Associated Press

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Room and board costs at Kansas' six public universities would increase next year under a proposal before the state's Board of Regents.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that under the proposal, the traditional arrangement of two residents per room and a typical meal plan would increase 2.5 percent next year at the University of Kansas.

A state official says Kansas schools are becoming better prepared to respond to natural and man-made disasters but will need more resources to keep improving.

Bob Hull, director of the Kansas Center for Safe and Prepared Schools, told lawmakers Thursday that shrinking federal grants have limited the state's ability to help schools prepare for tornadoes or violent intruders.

Hull says that schools are conducting more drills and risk assessments. But he adds that more money is needed to build safe rooms and provide crisis training.

Westar Energy plans to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a northern Oklahoma wind farm expected to begin operating in late 2016.

The Topeka-based utility announced Wednesday that it had reached a purchase agreement with Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy.

Westar already has about 700 megawatts of electricity from renewable resources.

Apex plans to start building the 18,000-acre wind farm in 2015. The site is about six miles south of Arkansas City, Kan., where city manager Nickolaus Hernandez says the project is expected to boost the local economy.

A Kansas group is planning to use a billboard campaign to push for legalizing marijuana in the state.

Fire It Up Kansas says the ad on a digital billboard near the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane is the first it plans to put up across the state in coming weeks.

The ad asks the Legislature to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana.

The group's co-founder, Mike Golden, says marijuana is now in a black market with no regulation. He says putting it in a legal market takes away the criminal element.

A special legislative committee is opening two days of hearings to review the Kansas school finance system and study the practices of neighboring states.

The meetings Wednesday and Thursday also include a discussion of staffing changes by school districts and how they compare to neighboring states. Policy analysts are expected to also discuss trends in school choice programs nationwide.

The committee is led by Republican Kasha Kelley, chair of the House Education Committee, and Republican Senator Steve Abrams, a former State Board of Education member.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis is launching a four-city bus tour across Kansas to make a campaign announcement.

Davis is currently the Kansas House minority leader. He's seeking his party's nomination for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback next November.

The Lawrence Democrat will begin his tour Tuesday in Prairie Village, followed by stops at a high school in Topeka and at parks in Salina and Wichita.

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.

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