CDC Issues New Eviction Ban for Most of U.S. Through October 3, 2021
WASHINGTON (AP/KPR) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a new moratorium on evictions that would last until October 3. The Biden administration is trying to quell intensifying criticism that it was allowing vulnerable renters to lose their homes during a pandemic. The new moratorium could help keep millions in their homes as the coronavirus’ delta variant has spread and states have been slow to release federal rental aid. It would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives. The eviction reprieve is designed to give tenants more time to pay back rent to landlords.
Thousands of Kansas tenants are still in danger of losing their homes. As many as 24,000 Kansas renters who are behind on their rent could be forced to find a new place to live once the eviction moratorium expires. Financial assistance is available to help Kansas tenants and landlords avoid the eviction process.
Kansas AG Wants to Keep Limits on Governor’s COVID-19 Powers
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt is taking his fight to curb the power of Democratic Governor Laura Kelly and local officials to impose COVID-19 restrictions in Kansas to the state’s highest court. Schmidt announced Tuesday that he has asked the Kansas Supreme Court to keep in place a law that limits Kelly’s power and local officials’ authority even though a Johnson County trial-court judge struck it down last month. Schmidt is appealing District Judge David Hauber’s ruling and wants the decision put on hold in the meantime. The Republican-controlled Legislature enacted the law earlier this year to prevent Kelly from restricting businesses or imposing a statewide mask mandate.
Delta Variant Has K-12 Schools in Kansas Imposing Mask Rules
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A growing number of Kansas public school districts are imposing mask mandates because of the more contagious COVID-19 delta variant. As of Tuesday, at least nine local districts with more than 92,000 students had imposed a mask requirement for at least students under 12 who can’t get vaccinated. Most are requiring masks for everyone indoors. The nine districts have more than 19% of the state’s 476,000 students. Kansas has seen new COVID-19 cases increase over the past six weeks, and state data shows that confirmed delta variant cases have doubled or nearly doubled every two weeks. Governor Laura Kelly is recommending that K-12 schools require everyone to wear masks indoors.
St. Louis Mask Mandate Temporarily on Hold; Missouri A-G Sues Kansas City
UNDATED (AP) — A judge has put St. Louis County’s new mask requirement on hold for at least two weeks. Circuit Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo on Tuesday sided with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt in issuing a temporary restraining order of a mask mandate that was issued by St. Louis County health officials in July. The St. Louis County Council voted last week to rescind the mask order, but County Executive Sam Page insisted it was still in place. Hours after that ruling, Schmitt filed a lawsuit against a new mask mandate in Kansas City, arguing that it was unreasonable government overreach.
No Masks, Thousands of Fans: Doctors Share Concerns Ahead of Garth Brooks Concert at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Thousands of fans plan to welcome one of country music’s biggest stars to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend. More than 60,000 people are expected to be cheering when Garth Brooks takes the stage Saturday night. WDAF TV reports that while the Kansas City Chiefs recommend masks for anyone attending the concert who isn’t vaccinated, masks are not required inside the stadium, even with Kansas City’s mask mandate. Arrowhead is considered an outdoor facility, and the city’s emergency order only mandates masks indoors. But the anticipated lack of masks at the popular concert concerns some Kansas City doctors. “Here’s my personal preference: If you’re in a really big public space like that, with a whole lot of people, I think I’m gonna wear a mask there,” said Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System. Stites also pointed out that the concert is outdoors and said that’s the one promising aspect of it from a safety standpoint. According to the Chiefs’ website, workers will sanitize high-touch areas before and during the concert. There will also be hand sanitizer available throughout the stadium.
Smoke from Western Wildfires Affecting Kansas Air Quality
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Smoke from wildfires in the Western United States is impacting air quality in Kansas. WIBW TV reports that the Air Quality Index for Northeast Kansas on Monday was ranging between 130-150 (0-500 scale), similar to Sunday. Winds from the south are expected to blow the smoke from the area today (TUE) and Wednesday. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, atmospheric winds are pushing smoke all the way to the Midwest. While most is staying in the upper atmosphere, some is making it to the surface. KDHE says smoke can cause health problems in even healthy individuals, however, those with breathing issues, heart and lung diseases, the elderly, and children are at most risk. Common problems include burning eyes, runny nose, and coughing. KDHE recommends limiting strenuous outdoor exercise, drink lots of water and contact your doctor should you experience chest pains, tightness, shortness of breath or severe fatigue. For those with heart or respiratory issues, KDHE recommends staying indoors.
Kansas Sees Tax Collections Beat Expectations by 11% in July
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is reporting that its tax collections in July were 11% greater than expected. That’s good news even as the spread of the more contagious COVID-19 delta variant has some officials worried about the economy. The state Department of Revenue says Kansas collected nearly $603 million in general tax revenues last month. Its official forecast predicted $543 million so that the surplus was $60 million. Revenue Secretary Mark Burghart said consumer spending on goods and services has not slowed down. But he added that department economists are watching to see whether a steady increase in new COVID-19 cases because of the delta variant hurts the economy.
Kansas AG Vows to Prosecute Any Violation of Election Laws in Douglas County
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he will prosecute any violations of election laws in Douglas County that the district attorney refuses to act upon. Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said last week her office will not prosecute violations of new voting laws that took effect on July 1. She said the law is too vague and too broad. Among its provisions is one that makes it illegal to “give the appearance of being an election official.” State-level voter engagement groups contend the provision could criminalize their work if Kansans mistake volunteers for election officials. Schmidt is a Republican seeking his party’s nomination for governor. He urged law enforcement agencies in the county to refer election law cases to him.
Major Food Supplier Halts Deliveries, Affecting Kansas Restaurants
MCPHERSON, Kan. (KWCH) – Major food distributor Sysco is halting deliveries to a number of restaurants in Kansas citing labor shortages in the industry. KWCH TV reports that small businesses, like JD’s Kwik Burger, in McPherson, are left scrambling to find other options. Owner Chaz Clark said she’s angry after just learning Sunday that she would not be getting her delivery for the week. “My first reaction was to cry, just because it’s really overwhelming,” she said. Clark says her phone has been ringing constantly, she’s losing business and there’s nothing she can do about it. “Until I can find another vendor that can give me what my customers expect of me, until all of that works, I just have to roll with the punches right now,” she said. KWCH reached out to Sysco for more details on the issue. The company sent the following statement: “Sysco regrets that we have had to delay or pause service for a limited number of customers in various locations. This is mainly due to unprecedented labor shortages in the industry. We are aggressively recruiting delivery partners and warehouse associates, and our goal is to restore service to our impacted customers as soon as possible.” Other restaurants in the Wichita area say they too are impacted by Sysco’s halted deliveries. Sysco would not say how many businesses are impacted or how long it will take to restore service.
Police: Man Hit by Vehicle in Olathe Succumbs to Injuries
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Police say an Olathe man who was hit by a vehicle over the weekend has died from his injuries. Television station KCTV reports that 62-year-old Joseph Miller was hit Saturday morning near Old 56 Highway and Parker Street. Paramedics rushed Miller to an area hospital with critical injuries. Police said Tuesday that Miller had died from his injuries. Investigators say the driver involved in the crash stayed on the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. No charges have been filed in Miller’s death.
Partisan Sniping Marks Kansas Redistricting Before It Starts
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Partisan bickering among Kansas legislators over redistricting has intensified even before their first public hearings on how to redraw the state’s political boundaries. Democrats are complaining that 14 town hall meetings across the state are scheduled over only five days next week. Each is an hour and 15 minutes and 10 of the events are during the day. Democrats see an attempt to limit public input. Republicans accuse Democrats of politicizing the redistricting process and say additional virtual town hall meetings will be held during the fall. Lawmakers must redraw congressional, legislative and State Board of Education districts next year.
2 Charged with Killing, Dismembering Woman in Missouri
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man and woman have been indicted for first-degree murder for allegedly strangling a woman and dismembering her body. On Monday, the Jackson County prosecutor announced a grand jury indictment against 40-year-old Michael Hendricks and 30-year-old Maggie Ybarra. They’re charged with killing 32-year-old Kensie Renee Aubry last year, among other charges. A teenage girl who says Hendricks sexually assaulted her helped police find Aubry’s dismembered body, which was buried in garbage bags in Hendricks’ Kansas City-area property. Hendricks’s lawyer says he’ll get a robust defense. Ybarra’s public defender didn’t immediately return an Associated Press call Monday.
Police: Missouri Toddler Killed After Finding Gun in Home
INDEPENDENCE, Mo (AP) — Police in suburban Kansas City say a toddler has died after finding an unsecured gun inside a home. Officials say the shooting happened Sunday night in Independence. First responders arrived shortly before 9:30 pm Sunday at the home to find a 2-year-old child with a gunshot wound. The child was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead. The child’s name was not immediately released. The Jackson County prosecutor’s office and police are working together to determine whether any charges will be filed.
Four Killed in Cass County Crash Involving Tractor-Trailer
GARDEN CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say at least four people have died following a crash on Missouri Highway 7 in Cass County. KMBC-TV reports the preliminary investigation indicates a tractor-trailer headed south lost control and went off the road the Garden City bridge late Monday morning. The tractor-trailer crossed the grassy median that divides the highway, entered the northbound lanes and struck an SUV head-on. Three people were declared dead at the scene and two others were taken to an area hospital, where one of them died a short time later.
Woman Charged with Murder for Crash that Killed Toddler
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas woman has been charged with murder for a car crash that killed a toddler. KSNT-TV on Monday reported Jhanae Alexus Tate was charged with crimes including first-degree murder and driving under the influence for the May 9 Topeka crash. Police say Tate veered off the road and hit a mailbox. She overcorrected and drove into oncoming traffic, hitting another vehicle head-on. An 18-month-old child in Tate’s car died. Two adults and two children in the other car were hospitalized. Tate’s jailed on a $1 million bond. Her lawyer didn’t immediately return Associated Press requests for comment Tuesday.
Two Deaths in Kansas City, Kansas, Ruled Homicides
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas City, Kansas, police are investigating the deaths of two people last week as homicides. Twenty-four-year-old Jordan Horton and 22-year-old Heather Miller, both of Kansas City, Kansas, were found dead at an apartment on Thursday. Police initially called the case a death investigation but said Tuesday it is now a double homicide case. Police say the initial investigation indicates the victims were dead for several days before their bodies were found after Miller’s family requested a welfare check. No suspects were in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.
Man Sentenced to Five Years for Crash That Killed Woman
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A 37-year-old Wichita man has been sentenced to five years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed a woman and injured two others. Jeremey Crowder pleaded guilty in May to involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence and two counts of aggravated battery. The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office said Crowder ran a red light in Wichita on March 19, 2019, and hit another car. Fifty-seven-year-old Yvonne Recchio died at the scene. Her husband and another passenger in the car were injured. Prosecutors said Crowder’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was more than double the legal limit.
AP Sources: Pac-12, Big 12 Commissioners Consider Alliances
The commissioners of the Pac-12 and Big 12 are discussing how the two conferences might benefit from working together or maybe even merging. Two people with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press about the talks between Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and George Kliavkoff from the Pac-12. The Big 12 is trying to rebound after learning Texas and Oklahoma plan to leave for the Southeastern Conference in 2025. The Big 12 has to start looking at how to move forward without their flagship programs immediately. The Pac-12 has not indicated it is in a rush to add members.
These area headlines are curated by KPR news staffers, including J. Schafer, Laura Lorson, Kaye McIntyre and Tom Parkinson. Our headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and by 1 pm on weekends. This news summary is made possible by KPR listener-members. Become one today!
Originally Appeared Here