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Austin Kirk, flickr Creative Commons

Current high egg prices are likely to continue, as the nation’s flock of egg-laying hens is at its smallest since 2004 thanks to the massive outbreak of avian influenza this spring.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official numbers show nationally egg production dropped five percent in May compared to May 2014. But in Iowa, the nation’s largest egg producer and the state whose hens took the hardest hit from the flu, the figure is 28 percent.

J. Stephen Conn, flickr Creative Commons

A Wichita activist group is asking city officials to remove a Confederate flag from a display at Veterans Memorial Park.

The flag has been on display at the memorial in downtown Wichita since 1976, as part of a display of 13 historic flags that flew for the U.S. in war times.

The Confederate flag has become a flashpoint since the deaths of nine black people last week in a South Carolina church by a white man in a shooting police say was racially motivated.

Alex Smith, Heartland Health Monitor

    

Early on a Monday morning, percussionist and music teacher Amy Hearting of Kansas City reads a newspaper outside a coffee shop before going off to teach an elementary school workshop.

She loves her work but says she’s not in it for the benefits and certainly not for the big salary.

“I feel like I’m doing what I want to be doing in life,” Hearting says. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with health insurance, and it doesn’t really come with an annual income where that is an easy reality for me.”

Jeff Kubina, flickr Creative Commons

Some states are scrambling to make sure that citizens can still get federal subsidies for buying health insurance, no matter how the Supreme Court rules in a pending case. But as the Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports, Kansas has no back-up plan.

The Supreme Court is weighing whether a flaw in the wording of the Affordable Care Act means subsidies are not legal in the 34 states that rely on the federal health insurance exchange known as the marketplace.

Kansas Agency Delays Implementation Of Welfare Reform Bill

Jun 24, 2015
dcf.ks.org

Enforcement of a law designed to limit where low-income Kansas families can spend their public assistance will take longer than expected, state officials said Monday.

The new law, initially scheduled to take effect July 1, will not be enforced for at least six months.

Theresa Freed, a spokesperson for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, attributed the delay to “a computer-system fix that needs to be done.”

Abigail Wilson

As concerns about diminishing honeybee populations continue to grow, North America’s 4,000 other species of native bees are also declining. In response, “bee hotels” are springing up all over North America and Europe, including one installed last month north of Lawrence. 

Sean Sandefur file photo

Wichita City Council members are looking to nail down some of the city's future budget priorities. It's all part of the new Comprehensive Investments Plan.

John Schlegel is director of planning for the Wichita-Sedgwick County Planning department. He recently provided an update to Mayor Jeff Longwell and to city council members.

“You’re put in a very difficult position of having to meet all of these demands from your constituents, without the resources that you would need to meet them,” Schlegel said.

alamosbasement, flickr Creative Commons

The Obama administration is giving Kansas more flexibility from the requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law.

In addition to the nation's capital, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has renewed waivers for Kansas, as well as six other states and the District of Columbia. Current law requires standardized tests in reading and math to measure student progress. With the waivers, schools will be able come up with different ways to demonstrate improvement.

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Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George says his state is close to reaching an agreement with Missouri that could end poaching of businesses between the two states.

Missouri and Kansas have competed for several years by offering incentives to persuade businesses to move across the border. The moves often did not result in many new jobs or investments for either state.

George says local and state officials from both states have been meeting to discuss the issue.

A state representative from Wichita is leading an effort to urge Congress to reconsider the future of the federal health law.

Kansas Rep. Dan Hawkins of Wichita joined his colleague Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook of Shawnee in drafting a letter to Republican leaders in Congress.

The state lawmakers, who are the leaders of the Legislature's health committees, want Congress to re-examine the 2010 federal health care law after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a key provision over federal subsidies.

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