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Emergency grazing is now allowed on Conservation Reserve Program(CRP) lands in southwest Kansas. Ranchers suffered a huge loss of grazing area in the recent wildfires.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

The death of a Kansas House member's son has spurred wide support for strengthening inspection requirements for amusement rides.

Lawmakers voted 124-1 Monday to increase regulation on amusement parks as an emotional Rep. Scott Schwab presided over the House. Schwab's son, Caleb, died on a water slide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, Kansas last year. Schwab and a clerk were both choked up as the House got ready to vote.

The House advanced the measure unanimously by voice vote last week. But Rep. Jack Thimesch voted against the bill during Monday's final action vote.

Political committees and groups have heavily bolstered Republican Ron Estes' campaign coffers for a congressional seat the GOP has held for two decades in south-central Kansas, while Democrat James Thompson has raised more in grass-roots contributions, campaign finance filings show.

The race for the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo is the nation's first congressional election since President Donald Trump's victory. The special election is April 11.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Polling site changes will make it more confusing for more than 36,000 registered voters to cast a ballot in the race to fill the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The April 11 election in Kansas falls during Holy Week, the annual Christian observance leading up Easter Sunday. The timing has bedeviled election officials because many of polling locations are in churches and some were unavailable on short notice for the special election.

Reno County Fire District #6/Facebook

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is designating more than $6 million to help farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The funding announced Tuesday will be distributed through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help restore grazing lands, rebuild fencing and protect damaged watersheds.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas says he is pleased USDA acted swiftly to aid producers recovering from the largest wildfire in state history.

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

A man who has been charged with plotting to bomb a Garden City apartment complex which houses a significant Somali population wants to get rid of his attorneys.

Patrick Stein asked the court to let his attorneys withdraw from his case saying that they have been providing "ineffective assistance of counsel." The attorneys for Stein are court appointed, but he says he wants to hire his own.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas legislators advanced a new budget-balancing plan Tuesday aimed at allowing the state to pay its bills through June without cutting spending on public schools while it waits for new revenue from raising taxes to flow.

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously endorsed a bill to authorize internal government borrowing and temporarily short contributions to public employees' pensions to cover a gap in its current budget, for the fiscal year ending June 30. The full Senate expects to debate the bill Thursday.

Courtesy

The U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas, Tom Beall, is not among federal prosecutors who were asked to resign.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports Beall will stay in office for the time being.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week asked 46 prosecutors who were holdovers from the Obama administration to resign.

Beall took over the job in April 2016 after Barry Grissom resigned. Grissom was appointed by President Barack Obama but Beall was not a political appointee.

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

A federal judge has delayed until summer the trial against three men accused of plotting to bomb an apartment complex and mosque used by Somali immigrants in western Kansas.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren on Tuesday scheduled the trial for June 13. It had previously been set to start April 25.

Prosecutors allege Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen plotted to detonate truck bombs at an apartment complex where 120 Somali immigrants live in the meatpacking town of Garden City.

They have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

A lawyer for a Kansas man accused of plotting to attack Somali refugees says his client believed then President Barack Obama would declare martial law and not recognize the validity of the election if Donald Trump won forcing militias to step in.

The defense claim of a "self-defensive posture" surfaced during a detention hearing Friday for Patrick Stein, whom prosecutors say was the leader of militia group called "The Crusaders."

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren did not immediately rule.

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