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Deborah Shaar

Searching For Zebra Mussels In Wellington Lake

Biologists and aquatic species experts will be checking more than a dozen lakes and reservoirs across Kansas this month. They’ll be taking water samples to monitor the growth and spread of zebra mussels, an invasive clam that is starting to turn up in new places. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar takes us through the monitoring process with a team at Wellington Lake in south-central Kansas.
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A Johnson County jury will be back Tuesday to decide if convicted killer Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. will be sentenced to death for shooting three people last year.

Rather than risk having to sequester the jury over the holiday weekend, Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan dismissed them a little before 10 a.m. Friday, telling them to come back fresh next week.

Both prosecutors and Cross, who is representing himself, agreed it would be best to wait to send the case to the jury.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

If President Obama closes the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, the suspected terrorists who are housed there might be transferred to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has spoken out against that idea.

Yesterday, he brought that message to Leavenworth and heard from the people who would be most directly affected: local residents. KPR’s Stephen Koranda was at the public meeting and files this report.

krse.ksu.edu

Agriculture experts are warning farmers about a disease that could affect winter wheat planting in Kansas.

As Kansas winter wheat farmers begin to plant seeds this fall, a fungal disease called flag smut could be waiting to infect their future crops.

It was first detected in Rooks County in north-central Kansas back in May. The disease doesn’t affect plant quality, but can decrease yields.

Courtesy Photo

    

Wishbone Ash has been an active band since 1969, which was a remarkable time for rock music. Not only was the sound of rock music becoming more adventurous but the industry itself was brimming with risk-takers and innovators. Wishbone Ash co-founder Andy Powell remembers that time well.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell announced the city has purchased a new machine that will reportedly make the repair of potholes faster and more durable.

The mayor announced the $174,000 machine during his weekly briefing as crews demonstrated. He says the city fixes about 50,000 potholes every year, with a cost of just over $10 per pothole. That means nearly $500,000 in taxpayer money is spent yearly on the repairs. And while the individual cost will rise with the new machine, the repairs last longer, on average 5 years, so there are cost savings.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

AAA projects an increase in travelers hitting the road over the holiday, and they'll be fueling up for less. Kansas enters this Labor Day weekend with the lowest average gas price since 2004.

AAA’s Jim Hanni says 90 percent of travelers in the West North Central region plan to travel by automobile. That makes the area--which includes Kansas--the second highest for auto travel in America just behind the southern region.

Hanni says the average price for regular unleaded gasoline in Kansas is $2.35.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss won't rule out having the Kansas Supreme Court review a lawsuit that involves an attempt by the Legislature to diminish the high court's administrative power.

Nuss said Thursday the high court could invoke what he called "the rule of necessity" to settle whether legislators can strip the Supreme Court of the power to appoint chief district court judges in each of the state's 31 judicial districts. A 2014 law gave that power to the district court judges in each district.

A district court judge struck down the law Wednesday.

ag.ks.gov

A Kansas judge has put on hold his order striking down a policy imposed on the courts in a move that protects the judicial branch's budget.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks issued a stay Thursday at Attorney General Derek Schmidt's request.

Hendricks on Wednesday struck down a 2014 law having district court judges instead of the Kansas Supreme Court pick chief judges in each of the state's 31 judicial districts. Hendricks said the law violated the state constitution by infringing on the Supreme Court's power to administer the courts.

Stephen Koranda

Funding for the entire Kansas judicial system is now in legal limbo.

A Shawnee County judge has struck down a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. But that law was tied to other legislation that said all funding for the judicial branch of government would be stripped away if the first law was struck down.

The Kansas Legislature passed a law that took administrative power away from the state supreme court.

Wikimedia Commons

Friends University in Wichita has partnered with four area community colleges to offer on-site degree programs.

The university announced Wednesday it will work with students attending Hutchinson Community College, Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College and Seward County Community College in Liberal.

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City of Wichita

Area Hotels Worried About New Improvement District

The Wichita City Council is a step closer to creating a community improvement district near the intersection of Kellogg and Ridge, near Wichita's Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.
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