Community http://kmuw.org en Number Of Kansas Children Under State Custody At An All-Time High http://kmuw.org/post/number-kansas-children-under-state-custody-all-time-high <p>The number of Kansas children in state custody has risen to all-time highs as the number of child abuse and neglect complaints also is climbing.</p><p>About 7,000 children were in state custody at the beginning of June, including more than 6,100 in out-of-home foster care placement.</p><p>Kansas Children’s Alliance executive director Bruce Linhos says workers and government officials are struggling to find a cause for the increase.</p><p>An in-depth report by the Kansas Health Institute last month included comments from some advocates blaming state policies for straining poor families.</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:38:55 +0000 Associated Press 38184 at http://kmuw.org UPDATE: Wichita Teen 'Makes A Wish' To Swim With The Sharks http://kmuw.org/post/update-wichita-teen-makes-wish-swim-sharks <p></p><p><em><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">An update from Craig Lehman, after he completed his swim on Friday, July 25: </span></strong></em></p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Carla Eckels 37965 at http://kmuw.org UPDATE: Wichita Teen 'Makes A Wish' To Swim With The Sharks Fire Destroys Theater Housed In Historic Abilene Church http://kmuw.org/post/fire-destroys-theater-housed-historic-abilene-church <p>Officials say a fire destroyed a theatre housed in a historic church in Abilene.</p><p>No injuries were reported after the fire Wednesday night at the Great Plains Theatre.</p><p>Dickinson County Emergency Management Director Chancy Smith said the theatre was a total loss. He says no one was inside the building at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.</p><p>The building housing the theater was built in 1881 and served as the First Presbyterian Church for years and was later converted to a live theatre.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:52:14 +0000 Associated Press 37967 at http://kmuw.org Salina City Commission Places Ban On Open Carry Weapons In City-Owned Buildings http://kmuw.org/post/salina-city-commission-places-ban-open-carry-weapons-city-owned-buildings <p>Open carry of weapons will not be allowed in city-owned buildings in Salina.</p><p>The city commission voted Monday to impose the ban in public buildings currently exempt from the state's concealed carry law. The state allows concealed carry in public buildings but Salina was granted a four-year exemption from that law last year.</p><p>City Manager Justin Gage said that to prohibit open carry in city-owned buildings, commissioners needed to pass a resolution directing staff to post signs on the buildings. He says the ordinance will not cost the city much money.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:20:41 +0000 Associated Press 37915 at http://kmuw.org Kansas Humane Society Releases Adoption Numbers http://kmuw.org/post/kansas-humane-society-releases-adoption-numbers <p>The Kansas Humane Society euthanized about 4,000 animals last year but an official says the number of animals saved continues to improve.</p><p>Spokeswoman Melissa Houston says the society provided services for 17,000 animals last year, with about 13,000 homeless. Of that number, more than 9,000 were adopted but the other 4,000 had to be euthanized.</p><p>Houston says decisions on which animals to put down are usually based on health and behavior, but some are based on space at the shelter.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:08:33 +0000 Associated Press 37914 at http://kmuw.org More Than 80,000 Calls to 9-1-1 Last Year Were Misdials http://kmuw.org/post/more-80000-calls-9-1-1-last-year-were-misdials <p></p><p>More than 80,000 misdialed calls were made to the Sedgwick County Emergency Communications 9-1-1 last year. Public Safety Officials have launched a campaign to help educate callers and reduce the number of accidental calls coming into the center.</p><p>Nearly 600,000 calls poured into the 9-1-1 call center in downtown Wichita last year. The calls were from people reporting medical emergencies, accidents, fires, and crime. 9-1-1 deputy director Elora Randleas says 1 in 7 of those calls were cell phone&nbsp;misdials.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Carla Eckels 37629 at http://kmuw.org More Than 80,000 Calls to 9-1-1 Last Year Were Misdials More Families Seeking Shelter at YWCA Wichita's Women's Crisis Center http://kmuw.org/post/more-families-seeking-shelter-ywca-wichitas-womens-crisis-center <p></p><p></p><p>The YWCA Wichita Women's Crisis Center's emergency shelter continues to operate at maximum capacity.&nbsp; Hundreds of domestic violence victims seeking shelter were turned away last year due to lack of space.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Carla Eckels 37584 at http://kmuw.org More Families Seeking Shelter at YWCA Wichita's Women's Crisis Center Anti-Gun Violence Group Files Suit Over KS Gun Law http://kmuw.org/post/anti-gun-violence-group-files-suit-over-ks-gun-law <p>A new Kansas gun law is being challenged in court. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is based in Washington, D.C., has filed a lawsuit against Kansas because of a new state law that declares guns made and kept in Kansas are exempt from federal gun laws.</p><p>The new state law is called the “Second Amendment Protection Act.”</p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:34:15 +0000 J. Schafer 37252 at http://kmuw.org State Delays Rollout Of Anti-Fraud Computer System http://kmuw.org/post/state-delays-rollout-anti-fraud-computer-system <p>The state has again delayed implementation of a new computer system designed to prevent fraud and improve efficiency in applications for social services.</p><p>The state said Tuesday no firm date is set to take the $135 million computer system online. The Kansas Eligibility and Enforcement System was originally to go live by Oct. 1 of last year.</p><p>Sara Belfry, spokeswoman for the state’s health department, said a pilot program test last month persuaded the department to delay the rollout again.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:29:35 +0000 Associated Press 37185 at http://kmuw.org New Baby Bookworms Program Encourages Reading And Engagement With Infants http://kmuw.org/post/new-baby-bookworms-program-encourages-reading-and-engagement-infants <p></p><p></p><p>The Wichita Public Library is offering <a href="http://www.wichita.lib.ks.us/Programs/Baby+Bookworms.htm">a new program</a> to encourage summer reading and engagement with babies. So far, 13,000 little ones are enrolled. KMUW’s Carla Eckels has more...</p><p></p><p></p><p>Baby Bookworms is an expansion of the summer reading program for children and teens. Erin Downey-Howerton, Youth Services Librarian says the program helps babies learn and build skills.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Carla Eckels 37129 at http://kmuw.org New Baby Bookworms Program Encourages Reading And Engagement With Infants