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Law enforcement officers recovering from shooting in Rice County…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: May 2, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiMay 2, 2019

A Kansas undersheriff who was shot and wounded in the line of duty is recovering.  Rice County Undersheriff Chad Murphy was shot during a traffic stop on Monday.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation sasy Murphy’s prognosis for recovery is good.  The suspect, 37-year-old David Madden, also shot and wounded Rice County Sheriff Bryant Evans and killed his father, Thomas Madden, before dying from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound during a standoff.

The investigation into the shootings in Rice County has brought up questions related to the investigation into the 2015 disappearance of Megan Foglesong.  This missing person case remains open, and considerable efforts continue in an effort to solve the case. David Madden is suspected to have been involved in Foglesong’s disappearance. If anyone has information about the disappearance of Megan Foglesong, please contact the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

A fund has been established to help the family of Kansas college football player who was shot and killed earlier this week. The Washburn University community is rallying support for Dwane Simmons’ family through an online gofund me account. Donations can also be dropped off or sent to either Vision Bank location in Topeka.  All contributions will go to pay for funeral and memorial expenses. Simmons and teammate Corey Ballentine were both shot early Sunday outside an off campus home.  Ballentine, who had been selected by the New York Giants in the NFL Draft just a few hours earlier, is expected to make a full  recovery.

A bit of good economic news for Kansas. According to the Kansas Department of Revenue, April tax receipts came in $81.2 million above estimates, over $256 million more than the same month last year. The dept. of revenue says while we are seeing the state begin to stabilize following years of turmoil, it’s important that we continue to be cautious.

A Kansas utility is planning to buy some houses from consumers. Westar Energy will purchase seven houses and eleven properties and give residents with transmission poles in their yards a chance to sell their homes to the company.  The move comes after residents criticized Westar after the utility placed nearly 60 of the 100-foot-tall transmission poles in a neighborhood in Wichita.

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran has joined a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act. This legislation would give American agriculture the flexibility it needs to safely transport livestock and bring much-needed relief from the current burdensome trucking regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).  The senator says The inflexibility of these regulations will be costly for haulers – who have a proven safety record – and place the well-being and welfare of cattle, hogs and other livestock at risk.

A semi trailer carrying a load of bananas is to blame for a traffic backup in eastern Kansas.  The semi was traveling on Interstate-635 in the Kansas City, Kansa area, north of the Interstate-70 interchange when it overturned.  The overturned semi blocked all lanes of northbound I-635, and there were no injuries reported.

The most promising new treatment for depression in decades owes a debt to the KU School of Medicine campus in Wichita.  The drug, called esketamine, is being marketed as a nasal spray under the name Spravato. Approved for use by the FDA in March, esketamine has been shown to help a significant percentage of people who don’t respond to existing antidepressants, which all work on monoamine – also called biogenic amine – neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. In contrast, Spravato works via a new mechanism on a new transmitter system, glutamate.About a third of the people suffering from depression – several million in the United States alone – aren’t helped by monoamine antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft.

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