KCUR

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.”

The Kansas City Council offered a lesson in racial sensitivity Thursday which resulted in Mayor Quinton Lucas ordering Councilwoman Teresa Loar to undergo implicit bias training in the next seven days for mocking a Black colleague during a public meeting.

“I do hope that even though the world is tense ... that we will treat each other with respect and understand when we fall short, that it’s necessary and essential that we do better and that we try to make it right, however we can,” Lucas said.

The operator of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, is terminating 70 workers after the prime contractor lost its contract to run the facility.

In a WARN Act notice filed last week, XPO Logistics Supply Chain Inc. said the terminations will take effect beginning September 30 and extend over two weeks.

The plant, one of the biggest employers in Independence, makes small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. military.

Joe Checkler, a spokesman for XPO, said at least some of the workers will likely be hired by the new contractor.

Another settlement has been reached over the illicit recordings of attorney-client meetings and phone calls at the pretrial prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.

The settlement calls for the private operator of the prison, CoreCivic Inc., and the operator of its phone system, Securus Technologies Inc., to pay $3.7 million to resolve a class action lawsuit brought four years ago by attorneys whose conversations with their clients were recorded.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Steven Bough gave preliminary approval to the deal, which covers the claims of roughly 750 attorneys.

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

A COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will be tested locally as part of a clinical trial seeking to enroll 30,000 participants nationwide.

The University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital will lead the local effort, which calls for the recruitment of 1,500 participants in Kansas and Missouri.

Wesley Ira Purkey was put to death this morning for the murder of a Kansas City teenager in 1998 after the Supreme Court lifted two stays blocking his execution.

Purkey was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 8:19 a.m. EDT.

His execution came after a flurry of legal moves seeking to halt the procedure. On Wednesday morning, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., granted Purkey a preliminary injunction after his lawyers said he was incompetent to be executed, citing his dementia, mental illness and a history of being abused as a child.

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.

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