Kansas Governor Has “No Interest” in Vaccine Passports
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly says she has no plans to have Kansas issue vaccine passports, which are designed to help inoculated residents travel, shop and dine out more freely. Vaccine passports, which verify people’s immunization status, have become a political flashpoint in the U.S. as they’ve come into use in Israel and under development in Europe. Some Republicans in the U.S. see them as heavy-handed government intrusion. Kelly said Monday that she’s concentrating on making sure people get tested for and vaccinated against COVID-19. The Democratic governor also signed into law a largely symbolic Republican bill requiring public schools to offer full-time, in-person classes to all students for the rest of the current semester.
More than 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 303,227 cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 4,927 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. That’s an increase of 354 cases over the weekend. The death toll number has dropped to 4,927 after a review of death certificates. Some deaths initially attributed to COVID-19 were identified as not having coronavirus as the main cause of death. Such revisions are normal and not indicative of larger count problems. Another update will be released Wednesday.
New Autopsy Reveals Kansas Black Man’s Death Was Homicide
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The case of a Black man who died following a party in rural Kansas more than 16 years ago has been ruled a homicide after his body was exhumed as federal authorities investigate his death as a possible hate crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Monday that a new autopsy on the body of Alonzo Brooks concluded the cause of death was homicide. His body was exhumed last year from a Topeka cemetery and transported to Dover Air Force Base for an examination. Brooks was 23 when he disappeared after attending a party near La Cygne, in eastern Kansas, in May 2004. His family later found his body in a creek near where the party was held. The FBI reopened the investigation in 2019.
KU Taps Northwestern University Administrator Goff as Athletic Director
UNDATED (AP) — The University of Kansas has hired Northwestern University administrator Travis Goff to be its athletic director. Goff is a KU alumnus and a native of Dodge City. He has been at Northwestern since 2012, most recently as deputy athletic director and assistant vice president for development. He played a role in fundraising that led to massive facilities upgrades at Northwestern. KU has been searching for an athletic director since Jeff Long resigned almost a month ago. He was criticized for his hiring of longtime friend Les Miles, who parted ways with the University of Kansas amid allegations of sexual misconduct dating to the football coach’s days at LSU. (Read more.)
Ex-Kansas GOP Chair Amanda Adkins Seeks Rematch with Congresswoman Sharice Davids
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas Republican Party chair wants a rematch in 2022 against Democratic Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids after losing to Davids last year. Amanda Adkins has announced she’s running again for the GOP nomination in the state’s 3rd Congressional District in the Kansas City area. Adkins is a former executive with the medical information technology firm Cerner Corporation. She also served as the state GOP’s state chair from 2009 to 2013 and as chair of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. She lost to Davids by 10 percentage points in the November 2020 general election. Davids first won the seat in 2018 by ousting four-term GOP incumbent Congressman Kevin Yoder.
Topeka Man Charged in Traffic Crash That Killed Infant
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Topeka man has been charged in connection with a two-car traffic collision last week that killed an infant and injured three others. Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said Monday in a news release that 51-year-old Troy A. Vsetecka was charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery, leaving the scene of an accident and other charges. Vsetecka was allegedly speeding and driving the wrong way on a Topeka street on March 30 when he collided with another vehicle at an intersection.
Sheriff’s Office: Wichita Woman Killed While Walking on Road
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the circumstances of a vehicle accident that killed a 43-year-old woman in Sedgwick County. The sheriff’s office says in a news release that deputies responding to the scene at about 10 pm Sunday learned that a northbound Toyota Camry struck Kandy Fairchild of Wichita as she was walking in the northbound lane of Broadway near the intersection with 119th Street South. Fairchild died at the scene. The 23-year-old driver of the Camry and her adult passenger were not injured.
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 today (TUE). 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.
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.)
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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