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Transportation
10:43 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Portland-Based Seaport Airlines To Bring Commercial Services To Great Bend

SeaPort Airlines has been chosen to provide commercial service from Great Bend in central Kansas.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order Monday granting the Portland, Oregon-based airline a two-year contract under the federal Essential Air Service program.

The contract calls for 18 round-trip flights per week, including two daily flights to Wichita and one to Kansas City on weekdays.

Three weekend flights are also planned.

Education
10:34 am
Wed March 19, 2014

New Bill Would Make Personal Financial Literacy A Requirement In Public Schools

Legislation moving through the state House would require public school students to receive instruction on personal financial literacy and how to give a professional handshake.

The material would be taught in math classes or other courses like family and consumer science or economics

Topics to be covered include: saving, investing, credit, debt and the importance of setting a budget.

The bill also requires the State Board of Education to give lawmakers a report on student scores on financial literacy tests before the start of the 2015 legislative session.

Government
10:30 am
Wed March 19, 2014

City Council Approves New Hotel Tax To Promote Tourism

Wichita's City Council voted 7-0 yesterday to approve a new hotel tax to finance efforts to promote tourism and attract large events.

The 2.75 percent tax will apply for guests at hotels with more than 50 rooms.

The levy is expected to generate about 2 1/2- to- 3 million dollars a year.

The Council also approved the establishment of a tourism business improvement district yesterday.

Wichita officials say current promotional funding was growing slowly, and the city is facing strong competition from other cities to attract conventions and tourists.

Education
10:23 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Kansas Senator Laura Kelly Says Subcommittee Targeting KU In Budget

Updated at 11:44 a.m CT:

A Kansas Senate committee is considering a budget bill that would restore some funding to state universities that was cut last year.

However, the bill caused some heated words about whether lawmakers are targeting the University of Kansas.

The bill eliminates $2 million dollars Governor Sam Brownback had proposed for a program to help commercialize KU research.

Only KU had a program proposal deleted from the governor's suggestions. Topeka Democrat Laura Kelly says the committee targeted KU.

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Politics
10:12 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Congressman Tim Huelskamp Nixes March Madness Raffle Due To Legal Constraints

Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp has revised his plans for raffling off tickets to men's college basketball games for small campaign contributions because of legal questions.

Huelskamp announced yesterday he's no longer requiring a donation for a chance to win four tickets to NCAA men's tournament games this week in St. Louis.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson told Huelskamp's campaign that the contest he announced on Monday was illegal.

Commentary
5:00 am
Wed March 19, 2014

A Cultural Icon Turned Commercial Design

"LOVE" found on the Wichita State campus
Credit Fletcher Powell / KMUW

Have you ever seen that print of the word “LOVE”? It has red capitalized letters, each stacked on one another like the four quadrants of a Cartesian grid, but with the “O” slightly tilted.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Graffiti Removal From Another Angle

Graffiti on the Great Wall of China
tuppaware_001 / Flickr / Creative Commons

China has a graffiti problem.

Or, more specifically, The Great Wall has a graffiti problem.

It’s not really surprising that people have visited the Great Wall for centuries and left their names etched into the bricks—it’s what people do. The Chinese approach to managing this graffiti may be more clever than functional, but it does suggest that we don’t always need buckets of grey paint.

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Education
10:41 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Attorney General Derek Schmidt To Advise House Appropriations Committee On School Funding

Members of a Kansas House Appropriations Committee will get advice from the attorney general on how lawmakers should respond to the state Supreme Court's ruling on school funding.

The court ruled on March 7th that past cuts in state aid to poor school districts created unconstitutional gaps in funding between them and wealthier districts.

The court ordered lawmakers to fix the problem by July 1st.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt is scheduled to brief the House Appropriations Committee today, along with a member of the reviser of statutes' office.

Economy
10:06 am
Tue March 18, 2014

State Jobless Rate Dips To 4.8 Percent For January

A new Kansas Department of Labor report says the state's jobless rate dipped to 4.8 percent in January.

The department found that January's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from the 4.9 percent recorded for December

The report also shows that total non-farm, private-sector employment in January topped 1.12 million--that's a gain of 20,500 jobs over the past year.

The state saw its most robust growth in construction.

61,000 people held jobs in January, compared with just over 55,000 in the January of 2013.

Transportation
10:00 am
Tue March 18, 2014

New Mexico Considers Chipping In With Kansas And Colorado To Help Fund Southwest Chief Line

New Mexico will study whether to help pay part of the cost of keeping Amtrak's Southwest Chief on its current route.

A state budget allocates $50,000 to the Legislative Council Service to study a proposal by Amtrak for New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas to share the costs of maintaining and improving tracks through their states.

John Yaeger of the Legislative Council Service said legal issues will be considered as well as the costs and economic benefits of the proposal.

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