Top Morning News 3.29.13 (UPDATED)
Updated 8:45 AM
Kansas farmers planting differently due to drought; Gov. Brownback says gay marriage issue is settled in Kansas; Pizza Hut promises free pizza if the Shockers win the NCAA title; Kansas students to participate in Geographic Bee.
Kan. Farmers Plan To Sow Less Corn, More Sorghum
Kansas farmers are planting fewer acres of thirsty crops like corn and soybeans this spring and more of drought-tolerant crops like sorghum.
The Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reports that corn growers plan to plant 4.6 million acres this year, down two percent from last year. That's still the fourth highest corn acreage in Kansas since 1936, though.
Soybean acreage is also expected to shrink 2 percent from last year with only 3.9 million acres planted. By contrast, sorghum planting in Kansas is expected to climb 16 percent from last year, at nearly 3 million acres.
Winter wheat accounts for the vast majority of Kansas farm acreage with 9.3 million acres planted last fall.
Brownback Still Supports Ban On Gay Marriage
Gov. Sam Brownback still supports a federal law against gay marriage that he backed as a member of Congress. Brownback says the issue is settled in Kansas because of the state's constitutional ban.
Police Investigating Body Found In Pond
Police are investigating whether a body found in a south Wichita pond is that of a man who may have jumped while running from police.
A person flagged down an officer Thursday afternoon after seeing what looked like a body in the water-filled sandpit. Crews later pulled the body from the water. It's the same pond where a 27-year-old man disappeared from sight after running from police early on the morning of March 8.
Officers had been trying to stop the man's car for traffic violations. He crashed through a chain link fence, got out and ran. Authorities believe he jumped into the water and swam away. Divers and crews in boats searched the pond for several hours that day but found nothing.
Free Pizza For Wichita, If The Shockers Take The NCAA Championship
The 9th-seeded Wichita State Shockers defeated La Salle Thursday, 72-58, to advance to the Elite Eight. Malcolm Armstead scored 18 points and Carl Hall added 16. The Shockers advance to the West Regional final against No. 2 seed Ohio State on Saturday.
Pizza Hut officials have promised a gift for Wichita State, if the team goes all the way. The company says it will reopen its original restaurant on the Wichita State campus the Thursday after the NCAA tournament championship and feed the campus if the Shockers capture the title.
Pizza Hut spokesman Doug Terfehr thinks a Wichita State championship is possible, saying, "the Cinderella, I think, is going to carry it all the way this year.
The first Pizza Hut opened in 1958 in Wichita and was moved in 1986 to the Wichita State campus.
102 Students Participate in Kansas Geographic Bee
Students from across the state will show off off their geography knowledge next week. The Kansas Geographic Bee will be held next Friday at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.
Just 102 competitors were selected after local contests at more than 200 schools in November. Students in grade 4 through 8 are eligible to participate.
Winners will advance to the national competition May 20 - 23 in Washington, D.C. The top three national finalists will win scholarships of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000.
National Geographic Society started the bee in 1988 to address a lack of geographic knowledge among young Americans.