KCTV 5 Popular Stories

Pickle-flavored hard seltzer coming to stores this summer

Pickle-flavored hard seltzer coming to stores this summer

(Meredith) -- What started as an April Fool's joke in 2020 might become your favorite alcoholic drink this summer.

It's the world's first pickle-flavored hard seltzer, which has a memorable brand name: "Afternoon Dillight."

The announcement comes more than a year after Drinkware Company Brumate first teased the beverage on social media.

The response convinced Brumate to team up with Crook and Marker to make the pickle-flavored hard seltzer a real product.

But it's a limited release, with only 10,000 12-packs to be made available.

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Police are looking for missing 11-year-old runaway

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Police need your help in locating missing 11-year-old Nariah Penson.

Penson is 5'0, 75 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black hoodie and khaki pants. She was last seen at Genesis School at 3800 E. 44th St. around 4 p.m.

If located, please call 9-11 immediately.

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Commissioners keep mask mandate in KCK

Commissioners keep mask mandate in KCK

The mask mandate is sticking around in Wyandotte County for at least another 10 days.

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Kansas City boy with autism goes missing on family trip

Kansas City boy with autism goes missing on family trip

The search for a missing Kansas City boy has been halted for the night and crews will be back out in Hammond, Indiana on Tuesday morning.

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KCPD trying to ID suspect following incidents at parking garages

KCPD trying to ID suspect following incidents at parking garages

The KCPD says they are trying to identify a suspect following two incidents at local parking garages this month.

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Anti-mask protest at SMSD board meeting won’t change protocol

Anti-mask protest at SMSD board meeting won’t change protocol

OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -- With just 8 days left in school, the Shawnee Mission School District is facing pressure yet again to drop its mask mandate.

A row of about three dozen parents and kids packed the sidewalk before Monday night’s school board meeting. Signs called school mask mandates “medical tyranny” and “psychological child abuse.”

One woman said her special needs son has regressed because of it.

“Because of the speech and the social-emotional issues that he has, not being able to see faces and expressions,” Angela Gantzer explained.

Down the street, a smaller group of residents - not district parents - gathered to counter-protest.

“The children are not inoculated. The science says that they do carry the disease,” said a woman whose daughter is a Shawnee Mission School District teacher.

The protest came with just eight days of school remaining.

“My youngest daughter was being sent home regularly, one to two times per week, with headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath,” Kristin Butler told the school board inside their regular meeting.

“Why are you holding our children hostage in a mask? Is it to force us to vaccinate our children with experimental mRNA vaccine?” another district mom asked rhetorically.

The passionate public comment session came at a meeting where the mask protocol was not on the agenda.

Some cited <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html" target="_blank">last week’s CDC guidance</a> saying it’s okay to ditch the mask if you’re vaccinated. Others, including a young student, referred to other area districts doing away with their mask mandates as a result. Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs schools, both in Jackson County, have done so.

“It’s unfair that SMSD has to wear masks all day and other schools are unmasked,” young Lucas Cooley told the board. “Masks make me feel like I’m suffocating.”

One man ripped his mask off in defiance when the 3-minute buzzer went off and the next speaker was announced before he had finished.

“I’m out,” he said. “Take off your masks!”

The district’s chief communications officer speculated that the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html" target="_blank">CDC guidance issued Thursday</a> that vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks caused some confusion if not ready thoroughly. It clearly has, because <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/operation-strategy.html" target="_blank">Saturday, the CDC clarified its guidance</a>. In a dark purple box, at the top of their webpage, is a statement that reads, “CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year.”

Those who spoke against the mask protocol left when the board took a brief break. Immediately afterwards, the superintendent noted that nothing would change this school year. He remarked on the CDC guidance that existing school prevention strategies continue, to include masking, and said he would continue to seek guidance from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, as he has done from the early stages of the pandemic.

“As eligibility for vaccinations grow across all age groups, so too will the opportunity to adjust mitigation practices in schools, especially going into next school year,” said superintendent Dr. Mike Fulton.

Whatever decision are made will be guided by the advice of federal, state and local health authorities, he added. At this point, any decision is up to him alone since the board last July gave the superintendent the authority to create the COVID safety protocols. <a href="https://www.kctv5.com/news/local_news/shawnee-mission-school-district-superintendent-to-retire-on-july-1/article_3cb4c0a0-3f1d-11eb-a6ea-f7ee91607ccd.html" target="_blank">Fulton retires on July 1st</a>.

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Harrisonville police looking for teen girl not seen since this morning

HARRISONVILLE, MO (KCTV) -- The Harrisonville Police Department is looking for a 16-year-old who has not been seen since this morning.

The police say Jaeda Hasam was last seen around 7:30 a.m. Monday in the 1500 block of E. Elm St.

She is known to have friends in the Belton area.

She is described as having brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds.

If you have any information about where she is, you are asked to call Detective Arbuckle at 816-380-3621. You can also call your local law enforcement agency.

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California will stay masked for another month

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California won’t lift its mask requirement until June 15 to give the public and businesses time to prepare and ensure coronavirus cases stay low, the state health director said Monday, a decision that runs counter to many other states including Oregon and Washington that quickly aligned with last week's new federal guidelines.

“This four-week period will give Californians time to prepare for this change, while we continue the relentless focus on delivering vaccines particularly to underserved communities and those that were hard hit throughout this pandemic,” Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said.

The timing reflects California Gov. Gavin Newsom's earlier announcement that if cases remain low, the state will drop nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on June 15.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention altered its mask guidelines last week, saying it’s safe for fully vaccinated people to skip face coverings and social distancing in virtually all situations. <a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-masks-cdc-guidelines-9d10c8b5f80a4ac720fa1df2a4fb93e5">The CDC guidelines</a> say all people should still wear masks in crowded indoor locations such as airplanes, buses, hospitals and prisons.

<a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx">On May 3,</a> California adopted the CDC’s earlier recommendation that people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask outdoors unless they are attending crowded gatherings. But the state says those people must wear masks indoors unless they are meeting with other vaccinated people.

For unvaccinated people, face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing can't be maintained, including at such at things as parades, fairs, sports events and concerts.

Businesses are expected to adhere to the state’s guidelines, Ghaly said. Both the CDC and state plan to keep the mask requirement in place for students for the rest of the calendar year.

California business leaders including state Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg feared the differing federal and state mask requirements will sow confusion. He urged regulators to follow state health officials' lead, while his counterpart at the California Restaurant Association, Jot Condie, had hoped the state would follow the new CDC guidelines.

Regardless, "Californians need to be aware that restaurants and other businesses must follow state and local guidelines, and we ask for the patience of our guests,” Condie said.

It is difficult already for business owners to play “mask cop,” said John Kabateck, director of the California chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses: “We hope that they will not be vulnerable to penalties and scrutiny by state regulators or plaintiffs' attorneys because they’re trying to make sense of this labyrinth.”

Still, Kabateck he was generally supportive of the state's decision.

“If wearing masks for a little bit longer is an ounce of prevention that’s going to let mom-and-pops reopen their doors and get people back to work, that’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

Major retailers including Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe’s say they won’t require vaccinated shoppers to wear a mask unless state or local laws say otherwise.

San Diego retiree Rafael Sanchez, 64, called it “a scrambled egg message” and blamed his fellow Democrat Newsom for sending conflicting signals involving state rules and the governor's own behavior, an allusion to Newsom attending a fancy dinner party with lobbyists last fall while telling residents to avoid such gatherings.

San Diego hair stylist Emily Follweiler, 27, was relieved masks will still be required indoors.

“I think people should still keep wearing it and not have to rely on an honor system,” she said, a reference to customers only needing to say they have been fully vaccinated and not provide documentation.

<a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E1naIHjUYAIZKin?format=png&amp;name=900x900">Los Angeles County</a> was among those quickly saying they would follow the state lead. Supervisor Hilda Solis said the county will use the extra month to increase vaccination rates.

So far 43% of residents 16 and over are fully vaccinated in the state's most populous county. “That means more than half of our adult population remains vulnerable,” Solis said.

Wearing masks and social distancing remain “critically important strategies,” said Los Angeles County health director Barbara Ferrer.

After becoming the epicenter for the virus in the U.S. at the start of the year, California has seen a precipitous decline. The state positivity rate among those tested has fallen below 1%, officials said Monday, and more than 34.5 million doses of vaccine have been administered as the state approaches the full reopening of its economy.

Newsom, like the Biden administration, has been under pressure to ease mask restrictions as coronavirus cases decline nationwide. But the governor is facing a recall election this fall driven largely by frustration with his handling of the pandemic.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox and reality TV personality and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, all Republicans seeking to replace Newsom, criticized the delay in removing mask requirements.

Cox, who lost in a landslide to Newsom in 2018, said it was notable that the governor had Ghaly deliver the news about the mask mandate but last week the Democratic governor traveled the state to announce a litany of initiatives to spend an unprecedented budget surplus.

“He wants to take credit for spending billions of dollars, but then goes into hiding when he has something unpopular to announce,” Cox said. "There’s a reason he’s hiding: he’s wrong.”

———

Associated Press writers Christopher Weber contributed from Los Angeles and Julie Watson from San Diego.

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High river levels close bridge

High river levels close bridge

As rain continues to fall this week emergency workers are standing at the ready especially in flood-prone areas.

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Search for local boy missing in Indiana

Search for local boy missing in Indiana

Developing tonight hundreds of law enforcement authorities are searching for a missing Kansas City boy in Indiana.

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Inspector who failed to catch interstate bridge crack fired

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An inspector who failed to discover a crack in the Interstate 40 bridge linking Arkansas and Tennessee that prompted the span's closure has been fired, Arkansas transportation officials said Monday.

Arkansas Department of Transportation Director Lorie Tudor said the inspector was fired after drone video showed <a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://apnews.com/article/tn-state-wire-mississippi-river-0ced0d0a908b2b7b91ce693f45b0d7aa">the crack o</a> n the bridge spanning the Mississippi River in May 2019. Tudor said the crack was not noted by the inspector in his reports that fall or the following year.

“This is unacceptable," Tudor said at a news conference. The department did not immediately name the employee and said the incident is also being referred to federal investigators.

Arkansas’ DOT on Monday released an image and <a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmbeDO53TK8">video from the drone</a>, which showed the crack. The drone footage was taken by a consultant inspecting the bridge's cables.

Traffic on the six-lane bridge was shut down last Tuesday after inspectors found a “significant fracture” in one of two 900-foot (274-meter) horizontal steel beams that are critical for the bridge’s integrity. River traffic under the span was closed Tuesday but reopened on Friday.

The closure has impacted a heavily used corridor and raised concerns about shipping and delivery costs. The Arkansas Trucking Association on Friday estimated the closure would cost the trucking industry at least $2.4 million a day.

Traffic was being rerouted to Interstate 55 and the 71-year-old Memphis &amp; Arkansas Bridge, about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) south.

Arkansas and Tennessee authorities have not given a timeline for when the bridge will reopen. The Tennessee Department of Transportation said Monday that the I-40 <a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://apnews.com/article/mississippi-river-memphis-97ae9172045c5b1d3251c838fd79fb7e">bridge repair</a> will be conducted in two phases, and both steps must be completed before the bridge can be reopened for road traffic.

The first step is installing steel plates on each side of the fractured beam to provide stability for crews to permanently replace the damaged parts, TDOT said in a statement. The plates are being made and fabrication should be completed by Wednesday, TDOT said. The second phase involves removal and replacement of the damaged piece of the bridge.

Nebraska-based Kiewit Corporation was selected Monday afternoon for the bridge repair work, Arkansas DOT spokesman Dave Parker said. Tennessee transportation officials said Kiewit could start work as early as Wednesday.

Tennessee's DOT also said it will review the condition of the I-55 bridge “out of an abundance of caution.” The drone review is expected to occur Tuesday or Wednesday.

Tudor said all “fracture critical" bridges that had been inspected by the fired employee will be re-inspected. She said the fired employee, who had worked for the department for about 15 years, did not follow proper protocol in the bridge's inspection.

“The way we’re supposed to inspect the bridge is you literally go inch by inch along that beam and physically inspect every inch of the beam," she said. “That did not happen."

Tudor said the department is making changes to its inspection program to add additional checks, including the use of a new drone to aid in inspecting bridges. Tudor said last week that the bridge's damage could have led to a “catastrophic" event had it not been discovered.

The bridge's closure comes as the White House is <a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://apnews.com/article/government-and-politics-1cecb548cfeadce03cc43c4428672cd7">negotiating with a group of Senate Republicans on an infrastructure package</a>. Democrats have called the I-40 bridge damage an example of the urgent need for additional funding to fix the nation's bridges and roads.

Republicans have called for a infrastructure plan with a smaller price tag than President Joe Biden’s and with a narrower definition of public works.

———

Sainz reported from Memphis, Tenn.

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Warning from KCPD chief about staffing

Warning from KCPD chief about staffing

The union president says this is a real crisis which cannot be ignored.

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Mask protests at Shawnee Mission meeting

Mask protests at Shawnee Mission meeting

We’re only 30 minutes in so most of what we’ve heard so far is formalities.

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Closely monitoring rising rivers

Closely monitoring rising rivers

Some parts of the area are already seeing some flooding down in franklin county. Emergency workers are trying to get ahead of the situation.

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1 killed, 1 injured in Monday afternoon crash in Independence

INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -- The Independence Police Department is investigating a fatal crash that resulted in the death of a 77-year-old woman.

According to the police, the crash happened on Monday afternoon at 2:30.

A gray Dodge Ram was going east on U.S. 40, approaching Fairview Road, when it hit a Lincoln that was going north across those eastbound lanes.

The person driving the Lincoln was taken to a local hospital and was pronounced deceased. She was a 77-year-old Napoleon, Missouri resident. Her name will not be released until her family has been notified.

The person driving the Ram sustained minor injuries.

There were no other passengers in either vehicle.

The authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash.

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Keeping an eye on rising rivers

Keeping an eye on rising rivers

Flood concerns in the area will only grow as the week goes on emergency workers in franklin county are already keeping an eye on a river that has pushed past its banks several times in recent years.

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Parents protest masks in schools without agenda item

Parents protest masks in schools without agenda item

JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -- With just eight days left in the semester, parents in the Shawnee Mission School District are hoping they can persuade the board to drop mask requirements. Other districts in the area have slowly started to roll back their restrictions, including Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit and Oak Grove.

“I don’t understand it,” said former SMSD teacher Al Frisby. “I’m going to call my daughter and complain so she can complain. It’s ridiculous."

Frisby’s grandchildren go to school in Lee’s Summit where there is no longer a mask requirement in schools. KCK schools announced this morning it will require masks through July.

Despite masks not being on the agenda, parents are pushing for changes.

“We don’t know if there will be decisions today, but we do hope that they do realize how many people do feel like us and that we don’t want masks on our children, especially next year,” said Angela Gantzer who is a mother of a student with special needs.

The CDC says vaccinated people can ditch masks in most situations, but when it comes to schools they say masks are still the best option.

Kansas Representative Jerry Stogsdill, D- District 21, says the district should be focused on getting through this school year before making changes.

“I think when the time is ready for all those restrictions to be lifted I think they’ll do it in a heartbeat,” Stogsdill said. “Everybody wants to go back to school the way we were normally. Hopefully this fall we’ll be back to some semblance of normality.”

The next board meeting is on June 14th. KCTV 5 will continue to watch for any changes with mask guidance.

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Kansas town braces for rising Marais Des Cygnes River

Kansas town braces for rising Marais Des Cygnes River

OTTAWA, KS (KCTV) -- Watching the swelling of the Marais Des Cygnes River has become a sort of tradition among some in Ottawa.

Eric Chapman, who lives a few blocks from the Main St. bridge, has enjoyed coming to take pictures of the water after a heavy rain for the past few years.

"This is nothing," he said. He knew it would keep coming up.

Chapman was one of dozens of people who walked over the footbridge on the Prairie Spirit Trail to safely view the water.

Cynthia Schneider and her boyfriend noticed the backlog of branches and tree trunks pushing against it.

"It's got logs jammed on both sides here, which goes all the way through," Schneider said.

"There's logs jammed on the west side of that one, too," she added, referencing the Main St. bridge.

<a href="https://www.kctv5.com/news/ottawa-deals-with-flooding-following-heavy-rain/article_67a132e2-b49c-11e9-b14f-ebe4986df181.html" target="_blank">In August 2019 the river backed up into several homes and businesses throughout Franklin Co. </a>

As of Monday evening it had not yet reached the top of the Main St. bridge. As a precaution the city closed it earlier in the day as water and debris pushed against it.

Mike Haeffele, Ottawa's Director of Public Works, said the river had risen faster and higher than the city had expected.

"It's gotten to the point where we don't have a choice," Haeffele said. "We have to keep traffic off that bridge."

For now people in Ottawa are enjoying a safe view of the water, hoping to avoid another deluge over the next week.

"I live here along 2nd street," Chapman said. "I hope it doesn't destroy anything through here downtown."

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Inspectors give Raytown apartment complex two weeks to repair leaky roofs

Inspectors give Raytown apartment complex two weeks to repair leaky roofs

RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) -- On Monday, city inspectors spent time at the Suncrest Apartments and gave the complex management two weeks to make certain repairs.

Several residents spent a stressful weekend collecting rain water in buckets as it poured through the walls and ceiling of their apartments.

Trevantae Dixon’s grandmother called him when it started raining in her bedroom Sunday morning.

“You can still see the discoloration on the ceiling. It was just like a rain forest in here,” Dixon said.

Dixon captured the ordeal with cell phone video. He found another place for his grandmother to stay Sunday night, then took off work Monday hoping apartment management would come by to help with repairs or offer another solution.

“No answers, no knock. You guys were the first ones to knock at the door today,” Dixon told KCTV5.

Dixon said he had no luck reaching apartment management or maintenance over the weekend. He was grateful Raytown firefighters came to help by offering extra trashcans to collect water, turning off electricity in rooms where water filled the walls, and poking holes in certain parts of the ceiling to the weight of the water didn’t cause the ceiling to cave in.

Dixon’s grandmother’s unit is one of at least six facing issues with leaky walls and ceilings.

Neshelle Robinson in the building next to Dixon’s grandmother had to move all the contents of her bedroom to her living room due to incoming water.

“I’m just really fed up and I just can’t get no help. They are like ‘I can’t do nothing today,’ tomorrow is it going to be the same thing as today? Like you can’t do nothing. I put in a maintenance request. I’ve been doing that and they still haven’t came,” Robinson said.

The Raytown Fire Marshal and officials with the City came by Monday to inspect the complex.

“It is our hope that the owner will resolve this situation quickly. The City of Raytown is aware of the issue. We are working with the Raytown Fire Department to provide recommendations to the owner of this apartment complex to be in compliance and provide healthy and safe living conditions for our residents,” Raytown city spokesperson Toni Alexander said.

The city is giving the apartment complex two weeks to “make permanent repairs on roofs.”

“The roof is only half the problem though,” Dixon said. “Mold is the problem that I’m most worried about right now.”

The city says residents who are concerned about mold and other water damage should contact the property manager.

“It is the responsibility of the owner to provide tenants with a healthy and safe living environment,” Alexander said.

Alexander recommends residents <a href="https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/publications/landlord-tenantlaw.pdf?sfvrsn=4%20" target="_blank">read Missouri’s Landlord-Tenant law to understand their rights.</a>

For residents with landlords complaints, she offered the following process:

Notify landlord/property manager of issue.Ask landlord/property manager for a date when issue will be resolved.If problem persists and is not fixed, file a formal complaint with the City of Raytown’s Community Development Department. This must be done in person, the lease must be in your name, and the renter must be current with rent.A City of Raytown building official will contact (in writing) the landlord/property manager.The owner/property manager has 14 days to correct the violation.If not repaired, the tenant should follow up by contacting the City, to advise of outstanding repairs.The City of Raytown will conduct a physical inspection and provide date all repairs must be completed.A re-inspection will be scheduled on or after compliance date. If corrections still remain, a municipal court appearance may be scheduled.

Residents still worry about the timeliness of possible repairs though. Many of them feel walls, ceilings and floors may be unstable due to soaking in so much water.

“It feels like if you fell hard enough he would fall through,” Dixon said. “These apartments are just terrible.”

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Kansas City police K-9 dies at 9 years old

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Today, the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department shared on social media that one of their K-9s died on May 14.

The department said that K-9 Zina was 9 years old and was part of the interdiction unit.

The police say that she recovered the following during her career:

718 pounds of methamphetamine31,571 ecstasy tablets200.5 pounds of heroin881 pounds of cocaine$6,495,999 in cash

"She was a good girl &amp; is deeply missed by her human partner," the KCPD said in their post.

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