4 in 10 Kansans don’t have to wear masks despite mandate
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Four in 10 Kansans live in counties that have overruled Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide mask order even as coronavirus cases in the state soar. More than 90 of the state’s 105 counties have opted out of the mandate issued last week under a new state law that allows local leaders to follow or discard Kelly’s pandemic-related executive orders. The Kansas City Star and The Wichita Eagle’s analysis of public health data shows that six of the 10 counties with the most cases have decided against mandatory mask wearing. Nine of the 10 counties with the lowest rates of testing have also opted out.
Missouri man charged in death of woman in Olathe burglary
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 42-year-old Missouri man was charged Thursday in the death of a woman whose body was found by police responding to a burglary call in Olathe. The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office said in a Twitter post that Clyde J. Barnes Jr., of Kansas City, Missouri, has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, unlawful tampering with electronic monitoring, criminal threat and violation of a protection order. The burglary was reported around 3. a.m. Sunday, police said in a news release. The victim was identified as 42-year-old Jessica L. Smith.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-KANSAS-STATE FAIR
Kansas State Fair board will reconsider holding event
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The chances of the Kansas State Fair being held this year are up looking less likely after a large number of vendors backed out or expressed trepidation. The Hutchinson News reports that the fair’s board will meet Monday to reconsider its decision to hold the event in September. Kansas State Fair general manager Robin Jennison said it was beginning to appear the fair would be financially worse off going forward than not having it. The organization cannot operate in the red.
Sheriff: K9 to be euthanized after vicious attack on handler
JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas sheriff said he has decided to euthanize one of the department’s police dogs after an “unprovoked vicious attack” on its handler. Geary County Sheriff Daniel Jackson posted on Facebook the attack Tuesday involving K9 Krew lasted 90 seconds. The deputy had reached into the kennel in his patrol car to put a collar on the dog. He suffered a torn bicep and multiple puncture wounds requiring 17 stitches. The sheriff wrote that since 2018 the dog has also attacked two other K9 officers on three different occasions requiring a total of 54 stitches and the reattachment of a toe.
Police: 1 of 2 men injured in east Wichita shooting has died
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police say one of two men injured in an east Wichita shooting earlier this week has died. Police say 20-year-old Broderick Lloyd died Wednesday at a Wichita hospital. Police say Lloyd and a 21-year-old man were shot around 12:30 a.m. Monday. Officers called to the scene of the shooting found Lloyd in a wrecked vehicle suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police say the other man, who had been taken to a hospital by private vehicle, also suffered several gunshots. He is expected to recover. Police have not made any arrests and say they have no suspects.
Kansas reporting 717 more confirmed cases of COVID-19
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reporting 717 more confirmed coronavirus cases since Monday, an increase that brings the total to at least 17,618 cases. The department on Wednesday also reported 282 COVID-19 deaths, up two since Monday. Health and environment Secretary Lee Norman announced on Tuesday that Kansas is among the top 14 states in the country for the most rapid spread of the coronavirus, and in the top 14 states for having the least restrictions on activities. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people who have the virus have not been tested.
GOP establishment boosting Kansas congressman’s Senate bid
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Establishment Republicans who’d been coy for months about the GOP primary for Kansas’ open Senate seat are increasingly putting their thumbs on the scale. They’re hoping to push western Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall to victory over polarizing conservative Kris Kobach. A new GOP super-PAC this week launched what it promised will be a $3 million advertising campaign against Kobach, and its director formerly worked for a GOP congressman and the state’s Republican attorney general. Even President Donald Trump stepped in last month with the anti-tax, free-market Club for Growth confirming that Trump persuaded it to abandon a multi-million-dollar ad campaign against Marshall ahead of the Aug. 4 primary.
KANSAS FOSTER CARE-LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT
Kansas settles foster children civil rights lawsuit
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The state of Kansas settled a class-action lawsuit filed by advocates who accused the state of not providing foster children with adequate mental health care and moving them too frequently between homes. The settlement, filed Wednesday, mandates the state stop moving foster children often and track them more carefully. KCUR-FM reports the agreement won’t take effect until a judge approves and all children are notified. The settlement requires the state to stop sheltering foster children in hotels, motels, cars, stores, offices, unlicensed homes or any other non-child-welfare housing. The state must also provide timely mental health treatment when needed.