Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

Canadian Blood Services, flickr Creative Commons

Local blood banks are asking for donors to help keep the blood supply at the needed level during the summer months. Dana Garner, with the Community Blood Center, says high school and college students are active donors, but in the summer many of them aren’t available.

“Summer, we have a dip in blood donations. Like many people, there are vacations, a lot of the students at colleges and high schools are out of session. Because they’re not available, we rely on people from the community, businesses, to help support the blood supply,” Garner says.

Kansas Public Radio

Westar Energy has asked for more than 20 rate increases in Kansas in the last five years. Their latest plan is attracting more attention than usual. It’s a significant increase for all customers and it adds a new charge for people with solar panels. Representatives of Westar and opponents of their plan gathered in Topeka this week for a hearing with state regulators. Stephen Koranda was there and has this report on the proposal.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is calling for an investigation into the abortion provider Planned Parenthood after the release of two videos that have caught national headlines. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Brownback wants to know if Kansas abortion providers are selling tissue from aborted fetuses.

Stephen Koranda

Supporters of solar energy and the electricity utility Westar Energy are sparring over a proposal that would increase costs for customers with solar panels. Kansas regulators held a hearing on the plan last night in Topeka.

Stephen Koranda

The galleries in the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas are closed for renovation, but that doesn't mean the end of art programs. Some of it has been pushed out on to the streets of Lawrence. As KPR's Stephen Koranda reports, the Spencer Museum may be closed, but it's still keeping art in the public eye.

The Spencer's renovation is not just a couple coats of paint or new carpet. KU's art museum is getting a major overhaul. On this day, cranes are setting up scaffolding. They’ll be cutting holes in the exterior wall to install massive windows.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission, flickr Creative Commons

Kansans will have a chance to weigh in today on a proposed electricity rate increase from Westar Energy. The Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities, will hold a public hearing in Topeka.

The plan would raise electricity rates and the monthly fixed fees paid by customers. The hearing is a chance for members of the public to ask questions and share their opinions on the proposal.

    

The Kansas Corporation Commission will hold public hearings this week on a plan from Westar Energy to increase electricity rates. As Stephen Koranda reports, the hearings are a chance for Kansans to learn more about the increase and share their opinions on the plan.

Flazingo Photos, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Labor says there were thousands of jobs created in the state last month, but as Stephen Koranda reports, the monthly labor report wasn’t all good news.

Alberto G., flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education is working to rewrite the rules for evaluating student test scores. Kansas revamped standardized tests last year, and board members are working this summer to update the so-called “cut scores.”

Kansas Board of Education member Deena Horst says they should be setting high goals for students to be considered proficient.

“We want our students to be able to run with the best, if not be the best,” Horst says.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education has narrowly approved a plan that would loosen some teaching requirements for six Kansas school districts. The 6-4 vote will allow the districts to hire people who have expertise in a subject but who lack a teaching license.

Supporters of the change include Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia Lane, who says this will give administrators more flexibility in hiring for hard-to-fill teacher openings.

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