First Resident Death From COVID-19 Reported At Lansing Correctional Facility

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TOPEKA, Kan. – A Lansing Correctional Facility resident who died Sunday, April 26, had tested positive for COVID-19.

The resident was a male over the age of 50 with underlying medical conditions who tested positive for the virus on April 19. He was transferred to the University of Kansas Medical Center on April 20. The official manner of death for all COVID-19 deaths is natural causes.

The individual was serving 25 years to life in prison for first degree murder and had been imprisoned with the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) since 2009. For the privacy of his family and due to confidentiality laws, the KDOC will not release his name nor his underlying medical conditions. His family has been notified.

The Lansing Correctional Facility, formerly the Kansas State Penitentiary, opened in 1867 during the presidency of Andrew Johnson and is the oldest and largest state correctional facility in Kansas. Serving only males, the facility capacity is 2,432 residents.

For current information on COVID-19 in Kansas, and to sign up for updates, go to the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center at

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.