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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Thursday, July 14th

A study looking for ways to improve the court system in Kansas is halfway finished. The commission carrying out the study held hearings across the state to gather suggestions from the public. More than 600 people attended the meetings. Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court Lawton Nuss says he’s very pleased with the progress so far.The commission is looking for ways to make the courts more efficient. One suggestion includes using electronic court filing, to allow more court documents to be handled online. But Nuss says the court currently has little funding to implement a new system. The...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, July 14th

Since 1912, the Chamney (CHAMM-nee) Dairy Farm has been a Lawrence landmark. In the 1970s, the University of Kansas bought the property...and now, it's getting a decidedly modern makeover by a group of KU architecture students. KPR intern Becky Sullivan reports that the revamped site, which will be the home of the KU Center for Design Research, could be a harbinger of what's to come in developing "green" technologies for buildings on the KU campus.An open house will take place tomorrow (SAT) morning at the Center for Design Research, when the facility will officially "power up" with a public...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 13th

Members of the Kansas Board of Education have voted to cut their travel expense budget by 10 percent. The current budget is around 80 thousand dollars, split between the 10 board members. Board member Janet Waugh, of Kansas City, says the board needs to look at cutting costs during a tough budget time.Walt Chappell ("chapel"), a board member from Wichita, says they should look for cuts in other areas. He says traveling to meet with constituents is an important service.The board as a whole left more than 10 percent of the travel budget unspent last year, but three board members overspent...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 13th

A U-S Senate committee is scheduled to vote today (THUR) on the nomination of former Kansas Attorney General Steve Six to a federal judgeship. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, Six has recently attracted some high-profile backers.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 13th

Each year, the University of Kansas awards the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award to a distinguished science fiction writer through its Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Now, the estate of Theodore Sturgeon has donated an important archive to the Center. Beth Whitaker of the KU Libraries says that the long-standing relationship between Sturgeon and the University was a major factor in the donation.Theodore Sturgeon is widely regarded as an key figure in the so-called "Golden Age" of science fiction writing. He is credited as an influence on writers ranging from Kurt Vonnegut to...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 13th

The University of Kansas has been given an important set of papers by the estate of science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon. Sturgeon is well-known for his work on the television show "Star Trek" and his novel "More Than Human." His correspondence with writers including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison is included in the archive. His daughter and estate trustee Noël Sturgeon says she chose to give KU the papers in part because of the author's long-standing relationship with the university.The Sturgeon papers, valued at more than $600,000, will be housed at the Kenneth Spencer...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 13th

More elected officials in Lawrence are asking the governor to reverse a decision to close a social services office in the city. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has announced it will close the Lawrence SRS office.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 13th

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt will serve as co-chair of the consumer protection committee of a national group. Schmidt will take the position at the National Association of Attorneys General. Jeff Wagaman is a spokesperson for the A-G’s office.Schmidt will also co-chair the group’s committee on social networking.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, July 12th

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, faces a nearly 8 billion dollar deficit over the coming decades. Lawmakers passed legislation this year to help curb the problem. But as KPR's Stephen Koranda tells us, it's unclear if the law could be challenged in court.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, July 12th

A report released this week by a conservative Kansas think tank says the state does have the ability to change retirement benefits for current public employees. Lawmakers passed legislation last session that would require employees to pay more into the public pension system, or have their retirement benefits reduced. The public pension system in Kansas faces a multi-billion dollar deficit. Economist Ralph Benko studied federal law and court cases on the issue. He says federal law does not bar the state from changing the benefits of current employees, within reason.The Kansas Policy...

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