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Headlines for Saturday, December 12, 2020

Lawsuit: Kansas Should Pay Business over COVID-19 Restrictions

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita fitness studio and its owner are suing Kansas for compensation for being forced to shut down and reopen with restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit filed this week in Sedgwick County District Court by Ryan Floyd and Omega Bootcamps Inc. argues that the state used his and the business’ private property “for the benefit of the general public.” The lawsuit cites part of the state’s emergency management law that says people can pursue claims for compensation in court if their property is “commandeered or otherwise used” by state or local officials. The Kansas attorney general’s office declined comment, saying it's reviewing the lawsuit.


Probe: Kansas Foster Care Provider Falsified Visit Documents

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas says employees of one of the state's largest foster care management providers falsified documents to show visits with families that never took place. The Kansas Department for Children and Families said Friday in a news release that it has taken action to address the allegations about St. Francis Ministries and requested information related to fiscal mismanagement at the Salina-based organization. One St. Francis employee did not visit 28 children who were living with 11 different foster care providers. That worker falsely documented 165 contacts with those children between February and October that did not occur. Another employee had failed to meet with foster care providers.


Pittsburg Woman Charged with Murder, Arson in Fatal Joplin Fire

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Two women are charged with murder and arson after a fire in Joplin killed a 68-year-old man. Tiffany Lukasiewicz of Pittsburg and Elizabeth Baez of Joplin were charged Thursday in the death of David Crowder, who died in the house fire on December 4th. Crowder was trapped inside the house. Firefighters rescued him but he died later at a hospital. Joplin police said an autopsy performed Monday showed Crowder died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. Two women were found injured outside the home but police have not said if those women were Baez and Lukasiewicz.


Andover Removes Ban on Pit Bulls

ANDOVER, Kan. (AP) — Andover is the latest Kansas city to repeal a ban on pit bulls, after the city council voted this week to repeal a decades-old ordinance against the dog breed. City administrator Jennifer McCausland said the issue gained momentum this year after the city annexed land where some residents owned pit bulls. Midge Grinstead, Kansas director of the Humane Society of the United States, said she had been involved in overturning about 24 bans in Kansas in recent years. She estimated between 80 to 90 pit bull bans still exist in the state.


2 Georgia Men Seriously Injured in Kansas ATV Accident

LOGAN, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says two men from Georgia were seriously injured when their all-terrain vehicle hit a deer in northwest Kansas. The patrol says the crash occurred Thursday evening about 6 miles south of Logan in Phillips County. The ATV hit the deer on a county road, went into a ditch and rolled several times. The driver, 19-year-old Tucker William Mobbs, and 51-year-old Herman Van Mobbs, both of Cedartown, Georgia, were taken to Phillips County Hospital in Phillipsburg with serious injuries.


Deputies Arrest Man Riding Lawnmower on Kansas Highway

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — It's not unusual for officers to pull over suspected drunken drivers on the highways of Kansas. But it is fairly rare to bust a suspected drunken driver while he's driving a riding lawnmower. That's what Shawnee County Sheriff's deputies say they encountered Wednesday afternoon when they spotted a man driving a lawnmower on the southbound shoulder of U.S. Highway 75 near Topeka. KSNT reports that the 25-year-old man was stopped and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he failed a field sobriety test.


Watchdog Questions Rescue Loan to Overland Park Company

WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional monitor of federal pandemic aid is raising the possibility of a link between President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a $700 million relief loan to a struggling trucking company. A Democratic member of the Congressional Oversight Commission raised the possible Kushner connection at a hearing on the controversial government rescue loan. Kushner is also a Trump adviser. Four members of the panel from both parties have challenged the Treasury Department’s decision to award the loan to Overland Park, Kansas-based trucking company YRC Worldwide. The taxpayer-funded loan was made on the grounds that its operations are critical for maintaining national security.  


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