Westar Energy officials who are dealing with $200,000 in damage at a substation over the weekend say thieves also hit two other substations.
The utility discovered damage Monday at substations near Valley Center and in Wichita. Westar Manager Doug VenJohn says thieves have hit 31 substations just in April. There were only 15 similar thefts in all of 2012.
Westar crews were at six different substations Monday to make repairs related to copper thefts. The company will replace the stolen copper with materials that have no scrap value.
State officials say travel and tourism in Kansas generated almost $8 billion in 2011. Becky Blake, the state director of tourism, says 32 million people visited Kansas in 2011 -- and each visitor spent about $236.
The Nomar International Marketplace opened for business in North Wichita in 2011 as part of the 21st street revitalization project. Vendors offer authentic Mexican, Puerto Rican and other food plus shopping in an open-air market.
Carlos Contreras grew up in North Wichita and has worked on the project for the past seven years. He was initially a Nomar board member and is now employed as the manager.