KCUR

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Kansas has been added to the state’s travel advisory, along with Oklahoma, Delaware and 16 other states previously on their list.

Anyone traveling to New York from Kansas must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday striking down a Louisiana abortion restriction means similar provisions in Missouri and Kansas are no longer enforceable.

In a 5-4 decision, the court found unconstitutional a Louisiana law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Had the court upheld the Louisiana law, the state would have been left with just one abortion clinic.

Fifty-two University of Kansas department chairs have signed a letter challenging the school’s requirement that most classes this fall be offered in person. The faculty members insist they should have the option of teaching online.

The letter, addressed to Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, was sent after Chancellor Douglas Girod announced last week that KU would hold in-person classes starting on Aug. 24 as part of a shortened semester ending before Thanksgiving. Students will be encouraged to leave the campus after the holiday to minimize the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Two men convicted of the rape and murder of Kansas children more than two decades ago are among four men scheduled to be put to death in the first federal executions scheduled to take place in 17 years.

What a difference four years makes.

In 2016, during Patrick Mahomes’ final season at Texas Tech University, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee as a silent protest against police brutality and the treatment of black people in America.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information about a 16-year-old cold case.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said he and the FBI reopened the investigation of Alonzo Brooks last year after finding new leads.

“His death was certainly suspicious, and someone, likely multiple people, know what happened that night. It is past time for the truth to come out,” said McAllister.

Late on Friday, Kansas Athletics announced it had settled a long and bitter lawsuit with former head football coach David Beaty for $2.55 million.

In a relatively short statement, University of Kansas officials said the settlement ends all litigation and disputes between the parties.

It’s late afternoon on a ranch just outside of Easton, Kansas, 50 miles northwest of Kansas City. Ten cowboys decked out in paisley shirts, silk bandanas and fringed leather gloves drive a herd of horses through a pond. It’s like a movie set. But, instead of a film crew, artists are behind all the cameras. They’re here to take reference pictures to use as inspiration once they get back in the studio.

Kansas is about to find out the value of a NASCAR race without people in the stands.

Like every other sport and industry, NASCAR has been shaken by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Unfortunately we’ve had to endure layoffs as a company and we’ve had to furlough employees,” says Pat Warren, president of Kansas Speedway. “Both of those decisions were made so that when this is over, we will be a strong enough organization, as strong as possible, to move forward and survive in a post-COVID 19 environment.”

Kansas school districts are trying to budget for some pretty big unknowns right now.

No one knows if it will even be safe to have students in schools in August, and everyone’s worried about the $650 million hole COVID-19 blew in the state’s budget. Administrators are worried that if the state’s economy doesn’t rebound soon, they’ll have to make deep cuts in the middle of next school year.

10:00 — By two hours after curfew, an estimated 300-400 demonstrators remained in a standoff with police along Main Street between Cleaver Boulevard and 43rd Street.

Some protesters broke windows along Main Street and sprayed graffiti, while other protesters berated them for causing damage.

Meanwhile, a small crowd gathered on the south side of Cleaver and Main with a larger crowd to the north. Police were in the center popping tear gas canisters if either side came too close.

MANHATTAN, Kansas — Five Republicans running for the U.S. Senate debated farm issues in Manhattan on Saturday. They all described themselves as loyalists to President Donald Trump.

The family of a registered nurse at Research Medical Center who died after contracting COVID-19 is seeking death benefits under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law.

Retail giant Amazon has been in talks to acquire Leawood-based AMC Theatres, the world’s largest theater operator, according to a British newspaper.

Shares of AMC were up 18% in premarket trading Monday, fueling speculation about a deal.

The Daily Mail, citing anonymous sources, said the companies held talks about a possible takeover of AMC by Amazon but the newspaper said it was unclear if the talks were ongoing.

A sprawling, low-profile conglomerate based in Merriam, Kansas, owns a pork processing plant in Guymon, Oklahoma, that has become one of the country's latest coronavirus hotspots.

More than 110 workers at the Seaboard Foods plant had tested positive for the virus as of Monday, according to the company.

When Dr. Ashley Olson’s mother-in-law sent her a link to a Facebook page called RVs 4 MDs, Olson didn’t know what to think. Did she really need an RV to quarantine in?

Olson, a third-year chief resident in emergency medicine at Truman Medical Centers, has seen her share of COVID-19 cases lately.

She and her husband live in Parkville. They'd already come up with a routine for what she should do immediately after coming home from her shifts. She felt good about it.

If someone gets sick in a seven county swath of the Ozarks of southeastern Missouri, the closest place they can go for care is a clinic run by Missouri Highlands Health Care. Highlands operates in some of the least populated and poorest counties in the state. Now, it’s cutting back.

“We just shuttered our dental clinic. We have three of them operating throughout the organization plus a mobile dental," says Highlands CEO Karen White. She says dental care, a major source of revenue, is now restricted to emergency procedures.

New York has been hit hard by COVID-19. As a result, a lot of the news out of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings has been grim.

A poignant moment happened during last Friday’s briefing, though. And it was all thanks to a letter from a retired farmer in Troy, Kansas.

Cuomo was seemingly so touched by Dennis Ruhnke’s letter that he read it in full during his briefing.

The Kansas Democratic presidential primary isn’t until Saturday, but turnout is already three times larger than 2016.

For the first time, the state Democratic Party used mail-in ballots due to concerns about COVID-19. Party officials announced Tuesday that they had processed 138,400 ballots -- up from 39,266 in 2016.

Party executive director Ben Meers said he was not surprised by the results.

“COVID presented the point of pivot for us,” he said. “We always thought that voting by mail would increase accessibility for voters and we’ve certainly seen that in 2020."

Lawrence, KANSAS — The looming expiration date on Kansas’ statewide stay-at-home order worries Mary and Gary House of southeast Kansas.

Though they’re staying in as much as possible now, once life returns to normal that will change. Gary, age 79, is an attorney who defends criminal cases in Chautauqua, Montgomery and Elk counties.

He thinks of the exposure to the novel coronavirus he could face in a single jury selection.

“They may bring in 70 or 80 prospective jurors to question,” he said. “So, you’re just around a lot of people.”

Willie Ricken has lived in the same house in Garden Plain, Kansas, outside of Wichita, for more than 60 years. And every year on his birthday, his family likes to come together and make a big fuss about it.

“We’re all just very aware that our time with him is dwindling," says his granddaughter Hallie Sigwing, a wedding photographer in Kansas City. "So, especially since his 90th birthday, we’ve definitely gone out of our way to make sure that there was a big celebration.”

Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas, and its satellite clinics have closed their doors and terminated almost all of their employees.

The privately owned hospital, which was formerly known as Blue Valley Hospital and specialized in spinal fusion surgery and procedures to help obese people lose weight, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

The University of Kansas Medical Center will take part in a nationwide clinical trial of a drug touted by President Trump as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

Some local businesses that recently began producing facemasks for hospitals and other large-volume customers are now beginning to sell masks to the general public.

In a reversal from its previous position, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week advised people to wear a cloth or fabric mask while in public.

Riverbend Post Acute Rehabilitation, a health care facility in Kansas City, Kansas, reported an increase in a COVID-19 outbreak on Monday, with four deaths and 37 people testing positive for the virus.

Of those testing positive, 33 are residents and four are staff workers, said Janell Friesen, Unified Government Public Health Department spokeswoman. It’s a significant rise since Friday, when officials reported 19 cases.

Have you been tested for COVID-19 in Kansas, or have you tried? We want to hear from you. We’re also interested in hearing from health care workers about what they’re seeing in their clinics and hospitals, and from patients.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas is struggling to get its hands on the millions of N95 masks, surgical gowns and other protective gear it wants to shield first responders and health care workers against COVID-19.

Gov. Laura Kelly told reporters Monday that Kansas has been pursuing three routes to get more of those supplies, along with testing kits and ventilators.

Rural hospitals face “catastrophic cash shortages” brought on by the COVID-19 crisis and need congressional action to save them, according to a Leawood, Kansas, advocacy group that represents hundreds of rural hospitals.

In a letter Monday addressed to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate, the National Rural Health Association asks that 20% of the $100 billion in funding for hospitals in the CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus response bill passed by Congress last month, be set aside for rural providers.  

If Samuel Crumbine were alive today, he’d recognize the precautions that Kansans are taking to limit COVID-19.

There’s little doubt he would approve of the closing of schools, theaters and restaurants.

He would worry about Kansas hospitals and wonder if their staffs are prepared for a crisis.

But mostly, he’d be determining how, once again, the government could persuade the public to take seriously the threat of a global pandemic.

FBI officials say a man they shot and killed Tuesday in Belton was the suspect in a "long-running domestic terrorism investigation" who planned to attack a Kansas City-area hospital with a car bomb.

In a news release issued Wednesday afternoon, the bureau's Kansas City office wrote that Timothy Wilson, 36, had been "actively planning to commit an act of domestic terrorism" over several months, and had considered several targets before settling on an area hospital.

In a ruling that could have implications for criminal cases nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled against a Kansas death row inmate who argued that the state's laws regarding the insanity defense are unconstitutional.

Kansas and three other states — Utah, Montana and Idaho — have banished the insanity defense as a formal mechanism. Alaska also has severe restrictions on its use.

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