Coronavirus surge in Kansas touches inmates, taxes, pastures
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are looking for extra hospital beds, releasing jail inmates and bracing for a slump in state tax collections because of the coronavirus pandemic. They also on Thursday added farmers' and ranchers' springtime practice of burning pastures to the list of things to avoid during the coronavirus pandemic. Confirmed coronavirus cases have almost quadrupled over the past week, to 168, with three deaths reported since March 11. More than 1.7 million of the state's 2.9 million residents are facing local stay-at-home orders. That's taking an economic toll, and Gov. Laura Kelly says it's likely already hurting state revenues.
Kansas has 12 times as many weekly claims for unemployment
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The number of jobless workers in Kansas who filed initial unemployment claims last week was 12 times as high as it was the week before as measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus took their toll on the economy. The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that Kansas had almost 23,700 initial claims for unemployment for the seven-day period ending Saturday. The department said the figure for the previous week was less than 1,800. The increase was 1,250%. It was easily the largest percentage jump in at least 20 years. Some 62% of the state's residents face local stay-at-home orders.
Kansas firefighters battling wildfires in Barber County
MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas National Guard has sent two helicopters to help local firefighters battle wildfires burning about 20-25 miles southwest of Medicine Lodge in Barber County. The agency says in a news release that the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Kansas National Guard's 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation out of Salina are equipped with collapsible 660-gallon water buckets. The Kansas Forest Service has also deployed an air tanker to make water drops. Gov. Laura Kelly has issued a disaster declaration for the fires.
Court filing: Kansas coach 'encouraged' NCAA rule violations
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Athletics Inc. contends in a newly unsealed court filing that it has evidence former football coach David Beaty “allowed and encouraged NCAA violations” while at the University of Kansas. The memo was filed by the university's lawyers in January and unsealed this past week. It says those alleged violations has “resulted in several hundred thousand" dollars in legal fees for Kansas Athletics. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the filing includes transcripts of interviews with players and members of the football staff that that the university says suggest that NCAA rule violations occurred under Beaty.
MASSAGE THERAPIST-KANSAS ATHLETES
Kansas massage therapist accused of misconduct with athletes
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — University of Kansas authorities are alleging a massage therapist already facing a child sex charge also engaged in inappropriate behavior toward at least six female athletes, including unwanted touching during massages. Chancellor Doug Girod and Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a joint statement that investigators also found an athletic trainer was aware of at least some of the incidents involving Shawn P. O'Brien but failed to appropriately report the conduct. His attorney says he was unaware of university's statement and had no comment on it. He said his client is innocent of the earlier child sex charge.
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT DEATH
Man dies in accident at Tyson Meats plant in western Kansas
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 30-year-old Garden City man died at a Tyson Fresh Meats plant in western Kansas. Finney County authorities say Kendrick Gregory was injured early Monday at the plant in Garden City. The sheriff's office says Gregory was doing maintenance on an assembly line when he apparently was pulled up by his harness against a take-away belt. A co-worker was able to cut Gregory free. He died later at a Garden City hospital. The investigation is continuing.
Man killed, Oklahoma trooper wounded after shootings
FAIRLAND, Okla. (AP) — Authorities say a man shot and killed one man and wounded two others, including a state trooper, in northeast Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Oklahoma Highway Patrol said in a joint statement that 48-year-old Edwin Ball was taken into custody early Wednesday after barricading himself inside his home in Fairland. They say Ball shot and killed 25-year-old Brendan Van Zwell and wounded a second man Tuesday before barricading himself inside his home. The release says a trooper who arrived on the scene was hit in the eye with a shotgun pellet while setting up a perimeter. He was taken to a hospital in Joplin, Missouri.
Bill Braum, ice cream and burger chain founder, dead at 92