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WSU Professor Champions Legislation Ensuring Kansas Hospitals Have Qualified Interpreters

11 hours ago

When Veronica Mireles’ son complained he was in severe abdominal pain, she rushed him to a Wichita emergency room. No interpreter was provided for the Spanish-speaking family, and the teenager was told he may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease. His doctor sent him home.

GARDEN CITY – What happens when language differences get in the way of understanding the facts pertaining to the COVID-19 vaccine? That’s the challenging reality many in southwest Kansas were facing until two medical professionals came together to start breaking down the barrier.

The Kansas congressional delegation once again split among party lines Wednesday over whether to impeach President Donald Trump, a second time, for any role he played whipping up a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol.

Four Republican members of the Kansas Congressional delegation plan to object when Congress meets Wednesday to certify the Electoral College.

Robert Carter and his wife Mary Ridenour drove up to an alleyway behind First Metropolitan Community Church on a cold December morning in Wichita.

After waiting in a line of cars that sometimes backed up for blocks, they greeted The Rev. Jackie Carter, no relation, but a familiar face, who spoke their names into a walkie talkie.

Within minutes, volunteers had packed the food into their car and moved on to the next family.

“I don’t know what we’d do without this place,” Robert Carter said. “When you have four kids, they give you enough.”

When we last talked with Lynn Hutchinson, a nurse working the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, it was July, and Sedgwick County was in the middle of its first big coronavirus wave.

"I think the last time I talked to you, I remember saying I wish I could get on my roof and yell, 'Wear your mask!'" Hutchinson recalled.

"Well, I apparently didn't yell loud enough."

Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport is looking at a slower-than-normal holiday travel season as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against traveling at all.

There will be no March Madness in Wichita next spring.

People say that western Kansas is empty and flat — and maybe it seems that way when you’re racing along on I-70. But if you venture off the interstate there are some surprising places that defy the Kansas stereotype.

One such place is Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, Kansas' newest state park.

KMUW's Director of Cultural Diversity for News and Engagement, Carla Eckels, is able to add another descriptor to her title: Trailblazer.

Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Estes will stay in Congress after winning re-election Tuesday night in Kansas’ 4th District.

Democrat Stephanie Byers became the first transgender member of the Kansas Legislature Tuesday night.

She’ll represent parts of south Wichita after defeating Republican challenger Cyndi Howerton in the race for Kansas House District 86. Byers received 54% of the vote in her first run for public office.

Byers is a retired band, orchestra and jazz teacher at Wichita North High School. She taught there for nearly 30 years.

She spoke about her transition and how she explained that to her students in an interview with KMUW in May 2019.

Wichita City Council members voted Tuesday to formally denounce one of their colleagues and two other elected officials accused of putting together a false attack ad against the mayor.

The two candidates running for Kansas' U.S. Senate seat met for a debate Thursday night hosted by KMUW and KWCH Channel 12. Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall and Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier were asked to share their positions on issues such as the government response to the pandemic; health care and the Affordable Care Act; taxes; and law enforcement.

Washington, D.C., or Topeka: No matter the seat of power, you deserve to know who is on the ballot and what their views are.

The time has come to cast a ballot — but for whom? The Kansas News Service can help you make your decision with this rundown of the major races, links to our stories and handy comparisons of the congressional candidates.

U.S. Senate: Doctor vs. Doctor

Democrat Barbara Bollier is a state senator (who left the Republican Party in 2018) from the ritzy Kansas City suburb of Mission Hills. She's also a retired anesthesiologist.

Wichita State University confirmed Friday that it is investigating allegations that men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall verbally and physically abused players and others associated with the program.

Wichita, Derby and two other cities in Kansas have submitted proposals to become the site of the future U.S. Space Command headquarters.

Sedgwick County plans to offer a rapid response saliva test to detect COVID-19 beginning next week.

The test will be available at the county’s drive-thru testing location in east Wichita and at mobile outreach testing sites. The county will also continue to offer the nasopharyngeal swab sampling it has conducted since March.

Deputy County Manager Tim Kaufman says a few other sites like nursing homes will also have the saliva test available in the first phase of the rollout. The plan is to gradually provide the test to health clinics that do COVID-19 sampling.

Unofficial results have been posted. Listen to KMUW 89.1 FM on Wednesday morning for analysis on local and statewide races. 

Although both the Democratic and Republican parties ditched their presidential primaries this year, there are still several significant races on Kansas primary ballots on Aug. 4 — and plenty of down-ballot races that need deciding, too.

Spirit AeroSystems announced another round of layoffs on Friday as the Wichita aerospace company continues to get battered by the grounding of the 737 Max and the pandemic.

Spirit said in a news release it will cut another 1,100 jobs from its commercial programs. That represents 450 new layoffs in Wichita when taking into account previous reductions and employees moving to other programs, such as defense. Some employees also previously agreed to take voluntary layoffs.

The Kansas State Fair weathered the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. It could not do the same with the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

The tiny town of Merinac, Kansas -- the setting of KJ Dell’Antonia’s new novel, “The Chicken Sisters” -- is a fictional place. But anyone familiar with a two-lane stretch of road in southeast Kansas will immediately recognize it:

This is “Chicken Dinner Road” -- home of Chicken Annie’s and Chicken Mary’s, two restaurants that sit about 300 feet apart and have been the center of a fried chicken debate for 70 years.

As the 2020 election season approaches, KMUW's Election Blueprint will bring you the news and information you need to be an informed and engaged voter. This first video addresses how to check your voter registration status, how to update your registration, and how to register.

Here are some helpful links:

2020 has not been kind to aviation manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems. The continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max — the company's most important program — was compounded by a near shutdown of commercial air traffic because of the pandemic. That has resulted in thousands of layoffs at Spirit since January, along with furloughs and pay cuts.

Despite the drumbeat of bad news, Spirit has consistently remained optimistic when discussing one topic: its defense programs.

Spirit says about 15% of its revenue comes from defense work. It wants to grow that number to 40%.

The Kansas Board of Regents met with Wichita State University President Jay Golden on Wednesday, but took no action over the furor caused by Golden removing a prerecorded message by Ivanka Trump from WSU Tech’s commencement ceremony.

The Regents spent more than four hours in executive session with Golden. They then adjourned and directed people watching the virtual meeting to a statement.

The statement read:

Art can inspire, motivate and educate.

It also can lead to — let’s say — a good debate.

That’s certainly the case with M.T. Liggett’s sculptures, which, like the artist himself, inspire widely differing opinions.

WICHITA, Kansas — It’s a simple, tempting pitch: hands-on training tailored for specific, high-demand jobs.

It led thousands of students to enroll in Kansas technical colleges. But COVID-19 and a collapsing aviation industry undid that promise.

Now that Kansas is slowly reopening, health officials are preparing for what could be a busy few months of COVID-19 investigations.

Spirit AeroSystems said it will halt production on all Boeing work for two weeks.

In a news release Tuesday, the company said employees who are idled by the suspension will be paid. The production halt begins Wednesday and will run through April 8 at Spirit’s operations in Wichita and Oklahoma.

The action follows Boeing’s announcement this week that it would suspend production at its plants in Washington state for two weeks beginning Wednesday.

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