Kansas Labor Department Says State Lost 5,600 Jobs in July
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The July employment report is raising concerns in Topeka after the state Department of Labor reported the state shed 5,600 jobs last month. Private-sector jobs fell by 4,600 jobs in July, with the biggest drop in professional and business services. For the year, Kansas has lost 700 private-sector jobs, despite assurances from Governor Sam Brownback that his tax cuts are working. The Department of Labor report says the state's unemployment rate rose to 4.1 percent in July, up from 3.8 percent a month earlier. The jobless rate is still better than the national mark of 4.9 percent, but the U.S. gained 255,000 jobs last month as a whole. A Labor Department economist says positive strides in the Kansas City area didn't offset statewide declines.
Edgerton Lesbian Pastor, Methodist Church Agree to Separation
EDGERTON, Kan. (AP) — A lesbian pastor will leave her United Methodist Church in Edgerton at the end of August to avoid a church trial to determine if she should be ousted. Methodist officials and pastor Cynthia Meyer agreed in early August that she would give up her duties and go on involuntary leave. Her leave will begin September 1st. The Kansas City Star reports Meyer came out to her congregation in January. At the time, she said she hoped the denomination was close to changing its ban on gay clergy. That didn't happen and a church trial was scheduled for August 24th. Under the agreement, Meyer can't be appointed as a pastor at any church but could be hired to perform functions similar to a lay staff person.
Body of Topeka Man Recovered in Lake Perry
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of a Topeka man thought to have drowned while sailing alone on an eastern Kansas lake. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the body of 46-year-old Jeff Miller was found yesterday (SAT) morning at the northeast part of Lake Perry, west of Longview Park. Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig says the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism was called Friday evening to search for Miller, who was last seen on his 26-foot sailboat. The Sheriff's Department and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers searched until about midnight Friday, then resumed the search yesterday (SAT). Herrig says his department was working with the Wildlife Department to investigate Miller's death.
Topeka Motorcyclist Arrested After High-Speed Chase
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A motorcyclist who fled from law enforcement at speeds well over 130 mph has been taken into custody after a 10-minute pursuit that ended at the man's home.The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the man, who appeared to be in his 20s, was taken into custody yesterday (SAT) afternoon after he went into his home as troopers in a helicopter watched from above. Kansas Highway Patrol Sargeant Mark Christesen says the chase began in a construction zone on Interstate 70 west of the Kansas Turnpike's east Topeka interchange, where the rider was clocked at 95 mph in a 55 mph zone. Officers on the ground backed off while the helicopter continued to watch as the Suzuki hit speeds in excess of 130 mph.
Wyandotte County Receives $1.9 Million Health Grant
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A $1.9 million grant is being used to help 10,000 Wyandotte County residents improve their health.The grant will fund a three-year initiative to improve the overall health of the county, which generally is ranked as one of the worst in the state on health issues. The grant is from the United Health Foundation, Minneapolis-based nonprofit that funds health-related programs. The Kansas City Star reports that seven community health workers have been working since April on the effort. They have helped dozens of people get prescriptions, find primary care physicians and sign up for health insurance. Dennis Dunmyer with Missouri-based Kansas City Care Clinic says the initiative's ultimate goal is to teach people skills to manage their own healthy living so they don't need the workers anymore.
KC School District Drops Bus Company Over Poor Inspections
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Public Schools is cutting ties with a school bus provider whose vehicles fared poorly in an inspection conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The Kansas City Star reports the school district announced Friday it had dropped Daye Transportation Services as its busing provider for Lincoln College Preparatory Academy.An inspection of 19 Daye Transportation buses that serve the college preparatory magnet school found that eight needed to be pulled from service until they're fixed, eight had minor issues, and only three passed fully. Officials with Daye Transportation were not available for comment. The district's decision follows a week in which some buses were late picking up Lincoln Prep students on Monday and Tuesday, resulting in students arriving an hour late for school.