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Here Are Some Things Kansas Lawmakers Have Done While Avoiding School Spending Drama

Kansas lawmakers head into the next stretch of this year’s legislative session after advancing bills offering tax breaks to some smaller businesses, compensation to people thrown in prison unjustly and a welcome mat to industrial chicken growers. The bigger, harder questions before them remain unanswered. Since gaveling out on Thursday, they're taking off a few days.

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Deborah Shaar / KMUW

A Maize High School teacher is working on a plan to use solar energy to help power the school.

Physics teacher Stan Bergkamp received approval from the USD 266 Board of Education to raise money for a rooftop array of 740 solar panels — a 240 kW system.

He says as soon as the system is up and running, the savings will be immediate. The panels are expected to save about $3,000 a month, or $36,000 a year, in electricity costs. The district currently pays about $30,000 a month for electricity at Maize High School.

Lindsay Fox, flickr Creative Commons

Coleman Middle School Principal Eric Filippi says he was blind to all the different ways drugs can be concealed and the variety of forms that they can take.

“I did not think of it as something that can be put into a spray bottle and be sprayed on food,” Filippi says.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

If you’re released from prison in some states after a wrongful conviction, you could be owed millions of dollars or a promise of a college education.

In Kansas and 17 other states, you get nothing.

Courtesy photo

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Wichita State University will be holding a Lunar New Year celebration on campus this Thursday.

Quang Nguyen, the marketing specialist for WSU's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, says several Asian cultures use feasts and festivities to celebrate the Lunar New Year, as well as bring in luck for the upcoming year.

“A few days before, we generally clean up the house," Nguyen says, "that way we can push away the old spirits and welcome the new spirits into the house.”

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with official misconduct after he allegedly withheld evidence in a narcotics investigation.

Courtesy Sharma-Crawford Attorneys At Law

The threat of deportation has made Lawrence resident Syed Jamal an international cause celebre. On Monday, the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals in Virginia granted a stay in his case, preventing immigration enforcement officials from deporting him to his native Bangladesh.

Jamal’s legal saga offers an illustration of the U.S. immigration system’s perils for people whose fate depends on the discretion of government officials making judgments in the context of an administration’s political priorities.

taser.com

Legislation pending in the Kansas Statehouse would require police to release videos of shootings by officers, stripping away the wide discretion that law enforcement in the state currently has a hold on.

Police, broadly speaking, oppose the bill. At a hearing on Tuesday, the measure’s supporters argued the public — and particularly families of those involved in police shootings — deserve easier access to police video.

Richard Green / Special to Kansas News Service

Amy Houston got the bad news — a diagnosis of Hodgkin Lymphoma — in 2009.

She started working 10-hour days in her corporate job to get Fridays off for chemotherapy. But that schedule no longer worked when the time came for daily radiation treatments.

“I lost my job and therefore lost my medical insurance,” Houston said.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer on Tuesday named Tracey Mann, who operates a Kansas City real estate firm and lives in Salina, as his lieutenant governor.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A focus on both college and career readiness. More investment in resources and staff. Helping students develop mentally and socially -- not just academically.

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Justin Cary

Cooking With Fire: Crab Cakes

Crab cakes have become a staple in restaurants across the U.S., but it wasn’t that long ago that crab was seen as a difficult and dangerous crustacean that wasn’t worth the time and effort it took to catch them.

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Season 4 of Invisibilia kicks off on KMUW on March 11, 2018. To whet the appetite, we'll be airing Season 3 in the weeks prior as a count-down of sorts beginning February 18.

KMUW Music

  Saturday, February 24

Blues, roots-rock and that hard-to-find element that says “southern”…..Paul Thorn at the Old Settlers Inn. Paul is gritty and graceful and a consummate storyteller.

Album Cover Art

Sunday, February 25

Sunday on Soulsations, inspirational sounds from contemporary gospel artist Jermaine Dolly. For years Dolly has been a back up vocalist for gospel great, Tye Tribett. The Philadelphia native is pursing a solo career with his 2017 debut release, The Dolly Express. 

Take 6 / Facebook

For nearly 35 years, the members of Take 6 have been captivating audiences around the world with their vocal talent.

The group is one of the most celebrated vocal groups in history with 10 Grammy wins, 10 Dove Gospel Music Awards, a Soul Train Award, Jazz Honors and more. The sextet has collaborated with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, Ella Fitzgerald, The Manhattan Transfer and KD Lang.

Jessie McCall

Portland, Oregon's Fruition has just released its fifth album, Watching It All Fall Apart, a record that ushers in what promises to be a busy year for the band. Currently on a run of headlining dates, the band will take to the road with singer-songwriter Jack Johnson late this spring. According to Kellen Asebroek, Fruition is eager to reach a new group of fans, something you can hear on the expansive new recording, which was produced by the esteemed Tucker Martine (Bill Frisell, Mudhoney, The Decemberists).

The band performs at Barleycorn's Thursday, Feb. 22.

Courtesy photo

Amber Ikeman surprised her friends and family when she quit her day job at a Florida non-profit and moved to Montana. There, she honed her skills as a singer-songwriter and embraced the open, rural landscape.

Noteworthy

Wichita East High School / Facebook

Kansas Students Plan Walkout In Reaction To Recent Shootings

Alayna Nelson, a sophomore at Wichita Northwest High School, grew up hearing stories of repeated mass shootings on the news. “Every single time this happened I always wanted to do something about it,” Nelson said. Now, Nelson and other students in her generation are taking action against gun violence.

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