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Deborah Shaar

Up And Running: Three Innovative Solar Energy Projects In Wichita

Westar Energy is testing solar energy technology across the state through partnerships with schools, nonprofits and government agencies. The company is fully funding 15 innovative solar projects out of about 100 proposals submitted. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has a progress report on the three projects selected in Wichita. Visitors to the Amphibian and Reptile Building at the Sedgwick County Zoo are searching for turtles, snakes and lizards in the glass aquariums built into the walls. Some are...
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Sean Sandefur

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's office is working to determine when it would have to inform state workers they would be furloughed if a budget is not passed on time, the governor's spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The Legislature already is in overtime on its 90-day session, with Wednesday being its 97th day, and has yet to pass a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Spokeswoman Sara Belfry said the governor's office is working with several agencies to "determine the last possible date" the budget would need to be passed in order to avoid payroll disruptions.

The Lawrence school board has approved a proposal to cut and reallocate more than $1.2 million in the district's budget.

The Lawrence Journal World reports the proposal is for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1, and is in response to a new law that repealed the Kansas school finance formula that had been in place since 1993 and replaced it with a block grant system.

According to Lawrence schools Superintendent Rick Doll, the law decreases the amount of funding the district receives from the state over the next two years.

The Kansas Senate has spent today debating a bill that would raise taxes to close a projected budget shortfall.

The work started with Republican Sen. Dennis Pyle moving to kill the tax bill, saying increasing taxes is not the way to fix the state’s budget. He wants lawmakers to look for more budget cuts.

“By not raising taxes, you’re going to empower the private sector," Pyle says. "Or are you going to empower big government, are you going to empower more government consumption?”

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Senate has approved bi-partisan legislation to clarify the circumstances under which veterans are allowed to get medical care from their hometown providers at the VA’s expense. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more…

Wichita State University

A Wichita State University professor has been honored with the National Humanitarian Physician Assistant of the Year award. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more…

The American Academy of Physician Assistants awarded this year’s honor to Gina Brown, assistant professor of the physician assistant program at WSU.

Brown’s own students nominated her for the award, which recognizes a PA who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to human rights and to providing accessible and quality health care on both domestic and international levels.

Deborah Shaar

Westar Energy is testing solar energy technology across the state through partnerships with schools, nonprofits and government agencies.

The company is fully funding 15 innovative solar projects out of about 100 proposals submitted.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has a progress report on the three projects selected in Wichita.

Visitors to the Amphibian and Reptile Building at the Sedgwick County Zoo are searching for turtles, snakes and lizards in the glass aquariums built into the walls.

Some are small spaces, some large. Some have water and others just greenery.

Brett Levin, flickr Creative Commons

A bill that would ease many of Kansas' marijuana laws has stalled in the Senate and likely won't be considered again this year.

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce said Tuesday the bill needs time for careful consideration and the chamber is currently attempting to wind down the session and focus on taxes.

The bill would decrease penalties for marijuana possession, order a state study of industrial hemp and allow limited production and sale of hemp oil to treat seizures.

David J Laporte, flickr Creative Commons

Westar Energy says it will buy energy from a new wind farm to be built in Pratt County.

The utility company announced yesterday that it will buy the energy from a 200-megawatt farm built for it by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources.

The Ninnescah wind farm is expected to be built late this year or early next year and be operational by late 2016.

The company said in a news release that the new wind energy purchase will increase Westar's renewable energy commitment to nearly 1,300 megawatts.

Sean Sandefur

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will participate in a public meeting on Monday, June 8, to review the metropolitan transportation planning process for the Wichita area. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

The meeting gives both agencies the opportunity to jointly review the metropolitan transportation planning process for the Wichita Metropolitan Area. It's also designed to allow Wichitans to give their ideas and feedback.

Kansas and Maryland led an investigation into FTD, the floral delivery company, and Classmates Inc, a social networking company. The two will pay a combined 11 million dollars to consumers who lost money due to their business practices. KMUW'a Aileen LeBlanc reports...

Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today that Classmates, Inc., along with Florists’ Transworld Delivery, Inc. and FTD.com Inc. (collectively “FTD”) have agreed to pay refunds to consumers who lost money because of the companies' misleading advertising and billing practices.

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Commentary

Mulligan Is Remarkable In 'Madding Crowd'

Far from the Madding Crowd is a historical love story that respects Victorian England more than one might expect-- at no time does Carey Mulligan, in a remarkably fine performance, suggest a 20th-century heroine, which is the more remarkable in that she is a sort of early feminist. She sees nothing questionable about running her own plantation, and she is looking for neither love nor husband, at least until dashing redcoated soldier Tom Sturridge flashes upon the scene. She turns down two...
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May 2015 - Bike Month

Evelyn Hefley

Prairie Sunset Trail

A local bike advocacy group called Prairie Travelers recently got a grant to expand an 8-mile section of abandoned railroad corridor into the Prairie Sunset Trail, a mixed-use bike and walking lane. The volunteers are getting help from a group of Americorps Volunteers based in Denver, Colorado. We interviewed John Moore with the Prairie Travelers, Cecelia Montes De Oca, the leader of the Americorps team, and then the volunteers themselves. First, John Moore, with the Prairie Travelers and...
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May is Stevie Wonder Month