Top Morning News 2.15.13

Feb 15, 2013

Education hearings continue at Statehouse; Bill would bar health accreditation; Tour will help gauge needs of older Kansans.

Hearings Continue On Education Funding Amendment

A committee in the Kansas Senate continued hearings Thursday on a constitutional amendment that could block some lawsuits over school funding. The proposed change to the state Constitution says only the Legislature can set school spending levels.


Bill Would Bar Public Health Department Accreditation

A Kansas Senate committee will hear testimony Monday afternoon on a bill that would prohibit public health agencies from pursuing accreditation. The bill was introduced by Wichita Sen. Michael O’Donnell. The freshman Republican has not yet explained the rationale for the bill.


Haysville Legislator Recuperating After Being Mugged

A Kansas legislator from Haysville missed Thursday's House session after being mugged and attacked in Topeka. Republican Joe Edwards says he was hit in the head while entering his hotel room and was robbed of $260.

House Speaker Ray Merrick visited Edwards Thursday at the Topeka hospital where he was being treated for a concussion. Edwards planned to head home to Haysville and recuperate before heading back to the Capitol.

Tour Will Help Gauge Needs Of Older Kansans

Kansas officials are touring the state next month to gather suggestions and opinions on services funded by the Older Americans Act.

Staff members from the state Department for Aging and Disability Services are holding meetings in five cities between March 5 and March 13. The agency wants to know what services older Kansans need to remain independent as long as possible.

Services funded by the Older Americans Act include legal assistance, caregiver and in-home services, transportation help and nutrition programs.

The meetings are scheduled in Dodge City, El Dorado, Topeka, Salina, and Kansas City. Seniors who can not attend the meetings can still submit comments for officials. More information is at

Hutchinson Hospital To Expand Emergency Department

The Hutchinson Regional Medical Center will soon double the number of beds in its emergency department, under a $5 million expansion that begins this fall.

Hutchinson regional Healthcare System President Keith Miller says the existing emergency facility has worked well for nearly 40 years. But it's too small for the number of patients it now sees.

The expansion will increase the number of emergency department beds, add two major trauma rooms, as well as 14 private treatment rooms. There will also be an updated diagnostic imaging suite, two private patient triage rooms and an expanded lounge for visitors and guests.