Government

wichita.hyatt.com

Wichita City Council members have approved the sale of Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Wichita for $20 million.

Phil Ruffin, a Las Vegas casino and hotel owner, came in with the highest bid and is expected to finalize the purchase over the next two months. The city only received one other bid, one for $10.4 million from Riverfront Partners.

Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport Facebook

An aviation bill working its way to President Obama will keep an airport weather reporting program in place at Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport through fiscal year 2017.

The legislation keeps the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from terminating the Contract Weather Observer (CWO) program at Eisenhower and 56 other mid-size airports until the agency does a thorough review of the issue.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Thousands of people in Sedgwick County are taking advantage of early voting before Aug. 2--and there's more than one way to get your vote in ahead of the Kansas primary.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas has hired a new state government official responsible for regulating drones. As Stephen Koranda reports, the state’s first director of unmanned aircraft systems says Kansas could be at the forefront of the technology.

Air Force veteran Bob Brock will lead the efforts in Kansas to regulate unmanned aircraft while boosting the industry. Brock says the state’s aircraft sector puts Kansas in a position to become a leader in areas like manufacturing and training related to drones.

FEMA

Floods, tornadoes and other severe weather can cause chaos in a community. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hopes its smartphone app can help people prepare and recover.

The FEMA app lets you upload photos from a disaster, find a shelter and check on conditions for up to five different locations. Brenda Gustafson of the Kansas City FEMA office says the app also has checklists for preparations and details specific to each kind of event.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

There’s less than a week left to register to vote in Kansas for the August primary election.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says people can contact the local election office if they need help before the July 12 deadline.

"If you have moved, changed your name or you just need to get register, you need to go ahead and get that taken care of before July 12 so you won’t have any issues when you go to vote, either early or in person," Lehman says.

National WIC Association

The Sedgwick County Commission brought a controversial resolution back for a vote on Wednesday.

Gage Skidmore, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas taxpayers have been picking up the tab for state officials and legislators to fly in the state-owned executive aircraft to attend out-of-state sports events and take trips with family and friends, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Government officials appear to have no qualms about their own travel in the state's nine-passenger Raytheon King Air 350, despite Kansas' budget crunch that has led the governor to criticize schools for spending too much and lawmakers in the GOP-majority Statehouse to accuse poor people of spending welfare money on cruises.

Anne Davis 773, flickr Creative Commons

Among the nearly 100 laws that went into effect in Kansas on Friday is one that deals with drones and personal privacy.

The legislation stems from a complaint by a family in Olathe who accused a neighbor of frequently flying a small unmanned aircraft, often called a drone, over their property. The family argued for a right to privacy after they complained of seeing the same drone hovering above their backyard on a regular basis.

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers avoided a legal fight shutting down schools at the beginning of this month. Legislators adjusted the budget to comply with a Supreme Court ruling. But as statehouse reporter Stephen Koranda reports, there’s more legal wrangling ahead in a lawsuit over school funding.

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