Prison officials charge doctor’s killer
WICHITA (AP) — The man convicted of killing one of the nation’s few late-term abortion providers is now accused of trying to intimidate the woman who reopened his shuttered clinic, prison officials said.
The Kansas Department of Corrections said Tuesday it filed an administrative charge against inmate Scott Roeder under a prison regulation which prohibits threatening or intimidating anyone. The 55-year-old abortion opponent is serving a life s...
Senate approves bonds for new lab
TOPEKA (AP) — The Kansas Senate approved an additional $202 million in bonds for construction of the new federal biodefense lab in Manhattan on Wednesday, despite concerns by conservative Republicans about whether the state could afford it.
Gov. Sam Brownback maintains that the bonds will complete the state’s financial obligation to the federal government to build the $1 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State Universit...
House outlines plan for tax cuts
TOPEKA (AP) — Republicans in the Kansas House have drafted a new plan for cutting income taxes in hopes of breaking stalemate on tax issues.
The proposal presented during negotiations Wednesday would stabilize the budget by canceling part of a sales tax decrease scheduled for July by law.
The 6.3 percent sales tax would drop to 6 percent under the new plan. Under current law, it would decline to 5.7 percent.
The Senate backed Republican Gov. S...
Use of racial slur brings criticism
TOPEKA (AP) — Several black leaders in Topeka said Tuesday that a Kansas State Board of Education member’s use of a racial slur during a meeting last month was unnecessary and inappropriate.
Carolyn Campbell, the only black member of the board, and other black community leaders criticized board member Steve Roberts for using the slur at April’s board meeting. Campbell said she had received several calls from constituents asking for Roberts to ...
Common Core critics voice their concerns
TOPEKA (AP) — Critics of the Kansas Board of Education’s decision to adopt national standards for math and reading urged the board on Tuesday to reconsider its decision.
Opponents of the Common Core standards, which were developed by a national consortium, spent nearly two hours criticizing the standards during a public comment session that opened the board’s two-day monthly meeting.
Walt Chappell, a Wichita consultant and former board member,...
KU faculty, staff seek more benefits
LAWRENCE (AP) — Some University of Kansas faculty and staff have asked for expanded tuition benefits for themselves and their families, following an audit that found that the university isn’t keeping pace with others in the state.
Kansas is the only one of six Board of Regents universities in the state that doesn’t offer assistance to dependents, and it and Washburn University are the only two in Kansas that don’t offer tuition assistance for ...
Plane crashes near Crestline
CRESTLINE (AP) — A pilot is recovering from injuries he suffered when his crop duster crashed in far southeastern Kansas.
KOAM-TV reported the plane went down shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday near an industrial park north of the Cherokee County town of Crestline.
Sheriff David Groves identified the pilot as a 48-year-old man from Cherokee County. The sheriff said the pilot was able to walk away from the plane to find the landowners and call emer...
Rep. Grant announces retirement
TOPEKA (AP) — A veteran Southeast Kansas Democrat, clad in an uncharacteristic coat and tie, announced Friday that he will retire from office at the end of the 2013 session.
Bob Grant of Frontenac told colleagues on Friday that he would be stepping down to spend more time with his family. His retirement is effective Dec. 10.
“It’s been a hell of a ride, but come January it will be time for me to stay home,” Grant said. “It’s time to go home an...
Police arrest man for homicides
OTTAWA (AP) — Authorities in eastern Kansas said Thursday they have arrested a 27-year-old man in the deaths of three people whose bodies were found on a farm, and that a fourth victim — an 18-month-old girl — is presumed dead.
Franklin County Sheriff Jeffrey Richards said during an afternoon news conference that the prosecutor has 48 hours from the time the suspect is arrested to file formal charges. He was arrested early Thursday and is bein...
Authorities question man in homicides
OTTAWA (AP) — A man was being questioned in the deaths of three people on an eastern Kansas farm after he and a car belonging to a missing woman were found in a town less than an hour away.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says a car in which 22-year-old Kaylie Bailey and her 18-month-old daughter were last seen was located Tuesday night in Emporia but they were still missing. The sheriff didn’t say whether the person of interest, who also...
Advocates rally against KanCare plan for disabled
TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas legislators returned Wednesday to the Statehouse to resume the 2013 session, hoping to move closer to resolving differences over the $14.5 billion budget for 2014.
They were met by more than 1,000 advocates for the intellectually and developmentally disabled who rallied against folding services for disabled residents into the state’s KanCare Medicaid system.
Advocates are concerned that services for the disabled would be r...
Friends find three bodies near Ottawa
OTTAWA (AP) — Authorities on Tuesday were investigating the deaths of three people whose bodies were found on a rural property in eastern Kansas, a day after friends of the residents called police to report a foul smell at the site.
Meanwhile, investigators in a nearby county were waiting to see if one of the bodies is a suburban Kansas City mother who has been missing with her 18-month-old baby since last week.
The bodies of two adult men and...
Advocates back plan for disabled
TOPEKA (AP) — Advocates for the disabled Monday praised Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to use projected savings from the state’s Medicaid program to pay for in-home services and said they also will push for a long-term plan to end waiting lists for such assistance.
The Kansas Developmental Disabilities Policy Group’s endorsement of the Republican governor’s plan came even as advocates for the developmentally disabled remained at odds with Brownback...
Attorney touts civil rights on Law Day
WICHITA (AP) — The top federal prosecutor in Kansas said Wednesday that if law enforcement officials violate someone’s civil rights while investigating terrorism, then the government becomes as bad as the people it’s trying to protect the public from.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom made the comments during a Wichita State University event commemorating Law Day in Kansas. Grissom’s talk was about protecting public safety and human rights. The audi...
Center might remain closed
SALINA (AP) — Saline County commissioners say the county’s juvenile detention center will be closed through the end of the year, and might close permanently.
When Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski closed the center on Monday he said he hoped to reopen it by July. But after meeting in executive session Tuesday, the commissioners said closing the center might be the most financially prudent decision, The Salina Journal reported.
School lawsuit talks fail to produce
TOPEKA (AP) — Two days of talks aimed at settling a lawsuit that challenges Kansas’ school finance system were unsuccessful, attorneys for both sides said in a status report filed Wednesday with the state Supreme Court.
Attorneys representing plaintiff school districts and parents met with those representing the state for court-ordered mediation Monday and Tuesday.
“The mediation was not successful,” said John Robb, a Newton attorney represent...
K-State employees consider leaving civil service
TOPEKA (AP) — Hourly employees at Kansas State University are discussing whether to stop being civil service employees — a move that would give the school authority to make decisions about their pay and other job-related issues instead of the Legislature.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the move would affect nearly 1,800 so-called “classified employees,” including custodial staff and some administrative and supervisory workers.
Pitt State students work with drone
PITTSBURG — From iPlan Tables to 3-D printers, new technology is continuing to change the ways the construction industry operates. These technological innovations are making the industry both safer and more efficient.
Lately, another type of new technology is finding its way into the construction business. Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones, are being used to inspect high, hard-to-reach spots. In some cases, they even help ...
KRPS turns 25
PITTSBURG — Bob Walter is a news junkie. He’s a self-proclaimed jazz aficionado. He also loves classical music. So, one could imagine his excitement at 4 p.m., April 29, 1988.
“Oh, it was a tremendous moment,” Walter, the former dean of learning resources at Pittsburg State University, said. “It was a festive party.”
That “moment” was when KRPS began broadcasting from the campus of PSU. From the beginning, the station’s mix of NPR news, classi...
Debt to Chinese remains target
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite what you may have heard, China isn’t the country’s biggest creditor. America is.
The bulk of the national debt — soon to exceed a staggering $17 trillion — is held by the Federal Reserve, Social Security system, various pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel, U.S. banks, mutual funds, private pension plans, insurance companies and individual domestic investors.
China is responsible for just a s...