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Government
1:19 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Despite Litigation, Kansas Begins Issuing Gender-Neutral Marriage Forms

Kansas has begun issuing gender-neutral marriage forms, though there's still ongoing litigation over the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

Copies of the new forms were included in a motion that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment filed Wednesday and amended Thursday, seeking to have former Secretary Robert Moser dismissed from the litigation.

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Government
12:48 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Report: Brownback's Budget Plan Is Only A Short-Term Solution

The state legislature's non-partisan research staff released its projections for the state budget on Thrusday.

The projections found that Governor Sam Brownback's plan for eliminating the $279 million dollar hole in the state budget is pushing most of the problem into the state's next fiscal year.

Governor Brownback's plan relies heavily on diverting revenues from other funds to help finance general government programs.

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Commentary
10:54 am
Fri December 12, 2014

A Musical Life: Bob Hamrick

Credit Courtesy photo

Bob Hamrick plays accordion with the Wichita band Pop and The Boys. He regularly attends the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas and is a loyal fan of the Grateful Dead. He explains that a gentleman is one who can play the accordion but chooses not to.

“My name is Bob Hamrick and I play the accordion.

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Agriculture
5:00 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Beef Prices Predicted To Hit Ceiling, But Business Is Still Booming

Friona Industries President and CEO James Herring speaks to a crowd at the Kansas Livestock Association's annual conference
Credit Sean Sandefur

Last week, hundreds of people gathered in Wichita to talk cattle. The Kansas Livestock Association held its annual convention at the Hyatt Regency and Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur attended and reports that while the nation’s cow populations are still low, business is better than ever.

The large convention hall inside Century II is filled with big tractors, big cowboy hats and the smell of BBQ beef brisket. If you’re in the cattle business, this is the place to learn the newest trends in bovine technology.

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Government
12:13 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Kansas Budget Plan Draws Concern Over KPERS Cuts

Several Senate lawmakers have criticized Governor Sam Brownback's plan to use state pension dollars to help fill a budget hole.

Senate Vice President Jeff King and state Treasurer Ron Estes think the proposal hurts the public pension plan, known as KPERS, not long after an attempt to fix it.

Stephen Koranda reports...

Lawmakers passed a bill in 2012 that increased payments into KPERS to help erase a long-term deficit.

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Environment
12:04 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Is The U.S. Falling Behind On Maintaining Aging Levees, Dams, Ports and Harbors?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' commander general says the nation is falling behind on maintaining its aging levees, dams, ports and harbors.

Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick spoke on Thursday during the Society of American Military Engineers conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

He says finishing all the projects that have been authorized would cost about $23.5 billion dollars, but the corps' annual budget for the work usually hovers around $1.5 billion. And that doesn't include addressing their maintenance backlog.

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Entertainment
11:39 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Karla Burns in Forum Theatre's 'A Christmas Carol'

Karla Burns as The Ghost of Christmas Present.
Credit The Forum Theatre

Tune in on Monday during Morning Edition for Aileen LeBlanc's full interview with the composer, writer, director and cast of A Christmas Carol, as well as some musical numbers, too.  

Karla Burns sings "Celebrate the Time" as the jolly Ghost of Christmas Present. 

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Commentary
5:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

'Interstellar' Has Plenty Of Flaws, But It's Never Boring

Well, people kept asking about it, so I finally went and saw Interstellar and found it much better than I had expected.

Its science is pretty ridiculous, and the last hour does not fit too well with the first two, but if it is looked at as fantasy instead of science fiction, it holds up pretty well. And it certainly is never boring for its full three hours.

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Government
5:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Follow-Up Meeting Held In Wichita Over Police And Community Relations

Ida Allen, whose brother was shot and killed by a Wichita police officer in July, addresses city officials at a forum on Wednesday night. From left, Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley, Mayor Carl Brewer and City Manager Bob Layton. Also onstage were Pastor Junius Dotson of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and Pastor Kevass Harding of Dellrose United Methodist Church
Credit Sean Sandefur

 

The City of Wichita held a second meeting on police and community relations on Wednesday night. The meeting was held at the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. 

The turnout was smaller and the tone less agitated than the first meeting held back in August.

City officials described Wednesday night as a progress report. 

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Health
4:10 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas Continues To Struggle In Health Rankings

New health rankings show Kansas stuck at 27--the same slot that it occupied last year. But KPR’s Bryan Thompson reports there was a time--not that long ago--when the state ranked much higher than the middle of the pack.

The United Health Foundation rankings are a snapshot of 30 health measures ranging from clinical care to behavior and environment to state policy.

“Kansas has had a steady decline, from about ten or eleven in that initial 1990 rank to rank 27th in this most recent year’s report,” says Dr. Rhonda Randall, the foundations chief health advisor.

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