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Headlines for Saturday, July 17, 2021

Image of KPR logo on black background
Image of KPR logo on black background

Local Rise in COVID Cases Closes Ike's Presidential Museum

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The federal government will shut down Dwight Eisenhower’s presidential library and museum again Monday as the faster-spreading delta variant fuels a growing number of new COVID-19 cases in Kansas. The decision to close sites in Abilene honoring the nation’s 34th president and the supreme Allied commander during World War II was a response to case numbers in their home of Dickinson County. The sites were closed throughout the pandemic but reopened May 20th. State health department data showed that Dickinson County was 10th among the state’s 105 counties for new confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases per 1,000 residents during the 14 days ending yesterday (FRI).


New Election Official Appointed for Sedgwick County

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ top elections official has appointed a local government manager to run elections in Sedgwick County. Secretary of State Scott Schwab yesterday (FRI) announced the appointment of Angela Caudillo as election commissioner. Caudillo previously was administrative manager and office manager in the Sedgwick County clerk’s office. Schwab told departing Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman in January that he would not reappoint her to another four-year term when her current one expires next week. Lehman violated a policy against remotely accessing the state’s voter registration database. At the time, Lehman was working from home while fighting cancer during the coronavirus pandemic.


Supreme Court Upholds Convictions for Topeka Triple Murders

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of a woman who participated in the deaths of three people who were strangled or smothered with trash bags in her Topeka home. In a unanimous opinion released yesterday (FRI), the high court also affirmed Kora Liles’ sentences on 11 charges, including three counts of felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated kidnapping.  Liles was one of five people charged in the March 2017 deaths of 19-year-old Matthew Leavitt, 38-year-old Nicole Fisher, and 20-year-old Luke Davis in a Topeka basement. Police said the violence stemmed from an unproven rape allegation against Leavitt.


Kansas State to Require Freshmen to Live on Campus

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University will require first-year students to live on campus starting in the fall of 2022. The university said in a news release yesterday (FRI) that the requirement aims to enhance student success. The university says its students who live on campus have higher grade point averages, are more likely to stay in school and graduate faster. Kansas State will join all other institutions in the Kansas Regents system, with the exception of the University of Kansas, in requiring freshmen to live on campus. Students may apply for an exemption to the policy.


3 Men Charged in Deadly 2018 Branson Duck Boat Accident

BRANSON, Mo. - A local prosecutor has filed a total of 63 felony charges against three employees over a July 2018 boat accident on a Missouri lake. The charges were filed yesterday (FRI) in Stone County against "Ride the Ducks" Branson captain Kenneth Scott McKee, general manager Charles Baltzell, and the manager on duty Curtis Lanham. All three face 17 felony counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter, and McKee faces 12 additional charges. The captain is accused of not exercising his duties by taking the boat out on Table Rock Lake during a thunderstorm. His lawyers are reviewing the charges and plan to continue to “vigorously represent” him. The dead included nine members of one family from Indianapolis. Other victims were from Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.


Hays Man Charged with Wife's Murder

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — A west-central Kanas man has been arrested on a warrant charging him with murder in the 2019 shooting death of his wife. The Hays Daily News reports that 27-year-old Colby Alan Trickle was arrested Thursday after charges were filed by prosecutors against him on Wednesday. Prosecutors say he shot 26-year-old Kristen Trickle in the head with a .357 Magnum revolver in a premeditated killing on October 31st, 2019. Colby Trickle is also charged with interference with law enforcement. Officials say that charge stems from the accusation that he gave false information to police on the day of the shooting and again on November 4th, 2019.


Wichita Settles Lawsuit over Police Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The family of a Black man shot in the back by a white Wichita police officer in 2012 has reached a $900,000 settlement with the city. The Wichita Eagle reports that the settlement comes just weeks before a lawsuit filed by the parents of 23-year-old Marquez Smart was set for a jury trial in federal court. His parents allege that police officers used excessive force. A federal appeals court found last year that a reasonable jury could conclude that by the time the final police shots were fired, Smart was on the ground with his arms stretched out. No criminal charges have been filed against the officers.


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