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Headlines for Saturday, August 1, 2015

July Kansas Tax Revenues Down $3.7 Million

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas collected about $3.7 million less in taxes than it expected in July, largely because of lower-than-anticipated revenues from its newly increased sales tax. The state Department of Revenue reported yesterday (FRI) that the state collected $417.6 million in taxes, when officials projected $421.3 million. The shortfall is 0.9 percent. The report came a day after Governor Sam Brownback's budget director announced $63 million in adjustments to the state's $15.4 billion budget to lessen the chances of a deficit. Lawmakers last month increased sales and cigarette taxes as well. Sales tax collections were $189.1 million for the month, or $3.9 million less than expected. The shortfall was 2 percent. But the state's personal income tax collections were $3 million more than expected, at $153 million. The surplus was 2 percent.


Moody's Rates Kansas Bonds

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A major credit agency is rating $1 billion in bonds that Kansas hopes to sell to bolster its pension system for teachers and government works in line with the state's existing rating. Moody's Investors Service this week assigned a rating of Aa3 to the bonds, which the state hopes to sell next month. That's one notch below the Aa2 rating for Kansas and a standard decrease when a state's legislature must appropriate money for annual bond payments. The ratings agency also said its outlook for the bonds is stable. The state pension system expects to earn significantly more from investing the funds raised by the bonds than the state will pay to retire the debt over 30 years. The state is limited to paying 5 percent interest to bond investors.


TriWest Healthcare To Hire 500 people in KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An Arizona-based health care services company for the military plans to open a service center in Kansas City and hire 500 employees. TriWest Healthcare Alliance, based in Phoenix, said yesterday (FRI) the center opening September 8th is the company's first center and administrative office in the Midwest. The company has already hired 160 employees and plans to add 340 in August. The company administers programs in 28 states for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Kansas City site will serve veterans from throughout the Midwest. The state Department of Economic Development says TriWest could get more than $2.4 million of incentives if it meets job creation and investment criteria. TriWest already has an administrative center in Fort Leonard Wood that helps with appointments at the local hospital.


7 Kansas Towns Receive Airport Funding

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state is awarding seven communities funding for airport projects. The $3.8 million in awards announced yesterday (FRI) by the Kansas Department of Transportation include two funds for Quinter, which will receive a total of nearly $2 million to construct a new airport.  Other funds from the Phase II Kansas Airport Improvement Program will go to Fort Scott, Hugoton, Independence, Minneapolis, Moline and Rose Hill. Transportation Secretary Mike King says Quinter's airport will fill a gap in airport services to rural Kansans. The programs first phase awarded funds to 21 projects earlier this year. The state reserves $5 million annually for the program. The department said in a news release it received 118 applications for 2016.


Man Arrested, Another at Large After Home Invasion

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — One of two men suspected in a Kansas home invasion makes a first court appearance while the second suspect remains at large. The Hutch Post reports a 32-year-old Hutchinson man has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and battery for an incident that happened yesterday (FRI) morning. He has not been formally charged. South Hutchinson police were called to a home shortly Friday morning and were told two men had forced their way inside and demanded money and valuables. The two victims said they fought with the intruders before one of the suspects left and came back with a handgun, firing twice but not hitting anyone. The suspects fled but an officer found and arrested one of them. The other suspect hasn't been located.


Chiefs Veterans Return to MO Western for Training Camp

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive tackle Mike DeVito, both coming back from season-ending injuries, were among the veterans reporting to training camp yesterday (FRI). This is generally a loathsome period for veterans, with insufferable practices in heat often topping triple digits. But Johnson and DeVito wore broad grins on their faces as they ambled up the pathway to Scanlon Hall at Missouri Western State University. Johnson's season ended before halftime of last season's opener when he ruptured his Achilles tendon with nobody near him. He remains 15 tackles away from breaking the franchise record.
Eight plays later, DeVito went down with the same injury at nearly the same spot on the field. And without him on the line, the Chiefs struggled all season to defend the run.


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