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Headlines for Monday, September 26, 2022



Kansas Governor Wants to Build New Juvenile Facility in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly wants to build a new juvenile detention facility in Sedgwick County if re-elected. Kelly told the Kansas City Star’s Editorial Board she would like to build the facility in the county because most of the juveniles now in custody are from the Wichita-area. She also says the new facility could replace the current one located in Topeka. Leaders with Progeny, though, says that’s not enough to help Kansas youth. The group is focused on changing the juvenile justice system. Progeny's Desmond Bryant says, "Jail doesn’t help a child, it doesn’t heal a child. Positive behavioral supports are what is best shown to change behaviors and delivering those in a child’s home community where they have their social support is what is most effective.” According to February data from the Kansas Department of Corrections, about 150 juveniles were incarcerated at the facility. They stay for an average of a year.


Kansas Nets $9 Million Federal Grant to Fight Opioid Crisis

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansas is getting nearly $9 million to help fight the growing opioid epidemic. It’s part of $1.5 billion in funding nationwide. The Kansas News Service reports the federal grant will help state health officials address a burgeoning opioid epidemic, especially among young people. More than $8 million will go to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services to reduce overdose deaths and expand recovery options for opioids and stimulant use, including medication-assisted treatment. The Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas will receive half a million dollars to develop an opioid response program including prevention, screening and treatment. Overdoses are up in Kansas. The state saw a 54% increase in overdose deaths in the first six months of 2021 compared to the previous year. Most involved methamphetamine or fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.


Topeka Will Soon Get a New Children's Clinic

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Topeka will get a new children’s clinic next month in a collaboration between Stormont-Vail and Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. The Kansas News Service reports it will eventually mean families won’t have to travel long distances for some pediatric services. Children’s Mercy doctors started working in Topeka in 2018, but the new clinic will bring them together under one roof. Alison Wilson is a Stormont-Vail administrator. “What this really does is bring our patients to a one stop shop for those patients that utilize more than one service, like a cardiologist and a neurologist," she said. Mary Ann Queen, with Children’s Mercy, said they hope to bring telemedicine robots to the clinic within a year. “The doctor in Kansas City can listen to what their heart sounds like, what their lungs sound like. You could look at what their ears look like," she said. That’ll save some kids a trip to Kansas City. Administrators hope the clinic will help them bring more pediatric specialists to Topeka in the future.


Wichita Man Sentenced in 'Swatting' Case That Led to Death

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in a hoax call that led to police shooting and killing an innocent Wichita man. Shane Gaskill was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in May to wire fraud. Prosecutors said that in December 2017, Gaskill and Ohio gamer Casey Viner argued online over a $1.50 bet. Using an old Wichita address from Gaskill, Viner persuaded Tyler Barris of Los Angeles to place a hoax call to Wichita police claiming a shooting and kidnapping had happened at the address. A 28-year-old man who lived at the home, Andrew Finch, was shot by police after he opened the front door.


Officers Fatally Shoot 2 People After Car Chase in Missouri

OZARK, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say law enforcement officers shot and killed two people after a car chase in southwest Missouri. The Greene County Sheriff's office says the shooting occurred Saturday in Christian County. The department says an Ozark officer tried to stop a car after suspecting the driver was impaired. The car drove away and was later seen near Highlandville, where a chase began. The department says when the car eventually was stopped, the driver pointed a gun at officers. Officers from the Christian County Sheriff's Office, Nixa police and Ozark police fired, killing the driver, 37-year-old Timothy Shafer, and a passenger, 23-year-old Donna Bailey, both of Lebanon, Missouri.


Kansas Dedicates New Gold Star Family Memorial

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas now has a Gold Star Family memorial on the grounds of the Kansas Statehouse.  A Gold Star Family is the immediate family of a U.S. military member who died during a time of conflict.  The new monument honors more than 6,500 fallen service members from Kansas. Governor Laura Kelly honored Gold Star families Friday by unveiling the permanent monument at the Kansas Capitol Visitors Center. The monument, a four-foot-tall marble stand, is topped with a plaque that reads, “Gold Star Memorial; dedicated by the grateful citizens of the state of Kansas in honor of those Gold Star Families who sacrificed a loved one for our liberties and freedom.” ( Read more.)


Kansas Public Radio Searches for New Statehouse Bureau Chief

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Kansas Public Radio (KPR), at the University of Kansas, is seeking a new  Statehouse Bureau Chief.  This position works primarily at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. The position duties include managing all aspects of KPR’s capital news bureau, which provides broadcast and digital news reports to a number of radio stations in Kansas and Missouri. This position is primarily responsible for reporting on all aspects of state government. This includes but is not limited to covering the Kansas legislative session, the governor, attorney general, supreme court, the state’s congressional delegation and statewide elections. The KPR Statehouse Bureau Chief researches, writes, reports and produces spot news, digital stories and long-form audio features for KPR and its reporting partners.  Learn more about this position.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy.


Midwest Farmers Turn to Growing Hops

UNDATED (HPM) - Hops are a key ingredient in beer and are mostly grown in the Pacific Northwest. But Harvest Public Media reports Midwest farmers are trying to change that. Hops grow best in moist climates and long sunny days, which makes it hard for the crop to thrive in Great Plains and Midwestern States. But researchers like Katie Stenmark at Oklahoma State University are looking at ways to adapt the crop — like growing them in greenhouses. “The overall goal is to create quality hop cones that we can then use for a local brewery to create a beer, an Oklahoma grown beer," she said. Stenmark says the booming craft beer industry is what’s driving farmers to grow the cash crop. But it’ll be a while. It takes about 3 years for the crop to mature.


3 Kansas City-Area Business Owners Accused of Wiring Drug Money to Mexico

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSHB) — Three Kansas City area business owners are among 44 people who've been indicted on a drug trafficking conspiracy worth $4.7 million. KSHB TV reports that the indictments were announced Thursday. The three are accused of laundering money related to the drug trafficking of meth and heroin. Federal agents believe they transferred the money through their businesses on behalf of a drug trafficking organization based in Michoacán, Mexico.

The three named in this latest indictment are Ana Lilia Leal-Martinez, Ana Poala Banda and Maria de Lourdes Carbajal, who all own money wiring businesses. Leal-Martinez is the owner of Imagen Leal located in Olathe, Banda owns La Bendicion 2 in Kansas City, Kansas, and Carbajal owns Azteca Imports located in Overland Park. The trio is accused of participating in the conspiracy from February 2020, to June 2022.


Nebraska Mine Project Raises $366 Million of the $1.1 Billion Necessary

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The mining company that wants to extract an assortment of rare elements from under the ground in southeast Nebraska has announced a deal that will give it up to $285 million to help cover the roughly $1.1 billion cost of building the mine. In addition to the acquisition of a special purchase acquisition company called GX Acquisition Corporation II that NioCorp announced Monday, the Centennial, Colorado-based company also signed letters of intent to borrow up to $81 million more from Yorkville Advisors Global. So, NioCorp could get as much as $366 million to finance the project. NioCorp CEO Mark Smith said "these transactions have the potential to put NioCorp on the fast track to obtain the required project financing."


Matt Ryan drives Colts to 1st Win with 20-17 Comeback vs Kansas City Chiefs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Matt Ryan threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jelani Woods with 24 seconds left to give the Indianapolis Colts a 20-17 comeback victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Ryan earned his first win with the Colts in their home opener by throwing for two scores, both to Woods. Indy sealed it with a late interception — Patrick Mahomes' first of the season as the Chiefs fell to 2-1. Mahomes lost for only the third time in September despite leading almost the entire second half. Ryan won it with a brilliant 16-play, 76-yard drive that was aided by a personal foul call on Chris Jones following a third-down sack.

(Additional reporting...)

Blown Scoring Chances, Late Penalty Prove Costly for KC Chiefs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kansas City defensive tackle Chris Jones blamed himself for the Chiefs' first loss of the season. Coach Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes accepted responsibility, too. The truth was there were multiple places to look for how the Indianapolis Colts managed to rally for a 20-17 victory over the Chiefs. Reid called a fake field goal that resulted in an incompletion. Matt Ammendola missed an extra point and a short field goal. Mahomes only got Kansas City into the end zone twice. And Jones wasn't sure why he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct call, which extended Indy's final drive.


These area headlines are curated by KPR news staffers, including J. Schafer, Laura Lorson, Kaye McIntyre, and Tom Parkinson. Our headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays, 11 am weekends. This news summary is made possible by KPR listener-members.  Become one today. And follow  KPR News on Twitter.