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Health
12:51 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Kansas Adds 51 Counties To PACE Program

A federal-state program to help older Kansans stay in their own homes is being expanded by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

Bryan Thompson reports that PACE is for people 55 and older, who qualify for nursing home care

PACE stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly--and that's just what it is: all-inclusive.

Services are provided at adult day health centers, at home, and at inpatient facilities.

PACE provides all services covered by Medicare and Medicaid. It covers things such as (but not limited to):

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Education
12:37 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Kansas House Education Plan Stalls

Credit Stephen Koranda

The Kansas Senate will debate an education funding bill on Thursday, while a similar bill has hit a snag in the House.

The bills are a response to a state Supreme Court ruling saying Kansas created inequalities between wealthy and poorer school districts when lawmakers cut education funding.

Leaders in both chambers had been planning to hold debates on Thursday.

Both bills use a mix of new money and dollars shifted from other areas to try to comply with the court ruling and reduce disparities between districts.

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Transportation
12:17 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

The Kansas Department Of Transportation Says It Was An Expensive Winter

The Kansas Department of Transportation says the winter season of 2014 was its most expensive in years.

The department spent about $22 million dollars to keep state highways open for travel during the rough winter weather.

That's the most the department's had to spend since the winter of 2008, when it spent nearly 24 million dollars.

This year's numbers won't be finalized until the end of the fiscal year.

Community
12:09 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Casino Bill Passes Through State Legislature

A bill to bring a state-owned casino to southeast Kansas has cleared the state Legislature and is going to Governor Sam Brownback.

The House approved the proposal Wednesday on an 84-36 vote.

The bill lowers the investment required for a southeast Kansas casino from $225 million to $50 million dollars.

The state also would drop the fee it charges to a prospective developer from $25 million to 5-and-a-half million dollars.

The Kansas Lottery owns the rights to the gambling but would have a private developer build and operate the casino.

Crime and Courts
11:57 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Sedgwick County Jail Increases Efforts To Combat Sexual Assaults

Sedgwick County's sheriff says there have been increased efforts to combat sexual assaults in the county jail.

Sheriff Jeff Easter says the efforts include enhanced training for staff and allowing more ways for inmates to report incidents.

Easter's comments come about a week after a former sheriff's deputy was charged with unlawful sexual relations involving two inmates.

Food
11:28 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Dept. Of Agriculture Awards Grants To Eight Schools To Promote Local Foods In Cafeterias

Eight Kansas schools have been selected to receive state grants to promote using local foods in school cafeterias.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture says that it had awarded each of the schools $12,500 from the Farm to School program.

The winning districts include: Lost Springs, Doniphan West, Ell-Saline, Eudora, Maize, Pike Valley, Rawlins County and St. Francis.

The program educates students about how food is produced, and how it gets from the fields to the dinner table.

Commentary
5:00 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'Noah' Is Visually Impressive, But Lacks Focus

So much rain.

Since the irreverent treatment of Noah has been a tradition in theater since the medieval mystery plays, there is nothing particularly new about the free adaptation of Noah's story in the new movie, Noah.

What is new, and the best thing in the movie, is Industrial Light and Magic's presentation of what I call the "Rock People," gigantic monsters apparently made of volcanic rock with fire glowing inside. They are surprisingly sympathetic, to the point that I wondered why they weren't granted room in the ark.

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Music
5:00 am
Thu April 3, 2014

The Tontons Offer A New But Timeless Sound

The Tontons will be at the Wichita Orpheum Theater on Thursday, April 3 at 8pm.
Credit Julie Worsham

Since its inception six years ago, the Houston, Texas band The Tontons has won major critical acclaim and slowly grown a loyal fanbase. The quartet issued its latest album, Make Out King and Other Stories of Love, earlier this year to positive reviews. Some critics have noted that the band doesn’t quite fit into any easy niche. In an era where comparisons to more established acts serves as a kind of shorthand for whether you might or might not like an act, The Tontons is a band that’s almost peerless in its approach to contemporary music.

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Health
1:05 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Topeka Hospital to Collaborate with Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic
Credit Sabine.ritzinger

Topeka's Stormont-Vail HealthCare has become the first health system in Kansas to partner with the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

The deal will give local patients access to the expertise of the medical staff at the Mayo Clinic.

The relationship will include eConsults with experts at the Mayo Clinic. In essence, the eConsult is a long-distance second opinion.

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Environment
12:35 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Kansas House Committee Advances Prairie Chicken Bill

A mounted pair of lesser prairie chickens on display in the Kansas Statehouse.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee has advanced a bill aimed at bucking federal regulation of the lesser prairie chicken. It was announced last week that the federal government would list the bird as a threatened species.

The bill says federal rules and policies surrounding the lesser prairie chicken have no effect in Kansas.

Washington Republican Sharon Schwartz is chairwoman of the Kansas House Ag Committee. She says the bill makes a statement. Schwartz says state and regional conservation plans would be better than federal regulation, which could hurt industry.

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