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Reno County health officials say the number of suspected cases of whooping cough has risen lately, but the spread is slowing.

The Hutchinson News reports the whooping cough outbreak in Reno County began in early May. So far this year, 331 pertussis cases have been confirmed in 38 Kansas counties, with Reno County reporting the most.

There were 120 suspected cases at last count two weeks ago in Reno County. The number of laboratory confirmed pertussis cases in the county as of Oct. 3, was 92.

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Recently released reports show that 154 same-sex couples wed in Kansas during a volatile period in late 2014, months before the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling that legalized the unions nationwide.

Newly compiled data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment show that those unions made up less than 1 percent of the 17,655 marriages statewide in 2014. The agency says marriage data so far for 2015 isn't yet available.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Four judges who sued Kansas over the Legislature's move to defund the state judiciary's budget voluntarily withdrew their lawsuit Thursday after the state moved it to federal court, and they instead plan to file new claims in district court.

The latest legal maneuvering comes in response to the state's move earlier this week that landed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Topeka, arguing it contained some federal due process claims.

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County election officials in Kansas could be nearly done with canceling more than 31,000 incomplete voter registrations when a federal judge has the next hearing in a lawsuit challenging the effort.

New health statistics show that the Kansas' population has nudged up slightly to 2.9 million.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported a 0.3 percent population increase from 2013 to 2014. The report released this week shows that three counties in the Manhattan and Fort Riley area had the largest relative increases in population from 2010 to 2014. Geary County's population increased to 7.4 percent, Pottawatomie County's to 6.5 percent and Riley County's to 5.7 percent.

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court listened to arguments over the Carr brothers' sentences, which were previously overturned by the Kansas Supreme Court. The Carr brothers are currently serving life-plus sentences for the what has been referred to as the "Wichita massacre."  

From the AP:  

The Supreme Court seems inclined to rule against the perpetrators of what one justice called "some of the most horrendous murders" he's ever seen from the bench.

Department of Corrections

The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to consider reinstating death sentences for two brothers convicted in the notorious slayings of four people in Kansas, capital cases that roiled the state's politics and have prompted calls to remake its judiciary.

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The fight over a move by the Legislature to defund the Kansas judiciary's budget has now landed in the federal courts.

A court notice shows Kansas has moved the lawsuit filed by four judges to U.S. District Court in Topeka.

The attorney representing the judges said Monday he is confident that whether it is heard in state or federal court the measure defunding the courts would be found unconstitutional. No decision has been made on whether to oppose the venue change.

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Kansas has plans to reduce the insurance assistance for children of lower-income state workers next year and also allow those children to be enrolled in a federal health program.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports workers who qualify will be able in 2016 to sign their children up for coverage through the federal Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP. Prior to the federal Affordable Care Act state workers weren't allowed to sign up for CHIP. / Wikipedia

A Wichita attorney has announced plans to challenge Congressman Mike Pompeo next year.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Dan Giroux, a Democrat, made his announcement Thursday. Giroux said in a news release that the people of south-central Kansas need a representative who will stand up for them and "not special interests."