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Westar Energy has agreed to refund $10 million to its customers and decrease its rates slightly to settle a complaint filed by state regulators with the federal government.

Westar and the Kansas Corporation Commission announced the settlement today. It would a resolve a complaint filed by the KCC last year with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The KCC had alleged that Westar was charging unjustly high transmission rates.

Cary and Kacey Jordan, flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County Commissioners unanimously approved a grant extension on Wednesday afternoon for the county’s Healthy Babies program, despite questioning its effectiveness.

The program offers advice and support for at-risk mothers in the hopes of decreasing the county’s infant mortality rate, which has consistently hovered above state and national averages.

Commissioners Richard Ranzau and Jim Howell said the county’s rate of 7.7 deaths per 1,000 live births isn’t improving.

Stephanie GA, flickr Creative Commons

Same-sex couples living in all 105 Kansas counties can now get married, but there are still roadblocks in state government for some services. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, LGBT advocates are calling for the state government to update the rules following last week’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

Pluto: A Kansas Man's Lasting Legacy

Jul 1, 2015
Kimberly Fertig

In less than two weeks, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will finally fly past Pluto. On July 14th, the spacecraft will come closer to the mysterious planet than any other NASA spacecraft. There are at least two Kansas connections to this story. First, you'll recall that President Dwight Eisenhower, from Abilene, started the nation's space program. Commentator Rex Buchanan tells us about the second Kansas connection: Clyde Tombaugh.

Khan Hmong, flickr Creative Commons

The Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect in Kansas five years ago today. The law prohibits smoking in most public places, including workplaces, public buildings, bars and restaurants.

Prior to 2002, smoking policies were left up to the owners and managers of individual facilities. But that year, Salina City Commissioners began debating an ordinance to ban smoking in restaurants, with an exception for late-night hours.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas is kicking off a new fiscal year Wednesday. The state wrapped up last fiscal year with tax collections coming in $22 million below estimates in June. State lawmakers didn't plan on a big savings account in this new fiscal year, and that makes the monthly revenue numbers critical.

Kansas lawmakers cut taxes several years ago. This year, they raised taxes and made cuts to balance the budget, but those changes still leave a state savings account estimated at under $100 million at the end of our new fiscal year.

Kansas Water Office

Recent rains have eased drought conditions in many areas in the state, leading Gov. Sam Brownback to update the Drought Declaration for Kansas counties.

Courtesy Maize Unified School District 266

The Maize School District has a new superintendent as of Wednesday, July 1.

Ho John Lee / Flickr

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will officially have the power to prosecute voter fraud starting Wednesday.

Weho City, flickr Creative Commons

Same-sex couples could get marriage licenses in all 105 Kansas counties Tuesday, but the state wasn't yet allowing gay and lesbian spouses to change their last names on driver's licenses or file joint income tax returns.

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