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KMUW

Wichita Eagle publisher and president Roy Heatherly is leaving the company as part of a larger restructuring by the McClatchy Co.

Tony Berg, regional publisher for McClatchy's Midwest Division, announced Monday that Heatherly's last day will be May 5. Heatherly joined The Eagle in June 2015, returning to Wichita after a 37-year absence.

Berg said he will hire a general manager to lead The Eagle and its sales operations.

Secretary of State / Twitter

Republican Ron Estes will take his seat in Congress Tuesday after Kansas officials certified his victory in the state's special election.

Gov. Sam Brownback, state Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker on Monday certified the results in the race for Kansas' 4th Congressional District seat, the first congressional special election in Kansas since 1950. 

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas gained 4,600 private sector jobs last month, and its unemployment rate dropped to the lowest it's been since November 2000.

A preliminary report released Friday by the Kansas Department of Labor says the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in March from 4 percent in February. The state gained 3,600 nonfarm jobs over the year. It picked up 4,600 private-sector jobs and lost 1,000 government jobs.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas will use $291 million in internal government borrowing to avoid a deficit in its current budget and pay bills on time through June.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed the budget bill into law Tuesday. The measure allows the state to avoid short-term cuts in aid to public schools, social services and other programs.

The state plans to liquidate a special investment fund and loan most of the proceeds to its main bank account to cover general spending before the fiscal year ends on June 30. The loan would be paid back over seven years.

Paul Joseph / Flickr Creative Commons

Kansas grocery and convenience stores will be able to sell regular beer starting in 2019 after a years-long effort to get full-strength brews into the stores.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Tuesday allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell beer with up to 6 percent alcohol by volume. They can now sell cereal malt beverage with 3.2 percent alcohol by weight. In exchange, liquor stores will be able to sell cereal malt beverages and more non-alcoholic products, such as shot glasses, mixers, lottery tickets and tobacco products.

Patrick Emerson, flickr Creative Commons

Nebraska has limited legal options regarding the smoke carried into the state from Kansas ranchers who annually burn tallgrass prairie, a Lincoln attorney said.

A group of ranchers in Kansas' Flint Hills burned around 2.3 million acres of North America's largest unplowed stretch of tallgrass prairie Saturday. The burning led to complaints from neighbors in Nebraska due to winds carrying the smoke into the state, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Paul Joseph / Flickr Creative Commons

A years-long effort by Kansas grocery and convenience stores that want to sell more alcoholic products culminated in a compromise on Friday when lawmakers agreed to allow them to sell full-strength beer and allow liquor stores to sell more non-alcoholic products.

Uncork Kansas, a group representing grocery and convenience stores, has been advocating for the stores' ability to sell full-strength beer, wine and liquor in a state that the temperance movement led in part by famed bar-raider Carry Nation kept dry for nearly 70 years. National prohibition lasted just 14 years.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Kansas legislators agreed Friday to strengthen the state's lax oversight of amusement park rides after a lawmaker's 10-year-old son was killed last year while riding a waterslide.

The Senate approved the bill 35-2 on Friday, just days after the House also overwhelmingly approved changing the law.

Wikipedia

Wichita State has accepted an invitation to join the American Athletic Conference.

Conference spokesman Bill Potter says the presidents of the conference's 12 member schools voted unanimously Friday to admit the school in all sports but football and the school accepted the invitation.

The school, which is currently a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, does not have a football program but it is a powerhouse in men's basketball.

It will officially join the league on July 1.

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

A federal judge says he is reluctantly granting the request from defense attorneys to withdraw from the case of a Kansas man accused of plotting to bomb an apartment complex filled with Somali immigrants.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren said Wednesday new court-appointed counsel would be selected for Patrick Stein while he continues efforts to hire his own private attorney.

Stein and co-defendants Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen are accused of conspiring to detonate truck bombs at an apartment complex where Somali immigrants live in Garden City.

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