After Complaint, Valley Center Might Drop COVID Restrictions
VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (AP) — The Valley Center school district is planning to vote Thursday on whether to drop its mask and social distancing requirements. The discussion comes after the board received a complaint from former Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau, who opposes all COVID-19 restrictions. The board held a special hearing Monday to discuss the complaint from Ranzau, whose son attends Valley Center High School. He invoked a new state law that requires a speedy hearing for anyone objecting to COVID-19 restrictions. On Tuesday, the Blue Valley school district canceled a meeting called in response to the new law after a parent who attended refused to wear a mask or leave.
As States Expand Vaccines, Many Prisoners Still Lack Access
UNDATED (AP) — Vaccinating most Americans is plenty tough — and it’s worse if you’re in prison. Roughly half the country has opened up coronavirus vaccine eligibility beyond initial restrictions, vastly expanding the ability for most people to get a shot in the arm. But inside many prisons, it’s a different story. Prisoners are not free to seek out vaccines and still, on the whole, lack access. Data collected by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press show fewer than 20% of state and federal prisoners have been vaccinated. In some states, prisoners and advocates have resorted to filing lawsuits to get access. In Kansas, prison inmates and staffers have been receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. By mid March, nearly 5,000 inmates statewide had already been vaccinated. The Kansas Department of Corrections also reported last month that the majority of both staff and inmates who were offered the vaccine accepted the shot.
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. Another update will be released later today (WED).
Missouri Health Department IDs State’s First Case of Virus Variant
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s health department has confirmed the first case of a new virus variant in the state. On Tuesday, health officials announced a Jackson County resident tested positive for a variant first identified in South Africa. Health officials say there are also 35 active Missouri cases of a variant first identified in the U..K. Meanwhile, the University of Missouri is planning to have full-capacity, in-person classes and activities on the Columbia campus for the fall semester beginning in August. University President Mun Choi said the university had 13 active student cases as of Tuesday.
Stray Bullet Hits Kansas Tourist Near NYC’s Times Square
NEW YORK (AP) — Police say a tourist from Kansas has been hit in the shoulder by a stray bullet near New York’s Times Square. Police say the 44-year-old man was shot shortly after 2 am Wednesday near West 38th Street and Eighth Avenue. Police do not believe he was the intended target. The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital and is stable. The Daily News reports that the victim told police he attended Tuesday’s Mets-Phillies game in Philadelphia and then took a train or bus back to New York. Police say he was headed to his hotel when he was shot. No arrests have been made.
Remains Discovered in Missouri Identified as Missing Chinese Woman
LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri authorities say remains found at a park are those of a Chinese woman who had been missing since October 2019. Columbia Mayor Brian Treece and police officials announced Tuesday that forensic experts determined the decomposed remains found on March 25 were those of Mengqi Ji. Authorities used dental records to make the identification. Experts are still working to determine how Ji died, or how long her body had been at the park. Her husband, Joseph Elledge, is charged with first-degree murder in her disappearance. He has pleaded not guilty and is jailed without bond.
Wichita Police Seek Suspect in Shooting Death of Man
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are seeking a suspect in the fatal shooting of a man after a dispute in the drive-through lane of a fast-food restaurant. Police say 19-year-old Quantin McIntosh Jr. died after the shooting late Monday. Police Captain Jason Stephens said McIntosh and his girlfriend got into an argument with people in another car at a Burger King. McIntosh followed the other vehicle and eventually both cars stopped. Stephens said someone in the second car fired several shots at McIntosh’s car. His girlfriend alerted officers who were working a traffic stop nearby. McIntosh died at a hospital. Police continue to look for the suspect.
Kansas City Police Identify Man Fatally Shot over Weekend
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Police in Kansas City have identified a man shot and killed in the city’s Citadel neighborhood over the weekend. Police say officers called to the area Saturday night found 25-year-old Darryl King critically injured from gunshot wounds. King was taken to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Police have not released details on what may have led to the shooting. Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact detectives or call the Tips Hotline.
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.)
KPR’s 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.