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Government
11:59 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Democrats Target Kobach's Outside Work With New Bill

Kansas Democrats want to put limits on the Secretary of State.

Democratic leaders say they will introduce two measures in January in an effort to limit Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's power, and his work outside the office on immigration and other issues.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said Tuesday that he would submit a bill to limit the ability of statewide elected officials and their employees to work more than 10 hours a week outside their official duties and still receive compensation.

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Commentary
8:05 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Into It: Crawlers

Crawlers are the unsung heroes of the United States space program.

Since the Apollo missions of the sixties, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been home to an odd couple: a pair of crawler-transporters. Weighing in at six million pounds, their gargantuan metal slab is reminiscent of an oil rig carted around atop four military tanks.

Every space voyage begins its journey on the back of a crawler. From the towering Saturn V rockets to the line of relatively compact shuttles that followed, the odd ritual looks like this:

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Health
5:58 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Kansas City Hospitals To Cooperate On Pediatric Care

Two Kansas City hospitals have announced plans to work together to create a single, integrated pediatric program. 

Children’s Mercy and the University of Kansas Hospital say they'll work together to improve pediatric care. They're also hoping to expand research, boost training and coordinate children’s health initiatives.

The partnership also includes the KU Med Center and the KU Physicians group. The two hospitals already work together on medical education, research and clinical trials.

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News
5:54 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Top Morning News 12.04.12

Wagle wins top spot in Kansas Senate; Schools offered 'green grants;' Partnership between KC hospitals announced; Midwest economy improving slowly.

Westar Plant To Be Closed Two Months After Fire

Westar Energy officials say one of the utility's plants near Colwich will be closed for at least two months for repairs from a fire.

Westar officials say customers should not notice any impact from the closure. A transformer at the plant failed last Wednesday, causing an explosion and fire.

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Government
12:42 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Wagle Wins KS Senate President, Merrick Speaker

Kansas Republicans elected Susan Wagle Monday as the new president of the state Senate.

A veteran Wichita Republican, she is the first woman to lead either legislative chamber. Wagle defeated Steve Abrams of Arkansas City.

Johnson County Republican Ray Merrick is the new speaker of the Kansas House. Merrick won on a second ballot Monday over fellow Johnson County representative Arlen Siegfried.

When the session begins in January, Republicans will outnumber Democrats 32-8 in the Senate and 92-33 in the House.

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Government
5:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Budget Projections May Be Recalculated After Unexpected Tax Revenues

The state Revenue Department says Kansas collected $2.6 million more in taxes than expected in November.

The agency said Friday that the state collected about $441 million in taxes this month, when a fiscal forecast predicted it would take in less than $439 million.

The difference is less than 1 percent, but Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the numbers contain solid signs that the state's economy is improving. The report was the first since officials issued a new fiscal forecast earlier this month.

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News
5:47 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Top Morning News 12.03.12

Chamber leaders to be picked at the Statehouse Monday; Budget projections will likely be recalculated after revenue numbers from November; Meat prices expected to rise next year.

KS Legislators To Pick Chambers' Leaders

Kansas Republican legislators are meeting at the Statehouse to choose the next Senate president and speaker of the House.

Monday's elections will be held by returning incumbents and those taking office for the first time in January.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Book Review: Life Among Giants

In terms of setting and mood, Bill Roorbach’s novel Life Among Giants contains no shortage of creative derring-do. It largely takes place in the 1970s, when the Miami Dolphins ruled the National Football League. In fact, the narrator of the novel, David “Lizard” Hochmeyer, spends time in a Dolphins uniform as a backup quarterback to Bob Griese.

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Government
12:34 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Lawmakers Asked For Money To Keep Boys Home Open

Sedgwick County officials say they will close a ranch for troubled boys if the state does not provide more financial help.

County officials told lawmakers Thursday that the county can't afford to keep the Judge James V. Riddel Boys Ranch at Lake Afton open past next year. The home offers rehabilitation programs for boys considered at high or moderate risk of reoffending.

The state pays $126 a day for each boy at the ranch. County officials say the actual cost is $201 per boy.

Crime and Courts
6:33 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Juvenile Justice Official Says Topeka Facility Improving

A representation of the juvenile justice facility in Topeka.

A recent, two-part audit pointed out significant problems at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka. The first part of the audit found safety and security problems. The second part criticized the facility's education and substance abuse programs.

But, the head of the state's juvenile corrections system testified before lawmakers Thursday and said the facility is improving.

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