Headlines for Tuesday, November 7, 2023
It's Election Day in Kansas
UNDATED (KPR) — It's Election Day in Kansas. Voters are casting ballots for local city and county offices and for school boards. Polls will remain open until 7 pm.
Lawrence Police Investigate Vandalism Incident After Israeli Flag Cut Down at KU Jewish Fraternity
LAWRENCE, Kan. (LJW) — Lawrence police are investigating an act of vandalism after an Israeli flag was cut down from a flagpole at a Jewish fraternity at the University of Kansas. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that officers responded to the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity Sunday night. The fraternity had an Israeli flag and an American flag hanging on its flag pole, but the Israeli flag was found ripped up about a block away. The American flag was still attached to the cut rope that was on the flag pole but was lying on the ground.
Records Show Kansas Officials Had Advance Knowledge of Marion County Newspaper Raid
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCUR) – Newly uncovered records reveal that multiple Kansas officials had advance knowledge of an August newspaper raid that sparked international outrage. According to KCUR Radio, reporting by the Kansas Reflector found that several state agencies - including the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Department of Revenue – allowed or actively endorsed plans for police to raid the Marion County Record. The Reflector obtained emails and police documents that contradict statements made by officials after the raid – an event that likely violated state and federal laws. Marion County Record editor Eric Meyer said that the public should be concerned such police behavior was approved. The police chief who led the raid, Gideon Cody, has since resigned and is facing a civil lawsuit.
Report: 2 in 5 Kansas Households Struggle to Afford Basics
WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) – A new report by United Ways of Kansas shows nearly 2 in 5 households in the state struggle to afford basic necessities. The Kansas News Service reports that most of these households are above the poverty line but still have financial hardships. 12% of Kansas households are officially in poverty, but another 27% make up what the report calls the ALICE population… asset-limited, income-constrained and employed. That means they work low-paying jobs that don’t fully cover the cost of living in their county. Lisa Gleason with United Ways of Kansas says certain groups are more likely to struggle, including 60% of Black households and 73% of single moms. She says many of those households make too much to qualify for programs like food stamps and Medicaid.
Kansas Game Wardens Investigate 4 Illegal Deer Killings
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is investigating the illegal killing of four deer that were left to rot in farm fields over the weekend. Game wardens are now trying to find those responsible. Three of the deer were killed south of Waldo in Russell County. KSNW TV reports that those responsible could face several hunting violations.
Women’s Lawsuit Accuses KCK of Allowing Police Corruption to Thrive for Years
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Five women who say they were sexually assaulted or harassed by a former Kansas City, Kansas, detective have filed a lawsuit accusing the Unified Government of Wyandotte County of allowing police corruption to thrive for years. The federal lawsuit says the Unified Government allowed its officers to "terrorize, abuse and violate" Black residents through a pattern of misconduct and assaults without being disciplined or investigated. The Unified Government declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Women's Lawsuit Accuses KCK of Allowing Police Corruption to Thrive for Years
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Five women who say they were sexually assaulted or harassed by a former Kansas City, Kansas, detective have filed a lawsuit accusing the government of allowing police corruption to thrive for years.
The Kansas City Star reports that the federal lawsuit says the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, allowed its officers to "terrorize, abuse and violate" Black residents through a pattern of misconduct and assaults without being disciplined or investigated. The government declined to comment because of the pending litigation, and a lawyer for former Detective Roger Golubski told the newspaper he couldn't comment because he hadn't read the lawsuit.
Golubski has been accused by federal prosecutors and civil rights groups of framing Black citizens and sexually harassing Black women and girls for years in Kansas City, Kansas.
Golubski is currently on house arrest facing two federal indictments alleging he sexually assaulted and kidnapped a woman and a teenager between 1998 and 2002, and that he was part of a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls in Kansas City, Kansas, between 1996 and 1998. Golubski has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The next hearing in the criminal cases is scheduled for Nov. 21, but no trial dates have been set. Four of the five plaintiffs allege Golubski sexually assaulted or stalked them. One said the detective raped her in 1992 in the back seat of his unmarked police car.
The lawsuit says that Golubski mocked one of the women when she said she was going to file a complaint against him. Acoording to the lawsuit, Golubski replied, "Report me to who, the police? I am the police."
Kansas Courts Still in Business Despite Online Woes
WICHITA, Kan. (KMUW/KNS) — The court systems in Kansas continue to operate even though they've been offline for a month after a security incident. The 18th Judicial District Court in Sedgwick County has one of the largest caseloads in the Kansas District Court System. Clerks have operated using paper since a possible cyber attack impacted the courts online docketing system. Chief Judge Jeffrey Goering says while the paper system slows down some of its processes, he doesn’t expect delays for trials. “We would prefer to be in a digital system, but we’re not, and we will live in a paper system as long as we have to," he said. An investigation continues into the security incident that knocked out most of the judiciary branch's online court filing systems. Kansas Courts have yet to give a timeline for when the system will come back online. The only place not affected is in Johnson County, where courts operate on a different online system.
Officials: Three Honduran Nationals Found Dead Inside KC Home from CO Poisoning
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) — Authorities in Kansas City say three people died inside a home from carbon monoxide poisoning. Emergency crews responded to a residence Monday morning (in the 6800 block of East 12th Terrace Avenue), where they located three male bodies, two adults and one teenager. According to KCTV, a power generator had been running inside the home overnight. The three males were later identified as Honduran Nationals (42-year-old Alex Solsa Silvia, 34-year-old Santos Ortiz-Acosta and 14-year-old Elvin Romero). Officials say power generators should only be operated outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Overland Park Drops Ban on Milkweed, Other Native Plants
UNDATED (KNS) – The second-largest city in Kansas has dropped its ban on certain native plants including milkweed. The Kansas News Service reports that Overland Park’s old rules banned a number of native wildflowers that Midwest cities have traditionally seen as weedy. These banned plants include common milkweed – which feeds monarch butterfly caterpillars. The city council voted unanimously to change that. The new rules promote native plants – and discourage non-native invasive ones. A Johnson County cost-share program also encourages homeowners to use wildflowers and trees that evolved in this region. These feed pollinators and alleviate storm-water problems like erosion.
Once-Endangered Bird Species Records First Documented Nesting in Kansas
PERRY, Kan. (WIBW) - While sightings of the Osprey bird are commonplace, there hasn't been a single recorded successful Osprey nesting throughout the history of the sunflower state. Until now. Wildlife officials helped erect a permanent, 50-foot nesting structure at Lake Perry specifically for the future of the once endangered bird species. WIBW TV reports that the effort finally appears to be paying off. The once endangered bird species is now nesting at Perry Lake.
KU Football Moves Up in AP Poll, K-State Falls Out of Top 25
UNDATED (KPR) — The University of Kansas football team moved up three spots to No 19 in the latest AP poll of the top 25 college football teams. K-State has fallen out of the poll. The Jayhawks, who defeated Iowa State on Saturday, improved to 7-2 on the season. K-State, which had been ranked No. 25 a week ago, fell out of the rankings after losing to Texas in overtime.
KU Coach Bill Self Signs Richest College Basketball Contract Ever Given by a Public University
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — University of Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self signed a lifetime contract Tuesday that will pay him $53 million over the first five years, easily surpassing Kentucky coach John Calipari for the richest deal ever given to a college basketball coach at a public university.
Self will make more than $13 million this season in base pay, professional services and royalties along with a one-time signing bonus and retention payments, including some that were deferred during the pandemic. At the conclusion of each year, another is added to the deal, and Self will earn a one-time, $5 million retention bonus if he serves out the first five.
The deal includes a provision that allows the renegotiation of terms, including Self's pay package, after the 2025-26 season. It already surpasses the deal signed by Calipari that will pay him $8.5 million to lead the Wildcats this season.
“Bill Self is undoubtedly the most consistent coach in college basketball, and a restructuring of his contract terms were long overdue,” Kansas athletic director Travis Goff said. “In an ever-changing collegiate athletics environment, our strong commitment to Coach Self positions KU basketball to maintain and enhance its status as the most storied program in the country."
The top-ranked Jayhawks opened this season by routing North Carolina Central on Monday night.
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.