Kansas State University

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

About 60 people showed up for a public forum at Kansas State University yesterday on how best to implement a new state law that will allow concealed carry of handguns on university campuses in Kansas next July.

Kansas lawmakers — at least the majority of incumbents — think college campuses will be safer starting next July. That’s when a law they approved will allow people to carry concealed handguns on Kansas Board of Regents campuses.

Universities in Kansas have been taking steps to absorb state funding cuts. As Stephen Koranda reports, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University are adopting different approaches.

KU announced this week that there would be positions left unfilled and targeted budget cuts, including some significant reductions to certain programs. At K-State, the strategy is a little different: Spokesperson Jeff Morris says K-State officials gave all departments an equal cut of just under 4 percent.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University has been awarded a federal grant to help get more eligible children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The “Connecting Kids to Coverage” grant is almost a million dollars.

K-State plans to target Latino and immigrant children in four rural counties in the state. They’ll use bilingual ambassadors to help enroll kids at schools and health centers.

The Kansas grant is part of $32 million provided through a recently enacted bill to reauthorize Medicaid and CHIP.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback is cutting most state agencies 4 percent to balance the Kansas budget for next year.

Lawmakers approved an unbalanced budget that required the governor to make almost $100 million in spending reductions to comply with the state Constitution. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says the governor exempted some agencies and K-12 schools.

Stephen Koranda

Gov. Sam Brownback is considering a budget plan that requires him to make spending cuts. Brownback says he has not yet decided if he’ll veto a provision in the budget affecting the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the budget item says spending cuts should hit those schools harder than other universities.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A Cargill executive told a crowd at Kansas State University Monday night that climate change is real, and must be addressed head-on to prevent future food shortages. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more.

k-state.edu

A new environmentally friendly stormwater demonstration and training project is coming to Kansas State University.

Faculty and students at Kansas State will create “living laboratories” to monitor wet weather runoff at two campus sites… the rain garden at the university's International Student Center and a meadow near the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

The idea is to treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste.

This “green infrastructure” project will use vegetation, soils, and natural processes to create sustainable stormwater management.

Jack Pearce, flickr Creative Commons

Researchers from Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska are modifying an oilseed for use as a potential diesel replacement.

Their work on Camelina sativa is focused on lowering its viscosity essentially, its resistance to flowing. Plant oils typically have a high enough viscosity that they build up in engines, limiting their use as petroleum product replacement, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

AgriLife Today (agrilifetoday) / Flickr.

Two Kansas State University researchers are developing a type of wheat that will tolerate hotter temperatures as the grain is developing.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that problem is kernels start to shrivel if temperatures are too high--the wheat grains begin to fill out. That happens in May and June in Kansas.

The transgenic wheat contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced.

In this case, the researchers added genetic material from rice to wheat.

First Amendment expert Mike Merriam says K-State's heavily redacted 11-page response to a newspaper's open records request highlights shortcomings in the state's open records law.

The Topeka Capital-Journal filed a request seeking more information on the process that went into crafting Governor Sam Brownback's budget proposal. The newspaper asked for all emails between K-State's Institute for Commercialization President Kent Glasscock and state budget director Shawn Sullivan from November through late January.

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