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.

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Community
11:43 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Project Aims To Rebuild Downtown Block In Anthony, KS

The south-central Kansas town of Anthony will soon rebuild a block downtown that was lost to fire five years ago.

There's a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the $3.5 million redevelopment project.

In 2009, several businesses were destroyed by a gas explosion and massive fire that burned for hours. The fire began when a truck broke through pavement in an alley, severing a gas line that then exploded.

Demolition began a year later, and a special sales tax was levied in the downtown area to fund the reconstruction.

Community
10:13 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Kansas Down To Three Animal Euthanization Chambers

Kansas now has only three shelters that use gas chambers to euthanize animals after one shelter shut its chamber down earlier this month.

A few days after the Topeka Capital-Journal published a story about the ongoing practice in the state, the city of Eureka unplugged its chamber. The city's administrator says switching to a different way to euthanize animals had been the goal for quite a while.

Government
9:58 am
Wed August 27, 2014

UPDATE: Only One Federally Registered Vote Counted Under Kansas' Dual Voter System

Updated on 8/27/14:

Only one Kansan who registered using the federal voter form without proof of citizenship actually cast a ballot in the Aug. 5 primaries.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach said yesterday that of the 180 Kansans who used the federal registration form without providing documentation, only one of them voted - in Johnson County. Under the state's dual system, only their votes cast in the federal races would be counted.

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Education
9:56 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Growth In Free Meal Eligibility Isn't Ploy To Boost School Funding

A report by a Kansas school board association finds the increase in children receiving free or reduced-price meals is tied to poverty rates and isn't a ploy to boost school funding.

Over the past 15 years, the number of students eligible for the meals had grown from 33 percent to 50 percent.

State lawmakers have raised questions about why there's an increase in students eligible for the meals and whether the growth in applications is linked to schools misusing the formula to get more funding.

Environment
11:34 am
Tue August 26, 2014

New State Park Quietly Opens Its Campground Northeast Of Hutchinson

After a decade of planning, a new state park northeast of Hutchinson quietly opened its campground this week.

Sand Hills State Park now offers camping, pens or corrals for horses, and picnic areas.

The reservation system for the park is not yet ready but is expected to be operating by Thursday.

Ryan Stucky with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, encouraged those wanting to camp at the park to wait until after the reservation system is ready at www.reserveamerica.com.

Government
9:03 am
Tue August 26, 2014

KS And AZ Need Act Of Congress To Impose Proof-Of-Citizenship Requirements

A federal appeals court in Denver is suggesting that a partisan impasse in Congress may prevent Kansas and Arizona from getting federal elections officials to help them impose proof-of-citizenship requirements on voter registration forms.

The three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted that Congress has not confirmed commissioners to sit on the Elections Assistance Commission. That body's staff refused to include Kansas and Arizona's instructions on its voter registration form, triggering a federal lawsuit.

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Agriculture
8:48 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Douglas County And Delaware Tribe Discuss Land, But Not Casinos

Douglas County officials and leaders with the Delaware Tribe of Indians are meeting twice this week to consider what to do with 90 acres the tribe owns in northern Lawrence.

The two sides aren't saying exactly what they'll discuss. But Douglas County Commission chairwoman Nancy Thellman says they won't talk about putting an Indian casino on the land. Thellman has said she favors putting an agricultural project on the property.

Economy
8:41 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Oil Refinery Expansion Provides Boost To McPherson Economy

An oil refinery's $555 million expansion project is proving to be a boost to McPherson's economy.

The National Cooperative Refinery Association oil refinery is replacing its coker, which converts some residual oil into higher-value products. The project has brought cranes to the city's skyline, one of them as high as 530 feet tall.

NCRA spokesman Vince Bengston says the project should conclude by late September.

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Crime and Courts
11:23 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Neodesha Loses Bid To Retry Class-Action Lawsuit Against BP

The southeast Kansas town of Neodesha has lost its latest bid to retry a class-action lawsuit. The suit claimed BP of North America should do more to clean up industrial pollution from a refinery that closed in 1970.

The Kansas Court of Appeals rejected the request Friday from residents and officials of Neodesha who sued in 2004 for more than $478 million dollars in cleanup costs plus damages.

A jury ruled for BP in 2007, but the trial judge later set the verdict aside, concluding he gave jurors improper instructions.

Environment
11:18 am
Mon August 25, 2014

'Threatened' Redbelly Snake May Be Downgraded

State officials are considering easing regulatory protection of a short, reclusive snake found in northeastern Kansas.

The Threatened and Endangered Species Task Force, which is chaired by a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism biologist, recommended that the redbelly snake remain listed as threatened.

The department's secretary Robin Jennison, however, exercised his authority to alter the recommendation; Jennison urged downgrading the snake to a "species in need of conservation," which would provide it less protection.

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