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City of Wichita

Legislation that would ensure a safe drinking water supply in south-central Kansas passed the U.S. Senate today.

The legislation extends the authorization of federal funding for the Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project by 10 years. The aquifer is the primary fresh water source for south-central Kansas and lies under parts of Sedgwick, Harvey, Reno and McPherson Counties.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Estimates for Kansas tax collections were ratcheted down sharply yesterday. The state’s projected revenues dropped by a quarter-billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. That leaves Kansas with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing plans for erasing the shortfall.

Gloria Cabada-Leman, flickr Creative Commons

The number of acres worldwide used to grow genetically engineered crops declined for the first time last year, according to a new report.

When we talk genetically engineered (GE) crops, we’re mostly talking corn, soybeans and cotton. The share of land worldwide dedicated to planting GE crops has shown steady growth over the last 20 years.

But buying the latest technology is expensive. When prices were good, farmers bought genetically engineered seeds. Now, as Mark Johnson from Iowa State University Extension says, grain prices are down worldwide.

rtdna.org

Reaching Out: The Ongoing Relationship Between WPD And The Homeless  

Originally aired March 18, 2015

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

Searching For Zebra Mussels In Wellington Lake

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A handful of university economists and state officials are meeting behind closed doors in Topeka today. Their objective is to come up with an accurate estimate of how much tax revenue Kansas will collect over the next year.

It’s a process the state has used since the late 70s for budgeting purposes--but it’s suddenly become controversial.

The last time the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group met, the news wasn’t good.

wichita.hyatt.com

The City of Wichita is looking to sell the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which sits at the banks of the Arkansas River downtown.

The city acquired the hotel for more than $18 million in 2001, when the original developers were looking to sell the property. The city was concerned that the flagship “Hyatt” name would be rebranded under a less-notable company.

City officials say they are now ready to see what the hotel can fetch on the open market.

Tony Webster / Flickr Creative Commons

Wichita City Council members have approved a new ordinance regulating massage therapists and businesses.

The city hopes the regulations will eliminate illegal activity.

The Wichita Police Department began investigated massage parlors in 2014 after the city received complaints about possible prostitution.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Acting U.S. attorney Thomas Beall led a panel of religious and community leaders this week to discuss recent hate crimes in Wichita and how to speak up against discrimination. KMUW’s Nadya Faulx reports the event was just the first in a planned series on building a better community.

Wikipedia

The Contract Weather Observer Program at Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport will continue, at least through the fiscal year 2017.  

The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that includes a mandate to prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from terminating the program at 57 airports, including Eisenhower.

The FAA launched a plan about a year ago to eliminate the Contract Weather Observer program at those targeted airports, and move to a system where air traffic controllers would monitor the weather and rely on information from automated sensors.

Kansas lawmakers could continue work on a so-called step therapy plan when they return to the Statehouse for the veto session. It would require Medicaid patients to try cheaper, proven drugs before trying more expensive options.

Democratic Rep. Jim Ward isn’t sure the plan would actually save the $10 million supporters estimate. He fears it may hurt patient care and would like more protections added to the bill.

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