Bryan Thompson

Bryan is the health reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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Energy
7:14 am
Tue September 24, 2013

New EPA Rule Could Threaten Kansas Coal-Fired Plant Expansion

The EPA has proposed new carbon emissions standards for coal and gas-fired power plants built in the future. However, it's unclear whether the rule will apply to the expansion of a coal-fired plant in southwest Kansas.

If the new standards are applied to the expansion of the Sunflower electric generating station, near Holcomb, it could get expensive. The plant would likely have to capture some of the carbon it produces, and store it below ground. Sunflower’s Colorado-based partner has told the EPA the new rule should not apply because they’ve already commenced construction.

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Energy
7:49 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Air Conditioning Failures Plague Wolf Creek Power Plant

The Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station, the only nuclear power plant in Kansas, remains shut down due to problems with an air conditioning compressor. The unit is needed to cool safety-related equipment.

Operators shut down the reactor late Wednesday afternoon when they noticed abnormal vibration in the compressor while doing maintenance work.

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Health
7:25 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Watchdog: KS Nursing Home Requirements Too Weak

A nursing home watchdog group says Kansas nursing home residents would benefit from increased requirements for direct care from nurses and nurse-aides in nursing homes. Current regulations require adequate staffing to provide each resident a minimum of two hours of direct care daily.

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Health
7:33 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Wolf Creek Back To Normal, But New Problems Surface

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken the only nuclear power plant in Kansas off of its special "watch list" for plants with problems needing closer scrutiny.

The NRC has listed Wolf Creek in the “degraded performance” category for more than a year. That’s the next-to-the-lowest of four ratings. Those problems have been resolved, and the plant has been upgraded to normal status.

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Health
8:02 am
Fri September 6, 2013

E-Cigarettes Usage Growing Among Youth

e-cigarette user
Credit Flickr photo by momentimedia

The CDC says nearly seven percent of middle and high school students have tried e-cigarettes, and more than two percent are current users. Erika Sward, of the American Lung Association, says the rapid growth is due in large part to an aggressive marketing campaign.

“We’ve seen glamorized ads on TV. We’ve seen flavors that come in e-cigarettes now of bubble gum and cotton candy. All of the traditional tobacco industry playbook for targeting kids has been used by the e-cigarette industry.”

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Health
9:23 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Kansas Families Sue Over Tainted Cantaloupe

At least three lawsuits have been filed in Kansas over illnesses caused by cantaloupe tainted with the deadly bacteria known as listeria. The 2011 outbreak infected 147 people in 28 states, 11 of them in Kansas.

Thirty three people died and one pregnant woman miscarried because of the illness. Two lawsuits have been filed in Sedgwick County.

The case filed on behalf of Charyl Rutherford, of Haysville, says she’ll need medical care for the rest of her life. The other case was filed by the family of David Weimer, of Wichita, who died in September of 2011.

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Health
8:03 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Infant Mortality In Kansas Up Slightly Last Year

A new research brief by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows a slight increase in the infant mortality rate last year.

Infant mortality refers to babies who die before their first birthday.

Although the trend has been downward, Kansas has exceeded the national infant mortality rate every year since 2003.

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Health
7:25 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Affordable Care Act Important To Rural Residents

A new report by the Center for Rural Affairs finds that rural residents stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, more than their city-dwelling counterparts.

The author of the report, Jon Bailey, says the premium tax credits to help pay for individual health insurance plans, and the caps on out-of-pocket costs will be especially important to people who live in rural areas.

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Health
7:30 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Kansas 14th Most Obese State In Nation

A new report on obesity in America says Kansas is now the 14th most obese state in the nation.

A new report on obesity in America says Kansas is now the 14th most obese state in the nation.

The annual “F as in Fat” report says 29.9 per cent of adults in Kansas are obese. That’s barely changed from last year.

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Education
7:26 am
Mon August 19, 2013

KU Asked To Build Model Statewide Anti-Bullying Policy

Researchers at the University of Kansas have been hired by the State Department of Education to develop a model anti-bullying policy for use in schools statewide.

All Kansas schools must have an anti-bullying policy, but coming up with effective policies and practices to meet that requirement can get complicated. Researchers at the University of Kansas plan to launch a statewide series of meetings in October to present educators with a model policy to build their own programs around.

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