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Commentary
12:30 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

OnWords: The Mass Production Of 'Product'

Credit Nestle / Flickr / Creative Commons

The word “product” is shifting.

One of my brothers overheard the following at a big-box retailer the other day: “We have various safety devices to keep product from falling on people.”

This use of product as mass noun stands in distinction to the term “a product,” a term identifying something as, well, produced.  

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Health
11:19 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Kansas House Passes Compact In Effort To Move Away From Federal Health Care

The Kansas House has passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would allow Kansas to join several other states in an effort to take control of health care programs away from the federal government.

The main sponsor of the legislation in the House is Republican Brett Hildabrand.

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Energy
11:07 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Midwest Energy 'Solar Garden' Will Allow Customers To Use Solar Power Without Installing Panels

Some customers using Midwest Energy will soon be able to use solar energy without having to install their own solar panels.

Midwest Energy, which is based in Hays, says it has signed an agreement with Clean Energy Collective of Colorado to build a 1-megawatt "solar garden."

The project will have about 4,000 solar panels spread across six acres.

Midwest Energy spokesman Mike Morley says customers will contract with Clean Energy Collective to buy the panels, and then get credit on their bills equal to how much energy their panels create.

Education
10:58 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Fort Hays State University Might Absorb Dodge City Community College

Dodge City Community College could become part of Fort Hays State University, under a new proposal.

The community college's Board of Trustees has been discussing the proposal, which would create the first public four-year degree-granting college in southwest Kansas.

It includes developing an Institute of Applied Technology at what could be known as Fort Hays State University at Dodge City.

The board of trustees is expected to vote Tuesday to pursue the proposal.

Education
10:24 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Kansas Lawmakers Delay Work on Education Funding

Kansas lawmakers have delayed committee work on education funding bills.

The legislation is being taken up in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that determined there are unconstitutional funding disparities between school districts.

House and Senate committees had been expected to work on the bills on Monday.

Republican Senator Ty Masterson, from Andover, says his committee is not yet in a position to begin work.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

How A Devastating Tragedy Led To Real Workplace Reform

1911 drawing depicting the Triangle fire
Credit Kheel Center / Flickr / Creative Commons

In the afternoon of March 25, 1911, the New York City fire department answered a call from Greenwich Village and found smoke billowing out of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that occupied the top floors of the Asch Building.

As smoke turned to fire, a crowd gathered below to watch as the firefighters attempted to put out a fire that had grown beyond the reach of their equipment. Inside, fear and panic mounted as the largely female workforce found their escape blocked by the fire, and the doors locked by managers who thought the women took too many breaks.

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Education
12:02 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Lawmakers to Start Work on Education Funding Bill

This week, a House committee could consider a bill to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling on education funding. That comes after the process got off to a rocky start last week.

The bill would increase money for certain education funds that are aimed at reducing disparities between districts.

But the bill includes other education policy changes, and the lawmaker who introduced it included an expansion of charter schools in the proposal.

That surprised House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, who said charter schools hadn't been part of the negotiations.

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Education
11:39 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Hensley Concerned About Education Bills In Non-Education Committees

The Kansas Senate Minority leader has raised questions about the chairman of the state Senate Education Committee's decision to send education bills to other committees for consideration.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, says Education Committee Chairman Sen. Steve Abrams has bypassed his own panel with some education bills, including a charter school bill and a measure overhauling teacher licensure.

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Health
11:19 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Bill To Would Mandate Health Coverage For Autistic Children Making Progress

Legislators are making progress on a measure that would mandate that insurance companies provide health coverage and treatment for Kansas children diagnosed with autism.

The issue has been the topic of debate in the Statehouse for several sessions and is moving closer to reality. Coverage would help families cope with the cost of providing treatment for autistic children.

The House voted 114-3 on Friday to send the bill to the Senate where its passage was uncertain.

Government
11:11 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Gov. Brownback To Decide Fate Of Voter Affiliation Bill

Gov. Sam Brownback has until March 31 to decide the fate of the Kansas GOP's plan to make it harder for voters to switch parties before primary elections.

The Legislature delivered a bill containing the plan to Brownback on Friday. He has 10 days under the state Constitution to sign the measure, to veto it or let it become law without his signature.

The bill prohibits voters registered with a political party from switching their affiliation between the June 1 candidate filing deadline until after results from the August party primaries are certified.

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