Kansas Highway Patrol Says It Has No Record to Release on Lawmaker’s Arrest
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Highway Patrol official says it does not have a document it can make public on last week’s arrest of a legislative leader on suspicion of driving under the influence and attempting to flee law enforcement. The patrol’s general counsel said Thursday that it is not required to file an offense report with a public front page for alleged DUI incidents. The patrol’s Capitol Police arrested Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop early March 16 on Interstate 70 near downtown Topeka after his SUV was reported traveling the wrong way. The Wichita Republican went to jail but was released when a judge said there was insufficient evidence for his arrest.
Obituary for Kansas Woman Claims She Died from Reaction to Coronavirus Vaccine
EFFINGHAM, Kan. (KSNT) – An obituary posted online Wednesday night states that a Kansas woman died after a reaction to the coronavirus vaccine. The first line of Jeanie Evans’ obituary states, “Jeanie M. Evans, 68, of Effingham, Kansas died unexpectedly on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at the Stormont-Vail Hospital from a reaction to the Covid vaccine.” KSNT reports that Evans received her shot the day before her death in Ozawkie, at the Keystone Early Learning Center. Once she started experiencing a reaction to the vaccine, Evans was taken by ambulance to Topeka’s Stormont Vail Hospital. Evans was pronounced dead at the hospital, a day after receiving her first COVID-19 shot. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says it is aware of the death and is investigating.
Kansas to Receive Far Fewer Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Doses than Expected
UNDATED (KNS) – Kansas will get only a fraction of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines it expected next week. This vaccine has the advantage of inoculating people against the virus with just one dose. Kansas had expected about 100,000 doses to arrive next week. Instead, the state health department said about 16,500 shots will be arriving. Production issues are behind the delay. The larger number of doses is now expected in the second or third week of April. State officials say they still expect to get more than 85,000 of the Pfizer vaccine and 50,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in the coming week.
Kansas Administers Vaccines to 600,000 More People this Week
GREAT BEND, Kan. (KNS) – Kansas opened up COVID-19 shots to roughly 600,000 more people this week, including adults with medical risks and essential workers. At a county fair building in Great Bend, a steady stream of people line up to get shots through their open car windows. Some said they’re looking forward to visiting family, feeling safer at their jobs or eventually not wearing a mask. Greg and Pam Willis drove down from Hoisington to get their shots. They were excited about finishing a trip to Europe that got cut short by the pandemic. “We were there a year ago when it all got shut down. We were on the last flight out of London that day, it was crazy. And I want to go back,” she said. Barton County’s public health director, Karen Winkelman, said she saw the relief in people’s faces as officials administered more than 400 vaccine doses during the one day, drive-through vaccination clinic this week. Winkelman said the clinic has given out between 300 and 1,000 doses almost every week since late January.
GOP Leaders Promise to Thwart Kansas Governor on Mask Policy
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republican lawmakers in Kansas are promising to thwart a plan from Democratic Governor Laura Kelly to encourage county officials to maintain mask mandates to help control COVID-19. GOP leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature argue a statewide policy is unnecessary after steep declines in new cases this winter. They announced their potential move after Kelly signed a measure that took effect Thursday that gives legislative leaders the power to rescind a governor’s orders during an emergency. Kelly announced that on April 1, she will reissue an order requiring people to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and public spaces. County commissions would have to vote to opt out.
More than 300,000 COVID-19 Cases Recorded in Kansas Since Pandemic Began
TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR/AP) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reported Wednesday that there have been 300,927 cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 4,881 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Another update will be released later today (FRI).
Ex-Deputy Charged with Child Sex Crimes Returns to Kansas
WELLINGTON, Kan. (AP) — A former Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputy who fled to Turkey after being accused of child-sex crimes made his first court appearance after being returned to Kansas. Derick Chandler was charged after an investigation by Wellington police. Authorities say he fled to Turkey during the investigation. He was extradited from Budapest, Hungary, this week. During his court appearance Thursday, a judge ordered Chandler held on $1 million bond. Authorities have said the charges relate to abuse of one victim over several months.
States Sue to Undo Biden’s Actions on U.S. Oil & Gas Lease Sales
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana and a dozen other states are suing the Biden administration to end a suspension of oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters. Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General, Jeff Landry, announced the federal lawsuit Wednesday. The suit also seeks a court order that the government go ahead with two offshore lease sales that had been set for this year. One in the Gulf of Mexico had been set for March 17 until the administration canceled it. Another had been planned this year for Alaska’s Cook Inlet. Other plaintiff states include: Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Utah and West Virginia.
GOP Missouri Attorney General Schmitt Running for U.S. Senate
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt says he’s making a bid to replace Roy Blunt in the Senate. His announcement this week sets up a Republican primary against disgraced former Governor Eric Greitens. In a written release, Schmitt pushed his conservative credentials and railed against “the radical left.” Voters elected him as state treasurer in 2016. He was appointed attorney general after Missouri Senator Josh Hawley left the seat to join the U.S. Senate. Voters gave Schmitt another term in 2020. Greitens rose quickly to become governor before scandal forced him out of office just a year and a half into his tenure.
4 Arrested in Shooting Death of 18-Year-Old Dodge City Man
DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Dodge City police say a man whose body was found during the weekend was killed by a single shot to the head. Four people have been arrested in the death of 18-year-old Zacarias Giannino, of Dodge City. His body was found Sunday but police believe he was killed on January 28. Police Chief Drew Francis says 19-year-old Tyree Jackson and 31-year-old Lakendria Lewis, were booked into the Ford County Jail on possible charges of first-degree murder. Two juveniles also were arrested. Francis says Giannino’s body was outside in a secluded area and cold temperatures since his shooting preserved the remains.
Wichita Police Officer Injured While Pursuing a Stolen Car
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police officials say an officer was injured in a crash during a pursuit of a stolen car. Police spokesman Trevor Macy says the officer who was injured in the chase early Thursday was treated and released from a Wichita hospital. The suspect also was treated and released into custody. Macy says the chase began after officers tried to stop the car in south Wichita. He says the suspect eventually turned and collided with the patrol car, causing it to hit a home. The suspect tried to flee but was arrested. The investigation is continuing.
GOP 2024 Contenders Enter Iowa, Wary of Trump’s Long Shadow
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ambitious Republicans are starting to make moves in Iowa, long a proving ground for future presidents. Their first step is finding out whether activists there have gotten over the last one. Former President Donald Trump remains a hulking presence in Iowa, where he won twice by healthy margins. He’s hinted he’ll run again, and his dubious claims that the last election was stolen still dominate some Republican circles. But several potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates have plans for trips to Iowa and other early nominating states this spring. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is one Republican making the trek to Iowa. The former CIA director and former Kansas congressman spoke today (FRI) to the West Side Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa.
Oklahoma Men’s Basketball Coach Lon Kruger Retires After 35-Year Career
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — University of Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger has announced his retirement. Kruger led two teams to Final Fours — Oklahoma in 2016 and Florida in 1994. Kruger is the only coach to lead five different programs to NCAA Tournament wins: Oklahoma, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV. He led the Sooners to a 195-128 record over 10 years and reached seven of the past eight NCAA tournaments. In his final season at Oklahoma, the Sooners went 16-11 and ended with a loss to top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA Tournament earlier this week.
KPR’s daily headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day. KPR’s weekend summary is usually published by 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays.