Bryan Thompson

RURAL HEALTH & AGRICULTURE REPORTER, KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

Bryan Thompson is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, specializing in rural health and agriculture. He is based in Salina.

Bryan has worked in radio news for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Wichita State University.

Ways to Connect

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service

A brick building that was the only grocery store in St. John sits vacant, its glass doors covered with paper since it closed early last year.

St. John is the county seat of Stafford County in south-central Kansas — but it’s home to fewer than 1,300 people.

Now, the closest grocery store is 12 miles away, in Stafford.

St. John resident Amy Collins said that means meals and shopping require more effort.

“Now when we make a trip to the grocery store we are planning four, five … six days out in advance, so you have to be much more efficient,” she said.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service

Speaking Thursday at the Kansas Governor’s Summit on Agricultural Growth, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer shared stories of his agricultural roots.

He talked about growing up as a fifth-generation Kansan. He told of the hard work he did as a young man in Hays, replacing the stone fence posts on his family’s farm.

RILEY COUNTY AND LAWRENCE POLICE DEPARTMENTS

Riley County and Lawrence police issued a plea to the public for information on a serial rape suspect in 14 rapes or attempted rapes since 2000 near the Kansas State and University of Kansas campuses.

At a joint news conference Thursday in Manhattan, the home of K-State, they said they believed an attempted rape near the campus that took place two years ago was linked to the suspect.

All of the assaults occurred off-campus. The victims were all college students.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s prized income tax exemption for businesses is gone.

Over the governor’s veto, in June lawmakers raised income tax rates and repealed the exemption that had benefited roughly 330,000 business owners, including about 53,000 farmers.

Gov. Sam Brownback visited western Kansas on Tuesday to tout that farming with less water from the Ogallala Aquifer is viable.

Farmers in a 99-square-mile area of Sheridan County have managed to cut their irrigation by more than 20 percent over the last four years, and they're still just as profitable as their neighbors who haven’t cut back like that. Jim Butler of the Kansas Geological Survey says it could extend the life of the Ogallala.

http://kha-net.org/

  

The Kansas Hospital Association says the revised health care proposal in the U.S. Senate still comes up short of what’s needed for patients and hospitals in Kansas.

Kansas Hospital Association spokeswoman Cindy Samuelson says the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act would lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts for Kansas. Samuelson says that will reduce access to care for children, people with disabilities, and those in nursing homes.

BRYAN THOMPSON / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

When evening falls, Brian Hunt makes his way to a comfortable chair in a sunroom on the south side of his house near La Cygne, Kansas. But he’s not settling in to relax. He’s going to work.

University of Kansas School of Medicine

Citing a growing need for nurses—especially in rural Kansas—the University of Kansas School of Nursing is expanding to Salina.

If nurses are trained in a rural area, they’re more likely to work in a rural area. Sally Maliski, Dean of the KU School of Nursing, says that’s the idea behind the Salina campus.

“Well, it provides an opportunity to get a high-quality education in their home areas, thereby being more likely to stay in those rural areas to practice,” Maliski says.

COURTESY GARY MILLERSHASKI

A blizzard hit western Kansas over the weekend, shutting down roads and forcing schools to close. The late spring storm also knocked out power to thousands of residents and buried livestock in drifts of snow.

Farmers in western Kansas are worried a spring blizzard that dumped as much as two feet of snow destroyed much of this year’s wheat crop.

Kansas is the No. 1 wheat state in the country. About 20 percent of the nation’s wheat crop last year was grown by Kansas farmers.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service

During a Friday visit to Junction City, Kansas, that included a stop at a food pantry site, U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall said he would work to maintain funding for programs that feed the hungry.

Pages