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Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins will be leaving a position on the House Republicans' leadership team when the newly elected Congress convenes in January.

Jenkins said Wednesday that she is stepping down as GOP conference vice chairwoman to focus on health care and tax reform legislation.

She's seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2018 to replace term-limited Republican Sam Brownback. Jenkins said she's always willing to consider opportunities for returning to Kansas.

k-state.edu

Richard Myers, a retired four-star Air Force general and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, will be Kansas State University's president as it wrestles with budget problems and the possibility that students, staff and visitors will be allowed to carry concealed guns into its buildings next year.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Tuesday voted unanimously to promote Myers from interim president, a job he's held since April at the land-grant university in Manhattan, which has about 24,000 students.

wikipedia.org

Westar Energy will be constructing a "community solar installation" in Reno County. The company says it's an opportunity for customers to participate in clean energy without rooftop construction.

Westar says that any customer can sign up for "shares" of the solar power installation through their current account.

Residential customers can sign up for 1 to 4 shares with a 5- to 20-year commitment. A 1 kW share will mean about 150-kilowatt hours, or about one-quarter of an average customer's use per month.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas is preparing for a new fiscal forecast for state government that is expected to be more pessimistic in projecting the state's tax collections than the current one.

State officials, legislative researchers and university economists were meeting Thursday to draft revised projections for tax collections through June 2017. They also planned to issue the first projections for the following two years.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, his staff and legislators use the numbers in budgeting. The current forecast was issued in April.

Tex Texin / flickr Creative Commons

Investigations continue in the homicides of three people outside a private residence in Moundridge, Kansas.

From the AP:  

Three people found shot to death outside a home in rural central Kansas were targeted and not victims of a murder-suicide, an investigator said Monday.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said the victims found Sunday were a 37-year-old woman and two men aged 33 and 52. The two younger victims were a couple who were friends with the other man, the sheriff said without releasing their names.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Nearly twice as many Kansas voters are now casting ballots at early polling sites across the state, compared to the last presidential election, according to the secretary of state's office.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, 67,211 people voted in person almost double the 33,832 who did so at that point in the 2014 election. Mail-in ballots are going out at roughly the same pace, with 173,893 mail-in ballots sent out since Oct. 19 across Kansas. Some 49,568 mail-in ballots have been returned. 

Joe Gratz / flickr Creative Commons

One of the men charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction on a housing complex in Garden City has waived a detention hearing.

Gavin Wright, a 51-year-old man from Liberal, decided to pass on a detention hearing in the case and instead pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Legislative researchers have found that the bond debt in Kansas has more than tripled since the late 1990s.

A chart they created shows the debt level stands at more than $5 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. From fiscal year 1997 to 2017, the total amount of bond debt increased by 336.4 percent, or $3.8 billion, according to the chart.

wikipedia.org

Kansas regulators are threatening to halt the $12.2 billion sale of Topeka-based Westar Energy to Great Plains Energy if they don't get details on cost savings and other information.

Kansas Corporation Commission took no action at a meeting Tuesday. But an order warned that if merger standards aren't met, possible action could include a request for dismissal of the merger application, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A federal judge has revived a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Kansas law requiring prospective voters to prove they are U.S. citizens.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson on Wednesday gave Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach a pass for failing to file a timely response to the lawsuit. She set aside a court clerk's default judgment issued last week against the state.

Robinson says the case is of constitutional significance and public interest, and that it deserves to be decided on the merits and not through procedural default.

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