Kansas Debate Intensifies over Nursing Homes’ Visitor Rules
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Families and advocates for the elderly in Kansas argue that with most nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19, some facilities’ visiting rules need to be relaxed. A state official who investigates complaints against nursing homes and the elder-care focused Kansas Advocates for Better Care called on the state Tuesday to intervene when nursing homes aren’t open enough. Some industry officials still see a need for caution because of the growing presence in Kansas of the faster-spreading delta variant. Operators feel they’re still facing tough choices after nursing homes were COVID-19 hot spots earlier in the pandemic, but advocates for residents worry that the delta variant could cause homes to lock down again.
Johnson County Health Department: Schools Should Mandate Masks for Unvaccinated
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The health department in the most populous county in Kansas is urging the county’s public schools to require students and staff who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks indoors when classes resume for the fall. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s guidance comes with confirmed cases of the faster-spreading delta variant continuing to rise across Kansas and fueling larger numbers of new COVID-19 cases overall. The state reported Monday that confirmed delta variant cases increased by 20% since Friday, up 158 to 950. State data also showed that Kansas averaged 440 new COVID-19 cases for the seven days ending Monday.
Suspect Arrested in Homicide Near Great Bend Hotel
GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — Great Bend police say a 36-year-old suspect is in custody after a man was killed over the weekend. Police went to the Best Western Angus Inn just before midnight Sunday and found 39-year-old Micah Merryman-Scifres dead on the ground. Elias Trejo was arrested after a traffic stop Monday and is being held on a possible charge of second-degree murder. His bond was set at $500,000. No further information has been released.
Police: Man Killed in Shooting at Wichita Apartment Complex
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 19-year-old man is dead following a shooting at an apartment complex in central Wichita’s Riverside neighborhood. Police say the shooting happened Tuesday night in an apartment complex parking lot, where officers found the man with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say they’re investigating to try to learn what led up to the shooting. Police say they have made no arrests and don’t yet have any suspects.
Abuse Claims Against Missouri Reform School Settled
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Four civil lawsuits alleging sexual and physical assault by the owners of a southwest Missouri reform school have been settled. An attorney for four former Circle of Hope Girls Ranch students told The Kansas City Star that the settlement amounts are confidential. About two dozen girls were removed from the Christian boarding school last year during an investigation into abuse allegations. Boyd and Stephanie Householder own the school. They now face 100 criminal charges including statutory rape, sodomy, physical abuse and neglect. The plaintiffs in the civil suits allege they were raped, thrown against walls and starved.
Officials: Man Shot 2-Year-Old as Girlfriend Flees Attack
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has been accused of kidnapping his girlfriend and her two young children, then shooting the woman’s 2-year-old daughter as the woman fled when he threatened her with a knife. The Reno County Sheriff’s Office says it happened Monday, accusing 21-year-old Kamden Campos, of Wichita, of driving the woman and her children to Cheney Lake, where police say he forced the woman at knifepoint to the edge of the lake. Investigators say the woman bolted when Campos became briefly distracted, jumped into the car and sped off. Deputies say as she fled, Campos fired shots at the car, and one bullet hit the 2-year-old in the back seat. The child later underwent surgery for her injuries, and deputies arrested Campos after a manhunt.
Man Sentenced for Woman’s Death at Kansas City Arts Event
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the death of a woman struck by a stray bullet at a Kansas City arts event. The Kansas City Star reports a judge on Tuesday sentenced Deon’te Copkney to 18 years for second-degree murder for his role in Erin Langhofer’s 2019 death. The Overland Park woman was shot in the head during a First Friday event. Thousands of people were mingling in the city’s Crossroads District when gunfire erupted. Police say she wasn’t connected to the fight that prompted the shooting.
Teen Arrested in Another Teen’s Shooting Death in Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of another teen in Wichita. Police said officers discovered a 16-year-old with gunshot wounds Thursday night when they were responding to a reported burglary at a home in north Wichita. That teen was taken to a Wichita hospital where he died. His name wasn’t immediately released. After a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old showed up at a hospital with gunshot wounds, police arrested that 16-year-old after learning there had been a fight between those two men and the victim before the shooting.
Police: Man Walking on KC Interstate Hit and Killed Tuesday
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police say a man walking in a northbound lane of Interstate 435 in Kansas City was hit by a vehicle and killed early Tuesday. Police say the crash happened around 1 am near Front Street when a northbound car on I-435 entered a construction zone, which narrowed travel to a single lane in which the man was walking. Police say the man killed was wearing all dark clothing and the car’s driver didn’t see him until it was too late. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not yet been released.
Independence Council Rejects Ban on Conversion Therapy
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — The Independence City Council rejected a proposal to ban conversion therapy for minors. The council voted 4-3 Monday night to turn down an ordinance that was proposed by the city’s Human Relations Commission. Conversion therapy seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Council members who voted against the proposal said it was too broad, and could be used to ban counseling, They also said some methods of conversion therapy are already banned and the ordinance did not properly define how the ban would be enforced. Other cities in Missouri, such as Kansas City, St. Louis, St. Joseph and Columbia have banned conversion therapy.
Full Federal Appeals Court to Consider Missouri Abortion Law
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear a case over Missouri abortion restrictions. The court last week decided to take up the case on its own motion. At issue is a 2019 state law that would ban abortions as early as the eighth week of pregnancy and prohibit abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. A three-judge panel of the court last month upheld a lower court’s injunction prohibiting Missouri from enforcing the provisions. Missouri’s Republican attorney general, Eric Schmitt, earlier this month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case and to use it to decide whether to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established a nationwide right to abortion.
No Black Voices Heard During Missouri Hearing on Racism Teachings
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri legislative committee has held a hearing on how race and racism is taught in schools without hearing from any Black Missourians. No Black parents, teachers or scholars testified Monday to the Joint Committee on Education during the invite-only hearing on critical race theory. Critical race theory is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism. Republican Senator Cindy O’Laughlin says she wanted to raise voices of critical parents who feel they haven’t been heard by their local schools. Democratic lawmakers and Missouri’s NAACP president say the hearing was one-sided.
Kansas City Chiefs Re-Sign DE Alex Okafor to 1-Year Deal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Veteran defensive end Alex Okafor has signed a one-year deal to return to the Kansas City Chiefs, just days before the first players begin reporting for training camp. The Chiefs did not disclose financial terms in announcing the deal Tuesday. The 30-year-old Okafor has 30 sacks and 183 tackles in eight NFL seasons, including the past two with the Chiefs. He joined the club as a free agent from New Orleans in March 2019, signing a three-year, $18 million contract. He missed playing in the team’s victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV because of torn pectoral muscle.
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!