Court report

DISTRICT COURT

Judge Daniel Creitz

Civil cases filed:

David L. Harris vs. Amanda Julian, divorce

Leslie E. Rowe vs. Joshua L. Rowe, protection from stalking

State of Kansas ex rel DCF vs. Christina E. Mynatt

Joanne M. Michael vs. Rick J. Michael, divorce

Deutsche Bank National Trust Company vs. Johnny and Barbara Branstetter, et al, mortgage foreclosure

Marriage licenses issued:

Stefanie Anderson and Steven C. Slyter

 

MAGISTRATE COURT

Judge Tod Davis

Convicted of no seat belt and fined $30:

John L. Holroyd, Erie

Cody L. Pass, Chanute

Brooklyn D. Thron, Wichita

Adrienne R. Wahl, Chanute

Convicted of speeding:

Martin R. Trujillo, Kansas City, Kan., 80/65, $183

Joel D. Crider, Bonner Springs, 75/65, $153

Casey D. Brown, Louisburg, 75/65, $153

Richard L. Hacker, Cushing, Okla., 82/65, $195

Bryan R. Hitchens, Owasso, Okla., 73/55, $201

Ernest L. Herman, Richmond, Texas, 75/65, $153

Darrell W. Herrington III, Tulsa, Okla., 75/65, $153

Leanna C. Ribbeck, Oswego, 85/65, $213

Sharrell S. Williams, Brooklyn Park, Minn., 89/65, $249

Benjamin T. Hillmon, Chanute, 75/65, $153

Richard L. Bevans Jr., Edna, 75/65, $153

Kevin J. Cruts, Broken Arrow, Okla., 75/65, $153

Shanna M. Stewart, Osawatomie, 75/65, $153

Mark W. Musselman, Collinsville, Okla., 75/65, $153

Tamara Childs, Raymore, Mo., 75/65, $153

Convicted as follows:

Lena M. Howington, Garnett, no driver’s license, no seatbelt, $238

Brent L. Newman, Iola, transporting an open container, $208

Brandon S. Stover, Moran, battery, $568

Hollis F. Grewing, Iola, possession of drug paraphernalia, two charges, $1,136

Michael J. Houk, Iola, no driver’s license, no ignition interlock device, $518, nine months probation

Angel L. Morales, Iola, no registration, no driver’s license, $328

Nicholas M. Lehman, Iola, failure to stop at inspection station, $395

Carrie D. Armer, Osawatomie, no child passenger restraint, $168

Michael A. Johnson, Yates Center, no seatbelt, no insurance, $438

Clifton G. Yeager, Le Roy, display license plate not assigned, $228

Barbara A. Cannady, Mulvane, driving on left in no-passing zone, $183

Harry C. Lynn Jr., Coffeyville, 81/65, no seatbelt, $219

Cases deferred with fines assessed:

Tyrell O. Yelm, Iola, DUI, transporting an open container, $1,528

Failed to appear:

Blayke Reynolds, Iola, expired registration, no notice of change of address or name, failure to signal, $547

Brandon J. Towne, Iola, no driver’s license, failure to yield, $303

Ashley N. Green, Broken Arrow, Okla., passing on left with insufficient clearance, $183

Joshua R. Jones, Iola, improper driving, 102/65, $727

Tracie A. Dean, Kansas City, Mo., no child passenger restraint, $168

Criminal cases filed:

Matthew K.W. Wells, Iola, criminal damage, domestic battery

Erin L. Johnson, Iola, four counts of violation of a protection order

Jason M. Roush, Chanute, DUI, transportation of an open container, possession of a firearm while under the influence

Kaleb W. Sellers, Iola, aggravated burglary, aggravated battery

Aubrey M. Naff, Humboldt, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia

Storm A. Acklin, Yates Center, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia

Grant L. Holman, Veguita, N.M., traffic contraband in a correctional facility, possession of drug paraphernalia

Tyler B.G. Clark, Spring, Texas, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia

Dakota J. Westhoff, Walnut, DUI, possession of a firearm under the influence

Tessa J. Thomas, Garnett, possession of drug paraphernalia, no valid driver’s license, no proof of insurance

Contract cases filed:

Rent A Center West Inc., vs. Angel Kilbury

Azura Credit Union vs. Gregory A. Marquez and Nancy L. Vest

Midland Credit Management Inc. vs. Raymond L. Branstetter

Midland Credit Management Inc., vs. Cindy Liles

LVNV Funding LLC vs. Maria Hernandez

Allen County Hospital vs. Deanna R. Edwards

 

IOLA MUNICIPAL COURT

Judge Patti Boyd

Convicted of speeding:

Maggie F. Johnson, Humboldt, 34/25, $155

Ryan A. Stephens, Moran, 35/25, $155

Convicted as follows:

Ty A. Reed, Piqua, failure to yield, $195

Donkey basketball tickets available

A collection of local basketball players will get some four-legged teammates to join them on the hardwood.

A Dairyland Donkey Ball Doubleheader is on the schedule for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Iola High School.

The event is like most basketball games, with one notable exception: players will ride live donkeys for the competition. The “thrill a minute, spill a minute” competition is billed as an event wilder than a rodeo and funnier than a circus.

Advance tickets are available at the USD 257 Board of Education office, 305 N. Washington Ave., for $9 apiece for adults and $7 for students. Tickets at the door sell for $12 and $10, respectively. Preschoolers are admitted free of charge.

Free donkey rides also will be offered to anyone 12 and under, when accompanied by parent or guardian. Parents are welcome to bring a camera to get a photo or two of their children.

Advance tickets are available through Jan. 27.

Koepka ready to get back to work after long break

HONOLULU (AP) — Brooks Koepka hasn’t been the same since he tied for third in the FedEx Cup final in August, and hasn’t felt entirely healthy since last March.

He wouldn’t rate himself full strength now.

Koepka returns to competition this week in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, his first tournament since he reinjured his left knee in South Korea at the CJ Cup. He said Tuesday his left knee “doesn’t feel the same as my right.”

“It probably won’t for a while, but it does feel stable,” Koepka said. “Leaving Korea and all the way up to about a month ago, it just didn’t feel stable. It felt like it could either way. It could go left, out, back.”

Koepka says he’s had issues since March and just dealt with them. He still managed to win the PGA Championship for the second straight year and pick up his first World Golf Championship. During his short offseason, Koepka had stem cell treatment on his left knee because the patella tendon was partially torn.

Then, he was walking off a tee when he slipped on a wet piece of cement, went to brace himself from falling and reinjured the knee. He said his knee cap moved into the fat pad, which he described as “excruciating.”

He had physical therapy in San Diego for most of December and says he started hitting balls right before Christmas. Koepka said he wouldn’t have flown to the United Arab Emirates if he didn’t feel healthy, and that his speed and everything else about his game were the same as before he was hurt at the CJ Cup.

“From that moment on, after a couple days of hitting balls and not feeling pain, it was like, ‘OK, I could get back here and do this and finally play,’” he said.

 

A NAME FROM THE PAST

The first player of note from an emerging golf nation is not always the best one. As Li Haotong of China was making his debut at the Presidents Cup, Guan Tianlang was preparing to qualify for the PGA Tour Series-China.

Guan, who won the Asia-Pacific Amateur and then made the cut at the Masters and Zurich Classic when he was 14, made it through. Despite closing with a 79, he tied for 10th last week to earn full status for the season in China.

Guan is a sophomore at Arizona and is still an amateur.

“I think I will turn pro soon,” he said, adding there was a “good chance” he would play China’s opening tournament. “But I still need some time to think about everything. I might also balance school and play professional events.”

Guan says he expected some highs and lows after his Masters performance. “I think that I’m trending in the right direction now,” he said.

 

G-MAC STYLE

Graeme McDowell can add his name to the list of players who went searching for distance and lost sight of their game.

McDowell was enthusiastic at the Sony Open, and that was before he closed with rounds of 67-64 for the best weekend score at wet Waialae. It gave him a tie for fourth, his best finish since winning in the Dominican Republic last spring.

He attributes that to getting back to his normal flight with irons.

McDowell started working in August with Kevin Kirk, also the swing coach for Patrick Reed.

“The first thing I said was I’ve got to start hitting it lower again,” McDowell said. “I’m not playing the wind anymore. That was my bread and butter.”

He still works with Pete Cowen, but McDowell said their schedules didn’t mesh as much with McDowell out of the top 50 and not playing in all the majors or World Golf Championships.

Where did he lose his way?

“It probably came from trying to launch the drive too high in a little search for a wee bit of distance,” he said. “I got an iron in my hand, it was vertical. That’s not me. I need to hit the ball back down to a good window.”

For two weeks in the Hawaii wind, he said he was “back to G-Mac style.”

 

SHORT ROAD, LONG SHOT

For the host country of the Tokyo Olympics, Hideki Matsuyama (No. 21) and Shugo Imahira (No. 33) are the leading candidates to represent Japan.

Next in line is Ryo Ishikawa at No. 83. Ishikawa showed signs of getting back to form last year when he won three times on the Japan Golf Tour, his first titles since 2016 and his biggest year in Japan since 2010. The problem facing him now is a schedule.

Ishikawa is part of a solid field this week in the Singapore Open, co-sanctioned by Japan. Among those playing are Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar. Otherwise, the Japan Golf Tour season doesn’t start until a week after the Masters. That would leave Ishikawa only six events on his home tour before the cutoff for the Olympics.

Ishikawa is looking for sponsor exemptions, with his eye on the Genesis Invitational at Riviera and perhaps the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. He made his U.S. debut at Riviera in 2009 when he was 17.

 

POLICY BOARD

Six new players were selected for the 16-member Player Advisory Council this year, the group tasked with listening to players and conveying their thoughts to the four members of the PGA Tour’s policy board. The newcomers include Russell Knox and Harry Higgs.

More telling was who was put up for election as PAC chairman, who next year would join the policy board — Justin Thomas, Charley Hoffman and Peter Malnati. That assures a streak that probably should have ended long ago. No foreign-born player has ever been on the policy board.

Last year, 48 of the 125 players who qualified for the FedEx Cup postseason were international players, including 12 of the 30 who reached the Tour Championship.

The others on the PAC: Ryan Armour, Paul Casey, Zach Johnson, Anirban Lahiri, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Harold Varner III all served last year. 

Also new for this year are David Hearn, Billy Horschel, Ryan Palmer and Kevin Streelman.

Missing from the list is Bryson DeChambeau. Last year at The Northern Trust, when he was criticized for how long it took him to play a shot, DeChambeau said, “I’ve asked to be on the PAC committee for three years, and it takes time to get on there.”

Higgs is a rookie, although the PAC is evenly populated by players young and old, high and low in the FedEx Cup.

The election for PAC Chairman ends on Feb. 7.

 

DIVOTS

Collin Morikawa’s three-putt from 4 feet on the final hole of the Sony Open took him from a potential four-way tie for ninth to a seven-way tie for 21st. Perhaps more than a difference of $108,900 if he had made the short birdie, Morikawa would have moved to No. 50 in the world. He’s No. 53. Morikawa needs to be in the top 50 a week before the Masters to get an invitation. … Inbee Park is returning to Australia for the first time in six years. Park, voted the LPGA Tour’s best player of the last decade, plans to play the Vic Open and the Australian Ladies Masters in February. … The last seven rounds on the PGA Tour in Hawaii were played under lift, clean and place rules.

 

STAT OF THE WEEK

Lanto Griffin was 7-under par on the 18th hole of the Sony Open. He played the other 68 holes in 1 under.

 

FINAL WORD

“I think we know all four tournaments that I’m looking forward to. I think that’s pretty obvious.” — Brooks Koepka. Four of his seven victories since 2017 have been majors.

Camera records moose trapping Alaska man in shed

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man carrying garbage to his shed had to take cover inside when a curious bull moose decided to join him.

A Ring home security camera captured Curtis Phelps trapped inside the shed while the moose, with just one antler, tried to push his way inside. The moose eventually moved on and Phelps escaped after calling his wife, Amy, with his cellphone.

“He’s like, let me know when I can get out of the shed,” she said Friday. “I’m stuck in the shed.”

The Phelps live in south Anchorage, where moose are regular visitors. Two years ago, a cow gave birth to a calf in their back yard. Since then, a young moose, possibly the same calf, has regularly returned. The home security camera in December 2018 recorded the moose on the Phelps’ front porch eating a Christmas wreath that the family had hung.

The latest encounter occurred at about before noon on Jan. 11. The family was having a lazy Saturday, Amy Phelps said. She had placed a garbage sack on the front porch and Curtis decided to take it to their locked shed.

“He said he walked out and he looked both ways as we always do and nothing was there,” she said. “All he wore was his hat. He had his cellphone, though.”

Curtis unlocked the shed, deposited the garbage sack, stepped outside and spotted the moose moving his way — and picking up its pace. He ducked inside and the moose walked up to the door and gently pushed it.

“He could see him pushing,” she said. “It’s cracked a little bit.”

Curtis heard footsteps along the side of the building and suspected the moose had moved. He called his wife to make sure. She ignored the call.

“I thought he was just accidentally calling me,” she said. “I had no clue that the poor thing was stuck in there.”

Curtis then called his 13-year-old daughter inside the house. She wanted to keep sleeping and ignored the call, Amy Curtis said.

On his third call to his wife, she picked up. She heard Curtis yelling and looked outside but could not see him.

She finally figured out he was in the shed. She told him the moose had crossed the street and he could come out, she said.

Moose generally are not aggressive, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but if irritated or threatened, can deliver deadly blows by kicking, usually with their front legs. The kicks can kill a wolf and fend off a bear. More people in Alaska are injured by moose than bears, according to the department.

Amy Phelps said she’s not sure what the moose was thinking as it walked toward her husband.

 

“This one seemed kind of aggressive,” she said. “I don’t know. You can’t trust them,” she said.

Crises mount for Iran

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader says his nation is living through “days of God.”

The Islamic Republic has been reeling from one crisis to another, from the targeted killing by the United States of its top general to the Revolutionary Guard’s accidental shootdown of a passenger plane carrying scores of young people, most of them Iranians. U.S. sanctions have crippled its economy as tensions with America have soared.

In a rare Friday sermon in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stuck to the playbook Iran has relied on since 1979, blaming the country’s woes on the U.S. and other Western powers, and proclaiming that Iranians still support the Islamic Revolution.

Here’s a look at the various crises Iran faces:

 

U.S. SANCTIONS

After unilaterally withdrawing from Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, President Donald Trump began ratcheting up sanctions. The sanctions have exacerbated an economic crisis, sending the local currency into a freefall and wiping away many people’s life savings.

The Institute of International Finance, a global association of financial institutions, estimates that Iran’s economy will contract this fiscal year by more than 7%, mostly because of the drop in crude oil exports due to sanctions. The report found that as a result, Iran’s reserves are expected to dip to $73 billion by March, totaling nearly $40 billion in losses over two years.

 

THE LOSS OF 

SOLEIMANI

As head of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s regional military operations and its support for armed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. He was blamed for the killing of hundreds of American soldiers by Iran-backed militias in the years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He also helped Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces battle rebels and Islamic extremists. In Iran, he was seen by many as a mythic figure who had defended the nation. Critics and supporters alike say he will be tough to replace.

 

 

THE PLANE

 TRAGEDY

In response to the killing of Soleimani, Iran launched a wave of ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq. No one was seriously wounded, though several soldiers were screened for concussions and sent to Germany for medical treatment. As Iran braced for a counterattack, the Revolutionary Guard shot down a passenger plane shortly after it took off from Tehran’s international airport last week, mistaking it for a U.S. cruise missile. Most of those killed were Iranians.

 

STREET PROTESTS

As the economic crisis has worsened, Iran has seen wave after wave of sporadic, leaderless protests. The protests are usually sparked by economic grievances but rapidly escalate into calls to overthrow the Islamic Republic. The demonstrations have often turned violent, and security forces have responded with force. Amnesty International says more than 300 people were killed in protests in November over a hike in gasoline prices, when authorities shut down the internet for several days.

The Revolutionary Guard’s announcement on Saturday that it was responsible for shooting down the plane sparked days of protests in the streets and on university campuses. Security forces dispersed some of the crowds with tear gas and live ammunition.

 

THE UNRAVELING NUCLEAR DEAL

 

Iran continued to comply with the nuclear deal despite U.S. sanctions until last summer, when it said it would no longer fully abide with the agreement if it received no economic benefits. Iran began openly breaching certain limits set by the deal, and after the killing of Soleimani said it was no longer bound by any of the agreement’s restrictions.

Britain, France and Germany, which also signed the deal along with China and Russia, have been trying to salvage it. They have searched for a mechanism that would allow them to keep trading with Iran but have been unable to find one that would protect their companies from U.S. sanctions.

Earlier this week, the European nations triggered a dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal in an attempt to bring Iran back into compliance. They say they are committed to saving the agreement, but the dispute process could potentially result in the snapback of international sanctions, further compounding Iran’s woes.

Police report

Arrests reported

Iola police officers arrested Dale A. McDown and Theresa A. Walker, both of Iola, Thursday for suspicion of domestic battery in the 800 block of East Street.

Michael Craig, Iola, was arrested for a warrant out of Allen County District Court Thursday in the 700 block of North Jefferson Avenue.

Roy Poffenbarger, 62, Iola, was arrested Wednesday in the 200 block of North First Street for suspicion of criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct.

Officers arrested Steven R. Sinclair for probation violation Wednesday morning in the 200 block of South Tennessee Street.

Justin Robers, 31, Iola, was arrested for suspicion of being a pedestrian under the influence following a disturbance Tuesday in the 300 block of West Madison Avenue.

 

Juveniles cited

A noise complaint to police Wednesday evening led officers to the 100 block of White Boulevard, where 10 individuals were cited for consuming alcohol as minors.

 

Fake bill found

Officers were told Tuesday a fraudulent $20 bill had been passed at Pump N Pete’s in the 200 block of South State Street. An investigation continues.

 

Vehicles collide

Brooklyn M. Whitcomb, 28, was backing her vehicle from a parking stall in the 500 block of Kennedy Drive Monday, when she collided with a passing pickeup driven by Melissa A. Seeber, 36.

Neither was injured, nor was a child in  Whitcomb’s car. All were properly restrained, Iola police officers said.

Baseball is now a prisoner of technology

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball’s Analytics Era, and now it’s holding the sport prisoner.

AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport’s rule breakers.

What’s next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia?

Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students’ temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner’s office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.

Should hitters be blocked from reviewing their plate appearances between at-bats? Sure, it helps them detect flaws in their approach. But they also might see a sequence of the catcher’s fingers that tip pitches.

These are the types of questions MLB executives in the sport’s new Rockefeller Center offices are thinking about as spring training approaches. Commissioner Rob Manfred’s one-season suspensions of Hinch and Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow signaled the harsh repercussions.

“It’s a serious problem for baseball, the merging of technology and an ancient game. It seems to me that cheating — and this was clearly cheating — had to be stepped on very firmly,” former Commissioner Fay Vincent said. “Technology presents a challenge as well as an opportunity, and it also seems to me that cheating has become endemic throughout our culture, and this is a very good sign for baseball to say we’re not going to put up with it.”

Infield shifts, upper cuts and quick hooks became the norm in the 2010s as programmers prevailed over scouts. Paranoia proliferated, fear opponents had found the secret sauce to success, within the rules or not.

Already worried about dwindling attendance, accusations of tanking, lengthening games and the rise of the Three True Outcomes, executives fret over how to rein in some of the most competitive people on the planet who drive billion-dollar businesses with the goal of outsmarting each other to come out on top.

Hinch’s decision not to stop his Astros’ players from stealing signs cost him his job, and Manfred questioned Luhnow’s protestation that he knew nothing. Cora was Houston’s bench coach in 2017 and Beltrán the Astros’ senior player, a Crash Davis type seeking one last moment of glory at age 40 and in his 20th big league season rewarded with his first title ring.

But their roles as renegade ringleaders caught up with them, both identified by Manfred as culprits. Cora had gone on to become Boston’s manager and led the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series championship. Beltrán was hired by the Mets in November. When Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers went public in November to The Athletic about sign stealing during his Astros days, he wound up taking out 10% of the big league managers, exposing a dark side ambition that became a blemish.

“That sort of behavior is not acceptable,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said.

Boston jettisoned Cora one day after Manfred’s report. CEO Sam Kennedy maintained “it was ultimately an easy decision for the Red Sox and for Alex.”

While Cora appears certain to be suspended for his actions in Houston, Beltrán was not disciplined because he was a player at the time of the transgression, not part of management. Mets executives delayed their decision until Thursday, leaving the appearance of uncertainty.

“Make no mistake, it’s been difficult for everyone involved,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said.

Baseball lore includes Koppett’s Law, named after the late reporter Leonard Koppett, who decreed that the most likely outcome is the one that causes the greatest inconvenience to the most people. It is cited when postseason results lead to cumbersome travel.

Moore’s Law has become of even more import. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and CEO of Intel, wrote in 1965 that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double every year, a figure he revised in 1975 to every two years.

Algorithms have led to fixation on velocity, spin rates and launch angles, created handheld devices used to measure mechanics from the majors down to youth ball. Teams worry whether zoom lenses are spying on them. Some clubs have been rumored to sweep clubhouses on the road, leery of listening devices.

From the Black Sox who threw the 1919 World Series, to the Color Barrier that didn’t end until 1947, to Pete Rose’s gambling and the swollen Steroids Era sluggers of the 1990s and early 2000s, tarnish has been a part of baseball along with triumph. This time, it’s high tech that has awakened low motives.

US to screen airline passengers from China for new illness

NEW YORK (AP) — Three U.S. airports will screen passengers arriving from central China for a new virus that has sickened dozens, killed two and prompted worries about an international outbreak, health officials said Friday.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say they will begin taking temperatures and asking about symptoms of passengers at three U.S. airports who traveled from the outbreak city of Wuhan.

Officials estimate roughly 5,000 passengers will go through the process in the next couple of weeks at New York City’s Kennedy airport and the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports. The first direct flight was expected Friday night at Kennedy, and the next expected Saturday morning in San Francisco.

Doctors began seeing a new type of viral pneumonia — fever, cough, difficulty breathing — in people who worked at or visited a food market in the suburbs of Wuhan late last month. More than 40 cases of the newly identified coronavirus have been confirmed in Asia, including two deaths — at least one involving a previous medical condition. Officials have said it probably spread from animals to people but haven’t been able to rule out the possibility that it spreads from person to person.

So far, the risk to the American public is deemed to be low, but the CDC wants to be prepared and is taking precautions, the CDC’s Dr. Martin Cetron said.

“The earlier we detect a case, the better we can protect the public, and the more we can understand about this virus and its risk for spread,” he said in a call with reporters.

It’s always possible a virus can mutate to become more dangerous. It’s also likely that more cases will spring up around the world, including at least one at some point in the United States, said another CDC official, Dr. Nancy Messonnier.

The CDC is sending in 100 staffers to handle the airport screenings. Passengers who seem like they might be infected will undergo testing for flu or other possible causes. The plan is to place them in isolation at a nearby hospital until doctors know what they’re dealing with, to prevent possible spread of the new virus. Specialized testing for the virus can take a day for results, CDC officials said.

At least a half-dozen countries in Asia have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China. The list includes Thailand and Japan, which both have reported cases of the disease in people who had come from Wuhan. Travel is unusually heavy right now as people take trips to and from China to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The CDC said the airport screenings are part of an effort to better detect and prevent the virus from the same family of bugs that caused an international outbreaks of SARS and MERS that began in 2002 and 2012.

The CDC did not screen incoming passengers during those outbreaks, and some public health experts questioned whether they should do so now.

“It’s not a particularly effective intervention, and it potentially offers a false sense of security,” said Dr. Kamran Khan, a University of Toronto researcher who has studied airport screenings during the SARS and Ebola outbreaks.

Screeners likely will flag a lot of people with other germs — it is flu season — while missing infections from the new virus. Experts believe it may take up to two weeks between the time someone is infected and when they come down with a fever and other symptoms.

The only other time the CDC has done airport screenings was in 2014, when health officials screened thousands of passengers from three West African countries for Ebola but detected no illnesses. In fact, one passenger who was infected but had no symptoms passed through the screenings and then developed symptoms after arriving in the United States.

Some have argued measures like this have less to do with good science than with politicians hoping to convince the public that the government is doing something to protect them.

Cetron rejected that notion. “There’s widespread consensus we should be doing this now,” among both political appointees and government scientists, he said.

Passengers who don’t have symptoms will be handed cards that tell who to contact for health care if they develop symptoms later.

That’s important, Khan said. “Educating travelers about the illness and letting them know what to do if they become sick after they leave the airport can be very helpful” because it can speed up proper diagnosis, treatment and isolation precautions, he said.

Health authorities identified the bug this month as a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold; others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.

SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, belongs to the coronavirus family, but Chinese state media say the illness in Wuhan is different from coronaviruses that have been identified in the past. Earlier laboratory tests ruled out SARS and MERS — Middle East respiratory syndrome — as well as influenza, bird flu, adenovirus and other common lung-infecting germs.

CDC officials said Friday that they are not certain if China has begun screening passengers before they board airplanes to travel abroad, but it’s been discussed.

The New York and San Francisco airports each receive three direct flights from Wuhan each week, Cetron said. Los Angeles International gets significant numbers of passengers who start their journeys in Wuhan but change planes in Beijing.

 

Olympic rings arrive in host city

TOKYO (AP) — The Olympic rings have arrived in Tokyo.

They sailed into Tokyo Bay on Friday on a barge and will stay there until the Olympics open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9.

The blue, black, red, yellow, and green rings will be replaced after that by the symbol for the Paralympics Games, which open on Aug. 25.

The symbol for the Paralympics is called “agitos,”which resembles three brush strokes in red, blue, and green. The word in Latin means “I move.”

The five Olympic rings are gigantic. They stand 15.3 meters high — about 50 feet tall — and are 32.6 meters from end to end — about 100 feet in length.

“We decided to install the Olympic rings at this time because we wanted to do it first thing in the Olympic year,” said Kenichi Kimura, an Olympic official with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The location of the rings in Tokyo Bay is the Odaiba Marine Park, which is the venue for triathlon and distance swimming. The venue is a made-for television location, with a view across the water of the Tokyo skyline and the Tokyo’s Rainbow bridge.

Many of Tokyo’s venues are located around the bay.

The rings will be the center of attention on Jan. 24 when Tokyo will note its six-months-to-go milestone with a fireworks display.

Guardrail work slated to begin

GARNETT — The Kansas Department of Transportation will replace guardrail sections along a seven-mile stretch of U.S. 59, starting Tuesday.

Eight guardrails will be replaced between Garnett’s north city limits and the Anderson-Franklin county line.

Flaggers will direct one-lane traffic through the work zones. Brief delays are expected.

Leavenworth Excavating & Equipment, Leavenworth, is in charge of the $494,000 project.

The road work is expected to be finished by mid-April.