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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a warning of high levels of toxic blue-green algae for six lakes.

The agency said Thursday the lakes under warning status are in Brown, Sedgwick, Jewell, Marion, Barton and Rooks counties.

The environmental agency said in a statement that boating and fishing on the lakes under warning are safe, but people should avoid direct contact with the water.

Abigail Wilson file photo

The Kansas attorney general's office says legal disputes involving the state's gay marriage ban have cost taxpayers nearly $100,000 over the past 18 months.

The figures released Thursday cover expenses from three lawsuits but not staff time for Attorney General Derek Schmidt's employees.

Schmidt filed a petition in October with the Kansas Supreme Court to block county court clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill clarifying that a new law aimed at reducing local property taxes doesn't take effect until 2018.

Brownback's office announced Wednesday that he had signed the measure.

wikipedia.org

Westar Energy has agreed to refund $10 million to its customers and decrease its rates slightly to settle a complaint filed by state regulators with the federal government.

Westar and the Kansas Corporation Commission announced the settlement today. It would a resolve a complaint filed by the KCC last year with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The KCC had alleged that Westar was charging unjustly high transmission rates.

Weho City, flickr Creative Commons

Same-sex couples could get marriage licenses in all 105 Kansas counties Tuesday, but the state wasn't yet allowing gay and lesbian spouses to change their last names on driver's licenses or file joint income tax returns.

cinderellasg, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas' attorney general is asking the state's highest court to put on hold a lower court's decision that would provide roughly $50 million more in aid to school districts this week.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed the request Monday with the Kansas Supreme Court. Schmidt said the three-judge district court panel's decision to invalidate key parts of an education funding law was "unprecedented."

The Shawnee County District Court panel's decision ordered Kansas to provide more money to districts using the state's previous school funding formula.

U.S. Dept. of Justice [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

Kansans who registered to vote using a federal form without providing citizenship documentation will still not be able to vote in state elections despite the latest U.S. Supreme Court action.

The justices on Monday rejected an appeal from Republican officials in Kansas and Arizona who have sought to have federal elections officials enforce state laws requiring new voters to submit a birth certificate, passport or other papers documenting U.S. citizenship.

Dave Dugdale, flickr Creative Commons

Westar Energy's request for new financial setups for households with solar panels has raised concerns among solar advocates who say the arrangements could take away the cost savings of installing solar panels.

"If the proposal gets through as proposed by Westar, I don't know that it's going to eliminate solar installations, but it would make it not economically feasible for a lot of customers," said Mark Horst, a partner in Hutchinson-based King Solar.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers wrapped up their annual session on Friday with a decision on a tax bill and the dismissal of a complaint against state Rep. Valdenia Winn.

The last day of the legislative session is normally ceremonial, but this year, work needed to be done.

Kansas lawmakers fixed a tax bill, which Gov. Sam Brownback says he will sign. The measure resolves a conflict caused by the enactment of two versions of a law aimed at holding down local property taxes. The new law is set to take effect in 2018.

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas judge on Thursday blocked the state's first-in-the-nation ban on an abortion procedure that opponents refer to as "dismemberment abortion."

The decision from Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks came in a lawsuit filed from the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights. The center represents two Kansas abortion providers and argued the law would force women to undergo riskier procedures or forgo abortions.

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