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Wichita State's efforts to renovate and expand Koch Arena is nearing its fundraising goal.

The university foundation and athletic department said in a statement Thursday they have raised nearly three-quarters of the $12 million need for the project.

A recent pledge from Wichita-based Equity Bank brought the fundraising total to $8.8 million. The project would include construction of a student center, a conditioning center, training room and student lounge.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

A proposed bill would compensate wrongfully convicted people in Kansas $80,000 for each year served in prison and give them an additional $1 million if they were on death row.

The bill, if signed into law, would make Kansas one of the most generous states for exonerated people. The state currently doesn't have a law for wrongful conviction compensation.

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Two bills before a Kansas Senate committee would make government meetings and records more accessible to the public.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas is reporting that it collected $24 million more in taxes than it anticipated in January as the Legislature wrestles with closing a shortfall in the current budget.

The state Department of Revenue's report Wednesday was good news for lawmakers. It is the third consecutive month that tax collections have exceeded expectations.

The department said Kansas collected $544 million in taxes last month. The figure is 4.6 percent higher than the $520 million anticipated.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

A bill that would exempt Kansas colleges from a mandate that they allow concealed carry of handguns is stuck in committee after failing to win approval Tuesday.

Forbes.com

The conservative Koch network plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million to influence politics and public policy over the next two years, intensifying its nationwide efforts in the initial years of Donald Trump's presidency.

Network officials disclosed their rough spending plans Saturday as donors gathered at a luxury hotel in the California desert. The investment, backed by the organization's extensive nationwide network, positions the billionaire industrialist family to play a major role in the debate over several Trump priorities even those they oppose.

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From the AP:

A Kansas prosecutor plans to seek the death penalty against one of two people accused of killing three people before fleeing to Mexico.

Harvey County Attorney David Yoder announced the plans to seek the death penalty against 35-year-old Jereme Nelson in a news release Friday. Yoder said he is still considering whether to seek the death penalty against 31-year-old Myrta Rangel.

donkeyhotey / Flickr / Creative Commons

Kansas Republicans are meeting Feb. 9 and Democrats are convening two days later to pick their nominees for the congressional seat formerly held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The special GOP convention in the 4th Congressional District will be in Wichita at Friends University and starts at 7 p.m.

Democrats plan to meet at 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita.

In both parties, local activists make the choice.

Gov. Sam Brownback has called an April 11 special election to fill the seat.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

The Senate on Monday confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee to run the CIA despite some Democratic objections that Rep. Mike Pompeo has been less than transparent about his positions on torture, surveillance and Russia's meddling in the U.S. election.

The vote was 66-32.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

A new effort is underway to get more mental health services in rural areas of Kansas.

Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill designed to increase mental health services and get more psychiatrists into practice in underserved areas of the state.

The Kansas Psychiatric Society says all but five counties in Kansas have mental health professional shortages.

The idea is for the state to provide loans to medical students who agree to practice psychiatry in counties other than Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee or Wyandotte.

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