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Wichita Fire Department officials say careless cigarette smoking is one of the major causes of fires in the city--and some of the fires have been deadly.

Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says the Wichita Fire Department always emphasizes the importance of smoke alarms and early detection of smoke to help people successfully escape a house fire. He says careless cigarette smoking continues to be a part of Wichita’s residential fire problem.

City of Wichita

The City of Wichita says that a main sewer line is at a high risk of failing. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports the line is responsible for conveying 60 percent of the city’s wastewater.

  

The 66-inch concrete pipe runs for three miles in south Wichita. It was constructed in 1957 and transfers between 25 and 80 million gallons of raw wastewater every day.

City Engineer Gary Janzen told the city council this week that, according to an assessment report of the pipeline in December of 2014, there is a single point of failure in the pipe.

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Author Jane Hamilton’s latest book, The Excellent Lombards, examines big questions facing a Wisconsin farm family as they prepare for the future. Hamilton says that the novel is in part inspired by her own family’s experience with the change nature of rural life.

The Mavericks are currently on the road supporting their acclaimed 2015 album Mono. According to guitarist Eddie Perez, the group’s on-again/off-again partnership is in the best place it’s ever been. He also likes the radio a lot, which is cool. Perez talked to KMUW’s Jedd Beaudoin.

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An advocacy group is sending a letter to the U.S. Elections Assistance Inspector General to ask her to look into actions by the EAC's new executive director.

More than 116,000 people have signed an online petition urging the inspector general to investigate what it calls voter suppression at a federal government agency entrusted with making voting more accessible.

The progressive advocacy group CREDO Action said it planned to deliver petition signatures Wednesday to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's Inspector General Patricia Layfield.

Jeffrey Remick, flickr Creative Commons

An outbreak of bird flu has hit Missouri, but as Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, this doesn’t mean a repeat of last year’s massive outbreak.

The bad news: A commercial turkey flock in Jaspar County, near Joplin, was found to be infected with H5N1 avian flu. That’s confirmed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Thirty-nine thousand birds were destroyed last week as a precaution and the farm is still quarantined.

Elana Gordon / KCUR

The two Planned Parent organizations in Kansas and Missouri wasted little time challenging Kansas’ termination of their Medicaid funding.

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The outlook of $2.1 billion worth of highway revenue bonds in Kansas has changed from stable to negative, according to a report from the bond rating service Moody’s Investors Service.

Chris Fiebig / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service office in Wichita is using social media to recreate the timeline of a deadly tornado outbreak 25 years ago.

An F5 tornado ravaged McConnell Air Force Base and then dropped on top of a populated area in Andover on April 26, 1991.

There were seventeen deaths and more than 200 people were injured.

Meteorologist Eric Metzger says the weather office used Twitter Tuesday to re-enact the atmospheric conditions and events that led to the tornado.

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A woman was in civil court today under a charge that she threatened a Wichita doctor who was at the time training to perform abortions.

Angel Dillard sent a letter to Dr. Mila Means in 2011 saying, in part, that, "They know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live," and, "You will be checking under your car everyday [sic] because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it."

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