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Extra officers on patrol over holiday weekend on the look-out for impaired drivers…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: August 30, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiAugust 30, 2019

A mobilization of over 150 law enforcement agencies across Kansas culminates this this weekend. The “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose” effort began back on August 14th and runs through Labor Day weekend. Extra officers are on patrol, specifically looking for impaired drivers. According to the National Safety Council, 40 percent of car fatalities occur in the summer months. The Labor Day holiday brings increased traffic and unfortunately, a higher-than-normal number of deaths related to impaired drivers on the road. On average, impaired drivers cause about one-third of all traffic fatalities in Kansas. Across Kansas, impaired drivers injure or kill more than 2,200 people each year in car crashes.

A former Kansas County Attorney was sentenced  to a year and a day in federal prison for stealing $75,000 worth of electronics and equipment that belonged to the county. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution and a fine totaling $11,000. 69-year-old John Sutherland of Mound City, who served as Linn County Attorney for approximately 20 years before leaving the job in January 2017, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of lying to federal investigators. Sutherland admitted that on Feb. 6, 2019, FBI agents found 13 items stolen from Linn County when they searched Sutherland’s office at the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office. At the time, Sutherland was working as an Assistant District Attorney. One of the items was a stolen Apple laptop computer. When FBI agents interviewed him, Sutherland denied any wrongdoing and made other false statements. For instance, he claimed that an Apple TV 64 GB video-streaming device the county purchased for about $220 had been destroyed. FBI agents found the device intact at Sutherland’s residence. In his plea agreement, Sutherland agreed to surrender his license to practice law.

Two men are dead following a midday Thursday collision near a Kansas casino. Authorities say it happened  when one of the two vehicles involved ran a stop sign just east of the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane. The victims, ages 57 and 29, were pronounced dead at the scene.  Two other people in the crash were reportedly hospitalized with serious or critical injuries.  The accident remains under investigation.

A 25-year-old man is dead after he crashed his motorcycle.  Police got a call that a motorcyclist had rear-ended a trailer as the other vehicle was turning onto a private drive in Wichita. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.  No other injuries were reported.  Officials say drugs and alcohol do not appear to have been factors in the crash, which is under investigation.

Over a dozen bodies of water in Kansas remain unsafe because of potentially deadly algae. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 16 bodies of water across the state are under public health warnings due to toxic blue-green algae. Along with the 16 lakes and ponds which are under a warning, 8 others are under a watch. Contact with water tainted by blue-green algae is a health risk to both humans and animals.

If you bought a Super Kansas Cash lottery ticket in northeast Kansas recently, you might want to guard it with your life.  That’s the word from lottery officials, who say a ticket sold in the in the 20-county, northeast Kansas region hit the jackpot Wednesday night, matching all five numbers, plus the Super Cash Ball.  The winning numbers are:  two- three-15-23-and-26, with the “Super Cash Ball” number of 12.  If those are the numbers on your card, the prize is worth more than a million dollars.

An initiative introduced by McPherson College and McPherson Hospital with a focus on community health sets out to become a new model for community health care in rural areas.  It features a new enhanced health science degree at the college with a wide variety of hands-on educational opportunities thanks to a partnership with the hospital. Kansas is among states with the highest number of rural hospitals and greatest shortage of health care professionals of all types, according to the National Rural Health Association. Additionally, according to the Kansas Hospital Association, more than 25 percent of the state’s population lives in rural areas.

 

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