Reporter Dies After Being Struck by Stray Bullet in Her Apartment
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A young public radio journalist has died after being struck by a stray bullet inside her Kansas City apartment. The reporter, 24-year-old Aviva Okeson-Haberman, was struck by a bullet Friday afternoon while she was in her first-floor apartment, according to KCUR Radio, where she worked. Okeson-Haberman had been covering Missouri government and politics at the station where she had worked since 2019 after graduating from the University of Missouri. After news of Okeson-Haberman’s death broke Sunday, many colleagues and public officials, including Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, offered memories and condolences on Twitter. Okeson-Haberman’s reports aired on KCUR, Kansas Public Radio and other radio stations across the state.
Police: Man Shot and Killed Sunday Becomes Kansas City’s 47th Homicide Victim of 2021
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man was shot and killed early Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri. Police Department spokeswoman Officer Donna Drake said officers were called to the area near East 29th Street and Jackson Avenue around 5 am Sunday when gunshots were reported. About a block away from where the shooting was reported officers found a man with gunshot wounds inside a vehicle. The man died at the scene. Police did not immediately release the victim’s identity and no arrests were reported Sunday morning. The shooting death is the 47th homicide reported in Kansas City so far this year.
62 Kansas Counties Turn Down Vaccine Doses as Demand Wanes
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — More than half of the state’s counties have turned down their weekly allotment of coronavirus vaccine doses because demand for the shots has declined. The state said 62 of Kansas’ 105 counties declined their weekly allocations of vaccines from the state last week. A spokesperson for Governor Laura Kelly said it appears that many Kansans are delaying getting the vaccine after there has been a steady drop in the number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the state. Officials are planning a campaign to encourage people who are indifferent or reluctant to get the vaccine to consider getting the shots.
Kansas COVID-19 Case Count Totals More than 307,000, Death Toll Nears 5,000
TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reports there have been 307,372 cases, including 4,968 deaths related to the virus, since the pandemic began. Another update is expected later today (MON).
Kansas Agency Missing $72,000: 4 Years of Probing Reveals Few Answers
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — More than $72,000 in seized cash went missing from a central Kansas sheriff’s department sometime after a drug bust on Interstate 70 in January 2017. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says it still has open cases involving employees of the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Department in Abilene, though investigations of the former sheriff and the missing money are closed. The ex-sheriff lost his August 2020 primary race to a former, long-term employee and two top KBI officials said in a court document that the agency’s investigations were hindered by a “fear of retribution.” And there’s still no explanation of what happened to the missing money.
Autopsy Indicates Topeka Inmate Died from Natural Causes
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says a preliminary autopsy indicated a 35-year-old female inmate at the Topeka Correctional Facility died of natural causes related to heart failure. Jessica Chapman died Monday after she collapsed at a scheduled appointment at the prison’s medical clinic. The KBI says Chapman had received medical treatment the previous weekend for chest pains. A corrections department spokeswoman says Chapman’s death is not believed to be related to COVID-19. The KBI investigates all deaths of inmates at prisons or jails, unless the person is under the care of a doctor. Chapman was serving time for a drug conviction in Barton County and forgery from Rice County.
Man Who Escaped from Kansas Jail Caught About 48 Hours Later
ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — An inmate who is accused of threatening an officer with piece of lumber after escaping from a Kansas jail was captured early Saturday. The Atchison County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that 20-year-old Taggart Darnell Lee escaped about 48 hours earlier when staff failed to follow several security procedures, allowing him to manipulate a door lock and make his way into an unsecured area of the jail. From there he made his made outside, where an officer chased him for several blocks. Lee had been in custody since January on charges of aggravated robbery.
Woman Sentenced for Fatal Shooting of Teen at High School
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for fatally shooting a 15-year-old girl outside a Kansas City high school as the teen left a basketball game. Twenty-four-year-old Jamya Norfleet was sentenced Friday for second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon in the February 2019 death of An’Janique Wright. The shooting happened outside the Central Academy of Excellence after two groups of people got into an argument at the game and were escorted out separately. Wright was not enrolled at the school but was there for the game. Charging documents say Norfleet told investigators, “I let the fire go.”
Two Kansas Women Arrested in January 6 Capitol Riot
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Kansas women arrested in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol told the FBI they expected to participate in a peaceful protest supporting former President Donald Trump that day. Court records show that Jennifer Ruth Parks and Esther Schwemmer were both arrested Friday. An affidavit filed in Parks’ case describes how the two women entered the U.S. Capitol after protesters broke into the building and remained inside for 30 minutes to an hour. Parks is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, but the charges against Schwemmer had not been released as of Sunday.
Small Earthquakes Rattle North-Central Kansas
SMITH CENTER, Kan. (AP) — Several small earthquakes have rattled north-central Kansas. The largest had a magnitude of 3.5 and was reported Friday in Jewell County. Two other quakes measuring 2.3 and 2.5 on the Richter scale were recorded Saturday in Smith County, while a third with a magnitude of 2.5 was reported in Jewell County. There are no reports of damage. The threshold for damage usually starts at a magnitude 4.0.
Student Leader with Record Wore “White Lives Matter” Mask
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man who once threatened to storm the Sedgwick County Courthouse and shoot officers is again the subject of controversy after wearing a “white lives matter” face mask when he was sworn in as a student senator at Wichita State University. The Wichita Eagle reports that 27-year-old Sam McCrory donned the mask Thursday, the day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd. McCrory, an electrical engineering major, said he wore the mask to make a political point and to push back against “the modern left” which he said “hates white people.”
Man and Woman Found Dead After Shooting in Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man and a woman were found dead after a shooting was reported at a mobile home park in southeast Wichita. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department said deputies found the two bodies with gunshot wounds early Saturday after forcing their way into a home in the Englewood mobile home park. A 42-year-old man and 41-year-old woman were found dead, but authorities did not immediately release their names. The sheriff’s office said deputies are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.
Kansas Governor Vetoes Measures to Tighten Election Laws
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly has vetoed two Republican-backed election bills, including one that would have limited most individuals to delivering 10 ballots during each election, and required candidates to deliver ballots only from immediate family members. The other would have barred the governor, secretary of state or the courts from changing election rules. The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the bills this month, but did not have the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. Republicans lawmakers pushing the ballot-collection bill say they’re making it less likely that ballots will go missing or get altered, while Democrats counter with cases of voters who don’t have reliable transportation.
Kansas Governor Vetoes Bill to Lower Concealed Carry Age
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly has vetoed a bill that would allow people as young as 18 to carry concealed weapons after Kansas legislators approved the bill by margins that weren’t large enough to override a veto. The legislation would have created a provisional license for those 18 to 21, issued by the state attorney general. Permit holders would have had to complete a background check and undergo gun safety training. Some Republican legislators say 18-year-old Kansans can already carry firearms in the open and those as young as 18 are allowed to serve in the military. Democratic lawmakers argued that those under 21 are less mature and more prone to risk-taking.
Kansas Governor Vetoes GOP-Backed Education Measures
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly has vetoed two Republican-backed education bills. One of the measures the Democratic governor vetoed last week would have required high school students to pass a civics test to graduate. The other would have allowed districts to incorporate gun safety courses into their curriculums. The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the bills this month, but not by large enough margins for override attempts to succeed. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone who opposed either bill initially might back one or both bills in an override attempt, or even if attempts would be made. Some Republicans who opposed the bills agreed with state Board of Education members who said the measures would have infringed upon the board’s constitutional authority to set graduation requirements.
Black Neighborhoods in Kansas Hard Hit by Property Tax Sales
UNDATED (AP) — Residents in historically Black neighborhoods in the Kansas City, Kansas, risk losing their homes amid the pandemic as delinquent property tax sales resume under a practice critics decry as racist and government officials laud for revitalizing communities. Even though it is just the state’s fourth largest county, the number of delinquent tax properties put up for sale by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County dwarfs those of much larger Kansas counties. It typically offers about 2,200 properties annually at its three tax auctions. Most are unsold and end up in the Wyandotte County Land Bank, a unit of its economic development department. Wyandotte is the only county in Kansas to have its own land bank, although some cities in the state also have them.
TikTok Restores Account of Young Disabled Wichita Man
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — TikTok has restored an account featuring a young Wichita man with a debilitating skin condition after celebrities blasted the video-sharing site for banning it. The Wichita Eagle reports that Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco and media personality Perez Hilton were among those who came to the defense of Marky Burrola-Jaquez on Friday. Screenshots collected by his mother, Melissa Jaquez, who manages the account show that TikTok was labeling pictures of her son as “violent and graphic content.” TikKok contends the account was removed because someone had flagged it as a possible violation of a rule that prohibits children under 13 from having an account, not because of his appearance. Marky is 20, although his disability makes him look younger.
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