Top Morning News 12.21.12
Wichita officials apologize for lack of street maintenance during city's first snow; Snow and ice are hazards for postal workers; Kansas rewarded for children's health insurance program.
Wichita City Officials Apologize For First Snow Fail
Wichita officials have apologized for failing to keep streets from icing up just before morning rush hour Thursday. The icy conditions caused dozens of accidents and slowed commutes.
City manager Robert Layton says crews were caught by surprise when the temperature suddenly dropped after 6 a.m. That created a glaze of ice on the roads.
The forecast late Wednesday night called for a light dusting of snow, so city crews were prepared to treat and clear intersections, hills and curves.
Mayor Carl Brewer and Layton pledged to do a better job the next time that freezing precipitation is in the forecast.
Snow, Ice Hazards For Postal Workers
With the recent snowfall, Wichita's Postmaster is reminding customers to clear and maintain safe, accessible paths to mailboxes as soon as possible after it snows.
Kansas Rewarded For Enrolling Kids In Health Coverage
Kansas is being rewarded by the federal government for improving access to children's health coverage and enrolling kids in low-cost insurance from the federal and state governments.
Kansas Population Growing, But Slowly
A new report shows Kansas' population is growing more slowly than the nation and than most other states.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the population in Kansas grew by half of 1 percent from July 2011 to July 2012, while the nation's population grew by three-quarters of a percent.
The Census Bureau says Kansas ranks 30th among states and the District of Columbia in population growth. Kansas gained 15,000 new residents to make its population almost 2.9 million.
North Dakota, the growth leader, saw its population rise nearly 2.2 percent during the same period. Among neighboring states, Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma saw greater growth than Kansas-- while Arkansas, Iowa and Missouri lagged behind the Sunflower State.
Brownback Hears Report On Drought Conditions
Governor Brownback says Kansas farmers, ranchers and communities should review their water use and conservation plans as drought conditions persist.
Brownback received an update Thursday on the drought and steps being taken around the state to maintain adequate water levels. Officials say water supplies remain critically low, especially at the twenty-four federal reservoirs around the state. Several are more than 30 percent below normal levels. John Redmond Reservoir in east-central Kansas is at mere 46-percent capacity.
Brownback is urging water users to update any conservation or emergency plans should conditions worsen.