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Families Urged To Plan Early To Handle Cost Of College

It’s that time of year when many high school seniors are filling out their college applications. And while choosing a perfect school and trying to get in can be hard enough, navigating the world of student loans can also cause major stress. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on how families can best prepare for the cost of college.
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Michael Chen, flickr Creative Commons

A bill that opponents say infringes on patient and doctor relationships will be heard in the Kansas Senate.

The practice is called step therapy, which requires patients to try older and often generic medications before doctors can prescribe newer and more expensive ones.

Senate Bill 341 would require it for KanCare recipients.

Proponents say it can save the state’s Medicaid program money, and protect patients from newer medications that might have unknown side effects.

Deborah Shaar

Wichita’s mayor is trying to stop a Federal Aviation Administration plan that would transfer weather observations to air traffic controllers at Eisenhower National Airport.

Mayor Jeff Longwell issued a four-page letter to federal officials on Friday, including the head of the FAA and members of Kansas’ congressional delegation.

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee has approved raises for corrections officers in the state’s prisons, but didn’t approve any across-the-board raises for state workers.

Some members of the committee noted that many state employees haven’t received a raise since 2009. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Ryckman said they might be able to consider raises for more workers if efficiency recommendations from a recent state spending study are put into effect.

Wikipedia

Kansas health officials have confirmed the first flu cases in the state for the current flu season.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says the four cases were reported by a south-central Kansas hospital.

Health department secretary Susan Mosier reminds Kansas residents it's not too late to get a flu vaccine. The vaccines are recommended for nearly everyone 6 months or older.

The department says this season's flu vaccine appears to be a good match to the circulating influenza viruses.

J. Stephen Conn, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas student's display of a Confederate flag from the back of his pickup truck has sparked debate about race at a high school named Free State in a nod to Kansas' anti-slavery history.

The student displayed the flag last month on the grounds of the largely white school in the university city of Lawrence. Administrators told him to remove it, and they've banned such flags from the grounds as disruptions. The district says the student won't be disciplined, and that the situation is being used as a learning moment.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have changed how state Supreme Court justices are selected. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the plan would have given the governor the power to pick justices, subject to Senate confirmation.

Supporters of the change said it would put more power in the hands of Kansas voters and their elected officials, but the measure came up short of the 2/3 vote needed.

Pictures of Money / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s that time of year when many high school seniors are filling out their college applications. And while choosing a perfect school and trying to get in can be hard enough, navigating the world of student loans can also cause major stress. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on how families can best prepare for the cost of college.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance marketplace closed Monday night, with higher enrollment than last year in both Kansas and Missouri. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans without health insurance ranged from about 15 to 18 percent. Now, it’s below 10 percent for the first time ever.

macrophile, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas House committee has voted to block a proposal from the governor affecting funding for children’s programs.

Governor Sam Brownback has proposed sweeping money for the programs into the state’s general bank account. The move would not reduce funding for the programs, just move it.

Republican Representative Mark Hutton says he’s concerned that would make it easier to take the money for other purposes.

“That’s where it can get pushed to other things. The Children’s Cabinet loses control over where those funds go,” Hutton says.

wichita.gov

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell said today that the city sustained $100,000 in damages from recent earthquakes.

Longwell said at his weekly address that all of the damage could be traced to a pair of earthquakes that hit Wichita on Jan. 6. It includes foundation and drywall damage to two police substations as well as the Mid-America All-Indian Center. Other repairs will need to be made to concrete and masonry at Alford Library and to bricks at the Park Villa building.

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Commentary

A Musical Life: Michael Evancho

Michael Evancho is a solo musician who has more than a decade of experience writing and recording music. He was one part of the band Darlin’ Maudie with his brother Nick. He lives in Wichita with his wife, Danielle.
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Noteworthy

Nadya Faulx

What's That Loud Noise In Downtown Wichita? Think Crows

Around this time every year, downtown Wichita is the preferred roosting spot for a certain large pest. Trees and tall buildings become flooded with black crows. To ward them off, a common deterrent can be heard in the form of a loud boom. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on what’s being done to keep them away.
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