Top Morning News 01.07.12
Wichita City Council seat to be filled; Browback names member to Board of Healing Arts; Thousands no longer receive state benefits due to stricter policies.
Vacated Wichita City Council Seat To Be Filled This Week
Four candidates from District IV will be considered this week for the interim Wichita City Council seat. Michael O'Donnell vacated his seat when he was elected to serve in the state Senate.
Brownback Fills Vacancy On Medical Board
Governor Sam Brownback has named Dr. Joel Hutchins of Holton, KS, to the State Board of Healing Arts. The northeast Kansas physician will serve a four-year term on the 15-member board, which licenses and regulates physicians.
Thousands Lose State Aid Due To Stricter Welfare Policies
Advocates for low-income Kansas residents say tougher welfare rules are making it hard for the state's needy to pull themselves out of poverty. Members of Gov. Sam Brownback's administration say the stricter policies are forcing people to find jobs instead of relying on handouts.
The most drastic statistics involve Temporary Aid to Needy Families, also known as welfare. The program has seen a 38 percent drop in the number of people who receive aid, which includes 9,000 children who no longer benefit from the welfare payments. Welfare payments average about $280 a month.
Cash assistance had been awarded to families with incomes of no more than 28 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $6,500 a year for a family of four.
Drought Continues To Empty Out Kansas Reservoirs
An annual well survey to be conducted this month will let Kansas water officials see how much damage has been caused underground by the continuing drought.
Above the surface the signs of a shrinking water system are hard to miss, especially in the state's reservoirs where some boats are marooned in their slips and ramps are no longer reachable along receding shorelines.
Kanapolis State Park manager Rick Martin says all of the state's lakes are suffering because of a drought expected to persist at least through March.
Cheyenne Bottoms manager Karl Grover says the reservoir there usually is a wildlife haven for birds and hunters this time of year. He says rain in November created a few puddles, but any hunting lasted only a few weeks.