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2013 Legislative Session
6:05 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Kan. House Committee Takes Up Union Bargaining Bill

There was standing room only for a committee hearing on a bill that would limit Kansas teacher's bargaining rights.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

A Kansas House committee has heard from supporters and opponents of a bill that would limit the bargaining rights of teachers.

The legislation would cut back on the items school districts are required to negotiate with unions from more than two dozen to five. Supporters of the change say it will allow administrators to allocate resources and respond to demands on the education system.

Ken Willard is a member of the Kansas Board of Education and he headed a school efficiency task force created by Gov. Sam Brownback.

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News
5:26 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Top Morning News 3.07.13

House Committee hears teacher bargaining bill; Panel to take up anti-abortion bill; Senior Services holding 31st annual job fair.

Kansas House Committee Takes Up Union Bargaining Bill

A Kansas House committee heard from supporters and opponents of a bill Wednesday that limits teacher's bargaining rights. The legislation would cut the items school districts are required to negotiate with unions from more than two dozen to five.

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Legislation
3:40 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Bill Allowing Concealed Guns In Public Buildings Advances

A Kansas legislative committee has advanced a bill that would expand the number of public buildings in which concealed weapons are allowed.

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Transportation
3:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

KDOT Dropped 1.2 Million Gallons Of Brine During Historic Snowstorm

Streets are mostly clear in downtown Wichita not long after record snowfall, on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW

During last month’s back-to-back snow storms, the Kansas Department of Transportation reports their snow crews pretreated and plowed nearly 880,000 miles of highway – enough to circle the earth 35 times.

BY THE NUMBERS

Winter Storms Q and Rocky (weeks of Feb. 18 and 25)

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Education
2:31 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Kansas House Considers Bill Limiting Teacher's Negotiation Rights

Kansas legislators returned from a four-day break Wednesday  to discuss a bill that would narrow contract negotiations between teachers and public school districts.

Substitute House Bill 2027 has been criticized by as an "attack on educators" by the Kansas National Education Association.

The House Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Economic Development considered the bill today . The measure would reduce the number of issues that teachers could negotiate with local school boards.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Past and Present: Rights Won, Rights Lost

Credit National Museum of American History / flickr Creative Commons

March is often a time to think about women’s contributions, and how far women have come toward equality. However, it is also important to consider moments when women have lost rights.

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Commentary
9:00 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Art Review: Curt Clonts

"Our Victory Over the Common" photo courtesy Curt Clonts

This past weekend, painter and Wichita native Curt Clonts opened his solo exhibition at Bluebird Arthouse with a title that, well, I can't write here, but it conveys the self-deprecating humor that makes Clonts so likeable.

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Government
7:44 am
Wed March 6, 2013

What KanCare Could Do For Thousands On The Disability Waiting List

Oscar Vaquera-Linke drinks a high-protein smoothie for breakfast. His mother Angelina says the protein helps him focus.
Credit Briana O'Higgins / KMUW

Kansas continues to have a lengthy waiting list for services for people with disabilities, but advocates are hoping the list will be addressed thanks to a clause in KanCare that earmarks savings for disability services.

According to the last report issued in May 2012 by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, 4,994 Kansans with developmental disabilities were on a waiting list for services, and some have been waiting for more than eight years. They’re waiting for services like residential and employment support, respite care and personal assistance.

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Health
6:32 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Sen. Roberts Says Bill Would Improve SNAP, Save Money

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts has introduced a bill to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

Sen. Roberts says the bill would save $36 billion over ten years by eliminating waste, and closing loopholes in the program.

“There were literally billions of dollars in savings that we could find without ever touching the food on the table, or in the kitchen cupboard, for the millions of Americans who rely on this program to help feed their families," he says.

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Community
6:17 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Spring Break Lunch Program Expands

"Filling in the Gap - Lunches for Kids" will serve almost twice as many lunches over spring break this year.
Credit Ben+Sam / Flickr--Creative Commons

Partners for Wichita and the Kansas Food Bank are teaming again this year to provide meals on weekdays between March 14 and the 22 in their “Filling the Gap – Lunches for Kids” program.

Volunteers expect to serve about 3,500 meals at 14 locations during spring break for public schools in Wichita. That’s roughly double the number served last year.

“We’re aware that about 24 percent of the children in our area are at risk of hunger," says Pastor Sally Fahrenthold, who helped coordinate the program.

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