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
10:36 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Cosmosphere Loans Out The Liberty Bell 7 Space Capsule For Exhibit In Germany

The Liberty Bell 7 Space Capsule.
Credit Shadowgwm, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson will soon launch the Liberty Bell 7 space capsule on a trip to Germany.

The capsule will leave the Cosmosphere in August to be part of an exhibit in Bonn, Germany from October to February of next year.

The Cosmosphere is planning an exhibit in May that will showcase the artifacts from Gus Grissom’s 15-minute suborbital space flight on the Bell in 1961.

The Liberty Bell sank in the Atlantic Ocean after Grissom’s flight.

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Environment
10:28 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Finney County Wants A Bigger Role In Lesser Prairie Chicken Regulation

Finney County commissioners want to have a say in the federal government’s regulations for the lesser prairie chicken.

The commission signed a letter to the Bureau of Land Management yesterday asking for coordinating status while the agency devises a plan to regulate the lesser prairie chicken and its habitat.

The bird was designated as a threatened species last month.

The BLM has asked Kansas counties affected by the decision to participate in the process.

But county commissioners said they want more than just input.

Energy
10:21 am
Tue April 8, 2014

City Officials Review Water Options To Develop New Conservation Strategies

Wichita officials will review the city’s water options for new supplies and conservation.

A workshop on Tuesday at City Hall will include presentations from utility employees on strategies for ensuring a stable water supply through 2060.

Some of those include revamped programs to reduce water usage and adding new sources of water.

The city says some of the conservation options include:

Education
10:55 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Kansas Legislature Passes Education Bill

The state Legislature narrowly backed a bill last night that would boost funding to poor school districts and eliminate tenure for teachers.

Teachers wearing red shirts looked on in protest as 63 House members - the minimum needed - voted in favor of the bill, while 57 voted against it.

Hours earlier, the Senate approved it with a 22-16 vote. It needed 21 votes to pass.

The bill now heads to Governor Sam Brownback, who has already released a statement praising it.

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Health
10:57 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Kansas Senate Considers State Health Care Compact

The Senate is also taking up a bill to bring Kansas into a multi-state compact asking to be exempted from the Affordable Care Act.

If Senators pass the bill today, it will go to Governor Sam Brownback.

The House approved it last month.

If the U.S. Congress consents, the compact lets participating states remove themselves from all federal health regulations.

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Education
10:02 am
Fri April 4, 2014

House Committee Revises Funding Plan To Provide Aid To Local School Districts

The House Appropriations Committee has revised its school funding plan to be more generous in providing aid to local school districts.

The State Supreme Court ruled in March that lawmakers created inequalities between school districts by cutting education funds.

The bill is designed to satisfy the ruling’s call to increase funding.

It contains an additional $141 million dollars in aid for those districts for the next school year.

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Transportation
12:17 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

The Kansas Department Of Transportation Says It Was An Expensive Winter

The Kansas Department of Transportation says the winter season of 2014 was its most expensive in years.

The department spent about $22 million dollars to keep state highways open for travel during the rough winter weather.

That's the most the department's had to spend since the winter of 2008, when it spent nearly 24 million dollars.

This year's numbers won't be finalized until the end of the fiscal year.

Community
12:09 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Casino Bill Passes Through State Legislature

A bill to bring a state-owned casino to southeast Kansas has cleared the state Legislature and is going to Governor Sam Brownback.

The House approved the proposal Wednesday on an 84-36 vote.

The bill lowers the investment required for a southeast Kansas casino from $225 million to $50 million dollars.

The state also would drop the fee it charges to a prospective developer from $25 million to 5-and-a-half million dollars.

The Kansas Lottery owns the rights to the gambling but would have a private developer build and operate the casino.

Crime and Courts
11:57 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Sedgwick County Jail Increases Efforts To Combat Sexual Assaults

Sedgwick County's sheriff says there have been increased efforts to combat sexual assaults in the county jail.

Sheriff Jeff Easter says the efforts include enhanced training for staff and allowing more ways for inmates to report incidents.

Easter's comments come about a week after a former sheriff's deputy was charged with unlawful sexual relations involving two inmates.

Food
11:28 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Dept. Of Agriculture Awards Grants To Eight Schools To Promote Local Foods In Cafeterias

Eight Kansas schools have been selected to receive state grants to promote using local foods in school cafeterias.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture says that it had awarded each of the schools $12,500 from the Farm to School program.

The winning districts include: Lost Springs, Doniphan West, Ell-Saline, Eudora, Maize, Pike Valley, Rawlins County and St. Francis.

The program educates students about how food is produced, and how it gets from the fields to the dinner table.

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