Associated Press

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10:51 am
Fri February 7, 2014

William S. Burroughs' Final Personal Journals Donated To The University Of Kansas

The final personal journals of novelist William S. Burroughs have been donated to the University of Kansas.

Burroughs lived in Lawrence from 1982 until his death in 1997.

Besides the journals, the donation to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library includes typescripts and editing materials.

The materials were the source for "Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs," published in 2000.

Burroughs, novelist Jack Kerouac, and other writers were known in the 50s and 60s as the Beat Generation, who railed against the mainstream.

10:45 am
Fri February 7, 2014

UPDATE: State Committee Delays Vote On Measure To Void Existing Local Gun Ordinances

Update: Kansas House committee has delayed a vote on gun-rights legislation so members have more time to consider changes that include provisions punishing possession of a firearm under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee was expected to vote on a bill that would strip cities and counties of their power to regulate guns or block the open carry of firearms.

The committee had been expected to approve the measure on Friday, and then send it to the full House for debate.

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10:29 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Judge Eric Melgren Rejects Claim Against Kris Kobach's Right To Sue Over Voter Citizenship Law

A judge has rejected the claim against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Voting rights organizations had claimed that Kobach has no legal authority to file a lawsuit to force the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to change the federal voter registration form.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren denied their request Thursday.

The court found that Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt had authorized Kobach to handle the litigation.

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12:14 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Judge Melgren Agrees To Limit Evidence In Voter Citizenship Case

A judge has agreed to limit what material the court can consider in a lawsuit filed by Kansas and Arizona. The suit seeks to force federal election officials to change voter registration forms to require proof-of-citizenship from residents in those states.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren sided with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on Wednesday.

Melgren will limit his review to the existing administrative record, rather than hold an evidentiary hearing in the case.

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9:49 am
Thu February 6, 2014

State Health Officials Report 16 Deaths Caused By Influenza

State health officials say 16 Kansans have died from the influenza during the current flu season.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment says at this time last year, 42 people had died from the flu.

The state's reporting period is from September to May.

The H1N1 flu strain this season is the same strain that caused killed more than 18,000 people in the U.S. in 2009.

But state epidemiologist Charles Hunt says this year's strain won't be as severe because people have developed more immunity to that strain.

9:06 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Westar Begins $200K Solar Panel Project; Petitions To Reduce Benefits For Consumers Who Go Solar

The largest electric utility in Kansas has begun a $200,000 solar panel project in Lawrence.

Topeka-based Westar Energy is installing 160 solar panels at its maintenance facility and service center in southeast Lawrence.

The utility is also installing solar panels on buildings it owns in Manhattan and Shawnee.

Community members can also use the company's website to monitor how the solar panels are performing.

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9:08 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Brownback Urges Kansans To Take Extra Precautions During Winter Storm

Governor Sam Brownback wants Kansans to take extra precautions during this winter storm.

He's asking Kansans to stay off the roads and avoid travel if at all possible.

"If you do have prepared," Brownback says. "If you can help us out by not being on the road...don't be on the road."

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Mike King says the high winds expected with this storm will make clearing the roads especially difficult.

10:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Committee Could Vote On Bill To Protect Those Who Don't Recognize Same-Sex Unions This Week

A committee in the Kansas Legislature could vote this week on a bill aiming to protect religious freedom.

The bill says businesses, individuals and other groups with strong religious beliefs can't be forced to recognize same-sex marriage or provide employment or other services to same-sex couples.

Michael Schuttloffel is with the Kansas Catholic Conference. He used the example of a photographer asked to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.

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9:56 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Court Appeals Judge Patrick McAnany To Discuss Ways To Solve Judicial Budget Issues

A Kansas Court of Appeals judge is going before a Senate committee on Monday to discuss ways to solve the judicial branch's ongoing budget issues.

Judge Patrick McAnany is testifying on several bills to improve efficiencies in the court system. The goal is to close a projected $8.25 million dollar shortfall in the judicial budget for next year.

McAnany presided over a special commission in 2011 to find ways to improve judicial branch operations, including changes in staffing and record filing.

10:27 am
Fri January 31, 2014

The KCC Temporarily Waives Barrel Fee During National Propane Shortage

The Kansas Corporation Commission is temporarily waiving its fee on excess propane storage.

The KCC wants to encourage shippers to send more propane into the state, so it's suspending the 7.5-cents-per barrel fee through February.

About 83,000 Kansas homes use propane for heat.

Its price spiked earlier this week at more than $4 per gallon.

Yesterday, Governor Brownback announced he was directing the state to help poor families relying on propane for home heating. He's also temporarily eased trucking regulations to help shippers.