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sedgwickcounty.org

The Sedgwick County Commission had decided to tear down a longtime ranch for troubled boys.

The commission voted Wednesday to approve contracts to remove asbestos and then demolish the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch near Goddard. The property will be returned to park land for Lake Afton Park.

The decision comes after years of debate on the fate of the ranch, which opened in the 1960s. It was owned by the state but operated by Sedgwick County. The center closed in 2014 after the state refused to increase payments to help the county fund operations.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas says it collected $7.6 million more in taxes than anticipated in July during its first month under an income tax increase approved by legislators.

The Department of Revenue reported Tuesday that the state collected $453.5 million in taxes. That's 1.7 percent more than the official projection of almost $446 million.

The surplus in July collections came after the state ended its 2017 fiscal year on June 30 with tax collections exceeding expectations by $72 million, or 1 percent. Total tax collections for fiscal 2017 surpassed $5.8 billion.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trying to avoid testifying under oath in front on the American Civil Liberties Union. He was ordered to do so as part of a sentence in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

From the AP: 

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A federal judge says Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has demonstrated a pattern of misleading the court about the facts and record in a voting rights case.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson refused Tuesday to reconsider a $1,000 fine and order requiring Kobach to submit to a deposition by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Kobach's spokeswoman says they are reviewing the ruling.

Kansas Department of Corrections

Inmates at a Kansas prison housing some of the state's most dangerous criminals twice took control of the prison yard for hours in recent months, setting a fire, trying to create barricades and breaking into a security office, in mass disturbances not previously disclosed by corrections officials, according to prison guards who spoke to The Associated Press.

Van L. Johnson / Kansas Public Radio

Emporia residents no longer have to boil their water.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Sunday that a boil advisory had been lifted.

The advisory had been in place since Thursday, after a major water main break left the city of about 25,000 residents nearly waterless as temperatures soared. The break created the risk of possible bacteria contamination, although testing showed no evidence of such contamination.

Van L. Johnson / Kansas Public Radio

A water main break overnight caused most of the city of Emporia to lose water service for several hours Thursday. The break has been repaired, but it will take time for the entire water system to be fully restored.

The loss of pressure also created a contamination hazard. Tap water must be boiled for at least one minute before being used for drinking or food preparation.

Matt Keith, with the Department of Health and Environment, says the boil water advisory affects more than just the city of Emporia.

Pictures of Money / Flickr Creative Commons

A major financial rating agency says a structural imbalance in Kansas' budget is "likely to persist" even after the state increased income taxes.

S&P Global Ratings said in a report this week that while the state boosted its revenues, it also increased spending for the next two years. S&P also said the state still is diverting money from highway projects to sustain other spending and is not fully funding contributions to public pensions.

S&P did not change its negative credit outlook for Kansas.

kslegislature.org

Former state Rep. Jan Pauls has died at the age of 64.

The Elliott Mortuary says Pauls, of Hutchinson, died Wednesday at St. Francis Select Specialty Hospital. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Pauls, a former judge and attorney, served in the Kansas Legislature beginning in 1991. She represented the 102nd district as a Democrat until switching to the Republican party in 2014 to advocate for conservative social issues.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A federal appeals court has refused to look at a former Kansas attorney general's case against the state Supreme Court. Phil Kline lost his law license for misconduct surrounding his work against abortions in the state.

Kline spent years investigating a Planned Parenthood in Johnson County clinic and Dr. George Tiller of Wichita.

Tiller, who was known for performing late-term abortions, was murdered in 2009.

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