Wyandotte County | KCUR

Wyandotte County

Erica Hunzinger / Kansas News Service

Update: Sedgwick County has finalized its stay-home order.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Six Kansas counties are ordering residents to stay home unless they’re buying groceries, getting health care or carrying out other essential tasks.

The orders apply in Wyandotte, Johnson, Leavenworth, Douglas, Miami and Doniphan counties. Gov. Laura Kelly said she’s not ready to issue her own statewide shelter-in-place order, but that could change.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The lobby of the Bank of Labor, in the old Boilermakers Union Building at 754 Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, smelled like disinfectant.

“You never know what people bring in,” said Gabriel Naba.

Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash

Updated: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18

Kansas City, Missouri, announced its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon.

At a news conference broadcast by KCTV-5, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said people should continue practicing social distancing.

“In some ways, we were a bit surprised by the amount of time it took to officially arrive but we certainly recognize that we are at a point now where I think folks need to even double down further … following those good hygiene practices,” Lucas said.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The first person to die of COVID-19 in Kansas stayed at a long-term care facility in Wyandotte County owned by the national chain with a suburban Seattle facility tied to 22 deaths from the virus.

Friday’s news comes as Wichita reported its first case of the novel coronavirus, involving a man who had taken a Caribbean cruise. That brings the state’s total known cases to six.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — A man in his 70s who lived in a long-term care facility in Wyandotte County is the first known death from the new coronavirus in Kansas, state officials said Thursday night. The man was not among the state’s official count of cases, which had risen to four earlier in the day. 

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly also has declared a state of emergency, which gives the government more power to marshal resources and triggers the state's response plan.

Crysta Henthorne / KCUR 89.3

Listen to this episode of A People's History Of Kansas City, a new podcast from KCUR 89.3. For more stories like this one, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyGoogle Play or Stitcher.

In the center of downtown Kansas City, Kansas, between the public library and government buildings just off Minnesota Avenue, sits a two-acre cemetery.

The sign reads "Huron Indian Cemetery," but it’s also known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground and has long been a sacred place for members of the Wyandot Nation.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The KCUR news staff presents the State of Kansas City series as a look ahead to 2020 on topics of importance to the region. Find the State of Kansas City report on other topics in the series as they are published each weekday, Jan. 6–Jan. 20. Follow coverage on these topics at KCUR.org and on 89.3 FM throughout the year.

Once again, Kansas City, Missouri,  finds itself in the midst of a climb in homicides.

Courtesy Wilson Vance

A roach- and mold-infested apartment complex in Kansas City, Kansas, is under new management after a judge appointed a receiver to run it.

Bigstock

Immigrants and U.S.-born Latinos account for more than a third of residents without health insurance in the Kansas City area’s three largest counties.

That’s one of the findings in a study about the fastest growing segment of the local workforce, commissioned by the Reach Healthcare Foundation.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Two employees of the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department have been charged in connection with an altercation involving an inmate at the county jail in September. 

David Toland, 47, was charged with felony aggravated battery for physical contact with an inmate that could have caused "great bodily harm, disfigurement or death."

BigStock Images

Voters in Wyandotte County will decide on Nov. 5 whether they want to see a change of hands on the Unified Government Board of Commissioners. 

In this election, voters will select commissioners, representatives for the Board of Public Utilities and board members of USD 500 Kansas City, Kansas, public schools. Early voting starts Saturday.

Avery Gott / KCUR 89.3

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas has approved a proposal to renew contracts with jails in other counties to house some of its inmates.

Wyandotte County Detention Center caps its in-house inmate population at 430, but over 500 inmates are in custody. Jail Warden Jeffery Fewell said space and a lack of staff contribute to the need to house inmates elsewhere, which he calls “farming out.”

Segment 1: Wyandotte advocates push for municipal IDs to mitigate problems faced by residents without photo identification.

Anonymous

A former high-ranking official of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced Wednesday for misdemeanor battery against a female employee. 

Former General Services Director Tib Laughlin faces 12 months of probation, and must attend anger management classes and continued mental health counseling.

Barbara Shelly

A growing coalition of groups and citizens wants Wyandotte County to become the first place in Kansas to issue local identification to residents.

Advocates estimate a municipal ID program could potentially benefit about 30,000 persons by making it easier for them to open bank accounts, enroll children in school and access health care.

Segment 1: A mass shooting on Central Avenue leaves a community grief-stricken.

Our reporter describes the weekend's shocking news from Wyandotte County, and a community leader asks Kansas Citians to understand what happened as an isolated incident that struck a growing, hard-working, tight-knit neighborhood.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

The Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County served the Kansas City T-Bones with an eviction notice.

The UG cites more than $700,000 in unpaid rent and utilities as the reason for the eviction notice.

T-Bones president Adam Ehlert released a statement late in the day. He called the timing a surprise and said that the organization was “shocked by what appears to be this capricious action.”

The T-Bones have been up for sale for almost a year, but in the statement, Ehlert said that a sale would not come during the season.

Anonymous

A high-ranking official of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has resigned after a jury on Tuesday found him guilty of misdemeanor battery against a female employee.

Dennis “Tib” Laughlin was director of General Services and worked for the UG for 21 years. According to the UG, he submitted his resignation in writing after the verdict was handed down Tuesday afternoon.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Wyandotte Country District Attorney Mark Dupree is on the lookout for folks with criminal records. He wants to talk with them about the possibility of wiping clean that history and giving them a new chance.

Starting on Wednesday and continuing every Wednesday until August 14, his office is hosting expungement fairs at Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center as part of an effort to be what Dupree calls "smart on crime."

Segment 1: Mark Dupree wants to make the Unified Government's justice system more equitable.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree talked with us about the summer expungement program, a new conviction integrity unit and the prosecution of Lamonte McIntyre, and calls from community members to fire Police Chief Terry Ziegler. It all fits into his larger effort to correct past wrongs in his jurisdiction.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Updated at 9:49 p.m. with tornado warnings canceled — A large tornado caused damage south of Lawrence and in the small town of Linwood, Kansas, on Tuesday night, but looked to miss the majority of the Kansas City metro area.

Corey Fisher

Neymara Freeman, a sophomore at Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kansas, won top speaker at the Urban Debate National Championships in Washington, D.C., last month.

The theme of this year's competition was immigration. Students researched every aspect of the issue and had to be poised and ready to represent each angle.

Burns and McDonnell

A $30 million investment at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, will mean more classroom space and state-of-the-art technology for students.

“What we’re doing now is creating the first-rate education that our students are getting because we’ve always been in hand me downs,” Donnelly College President Monsignor Stuart Swetland said.

Segment 1: Congresswoman Davids discusses her first few months in Congress. 

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids says that she didn't know what to expect when she first got to Washington, but that she's managed to keep her campaign promises nonetheless. "It's as busy as I thought it might be, but experiencing it is a whole different thing," she told us today.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

It’s no longer news that when it comes to its residents’ health, Wyandotte County ranks near the bottom of Kansas counties and Johnson County ranks at the top.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It's still about a year out, but there's a new grocery store coming to downtown Kansas City, Kansas, and Katherine Carttar, director of economic development for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, said it's long overdue.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

A Wyandotte County judge has thrown out all five remaining criminal indictments stemming from the death three years ago of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab on the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, finding that they were tainted by grand jury abuse.

Judge Robert P. Burns ruled that improper evidence and testimony were presented to the grand jury, requiring the indictments’ dismissal.

Sonia Schlesinger

After numerous rounds of snow and ice, cities across the Kansas City area are struggling to keep their residents happy by clearing the streets of ice and snow and stay within their budget.

Twitter user @PrairieCzar applauded his town’s snow removal process last week: “I can see pavement and the street is cleared curb to curb,” he wrote. “Thank you City of Lenexa!” Meanwhile, Kansas City, Missouri, residents have been frustrated by what they say are clearer roads across the state line.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

On a night when many people in Kansas City hid from the cold inside under blankets, hundreds of people without homes risked their lives outside.

Volunteers for the Greater Kansas City Point in Time 2019 homeless survey found 377 people in warming stations, outdoors or in other areas of Jackson and Wyandotte counties on Wednesday night, when temperatures dipped to zero degrees Fahrenheit. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

At an open house in west Wyandotte County Tuesday night, residents and business owners voiced concerns about proposed changes to their monthly water and electric bills.

Currently, everyone pays $4.50 a month for stormwater management — meaning the sprawling Legends outlet mall pays the same as the owner of a one-bedroom home.

Officials at the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, want to change that, making the monthly payment proportionate to the size of the land.

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