Students returned to Wichita State University for the fall semester this week. The university begins the new term with two weeks of special programs and events.

As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports, one campus event features a speaker known for being an agent of change.

The main event of WSU’s “Welcomefest” will be Tuesday evening, when artist and activist Bree Newsome delivers a keynote speech titled "Tearing Hate from the Sky."

A new exhibit that looks at Kansas' relationship to one of its most vital resources opens at Exploration Place tomorrow.

The Big Splash will show visitors the inner workings of an aquifer, as well as where our water comes from, and how it’s used.

Most of Kansas’ water resources are underground: It's one of 8 states that sits on top of the High Plains Aquifer. But that source is rapidly being depleted.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A new report from the Kansas Association of School Boards says Kansas ranks well nationally in many education categories, but it also includes some signs that Kansas may be lagging.

The report places Kansas 10th overall nationwide when comparing states on test scores, high school graduation rates and the number of students that go on to college. However, the report says Kansas has slipped in some areas, such as test scores.

Mark Tallman, with the KASB, says the information is an “early warning” that Kansas needs to take steps to remain competitive.


The U.S. Senate judiciary committee wants to examine proposed mergers among agricultural chemical and seed companies.

Universities in Kansas have been taking steps to absorb state funding cuts. As Stephen Koranda reports, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University are adopting different approaches.

KU announced this week that there would be positions left unfilled and targeted budget cuts, including some significant reductions to certain programs. At K-State, the strategy is a little different: Spokesperson Jeff Morris says K-State officials gave all departments an equal cut of just under 4 percent.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Questions about the long-term effects of football on the brain have trickled down from the NFL to the high school level, where there's little research on players. Even so, the organization that governs high school sports in Kansas is directing coaches and players to cut down on the hitting as they prepare for the season. 

At the first day of football practice at Blue Valley Northwest High School, one sound you won’t hear is the crashing of pads and helmets.

If the name "Rose Royce" doesn't ring a bell, the band's biggest hit certainly will: Since hitting the charts in 1976, "Car Wash" is still, even today, one of the most recognizable songs.

Wichita's Big Read program will take on a classic science fiction novel this year.

For its 9th year, Big Read Wichita has chosen Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451." The 1953 novel explores themes of censorship and freedom of information in a world where books are outlawed.

Courtesy photo

Wichita Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build gets underway on Friday. It’s is an annual event in which women build a house for a family.

Construction gets underway near 12th and Green in Wichita's A. Price Woodard neighborhood with a wall-raising ceremony. This will be the 13th home built by women for the organization.

Spokeswoman Kathy Lefler says women don’t need to have any construction skills or experience; they’ll learn everything they need on site.

jphilipg, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas has lost the highest number of construction jobs in the nation over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of United States Department of Labor data.

The report issued by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that Kansas construction jobs dropped 7.3 percent, 4400 jobs, in the last 12 months. In the last month alone the report shows Kansas lost 500 jobs.