Storms Possible Mid-Week Following Temps Near 80 Degrees in Eastern Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR/WDAF) After another nice warm day to kick off the work week, eastern Kansas will likely see a round of storms by mid-week. High temps will warm up to about 80 degrees today (MON), but rain and storms are possible Tuesday through Thursday, mostly south of I-70. WDAF TV reports that small hail and gusty winds are possible early Wednesday. Thursday could be the coolest day of the week, with highs in the mid 50s before temperatures return to nearly 70 again by next weekend.
Get the latest weather for eastern Kansas from the National Weather Service office in Topeka.
Wichita State Drops Mask Rule After State Order is Toppled
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State University has announced it’s dropping its coronavirus restrictions after GOP lawmakers overrode Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s newly reissued mask order. The Wichita Eagle reports that Friday’s announcement means masks are no longer required at the school and that there will be no limits on mass gatherings. In a letter posted on its website, the university encouraged persons on campus to “engage in these practices when possible” and encouraged “everyone to get the vaccine when eligible.”
Nearly 303,000 COVID-19 Cases and 4,900 Deaths Recorded in Kansas Since Pandemic Began
TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR/AP) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reports that there have been 302,873 cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 4,932 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. Another update will be released later today (MON).
Daily Amtrak Service Will Return to Kansas in May
WICHITA, Kan, (AP) — Amtrak says it plans to resume daily passenger service on its Southwest Chief route in Kansas, beginning May 31. The service was reduced to three days a week in October in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Kansas News Service reports that new federal funding will allow Amtrak to restart the daily Southwest Chief route, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles with several stops in Kansas, including Kansas City, Topeka and Garden City. Amtrak also announced this week that it plans to eventually add a new route that would connect the Southwest Chief to Oklahoma and Texas through a station in Newton, in south-central Kansas. (Read more.)
Mother, Father Charged in Death of 2-Year-Old Son in Johnson County
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A mother and father have been charged with first-degree murder in the alleged drug overdose death of their 2-year-old son in a Kansas City suburb. Twenty-nine-year-old Shelly Vallejo and 26-year-old Jean Morales, both of Shawnee, made a first appearance Friday. They also are charged with aggravated child endangerment and a felony charge alleging that they possessed Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is potentially deadly if misused. Each is jailed on a $1 million bond.
With New Aid, Schools Across America Seek Solutions to Problems New and Old
UNDATED (AP) — Schools across the U.S. are weighing how to use a windfall from the federal government’s latest coronavirus relief package. Districts want to ease the harm of the pandemic and tackle problems that existed long before the coronavirus. The assistance that was approved this month totals $123 billion. The aid will help schools reopen and expand summer programs. It also offers a chance to pursue programs that have long been seen as too expensive, such as intensive tutoring, mental health services and major curriculum upgrades. Nathan Kuder is the chief financial officer of Boston Public Schools. He calls it “a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
Wichita Man Arrested After 2 Shot at Closed Business
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say they arrested the owner of a closed business after he allegedly shot two people on the property. Police spokesman Charley Davidson says police arrested 62-year-old Ken Thomas, the owner of the former TreatCo business, after a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old were shot Friday night when they entered the property. Their injuries are not considered life threatening. Davidson says Thomas faces possible charges of aggravated battery. TreatCo used to make pet treats. Three fires were reported at the property since 2011. And federal and state officials investigated the business several times in the past for alleged environmental violations.
Texas Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Fatal Kansas Crash
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Texas man has been sentenced to three years and two months in prison in a deadly Kansas crash. The Hutchinson News reports that Benjamin Buzzini also was ordered Friday to pay about $2,090 in restitution. He pleaded no contest in January to involuntary manslaughter resulting from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the April 2017 crash that killed Stephanie Futral, of Wichita, A state trooper testified at the preliminary hearing that the sport utility had been traveling at a speed of 150 mph just seconds before it began to roll near South Hutchinson.
Man Charged with Driving Mom into Lake Ruled Incompetent
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A judge ruled a Lawrence man accused of driving a car into a lake while his mother was a passenger is incompetent to stand trial. A Douglas County judge ruled earlier this week that 22-year-old Jeremy Williams should receive treatment at Larned State Hospital. Williams is charged with second-degree attempted murder. Prosecutors allege Williams drove into Lone Star Lake on February 25. A caller who reported seeing the car go into the lake rescued Williams’ mother, who could not escape because she had a broken leg. The case will remain pending while Williams receives treatment.
Haskell University Faculty Casts “No Confidence” Vote
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Haskell Indian Nations University faculty are signaling frustration with the college’s top leader over free speech and governance issues with a vote of “no confidence.” The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the resolution describing Ronald Graham’s leadership style as “autocratic” was certified Thursday with a unanimous Faculty Senate vote. Graham began his presidency in May 2020. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Journal-World. Graham angered the faculty when he sent a memorandum last month forbidding employees from expressing derogatory opinions about the administration and others, contending that such expression is “inappropriate” and not protected by academic freedom.
Lawrence Could Ban Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Minors
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence would ban so-called gay conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors under an ordinance that is headed to the city council for consideration. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the city commission will take up the ordinance on Tuesday. The idea for such an ordinance was initially discussed last year, and several commissioners indicated at that time they were interested. Vice Mayor Courtney Shipley, who initially brought up the idea, said that she did so after a member of the public told her that the city of Roeland Park in Johnson County had passed such an ordinance and wanted to know if Lawrence could do the same.
Missouri Police Chief Accused of Attacking Wife with Hammer
HOLDEN, Mo. (AP/KPR) — A western Missouri police chief has been placed on leave after being arrested on suspicion of attacking his wife with a hammer. Television station WDAF reports that Holden Police Chief Trent Neal was arrested after police were called about the Tuesday night attack. Authorities say the 29-year-old Neal is suspected hitting his wife in the head with a framing hammer while the pair were in their garage, rendering the woman unconscious. The woman told investigators with the Missouri State Highway Patrol that when she came to, Neal was no longer in the garage, and she called a friend who, in turn, called authorities. Neal has been charged with third-degree domestic assault and faces a court hearing on Wednesday. Holden is a small town about 53 miles southeast of Kansas City.
Missouri Police Officers Reprimanded After Cuffing Domestic Violence Victim
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Two Missouri police officers were reprimanded after handcuffing and ticketing a domestic violence victim in an incident that was captured on security video. St. Joseph police Captain Jeff Wilson told The St. Joseph News-Press that he couldn’t provide details about the discipline. Miranda Hicks uploaded security video from the incident to social media. She confirmed to the newspaper that she was the woman detained by police and initially given tickets for trespassing and destruction of property. The tickets were voided after she filed a complaint. She said: “Basically I was a victim of domestic assault where I was choked for approximately five minutes.”
Next Time You See a Tick, Don’t Scream, Toss It in the Mail
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Missouri conservation officials are asking people to save the ticks they come across while tromping through the woods and toss them in the mail. The Springfield News-Leader reports that the Missouri Department of Conservation and A.T. Still University in Kirksville have partnered in a two-year research study. It begins this month and will conclude in September 2022. During that time, residents are urged to mail live ticks to the university to be identified by species and life stage and tested for four species of bacterial pathogens.
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