KCUR

Photo studios were busy places in Leavenworth, Kansas, in the late 1870's. Thousands of everyday people flocked to have their pictures taken.

Today, some of those pictures have re-emerged — and they tell a story of an African-American community that took root in the town as Black families migrated to escape the Jim Crow south.

From Kaiser Health News

Keely Connolly thought she would be safe once the ambulance arrived at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center in Kansas.

She was having difficulty breathing because she’d had to miss a kidney dialysis treatment a few days earlier for lack of child care. Her potassium was dangerously high, putting her at risk of a heart attack. But she trusted she would be fine once she was admitted and dialysis was begun.

Members of Kansas and Missouri’s Congressional delegations tweeted that they were safe after pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, and Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, said that they were sheltering in place.

Meatpacking plants were among the first coronavirus hot spots in Missouri. Across the country, at least 45,000 workers in these plants have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Food and Environment Reporting Network. More than 200 have died.

Annessoir Annelus — a refugee and pillar of the Haitian community — was one of them.

For more than a year, a sheriff's deputy assigned as a school resource officer (SRO) at a high school in Linn County, Kansas, carried on a "sexual relationship" with a 15-year-old student, sometimes in his office on campus, according to a federal lawsuit.

The two "would sometimes kiss or inappropriately touch while in the school building," the suit alleges.

Truman Medical Centers vaccinated frontline workers against COVID-19 Monday, making it the first hospital in Kansas City to implement inoculations and marking a major milestone in the fight against the pandemic.

ICU nurse Sarah Kiehl was the first Truman staff member to get the coronavirus vaccine. She's worked in the COVID unit since the start of the pandemic.

Phyllis McCosh was born in 1920, just after the last major pandemic. A century later, she died as a victim of the current pandemic.

McCosh taught piano for the greater part of that century and elementary school music for a third of it. She was born on a farm and spent most of her life on another one, just north of Abilene, Kansas.

Prairie Village is gaining its first Black police chief in the city’s history.

Maj. Byron Roberson, who has served the Prairie Village Police Department for the past 26 years, will begin his new role as the city’s seventh chief of police when Mayor Eric Mikkelson officially appoints him on Jan. 4, 2021. Mikkelson announced those plans during Monday’s city council meeting.

The family of a New Jersey teenager who died from exertional heat stroke after a grueling football workout at Garden City Community Community College (GCCC) in 2018 has sued the medical personnel who responded to the emergency call for help.

The lawsuit was filed in late October in Finney County District Court and accuses the ambulance crew, the hospital and the emergency department doctor of medical negligence. All of the defendants, the suit alleges, departed "from prevailing professional standard(s) of care" when treating Bradforth.

Segment 1 beginning at 5:14: After losses in their states, the Democrats remain confident for the next election.

Neither the Missouri nor Kansas Democratic Party saw the success of presidential candidate Joe Biden reflected in their state races. Now each will evaluate what needs to be done to get better results in 2022.

Registered nurse Pascaline Muhindura has spent the last eight months treating COVID-19 patients at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

But when she returns home to her small town of Spring Hill, Kansas, she's often stunned by what she sees, like on a recent stop for carryout.

Rural people often write off cities as rotten, crime-ridden places where rioters run the streets and tax dollars go to die.

Urban core residents can think of the countryside as a vast unknown land where gun-toting racists patrol dirt roads.

“The animosity is horrible,” said Bobbie Spiezio, who lives near Bentonville, Arkansas. “We need to just quit fighting with each other, come together as one nation, like our pledge of allegiance says, and fight together and be Americans.”

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, she will be the first woman, first South Asian and first African American to fill the role.

But she won't be the first person of color.

That title belongs to a Kansan — Charles Curtis, member of the Kaw Nation and President Herbert Hoover's vice president.

Curtis was born in 1860 in Topeka while Kansas was still a territory, and he spent his early years living in both white and Native American communities.

A federal judge has ruled in favor of two veterans who sued the government for medical malpractice after claiming they were subjected to unnecessary genital exams while they were patients at the Leavenworth VA.

In separate decisions Monday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled that VA personnel should have “fairly foreseen” the wrongful conduct by physician assistant Mark Wisner but failed to do so.

Multiple patients had complained to the VA about Wisner’s conduct over the years he treated both veterans.

Local civil rights groups are gathering together in support of a new trial for a former University of Kansas student they say was wrongly convicted of rape in 2019.

Albert Wilson was a 20-year-old student at KU when he was accused of rape by a then 17-year-old girl in Lawrence.

According to the Douglas County District Attorney’s office, the teenager met Wilson at the Jayhawk Cafe, a local bar, on Sept. 10, 2016. The victim said Wilson led her away from her cousin at the bar and then home where he raped her.

More than a quarter of the 29,000 provisional ballots in Kansas were rejected in the 2018 general election because of various errors, leaving 7,692 voters out of the democratic process.

Provisional ballots are supposed to be a fail-safe, protecting voters from disenfranchisement due to an administrative error or other problems.

KU Med Resumes Clinical Trials For COVID-19 Vaccine

Oct 30, 2020

The University of Kansas Medical Center has resumed Phase III clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine that was halted last month after an enrollee in the United Kingdom developed an adverse reaction.

“We literally just got released by the FDA on Friday and then yesterday we got released from the IRB [Institutional Review Board], so we couldn’t start actually enrolling until today,” said Dr. Mario Castro, vice chair for clinical and translational research at KU Med and a co-principal investigator for the local trials.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are near all-time highs in the Kansas City area, and local hospital leaders say admissions are being pushed over the top by patients coming from rural areas.

Official data from Missouri shows that hospitals still have plenty of room, but doctors and nurses say their facilities have been reaching capacity, forcing hospitals to turn patients away in some cases.

Health officials say the availability of health care for people in the Kansas City area is now being threatened by this influx of patient from communities that lack mask mandates.

Members of KC Tenants chained themselves to the doors of the Jackson County Courthouse Thursday in an effort to stop eviction cases from proceeding.

The housing advocacy group managed to shut down all four Jackson County eviction dockets by chaining the court's doors shut and disrupting virtual meetings.

“People's lives are way more important than landlords’ profits. The only prescription for this pandemic is to stay at home and wash your hands. And how can you stay at home with no home?” said Tiana Caldwell, one of the organizers who faced eviction just a few months ago.

For the first time in the history of Kansas, the three finalists for a vacancy on the state's Supreme Court are all women.

The court on Monday announced that the three nominees for the opening created by the Sept. 18 retirement of Justice Carol Beier are Judge Kim Cudney, Judge Melissa Taylor Standridge and Kristen Wheeler.

Lisa Taylor, a spokeswoman for the court, said she’d reviewed the court’s news releases going back several decades. Typically, she said, the finalists included no more than one woman.

The University of Kansas Medical Center will take part in a nationwide clinical trial of different treatments for patients suffering mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization.

The first treatment will involve the use of monoclonal antibodies that target the spike proteins of COVID-19. The drug was made by Eli Lilly.

Monoclonal antibodies are engineered versions of the same virus-fighting antibodies that the body naturally produces.

For decades, people struggling with illnesses of all kinds have sought help in online support groups, and during 2020, such groups have been especially important for many COVID-19 patients who often must recover in isolation.

The fear and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus have made online groups targets for the spread of false information, however, and in an effort to help fellow patients, some of these groups are making a mission of stamping out misinformation.

ENGLEWOOD, Kansas — Lesser prairie chickens don’t really bother Mike McCarty. He likes them just fine, but doesn’t think people understand how hard it is to balance wildlife conservation and being a rancher and farmer in southwest Kansas.

“Yes, we need to protect our wildlife and everything,” he says, “but we also need to protect our people, our agriculture.”

Some rural Johnson County families are complaining that stray bullets and reckless shootings are damaging their property and threatening their children.

People began demanding action after a bullet this year nearly hit an 11-year-old girl riding in a vehicle. In another incident, four bullets from high-powered rifles hit a house, including a children’s computer room.

The family of an 11-year-old girl who they say was the target of a racially-motivated attack is calling for an honest conversation about race.

The family’s attorney, La Ronna Lassiter Saunders, held a press conference Thursday.

“We are not here to make speculations. We’ve seen a problem, and we’re here to give solutions and ask the community to come together to address this problem,” Saunders said.

HUMBOLDT, Kansas — It might not be growing in population, but Humboldt in Allen County is one Kansas town that has defied the odds in other ways.

Drive around town and there is a coffee shop, a frame shop, a working 19th-century cabinet shop that makes high-end furniture, a shaved ice shop, a candy shop and four restaurants. As 2020 dawned, a family restaurant with a microbrewery and a new grocery store was in the offing, along with more building and construction, more businesses coming to town.

A 17-year-old female who was fired as a Boy Scout staff member after just 12 days is suing the Kansas City chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, saying she experienced rampant sexual harassment and discrimination.

The lawsuit against the Heart of America Council, Boy Scouts of America, includes graphic descriptions of Boy Scout staff members engaged in drunken party activities, describing the size of their penises and barging in on women as they changed their clothes at Boy Scout camp.

Fifty years after his death, former Negro Leagues baseball pitcher John Donaldson will be the talk of the town next month in Glasgow, a small town that sits on the Missouri River in the central part of the state.

By honoring Donaldson the weekend of Sept. 4, the town’s residents will salute a native son and demonstrate the progress the passing decades have brought in race relations.

An investigation by the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica found that despite years of warnings about the possibility of a pandemic, meatpackers didn’t heed guidance on how to prepare.

The report says infectious disease experts and emergency planners had modeled what might happen with the arrival of a highly contagious virus, including how an outbreak might create food shortages and plant closures.

And those experts repeatedly urged companies and government agencies to prepare.

The government deliberately withheld medical records showing that Wesley Ira Purkey was incompetent to be executed before rushing ahead with his execution last month, Purkey’s lawyers contend in a legal filing in federal court in Washington, D.C.

The document, titled “Plaintiff Wesley Purkey’s Motion To Dismiss on the Ground of Mootness,” says that while Purkey’s claims “have become legally moot, the facts surrounding the circumstances of Mr. Purkey’s execution cannot and must not be similarly extinguished.”

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