Fri January 4, 2013
Top Morning News 01.04.13
Largest wind farm in Kansas now operational; Study finds racial disparities persist in state juvenile system; Senator Roberts no longer on ag panel; Lesser prairie chicken listed as threatened by federal agency.
States Largest Wind Farm Now Operational
The largest wind farm ever built in Kansas is now fully operational.
BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power say the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm generates 470 megawatts of electricity. The $800 million facility is spread over a 66,000 acre site that spans across parts of Harper, Barber, Kingman, and Sumner counties.
The companies say the farm uses 294 turbines; each one has the capacity to produce 1.6 megawatts of energy. That's enough electricity to power more than 140,000 average American homes.
Power generated from the facility will be exported to Missouri, Arkansaw and Louisiana.
The project created more than 500 jobs at the peak of construction. About 30 permanent jobs have been created to monitor and maintain the facility now that it is online.
Study Finds Racial Disparities Persist In Kansas Juvenile Justice System
The preliminary results of a statewide assessment that focuses on the the overrepresentation of minority youth in Kansas' juvenile justice system will be presented at a community forum next week.
Roberts No Longer Top Republican On Ag Panel
Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is no longer the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, but he pledges remain a strong advocate for farmers, ranchers, and rural areas.
Senator Roberts says he'll retain a seat on the Agriculture Committee. He also serves on the Finance Committee, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
Roberts also expects to become the ranking Republican on the Senate Rules Committee. He sees the position as important to opening up debates on issues such as the federal budget deficit.
The new ranking Republican on the Agriculture Committee is Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Cochran has more seniority than Roberts and recently gave up the top GOP spot on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Govs From Five States, Including Kansas, Speak Out On Lesser Prairie Chicken
Governors of five states say they're disappointed that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to list the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. However, they say they're relieved they're not proposing to list it as endangered.
A final decision on a listing is expected this fall.
The governors of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas released a statement saying that conservation efforts by their states- along with commitments from industry leaders and land owners to address risks to the bird- should support a decision not to list the bird as threatened.