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Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Kansas officials have cleared an initial hurdle in their effort to regain federal certification for Osawatomie State Hospital.

Problems that federal inspectors cited in May have been fixed, making the state’s largest mental health hospital eligible for a full recertification inspection, according to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

That inspection must take place within the next 120 days, according to KDADS Secretary Tim Keck.

PHIL CAUTHON / KHI News Service/File photo

Staff at Kansas’ troubled Osawatomie State Hospital got a first glimpse Tuesday at a proposal to privatize it.

The staff want to know what type of therapies the mental health facility would offer if privatized, and whether it would turn people away who don’t have insurance.

The Tennessee company that wants to operate it says it would not.

But there are other questions, too, about staff pay and pensions.

David Kumin

For some, the road to happiness means finding a perfect match. But for author Heather Harpham, the perfect match took on a new meaning. That's the focus of her new memoir, Happiness. KMUW's Beth Golay recently spoke to Harpham and has more.

In 2001, Heather Harpham was living in New York City when she fell in love with author Brian Morton. She writes about this time in her memoir, Happiness, but not in a happily-ever-after kind of way, hence the subtitle, The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After.

wikipedia.org

Next Monday, a swath of America will witness a total eclipse of the sun. Parts of Kansas are bracing for an influx of travelers who want to experience the event first hand. According to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), there are some things to consider as you make plans.

KDOT recommends that travelers to the northeast corner of the state be mindful of the fact that the roads will be crowded, so take into account the extra time you need for your trip.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The Wichita City Council on Tuesday approved a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, plan for the redesign of Naftzger Park downtown.

Paul Davis

Paul Davis kicked off his campaign for the Kansas 2nd District seat in Congress by calling Washington broken and criticizing a culture there that quashes bipartisanship.

“No matter what party you affiliate with, no matter who you voted for in the 2016 presidential election, Washington is not working for you,” said Davis, who served as the top Democrat in the Kansas House and narrowly lost a bid to unseat Gov. Sam Brownback in the 2014 election.

dcf.ks.org

The Kansas Department for Children and Families is dealing with computer problems that brought down the system used to process welfare benefits applications.

Theresa Freed, spokeswoman for DCF, says people seeking benefits can still submit paper applications and required documentation. The applications will be entered after the system comes back online.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service

A decade after Kansas unveiled plans to migrate its driver’s license records from an aged mainframe to modern information technology infrastructure, the effort remains incomplete and, auditors say, troubled.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Hundreds of independent oil and gas explorers and producers are in Wichita this week for their annual convention.

This year marks the 80th annual meeting of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association. The group, which formed in 1937, says independent producers are responsible for 93 percent of oil and 63 percent of natural gas produced in Kansas.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

One way or another, Tim Keck wants to replace the state’s aging Osawatomie State Hospital with a new mental health treatment facility.

Though he is meeting with some resistance, the secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is pushing lawmakers to consider privatizing the state-run psychiatric hospital, which in recent years has been beset by operational problems.

On Tuesday Keck will outline a privatization plan submitted by a Tennessee-based company to stakeholders and legislators during a 1 p.m. meeting at hospital’s administration building.

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