Today In Kansas Report – Feb. 13, 2020

Jackson SchneiderFebruary 13, 2020

Extreme wind chills are impacting parts of Kansas.  The National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory this morning for the north-central and northeastern part of the state.  Gusty winds could push the wind chill down to 20-degrees-below zero today.  Officials are warning that the cold temperatures could lead to frostbite and hypothermia if people don’t take precautions.

Slick roads kept first responders busy working crashes across Kansas throughout the day Wednesday and into early Thursday. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol there were at least three crashes in which there were fatalities.

A new round of drugs laced with deadly fentanyl is causing overdoses in Kansas. According to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister, his office suspects the problem is caused by victims consuming what look like oxycodone pills. In fact, the pills are laced with fentanyl. McAllister said his office has prosecuted multiple cases in Kansas of fentanyl disguised as other drugs, including heroin and oxycodone. Users face a higher risk of overdose because fentanyl is far more powerful and dangerous than the drugs they thought they were buying. He said often dealers themselves do not what is in the drugs they are selling. McAllister said fentanyl is being produced in large quantities in Mexico and distributed throughout Kansas and the rest of the nation. McAllister cited a case in which the Kansas Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle in Russell County, Kan., carrying more than 60 pounds of fentanyl, potentially enough to kill millions of people.

Several Sedgwick County jail deputies are suspended over the sale, possession and use of illegal steroids.  Sheriff Jeff Easter announced yesterday that eight deputies were suspended with pay, and the illegal activity had been going on for about a year.  Easter says the drug activity was contained to the group of deputies, and the steroids were not introduced into the jail.  The case is being presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney for possible charges.

Police are identifying a homeless man who was found beaten to death under a bridge in Wichita. They say 59-year-old Bernard Woodard was found with with blunt force trauma to his body.  Woodard died at the scene, and police say he had been attacked.  The homicide is under investigation.

Two Kansas women have been found guilty of Medicaid fraud. According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, 52-year-old Gretta Elaine Smith, March 2018 and May 2018,  submitted false claims to the Medicaid program asserting that she provided in-home personal care attendant services to beneficiary 65-year-old Joe Ross Mitchell, while Mitchell was in fact incarcerated on unrelated charges. Upon being paid by the Medicaid program for the false claims, Smith then put some or all of the $2,794.44 on Mitchell’s jail commissary account, which Mitchell spent on discretionary items. Mitchell pleaded guilty in January in Sedgwick County District Court to one felony count of Medicaid fraud in connection with the crimes.

A snowstorm and slushy roads would not keep a Kansas couple  from making a trip to Topeka to claim their $528,417 Super Kansas Cash jackpot. Donna and Alan Gardner from Baldwin City said they plan to put a big chunk of the money back into savings, but they also have some ideas to put their good fortune to use. “We’ll put about two-thirds of it into savings, and then we need to do some home improvements and expansion. We have a big family and we’ll definitely be giving some out to them as well,” said Donna. “And we were already planning a trip to Seattle, so now that trip will be a lot more fun!”

The winning ticket was sold at Kwik Shop 752 on 522 Ames in Baldwin City. For selling the ticket, the retailer is eligible for a $1,000 selling bonus.


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