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Senate Budget Allows Kansas To Delay KPERS Payments

A Kansas Senate committee has voted to let Gov. Sam Brownback delay making payments into the state pension plan.
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The City of Wichita is applying for nearly $1 million in federal grants that would go toward services for low-income individuals.

The city is asking for $943,594 in Community Service Block Grants, which are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.

Nearly half of the funding would go toward the Wichita Sedgwick County Community Action Partnership, which helps families living in public or Section 8 housing.

jphilipg, flickr Creative Commons

University of Kansas officials are defending their decision to pursue $300 million in bonds for a construction project on the Lawrence campus. Speaking before lawmakers on Tuesday, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the project fulfills urgent needs for an updated science facility and more student housing.

“By bundling the various project components and by using the public-private partnership model, we have saved millions of dollars for KU students and families,” Gray-Little says.

Hugo Phan, File Photo

The City of Wichita will be expanding its bike lanes this year linking the southern part of the city with downtown. The lanes will be on Topeka and Market streets, between Kellogg and Mount Vernon.

A bill that would expand a new state tax-credit system that pays for scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools has passed a hurdle.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a majority of the House Education Committee approved the expansion Monday. Next, it needs to pass a vote on the House floor.

Currently, the program allows certain businesses to donate money for private school scholarships. In return, they can deduct part of the donation value from their tax bills.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

Three Kansas schools are teaming up to create a post-secondary degree program focused on using small unmanned aerial systems, or drones, in agriculture.

The goal is to improve the technical and analytical skill sets of the next generation of farm managers, technicians and crop advisors.

Fort Hayes State University is partnering with Hutchinson Community College and Emporia State University to develop curricula focused on the use of drones in precision agriculture.

photo by By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has signed legislation to keep Kansas' courts open following a legal dispute involving their budget and the state Supreme Court's power.

Brownback signed the bill Monday, and it could take effect later this week. The measure repeals a 2015 law threatening the court system's budget.

That law said the judiciary's budget through June 2017 would be nullified if the courts struck down a 2014 law.

Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

Amy Holdman has a cautionary tale for Kansas lawmakers. The 41-year-old mother of two from Overland Park will be in Topeka today to speak in favor of a bill that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using ultraviolet tanning beds.

Holdman has had three surgeries in just the last year to remove melanoma skin cancers from her arms.

She and her doctors believe that her frequent use of tanning beds as a teenager and young adult is the likely cause.

Stephen Koranda file photo

A Kansas Senate committee has voted to let Gov. Sam Brownback delay making payments into the state pension plan.

Protesters Rally At KU Against Guns On Campus

Feb 8, 2016
Stephen Koranda

Dozens of people gathered at the University of Kansas on Monday to rally against a state law that will allow concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses next year.

"It's clear that the students don't want guns on campus, the faculty don't want guns on campus, the parents of students don't want guns on campus and the we feel the majority of Kansas doesn't want this either," says Meagen Youngdahl with the Kansas Coalition for a Gun-Free Campus.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A state Senate committee has voted to put a major construction project at the University of Kansas on hold, at least temporarily. Some lawmakers are unhappy with how KU financed the plan to construct new buildings on the Lawrence campus. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, more than $300 million in bonds were issued.

Republican Sen. Tom Arpke says KU officials didn’t give them enough information, so his amendment is aimed at blocking payments for the project from state funding or student tuition.

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thedianerehmshow.com

Rehm Continues On Her Own

Diane Rehm has hosted The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU in Washington, D.C.—distributed by NPR—since 1979; the show has a weekly listening audience of 2.5 million. Currently, it is broadcast on KMUW and nearly two hundred other stations, on Sirius Satellite Radio, and internationally by Armed Forces Radio Network.
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Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

KanCare Backlog Forcing Thousands To Wait For Coverage

Medicaid applications are piling up in Topeka because of problems with a new computer system, which are also causing some Kansans to lose their coverage.
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