Former Kansas Highway Patrol Officers Sue over Firing
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Former Kansas Highway Patrol officers are suing after taking a stand against alleged sexual harassment and then being pushed out of the agency. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports former majors Scott Harrington and Josh Kellerman sued in federal court. They allege they faced retaliation for helping female staffers file sexual harassment complaints against top Highway Patrol officers. Harrington resigned under pressure this year. Kellerman was fired. A Kansas Highway Patrol spokesperson declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit. A spokesperson for Governor Laura Kelly says the sexual harassment allegations are unsubstantiated and that the governor stands by Highway Patrol leaders.
Legislators Urge Kansans to Step Up Fight against COVID
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - A bipartisan group of lawmakers are calling on Kansans to intensify their fight against COVID-19. The Kansas Reflector reports that more than 60 state legislators signed a joint letter this week, saying that widespread community transmission was at risk of overwhelming Kansas hospitals. The lawmakers called wearing masks a "critical step" in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, and urged Kansans to stay home and avoid large gatherings. Meanwhile, a public awareness campaign -- "Stop the Spread. It's Up to Us, Kansas"-- has been initiated to spread information about the importance of testing and taking precautions.
Topeka Library Temporarily Closing Due to COVID-19
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - The Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library is temporarily closing its doors for two weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a news release issued yesterday (SAT), the library announced the building will be closed tomorrow (MON) through December 20th in response to the "uncontrolled transmission of COVID-19" in the community. Curbside pickup will still be available, as well as the library's digital services.
Kansas Puts Vaccine Prioritizes Grocery, Meatpacking Workers
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas considers meatpacking plant workers and grocery store employees essential workers, putting them just behind health care workers and nursing home residents for coronavirus vaccines. The Democratic governor also Friday that said members of the Republican-controlled Legislature won’t get any special treatment. Kelly said Kansas’ vaccine plan calls for the first shots to go to front-line health care workers with a high risk of coronavirus exposure, including workers in nursing homes, as well as nursing home residents. She said the second phase will focus on vaccinating essential workers, including first responders but also grocery store and meatpacking plant workers.
Kansas Man's Obit Criticizes People who won't Wear Masks
BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — An obituary for an 81-year-old Kansas man who died of COVID-19 is garnering widespread attention. Dr. Marvin James Farr of Scott City died Tuesday in isolation at a nursing home. His son, Courtney Farr, wrote an obituary lamenting how his father died in a world where many of his fellow citizens refuse to wear a mask to protect one another. His father was a farmer and a veterinarian. The obituary says the science that guided his life has been disparaged and abandoned by many of the same people who depended on his knowledge to care for their animals and to raise their food.