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First Responders across Kansas participating in remembrance events on 9-11 anniversary…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: September 11, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiSeptember 11, 2019

(Photo courtesy of Goodland High School)

Today marks the 18th anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks.  Nearly three-thousand people died when three hijacked airliners flew into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  A fourth hijacked airliner crashed in Pennsylvania after the passengers fought with the hijackers.  The fourth plane was thought to be headed to Washington, DC.  The coordinated assault was carried out by al-Qaeda operatives and was the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.  First responders are participating in rememnrance events at various locations across the country, and across Kansas.

Authorities are investigating a death in Northwest Kansas as a homicide. The Rooks County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call around 9:10 a.m. Monday morning when a family member went to a home in rural Rooks County and found 56-year-old Mark E. Reif deceased inside. Deputies arrived at the residence around 9:20 a.m. and discovered that Reif had died from gunshot wounds. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or the Rooks County Sheriff’s Office at (785) 425-6312. Callers may remain anonymous.

A Kansas resident has died from a vaping-related respiratory illness sweeping across the nation, bringing the total number of deaths to six.  Health officials says the victim was over 50-years-old and had a history of health problems.  It is unclear what the person had been vaping or how long they had been hospitalized.  The CDC has determined there are at least 471 cases of vaping-related illnesses across more than 30 states, and the agency is recommending that people stop vaping while it conducts its investigation.  The other five vaping-related deaths were reported in Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota and California.

A Kansas school district is planning to sue the manufacturers, distributors and sellers of vaping products and electronic cigarettes.  The Goddard School Board passed a resolution this week to authorize a Kansas City law firm to file the suit on their behalf.  Goddard Superintendent Justin Henry says the district has wanted to deal with the issue of vaping for the past 18 months.  Henry says it is the district’s responsibility to take a stand on the issue, and their focus is on kids.

Three people are under arrest after a carjacking and chase in Wichita.  Police responding to the report of a stolen Jeep found the vehicle yesterday morning in the drive-thru lane of a McDonald’s.  The driver of the stolen vehicle allegedly tried to run over an approaching officer, who then fired several rounds at the Jeep, which later crashed. One of the suspects then allegedly carjacked a second vehicle before being arrested following a second chase.

Three adults and one juvenile are under arrest following a drug sweep in Arkansas City.  Police say the arrests took place on Saturday at three separate locations.  One of the suspects was taken into custody after a search warrant was executed at a home.

Several people were injured following a chemical spill at a Kansas jail. The spill at the Wyandotte County Detention Center involved bleach and another substance. The building was evacuated as emergency crews responded to the spill.  Three inmates and four jail staff members were transported for medical treatment, but none of their injuries were serious.

A man is accused of trying to grab a child at a Derby school before stealing a truck at McConnell Air Force Base.  Authorities say 38-year-old Tyler J. Debarea was acting erratically on the playground at Wineteer Elementary yesterday morning when he allegedly tried to grab a student.  Staff members scared away the suspect, who then ran to a housing unit at McConnell Air Force Base where he stole a truck.  Debarea then crashed into a gate before he was later arrested.

A man was killed in a crash on a SE Kansas Highway while trying to make a u-turn. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 46-year-old David Rasmussen Jr. was driving a pickup truck on U.S. 400 Highway. He pulled to the right, and attempted to make a u-turn. He turned in front of an approaching semi and was hit on the driver’s side door. Rasmussen was killed in the crash. The driver of the semi was not hurt. The crash happened Tuesday afternoon in Wilson County, one mile southeast of Fredonia.

A Texas company has been ordered to pay $10,000 in penalties and fees for violating the No-Call Act in Kansas. Touchstone Communications-II, LLC, of Hurst, Texas, agreed to a consent judgment ordering it to pay $10,000 in fees and civil penalties.  In addition, the company was enjoined from further violations of the Kansas No-Call Act and the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. The Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division began investigating Touchstone Communications-II, LLC, after receiving complaints from Kansas consumers about receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls. The complaints alleged that company employees were calling Kansas consumers on the Do-Not-Call registry.

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