News

J. Stephen Conn, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas House has passed a bill that would avoid a shutdown of the state courts. A legal dispute threatens to eliminate the budget for the court system in Kansas.

The court system budget was tied to another law, and when the Kansas Supreme Court struck down that law it also invalidated the entire judicial budget. The Supreme Court ruled lawmakers had violated the separation of powers.

Phil Cauthon for the KHI News Service

After weeks of speculation about the future of the Osawatomie State Hospital, state officials say they will attempt to regain its federal certification. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, safety and security issues prompted federal officials to decertify the state’s largest mental health hospital in December.

A failed inspection and security lapses underscored by the sexual assault of a hospital worker by a patient led to the decertification and the suspension of federal Medicare payments.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The art of making a lattes topped with creamy, floating designs is on the minds of competitors taking part in a “Barista Throwdown” at a Wichita coffee shop. KMUW’s Carla Eckels takes us to Reverie Coffee Roasters during a previous contest to look at what’s brewing inside.

http://www.hutchpl.org

The Hutchinson Public Library has received a large gift from the late Deborah Mosier, a longtime teacher and resident of the city. Now, the library wants ideas about how it can be used.

Mosier left money to three local nonprofits in Hutchinson when she died in 2013.

The public library, the local Boys and Girls Club, and the Hutchinson Community Foundation have each received $1.4 million from the trust of Arlene Jennings, who was Mosier’s mother.

Stephen Koranda

Republican leaders in the Kansas House and Senate are introducing a bill to fight welfare fraud.

The legislation will require identity verification for adults in the home of a welfare recipient. It will also put requirements in place for getting replacement benefit cards. Republican state Representative Dan Hawkins says repeatedly losing a benefit card can indicate possible fraud.

Stephen Koranda

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature have outlined some of their legislative priorities for the year. One plan would only allow lawmakers to be paid for 90 days during odd-numbered years when lawmakers are writing a budget.

In even-numbered years, the length of the session would be capped at 60 days. Democratic Senator Tom Holland hopes that can prevent a repeat of last year’s record-long session.

Faces of Fracking, flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says it's reached an agreement with Sandridge Energy over its disposal wells in hopes of reducing earthquakes, many of which have been felt here in Wichita.

The plan was announced Wednesday and calls for Sandridge to reduce the volume of wastewater injected into certain areas by more than 190,000 barrels a day.

“That is quite a significant cutback. It represents about 40 percent of their total volume for that area,” says the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's spokesman Matt Skinner.

mcdarius, flickr Creative Commons

On Tuesday, President Obama vetoed a Congressional effort to halt changes to the Clean Water Act. As Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports many farm groups oppose the regulatory change.

The Obama Administration wants to alter a portion of the Clean Water Act to clarify the bodies of water that can be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some prominent farm groups worry the language is too vague and characterized the rule as an overreach by the EPA.

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

Drivers who pay tolls with cash on the Kansas Turnpike will have to pay more, beginning in May.

The Kansas Turnpike Authority announced Wednesday that cash tolls will increase 10 percent while costs for those who use the electronic K-Tag will get discounts.

The revenue from the tolls will help pay for a more than 40 projects on the turnpike in the next decade. The projects include spending $14 million annually on pavement, up to $20 million to improve service areas and $25 million on an interchange in Wichita.

https://www.kansasregents.org/index.cfm

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved a weapons policy to regulate guns on college campuses. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, a law passed by the Kansas Legislature says guns will be allowed on campuses starting in 2017.

The regents developed rules to comply with that law. They say concealed hand guns will be allowed on Kansas campuses, except in buildings where adequate security is in place and guns can be banned. The policy also bans openly carrying firearms.

Pages