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Headlines for Saturday, February 20, 2021

Ex-Wichita Officer, School Employee Pleads in Child Sex Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former Wichita police officer and public school employee pleaded no contest to three charges accusing him of molesting underage boys. 58-year-old Alex Robinson was entered the plea yesterday (FRI), just days before his trial was scheduled to begin Monday. The Sedgwick County District Attorney's office said the crimes involved three victims between who were abused in Wichita in 2011 and 2012. Robinson worked for the Wichita police department for 22 years. He was the Wichita Public Schools' safety services supervisor when he was arrested in January 2013. Before Friday's plea, Robinson was facing eight charges. Those charges involved boys aged 11 to 14 and occurred over 12 years, beginning in 2000.

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Governor Kelly Presents Fix for Vaccine Data Reporting Woes

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly has announced plans to fix issues that have led Kansas to underreport the number of people vaccinated for COVID-19. Kelly has said the state's vaccination rate consistently ranks among the lowest in the country because of technical problems with the tracking system. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows Kansas has administered 72% of the 581,975 doses it has received, up from 60.2% a week ago. Kelly says the state is addressing underlying data transfer problems and, starting Monday, providers will be required to report data daily on doses received and administered. Providers with identified reporting issues will face additional requirements.

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Judge Rejects Detention Request for Kansas Proud Boys Leader

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal magistrate judge has rejected the government’s request to keep the alleged leader of the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys in custody pending his trial for the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara ruled Friday that William Chrestman could be released on a $10,000 bond to home detention with electronic monitoring. The judge also found that the record shows an overwhelming case on the merits against the defendant, saying the court believes his ultimate conviction is highly probable, with a significant prison sentence to follow.

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Family Alleges Botched 911 Call Caused JoCo Woman's Death

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (AP) — The family of a Kansas woman who died after collapsing at her home is suing the Kansas City, Missouri, police and fire departments for wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges the departments took too long to dispatch help when 40-year-old Cathryn McClelland collapsed at her Prairie Village home in July 2019 after suffering a  heart attack. The lawsuit says McClelland's 8-year-old son quickly called 911 and gave the family's address, but it took more than 10 minutes for an ambulance to be dispatched. KCTV reports the lawsuit says the ambulance was delayed because dispatchers did not believe the boy was giving them the correct address.

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GOP Plan to Curb Jobless Aid during Pandemic Sparks Backlash

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators and a powerful Kansas business group are pushing a proposal to make it harder for unemployed workers to get extended benefits. They argue that extra weeks of aid are available even when thousands of jobs remain unfilled. But the proposal before the GOP-controlled Legislature is sparking a backlash amid the economic uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Democrats see it as hurting struggling workers at exactly the wrong time. The Republican chair of the Senate Commerce Committee conceded Friday that it will be difficult to include the measure in broader legislation designed to overhaul the state’s troubled unemployment system.

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Man Arrested in Fatal New Year's Party Shooting in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police have arrested a Wichita man on suspicion of fatally shooting another man during a New Year's party. Television station KAKE reports that 22-year-old Deajuan Smith was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the January 1st death of 26-year-old Nicholas Sims. Police say Sims was at a party attended by about 50 people when he was shot. Sims died at the scene. Police said Sims and Smith had argued at the party before taking the argument outside. Police say that's when Smith shot Sims.

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Magnitude 4.2 Earthquake Rattles Kansas Border

MANCHESTER, Okla. (AP) — An estimated magnitude 4.2 earthquake has been recorded along Oklahoma's border with Kansas. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake was recorded at 7:56 a.m. Friday near Manchester in northern Oklahoma. Grant County Commissioner Max Hess' district includes Manchester. He said no injuries or damage have been reported. The rural area is about 55 miles northwest of where a recent series of earthquakes were recorded. Those quakes prompted state regulators to direct some oil and gas producers reduced volumes or shut down underground wastewater injection wells.

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Owner of Well-known KC BBQ Restaurant Dies

KANSAS CITY, Mo (AP) — L.C. Richardson, owner of the well-known LC's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Kansas City, died this week. Richardson's granddaughter wrote on the restaurant's website that Richardson died at the age of 86. She did not give a cause of death. Richardson founded the restaurant in 1986 near the Truman Sports Complex, and it became a popular spot for diners going to Royals and Chiefs games, and for barbecue fans across the region. The restaurant announced a public viewing will be held on February 27th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Watkins Heritage Chapel in Kansas City. The family plans a private funeral service in Jackson, Mississippi, at a later date.

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