Government

Wichita City Council
5:49 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Vote To Fill Vacant City Council Seat Delayed

Joshua Blick withdrew his name from consideration for the interim District IV seat while addressing the Council Tuesday.
Credit Carla Eckels

The Wichita City Council voted Tuesday to postpone a vote for the interim District IV seat vacated by Kansas senator-elect Michael O'Donnell. 

The council plans to fill the position next week.

Council members spoke with candidates Joshua Blick, Jeff Blubaugh, Paul Gray and Stan Reeser Monday during one-on-one interviews.

During Tuesday's meeting, each of the candidates addressed the council. Blick said southwest Wichita will suffer if a selection isn't made soon.

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Wichita City Council
4:39 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Wichita City Manager Gets First Pay Raise

The Wichita City Council today unanimously approved an 8 percent raise for City Manager Bob Layton.

The council had not given Layton a pay raise since he was hired in 2008, due to overall economic budget restraints.

All of the council members thanked Layton for his efforts including Jeff Longwell who says he appreciates the hard work that Layton has done on behalf of the citizens in the city.

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Government
10:50 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Incoming KS Senate Majority Leader Selects Staff

Incoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce has filled out his staff with a former congressional intern and an aide to the state House speaker.

Bruce chose Kara Evans to be his legislative director. Evans recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science and government from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Evans has worked as an intern for Republican U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Bruce has also hired Katrina Abraham as his executive assistant. Abraham held the same position for outgoing House Speaker Mike O'Neal.

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Government
5:53 am
Tue January 8, 2013

KS Legislators Warn About Drop in State Revenue

Democrats in the Kansas House say legislators have been warned that Governor Sam Brownback's tax cuts are likely to mean there's less cash to go around. 

"Legislative services who are the people we rely on, have always relied on for years, told you there would be a problem, tax experts in the state told you we would have a deficit before the session even started, that makes sense," says Democratic Representative Barbara Ballard of Lawrence.

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Government
6:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Brownback Fills Vacancy On Medical Board

Gov. Sam Brownback has named Dr. Joel Hutchins of Holton, Kan., to the State Board of Healing Arts.

The northeast Kansas physician will serve a four-year term on the 15-member board, which licenses and regulates physicians.

Hutchins will replace Dr. Nancy Welsh of Topeka. Welsh was appointed by Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. She stepped down in November, after serving on the board since 2004.

Hutchins is a former Air Force pilot who has practiced medicine for more than 20 years. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

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Wichita City Council
5:50 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Vacated Wichita City Council Seat To Be Filled This Week

Four candidates from District IV will be considered this week for the interim Wichita City Council seat.

Michael O'Donnell vacated his seat on the city council when he was elected to serve in the Kansas State Senate this fall.

Candidates Joshua Blick, Jeff Blubaugh, Paul Gray and Stan Reeser were all nominated by the District IV Advisory Board. Three of the candidates were interviewed last week by the board at a public forum in south Wichita.

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Wichita City Council
5:45 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Board To Interview For Vacant City Council Seat

The District IV Advisory Board will conduct interviews for the interim Wichita City Council seat during a special meeting next week.

Two of the candidates are former city council members and one lost to the outgoing incumbent. The District IV seat in southwest Wichita will open on January 1 after council member Michael O'Donnell resigns on December 31. O'Donnell was elected to the Kansas State Senate in November.

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Government
5:10 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Wichita City Council Votes To Move Downtown Apartment Project Forward

Artist renderings of the proposed Exchange Place project.
Foulston Siefkin LLP

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend an agreement for a major apartment structure to be built in downtown Wichita. The change allows the Exchange Place Project to move forward.

Changes include a new developer for the Exchange Place project - John McWilliams, President of Talos Holdings out of Park City, Utah, will replace Minnesota developers.

McWilliams has a proven record with financed projects through HUD, US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Government
12:20 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Legislators To Propose KanCare Oversight Panel

Kansas legislators will introduce measures during the 2013 session to create oversight of the state's new KanCare Medicaid system.

House Rep. David Crum and Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook announced their plans Monday during a Statehouse news conference. KanCare is the new federally approved system for Medicaid in Kansas, providing health care services to low-income and disabled residents.

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Government
5:54 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Brownback Seeks To Merge JJA With Corrections

The Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.
Credit Jimmy Emerson / Flickr

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wants to merge the state's Juvenile Justice Authority with the Department of Corrections. The governor says he’ll propose an executive reorganization order in the coming legislative session to merge the two agencies.

Brownback says a Legislative Post Audit report this summer showed that the social services approach of previous administration failed to provide safety and security. He says the merger will improve safety, and that programs proven to get youth back on the right path will continue.

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