J. Schafer

Contributing Reporter

J. Shafer is the news director for Kansas Public Radio

Bryan Thompson

As Kansas lawmakers prepare for the 2016 legislative session, Gov. Sam Brownback is preparing his annual budget message.

The governor will deliver his State of the State Address to the Kansas Legislature at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, in the House chamber. In accordance with Section 5 of Article 1 of the Kansas Constitution, the governor will provide lawmakers with information on the condition of the state.

University of Kansas

A University of Kansas researcher has uncovered a rare audio recording of James Naismith, talking about the very first game of basketball, a game he invented. School officials believe this is the only known recording of Naismith.

In this 1939 radio interview, he talks about setting up the first basketball game in Massachusetts in 1891.

Hear the full interview here: http://exhibits.lib.ku.edu/exhibits/show/naismith150/collections/radio-interview

Petr David Josek/AP (from npr.org)

The fate of Syrian and Iraqi refugees remains uncertain. If and when a decision is made to relocate refugees in the United States, one agency will likely be called into action: Catholic Charities. When it comes to resettling refugees, this agency is one of the largest.

Ken Williams is the president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. KPR's J. Schafer spoke to him to learn more about the agency and its mission.

J. Schafer

President Obama wants the United States to accept refugees who are fleeing the violence in Syria and Iraq. Congress opposes this plan, as do most governors, including Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Some churches are taking a different stand.

File photo

Funding for the entire Kansas court system has been in jeopardy. But Attorney General Derek Schmidt has now obtained a court order that prevents the judiciary from having its funding cut off, at least for a while.

First, some background: The Kansas Legislature passed a law that took power away from the Kansas Supreme Court by changing the way local chief judges are selected. The Supreme Court used to make those decisions but under this law, that power was transferred to local judges.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Funding for the entire Kansas judicial system is now in legal limbo.

A Shawnee County judge has struck down a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. But that law was tied to other legislation that said all funding for the judicial branch of government would be stripped away if the first law was struck down.

The Kansas Legislature passed a law that took administrative power away from the state supreme court.

Tim Evanson, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Geological Survey has determined there is a connection between oil and gas production and earthquakes.

kscourts.org

One of the longest-serving members of the Kansas Supreme Court has died. Former Chief Justice Kay McFarland died Tuesday.

McFarland was the first woman to serve on the state's highest court and the first female chief justice in Kansas.

McFarland graduated from Washburn Law School where she was the only woman attending classes full time. She was the first woman elected as a Shawnee County district judge in 1972 and was appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court in 1977.

NASA

In 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons mission to explore the far edge of the Milky Way. Tuesday morning, the spacecraft finally reached its closest approach to Pluto and sent back the best pictures we've ever seen.

Jeff Carmody

Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins emphasized the role of women in community leadership on Sunday, when she delivered the Dole Lecture at the University of Kansas.

"Whether we learn it as babysitters or big sisters or mothers, we are good at keeping everybody happy and a lot of balls in the air and multitasking," Congresswoman Jenkins says. "We just have unique skill sets that maybe some of our men don't have." 

She also highlighted some of the challenges of a career in public office.

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