News
5:45 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Top Morning News 10.29.12

More cases of Hepatitis confirmed at a hospital in Hays; The Kickapoo Tribe asks for Gov. Brownback's support in water fight; People still spending a lot on health care costs.

6 Cases Of Hepatitis Confirmed At Hays Hospital

The Kansas health department says it has now confirmed six cases of hepatitis C in Hays Medical Center patients linked to a traveling technician.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced last week that the six of 474 patients who had contact with David Kwiatkowski at the Hays hospital have a hepatitis C strain linked to him.

Kwiatkowski worked in the catheterization lab at the Hays hospital from May to September 2010.

Kwiatkowski has denied allegations that he injected himself and used contaminated syringes on patients across the country. So far, prosecutors say 32 cases across the country are linked to Kwiatkowski.

391 Hays patients have submitted specimens, with 374 negative results as of last week.

Kickapoo Tribe Asks For Gov. Brownback To Intervene In Water Dispute

The chair of the Kickapoo Indian tribe in northeast Kansas wants Governor Sam Brownback to intervene in its fight for a reservoir.

Steve Cadue was in Topeka on Friday to receive a proclamation honoring Kansas tribes.

While there, Cadue handed out a letter addressed to Brownback asking for help in the tribe's long-running battle with the Nemaha Brown Watershed Board for a reservoir. The Kickapoo have sought to build the Plum Creek Dam for decades to ease water shortages on their reservation.

The Kickapoo and the water board came to an agreement in 1998 to build the dam, but landowners won't sell their property to make way for the project and board members have declined to use eminent domain to enforce the agreement.

Generic Drugs Help Spare Families From High Medical Costs

A study in this month's issue of the journal, Health Affairs, says the number of American families spending more than ten per cent of their income on health care has remained steady-in spite of the recession.

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Out-of-state drillers turning up heat in Kansas

Traditional oil drillers in Kansas say an influx of out-of-state vertical drillers is pushing up land-lease costs and could cause hundreds of the state's wells to be idled within the next few years.

Oklahoma City-based Sandridge Energy moved its horizontal drilling operations into the state two years ago when it bought more than 2 million acres of mineral leases in Oklahoma and Kansas.

The company has filed intent-to-drill notices for more than 60 horizontal wells in Ford, Finney, Gray, Ness, Hodgeman and Gove counties in western Kansas.

Cecil O'Brate, who owns American Warrior Energy in Garden City, says leases for many vertical drillers expire soon and some won't be able to renew because land-lease prices have shot up 10-fold or more.

A new online atlas chronicles the history of the High Plains Aquifer in Kansas.

The High Plains Aquifer Atlas was launched recently by the Kansas Geological Survey. It features more than 70 maps, many of which are interactive.

The atlas provides insight into the past and future of Kansas' High Plains Aquifer, considered the lifeblood of the southwest Kansas economy.

Proposed settlement in Kansas Gas rate request

A proposed settlement would increase Kansas Gas Service bills for most customers by about $2 per month.The company, consumer advocates and state regulatory staff approved the settlement Friday but it still must be approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission.

The gas company's rates would increase by about $10 million a year. Kansas Gas had asked for a $32 million increase. In a filing to the commission, the three groups said the settlement would be fair for everyone concerned. As part of the proposal, Kansas Gas gave up trying to shift more of the cost of rates from corporate customers to residential rate-payers. The settlement does not specifically address how much of the increase will be used for executive bonuses.

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