KU Athletic Director Steps Down Following Les Miles Departure
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) – University of Kansas Chancellor Doug Girod announced via press release Wednesday afternoon that the school’s athletic director, Jeff Long, has stepped down from his position. The move comes days after the school parted ways with its head football coach, Les Miles, following accusations that he engaged in inappropriate behavior toward female students at his prior head coaching position at Louisiana State University. Earlier reports had indicated that Long had been fired. Kurt Watson, a KU alumnus and prominent donor, will serve as interim athletic director as KU begins a nationwide search for a new athletic director and a new head football co
1 Person Dead in Police Shooting in Southwest Kansas
MINNEOLA, Kan. (AP) — Law enforcement officers fatally shot a driver in southwest Kansas when he got out of his sport utility vehicle with a gun after a chase, authorities say. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that 67-year-old Jim Wright, of Fowler, was pronounced dead Tuesday night at the scene in Minneola. Deputies tracked Wright down after his relatives called the Meade County Sheriff’s Office expressing concerns about his welfare, but he drove off when he saw them. The chase ended in Minneola after Wright drove over tire-puncturing spike strips. The KBI said Wright then exited his vehicle holding a firearm and was shot.
Sedgwick County Officials: Crash Kills Man, Injures Woman
DERBY, Kan. (AP) — Sheriff’s investigators in suburban Wichita say a man has died in a two-vehicle crash in the city of Derby. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened late Tuesday morning, when a southbound minivan ran a red light and crashed into a Jeep that was turning left. The sheriff’s office says the 65-year-old man who was driving the van died at the scene of the crash. He was identified as Carl C. Miller II of Hutchinson. Authorities say the 29-year-old woman driving the Jeep was not seriously injured.
GOP Lawmaker Pushes Plan to Undo Kansas Policy on Vaccines
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker in Kansas outlined a measure Wednesday that would overturn Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s policy of withholding doses of COVID-19 vaccines from counties wanting to move to a new phase of inoculations before the rest of the state. Senate Health Committee Chair Richard Hilderbrand of Galena called the policy “blackmail or extortion.” The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has described withholding vaccine doses as an “enforcement mechanism” and Kelly says the goal is to “keep the train running as smoothly as we possibly can.”
Kansas Records More than 297,000 COVID-19 Cases, Including 4,851 Deaths, Since Start of Pandemic
TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR/AP) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reported Wednesday that there have been 297,229 cases of COVID-19, including 4,851 deaths, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s an increase of 778 cases and 35 deaths since Monday. Johnson County has the highest number of recorded cases in the state with nearly 55,100. KDHE will provide another update Friday. Health officials say the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to drop in the state while vaccination efforts are expanding.
Kansas House Speaker’s Father Sworn in as New State Senator
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr.’s father is now serving in the Kansas Senate. Republican Sen. Ron Ryckman Sr. of Meade took his oath of office during the Senate’s brief Senate session as family members watched, including the House speaker. The elder Ryckman also served in the House from 2011 through 2016, when he decided not to seek reelection. He and his son served together in the House for four years, starting in 2013. The younger Ryckman grew up in western Kansas but lives in Olathe. The elder Ryckman replaces the late Republican Sen. Bud Estes of Dodge City, who died last month.
Is Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s Exit an Opening for Ex-Governor Eric Greitens to Return to Politics?
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Eric Greitens’ political future seemed doomed by scandal when he resigned as Missouri governor, but now he appears primed to test whether Senator Roy Blunt’s retirement provides a path for redemption. Greitens was a political outsider when he was elected governor in 2016. By the end of his first year in office, he was getting buzz as a potential future presidential contender. His political fortunes turned upside down in 2018 after reports surfaced about an affair in which he allegedly took a compromising photo and threatened to blackmail the woman with whom he was involved.
No. 11 KU Without McCormack, Enaruna for Big 12 Tournament
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas men’s basketball team will be without starting center David McCormack and backup forward Tristan Enaruna for the Big 12 Tournament due to COVID-19 protocols. The No. 11 Jayhawks hope to have both players back for next week’s NCAA Tournament. Jayhawks coach Bill Self says the pair entered the protocol “semi-recently” but did not say whether either tested positive for the virus. The No. 2 seed Jayhawks open tournament play in today’s (THU) quarterfinals.
KPR’ 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.