News

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Updated July 28, 2016: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has identified three more cases of Zika virus in Kansas, bringing the total number to eight. All of the cases are believed to have been contracted through traveling to countries where Zika is known to be transmitted locally.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

The economy of western Kansas is based on the Ogallala Aquifer. But that ancient underground water supply is being rapidly depleted. The Kansas Water Office is teaming up with forward-looking farmers in an effort to demonstrate that new irrigation technologies can reduce the demand on the aquifer without sacrificing crop yields.

From mid-May through the end of August, a sound is heard almost non-stop in farm fields all across western Kansas. It’s the sound of an irrigation pump pulling water from deep underground to nourish thirsty crops. Tom Willis owns several of these wells.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

For the second time in two years, a major ratings agency downgraded Kansas' credit rating Tuesday because of the state's budget problems.

From the AP:  

S&P Global Ratings dropped its rating for Kansas to "AA-," from AA, three months after putting the state on a negative credit watch. S&P also dropped the state's credit rating in August 2014.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

There’s a legal challenge underway to a new state regulation that would throw out some votes cast by thousands of Kansans. It affects people who registered to vote at the DMV but didn’t turn in a citizenship document required under Kansas law.

The rule says nearly 20,000 Kansans with a suspended voter registration would be allowed to cast ballots, but only their votes in federal races would be counted.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is reporting an increase in overall attendance, button sales, and food and beverage sales during Riverfest 2016. Combined with a strong safety record, increased community support and a leap in volunteer numbers, the organization has ranked Riverfest 2016 as one of the most successful in recent years.

Crowds totaling 455,000 attended the 45th Riverfest, up from 410,000 in 2015. More than 101,000 admission buttons were sold, up from 97,000 for last year’s festival. Food and beverage sales were also up, with an increase of 17 percent over 2015.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Dozens of people attended a primary political forum at St. Paul AME Church Sunday night. The event was supported by the Voter Empowerment Committee, which is made up of churches, civic groups and other organizations.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The word ‘hack’ might bring to mind a darkened basement, glowing computer screens and stealthy young people hunched in front of them. But KMUW’s Nadya Faulx went to a recent hackathon and has this look at the real world of Wichita hacking – in 24 hours.

Stephen Koranda

The State Election Board on Monday decided that an Osage County woman is a citizen and will be able to vote, despite the fact that she doesn’t have a document proving it.

Kansas law requires people registering to vote for the first time in the state to prove their U.S. citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate.

Courtesy photo

The mayor of Goddard is a step closer to becoming a candidate in the Sedgwick County Commission race to represent the 3rd District.

Marcey Gregory submitted a petition to the Sedgwick County Election Office to run as an independent in the commission’s 3rd District race.

She turned in more than 3000 signatures, about 500 more than what was needed.

Gregory says gathering signatures the past three months put her in touch with voters.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Several candidates took part in a primary political forum on Sunday at Wichita's St. Paul AME Church. The event was sponsored by 18 churches and organizations called The Voter Empowerment Committee.

The forum included Republicans and Democrats running for judicial office, Sedgwick County Commission, U.S. Congress and seats in the Kansas Legislature.

Moderate Republican Roger Elliott is running for State Representative in District 87, which covers parts of east Wichita. Elliott is a former Andover School Board member and a retired banker.

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