Associated Press

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Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Update from The AP:

Friday March 25, 10:15 a.m.

A Kansas livestock official says the wildfire that scorched hundreds of square miles in Oklahoma and southern Kansas has displaced cattle and destroyed miles of fencing.

Todd Domer, spokesman for the Kansas Livestock Association, said Friday the most immediate problem for Kansas ranchers affected by the fire in Barber and Comanche counties is locating cattle that escaped when fences burned. He says ranchers are also working to figure out how many cattle may have died.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

A massive wildfire has burned through more than 625 square miles in Oklahoma and Kansas, forcing Governor Sam Brownback to issue a state of disaster emergency.

Hundreds of firefighters were dispatched to areas of southern Kansas to try and contain a wildfire. Government officials say the worst of it is over, with fire crews from Wichita heading home just after 7 in the morning.

There are reports of structural damage here in Medicine Lodge, as well as in Reno County.


Planned Parenthood has begun offering medication abortions at its Wichita clinic. It is the second facility in the city to provide those services since abortion provider George Tiller was gunned down in 2009.

Its spokeswoman, Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, said Wednesday the clinic has been taking appointments and scheduling the procedure. Medication abortions are commonly known as the abortion pill and are done to terminate pregnancies up to about 9 weeks.

Its Wichita clinic began doing them on March 17.

Kansas senators have given first-round approval to a proposal aimed at giving parents of vulnerable children a say in end-of-life treatment.

The so-called "Simon's Law" would require hospitals to obtain written parental or guardian consent for children under 18 years old before issuing a do-not-resuscitate order, or depriving children of food or medicine needed to survive.

The proposal also requires health facilities, nursing homes and physicians to offer patients a written disclosure of policies that are either life-sustaining or nonbeneficial to their situation.

The Kansas Senate has rejected a proposal for encouraging the state to provide long-acting birth control to poor residents after a Republican member likened it to the discredited 20th Century eugenics movement that sought to control who could have children.

Democratic Sen. Marci Francisco of Lawrence offered the proposal Thursday as an amendment to a bill that would permanently block the state from sending federal family planning dollars for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood. Her amendment failed on a voice vote.

Stephen Koranda file photo / Kansas Public Radio


The seven justices of the Kansas Supreme Court are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit from former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the lawsuit is connected to the 2013 decision to indefinitely suspend Kline's law license over an investigation he led into abortion clinics.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has approved a bill to give lawmakers more control over the state's use of debt to finance big building projects.

The House's 114-8 vote Monday sends the measure to the Senate. Lawmakers are considering it after the University of Kansas and Gov. Sam Brownback's administration pursued projects without prior legislative approval.



Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker combined for 29 points and Wichita State’s swarming defense did the rest as the Shockers beat Arizona 65-55 on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Wichita State (26-8) will play Miami (26-7), the third seed in the South Region, on Saturday.

National Transportation Safety Board

A truck that ran into a section of BNSF Railway track, deflecting the track up to 14 inches, may be a cause of the Amtrak derailment that happened near Dodge City early Monday.


From the AP:

A truck used to deliver feed to a business where cattle are fattened hit the train track and shifted it at least a foot before an Amtrak train derailed in southwest Kansas and injured at least 32 people, an investigator said.

Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons

A Republican state senator is suggesting that Kansas move to consolidate public school districts as it works to make education funding fairer.

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald of Leavenworth raised the issue Wednesday during a committee hearing on a bill to redistribute $39 million during the 2016-17 school year to help poor districts.

The bill is a response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling last month that the state has been unfairly shorting poor school districts on their aid.