May 20, 2020 1:00 PM

Kan. Gov. not taking political baggage to meeting with Trump

Posted May 20, 2020 1:00 PM
Governor Kelly will meet with President Trump in the White House Cabinet Room along with the Republican Governor of Arkansas
Governor Kelly will meet with President Trump in the White House Cabinet Room along with the Republican Governor of Arkansas

WASHINGTON — Governor Laura Kelly is in Washington and will attend a meeting with President Trump at 3p.m. CDT Wednesday in the White House Cabinet Room, according the daily White House schedule.

During her Tuesday afternoon news conference, Kelly said, "My bottom line in what I hope to achieve with the President is...he understands that state and local governments need assistance well beyond stimulus three, the Cares Act, that will allow us to pay the bills for COVID-19 but will not allow us cover any of the revenue losses that both the state government and local entities are experiencing. 

That's imperative if we are going to save not only the Kansas economy but the national economy. That's the conversation I want to have with the President. I think he will use his position to work with Congress and get that done."

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is also scheduled to attend Wednesday's meeting with Trump, according to the White House schedule.

"I'm not asking for them to take care of any problems we created by mismanagement," Kelly said Tuesday. " I am asking them to help us out here as our revenues decline through no fault of our own."

Kelly said her trip, meeting and the issues are not  political at all. "This is a public health and economic health issue. It's all about the state of Kansas, the people of Kansas. I have no intention of playing politics there. I don't play it here in the statehouse so I don't have that baggage to take with me to Washington."

When asked if she was concerned about the virus outbreak among several staffers at the White House, Kelly said she would get a test as she goes in for her meeting.

"I think it's one of those quick answer (virus) tests that will be given. I will have a mask and I plan to wear that. I'm assuming there won't be that many people in the room so we'll be able to socially distance. I will do what I can to protect myself and others."

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May 20, 2020 1:00 PM
KC man charged with murder in hit-and-run that killed 2
Mertens- photo Clay Co. Sheriff

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder after a hit-and-run crash that killed two people in February.

Michael P. Mertens, 28, was charged Monday in the deaths of Judith Morris and Virgil M. Dixon, who were in a vehicle that Mertens hit as he sped through a stop sign, Jackson County prosecutors said Monday.

He fled the scene after the vehicle crashed but was later taken into custody.

Mertens is also charged with leaving the scene of an accident, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and driving while a license was revoked.

A witness told police she was following Mertens because he was driving an SUV that had been stolen from her mother when she saw him speed up and run the stop sign.

Online court records do not name an attorney for Mertens, who is being held in the Clay County jail in a separate case.