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Lauren Ayres, flickr Creative Commons

HUTCHINSON, Kan.--Kansas' 124 confirmed tornadoes in 2015 were 83 more than the previous year, tying for the fourth highest number since 1990, according to the National Weather Service's preliminary data.

Eric Metzger, a meteorologist for the weather service's office in Wichita, says moisture from a strong El Nino was a possible factor in 2015's higher number of tornadoes because it influences climate systems to produce more tornadoes, The Hutchinson News reported. Kansas typically has between 70 and 110 tornadoes every year.

Kate Clause / KMUW

Westar Energy has signed up for added wind energy in south central Kansas.

A Kansas electric utility has announced a new wind power contract in south-central Kansas. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Westar Energy said Thursday in a release the company has a deal with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources to buy 200 megawatts of wind energy west of Wichita.

The deal is for power produced by the Kingman Wind Energy Center in Kingman County, a wind farm that's expected to be in service in early 2017.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

An effort to repeal a controversial law requiring proof of citizenship before voting in Kansas elections is being challenged further.

The lawsuit, originally filed by Lawrence attorney and former state Rep. Paul Davis on behalf of two Lawrence residents, challenges the constitutionality of the 2013 Kansas law requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship when registering.

k-state.edu

Crews are undertaking an annual effort to monitor changes in groundwater levels in western and central Kansas.

The Kansas Geological Survey will measure nearly 570 wells beginning early next month. The Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources will measure about 830 additional wells.

Carla Eckels file photo

According to law enforcement officials, a band of masked thieves shot and robbed New York Knicks player and former Shocker Cleanthony Early Wednesday morning. The 24-year-old was hospitalized in stable condition.

Early was in an Uber cab at around 4:30 a.m. outside a Queens strip club when his vehicle was surrounded by at least two other cars. Officials said as many as six men got out of the vehicles and demanded Early's "gold." He handed over two gold chains before he was shot in the right kneecap. The men then drove off.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he's not second-guessing a new state law that would require the state's college campuses to allow concealed weapons.

The Republican told the Lawrence Journal-World that the law is in accordance with the Constitution's Second Amendment's right to bear arms.

In 2013, Kansas lawmakers passed and Brownback signed a bill mandating that concealed weapons be allowed in nearly all public buildings unless adequate security is in place to prevent anyone from bringing in a weapon.

http://kslegislature.org

A Republican Kansas lawmaker is calling for an end to the state’s first-in-the-nation privatized foster care system, as it nears its 20th anniversary with increasing scrutiny and a record number of children in foster homes.

Republican Representative Mike Kiegerl, an Olathe Republican, wrote a report that was among more than 100 pages of documents provided to the Legislature’s Special Committee on Foster Care Adequacy, which met for a day last month and wants to arrange more meetings.

A recent legislative audit has found that a new computer system designed to make it easier for Kansas residents to apply for Medicaid and other social services is more than two years past due and at least $46 million over budget.

Stephen Koranda

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he and many Kansas legislators won't be ready to consider big increases in aid to public schools until they are confident that enough of the money already spent on education is finding its way into the classroom.

Storem, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas Board of Regents panel has advanced a plan governing how to allow concealed weapons on the state's college campuses by mid-2017.

The board's four-member governance committee discussed and signed off on the newest draft Wednesday in Topeka, Kansas. That sends the matter to the full board for its likely consideration and approval next month.

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