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Kansas Klips

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 06:17
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160K file jobless claims in month

TOPEKA — Emergency shutdown of the Kansas economy because of the coronavirus outbreak prompted 160,000 first-time claims for unemployment in the last two weeks of March through the first two weeks of April that overwhelmed the computer system used to process jobless benefits. The Kansas Department of Labor has gone to a “gating” system for applicants. People with a last name starting with letters A through M are to file on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Individuals with a last name starting with letters N through Z should file on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Saturdays, the system is open to all for filing. “There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and we are moving towards it,” said Delia Garcia, secretary of the state Department of Labor. “We won’t be done until we have served every Kansan who is entitled to further benefits.” The Department of Labor team is working around the clock to serve Kansans. (The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Osborne Co. man dies after violent pickup crash

OSBORNE — One person died in an accident just before 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 18, in Osborne County. The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1999 Dodge Ram driven by Shawn A. McKeon, 50, Osborne, was southbound on Kansas 181 just north of U.S. 24. The pickup left the roadway and entered the east ditch, continued southeast through a field, vaulted off an embankment, became airborne, struck three trees, the ground and overturned. EMS transported McKeon to the hospital in Osborne where he died. The KHP did not report details on seat belt usage. (HaysPost.com)

Stolen vehicle wrecked with teens inside

SALINA — A car that was stolen Wednesday, April 22, was later recovered after it crashed into a tree. Salina police said a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic had been reported stolen from the 300 block of N. 10th Street, and later that same day, officers were sent to the 110 block of N. Chicago for a blue passenger car that crashed into a fence and tree, with the three occupants fleeing the scene. An officer saw a female running away, and apprehended a 14-year-old girl. She said the driver of the vehicle was 19-year-old Marquez Ruffin, of Salina. The other passenger was a 16-year-old boy. All three subjects were located at various locations in Salina. Ruffin was arrested and charged with felony theft, two counts of aggravated endangerment of a child, two counts contributing to a child’s misconduct, duty to report a crash with unattended property and reckless driving. A charge of felony theft was requested for the female. (Salina Journal)

Artist Richard Bergen who built Statehouse statue dies at 95

MISSION — Richard Bergen, the artist who built the 22-feet bronze statue of a Native American that sits atop the Kansas Statehouse dome, has died. He was 95. His daughter, Lori Bergen, said he died Wednesday at an assisted living facility in Salina of complications from a stroke. Bergen created several other public art pieces through the state, including in Marysville, Salina, Junction City, Wichita and Manhattan. He was named Distinguished Kansan of the Year in 2006. But his most well-known work is the 4,420 pounds Capitol sculpture that depicts a loin-cloth-clad hunter with his bow drawn and arrow aimed at the North Star. (HaysPost.com)

Construction company packaging meals for charity

McPHERSON — There’s a special building project going on at Hutton Construction of McPherson, one that has workers exchanging hammers and hardhats for gloves and masks. Hutton is paying his employees to package meals for food banks, and, together with their families who volunteered to help, they are packaging 3,000 to 3,500 meals for “The Outreach Program.” Founded in 2003, The Outreach Porgram was started by Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton of Union, Iowa. The program packages meals for use worldwide. Outreach has helped to package more than 550 million meals that have been distributed across the United States and around the world. Richt now the program is focusing on the U.S. in response to the COVID19 crisis. Each meal can feed six people. The nutrient-dense, shelf-stable, easy-to-prepare meals are in high demand in Kansas and across the U.S. by food banks and senior-service agencies who serve a vulnerable, elderly population. (The Salina Journal)

Computers in St. John assisting research

ST. JOHN — Nearly a dozen brand-new desktop computers line the walls of the Creative Incubator at Workspace 311 in St. John with no one to physically use them since the workspace has been closed due to COVID-19 concerns. The computers are not sitting idle, however, as they have been shifted to a new purpose. Devon Wilson, an AmeriCorps VISTA member working with Stafford County Economic Development, found a way to utilize the computers through the Folding At Home (FAH) organization. FAH aims to fight disease around the world, including COVID-19, by conducting disease research with the help of personal computers. FAH utilizes a technique called “distributed computing” to simulate proteins and how they function in the body. “Essentially, instead of having one computer the size of a building to work through calculations, a million computers already in peoples’ homes take on the workload,” Wilson said. FAH saw a massive increase in the number of people who signed up to help the cause by allowing their personal computers to begin “folding,” especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. (The Pratt Tribune)