News

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn is up for re-election this year, and he could have a potential challenger in Goddard Mayor Marcey Gregory.

A national credit rating service says there's at least a 50-50 chance it could lower Kansas' AA credit rating later this year, depending on how the Legislature handles the state's current budget crisis.

The Kansas City Star reports Standard and Poor's Rating Services said Monday it had placed Kansas on a "credit watch" because of the state's budget shortfall and concerns about Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal for filling the gap.

Hugo Phan, File Photo / KMUW

Congressman Mike Pompeo officially launched his re-election bid on Monday for Kansas’ 4th District.

As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports, the House Republican decided against making a run for the U.S. Senate.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers will return to the Statehouse this week and they'll be looking for ways to erase a budget deficit. Part of that discussion could focus on business taxes. As KPR's Stephen Koranda reports, some legislators say it's time to reconsider a tax policy that lets thousands of business owners pay no state income tax.

Republican Sen. Jim Denning is one of the Kansas lawmakers saying the business tax exemption needs to be rolled back or modified. Denning says he’s tired of budget solutions he sees as one-time fixes.

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio

Shawnee County officials are trying to determine the identity of a body found in the charred debris of a burned-out Topeka motel. The Country Club Motel erupted in flames Saturday night, during a shootout with federal agents. The gunfight began when agents were trying to arrest a robbery suspect who was believed to be staying at the motel.

The U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force was trying to capture 28-year-old Orlando Collins, an armed robbery suspect on the state’s Most Wanted list.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

People who have spent time in jail can learn about employment opportunities at a job fair Saturday at Wichita's St. Mark United Methodist Church.

The job fair will assist people who find it hard to get employed after being incarcerated. Coordinator Dennis Wilkinson says these men and women are highly motivated.

"And they really want to change their lives, they really want to move forward and they really want a chance," Wilkinson says. "We're asking employers to give people an opportunity to prove what they can do."

401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Wichita waives millions of dollars in tax revenue each year in the name of economic development. It’s called tax abatement, and it allows private companies to forgo certain tax burdens for a set amount of years. The plan is to help businesses expand, improve and hire more staff. Tax abatements are a common practice in cities across the country. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur explores how these incentives work, and whether they’re effective.

Raging Wire, flickr Creative Commons

Efforts to bring slot machines to a racetrack facility in Sedgwick County face a new roadblock.

Kansas’ attorney general issued a legal opinion on gaming Friday that says adding gaming machines would violate both a contract and state law.

The attorney general issued a 23-page response to State Rep. Mark Kahrs.

Kahrs is questioning the legality of pending legislation in the Kansas House (HB 2537) that would expand gambling in the state, among other things.

Rise Up For Youth

A conference supporting young males Saturday will take place at the Boys & Girls Club in Wichita.

The Developing Every Man's Opportunity (DEMO) conference will offer workshops to educate and challenge boys to make positive decisions concerning their futures. David Gilkey, program director for Rise Up For Youth, says the conference will be an opportunity for male role models to give back.

http://www.accesskansas.org / KBI

A divided Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the lifetime registration for sex offenders does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

The ruling Friday comes in the case of Henry Petersen-Beard, who was convicted at age 19 of raping a 13-year-old girl. He had challenged the lifetime registration requirement as unconstitutional under the Kansas Bill of Rights and the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In an opinion written by Judge Caleb Stegall the court found the registration requirement was not a form of punishment.

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