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Headlines for Friday, November 17, 2023

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Emily Fisher

Kansas to Appeal Ruling Blocking Abortion Restrictions

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Republican attorney general in Kansas is appealing a state judge's ruling that has blocked enforcement of multiple abortion restrictions. Those state rules include a new limit on medication abortions and an older rule forcing patients to wait 24 hours before they can get the procedure. Attorney General Kris Kobach filed a notice Thursday in Johnson County District Court in the Kansas City area, saying he will ask higher courts to overturn Judge K. Christopher Jayaram's decision last month. The judge concluded that abortion providers were likely to successfully argue in a lawsuit that the restrictions violate the Kansas Constitution. "The attorney general has a responsibility to protect women against radicals who want to deny them the ability to make informed decisions about their own health and the welfare of their babies," Kobach spokesperson Danedri Herbert said in an email.

Jayaram's order is set to remain in effect through a trial of the providers' lawsuit at the end of June 2024. Some of the blocked restrictions have been in place for years. The state imposed its waiting period in 1997. The newest restriction, in place July 1, required providers to tell patients that a medication abortion can be stopped. But the regimen to do that has been described by major medical groups as inadequately tested, ineffective and potentially unsafe. The legal battle in Kansas highlights the importance of state courts in attempts to preserve abortion access after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson last year ended protections under the U.S. Constitution and allowed states to restrict or ban abortion.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the state constitution protects access to abortion as a "fundamental" right. In August 2022, voters statewide rejected a proposed constitutional change from Republican lawmakers to nullify that decision and allow greater restrictions or a ban. Abortion opponents argue that even with last year's vote, the state can impose "reasonable" restrictions and ensure that patients are well-informed. But Jayaram concluded there is "credible evidence" that up to 40% of the information that clinics were required to provide before an abortion was medically inaccurate. "Kansans made it clear they don't want politicians interfering with their health care decisions and the courts reaffirmed that right," said Anamarie Rebori-Simmons, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which operates a Kansas City-area clinic that sued. "The attorney general continues to disregard the will of those he serves."


Kansas Revenue Forecast Goes Down but State Still Has Budget Surplus

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) — Kansas lawmakers will still have a healthy budget surplus despite the state’s first revenue forecast decrease since 2016. New estimates show a $68 million drop in the state’s estimated tax collections. But it still comes with a budget surplus of $2.8 billion at the end of the fiscal year in June. Edward Penner, with the Kansas Legislative Research Department, says the decrease is partly due to economic growth slowing down. “We aren’t forecasting a recession by any means," he said. "But we do think the next 20 months are going to be relatively slow growing times for the Kansas economy.” House leaders say the massive budget surplus means more tax relief should be the focus of the 2024 session. Republican lawmakers have pushed for income tax cuts. Governor Laura Kelly is expected to craft her own tax cut plan.


Maize School District Among Targets in Federal Inquiries over Alleged Antisemitism and Islamophobia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government has opened civil rights investigations into seven schools and universities over allegations of antisemitism or Islamophobia since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.

The list includes three Ivy League institutions — Columbia, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania — along with Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. It also includes one K-12 system, the Maize Unified School District in Kansas.

The Education Department announced the inquiries on Thursday, calling it part of the Biden administration’s effort to take “aggressive action” against discrimination. Schools found to have violated civil rights law can face penalties up to a total loss of federal money, although the vast majority of cases end in voluntary settlements.

Schools have a legal duty to act “when students are targeted because they are — or are perceived to be — Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh or any other ethnicity or shared ancestry,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a written statement.

Five of the investigations are in response to allegations of antisemitic harassment, while two are in response to allegations of anti-Muslim harassment, the department said. The agency did not disclose which schools faced which accusations. Details about individual complaints were not released.

Penn and Wellesley were accused of antisemitism in federal complaints filed last week by the Brandeis Center, a Jewish legal advocacy group.

In a Nov. 9 letter to the Education Department, the center says Penn professors have made antisemitic statements in the classroom and on social media. It said many Jewish students are afraid to be on campus during pro-Palestinian rallies, and that the university has done little to support them.

Penn officials said they're cooperating with the investigation.

University President Liz Magill "has made clear antisemitism is vile and pernicious and has no place at Penn," the school said. "The university will continue to vigilantly combat antisemitism and all forms of hate."

A separate letter from the Brandeis Center said Wellesley has failed to address antisemitism. It cites an email that some dorm advisers sent to residents saying “there should be no space, no consideration, and no support for Zionism” at Wellesley. Advisers later apologized for the message.

Wellesley, a private women's college, said the federal investigation is in response to the Brandeis complaint. A statement from Wellesley denied any wrongdoing, saying it “responded quickly and decisively” to the dorm incident.

Officials at Lafayette said it was unclear to them why their school was being investigated.

“The College maintains a firm stance against antisemitism, Islamophobia, and hate speech of any kind. The College is cooperating and will continue to cooperate fully with the DOE in their investigation,” the college said in a written statement.

Maize Unified, a district of about 8,000 students outside Wichita, said it did not receive a copy of the complaint. A statement said the district "takes allegations of discrimination seriously and is committed to cooperating fully with any investigation."

The schools are being investigated for possible discrimination based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, which violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The federal law requires schools to protect students from discrimination and respond to harassment that creates a hostile environment. Anyone can file a complaint alleging such discrimination.

All of the investigations were opened Wednesday or Thursday. An updated list of investigations will be released each week, the department said.

Emotions over the Israel-Hamas war have been running high on many campuses around the U.S. At Columbia, for one, tensions have been escalating amid dueling demonstrations by pro-Israel activists and by Palestinian students and their allies.

At Cornell, a student was arrested last month after posting threatening statements against Jewish people. Some Jewish students at Cooper Union say the school failed to protect them during an October pro-Palestine demonstration that left Jewish students sheltering in a campus library.

Palestinian and Muslim students have also reported increased harassment on campuses across the country. At Columbia, students protested this week after the school suspended two pro-Palestinian groups that have come under scrutiny on U.S. campuses.

“We at the Department of Education, like the nation, see the fear students and school communities experience as hate proliferates in schools,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary of civil rights for the department.

The investigations are the Biden administration’s latest steps to press colleges into action. Last week the Education Department sent universities a letter reminding them of their legal obligations under the Civil Rights Act. Cardona has recently met with leaders of Muslim, Arab and Jewish groups to discuss discrimination on campuses.

Along with complaints filed with the Education Department, some students have filed lawsuits alleging civil rights violations. Three Jewish students at New York University sued the school this week, saying it failed to address persistent antisemitism that has worsened since the Oct. 7 incursion of Israel by Hamas militants.

(–Additional reporting–)

Maize School District Among Those Named in Federal Discrimination Investigation

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) – A school district near Wichita is part of a federal investigation into possible discrimination involving antisemitism or Islamophobia. The Kansas News Service reports that the U.S. Department of Education released a list of seven school districts and universities being investigated under the Civil Rights Act. One is the Maize district just west of Wichita. The Department said it launched probes to address a nationwide rise in reports of discrimination targeting Jewish and Islamic students, as well as other forms of discrimination and harassment in U.S. schools and colleges sparked by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Maize officials said they did not have a copy of the complaint. An emailed statement said the district takes allegations of discrimination seriously and will cooperate with the investigation.


St Marys Library Removes Some Controversial Books

ST. MARYS, Kan. (KNS) — A library in northeast Kansas has removed some LGBTQ books after city leaders threatened to cancel the library’s lease. City leaders in St. Marys, northwest of Topeka, have battled the library for more than a year, ever since a local parent took issue with a graphic book about a transgender child. They extended the lease but ordered a committee to identify books deemed to be against community standards. The group searched the library’s catalog for terms like “gay” and “transgender” and removed about a dozen books from the shelves. Library director Judith Cremer says the titles are still available through other branches. “We’re just trying to keep that balance, so that every parent has the right to decide what they want their families to have," she said.

Cremer said she felt compelled to appease residents who voiced concerns. “The people who don’t find what they want on the shelf, we’re going to get it for them. And the people that don’t want to see it on the shelf, well, we tried to compromise on that, too," she said. Among the books removed were the popular young-adult novel, “They Both Die at the End,” and the “Red Scrolls of Magic” series by Cassandra Clare.


ACLU of Kansas Notifies Elementary School in Girard of Possible Legal Violation Linked to Hair Policy

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) – The ACLU of Kansas says a Southeast Kansas elementary school unlawfully forced a Native American student to cut his hair. The Kansas News Service reports that a school policy for R.V. Haderlein Elementary in Girard, Kansas states that boys’ hair cannot extend below their earlobes. The ACLU says its 8-year-old client is a member of the Wyandotte Nation and wears his hair long for cultural and spiritual reasons. ACLU of Kansas Legal director Sharon Brett says the boy cut his hair after school officials said he’d be sent home if he failed to do so. She says the school’s policy and its refusal to grant an exemption violate religious freedom and civil rights laws. Board of Education officials now say they plan to review the dress code policy.


New Early Childhood Community Center Will Expand Child Care in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) — A new child care facility is coming to Lawrence. On Thursday, Governor Laura Kelly helped break ground on the child care facility at the Community Children's Center, which will be used to provide care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The facility will create nearly 140 more slots for child care in Douglas County, serving infants to 5-year-olds. Last week, the governor announced that the Kansas Children's Cabinet is providing $4.9 million in funding for the center.

The Community Children’s Center is a nonprofit organization that will provide drop-in and occasional care with sliding-scale tuition. Additionally, the Early Childhood Community Center will serve as a multi-purpose community facility, providing a hub of resources and services for families. The facility plans to open in 2024.


NASA Launch Includes KU Med Center Research into Female Reproductive System

UNDATED (KPR) — What are the effects of space travel on female reproduction? That's one of the questions researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center are trying to answer. KU scientists have partnered with NASA researchers in the first-ever examination of long-term space exposure on female reproductive physiology. A SpaceX rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center earlier this month includes an experiment from the KU Med Center. Astronauts on the International Space Station will help examine the effects of spaceflight and microgravity on female reproductive health.

The purpose of the study is to learn whether spaceflight, directly or indirectly, causes ovarian dysfunction that leads to infertility in an animal model using female mice. Scientists say the International Space Station is an effective environment for the study because the ISS resides in low-Earth orbit and is protected from elevated levels of radiation. (Read more.)


KBI Releases Revised Kansas Crime Report: Violent Crime Is Actually Up Nearly 3%

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has released an amended crime report for 2022, after Wichita media and the Wichita Police Department reported errors in the original report. The amended report shows that violent crime actually increased statewide by almost 3% from the previous year. The original report said violent crime decreased by 4%. Property crime declined statewide and reached its lowest mark since the 1970s. But overall crime declined statewide by 10% when looking at the 10-year average, which experts say provides a better snapshot of crime trends locally. The figures reported earlier this year by Wichita Police showed that crime statistics were undercounted or not reported to the KBI.

(Additional reporting...)

KBI Releases Amended Kansas Crime Statistics

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) has released an amended 2022 Kansas Crime Index Report. The report says violent crime in Kansas increased nearly 3% from 2021. It increased in each of the categories of violent crime except for murder. In all, nearly 14,000 violent crimes were reported in Kansas in 2022 in the categories of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault and battery. Violent crime in Kansas has been steadily rising each year since 2014.

In 2022, overall property crimes declined by 4%, though property crime offenses are assumed to be under-reported to local law enforcement.

The Kansas Crime Index Report compiles crime statistics reported to the KBI by state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Kansas.

(NOTE: Data from the report is dependent on victims reporting crimes to law enforcement. The report is compiled to provide a historical assessment and snapshot of crime trends. It is often not possible to draw further interpretations or conclusions from the data. The KBI cautions against using data to make direct comparisons between jurisdictions. Often these comparisons are not valid as the factors influencing crime vary widely between communities.)


KC Police Investigate Double Homicide in Parking Lot of Blue Ridge Crossing Shopping Center

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KC Star) — Kansas City police are investigating a double homicide after two men were found fatally shot in separate parking lots in the Blue Ridge Crossing shopping center. Officers were dispatched to the area Thursday night on Kansas City's eastern border with Independence, Missouri. The Kansas City Star reports that police found the first victim in a vehicle in a parking lot near an IHOP restaurant. The victim was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. A second victim was discovered about 200 yards away in another parking lot between the Lowe’s hardware store and Walmart. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Details of the shooting remain unclear. Police do not have a suspect in custody. The killings mark Kansas City’s 166th and 167th homicides of 2023.


Man Convicted in Death of Woman Whose Body Was Found in Duffel Bag

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A man has been found guilty in the death of a woman whose remains were found inside a duffel bag along a rural northwest Missouri road almost two weeks after she was killed at a Kansas City hotel.

Marcus Brooks was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Ariel Starcher, a mother of two from Independence, The St. Joseph News-Press reports.

A Missouri Transportation Department worker found the bag with Starcher’s body inside it in February 2020 around 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Kansas City. She had died of suffocation, and also suffered a broken neck.

Key testimony against him came from Taylor Stoughton, who pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder, as Brooks’ accomplice. She and Brooks were arrested a year after the killing.

At the time, Starcher's grandfather, Jim Starcher, told WDAF-TV that his granddaughter knew Brooks and sometimes called him for rides. Her friends had made the family nervous, he told The Kansas City Star.

“I always worried about her, the life she was going through,” he told The Kansas City Star. “She was trying to change her life, get her life straightened out. But it’s just one step forward and four steps back."

The defense argued that Stoughton was the one to suffocate and bind Starcher. Brooks said he was in the shower at the time and only helped dispose of the body. Special Public Defender Steven Willibey also questioned Stoughton’s testimony, noting that a plea agreement shortens her potential sentence.

But Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Davidson said Brooks' DNA was found underneath Starcher's fingernails and that one was torn, suggesting she had been killed trying fight off her attacker.

Stoughton will be sentenced Nov. 20 and Brooks on Dec. 21.


K-State, University of Georgia Collaborate on Drought-Resistant Grain Project

UNDATED (KNS) — Kansas State University and the University of Georgia are collaborating to help farmers in Madagascar develop strategies to cope with drought. The Kansas News Service reports that the two schools will use their research to aid the African country, which has been battered by drought and will need to pivot to more drought-resistant grains such as sorghum and millet. Those grains are native to Africa but grow well in Kansas, the top sorghum-producing state. Amy France, the vice chairman of the group National Sorghum Producers, says farming strategies developed in western Kansas can help grow the grains elsewhere. K-State will use its research and expertise with sorghum varieties and planting strategies to help Malagasy farmers.


GM Becomes 1st Detroit Automaker to Approve Deal with UAW

DETROIT (AP) — United Auto Workers union members have voted to approve a new contract with General Motors, making the company the first Detroit automaker to get a ratified deal that could end a contentious and lengthy labor dispute. The contract passed with 55% voting in favor. The contract also appears to be headed for approval at Ford and Stellantis as well. Voting continues at Ford through early Saturday. At Stellantis, voting tallies are expected to be complete by Tuesday.


Kansas Officials Warn Drivers to Watch for Deer

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Watch out for deer! That's a warning for motorists from the Kansas Department of Transportation, AAA Kansas, the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Highway Patrol. Highway Patrol Captain Candice Breshears says if a deer enters the roadway in front of your car, it’s best to hit the animal and not swerve to avoid it. Breshears said more serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to miss the deer, potentially losing control of the vehicle and leaving the road or veering into oncoming traffic. KSNT reports that last year, six people were killed in collisions with deer and 575 people were injured. Officials advise motorists to be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are more active and to reduce speeds near wooded areas and near water sources such as streams and ponds.


KPR Searching for New Statehouse Reporter

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) — Kansas Public Radio is seeking a new Kansas Statehouse Bureau Chief (SBC) to manage the station's capital news bureau in Topeka. This position works primarily at the Kansas Statehouse and is responsible for reporting on all aspects of state government. To be considered, one must apply online at https://employment.ku.edu/jobs/staff/kansas-statehouse-bureau-chief/26495br. Application review begins in November and continues until a pool of qualified applicants is identified. KU is an EO/AAE. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin, disability, genetic information or protected veteran status.


Kansas Public Radio Seeks New Membership Director

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) — Kansas Public Radio is seeking a new Membership Director to serve on its Development team. This position oversees various campaigns to raise funds to support KPR. Responsibilities also include accounting for contributions, maintaining the membership database, and organizing on-air membership drives. To be considered, one must apply online at https://employment.ku.edu/jobs/staff/membership-director/26505br. Application review begins in November and continues until a pool of qualified applicants is identified. KU is an EO/AAE. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin, disability, genetic information or protected veteran status.


K-State Gives Athletic Director Gene Taylor Contract Extension Through 2029-30 Season

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor has agreed to a contract extension through the 2029-30 season that includes a salary of $925,000 and retention bonuses at the end of each contract year.

Taylor will receive $250,000 after each of the next four years and $500,000 at the conclusion of the following three.

Taylor was responsible for hiring Kansas State football coach Chris Klieman, who is coming off a Big 12 championship and has the No. 23 Wildcats heading into Saturday's game against rival Kansas still in the hunt to defend the title. Taylor also hired basketball coach Jerome Tang, who led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in his debut this past season.

Kansas State has excelled in other marquee sports, too. Its volleyball program has beaten top-10 teams Texas and BYU already this season, while the women's basketball team is coming off an upset Thursday night of No. 2 Iowa on the road.

Taylor also has spearheaded millions in fundraising, which has resulted in major renovations to Bill Snyder Family Stadium, a new football practice facility, a new stand-alone arena for volleyball and a training center for the school's Olympic sports programs.


KU Hosts K-State Saturday for Sunflower State Showdown

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) — The stage is set for a sold-out prime time showdown between the 23rd ranked Kansas State Wildcats and the Kansas Jayhawks in what will be KU’s final game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium as it looks today. Major renovations inside and outside the stadium are scheduled begin a few days after the game. But KU coach Lance Leipold also knows he’s dealing with the emotions of 19 seniors playing their last home game in the stadium. "I’d like them to soak it in," he said. "Really, the whole team needs to soak it in because the stadium will never be the same after Saturday." The Jayhawks have lost 14 straight games to the Wildcats since 2008. Earlier this week, Leipold said he’s optimistic that KU's Jason Bean will be back at quarterback after he left last Saturday’s game injured in KU’s loss against Texas Tech. Kickoff is at 6 pm.


Kansas Quarterback Jalon Daniels Intends to Return to Jayhawks Next Season

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels, the preseason Big 12 player of the year who has been sidelined by a back injury, said Thursday that he intends to return to the Jayhawks next season amid speculation that he could enter the transfer portal.

Daniels emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate early last season, when he led the long-suffering Jayhawks to a 5-0 start. But he hurt his shoulder in a game against TCU and missed more than a month. Daniels returned in time to lead Kansas against Texas and Kansas State, along with a wild triple-overtime loss to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl.

Daniels threw for 544 yards and five TDs while running for another score against the Razorbacks.

Rather than his shoulder, though, it has been Daniels' back that has caused problems. It began to bother him during fall camp, forcing Jason Bean to start the opener against Missouri State, before Daniels returned to lead the Jayhawks to wins over Illinois, Nevada and BYU. Then he aggravated his back before a game against Texas on Sept. 30 and has not returned. "Personally," Daniels said in a statement, "it has been an incredibly difficult time being away from the game that I love, and not being able to play with my brothers in front of our incredible fans on Saturday. The adversity that I have faced this season will help me come back even stronger when the time is right. Kansas is a very special place to me and I will be back next season."

Daniels would have one year remaining unless he sits out all but one game down the stretch, which would give him the ability to redshirt this season. That would leave him with two more years of eligibility. Bean has played well in Daniels' place, leading the Jayhawks to a 7-3 record, a 4-3 mark in Big 12 play and the No. 25 ranking in the College Football Playoff. But he also was hurt in last week's game against Texas Tech, forcing former walk-on freshman Cole Ballard to finish the game; the Red Raiders won 16-13 on a field goal in the final minute.

Bean did not practice for Saturday's game against No. 23 Kansas State (7-3, 5-2, No. 21 CFP) early in the week, but Jayhawks offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki took reps on Wednesday. Ballard would start if Bean is unable to go.

Throughout the last six weeks, Jayhawks coach Lance Leipold kept saying that Daniels was day-to-day. But his situation on game days became something of a mystery — he was dressed for one, did not travel for another, and for another game he did not come out of the locker room — and that began the speculation that he might transfer elsewhere.

Daniels shut down those rumors on Thursday. "This season didn't go as planned," he said in a video he posted to social media, "but life comes at you fast and sometimes your story's out of your control. But I guess that just means I have unfinished business. My dreams haven't changed. My goals are still there, and my vision for my future is clear."


It's a Super Bowl Rematch as the Eagles Visit the Chiefs Monday Night

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The story lines are ripe for the choosing when the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. Favor some good, old-fashioned revenge? The NFC-leading Eagles (8-1) will try to exact some when they visit Arrowhead Stadium just nine months after the AFC-leading Chiefs (7-2) used a second-half rally to beat them in the Super Bowl.

Love seeing some points? Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and Chiefs counterpart Patrick Mahomes, the MVP of that memorable February showdown, have you covered. They're the triggers behind two of the league's top 10 offenses.

Hankering for some history? Andy Reid can pass Hank Stram as the winningest Chiefs coach, and become the first to hold that distinction with two different franchises; the other just happens to be Philadelphia.

How about social intrigue, the kind at the intersection of sports and entertainment? Eagles center Jason Kelce and younger brother Travis Kelce will match up one more time. And this time, rumors are flying that pop superstar Taylor Swift, who has been seeing the Chiefs tight end for the past couple of months, could be bringing her parents to meet his for the first time. "It's going to be a great game. You've got great teams in general," Mahomes said. "Jalen is a great quarterback but I think just the whole entire team on both sides — two teams that usually find a way to get a win, playing on Monday Night Football in front of the whole world. I think it's going to be a great game."

Given the circus surrounding it, the game itself almost seems like an afterthought. One with important ramifications, though. The teams are coming off a relatively late bye, which has freshened them up for the back half of the season. And while both currently hold the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences, and the lone playoff bye that comes as the reward, the standings are tight enough that the Eagles and Chiefs need to keep winning if they want to earn a postseason week off. They know that is the easiest way to get back to the game that matters the most. "Our job is to get prepared for this game," said Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, who along with Reid could not help but look at video of their Super Bowl showdown this week, and certainly had a much different experience while doing it. "What happened in the past, happened in the past," Sirianni continued. "We'll learn from our mistakes. We'll get better from the things we did well. But I would be lying if I didn't say, 'Argh, if this would have happened or that would have happened,' once in a while. But we're not dwelling on it."

Reid is so proficient at winning after a week off — he is 31-6 after a bye, including the postseason — that many coaches have tried to get some tips from him. But not even Reid can pinpoint the reasons behind his remarkable record, which includes a 13-1 mark during 14 regular seasons in Philadelphia and a 9-3 record in postseason games. "I get asked that because we've had success," Reid said, "but we just go play. I don't know. We've had good players."

While the Chiefs come into the game healthy, the Eagles have had to adapt to some injuries. Defensive back Bradley Roby could be back after missing time with a shoulder strain, linebacker Nakobe Dean went on injured reserve this week after hurting his foot against Dallas, and star tight end Dallas Goedert is out after breaking his forearm in the same game. "Anytime you lose a player to Dallas Goedert's capabilities, you have to compensate," Sirianni said, "and it's never just one guy's responsibility to take all the brunt of that work. It'll be by committee."

The Chiefs are 4-1 in games decided by fewer than 10 points, which falls in line with their ability under Reid to win the close ones. Philadelphia is 5-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less. Both are coming off close wins before their bye with Kansas City beating Miami 21-14 in Germany and Philadelphia beating Dallas 28-23.

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, who ended his holdout in Week 1 and promptly had at least one sack in each of his first five games, has been held without a sack since. But Reid defended the All-Pro this week, pointing out that the attention Jones demands has allowed others on the defensive line to make plays. "I'm going to hit my numbers regardless," Jones added. "I'm not going to trip over my numbers."

Travis Kelce spent part of his week off flying to Buenos Aires to watch Swift resume her Eras Tour, and video of the 12-time Grammy winner embracing the Chiefs tight end at the side of the stage blazed across social media. She was due to perform on Sunday night in Brazil, then does not perform again until Nov. 24, making it possible for her to make kickoff. Swift is a noted Eagles fan, by the way, which is causing some consternation. The hosts of the "Bex and Buster" show on Q102 in Philadelphia have even "been forced to punt" her from their popular playlist until after the game.


This summary of area news is curated by KPR news staffers. Our headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day. This ad-free news summary is made possible by KPR members. Become one today. And follow KPR News on Twitter.