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Community
10:58 am
Wed April 2, 2014

UPDATE: Kansas Senate Expected To Approve State Regulation For Firearms

UPDATE : The Kansas Senate is expected to approve a bill that strips cities and counties of their power to regulate firearms and voids existing gun ordinances.

The bill facing a final vote today would ensure that the open carrying of firearms is legal across the state, though local officials could still prevent it inside public buildings.

The Kansas Senate will debate a bill on Tuesday that strips cities and counties of their power to regulate firearms.

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Community
10:50 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Plans To Level 'Points Of Rocks' Monument For Highway Expansion Abandoned

A plan to expand U.S. 50 in southwestern Kansas no longer includes leveling a historic rock formation.

U.S. 50 expansion from a two-lane road into a four-lane expressway will use a paved 16-foot median as it passes the Point of Rocks formation, which was once used as a navigational aid for travelers and cowboys along the Santa Fe Trail.

The original plan would have leveled the formation.

But the Kansas Department of Transportation considered other options after discussions with groups, including the Santa Fe Trail Association.

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Community
10:37 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Immigration Mural Restored For The Second Time, Security Cameras Installed To Deter Future Mischief

The "Immigration is Beautiful" mural after its second restoration. A security camera has also been installed to catch future vandals.
Credit Carla Eckels

Volunteers have removed two swastikas that were spray-painted onto a mural in Wichita. On Saturday, volunteers scrubbed off two swastikas that had been sprayed in black paint on "Immigration is beautiful" mural in north Wichita.

High school students painted the art on the side of a store near 21st and Park Place. It depicts depicts two people wrapped in flags, one an American and one Mexican.

In early February, vandals also spray-painted the words "KKK," "welfare" and slur against people from Mexico on the mural.

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Community
7:24 am
Fri March 28, 2014

'Immigration Is Beautiful' Mural Defaced For The Second Time In Five Weeks

The Immigration mural after its first restoration.
Credit Lindsey Herkommer

Wichita's "Immigration Is Beautiful" mural has been vandalized for the second time in five weeks.

The north Wichita mural depicts a map of the United States, with images of the Statue of Liberty and two people wrapped in the U.S. and Mexican flags.

Two swastikas were painted on the mural late Monday or early Tuesday.

Artists had recently removed racist, anti-immigration and homophobic graffiti painted on it in mid-February.

Security cameras have been set up at the mural to catch any future cases of vandalism.

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Community
11:40 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Dies At Age 84

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the fiery founder of a small Topeka church who drew international condemnation for  hate-filled protests blamed almost everything--including the deaths of AIDS victims and U.S. soldiers--on America's tolerance for gay people, has died. He was 84.

Daughter Margie Phelps told The Associated Press that Fred Phelps died shortly after midnight Thursday. She didn't provide the cause of death or the condition that recently put him in hospice care.

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Community
9:50 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Kansas Equality Groups Ask for Respect for Phelps Family

Family members of 84-year-old Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps have confirmed that he's in hospice care in Topeka and may be near death.

The group is known for funeral protests that have created a lot of anger, but equality groups are asking for a different response to Phelp's condition.

Stephanie Mott is with the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, or K-STEP. She's a transgender woman. She has traveled the nation giving presentations on LGBT issues and often hears the same question over and over.

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Community
7:30 am
Mon March 17, 2014

UPDATE: Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Dies At 84

Updated on March 20 at 11:24 CT: WIBW and the Topeka Capital-Journal has confirmed that Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, has died at the age of 84.

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Community
9:53 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Kansas Senate Reopens Talks Over 'Religious Freedom Bill'

Legislators are also reopening debate on whether the state should give special legal protections for people, groups, and businesses who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons.

A Senate panel will take testimony on Thursday from legal scholars on whether existing state laws protect gay-marriage opponents from being fined or sued for refusing to provide goods or services for same-sex weddings.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing follows the House's passage of what supporters called a "religious freedom" bill.

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Community
10:15 am
Wed March 5, 2014

English Runner Continues To Dominate Against Liberal In Annual Pancake Race

An English runner won the 65th annual Shrove Tuesday pancake race on Tuesday.

20-year-old Devon Byrne of Olney, England, covered the course in a record time of 55.61 seconds. This is her third win in a row.

Runners in this friendly competition between Olney and Liberal, Kansas, wear aprons and head scarves, and run the course with a pancake in a pan.

Byrne beat 25-year-old Summer Parsons, who won the leg of the race in Liberal with a time of 63.5 seconds.

Olney has won the race 28 times, and Liberal has 36 wins.

Community
9:52 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Gay-Rights Activists Rally At Statehouse To Protest 'Religious Freedom Bill'

Gay-rights supporters are rallying at the Kansas Statehouse at 1pm on Tuesday to protest anti-gay marriage legislation that critics contend would encourage discrimination.

Rally organizers include: the group Equality Kansas, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

They oppose a bill that prohibits government fines and anti-discrimination lawsuits when people, groups, businesses cite their religious beliefs for refusing goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

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