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White House strategist Steve Bannon is out

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 12:58

WASHINGTON (AP) – Steve Bannon, a forceful but divisive presence in President Donald Trump’s White House, is leaving.

Trump accepted Bannon’s resignation on Friday, ending a turbulent seven months for his chief strategist, the latest to depart from the president’s administration in turmoil.

White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday would be Bannon’s last day on the job.

“We are grateful for his service and wish him the best,” she said in a statement confirming reports of Bannon’s departure.

A combative and unorthodox Republican, Bannon was a key adviser in Trump’s general election campaign, but he has been a contentious presence in a White House divided by warring staff loyalties.

The former leader of conservative Breitbart News has pushed Trump to follow through on his campaign promises and was the man behind many of his most controversial efforts, including Trump’s travel ban and decision to pull out of the Paris Climate agreement.

But Bannon repeatedly clashed with other top White House advisers and often ran afoul of the president himself.

Bannon offered his resignation to Trump on Aug. 7, according to one person close to the adviser.

The resignation was to go into effect a week later, Aug. 14, which was the one year anniversary of when he officially joined Trump’s presidential campaign. It was then held back a few days after the violence in Charlottesville.

But Bannon had been on shaky ground for weeks, and his standing appeared in jeopardy when Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, embarked on a personnel review of West Wing staff. Kelly had indicated to aides that significant changes could be coming, according to an official familiar with Kelly’s plans but not authorized to speak publicly.

The president had also repeatedly diminished Bannon’s role in his campaign in recent remarks and refused to express confidence during an impromptu news conference Tuesday.

“He’s a good person. He actually gets very unfair press in that regard,” Trump said. “But we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”

The decision whether to drop Bannon was more than just a personnel matter. The media guru is viewed in some circles as Trump’s connection to his base and the protector of Trump’s disruptive, conservative agenda.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow if Steve is gone because you have a Republican West Wing that’s filled with generals and Democrats,” said former campaign strategist Sam Nunberg, shortly before the news of Bannon’s departure broke. “It would feel like the twilight zone.”

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Officer Brian Arterburn suffers setbacks on road to recovery

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 12:42

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police officer Brian Arterburn suffered some setbacks on his road to recovery.

Arterburn was critically injured in the line of duty back in February when he was ran over by an SUV. Wichita police identified the suspect as 31-year-old Justin Terrazas.

Wichita police officer Brian Arterburn continues to recover at Craig Hospital in Denver. He was injured back in February after being struck by a fleeing suspect. (KSN News)

Detective Dave Nienstedt, a family spokesperson, said Brian was treated for elevated liver enzyme levels at KU Medical Center earlier this summer before being transported back to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver.

Since he has been back at Craig, Arterburn suffered some fluid buildup on his brain and a low blood count.

“It got to the point that he could hardly get out of his bed anymore. He was having trouble, even when he was able to start his rehab, it was to the point he couldn’t walk anymore and things like that,” said Nienstedt.

However, in the last two weeks, Arterburn has shown improvements. The family is calling them “miraculous.”

Two weeks ago, he started walking and working with therapy. He is now walking with a cane.

Nienstedt said Brian thinks a lot about getting home.

In support, the Wichita Police Department encourages everyone to wear blue for Brian on Fridays.

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Crime Stoppers looking for leads in July homicide

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 12:00

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police and Crime Stoppers needs help solving a homicide.

On Sunday, July 16, an unknown intruder entered the home of Arthur Goebel and his wife at the Lamplighter Mobile Home Park in the 2300 block of E. MacArthur. Arthur apparently heard the intruder and briefly confronted him. The intruder shot Arthur twice and immediately fled the home. Arthur died of his injuries shortly after arriving at a local hospital. The intruder is described as a medium-sized man in height and weight.

If you have any information, please call Crime Stoppers at 267-2111.

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Siemens laying off 140 employees in Hutchinson

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:50

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Siemens announced that they are laying off 140 employees in Hutchinson. The company assembles wind turbine components at its 300,000 square foot facility.

The company said business volume through the 2018 fiscal year does not support the existing workforce level. In a statement to KSN, a company spokesperson said the following:

While we remain strongly committed to the long-term viability of the U.S. wind market, a difficult decision has been made to adjust the workforce by about 140 employees, to be carried out in the fall. As a reflection of the importance of Hutchinson to our business strategy moving forward, we announced our intention to pursue a capital investment at the plant that involves retooling an existing production line.”

The company said they are going to assist employees during the transition.

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Crime Stoppers looking for suspects who stole motorcycle from VA property

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:32
Suspects in motorcycle theft

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Crime Stoppers and Wichita police need help identifying two suspects who drove onto Veterans Affairs Property in the 5500 block of East Kellogg and stole a 2008 orange and black Suzuki GSX-R750.

It happened on August 2 after 10 a.m. The suspects are in their late 20’s or early 30’s. They loaded the bike onto a white GMC pick up with a unique bed liner.

If you have information about this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 267-2111.

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Missouri lawmaker posts, deletes Trump assassination comment

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:48

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker acknowledged Thursday that she posted and later deleted a comment on Facebook about hoping for President Donald Trump’s assassination, saying she was frustrated with the president’s response to the white supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal said she was wrong for writing the post and didn’t mean what she said, but she refused calls to resign. She said she wrote “I hope Trump is assassinated!” in response to a post that suggested Vice President Mike Pence would try to have Trump removed from office.

“What I wrote down on my private Facebook page, was it wrong? Absolutely,” she told The Associated Press. “But I am going to continue to talk about the anger and the frustration that led to that.”

The post drew a swift rebuke, including calls from top Democrats for her resignation.

Among them were Missouri Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh, who condemned Chappelle-Nadal’s post as “horrible.” The chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, Stephen Webber, said the comments were “indefensible” and the party “will absolutely not tolerate calls for the assassination of the president.”

“I condemn it. It’s outrageous,” added Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the state’s senior senator. “And she should resign.”

Missouri’s Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and the state Republican party also called for her resignation, but Chappelle-Nadal said she had no intention of doing so.

“I refuse to resign for exercising my First Amendment rights, even though what I said was wrong,” she said.

The U.S. Secret Service released a statement saying it looks into all threats against the president, “whether they be direct, implied, or comments in passing.”

Chappelle-Nadal, from the St. Louis suburb of University City, said constituents in her predominantly black district are concerned about how Trump blamed “both sides” of the clashes in Charlottesville. The violence included a man slamming his car into people protesting against the white supremacist rally, killing one woman and injuring more than a dozen other people.

“By our president saying things such as he does, supporting white supremacy and the Nazis and KKK, it’s causing a lot of trauma,” Chappelle-Nadal said.

Chappelle-Nadal, who is black, was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2010, after serving in the state House for five years.

She has been an outspoken activist while in the Legislature. She was a prominent voice during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police killing of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old resident who was unarmed when fatally shot by an officer in 2014.

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Invasive zebra mussels found in Tuttle Creek Reservoir

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:46

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – The state Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says invasive zebra mussels have been found in Tuttle Creek Reservoir.

The 12,500-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake is a popular recreation area six miles north of Manhattan. The department said in a news release that the zebra mussel population is currently small but noted there is no way to completely rid a lake of the species.

They are usually introduced into lakes after attaching themselves to boats or from bait buckets. Zebra mussels can produce huge populations in a short time. Their vast populations can clog intake pipes, hindering water treatment and other operations that draw water from the lakes.

The invasive mollusks have also been found in most of the other reservoirs in Kansas, including Hillsdale in Miami County.

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Box office preview

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:33

Crime caper comedy “Logan Lucky” hits theaters this week. NBC’s Raphael Seth has more.

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Man who lost some eyesight from past eclipse has a warning

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:29

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) – An Oregon man is warning people to be extra careful on the day of the eclipse.

“It’s going to be over real quick, and it’s not worth taking a chance,” said Lou Tomososki.

Tomososki and a friend viewed a partial eclipse outside Oregon City’s Marshall High School back in 1962.

“The sun at that time, at 3:30 p.m., was in the one o’clock position,” said Tomososki. “I said to Roger, ‘If you stare at it long enough the brightness goes away.'”

What seemed like a silly dare at the time turned into one of the biggest mistakes of their lives. By nightfall, both Tomososki and his buddy were having vision problems.

“It doesn’t get any worse, and it doesn’t get any better,” said Tomososki.

Both Tomososki and his friend, now 70 years old, have vision problems to this day.

“You know how the news people blur a license plate out,” said Tomososki. “That’s what I have on the right eye, about the size of a pea, I can’t see around that.”

A doctor later told Tomososki his retina was burned during the partial eclipse. An eye expert said you do not want to look at the sun without protection for even an instant during the total eclipse.

“I think anytime is too much,” said Dr. Brandon Lujan of the Casey Eye Institute. “Anytime looking can do damage.”

Tomososki is living proof of that. He is excited about the eclipse on Aug. 21, but he will not be looking towards the sky.

“I’m going to go out and enjoy it,” he said. “But I’ll stand and watch it get dark.”

 

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Wanted: William Ray Morris, Jr.

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 05:05

William is wanted by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office for PROBATION VIOLATION FOR BURGLARY. He was last known to live in the Wichita, Kansas area.

Anyone with information on the location of this person or any other wanted person or about ANY CRIME is urged to contact the Sedgwick County Sheriffs Office at 1.800.874.6449 Wichita-Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers at 316.267.2111 or 911 or texting at CRIMES(274637) and enter TIP217 plus your message.

Name: William Ray Morris, Jr.
Born: 1971
Ht/Wt: 5′ 11″ – 195 lbs.
Other:
White Male
Blonde hair / Blue eyes
Tattoo Right Arm, Tattoo Left Arm, Tattoo Chest, Tattoo Back

To see more felons, or submit an anonymous tip, visit the
Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County website

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Leon’s Breakfast Blog: Heat and storms

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 04:41

Good morning folks… Well you may have been rattled out of a nice peaceful snooze by the sound of thunder and some heavy rain early this morning! Looks like another unsettled day is in store for us this afternoon. Any lingering morning storms will finally wind down and we will be left with a pretty decent start to your Friday. It will be warm and you can count on the humidity sticking around for a sticky afternoon… Clouds should break for some sun today as we go through the afternoon and with a south wind, we will just warm back up into the low 90’s. Basically this is typical August heat, although the heat index will make it feel like we are pushing the upper 90s so that isn’t so great. Showers and storm are expected to redevelop later this afternoon across SW and Central Kansas. That means Wichita will be in line for some storms this afternoon as well. As far as severe weather chances?? I think there could be a warning or two, but I think the main issue will be heavy rain if you happen to be stuck under one of those storms. Storm coverage should be hit and miss today and early this evening so you may get by without a single drop, but where the rain does drop, there will be a lot of it…  Rain chances look like they will wind down tonight and that sets us up for a really looking good this weekend!! So whatever you outdoor pleasure is I think you’re good to go for outdoor plans Saturday and even Sunday. Heat and humidity will be the only thing you will have to watch out for. Have a great weekend!!!! -LS

August heat returns today…

Scattered storms fire up this afternoon.

Hot and humid this weekend but it’s looking dry… SPF 90??

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Kansas football looking for explosiveness on offense

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 00:10

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Jayhawks football team struggled on offense last season, only topping 24 points one time in 2016. And several of the team’s biggest playmakers either graduated or are no longer with the Jayhawks.

Heading into the 2017 season, head coach David Beaty is looking for more consistency on offense. And he might get it from the team’s tight ends. Kansas opens up the season September 2nd against Southeast Missouri State.

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Wingnuts cruise to 11-5 win over Kansas City

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 00:01

WICHITA, Kans. (August 17, 2017) – The Wichita Wingnuts scored 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and coasted past the Kansas City T-Bones 11-5 on Thursday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Kansas City (47-36) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings against Wingnuts starter Tim Brown (3-3). Kevin Keyes notched an RBI single for the first tally, and Paul Hendrix added a sacrifice fly for the second.

After going down quietly in the first three frames against T-Bones starter Billy Waltrip (1-6), the Wingnuts got the bats going in a big way. The inning started with walks to Brent Clevlen and TJ Mittelstaedt, then Richard Prigatano beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Zac Fisher punched a single that brought home two, tying the score at 2-2. A passed ball advanced both runners, with Prigatano racing home on a throwing error by the catcher to give the Wingnuts (50-32) the lead.

Brennen Salgado kept things rolling by lining an RBI single into center that plated Fisher, then came around to score himself on a fielder’s choice grounder from Christian Stringer. Martin Medina followed by smacking a two-run single to make it 7-2.

After Clevlen walked for the second time in the inning, Mittelstaedt sliced a double to plate Medina and make it 8-2. Prigatano doubled home two more, and Fisher capped off the frame by dumping a run-scoring single off T-Bones reliever Jackson Lowery. The 11-run outburst was the second most runs the Wingnuts have scored in a single inning in franchise history, trailing only a 12-run frame against Shreveport back in 2008.

That monster inning was more than enough cushion for Brown, who settled down after the rocky start to work seven innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. The Wingnuts all-time wins leader struck out five, without issuing a walk.

The Wingnuts will welcome in the Texas AirHogs for the first game of a three-game set tomorrow night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Wichita will send right-hander Alex Boshers (10-3, 3.74) to the bump, while Texas will counter with fellow righty Jared Mortensen (6-1, 2.94). All the action will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM, and at americanassociationbaseball.tv.  

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Wichita Northwest football ready to put it all together in 2017

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 23:43

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Northwest football team had an up and down 2016. But with several key players returning, the stage is set for the Grizzlies to return to being one of the top teams in Class 6A.

Last year’s team was very young, especially on defense. As a result, Northwest frequently found itself playing in shootout-style games. This year, Grizzlies head coach Steve Martin expects his squad to be much better on the defensive side of the ball.

Wichita Northwest opens up its season August 31st at home against Bishop Carroll.

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Officials investigating water contamination in Haysville

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 23:19
(Courtesy KDHE)

HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – Officials from the state health department were in Haysville tonight to discuss possible water contamination.

The area of concern is along the south side of Grand Avenue from Van Arsdale to Ballard and then southeast to 85th Street from Katherine to St. Francis.

The contamination was caused by dry-cleaning related chlorinated solvents by American Cleaners.

The health department said it is working to fix the issue.

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Kansas extension agent on sugarcane aphids: ‘A serious threat to industry’

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 22:43

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Extension Office has confirmed its first case of sugarcane aphids of 2017.

“It hasn’t been here long yet, so for the sorghum producers and farmers in the county, it’s definitely important that we now start scouting for this pest,” said Sedgwick County Extension Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent Zach Simon.

Simon said sugarcane aphids, true bugs that suck sap from plants, were found in a sorghum field near Colwich on Wednesday.

“These aphids have not been here for more than 10 days probably, at the longest,” Simon said.

However, Simon said it won’t take long for the aphids to spread and potentially cause damage to Kansas sorghum.

“These things reproduce extremely fast,” Simon said. “They could potentially suck the plant dry so the grain won’t produce. It doesn’t have enough moisture in the plant or nutrients because the aphids are stealing all of those.”

Sugarcane aphids are capable of very high rates of reproduction and produce copious amounts of honeydew. Simon said while the bugs may appear tiny, they can be lethal. He said sugarcane aphids reduced yields and even destroyed some crops in 2016.

“We have had fields of sorghum completely lost, not even harvested just flat on the ground because the plant was, you know, infested and weak and just fell over before it made any grain,” he said.

Simon said the aphids have caused problems for Kansas farmers for several years. He added there are fewer sorghum acres in the state because of the aphids.

“It’s been a real struggle with the industry. The industry is working really hard on the plant breeding side, chemically, entomology side on how we can combat this pest with plant genetics and different insecticides and stuff like that,” he said.

He said if the industry doesn’t get a handle on the aphids sometime soon many farmers could take a financial hit.

“If they are having to treat it at a cost from anywhere from $15 to $20 dollars an acre and they may be looking at treating multiple times in one season, that really cuts into the profit margin,” Simon said.

Farmers or producers should scout their crops for sugarcane aphids. If they find the aphids, Simon said they should immediately make a report with their local extension office.

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Dedric Lawson disputes ex-girlfriend’s story about unpaid $88 bar tab

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 21:02

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – Former University of Memphis basketball star Dedric Lawson is accused of running out on an $88 tab from a Midtown bar.

Police said Lawson left Bar Louie in Overton Square on Thursday morning around 1:30 a.m.

An employee said Lawson owed a tab of $88.20, but walked out without paying.

Lawson claims he only ordered two drinks, which he paid for, and is unsure why he was charged for other drinks.

He set the record straight Thursday morning on 92.9 ESPN, contradicting the police report and waitress’ account of what happened

He told the radio station that others at the bar tried dumping their bill onto him while he was out with his girlfriend and cousin.

Lawson claims he ordered two drinks, both for his girlfriend, at $5.25 apiece.

Around 1 a.m. Thursday, the waitress, a woman he told 92.9 ESPN he dated in high school, gave him a bill for $88.20.

Lawson said he argued with the waitress and gave her $12 to cover the two drinks he claimed to have ordered and left.

Lawson, alongside his brother KJ, transferred to Kansas after two years at Memphis. The two will need to sit out the 2017-18 season, per NCAA transfer rules.

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Great Bend to hold emergency meeting after back-to-back resignations

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 20:50

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – Within the last 24 hours, two Great Bend city officials have resigned. This comes after hundreds of residents demanded the police chief be reinstated, after many say he was unjustly suspended more than a month ago.

With the new vacancies, council members are calling for an emergency meeting.

“We have a heck of a mess on our hands right now,” said Great Bend City Council member Dana Dawson.

“It has been kind of chaotic,” explained Great Bend resident Penny Jones.

Howard Partington resigned as city administrator Wednesday, creating a domino effect.

“It leaves our town in a mess. I mean we don’t have an administrator, we haven’t had an assistant administrator, we don’t have a police chief,” explained Dawson. “Our fire chief is resigning effective September 1 but he is now taking his two weeks vacation.”

Partington was the acting police chief after the city council suspended Police Chief Cliff Couch a month ago. Partington was also accused by Couch of trying to hide issues within the police department. Partington was also set to assume the role of fire chief in September.

Suspended police chief Cliff Couch may not be on the job, but he said he feels the stress now more than ever.

“I can only imagine the last couple of weeks has just decimated the morale there,” said Couch. “In some ways we are probably worse off than when we were before they did this.”

Couch could be reinstated during the emergency meeting in Great Bend Friday. With today’s resignation of council member Wayne Henneke, Couch’s reinstatement may be more likely. Henneke was effectively the swing vote in keeping Couch suspended.

“I am not going to take anything for granted at this point. It has been kind of a roller coaster and I have seen a lot of ups and downs that I never would have expected to happen,” explained Couch.

Couch said he has missed wearing the badge, and he’s hopeful that he will wear it again.

“I am just going to, kind of, keep my fingers crossed and keep in my prayers,” added Couch.

Hundreds of people in Great Bend have shown their support for Couch, from yard signs to packing the house at the last council meeting.

“He has done nothing wrong, as far as I know, and I just think it is time to get him back in,” said Jones.

The emergency meeting will be held Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the event center in Great Bend.

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Maize South football confident heading into season opener

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 19:39

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Maize South football team dominated for most of 2016, rolling to a 10-2 record and a sub-state appearance. With several key players returning, the Mavericks are looking for even greater success in 2017.

Maize South will have to replace some key starters from last year’s team, but after several underclassmen got some late-season playing time last year, head coach Brent Pfeifer and his squad are excited about the team’s potential.

The Mavericks kick off their season at Circle on September 1st.

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A grim subway reality: Corpses sometimes kept in break rooms

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 19:33

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a largely overlooked but gory reality of the New York City subway system: When someone takes their life by jumping in front of a train, police need to find a place to put the mutilated body until a medical examiner truck arrives.

Sometimes, transit workers say, that place is their break room or bathrooms. And naturally, they don’t like it. Some say they have been traumatized by unexpectedly coming upon a stowed body.

“The subway isn’t supposed to be New York City’s temporary morgue,” said John Samuelsen, president of Transport Workers Union International.

In one of the latest cases Wednesday, the body of a man found on a Manhattan subway train after he apparently died of natural causes was bagged and stashed in an out-of-service employee bathroom.

Authorities had no immediate word on how long the man’s body was there. But station agents claim it can take hours before bodies are moved from employees-only areas, increasing the odds they’ll stumble upon them, said TWU Local 100 representative Derick Echevarria.

Workers have been “surprised and shocked by this,” Echevarria said. “These are places where people take breaks, eat food, store their clothes.”

The union has received about a dozen complaints in the past year, including some alleging workers were exposed to messy remains, union officials say. Local 100 raised the issue with the Metropolitan Transit Authority twice in the same period, they add, but the complaints go back years.

LaShawn Jones, an 18-year MTA employee, said that about three years ago she complained when she arrived at work at an upper Manhattan train station to find police in an employee bathroom guarding a body bag. She said she turned away and came back later after the bag was gone, only to find what appeared to be hair and traces of skin clogging a bathroom sink — what she presumed was human waste that responders had washed off.

“It was pieces of a scalp,” said the 52-year-old Jones. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. Are you kidding me?’ I was disgusted. … They really need to find a better place to deal with this — for the sake of us and out of respect for the dead.”

The MTA and the New York Police Department don’t deny workers have occasionally encountered the body bags. But they deny suggestions that it’s the result of an increase in suicides in the subways or longer response times by the medical examiner’s office.

The annual number of deaths of all kinds in the subways has held steady – there were about 50 last year – in an era of record ridership. And authorities say the average medical examiner response times are actually down so far this year by a half hour compared to the same period last year. It now takes slightly under two hours.

Police protocols call for officers to bag bodies, remove them to an area away from public view – preferably a utility room – and keep watch until they’re removed from the premises. The process can take more time if the victim dies on the tracks because that requires Emergency Service Unit officers to respond.

The MTA referred questions about the process to City Hall, which said in a statement that it had increased medical examiner funding by $11 million since 2014. That’s allowed the office to add 127 positions.

“The medical examiner and NYPD are committed to reducing our response times even further to ensure both the humane treatment of the deceased and the health of subway workers and straphangers,” it said.

___

This story corrects the name of the union to Transport Workers Union International not Transit Workers Union International.

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