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Headlines for Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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Emily Fisher

National Group of Professors Censures Emporia State University

EMPORIA, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) - A national organization of college professors has censured Emporia State University (ESU) over controversial layoffs. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) says Emporia State violated academic freedom and tenure when it fired dozens of faculty members last fall. At a meeting last week, the AAUP’s governing council voted to place Emporia State on its list of censured administrations. Janett Naylor-Tincknell, with the Kansas Conference president of AAUP, says ESU's placement on the list could hurt recruiting. “This looks bad for incoming faculty members," she said. "This looks bad for the faculty members who are there. It’s a tarnish on their reputation.” ESU officials have said they adhered to a Board of Regents rule that let colleges bypass regular policies to address financial problems.

ESU is the only Kansas university on the group's censure list, and one of only 17 added in the past decade. Naylor-Tincknell says the layoffs are part of a larger attack on academic freedom. “Looking into what we teach, how we teach it... just sort of this general tenor towards higher education is concerning," she said. Emporia State officials disagree with the group’s findings and say they will move forward with plans to restructure.


Kansas State Employees to Officially Get Pay Raise

TOPEKA, Kan. (TCJ) — State employees are officially in line for a pay raise, now that Governor Laura Kelly has signed the state's wrap-up budget bill. Lawmakers advanced the multi-billion-dollar proposal to Kelly's desk in the waning days of the legislative session, including a $120 million pay bump for state workers. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that statewide officers - including the governor, attorney general and secretary of state - have already been assured of a pay raise beginning in 2025, as have top judicial branch officials. The Legislature also established a binding committee that could recommend their own compensation rise.

Lawmakers, however, waited to evaluate the best way of raising pay for other state employees. Kelly's budget proposed a flat 5% pay raise but also more targeted boosts to those most behind the going rate. Under the proposal enacted Monday, individuals whose positions are deemed to be 10% or more below the established market will be brought up to that 10% figure or given a 5% raise, whichever is higher. Those making about market rate will receive a flat 5% raise and individuals with a salary above 10% of market rate will get only a 2.5% pay hike.


Kansas Schools About to Run Out of COVID Relief Money

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) — Schools in Kansas still have millions of dollars in federal aid designed to make up for learning losses from COVID-19, but that money runs out soon. Kansas school districts have raised teacher pay, expanded summer school and hired new counselors and nurses with temporary federal money. That influx of cash ends in September of 2024. And many districts have lost students, which means less state funding. Marguerite Roza directs the Edunomics Lab research center at Georgetown University. She says districts that used federal aid to make up for enrollment declines could face a fiscal crisis in coming months. “If those funds have gone into pay raises, or hiring new people, or new programs or services, then schools will be struggling to make those cuts," she said. The state’s largest district in Wichita hired more than 700 people using COVID-relief money.


KU Doctors Change Treatment for Babies Exposed to Opioids

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) - New research is changing how Kansas doctors treat infants exposed to opioids during pregnancy. This change comes as rates of neo-natal opioid withdrawal are on the rise in Kansas. University of Kansas Medical Center researchers have been testing a new approach for treating those infants that emphasizes parents comforting the infant over drug treatment. Typically, infants are slowly weaned from opioids in the hospital to manage withdrawal symptoms. But the new method was found to be more effective, according to KU’s Dr. Krishna Dummula, one of the study’s authors. “This approach has significantly decreased the total number of hospital days, as well as the number of babies that were ever exposed to any opioid therapy postnatally," he said. Because of that, the University of Kansas Health System has transitioned to the new method. The number of babies born with opioid withdrawal more than doubled in Kansas between 2010 and 2017. “As long as the baby's achieving these three main targets of being able to eat adequately, sleep adequately, and be able to be consoled, then we will try to avoid starting any medical intervention," Dummula said. Neonatal opioid withdrawal rates more than doubled in Kansas between 2010 and 2017.


Consultants: Design Issues, Operations Lapses Led to Big Kansas Oil Spill

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KPR) — Pipeline design issues, lapses by its operators and problems caused during its construction led to a massive oil spill on the Keystone pipeline system in northern Kansas. That's according to a report for U.S. government regulators. An engineering consulting firm said in the report that the bend in the Keystone system where the December 2022 spill occurred had been "overstressed" since its installation in December 2010 — likely because construction activity itself altered the land around the pipe. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration posted a redacted copy of the report online Monday, about three weeks after it was completed by RSI Pipeline Solutions, based in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

The report raised questions about Canada-based TC Energy's oversight of the manufacturing of its pipeline, saying the report's authors could find no record of a pre-installation inspection of the welds on the Washington County bend. The report concluded that TC Energy underestimated the risks associated with the bend going from its round shape when installed to a more-restricted oval shape within two years and didn't replace the bend after excavating it in 2013.

The company said in February that a faulty weld in the bend caused a crack that grew over time under stress. The spill dumped nearly 13,000 barrels of crude oil — each one enough to fill a standard household bathtub — into a creek running through a rural pasture in Washington County, about 150 miles northwest of Kansas City. It was the largest onshore spill in nearly nine years.

"When you have a pipeline that is spilling and having as many problems as Keystone One, it is clearly a red flag that there are bigger issues going on," said Jane Kleeb, who founded the Bold Nebraska environmental and landowner rights group that helped fight off TC Energy's plan to build a second pipeline, the Keystone XL. The U.S. Department of Transportation has documented 22 leaks along the Keystone pipeline since it was built in 2010. The one in Washington County was by far the largest. "At what point, does the federal government step in and say this has reached a point where we need to shut the full line down to do a full review of the pipeline?" Kleeb said.

The 2,700-mile Keystone system carries heavy crude oil extracted in western Canada to the Gulf Coast and to central Illinois. Concerns that spills could pollute waterways ultimately scuttled TC Energy's plans to build the Keystone XL across 1,200 miles of Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

In Kansas, no one was evacuated because of the December spill. State and U.S. government officials have said it didn't affect two rivers and a lake downstream from the creek.

In response to a request Tuesday for comment, TC Energy pointed to a statement it issued when the report was finished in April but not public. In it, Richard Prior, president of TC Energy's Liquids Pipeline operations, said the company was confident in the pipeline's reliability. TC Energy has said the cleanup will cost the company $480 million, and it announced last week that it had finished recovering oil from the creek.

Prior said last month: "We are unwavering in our commitment to fully remediate the site."

But Bill Caram, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust watchdog group, said that with the history of problems along the Keystone pipeline, the public has plenty of reasons to doubt its safety. "I would certainly like to see PHMSA come up with a plan to work with TC Energy to develop a plan so that the public can be ensured that TC Energy will be able to operate this pipeline safely going forward. I don't think the public has that kind of trust in this pipeline right now," Caram said.

Richard Kuprewicz, who has five decades of experience in the pipeline industry and consults with governments about them, said problems like this flawed weld need to be found during construction but TC Energy clearly missed it amid the pressure to get the multibillion-dollar project built quickly. "It looks like the quality control got out of hand at least in this segment. I can't say for the whole line," said Kuprewicz, who is president of Washington-based Accufacts Inc.

The consultants' report said the pipeline rupture and oil spill occurred only days after TC Energy began testing for increasing the pressure in the Keystone system, though the Kansas section was operating about 16% below the top pressure allowed by U.S. government regulators. At the same time, the company was running a device through the pipeline to look for potential leaks.

Pipeline valves were left open so that the leak-testing tool could pass through the pipeline, the report said, and that could have contributed to the size of the spill.

The report said a March 2021 engineering assessment of Keystone's pipeline from southern Nebraska to northern Oklahoma showed five bends, including Washington County's, had the same oval "deformation." The report noted that the industry generally does not see so-called "ovalities" as a threat, so the "obvious" focus in Washington County in 2012 and 2013 when that abnormality was found there was ensuring that a leak-detecting tool still could pass through the bend. "Yet this focus may have caused the Pipe Integrity team and senior management to overlook a potential concern of added stress on the elbow and its possible impact on future integrity," the report said.

The report added that 108 other pipe fittings manufactured for the Keystone system in 2010 could have "imperfections" similar to those in the Washington County bend. All of them were replacements for other fittings found to be deficient. Because other bends made on the same day had weld flaws that were repaired, the report found it "plausible" that the Washington County bend also had flaws "repaired but not recorded." The lack of an inspection report means that, at a minimum, record-keeping procedures were not followed and, at worst, the report said, "The weld inspections were never performed."


Project Funds Axed After Kansas Lawmaker Defies Governor on Abortion, Trans Rights

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KPR) — Kansas Democratic Governor Laura Kelly has vetoed state funding for a project long advocated by a Democratic lawmaker who broke ranks to override the governor's vetoes and give Republicans crucial support for laws restricting abortion and rolling back transgender rights. Apparently, Rep. Marvin Robinson's decision had consequences. Kelly axed $250,000 in the next state budget for drafting a state plan to develop the Quindaro Ruins in Kansas City, Kansas, which Robinson represents. Quindaro was a short-lived town and a station on the Underground Railroad that helped enslaved people escape to Canada. A proposal to build a landfill there in the 1980s led to an investigation of the site and the discovery of multiple buildings' foundations.

Robinson, who is Black, advocated for the site's restoration and development as a national historic landmark for several decades before he won an open House seat last year. Democratic leaders called on him to resign after he voted to override Kelly's veto of a measure banning transgender female athletes from girls' and women's sports, giving Republicans the super-majoirty they needed. Robinson's votes were also crucial to Republicans enacting two other new laws over Kelly vetoes amid a national push on culture war issues by GOP state lawmakers. One is a sweeping bathroom law that could also prevent transgender people from changing the gender markers on their driver's licenses. The other will require abortion providers to tell patients that medication abortions can be stopped using a regimen that major medical groups see as ineffective and potentially dangerous.

Kelly told lawmakers in her veto message Monday that the Quindaro site is a “fundamental piece of Kansas history,” but noted that Republicans added the money to the budget during their final days in session this year. Kelly said the idea had not been vetted, and her veto will stand because lawmakers have adjourned for the year.
“Advocates should work through the proper channels to seek funding for this measure and ensure that it receives the recognition it deserves,” Kelly wrote in her message. Michael Austin, chair of the Kansas Black Republican Council, said Kelly had “callously” denied funs to an important project while offering “hollow rhetoric” to Black residents. House Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita, Republican, said in a statement that preserving the Quindaro site should be a bipartisan priority "excluded from the wrath of political punishments.”

State Rep. Patrick Penn, of Wichita, the Legislature's only Black Republican member, told the House before it passed the budget measure that Robinson did not know that GOP lawmakers included funds for Quindaro. State Sen. J.R. Claeys, a Republican from central Kansas, told The Kansas City Star that he pursued the funding to give Robinson "a win in his first year” after fellow Democrats treated him poorly. Robinson did not respond to emails seeking comment on Kelly's veto, and the telephone number listed for him did not allow people to leave messages. He voted 18 times this year to override Kelly vetoes of bills or budget items, starting with the measure on transgender athletes. The measure was a priority for GOP leaders, as was the abortion medication measure.

Robinson's vote to block Kelly's veto of the bathroom measure vexed fellow Democrats because the new law is broader than those in other states. It applies outside public schools, extending to prisons, jails, rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters. Supporters argued they were protecting cisgender women’s and girl’s privacy, health and safety.

The new law recognizes only two sexes, male or female, and defines them based on reproductive anatomy at birth. Because of that, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, a Republican, said earlier this month that he believes it prevents transgender people from changing the gender markers on their driver's licenses. A spokesperson for the state agency that issues the licenses says it is still reviewing the issue. Critics see the law as attempting the “erasure” of transgender people.
“It just sounds like something to do to be nasty,” Luc Bensimon, a Black transgender Topeka resident and activist, said during a recent interview. Later, he added, “You know, it’s scary.”


14-Year-Old Charged in Death of 44-Year-Old Woman in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — A 14-year-old is now facing charges in the death of a 44-year-old woman in Kansas City. Prosecuters in Jackson County, Missouri, say the teenager, who has not been publicly named, is charged in the death of Jamie Craig. WDAF TV reportsthat a petition filed Friday against the juvenile alleges second-degree murder. Kansas City police say officers found the woman dead in an apartment (near E. Missouri and Woodland Avenues) on April 29. Officers were initially called to area on a welfare check. Police say she died from “apparent trauma,” but would not release any further information on her cause of death. The second-degree murder charge requires a mandatory certification hearing where a judge will determine if the 14-year-old should be tried as a juvenile or adult.


Three Years After Lansing Prison Riot and Still No Charges Have Been Filed

LANSING, Kan. (KNS) — It’s been more than three years since inmates rioted at the state prison in Lansing. In April 2022, inmates fought with corrections officers for almost 12 hours. But so far, nobody has been charged. Prosecutors say this is partly because the prison system has not yet completed its investigation. An investigation by the Kansas News Service and the Topeka Capital-Journal discovered that in some prison riots, no criminal charges are ever filed. Experts say such cases are complicated and difficult to prove. Inmates at the Ellsworth prison rioted in 2018 but no charges were filed. The Ellsworth County DA said the internal prison disciplinary system was just as good a punishment as adding time to their sentence. (Learn more.)


Baby Found Dead in Wooded Area in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) — Police are investigating the death of a young child who was found in the woods in the eastern part of Kansas City, Missouri. On Saturday night, police found a dead baby in the woods (near the intersection of E 41st Steet and Pittman Road), about a mile northeast of the Truman Sports Complex. According to KCTV, police could not immediately identify the baby, nor the infant's age or gender. Currently, police are treating the case as a death investigation, as the medical examiner has yet to determine a cause of death. Off camera at the scene, a man who lives in the area told KCTV that homeless people live in the woods where the baby was found. He also told reporters that people go there to smoke marijuana. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.


Baby Killed by Train in Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMBC) — A one-year-old girl was struck and killed by a train in Missouri over the weekend. KMBC TV reports that officers were called to the crash Saturday morning in a rural area near Hardin, Missouri, about 50 miles east of Kansas City. Investigators determined that the girl was on the tracks when an eastbound BNSF freight train struck her. The investigation is continuing. The Ray County Sheriff's Office says no further information will be released at this time.


Missouri Woman Arrested for DUI After Allegedly Driving 110 MPH on Kansas Interstate

RUSSELL CO., Kan. (WIBW) — Authorities say a Missouri woman was arrested and taken to jail after she was found to be intoxicated while driving down Interstate 70 at 110 mph. The Kansas Highway Patrol says troopers clocked a vehicle speeding along I-70 in Russell County late Sunday morning. The speed limit for this stretch of roadway is 75 mph. WIBW TV reports that the driver, identified as 41-year-old Carie M. Ketterer-Schaefer, of Wentzville, Missouri, was pulled over. During the traffic stop, officials say the woman was found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. She was arrested and booked into the Russell County Jail on a DUI.


Prosecutors: Jackson Mahomes Grabbed and Kissed Woman Against Her Will Three Times

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Prosecutors say Jackson Mahomes, the brother of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, grabbed and kissed a Kansas woman three times without her consent earlier this year. A partially redacted affidavit released Monday provides new details about the alleged assault at a Kansas restaurant in February. The owner of Aspens Restaurant and Lounge in Overland Park told investigators Mahomes left a bruise on her neck while forcefully kissing her, and then asked her not to tell anyone. On Tuesday, a Johnson County judge agreed to allow Mahomes to talk to three of four witnesses in the case, who are his friends. He is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on August 31.

Mahomes declined to comment before and after Tuesday's hearing. He has been free after posting $100,000 bond. The hearing came a day after a redacted affidavit provided more details of the alleged assault on the restaurant's owner, Aspen Vaugh. Investigators said Mahomes shoved a waiter at the restaurant who tried to come into a room where he was with Vaughn. After the waiter left, Mahomes grabbed her by the throat and forcefully kissed her three different times without her consent, according to the court document. She told police Mahomes was a friend of her stepdaughter and had caused trouble and been asked to leave the restaurant in the past.

According to the affidavit, two servers in the area did not hear her call for help but later confirmed that she told them about the assault and showed them a bruise on her neck. Mahomes, who is a social media influencer on TikTok and Instagram, asked Vaughn not to tell anyone what happened and then said he could help her business because he has a "large social media following," investigators said.

Vaughn's boyfriend came to the restaurant and, after finding out what happened, ordered Mahomes and his friends to leave.

At Tuesday's hearing, Johnson County District Judge Thomas M. Sutherland said Mahomes could not speak to one of the witnesses, who had direct knowledge of the incident. He warned the other three witnesses they could not talk to Mahomes about the case, Kansas City media reported.


Police Peacefully Resolve Standoff in South KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMBC) — Police have peacefully resolved a five-hour standoff with an armed man inside a south Kansas City home. KMBC TV reports that a suspect is in custody following Sunday evening's incident. Police initially responded to a residence on Ford Avenue to investigate a report of domestic violence. Two victims, an unidentified man and woman, contacted police outside the home and told officers they got into a physical altercation with the armed suspect. According to police, the female victim told officers that the armed suspect assaulted her physically and threatened her with a gun. Both victims exited the residence and called the police. For hours, police tried and failed to get the man to surrender. Around 7:30 pm, the suspect finally exited the home and turned himself over to police without incident.


Miller Moths Becoming Extra Nuisance in Kansans

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Moths by the masses are now hiding in many Kansas garage doors, cars, and patios. Experts say these Army Cutworms are native to Kansas but KSNW TV reports that two contributing factors are making the moths more of a nuisance this year. The problem has brought a surge of calls to Patton Termite and Pest Control in Wichita. President Gerry Marsh says he's been in the business for nearly 20 years and has never seen anything like it. Warmer temperatures are allowing the insects to grow longer, and the drought isn’t helping either. Experts said the moths won’t lay eggs or do damage to your home and soon, the pesky problem should be gone. Over the next few weeks, the moths will head west to pollinate flowers and become a source of food for grizzly bears. As we wait for them to migrate, experts said turning off unnecessary lights at night can help remove them. Experts said the moths should die off or migrate by sometime in June.


Raw Milk Now Legal in Iowa, as Well as Most Midwestern States

UNDATED (HPM) — Raw milk, milk without any pasteurization, is sold legally throughout the Midwest. The sale is already allowed in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Harvest Public Media reports that Iowa is now the latest state to legalize the sale of raw milk on the farm direct to consumers. But not everyone thinks drinking raw milk is a good idea. Angela Anandappa, with the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation, worries it puts vulnerable people at risk of salmonella, E.coli and even tuberculosis. "Primarily children and young children who don't have the choice to make that decision for themselves," she said. "They're the ones who are going to be exposed to this milk. It’s a public health risk that is opening the door for more and more cases of illness." Federal law does not allow raw milk to be sold across state lines because of those risks but allows the sale of raw milk within state borders.


Seismic Activity in Central Kansas Shakes Residents Awake on Mother’s Day

LINCOLNVILLE, Kan. (WIBW) — An earthquake near Lincolnville, Kansas, shook some residents awake in the early morning hours of Mother’s Day. According to WIBW TV, the U.S. Geological Survey earthquake map indicated that a 2.5 magnitude quake shook Central Kansas just before 4 am Sunday. The epicenter of the rumbler was about 9 miles southeast of Lincolnville in Marion County at a depth of about five miles. The USGS says Kansans for about 40 miles around could feel the seismic activity. In early April, a 3.2-magnitude earthquake rattled the area as well, this time about 4 miles north of Bennington. Residents in Salina, Newton and Wichita reported that they also felt this quake.


New Book Explores State's Deadliest Tornado, Udall 1955

UNDATED (KPR) — This month marks the anniversary of the deadliest tornado in Kansas History. On the night of May 25, 1955, a massive tornado tore through the small, south-central Kansas town of Udall, killing 77 people. A new book tells the story of that fateful night. Without Warning, written by Jim Minick, details the night of the tornado as well as the aftermath. The book is published by University Press of Nebraska.

Listen to KPR Commentator Rex Buchanan reviewWithout Warning.


K-State Begins Construction of New Agronomy Research Center

MANHATTAN (WIBW) — Leaders from across the state gathered in Manhattan Monday as Kansas State University broke ground for the construction of a new Agronomy Research and Innovation Center. WIBW TV reports that the university raised $75 million from donations and $25 million from a state grant to fund the project. Kansas State administrators say the center will allow researchers to do more in-depth testing to develop agricultural innovations. The center should be fully operational in the spring of 2025.


$5 Million Grant Expected to Restore Jayhawk Theatre in Topeka to Former Grandeur

TOPEKA, Kan. (TCJ) — A $5 million grant will help transform Topeka's historic Jayhawk Theatre into an even finer show place. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce will help restore the building to its former grandeur, making it appear as it did in 1926. Among other upgrades, the theatre plans to increase seating and standing capacity. One supporter of the project is Kansas House Minority Leader Vic Miller, a Topeka Democrat. He says the fully restored theatre will be "the jewel of Kansas. Not Topeka. Of Kansas." The Jayhawk Theatre opened in 1926 and hosted movies, pageants, concerts and other live performances until it closed in 1976. The theater was nearly torn down in 1992. The following year, the Kansas Legislature recognized it as the official state theater of Kansas.


Kansas Residents Hope Recent Rains Can Help Alleviate Drought

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE/KPR) — People in Wichita spent Sunday afternoon casting their fishing lines into the Arkansas River and other local rivers which have increased in volume after recent rains. Some residents have even been getting out on their kayaks for use along the Arkansas River. Recent rains across the state have eased the dry conditions, but most of central and western Kansas remain mired in a severe to extreme drought. KAKE TV reports that one area of Kansas that's seen the worst of the drought is the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area in central Kansas, which at times, has completely dried up. The Bottoms is one of the most critical resting spots for migratory birds in North America.


Company Announces Plans for Former Schlitterbahn Waterpark Site

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KC Star/KPR) — The company that’s redeveloping the defunct Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas, has announced ambitious plans for renovating the attraction including the addition of a new art museum, a sports arena, a Hilton hotel and the area’s first Margaritaville resort and hotel. TheKansas City Star reports that the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, has given preliminary approval to revised plans for the $880 million dollar project. The full commission is expected to vote on the plan next week. The Schlitterbahn water park closed in 2016 after a 10-year-old boy died on a 17-story water slide.


Program Gives Kids Free Access to Kansas Attractions

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) - The state of Kansas is again giving students free admission to more than 100 museums, zoos and other attractions through the Sunflower Summer program. The program, now in its third year, runs through a smart-phone app and is funded with federal COVID-relief money. Kids from preschool through 12th grade can get free tickets, along with any two adults who go with them. Sunflower Summer starts May 26th and runs through August 13th or whenever funding runs out. More information is available at SunflowerSummer.org.


Kansas State Employee Virtual Job Fair Set for May 17

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) — The state of Kansas is hiring. Job-seekers are invited to attend the State of Kansas Agencies Virtual Job Fair Wednesday, May 17 (8:00 am to 5:00 pm). This virtual fair, which is hosted by KANSASWORKS, will focus on highlighting employment opportunities within many of the state’s 98 government agencies.

Registration is required to participate in the event, regardless of previous participation.

The Virtual Job Fair portal features a job-seeker training video, a list of participating employers, and channels for attendees to register and log in. Job-seekers are encouraged to dress professionally, as
employers might request to engage in a video interview. Candidates can participate via any digital device. Any individual with a disability may request accommodations by contacting their nearest workforce center at (877) 509-6757 prior to the event.

Click here to register for the May 17 State of Kansas Agencies Virtual Job Fair.

KANSASWORKS links businesses, job candidates and educational institutions to ensure that employers can find skilled workers. Services are provided to employers and job candidates through the state’s 27 workforce centers. KANSASWORKS is free for all Kansans to use. State employment opportunities can be found at jobs.ks.gov.


Kansas City Police Officer Saves Child’s Life at Royals Home Game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — A Kansas City police officer helped save a child's life at a recent Royals game. Officer Matt Deloux took his son to Kauffman Stadium last Thursday. WDAF TV reports that the officer was standing in the parking lot when he found himself in the middle of an emergency. A nearby child was choking. The officer immediately stepped in to help. He put his arms across the boy’s diaphragm, bent him over and hit his back several times. Finally, some chocolate stuck in the child's throat was dislodged. The Kansas City Police Department says officer Deloux saved his own son’s life several years ago when he was also choking on food.


K-State Officially Signs Coach Chris Klieman to 8-Year, $44 Million Contract

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas State has signed head football coach Chris Klieman to a new eight-year contract that will pay an average of $5.5 million annually. The deal replaced a contract due to end after the 2026 season that paid him an average of $4 million. The 55-year-old Klieman led the Wildcats to the Big 12 title last season with a win over TCU. The Wildcats expect to contend for another conference title this season which opens September 2 with a game against Southeast Missouri State.


AAA: Expect Crowded Roads over Memorial Day Weekend

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — If you’re planning a road trip over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, you will not be alone. A new report released by AAA Kansas is predicting an uptick in road travel over the holiday. KSNT reports that an estimated 385,000 Kansans are expected to travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend. This marks an 8% increase in Kansas from Memorial Day weekend last year. In addition to the crowds of motorists on the state’s roads, more than 32,000 Kansans say they will be taking flights for the holiday.


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