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Government
10:21 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Former Wichita Bank Executive Deryl Schuster Appointed Bank Commissioner Of Kansas

Governor Sam Brownback has appointed a former Wichita bank executive to serve as the acting bank commissioner in Kansas.

Deryl Schuster succeeds Judi Stork, who will return to her duties as deputy commissioner.

Schuster served most recently as president and CEO of Midwest Community Bank.

The commissioner works with the state Banking Board to regulate state-chartered banks and trust companies, savings and loan companies, mortgage businesses and other financial institutions.

Health
10:08 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Senate Approves Regulation For Health Care Navigators

The Senate has also approved regulations for counselors who help people navigate the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

The bill requires these health care navigators to register with the attorney general's office by July 2015, to submit their fingerprints, and to undergo background checks.

The attorney general's office also will handle complaints about navigators.

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Food
10:03 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Bill Doubles The Limit A Kansas Microbrewery Can Manufacture Each Year

State lawmakers are trying to help Kansas microbreweries by increasing the amount of beer they can make each year.

The Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that raises the limit on microbrewery manufacturing--from 15,000 barrels to 30,000 barrels of beer a year.

The Senate's 40-0 vote sends the measure to the House.

Kansas has four microbreweries, and backers of the bill have said at least two of them are approaching the production limits.

Supporters also believe increasing the limit will encourage the growth of the state's craft-brewing industry.

Commentary
5:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

'Wind' Not A Worthy Finale For Miyazaki

Credit rottentomatoes.com

The current word is that Hayao Miyazaki, the greatest and perhaps the last of the movies' hand-drawn-feature animators, is going to retire after his latest releast, The Wind Rises. And while I am always skeptical about show business retirements, I would like to report that the maker of Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and so many other animated masterworks, was going out in a blaze of glory.

But The Wind Rises isn't nearly up to his top standard.

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Environment
10:48 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Officials Approve Expansion Of Seaboard Foods' Hog Feeding Operation Despite Concerns

State regulators have approved a massive expansion at Seaboard Foods' hog feeding operation in western Kansas.

The state is permitting up to 396,000 animals at the Greely County facility.

This is despite concerns from the Sierra Club and others about whether the depleted Ogallala Aquifer underlying the facility has enough water to treat the waste from that many hogs.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment signed off on a wastewater permit for the facility on February 26th.

Government
10:23 am
Wed March 12, 2014

State Rep. Louis Ruiz Drafts Proposal To Expand Anti-Discrimination Laws

A Kansas House Democrat has drafted a new proposal to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Kansas City Representative Louis Ruiz presented his proposal Tuesday during a meeting of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. The panel agreed to sponsor it.

Such proposals have failed to pass several times in recent years.

The group Equality Kansas lists expanding anti-discrimination laws to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and the transgendered people against bias in employment, housing and public accommodations is a key goal.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Indie Film Guide: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Each week, Fletcher Powell finds the independent and non-commercial films showing in Wichita and the surrounding areas and brings them to you in this handy guide.

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Courts
3:44 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

House Committee Votes To Cut Court Reporter Jobs

The budget-writing committee in the Kansas House has voted to cut 18 court reporter positions in the judicial branch and eliminate 13 additional unfilled positions.

Representative Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican, says this would help prompt the judicial branch to find cost savings. He says there's institutional resistance to change.

“Most of them know that this is inevitable and actually best and it’s efficient and probably the thing that needs to happen," DeGraaf says. "But who wants to be the first one to suggest it?”

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

OnWords: Finding Meaning In The Grains

Credit angela7dreams / Flickr / Creative Commons

At one time, the word granular was almost always reserved for something physical or technical, for example, as a measure of the resolution of a photographic emulsion, or of how fine the sugar.

But recently, I’ve noticed granular used in office settings to indicate a level of detail that the speaker would rather avoid. It’s generally said with a certain tinge of disdain as well, something like, “Well, we could talk about that some other time, but we don’t want to get into the granular level here.”

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Health
10:52 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Trials Begin at University of Kansas Stem Cell Center

The Kansas Legislature created a new adult stem cell therapy facility at the University of Kansas Medical Center less than a year ago.

Officials with the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center told a legislative committee on Monday that they've started clinical trials.

Dr. Buddha Dawn says work has begun on a trial aimed at treating blood flow problems in the feet and legs.

There are also planned trials on new ways to treat cancer and heart problems.

"So these trials would help local patients to get access to adult stem cell therapy through our center," Dawn said.

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