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Courtesy of Music Theatre Wichita.

Music Theatre Wichita is looking to purchase a 30,000 square foot warehouse to store props, sets and costumes. The company has been leasing the space near downtown for about two years at a price tag of $75,000.00 a year. They also own a second warehouse on Washington.

Development director Angela Cassette says the building is used to house rental inventory including sets, props and costumes for more than 70 shows. The organization rents the items to other theatre companies.

Wikipedia

The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that opens the door to growing industrial hemp.

Republican Rep. Willie Dove says people have confused hemp with marijuana. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, and hemp does not have enough THC to get a person high.

Dove says industrial hemp could give farmers a new, profitable crop to grow.

“But yet they’ve been held back just because of ignorance of what the product really is,” Dove says.

J. Schafer, Kansas Public Radio

A Kansas House committee has voted to reverse some of the funding cuts made to colleges and universities last year.

The proposal would divert money next fiscal year to help restore part of the cuts to the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. Under a budget provision last year, KU and K-State took a bigger hit than other schools.

Republican Rep. Troy Waymaster proposed restoring the funding.

“It really hurt KU and K-State. We needed to balance that out and just make it fairer to all the regents schools across the board,” Waymaster says.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A former mayor of Topeka is joining Carl Brewer's campaign for the Democratic nomination for Kansas governor.

Joan Wagnon joins Carl Brewer's campaign and will provide management oversight and anchor the campaign in northeast Kansas.

Wagnon served in the Kansas House of Representatives, was secretary of revenue and ran for governor herself in 1994.

Carl Brewer, a Democratic Party member, served two terms as mayor of Wichita and, if elected, would be the first African-American governor of Kansas.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Though there have not been any U.S. cases of the strain of avian flu that has killed more than 140 people in China this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s head veterinarian says the agency is making preparations to combat the deadly virus in case it reaches North America.

The USDA’s Dr. Jack Shere stresses that it's impossible to predict how far a particular bird flu strain may travel or mutate. In the meantime, however, scientists are on alert.

Kansas News Service

Unless the Legislature makes a change, community mental health centers across Kansas will have to allow patients and staff to bring their guns starting in July.

A 2013 state law requires most publicly owned buildings to allow concealed weapons or to install metal detectors and post armed guards. The law included a four-year exemption for community mental health centers, universities, publicly owned medical facilities, nursing homes and low-income health clinics that ends July 1.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Polling site changes will make it more confusing for more than 36,000 registered voters to cast a ballot in the race to fill the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The April 11 election in Kansas falls during Holy Week, the annual Christian observance leading up Easter Sunday. The timing has bedeviled election officials because many of polling locations are in churches and some were unavailable on short notice for the special election.

Courtesy photo

Growing up in Chicago, singer and keyboardist Ronnie Platt had always loved the band Kansas. In 2014, the group's original vocalist, Steve Walsh, announced that he was leaving the group. The other members were determined to carry on, and so Platt reached out to guitarist Rich Williams and, later, drummer Phil Ehart, to offer up his services. Here, Platt recalls the whirlwind circumstances that saw him landing the coveted role.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

A Kansas legislative committee is considering tighter amusement park safety regulations following the death of a lawmaker’s son. Caleb Schwab died last year on the Verruckt waterslide in Kansas City, Kansas.

The death prompted Republican Rep. John Barker to look into the state’s regulations. He chairs the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, which held a hearing on new regulations Thursday.

“It’s the nature of the tragedy. A young child gets killed at an amusement park, that’s concerning to everyone,” Barker said.

President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, testified in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture committee on Thrusday, but remains far from the head job at USDA.

The committee did not indicate when it would vote on whether to advance Perdue’s nomination.

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