Hutchinson prison reports staffer as 1st coronavirus case
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A staffer at a south-central Kansas prison has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That’s prompted the prison to place an entire housing unit under quarantine. The case announced Friday by the state Department of Corrections involved a male employee over 20. It made the Hutchinson Correctional Facility the seventh of 10 corrections institutions to have a reported case among staff or inmates. Meanwhile, Kansas State University announced plans to furlough nearly 1,900 employees because of budget problems tied to the economic slowdown in the pandemic’s wake. The university expects the furloughs to save nearly $8.7 million in its current budget.
Kansas City strips marijuana possession from its city code
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City will no longer punish people for marijuana possession, effectively decriminalizing it throughout much of the city. The Kansas City Star reports that city council members voted Thursday to strip the crime from the city code. Users can still be charged for possession by county prosecutors who still pursue those cases. In Jackson County, prosecutor Jean Peters Baker had already pledged to stop charging most people for possession after local voters decided overwhelmingly in 2017 to eliminate jail time for possession. But in parts of Kansas City that lie in Clay, Platte and Cass counties, people could still face state possession charges.
Haskell fees hold steady, despite switch to virtual classes
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Haskell Indian Nations University students are complaining after learning they will still pay the same amount for a fee that typically covers housing, food and activities, even through classes will be taught fully online because of the coroanvirus. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the university’s website shows that Haskell students will be charged $715 for the online fall 2020 semester, the same price on-campus students were previously charged. Off-campus students, meanwhile, previously paid $240 per semester.
Forecast: Kansas farmers harvesting fewer bushels of wheat
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A new government report shows Kansas farmers are harvesting fewer bushels of winter wheat this year. The forecast released Friday is based on crop conditions July 1. The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service revised the government’s earlier estimate downward to 307 million bushels in Kansas. That is 9% fewer bushels than were cut last year in the state. The latest forecast is based on an average yield of 48 bushels per acre, down 4 bushels from 2019. It also estimates growers in Kansas will cut 6.4 million acres of wheat, down 2% from last year.
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.