News

Christopher Gannon / Iowa State University

A new study says small patches of native prairie plants provide a range of conservation benefits to Iowa’s landscape and could reduce water pollution from farm fields.

So-called “prairie strips” are patches of land strategically planted with native, perennial mixes of grasses and flowers on the edges of crop fields.

“What we've been able to document over a decade worth of research on prairie strips,” Iowa State University professor Lisa Schulte Moore says, “is that by converting just a little bit of that crop area to prairie strips we get very substantial benefits.”

Kansas News Service/File Photo

Democrat Paul Davis is off to a strong fundraising start in his bid to capture the 2nd District congressional seat being vacated by Republican Lynn Jenkins, who is not seeking a sixth term.

Davis recently announced that he had raised $400,000 despite getting a late start.

He launched his campaign Aug. 15, about halfway through the most recent campaign finance reporting period.

Stephen Koranda

An advocacy group for Kansans over 60 will continue to push for Medicaid expansion. 

The Silver Haired Legislature targeted expanding Medicaid as a goal for the next Kansas legislative session.

Don Woodard, one of the group’s leaders, says there are thousands of Kansans between the ages of 60 and 65 who fall into a coverage gap. They aren’t old enough to qualify for Medicare, but they make too much to qualify for Medicaid right now.

National League of Cities Twitter

Wichita has been selected to participate in a nationwide program focused on advancing racial equality.

The National League of Cities chose just 15 cities for the program, part of its Race, Equity and Leadership initiative.

Along with Wichita, the inaugural group includes cities such as Gary, Indiana; Boston; and Philadelphia. Over the next 18 months, city leaders will work together to find ways to strengthen equity and ease racial tensions in their communities.

Orlin Wagner / AP

Last week the state lost again at the Kansas Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that Kansas is underfunding its public schools, with repercussions for academically struggling children across the state — and especially for students and taxpayers who live in resource-poor school districts. 

Courtsey photo

So far this year, there have been close to 200 house fires in Wichita, as well as four house fire-related deaths. The Wichita Fire Department is reminding residents to prepare and practice an escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week.

The theme this year is titled "Every Second Counts, Plan Two Ways Out." Wichita Fire Marshall Stuart Bevis says a fire can double in size every 30 seconds. He recommends having an escape plan, as well as practicing it.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Currently, there are 10 candidates vying for positions on Wichita Public School's Board of Education. During a forum that takes place this Saturday, they'll field questions about their qualifications, what they see as their role on the school board and what they think the school's stance should be on teaching such topics as sex education, cybersecurity, AIDS and suicide prevention.

Forum organizer Martha Pint of Women for Kansas says people need to know what's happening in public education.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service

A small Kansas town's effort to replace its lone grocery store is getting a big boost from the federal government.

A $780,000 Community Economic Development Grant will pay about a quarter of the cost of bringing a new grocery store, pharmacy and gas station to St. John, a town of about 1,300 people in Stafford County.

The Hutchinson News reports the award makes officials hopeful they could break ground on the $3 million project this year.

Courtesy Butler Community College

Butler Community College has partnered with the Wichita Indochinese Center to expand the school's English as a Second Language and Adult Education courses.

The new partnership was formed to make it easier for English language learners at the Indochinese Center to transition into college- and career-prep courses at Butler.

Sherry Watkins is the director of adult education at Butler and also recently became the new director of the Wichita Indochinese Center, located near Douglas and Grove in central Wichita.

Courtesy photo

A Wichita teen is in Ohio this week to be honored by the Girl Scouts of the USA as a National Young Woman of Distinction.

Seventeen-year-old Maureen “Reeny” Botros is one of 10 Girl Scouts to receive the honor. The home-schooled senior earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts, by inventing "Illumi-cize" fashion accessories.

Darcy Gray, with Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, says Botros' accessories monitor heart rates and light up to encourage exercise.

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