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Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Push Growing To Pause, Not Cancel, Medicaid For Kansans In Custody

Today, when mentally ill Kansans land in a psychiatric hospital or behind bars, they lose Medicaid coverage. When they’re freed, the daunting chore of signing up for government health coverage starts from scratch. Now, a push gaining steam among state lawmakers would merely pause that coverage, keeping care and critical medications ready for mental health patients when they get out.

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Kansas News Service/File photo

For decades, Republicans and Democrats both made it hard for the public to know what goes on in the Statehouse.

But in the wake of a Kansas City Star series highlighting the lack of transparency, some members of both parties are pushing for change. Recent days have seen a flurry of activity. 

Republican and Democratic leaders called last week for lobbyists to disclose when they approach the governor or agencies about state contracts.

On Monday, House Speaker Ron Ryckman, a Republican, announced he would no longer let lawmakers file bills anonymously.

Justice for Andrew Finch Facebook

The mother of a Wichita man who was fatally shot by a police officer last month in a swatting incident says she is seeking justice.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Today, when mentally ill Kansans land in a psychiatric hospital or behind bars, they lose Medicaid coverage. When they’re freed, the daunting chore of signing up for government health coverage starts from scratch.

Now, a push gaining steam among state lawmakers would merely pause that coverage, keeping care and critical medications ready for mental health patients when they get out.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service/File photo

The U.S. Senate is moving toward a vote on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's nomination for an ambassador's post.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a motion Monday to cut off debate on President Donald Trump's nomination of the conservative Republican governor to serve as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

The Center for Combating Human Trafficking / Wichita State University

The Center for Combating Human Trafficking at Wichita State University will host an event Thursday focusing on the criminalization of individuals who have survived sex trafficking.

The center’s “Love Not Lockup” event will feature a showing of the documentary "Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story" by Dan Birman. Cyntoia Brown was arrested for the 2004 murder of a 43-year-old man. Brown, who was 16 at the time, was forced into prostitution and the man had solicited her for sex. She was given a life sentence.

Brian Grimmett

A proposed merger between two of Kansas’ biggest electric utilities drew little criticism, or praise, during a public hearing Monday night in Topeka.

Kansas News Service/File photo

The Brownback administration may soon throw in the towel on a plan to lock a more restrictive version of Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program in place for another five years.

GLENDALE, CALIF., POLICE DEPARTMENT/ AP

The family of a Wichita man who was fatally shot by police on his porch after a hoax emergency call has sued the city and the unidentified officers involved.

The federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Kansas seeks unspecified damages related to the Dec. 28 death of Andrew Finch. He was shot by police responding to a California man's call with a fake story about a shooting and kidnapping at Finch's Wichita home. Finch, 28, was unarmed.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The U.S. Department of Education has thrown its weight behind a Kansas school plan that aims for much higher rates of math and reading proficiency by 2030.

Initial feedback from the federal agency on Kansas’ 90-page blueprint for closing achievement gaps had been lackluster, forcing the state to revise it.

Stephen Koranda

Most bills considered by the Kansas Legislature are introduced anonymously. House Speaker Ron Ryckman is putting new rules in place so it’s clear where bills are coming from.

Speaker Ryckman said starting now, he’s requiring House committees to record in their minutes the actual author of a bill and whether that’s a lawmaker or a lobbyist. That information should soon be appearing in the online bill directory.

“For me, it’s how do we improve?" Ryckman said. "How do we become more transparent? What can we do administratively? This is something that we can do.”

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Commentary

OnWords: Word Of The Year

Late in December each year, authorities on language such as those who curate the Oxford English Dictionary release their word of the year. I use the word “curate” purposefully to describe what those who assemble dictionaries do, as the best description of a dictionary I ever heard was that it is a “museum for words.”

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KMUW Music

Peter Cunningham

For Those Who Came After: Songs of Resistance from the Spanish Civil War is the latest release by stalwart New York City band Barbez. Joining the collective on this historically charged recording is vocalist Velina Brown, a longstanding member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. The material heard on For Those Who Came After celebrates the International Brigades, including the American Abraham Lincoln Brigade (ALB), which pledged solidarity against fascism between 1936 and 1938 in Spain.

Album Cover Art

Wednesday, January 24

Listen for selections from the 2017 release from Reeves Gabrels, Imaginary Friends Live plus music from Jean Luc Ponty’s 1977 album Enigmatic Ocean.

Thursday, January 25

We’ll hear music from Learn To Swim, the 2017 effort from The Cavves plus music from For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 from The Replacements.

Friday, January 26

When The Replacements came to an abrupt end in 1991, founding member Tommy Stinson formed a new project named Bash & Pop. That group issued one album, 1993’s Friday Night Is Killing Me, before disbanding for nearly 25 years. We’ll hear selections from the 2017 reissue of Friday Night Is Killing Me as well as music from A Nod Is As Good As a Wink … to a Blind Horse, the 1971 album from Faces, featuring Rod Stewart, Kenney Jones (The Who) and Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones).

Saturday, January 27

We remember some of the musicians we lost in 2017, including Allan Holdsworth, Chuck Berry and Tom Petty.

Monday, January 29

Listen for music from Especially For You, the 1986 release from The Smithereens as well as Based On A True Story, the 1988 album by The Del-Lords.

Tuesday, January 30

 We’ll hear selections from Shuttered Room, the 1982 debut by The Fixx plus selections from Play Deep, the 1985 release from The Outfield.

Wednesday, January 31

We preview our February features: Simple Minds and Nona Hendryx.

Thursday, February 1

 We’ll hear music from Life In A Day, the 1977 debut from Simple Minds as well as selections from Songs to Learn and Sing, the 1985 release from Echo & The Bunnymen.

Friday, February 2

 It’s our New Month, New Music feature including selections from Walk Between Worlds by Simple Minds, the latest from First Aid Kit and more.

Saturday, February 3

 Listen for selections from The Fugitive, the 1983 release from Genesis co-founder Tony Banks as well as his bandmate, Mike Rutherford’s 1980 solo debut, Smallcreep’s Day. 

Monday 1.22.18

Night Train continues with more Best of 2017 for the January feature, previews jazz concerts for the coming week, and marks birthdays of trombone great J.J. Johnson, bassist Eberhard Weber, singer Lizz Wright, saxophonist Tony Campise, and pianist Addison Frei.

Tuesday 1.23.18

Night Train joins in with Global Village tonight to mark the birthday of gypsy jazz guitar great Django Reinhardt. Plus more of the Best of 2017, and birthdays as well of vibes player Gary Burton and saxophonist Benny Waters, who continued to perform and record into his 90s. We’ll hear more from and about Benny Waters in hour two of the show in a Jazz Profiles special.

Wednesday 1.24.18

As part of the January feature looking back at jazz in 2017, Night Train devotes this program to a remembrance of jazz artists who passed away in the last year, including trombonist Roswell Rudd, singers Kevin Mahogany and Jon Hendricks, guitarists Larry Coryell and John Abercrombie, saxophonist Arthur Blythe, and in hour two a special devoted to singer Keely Smith.

Thursday 1.25.18

Night Train joins in with Global Village tonight to mark the birthday of pianist, composer and bossa nova giant Antonio Carlos Jobim. Plus more of the Best of 2017, and birthday salutes as well for singer Etta James, and for saxophonist, arranger, composer and bandleader Benny Golson. We’ll hear from Benny Golson from Jazz Stories and ArtWorks interviews in hour two of the show.

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January 26/28

Crossroads celebrates the centennial birthday of blues slide guitar great Elmore James with classic recordings, covers of his songs (from the Allman Brothers, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more), and a special in hour two of the show.

We’ll also mark birthdays of soul singers Bobby Blue Bland and also of Bettye LaVette, including a preview of her new album of Dylan covers and a track she did for the new Elmore James centennial compilation, Strange Angels.

And we’ll get to a few more Crossroads favorites of 2017, including Savoy Brown, Wee Willie Walker, and Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm.

Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World

Billy Bragg, Faber & Faber Social

Skiffle remains a phenomenon largely foreign to American listeners. Here, musician and activist Billy Bragg describes the music that inspired the likes of Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and countless others across England in the years after World War II. You can trace a direct line from this music to the early, amphetamine-fueled work of The Beatles straight down to the Sex Pistols.

Noteworthy