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Tourism
4:03 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Kansas Wants More Visitors, Federal Designation For Arkansas River

Credit Andrea Allen, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism wants a federal designation for a stretch of the Arkansas River, hoping to boost the number of local visitors and tourists. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

The Arkansas River is the 6th longest river in the country, providing over 180 miles of navigable water in Kansas alone. But officials with Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism say it’s not living up to its potential.

Jessica Mounts is a fisheries biologist with the state.

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Community
1:42 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Reaching Out: The Ongoing Relationship Between WPD And The Homeless

Tex and Officer Nate Schwiethale have a friendly relationship. Schwiethale visits him regularly.
Credit Abigail Wilson

Nearly 600 chronically homeless people live in Wichita, but a pilot program within the city's police department is working to reduce that number. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more...

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Government
1:40 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Kansas House Committee Votes To Ease Concealed Carry Rules

Credit WickedVT, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas House committee has advanced a bill that would allow people over the age of 21 to carry a concealed firearm in Kansas without a permit. State law currently requires training and a background check before residents can carry a concealed gun.

Republican Representative Travis Couture-Lovelady says Kansans shouldn’t have to ask for permission from the government to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

“And I think the citizens of Kansas have proved that they are able to safely carry concealed without problems,” says Couture-Lovelady.

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Government
1:33 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Kansas House Panel Passes Budget Requiring Tax Increases

Credit Stephen Koranda

A Kansas panel has endorsed a $6.4 billion-dollar budget that will not balance without tax increases.

The House Appropriations Committee approved the plan on Tuesday.

The budget would fall about $133 million dollars short if the Legislature does not increase taxes on alcohol and cigarettes as Governor Sam Brownback has recommended.

Representative Virgil Peck said that he would not support a budget that increases spending without having secured the revenues to pay for it.

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Government
1:28 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Move To Restrict Collective Bargaining

State Senator Julia Lynn
Credit http://kslegislature.org

The Senate Commerce Committee is considering a proposal to restrict collective bargaining between public employees and state and local government agencies.

Chairwoman Julia Lynn says the Committee will debate the measure during its meeting today. Lynn believes the Republican-dominated panel supports the bill.

The measure would limit contract talks between government agencies and unions to minimum pay for workers.

Employers could determine other issues themselves, including how workers are evaluated.

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Commentary
8:15 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Five Alchemists: Contemporary Photographers Explore 19th-Century Techniques

Art credit: Heidi Kirkpatrick, Ivy, 2014. Cyanotype photogram on vintage child’s dress, 26 x 58 x 11 inches. Courtesy Wallspace Gallery, Santa Barbara, California.

If you’ve been to the Wichita Art Museum to see the daguerreotype exhibition Photographic Wonders but did not go downstairs, you missed a significant show.

Typically, WAM does a call-and-response structure with the main attraction upstairs and a response show downstairs. But this response show, Five Alchemists: Contemporary Photographers Explore 19th-century Techniques, marks three important landmarks for WAM:

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Government
4:31 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Wichita City Council Moves Forward With Animal Control Advisory Board

Credit Terrah, flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita City Council is moving forward with an Animal Control Advisory Board, which would report to the police department and city council members.

The proposed advisory board would consist of nine members, including a representative from the city, a licensed veterinarian, and residents.

Wichita Police Captain Doug Nolte says aggressive dogs are a big problem, and that the city’s animal control system could use help in addressing those concerns.

Number of reported bites investigated by Wichita Animal Control:

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Education
1:50 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Slowing Enrollment In Kansas Schools Shows Economic Recovery

Credit tanakawho, flickr Creative Commons

The number of students who enrolled in the Kansas higher education system dropped slightly in 2014, especially among older, non-traditional students which officials say indicates economic recovery.

The overall enrollment at Kansas public institutions, including community colleges and technical schools, fell 2.5 percent from the 2012-2013 academic year to the following one.

The Kansas Board of Regents met last week to discuss enrollment at the state's schools.

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Agriculture
1:43 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

US Ag Secretary Touts Moves To Boost Rural Economies

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Credit wikipedia.org

U.S. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke in Wichita on Monday to about 470 people attending the National Farmers Union convention. Vilsak said The Agriculture Department aims to implement the new farm bill in ways that boost rural economies, while complementing production agriculture.

The department's Economic Research Service data shows that 2010 to 2013 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for rural America as a whole.

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Government
1:25 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Kansas Records Law Doesn’t Cover Officials’ Private Emails

Credit Maria Elena, flickr Creative Commons

State lawmakers have shown little interest in allowing public scrutiny of officials' private emails about government business, despite recent scrutiny of Hillary Rodham Clinton's communications and a case involving the governor's office.

The Kansas Open Records Act doesn't specifically cover emails or other communications with private accounts or devices, even if they involve government business.

Democratic legislators introduced proposals in both chambers of the Legislature to allow scrutiny of such communications.

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