old Topeka man and his 20-year-old female passenger pulled into the carport at the apartment complex. As they parked, Meade approached the car demanding that he be given a ride. The driver refused and a confrontation occurred where Meade threatened the couple with a firearm. The male driver then shot Meade with his firearm. The male and female subjects were taken into custody at the scene. They were questioned and released. An autopsy is scheduled. According to a KBI news release, the Topeka Police Department requested the KBI's assistance in order to avoid any conflict of interest between police personnel and a party involved in the case. The investigation continues.

(AP version)

Police: Topeka Man Who Demanded Ride at Gunpoint Killed

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a man who demanded a ride at gunpoint was shot and killed by the man he was threatening. The Capital-Journal reports that the shooting happened early Sunday morning in the parking lot of a west Topeka apartment complex. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says the incident began when 29-year-old Albert Meade Jr. approached and demanded a ride from a 19-year-old man and 20-year-old woman who had just parked their car in the lot. Police say when the younger man refused, Meade pulled a gun. Police say the 19-year-old man then pulled his own gun and shot Meade, who was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. The couple were questioned by police and released.


Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis Retiring After 53 Years

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Education Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis is retiring after a 53-year-career with the department. The agency announced Tuesday that Dennis will retire effective Sept. 30. He joined the education department in 1967, was named deputy commissioner in 1976 and has been interim commissioner of education four times since July 1995. As deputy commissioner of fiscal and administrative services, Dennis supervises the distribution of about $5 billion in state and federal funds to schools. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly praised Dennis as a “relentless advocate” for Kansas schools. Craig Neuenswander, who is director of school finance, will take over Dennis’s position.


Kansas City Police: Body Discovered in Pond

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — The Kansas City Police Department is investigating after a body was found in a pond Monday morning. Police tell FOX4 News the body was found in a pond located at Northwest 64th Street and North Cosby Avenue around 8:30 a.m. According to Captain Dave Jackson with the Kansas City Police Department, officers were called to the pond after a passerby saw a body floating face down in the water. Firefighters, who were also called to the area, retrieved the body. Investigators have not released the victim’s identity and have not said exactly how the person died.


Former KU Chancellor, American League President Gene Budig Dies at Age 81

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Former American League president Gene Budig has died at age 81. The Charleston RiverDogs, which Budig co-owned, announced Budig's death on Tuesday. Budig spent much of his life as an academic leader and headed up several universities, including serving as chancellor of the University of Kansas from 1980 to 1994. That's when Budig was named as American League president, where he served until Major League Baseball eliminated both league president positions after the 1999 season. Budig became part owner of the Class A Charleston team in 2007.  


Kansas Reports Nearly 47,000 COVID-19 Cases, 485 Deaths Since Start of Pandemic

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas health officials say the state has recorded close to 47,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The Department of Health and Environment reported Monday that there are now 46,914 cases, including 485 deaths. Coronavirus cases have been reported in every Kansas county. Updates are released Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on KDHE's coronavirus webpage. Another update is expected Wednesday.


KU Student Group Stages Strike to Protest Campus Opening

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP/KPR) — A group of University of Kansas students went on a strike from classes Monday to protest the opening of the campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Kansas held classes on Labor Day due to a modified academic calendar amid the pandemic. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the student organization, Jayhawker Liberation Front, publicized the strike in tandem with a petition calling for the closure of campus due to the virus spread. The student group also wants to abolish capitalism and bring an end to white supremacy. On Monday, state health officials reported four new deaths related to COVID-19 and that 1,694 new cases of coronavirus had been identified in the state since Friday.


UPDATE: Some Technology Issues as More Kansas Schools Begin Classes

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Technology issues are popping up in some Kansas school districts that opened with mostly online classes. The Olathe district experienced interruptions to service Tuesday morning when nearly 50,000 users with different devices tried to log on to a system that was meant for 30,000 students. After the district added more servers, the disruption was resolved by mid-morning. Gov. Laura Kelly announced the state will receive $63 million in federal funds to help those who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. She has also said she plans to seek renewal of a state COVID-19 emergency declaration, which is set to expire next week. 

(– Earlier Version–)

Some Technology Issues Present Challenges as More Kansas Schools Begin Classes

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Technology issues are popping up in some Kansas school districts that opened with mostly online classes. The Olathe district experienced interruptions to service Tuesday morning when nearly 50,000 users with different devices tried to log on to a system that was meant for 30,000 students. The district started Tuesday with middle and high schools learning remotely and elementary students using a hybrid of online and in-person classes. After more servers were added, the interruption was solved by mid-morning. In Wichita, where middle and high school students also started remotely, school officials were working to provide hotspots for all students who still needed them.


Several People Shot, Injured at Kansas City Park
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Police are investigating a Sunday night shooting that left several people injured at Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Star reports all the injuries were described as non-life threatening and no arrests have been made. Police say five victims arrived at a nearby hospital while they were enroute to the scene and another victim drove home and called police from their residence.


Car Crashes into 3 Horses in Southwest Kansas, Killing 2 of Them

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KAKE) - Authorities say two horses were killed and a third was injured when a car crashed into them on a highway in southwest Kansas.  KAKE TV reports that authorities responded around 1:45 a.m. Monday to a vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 50 in Ford County. According to a post on the county's Fire & EMS Facebook page, initial reports were that a vehicle hit a horse. Crews arrived on scene and treated the car's occupants for minor injuries. They then discovered that the car actually struck three horses. Additional information was not provided.


Fire Damages Downtown Topeka Building

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a downtown Topeka building sustained about $1,000 in damage due to a fire that appeared to be set intentionally. Officials say a pile of debris behind the building was set on fire and the flames spread to the building. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports no one was hurt. Firefighters responding to the call Sunday night arrived to find smoke and flames coming from the rear of the two-story building. No working smoke detectors were found in the building.

ACLU Drops Lawsuit Alleging Agency's Retaliatory Complaint

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas has dropped its lawsuit that accused a former lawyer for the state utilities regulating agency of filing a baseless, retaliatory complaint against two environmental activists. A joint stipulation of dismissal was filed Monday, with the parties agreeing to bear their own costs and fees. Last month, U.S. District Judge Holly Teeter gutted the ACLU's lawsuit by finding that members of the Kansas Corporation Commission are immune from liability, leaving only the former general counselor as a defendant. The lawsuit contends he filed a bogus consumer protection complaint in 2018 against two activists protesting injection well applications.


Investigators Examining Wichita's Handling of Records

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Investigators are examining the city of Wichita’s handling of records after a complaint by a founder of a group seeking to save the Century II Convention and Performing Arts Center. The Wichita Eagle reports that group's leader says she’s gotten what she believes to be incorrect and incomplete information in response to requests she’s filed in her campaign to save the facility from potential demolition as part of a redevelopment project. City Treasurer Mark Manning acknowledged there are errors, but said they were inadvertent clerical mistakes and the money actually went where it was supposed to go.


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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