The Sedgwick County Health Department is warning of an outbreak of shigellosis. 16 cases of the contagious infection have been reported. Shigellosis can cause high fever and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with the bacteria in the stool. The health department reminds people in child care settings to wash their hands often after changing diapers or helping youngsters with toilet training.
Republicans in the Kansas House are split over a bill passed by the chamber to increase income taxes. Forty of the chamber’s 85 Republicans voted Thursday for the measure when it passed on a 76-48 vote. Thirty-six of the chamber’s 40 Democrats supported the bill. Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. opposed the bill and Majority Leader Don Hineman of Dighton supported it.
Wichita Police say two burglars were able to break into a local Walgreens store and steal 10-thousand dollars worth of prescription medications. Police responded to the Walgreens at 21st and Webb Road at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday for the report of burglary in progress. The burglars somehow got in through the drive-thru window. One of the suspects was wearing a camoflauge hooded sweatshirt, but the surveillance cameras were not able to see the men’s faces well. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers anonymously at 267-2111.
You could see an orange glow in the night sky around Kechi last night, as a grass fire erupted and spread to pasture. Firefighters say the fire was somehow sparked near the roadway along 53rd Street North just before 7:00 p.m. Sedgwick County Division Chief Ray Hesley says the dry conditions helped fuel the flames. More dry conditions are forecast today, so fire officials ask everyone to please be careful, especially with disposing of cigarette butts. No fire ban is in place, however.
WSU officials say they are close to finishing their fundraising goal to renovate Koch Arena. The proposal also calls for an expansion. The WSU foundation and athletic department said Thursday that they have raised about 9-million dollars of their 12-million dollar goal. Plans include a student center, a conditioning center, new training rooms, and a student lounge. The coaches and administrative offices would be completely renovated. The last major renovation project at Koch Arena was in 2004.
A third person has now been identified as having his cell phone communications tapped by the FBI as part of a wide-ranging investigation around Wichita. The FBI has not said exactly what the investigation is about, but speculation is that it involves gambling and money laundering. Prominent businessman Brandon Steven admitted to the Wichita Eagle this week that he was at the center of the probe. Then it was discovered that Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell was also being listened in on by the feds. Yesterday. KWCH reported that a man named Danny Chapman was also targeted by FBI agents. It’s believed Chapman left a pillow case filled with cash and expensive jewelry at the office of a Wichita lawyer, which the FBI came and took. No charges have been filed as a result of the investigation and nobody has been arrested.
Gun-rights advocates have sent a strong signal that they still have enough clout in the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature to make sure that concealed firearms are allowed in hospitals and on university campuses starting this summer. The House Federal and State Affairs Committee on Wednesday narrowly rejected a bill that would have allowed the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, to continue banning concealed guns.
Kansas law enforcement officials say they are skeptical of two Kansas bills backed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach that would pull officers into federal immigration law enforcement duties. The bills would train Kansas Highway Patrol officers trained to help enforce federal immigration law and crack down on “sanctuary cities.” A Senate committee had a hearing on the items yesterday.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he would not sign a bill advanced by the Kansas House that would increase personal income taxes to help balance the state budget. While Brownback stopped short Wednesday of saying he would veto the bill, he strongly criticized the measure during a speech to members of the National Federation of Independent Business.
An update now on the Wichita Police Officer who was critically injured last week by a fleeing suspect. Officer Brian Arterburn remains in critical condition today with injuries to his mid-section. Arterburn was run over by a car driven by suspect Justin Terrazas. Terrazas was being watched, as the two officers were getting ready to serve a warrant for his arrest.