Courtesy photo

The 63rd annual Arbor Day Celebration, promoting the value of trees to residents, will take place Friday at OJ Watson Park in south Wichita.

City Arborist Gary Farris says trees are a great way to promote air quality and help the environment. According to Farris, tree planting by the city varies each year depending on funding.

“We've planted as few as a couple of hundred, and we’ve planted this year, just over 1700,” he says.

Farris says the City of Wichita lost thousands of trees in the droughts of 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Law enforcement officers in Kansas and across the country will be collecting unused, expired and leftover medications on Saturday.

It’s an initiative called the National Drug Take-Back Day.

The drug collection events are a way to safely dispose of leftover and expired medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse.

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.


Pushed by worker advocates and growing consumer awareness, Tyson Foods on Wednesday promised better conditions for workers at its meat processing plants.

Tyson, in a rare move in an industry heavily criticized for lack of worker safeguards, announced it would provide regularly scheduled bathroom breaks, give more attention to line speeds in the plants, offer training on workers’ rights and establish safety councils that include employees.

Goddard Public Schools / Facebook

Voters in Goddard and Clearwater voted Tuesday on school bonds that would build storm shelters and improve security in district buildings.

The $52 million bond in Goddard passed with 69 percent of the vote. More than 2500 votes were cast.

That bond will pay for 90 projects throughout the district's 12 schools, nine of which would receive storm shelters. Heating and air conditioning units would be updated, and parking lots improved. Every classroom door in the district would receive intruder prevention locks.

Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill aimed at addressing complaints from health care providers about KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Red tape, denied claims and late payments are among the major gripes.

The new law aims to fix those problems by requiring the private companies that manage KanCare to standardize some of their business practices, as well as establishing an external appeals process to resolve disputes.

Republican Sen. Barbara Bollier helped write the legislation.

Wichita Area Technical College is changing the name of one of its campuses and adding a GED program to the curriculum.

WATC’s Grove campus near downtown Wichita will now be known as the City Center campus.

The four buildings on campus were recently expanded and renovated. Labs were updated with new equipment.

WATC’s Marketing Director Andy McFayden says there’s growing demand for the General Education Development (GED) certificate program, so it’ll now be offered at City Center.

Aileen LeBlanc / KMUW

The annual Wichita Community Holocaust Commemoration will take place on Wednesday. The speaker will be a woman who was saved from the Holocaust but was orphaned when she lost her parents and her sister.

When Rachel Goldman Miller was nine years old, she was sent to a summer camp outside Paris to hide from Hitler's slaughter of the Jews.

During the war, she lived with her aunt. Afterward, an American soldier found her in an orphanage and brought her to the U.S.

Alex Starr, flickr Creative Commons

Next year’s school calendar for Wichita Public Schools is now set.

The district’s Board of Education approved the calendar on Monday by a vote of six-to-one.

The first day of school will be August 23, and the school year will wrap up on May 16.

The district decided to continue with the shortened school year schedule it implemented this year.

File Photo/Kansas News Service

A third of the way to an end-of-year deadline, Kansas officials still do not have federal approval to extend KanCare.

In January, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied the state’s request for a one-year extension of the waiver that allowed it to privatize its Medicaid program. The denial letter said neither the Kansas Department of Health and Environment nor the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services was doing enough to hold the three private companies that run the program responsible for providing services accountable to Medicaid rules.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he will not be taking a job in President Donald Trump's administration.

Kobach was an early Trump supporter. He was an adviser during the campaign and had some high-profile meetings with Trump after the election. That fueled speculation he could be in line for a cabinet job or other administration position.

In an interview on Fox News, Kobach put those rumors to rest.