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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

'Tammy' Shows New Side of McCarthy

Credit rottentomatoes.com

Melissa McCarthy has many reasons to be happy with her new movie Tammy.

She produced, co-wrote and stars, and her husband co-wrote, directed and takes an important small role as the boss who fires her and starts the whole thing going. McCarthy is also more attractive both in her physical appearance and in the character she plays than she was in either Bridesmaids or The Heat, partly because Tammy is a gentle, people-loving movie without satiric edge or the brutality of a police story.

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Environment
8:22 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Ferric Sulfate Leaks Into Arkansas River

Credit Carla Eckels

A chemical used for water treatment leaked into the Arkansas River overnight near downtown Wichita. Public Works & Utilities maintenance crews have plugged the leak. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports...

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Education
12:44 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Kansas Board Of Education Votes Not To Release Test Scores

The Kansas State Board of Education has voted not to release scores from a new standardized test. The computerized math and reading test for public school students was plagued with problems. As Stephen Koranda reports, glitches and cyberattacks disrupted testing for many students, so the results may not be valid.

The test was developed by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, known as CETE. Board member John Bacon, from Olathe, says taxpayers need to know they’re getting their money’s worth.

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Community
12:29 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

State Delays Rollout Of Anti-Fraud Computer System

The state has again delayed implementation of a new computer system designed to prevent fraud and improve efficiency in applications for social services.

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.

Sara Belfry, spokeswoman for the state’s health department, said a pilot program test last month persuaded the department to delay the rollout again.

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Education
12:17 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

KBOE Proposes $459M Budget Increase

The Kansas State Board of Education is proposing a $459 million increase in state spending on public schools, though the board’s approval Tuesday of budget recommendations was mostly a symbolic statement of support for education.

The board’s proposals would phase in over two years an increase of about 13 percent in aid to public schools beginning in July 2015, but funding the full amount would require the state to reconsider personal income tax cuts enacted by Governor Sam Brownback and Republican lawmakers.

Commentary
5:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

An Art Show That Crosses Borders

Image courtesy City Arts

Artist and activist Armando Minjarez has been busy! He’s the driving force behind the ICT Army of Artists, responsible for the Immigration is Beautiful mural – and its loving restorations after it was defaced.

Minjarez also found the time to create an array of sculptural and installation artwork for his solo exhibition Un Recuerdito or, A Small Keepsake. Despite the diminutive in the title, the show takes over the first floor at CityArts.

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Community
5:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

New Baby Bookworms Program Encourages Reading And Engagement With Infants

Britten Kuckelman reads to her baby Bryce in The Baby Bookworms Program
Credit courtesy of Wichita Public Library

The Wichita Public Library is offering a new program to encourage summer reading and engagement with babies. So far, 13,000 little ones are enrolled. KMUW’s Carla Eckels has more...

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.

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Transportation
4:27 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

City Of Wichita To Acquire 10 New Buses

The inside of a current Wichita Transit bus
Credit Sean Sandefur

Wichita City Council members approved the purchase of new city buses at Tuesday’s meeting. They will help update the transit system’s aging fleet. 

A total of ten new buses will be coming from a California-based manufacturer. They will all be diesel powered. 

“The total cost for the acquisition is $4.2 million and a little over 80 percent of that will come from the federal transit commission," Wichita City Manager Robert Layton says. "The rest will be local.”

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Health
12:31 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Praeger: Smokers Should Check Insurance For Smoking Cessation Plan Coverage

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is urging Kansans who smoke or chew tobacco to check if their insurance plans cover programs to help them quit.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced in May that insurance companies and employer group health plans must cover counseling and other programs that help people quit smoking.

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Education
12:24 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Amid Testing Problems, KBOE Debates Release Of State Assessment Scores

Kansas State Board of Education members face a decision about how much data to release from statewide math and reading tests after public schools faced problems administering the exams.

The board’s discussion today is a response to cyberattacks and glitches in the computerized testing system earlier this year.

The Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas told the board last month that it should not release data for individual schools and districts. The biggest problems occurred with testing from March 10 to April 10.

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