Man pleads guilty to kicking cat like football in Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. | A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty to kicking a cat like a ball on a Kansas City high school football field in an act that was captured on video and posted to Snapchat.

The Kansas City Star reported that Johnathan Taylor, of Kansas City, was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty Thursday to misdemeanor animal abuse. He also was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service and to donate $500 to an animal shelter.

Court records said the cat was found dead in May 2018 at Center High School, where Taylor had been a student.

Police said the person who recorded the video identified Taylor as the man kicking the cat in the video. A voice can be heard on the recording yelling “field goal!”

2 new vaccines required for

some Kansas school students

TOPEKA, Kan. | Students in certain grades at Kansas public and private schools will be required to have two new vaccinations this year.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Thursday that students entering kindergarten and first grade will need two doses of a hepatitis A vaccine.

Students entering seventh grade will need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY vaccine. And students starting their junior year will need the meningococcal ACWY vaccine if they have not been vaccinated before their 16th birthday.

The new requirements take effect Aug. 2.

Kansas allows exemptions from vaccines only for medical and religious reasons.

Health department Secretary Lee Norman said the agency collected public input before proposing the new requirements. He said meningitis and hepatitis A are both severe diseases that are preventable with vaccines.

Nebraska wins national recognition for election security

LINCOLN, Neb. | Nebraska’s secretary of state has won a national award for its efforts to keep election secure.

Nebraska Secretary of State Robert Evnen’s office received the Innovators Award earlier this week from the National Association of State Election Directors.

Evnen’s office collaborated with Nebraska’s registration database vendor and a federal cybersecurity contractor on the project.

The state is now using a device called an Albert sensor to detect suspicious activity in Nebraska’s voter registration system. It’s designed to alert the secretary of state’s office to real-time threats to the voter registration system. Most states use bulky hardware, but this is the nation’s first use of a virtual server.

Nebraska’s approach to the technology has been replicated in four states and territories that use the same voter registration system.

Adidas added to Iowa youth basketball exploitation suit

DES MOINES, Iowa | Sportswear maker Adidas Group has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit against a former Iowa youth basketball coach now serving a 180-year prison sentence for sexually exploiting hundreds of former players.

The civil lawsuit was initially filed in state court in Iowa in November on behalf of a victim identified only as John Doe who was a youth basketball player for two years. It initially sought to recover damages from former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen, the Barnstormers and its supervising organization, the Amateur Athletic Union.

The lawsuit was amended July 11 to add Adidas, a team sponsor. The suit claims the German company failed to protect the safety and ensure the privacy of minor athletes.

Stephen is serving a 180-year prison sentence after pleaded guilty in October 2018 to sexually exploiting young players.

An Adidas spokesman did not reply to a message.

— From AP reports