News

Bryan Thompson / Harvest Public Media

Gena Kirk did not realize the largest wildfire in Kansas history was closing in on the Kirk Ranch in Clark County on March 6 until she got a call from her brother-in-law. After realizing that her herd was in danger, she jumped into her pickup and sped up the hill where several of her cattle were grazing.

As she herded her cattle onto a green wheat field that would not burn as easily as nearby dry grassland, winds gusting to 60 miles an hour fanned the flames quickly in her direction. 

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

State Treasurer Ron Estes won the election to become the next Republican Congressman to represent the 4th District in Kansas. Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson by fewer than 10 percentage points, unofficial poll numbers show. Libertarian Chris Rockhold was also on the ballot and drew 2 percent of the vote.

Wichita Public Schools

The Wichita Public Schools board is considering making more changes to the district’s calendar.

Last year, the board lengthened the school day by 30 minutes and shortened the school year by 15 days as a way to cut millions of dollars from its budget.

vox_efx / Flickr / Creative Commons

A special election is underway in Sedgwick County to determine who will fill the seat in Kansas' 4th Congressional District. The seat has been vacant since Mike Pompeo was appointed CIA director in January.

 

At the close of early voting Monday, 23,000 people in Sedgwick County had cast a ballot.

“It has been a steady turnout," says Lauren Bianco with the Sedgwick County Elections office. "Not overwhelming, but a steady turnout at the polling locations.”

The contest is between Democrat James Thompson, Libertarian Chris Rockhold and Republican Ron Estes.

Patrick Emerson, flickr Creative Commons

Nebraska has limited legal options regarding the smoke carried into the state from Kansas ranchers who annually burn tallgrass prairie, a Lincoln attorney said.

A group of ranchers in Kansas' Flint Hills burned around 2.3 million acres of North America's largest unplowed stretch of tallgrass prairie Saturday. The burning led to complaints from neighbors in Nebraska due to winds carrying the smoke into the state, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

wichita.edu

Updated Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law officially tying together Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College (WATC).

A signing ceremony was held Wednesday at the Experiential Engineering Building on the WSU campus.

WATC will remain a separate legal entity and will be called the WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology.

Courtesy photo

“The idea of it being a real band seemed pretty farfetched,” says Dan Dixon of Atlanta’s PLS PLS (pronounced Please Please). The group has just issued a new full-length album, Jet Black and is undertaking its first major tour. Since its inception, circa 2012, PLS PLS has mostly gigged in the Atlanta area, focusing on writing, recording and the occasional video project.

Hugo Phan, file photo / KMUW

Today, a special election will take place to decide who will replace Mike Pompeo in Kansas’ 4th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

City of Wichita

The city of Wichita has issued its first ozone alert of the year. The precautions and warnings are for Tuesday, April 11.

Current atmospheric conditions indicate high ozone levels.

Ozone is a harmful air pollutant. Heat and sunlight “bake” the emissions from vehicles, mowers, energy production and industries forming ozone.

High ozone levels are potentially unhealthy for youth, seniors, people with respiratory disease like asthma or emphysema, adults who spend prolonged time outdoors and others identified as members of sensitive groups.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Conservative Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made a stop in Wichita to campaign for Republican Ron Estes in Kansas' special congressional election.

Around 200 people gathered at Yingling Aviation for a rally before Tuesday's election. Estes is running against Democrat James Thompson and Libertarian Chris Rockhold for the 4th District House seat vacated by Mike Pompeo, who resigned to head the CIA.

Cruz joined Estes for a press conference before the rally, where he urged Republicans to vote for the state treasurer in what has become a competitive race.

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