Latest Kansas news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT


Wife: Prison guard who survived leukemia dies of COVID-19

LANSING, Kan. (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak that has infected hundreds of people at the largest prison in Kansas has claimed the life of a prison guard, the first employee at the facility to die of the virus. Department spokeswoman Rebecca Witte says three Lansing Correctional Facility inmates already had died of the virus before the employee died Monday. Relatives identified the man as 61-year-old George “Bernie” Robare, a former Marine and longtime Corrections Department guard. The Kansas City Star reports that Susan Robare was worried her husband wouldn’t be able to defeat the virus when he tested positive last month. He was a leukemia survivor.


Court throws out lawsuit on inmate safety at Kansas prisons

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas court has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a civil rights rights group seeking the immediate release of prisoners who have preexisting medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the new coronavirus. Leavenworth District Judge David King dismissed the class action petition filed by The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas on behalf of eight inmates and others similarly situated at Kansas prisons. The district court found the ACLU didn't prove that jail officials either failed to meet their constitutional duty to provide adequate medical care or acted with deliberate indifference to the inmates' serious medical needs.


Suspect arrested in Wichita woman's homicide

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 27-year-old Wichita man is being held in the shooting death of a woman over the weekend. Police say they found 36-year-old Sarah Phillips dead from a gunshot wound to the head on Sunday at a Wichita house. Officers arrested Isaac Pankratz later Sunday. Police spokesman Officer Charley Davidson says investigators determined that Pankratz and Phillips were at the home together when she was shot. Pankratz is being held on possible charges of first-degree murder and gun crimes.


Missouri trooper hit by vehicle, shots fired during chase

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a trooper suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a vehicle trying to flee in northern Kansas City. The patrol says the incident began early Tuesday when the trooper began chasing the suspect on Interstate 29. At one point, the trooper got out of his vehicle and the suspect turned around. The patrol says the trooper was trying to get out of the way and fired at the suspect before he was hit by the vehicle. The trooper was treated at a hospital for minor injuries. The suspect, a 29-year-old Gardner man, was later arrested in Kansas.


Federal agencies investigate tipi burning at Indian school

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Federal agencies are helping with an investigation into the burning of a tipi outside Haskell Indian Nations University.  The ceremonial tipi was burned early Saturday on the school's campus in Lawrence. Lawrence and Douglas County fire officials say the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the investigation. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but Lawrence fire officials say arson is a possibility. The tipi was built to honor Haskell’s 2020 graduating seniors. A fundraiser to replace the tipi, which cost an estimated $2,500 to $3,000, has raised more than $15,000.


Colorado judge sentence to jail for 2nd DUI

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado judge is expected to be sentenced to a jail term for pleading guilty to a second DUI charge within two years. KCNC-TV reported 62-year-old Debra Gunkel pleaded guilty to violating the terms of her probation from a 2018 DUI case in Prowers County. The conviction would have been erased from the Baca County judge’s record if she completed two years of probation, but Gunkel was arrested for driving while drunk in Kansas in August. Gunkel’s probation was revoked after the charge was filed. Jail time will be mandatory after her expected plea in June.


Charges dropped against Kansas barber who opened shop

MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have dropped charges against a central Kansas barber who opened his business in defiance of an order from Gov. Laura Kelly. Luke Aichele opened his shop in McPherson last week, despite Kelly's order that such businesses stay closed until May 18. McPherson County Attorney Gregory Benefiel said Monday that charges were dropped after Aichele agreed during the weekend to stay closed until May 18. Aichele received support Saturday from two U.S. Senate candidates from Kansas. U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall and Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle both said threatening someone with arrest who wanted to go back to work was wrong.


8-year-old Kansas boy dies when ATV rolls in Kansas field

DEERFIELD, Kan. (AP) — An 8-year-old Garden City boy died when an ATV he was riding on rolled over. Kearny County authorities say the crash occurred around noon Sunday about 7 miles northeast of Deerfield. Twenty-year-old Daniel Rodriguez and 8-year-old Aiden Hernandez were riding on the ATV in a field next to a house when it rolled at least once. The Kearny County Sheriff's Office says Rodriguez and Aiden were both thrown from the vehicle. They were not wearing helmets. Aiden died at a hospital. Rodriguez was not injured.