Top Kansas GOP Lawmakers End State of Emergency for COVID
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Kansas Republicans are ending the state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic. They refused today (TUE) to consider Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s arguments that an extension is still necessary for vaccinations and some testing for COVID-19. Senate President Ty Masterson announced the cancellation of a meeting of eight legislative leaders set for this (TUE) afternoon. A law enacted in late March required the legislative leaders to sign off on an extension. Masterson’s announcement means that the state of emergency would expire by day’s end after being in place since March 2020. The Andover Republican other Senate GOP leaders said in a statement that, “It is time for Kansas to return to normal.”
GOP Ends COVID Emergency in Kansas; Kelly Sees ‘Obstruction’
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A top aide to Democratic Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas will struggle more to get residents vaccinated and thousands of families will lose extra food aid. Kelly chief of staff Will Lawrence said Tuesday that those problems will increase because top Republican legislators ended a state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic. Senate President Ty Masterson announced the cancellation of a Tuesday afternoon meeting of eight legislative leaders. A law enacted in March required top lawmakers to sign off on an extension, and the state of emergency was to expire at the end of the day Tuesday after being in place since March 2020. Masterson said in an issued statement, “it is time for Kansas to return to normal.”
Nebraskans Hurt when Boat Explodes at Lake of the Ozarks
SUNRISE BEACH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say five people from Nebraska were seriously injured when a boat exploded at a Missouri lake. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the explosion occurred Tuesday afternoon near Sunrise Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks. The patrol says the boat was secured at a dock when a mechanical problem caused a fuel-related fire. James and Kari Hohenstein, Brad Vanwinkle and two children aged 12 and 16 were seriously injured. A 2-year-old suffered minor injuries. The 16-year-old and Vanwinkle were flown to a Columbia hospital, while three others were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The people on the boat are from Gretna and Elkhorn, Nebraska.
Man Accused of Killing 6 on Kansas City Trails Found Not Competent to Stand Trial
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man charged with killing six people on or near trails in south Kansas City four to five years ago has been found not competent to stand trial. A judge ruled Monday that 26-year-old Fredrick Scott, of Kansas City, is mentally unfit to aid in his own defense. Scott is charged with first-degree murder in the separate shooting deaths of 57-year-old Steven Gibbons; 54-year-old John Palmer; 67-year-old David Lenox; 57-year-old Timothy Rice; 61-year-old Michael Darby; and 64-year-old Karen Harmeyer. All of the deaths occurred in 2016 and 2017 along city hiking and biking trails. Scott has been in custody since his arrest in 2017. A re-evaluation of Scott’s mental fitness was set for August.
Longtime Sandia Labs Airline Safety Research Center Moving to Wichita State University
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A decades-old program at Sandia National Laboratories that focused on new innovations in airplane inspection will be taking flight elsewhere. The Albuquerque-based weapons research and development facility announced Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Assurance Center will relocate to Wichita State University. The program will be part of the university’s National Institute of Aviation Research. Officials say the move follows structural shifts at both Sandia and the FAA. Sandia Labs has operated the center for the FAA for 30 years. Under the program, researchers worked alongside aircraft manufacturers, industry experts and regulatory agencies to enhance airplane inspection and maintenance systems.
Kansas COVID-19 Case Count Exceeds 316,000; Death Toll Tops 5,100
TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported Monday that there have been 316,014 COVID-19 cases in Kansas, including 5,125 virus-related deaths, since the pandemic began. That’s an increase of 245 cases and 19 deaths since Friday. Another update is expected later today (WED).
1 Kansas City Man Killed, 5 Hurt After Small Plane Crashes at Texas Airport
MADISONVILLE, Texas (AP) — Authorities say one person was killed and five others injured when a small airplane crashed at a municipal airport in Texas. The crash happened at about 1 am today (MON) at the airport near Madisonville, about 90 miles north of Houston. Sgt. Justin Ruiz of the Texas Department of Public Safety identified the person killed as the 68-year-old pilot, Apolo Diaz of Kansas City, Missouri. Ruiz said Diaz was trying to land when the single-engine Piper PA-32 struck trees and crashed about 300 yards short of the Madisonville Municipal Airport runway.
2 Teens Shot, 1 Seriously Injured, in Topeka over Weekend
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police say two teens were shot in separate incidents over the weekend in Topeka and that one suffered life-threatening injuries. Police say in a news release that officers called Saturday morning to an area along SE 31st Street found a 13-year-old girl with a gunshot wound. The girl was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. Police say her injury is being investigated as an accidental shooting. Hours earlier around 9:30 pm Friday, a 15-year-old boy was shot in one of his arms. Police say he is expected to recover. Police have not released the names of the teens shot and say the shootings aren’t related.
Utility’s Green Energy Plan Fuels Debate in Kansas, Missouri
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The largest electric company in Kansas expects to make its first big investments in solar energy over the next three years and is looking to produce no net carbon emissions by 2045. The goal was included in a long-term plan outlined by Evergy for regulators in Kansas and Missouri. Some environmentalist groups don’t think Evergy is moving quickly enough on clean energy initiatives. Conversely, other critics worry that the plan could make electricity more expensive and less reliable. Utilities across the U.S. and investors increasingly see green initiatives as good for a company’s bottom line. Evergy has about 1 million customers in Kansas and another 600,000 in Missouri.
Wichita Police Officer Charged with Child Sex Crime
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A five-year veteran of the Wichita police force is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child. The Sedgwick County District Attorney charged Officer Thomas Wallace on Tuesday. Police spokesman Charley Davidson says police learned earlier this year that Wallace was possibly stalking a woman he knew. That allegation stemmed from a Sedgwick County Sheriff’s investigation of another Wichita police department employee late last year. That investigation prompted the charges filed Tuesday. Wallace was placed on unpaid leave Tuesday, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Kansas Public Radio Aims for More Sustaining Members
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) – After getting a $216,000 budget cut from the University of Kansas, Kansas Public Radio is hoping to make up the difference by holding a special two-day fund drive later this month. KPR’s goal is to increase membership by 300 new or upgrading sustainers. Sustainers are donors who sign up for automatic monthly contributions to the radio station. The recent budget cut from KU is the largest in the 69-year history of the station and represents about 70% of the station’s annual funding from the university. The on-air portion of KPR’s two-day fund drive begins Thursday, June 24, but fundraising is already underway. KPR supporters have pooled their money to create a $30,000 matching grant when KPR receives 300 new or upgrading sustainers during the month of June.
(Anyone can pledge anytime to KPR on the station’s website: KansasPublicRadio.org.)
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