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A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families says it will not prevent single adults from serving as foster parents for abused and neglected children. Questions have arisen about the department's plans because it is reviewing foster care policies.

A solar advocacy group has raised concerns about the decision of Kansas regulators to limit the group's input over a large utility's plan to boost rates and change its billing structure.

The Kansas Corporation Commission issued a revised order allowing the Alliance for Solar Choice, which represents solar businesses, to be given partial access to proceedings over Topeka-based Westar Energy's plan to raise rates by $152 million.

Stephen Koranda

Republican legislators blocked a state audit of Kansas' foster care system even though several acknowledged that they have ongoing concerns about how well it protects abused and neglected children.

GOP members of the committee that oversees the work of state auditors were skeptical that the review would provide useful information.


A special state task force says treatment options for the mentally ill in Kansas are lacking because the state's two acute care psychiatric hospitals don't have enough space and smaller mental health facilities are underfunded.

The Adult Continuum of Care Committee says in a new report that the state's psychiatric hospitals in Larned and Osawatomie don't have enough bed space to treat people who need their services and smaller mental health facilities are underfunded and overworked.

Stephen Koranda file photo / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback doesn't plan to be present when his administration outlines $50 million in spending cuts to help Kansas avert a budget deficit.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley confirmed Tuesday that the governor won't be in his office. Budget director Shawn Sullivan will outline the cuts during a news conference planned for Friday. Hawley declined to discuss the governor's planned whereabouts.


Kansas officials are reviewing foster care policies, sparking concerns among some advocates that the state will stop placing abused and neglected children with gay couples, even after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

But spokeswoman Theresa Freed said Tuesday that the state Department for Children and Families' review will be broad and cover more than who should serve as foster parents. She said the agency isn't presuming policies need to be changed.

photo by By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A Lawrence resident has announced plans to step down as chief judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Mary Beck Briscoe announced Monday she'll leave her position as chief judge of the federal appeals court effective Sept. 30. An official with the 10th Circuit said although Briscoe is stepping down as chief judge, she'll remain an active judge on the circuit.

Timothy M. Tymkovich, of Denver, will succeed her as chief judge.

aptmetaphor / Flickr

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in November on whether the school funding law has fixed unconstitutional disparities so that it provides equal educational opportunities for all students.

But it will not be until spring of 2016 when the court will hear the part of the appeal regarding whether Kansas has met its constitutional duty to provide adequate funding for public education.

The court issued a four-page schedule Friday that sets separate timelines for briefings and arguments on the equity and adequacy of school funding in Kansas.

KSWX_29, flickr Creative Commons

Millions of gallons of sewage that have spilled into the Kansas River at Topeka since spring are no cause for alarm, Kansas health officials said this week.

The issue started in April, when roughly 3 million gallons of raw sewage made it into the river after a power failure at a Topeka pump station, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. On Tuesday, a sanitary sewer main leak caused 55,000 gallons of raw sewage to flow into the river at a Topeka wastewater treatment plant.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Gov. Sam Brownback expects to outline spending cuts next week to help prevent Kansas from having a deficit within the next year, his top spokeswoman said Friday, as his office announced expanded duties for his top budget adviser.