Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Marion Doss, flickr Creative Commons

Topeka Zoo officials are denying claims that the zoo's two elephants are suffering from a lack of social interaction.

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote to Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley earlier this month, asking for a meeting to discuss elephants Tembo and Sunda, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. They say the elephants are "afflicted with loneliness, boredom, and depression," and need a third elephant to interact with.

DoDEA Pacific, flickr Creative Commons

Top Republican legislators are asking Kansas school districts seeking extra state aid to provide information about how they've become more efficient in recent years.

Four GOP legislative leaders sent a letter Wednesday to the superintendents of 38 school districts that have applied for extra aid under the state's new education funding law. The districts are seeking about $15 million in funds, but only $12.3 million is available under the law.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter after the state Department of Education sent it.

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Updated at 3:21pm:

A Wichita man had no anti-abortion motives when he brought a small homemade explosive device into a women's health clinic while applying for a job, police said Tuesday. The 19-year-old was homeless and carrying everything he owned in his backpack when he went to the South Wind Women's Center for a Monday interview, Wichita police spokesman James Espinoza said.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

Dozens of Kansas school districts will be asking lawmakers for extra state funding next week because they have more students or falling property values.

Monday is the deadline to apply, and the total number of schools asking for funding could be around 40.

Kansas moved to a block grant system this school year, and it doesn’t automatically add additional funding when student enrollment grows.

Jack Pearce, flickr Creative Commons

Researchers from Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska are modifying an oilseed for use as a potential diesel replacement.

Their work on Camelina sativa is focused on lowering its viscosity essentially, its resistance to flowing. Plant oils typically have a high enough viscosity that they build up in engines, limiting their use as petroleum product replacement, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office

Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of an avowed white supremacist who has admitted that he killed three people outside of Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City last year.

Seventy-four-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., of Aurora, Missouri, is charged with three counts of capital murder in the attacks outside of the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom Care Center in Overland Park, Kansas.

55Laney69, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas workers responsible for investigating suspected child abuse claims don't need more than a high school education to get a job in which mistakes could result in death.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Department for Children and Families has been using the workers, called special investigators, in addition to state-licensed social workers.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas sold $1 billion in bonds Wednesday in an effort to bolster the financial health of its pension system for teachers and government workers, a day after a major rating agency said the move will "do little" to help while increasing the state's financial risks.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback urged school districts on Tuesday to move more money into the classroom and hold down the administrative costs of running their schools.

The Republican governor's comments came after he addressed educators at a training session in Wichita and lauded the Kansas Reading Roadmap initiative, a program that aims to improve reading levels in grades K-3.

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Kansas utility regulators plan hearings later this month on a proposed agreement to allow the state's largest electric company to raise its annual rates by $78 million.

The agreement involves Westar Energy, a state consumer advocacy agency and other parties in Westar's rate case before the Kansas Corporation Commission.

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