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Education
9:01 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Kansas BOE To Decide The Relevancy Of Cursive Handwriting

Kansas State Board of Education members will decide this week whether the state's new handwriting standards will ask schools to ensure fifth- and sixth-graders can write legibly in cursive.

Multi-state academic standards the state adopted in 2010 require schools to teach young students cursive.

Some educators question whether it's a necessary skill, since people are using computer and cell phone keyboards more in communicating.

Still, cursive has its advocates.

A handful of states including Kansas have moved to include teaching it in their academic standards.

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Crime and Courts
8:47 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Court Considers Matthew Astorga's Appeal Of 'Hard 50' Sentence

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering one man's appeal of the minimum 50-year sentence he received for pre-meditated, first-degree murder.

Matthew Astorga's case on Monday is the second appeal of the so-called "Hard 50" sentence since state legislators rewrote the law this fall.

Astorga was sentenced for a shooting death in Leavenworth County in 2008.

His lawyers argue the Legislature's changes amount to creating a new crime and punishment and are unconstitutional.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

At Play: Tru Holidays

Now through December 22 you can catch Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Crown Uptown. This musical tells the story of two showbiz friends putting on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, and finding their perfect mates in the bargain. The show features memorable songs such as “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and the title tune.

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Education
8:24 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Education Officials Seek To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Common Core Science Standards

Kansas education officials want to dismiss a federal lawsuit over new, multi-state science standards.

The group that filed the suit claims the guidelines promote atheism and violate students' religious freedoms.

Attorneys for the State Board of Education, its 10 members, the Department of Education, and Commissioner Diane DeBacker filed the request on Thursday.

They argued that Citizens for Objective Public Education and the 15 parents who joined it in the suit can't show they were harmed by the standards, which were adopted in June.

Community
7:54 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Wichitans Join National Effort To Raise Wages For Fast Food Workers

Supporters hold signs and greet passersby at 17th and Hillside
Hugo Phan

Almost two dozen Wichitans gathered in the cold Thursday to protest low wages for fast food workers.

First, the group entered the McDonald's at 17th and Hillside around 11:30 AM and greeted the bewildered staff behind the service counter. The group thanked them for their hard work and explained they were there to support them.

A local pastor named David Hansen lead a prayer, asking God for positive change in the fast food industry.

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Books
5:00 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Writer Barbara Stewart Draws On Personal History For The In-Between

Credit Courtesy photo

Barbara Stewart’s debut novel, The In-Between, tells the story of fourteen-year-old Elanor “Ellie” Moss, an outcast seeking a new life in a new town. But her dreams of a new beginning are cut short by a family tragedy. After this, Elanor’s encounters Madeline Torus—a confident, attractive, and brave counterpart.

The novel’s opening line, “I was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident,” was one that haunted her for years before she could finally find a story to hang it on. She says that the line was inspired by stories her father told about his own mother.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Richard Crowson: McCain Lang Syne

For the most part, the people who listen to or watch or read what the media has to offer have an impersonal relationship with media outlets.

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Criminal Sentencing
5:42 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Legislator Proposes Change To 'Hard 50'

A proposal for strengthening the "Hard 50" murder sentencing law in Kansas is likely to be considered next year by legislators.

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Disability Services
3:57 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

National Council On Disability Studies Kansas Policies

A federal board that studies disability issues has been meeting in Topeka.

The National Council on Disability advises Congress and the president on matters affecting Americans with disabilities.

Gary Blumenthal is a member of the council and a former Kansas legislator. He says the group chose to meet in Kansas because of policies affecting people with disabilities, like the state's overhauled Medicaid program now managed by private companies.

Commentary
12:30 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Your Move: Mario's Back, And He's Beautiful

Everyone's excited about 'Super Mario 3D World'
Credit W10002 / Flickr / Creative Commons

I’ve had Nintendo’s Wii U console since February, but there haven’t been very many games exclusive for the system that have been worth buying. Perhaps it is for this reason that both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, which have been out for less than a month, have both already outsold the Wii U. Now a game has come out, though, that makes the Wii U worth picking up.

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