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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.

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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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Emergency grazing is now allowed on Conservation Reserve Program(CRP) lands in southwest Kansas. Ranchers suffered a huge loss of grazing area in the recent wildfires.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

The death of a Kansas House member's son has spurred wide support for strengthening inspection requirements for amusement rides.

Lawmakers voted 124-1 Monday to increase regulation on amusement parks as an emotional Rep. Scott Schwab presided over the House. Schwab's son, Caleb, died on a water slide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, Kansas last year. Schwab and a clerk were both choked up as the House got ready to vote.

The House advanced the measure unanimously by voice vote last week. But Rep. Jack Thimesch voted against the bill during Monday's final action vote.

Political committees and groups have heavily bolstered Republican Ron Estes' campaign coffers for a congressional seat the GOP has held for two decades in south-central Kansas, while Democrat James Thompson has raised more in grass-roots contributions, campaign finance filings show.

The race for the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo is the nation's first congressional election since President Donald Trump's victory. The special election is April 11.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Polling site changes will make it more confusing for more than 36,000 registered voters to cast a ballot in the race to fill the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The April 11 election in Kansas falls during Holy Week, the annual Christian observance leading up Easter Sunday. The timing has bedeviled election officials because many of polling locations are in churches and some were unavailable on short notice for the special election.

Reno County Fire District #6/Facebook

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is designating more than $6 million to help farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The funding announced Tuesday will be distributed through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help restore grazing lands, rebuild fencing and protect damaged watersheds.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas says he is pleased USDA acted swiftly to aid producers recovering from the largest wildfire in state history.

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