Kansas AG: "Put Election Behind Us" Just Days after Legal Challenge
TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - The Kansas Attorney General says it's time to put the 2020 "election behind us." The Kansas City Star reports that this comes just days after Derek Schmidt joined Texas, Missouri, and 15 other "red states" in a lawsuit challenging the election besults in four battleground states. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, saying that Kansas and the other states lacked legal standing to challenge the election results in the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Kansas Lawmakers Face Possible COVID-19 Exposure after Meeting
TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - A group of Kansas lawmakers are being warned that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 this week. The Kansas Reflector reports that the legislators were meeting earlier this week at the Kansas Statehouse to select new leadership for the 2021 session. House Speaker Ron Ryckman sent a letter to the group Friday saying that a legislator atteding those meetings later tested positive for the coronavirus. The Kansas Reflector reports that not all lawmakers were wearing masks at the meeting.
Hundreds of Wichita Students, Staff Infected with COVID-19
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds of Wichita students and staff members have contracted the coronavirus as the pandemic surges. The Wichita Eagle reports that data released Friday shows that cases among staff in the Wichita school district increased to 799 from 389 from November 15th until Thursday. Cases among students rose to 383 from 244 over that period. Meanwhile, a total of 1,044 employees are under quarantine, which is about 14% of the workforce. The staff quarantines, lack of substitutes and rising COVID-19 case numbers and indicators forced the district’s Board of Education to vote on November 30th to send about 13,000 elementary students home to learn remotely through at least January 11th.
Kaw Nation Asks for Return of Sacred Prayer Rock
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Native American tribe is seeking the return of a prayer rock that was transformed into a monument honoring Kansas settlers. Before the Kaw people were forcibly moved from Kansas to what is now Oklahoma in 1873, they held ceremonies and gathering before the 23-ton boulder known as the “Big Red Rock.” As Lawrence prepared for its 75th anniversary in 1929, the rock was moved to a park in town. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that a letter from the Kaw Nation says the intent is to bring the rock to Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park in Council Grove. The long-range goal is to develop the site into a place where people can learn about the state’s original inhabitants.
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 after 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, Missouri 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.
Police Investigate Deadly Shooting in Kansas City, Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a deadly shooting in Kansas City, Kansas. Police said officers responded around 5:30 a.m. Saturday and found a man in his late 20s dead inside a vehicle with apparent gunshot wounds. The name of the man wasn’t immediately released. The killing is Kansas City, Kansas’, 53rd homicide of the year, according to data tracked by The Kansas City Star, which includes fatal law enforcement shootings.