News

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell retires Friday after 24 years with the department, 10 of them as fire chief.

Courtesy photo

Robert Cray and producer/legendary drummer Steve Jordan have made five albums together to date. For their latest collaboration, they decided they wanted to do something a bit different.

One night, Jordan sent a simple email: “I’ve got it: Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm.”

nostri-imago / Flickr / Creative Commons

A subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives was discussing tax reform on Thursday, and they’re considering some of the same types of tax policies that Kansas recently overturned. Kansas came up multiple times in the discussion.

The plan in the subcommittee would cut tax rates and cut taxes on some business income, known as pass-through income. The goal is economic growth and specifically boosting small business.

California Democrat Mike Thompson noted the similarities to Kansas policies that were repealed.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran’s silence Thursday on the GOP’s revised bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act prompted one Capitol Hill reporter to refer to him as a “mystery man.”

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

This story was updated Thursday to reflect a response from Secretary Kobach's office.

Kansans who registered to vote at the DMV or otherwise used the federal voter registration form are eligible to vote in all races, according to court rulings, whether they’ve provided a citizenship document or not. But those voters might have been confused by inconsistencies on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's website.

File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

The Gannon v. Kansas lawsuit is in its seventh year. In that time, the case has led to repeated rulings against the state for underfunding schools and responses by lawmakers in the form of appropriations bills.

What’s it all about? Here are five issues central to the battle.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

The new superintendent for Wichita Public Schools presided over her first Board of Education meeting on Monday.

Alicia Thompson told board members she plans to launch a series of listening sessions this fall.

District Spokeswoman Susan Arensman says Thompson will use the community feedback to help guide her plan for the district.

"She wants to go out in the community and listen to what parents, community members, business partners and teachers say, what their vision is, what their needs are and what they want to see the school district do," Arensman says.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County Manager Mike Scholes presented a recommended budget to commissioners on Wednesday. As it stands, the 2018 budget is just over $425 million.

Priority areas include safe and secure communities, human services, cultural experiences, communications and engagement and effective government organization. Scholes told commissioners the portion of the budget for the fire district is a projected surplus for the first time in many years.

ronhays / Flickr

Kansas winter wheat harvest is looking better than it did a few weeks ago.

In late June, the results of hail and heat meant that some farmers were harvesting fewer bushels of winter wheat, a 10 to 70 bushels per acre variance.

Now, the National Agricultural Statistics Service projects an average 47 bushels per acre in Kansas. As the harvest continues, Kansas farmers are expected to cut 6.9 million acres of wheat.

National harvest statistics are down 23 percent from last year.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

A new math class being piloted by dozens of high schools across Kansas seeks to save students stress, time and money when they reach college.

Currently, about one-third of students who continue to two- and four-year colleges in Kansas don’t score high enough on placement tests to enroll directly in college algebra, a class most need in order to graduate.

Instead, they work their way up through remedial classes, a process that can take multiple semesters.

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