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.
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.
Kansas Governor Signs Rewrite of Pandemic Management Laws
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Governor Laura Kelly has signed legislation rewriting Kansas laws for managing the coronavirus pandemic and future emergencies even though she believes it could hinder disaster response efforts. The measure Kelly signed Wednesday extends the state of emergency for the pandemic until May 28, instead of letting it expire March 31. Kelly cited the extension in announcing her action. The measure also leaves counties in charge of mask mandates and other restrictions.
Sedgwick County Rescinds Mask Mandate
WICHITA, Kan. (KMUW) — For the first time since July, wearing a face mask in public is no longer required in Sedgwick County. County commissioners voted 3-to-2 to end the current public health order. The decision was made in response to an anticipated new state law that will open the county to lawsuits over how it manages the pandemic. With no county mandates in place, businesses and venues are allowed to determine their own policies. Sedgwick County is currently preparing to move into Phase 5 in its vaccination program implementation, which will allow all adults to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine.
St. Joseph, Columbia Ease Coronavirus Restrictions
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) – Face masks are no longer required in St. Joseph and Columbia, Missouri. With COVID-19 cases on the decline and vaccinations on the rise, those two mid-sized Missouri cities are now easing restrictions. The St. Joseph News-Press reports that the city’s mayor, Bill McMurray, ended the city’s mask requirement. The easing of pandemic restrictions in both St. Joe and Columbia come as newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus and hospitalizations have dropped sharply and, as more people have been vaccinated.
Kansas COVID-19 Case Count Tops 300,000 Since Start of Pandemic
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. That’s an increase of 802 cases and 31 deaths since Monday. Johnson County continues to report the highest number of cases, with more than 55,800. Another update will be released Friday afternoon.
Plan to Limit Turbines Riles Growing Kansas Wind Industry
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas legislative committee’s leader lit a political prairie fire with a proposal that critics say would end investments in wind energy. State Senate Utilities Committee Chairman Mike Thompson said Wednesday that he is trying to protect landowners who fear that a proliferation of large turbines in their rural areas will drop property values and lessen their quality of life. The Shawnee Republican is pursuing a bill that would impose statewide regulations on wind turbines. His proposal has split fellow Republicans and inspired a strong backlash from both environmentalists and economic development officials who see wind energy as a jobs creator. Wind farms provide 41% if the state’s electricity.
Derby Man Gets Probation for Impersonating Police Officer
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A south-central Kansas man has been sentenced to a year of probation for what prosecutors say was his repeated impersonation of a law enforcement officer over a 15-month period. The Wichita Eagle reports that 34-year-old Kory Michael Farmer, of Derby, was sentenced after pleading guilty last week in Sedgwick County District Court to one count of misdemeanor false impersonation. Court documents say Farmer was caught impersonating a law enforcement officer multiple times between August 2019 and November 2020, in which witnesses reported he operated a pickup truck outfitted with lights and sirens and weaved recklessly through traffic. But he wasn’t arrested until November 16 when he engaged in a confrontation with two detectives driving an unmarked sheriff’s car.
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 Wednesday 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.
Death of 18-Year-Old Found in Dodge City Home Investigated
DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police in southwest Kansas are investigating the death of a teen whose decomposing body was found inside a Dodge City home. Wichita television station KAKE reports that the body of 18-year-old Zacarias Giannino, of Dodge City, was found Sunday night by officers after someone reported knowledge of a body at the residence. An examination by the Ford County coroner determined Giannino had been dead for several weeks. Police Chief Drew Francis said several people were arrested Tuesday and early Wednesday but no other information was released.
K-State Signs Athletic Director to Extension with Raise
UNDATED (AP) — Kansas State University and its athletic director, Gene Taylor, have agreed to a contract extension. It includes a significant jump in base salary to $925,000 per year through June 2027. The 63-year-old Taylor was nearing the end of a five-year deal he signed in 2017. That contract paid him $450,000 the first year with $50,000 increases each of the next four. He had agreed to a 13% paycut last year to help with budget problems caused by the pandemic.
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