Kansas Education Funding Battle to Continue
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas is bracing for more contentious legal and political fights over education funding even after legislators approved a narrow, short-term fix to satisfy a court mandate.The Kansas Supreme Court directed lawmakers in a ruling last month to make education funding fairer to poor areas, forcing them to have a special session.But the court will consider next the larger issue of whether the state spends enough overall on its schools. The justices could rule by early next year. Governor Sam Brownback and the GOP-dominated Legislature's leaders already have committed to rewriting school funding laws next year.And Kansas is likely to remain mired in the budget problems that will put pressure on legislators to rethink income tax cuts enacted in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback's urging.
Tonganoxie Man Charged in Death of Kansas City Detective
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A 29-year-old man charged in the death of a Kansas City, Kansas, police detective has made his first court appearance in Kansas.Curtis Ayers, of Tonganoxie, is charged with capital murder in the May 9 death of Detective Brad Lancaster.Ayers is accused of fleeing to Missouri in a car after Lancaster was shot.Kansas City, Missouri, police shot and wounded Ayers before taking him into custody. He had been hospitalized until Monday when he was returned to Kansas to face the charges.The Kansas City Star reports Ayers appeared Friday in Wyandotte County court, where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days. He wasn't required to enter a plea. His next court date is July 20. Prosecutors say they anticipate filing additional charges.
Ground Broken for Wichita's New Arts Center
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Officials have broken ground on Wichita's new multimillion dollar arts center, which is scheduled to open in about two years. About 400 people gathered Wednesday for the center's groundbreaking. Liz Koch, honorary trustee for the center, announced it will be called Mark Arts-The Mary R Koch Arts Center. The current center is known as the Wichita Center for the Arts. The Wichita Eagle reports the new center, which is scheduled to open in 2018, will include a gallery for national exhibits, an event center, studios for artists and sculpture garden. Center officials say the first phase of the 40,000-square-foot center will cost $19 million, and the center is working to raise an additional $1 million for landscaping and walking trails.
Bass Pro Discrimination Lawsuit Moves Forward
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled that a discrimination lawsuit against Springfield, Missouri-based Bass Pro Shops can proceed. The Springfield News-Leader reports the lawsuit brought by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2011, accuses the outdoor retailer of discriminating against black and Hispanic job applicants. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans recently agreed with procedural decisions by the federal court in Texas, allowing the case to move forward.Bass Pro has long denied the allegations and also criticized the appeals panel's decision, saying it doesn't provide any guidance for the district court on how to try the EEOC's claims without violating Bass Pro's rights.
Kiowa's Project Pink House to Open Mid-July
KIOWA, Kan. (AP) - Two women are turning an old southern Kansas hospital into an oasis for unwed mothers during and after their pregnancies Miranda Allen and Brenda Myers paid $1 for the old Kiowa hospital after voters decided to build a new one. They are transforming the facility into what they've named Project Pink House, which will take in its first resident in mid-July.The two breast cancer survivors say residents will take steps to better themselves while they're there, including doing volunteer work and attending classes. Allen and Myers figure women who need them will find their way to the town of fewer than 1,000 residents a few miles from the Oklahoma border.The Hutchinson News reports they're willing to buy bus tickets for applicants who need help getting there.
Advocates Promise to Re-Visit Wind Power Line Proposal
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Supporters of a transmission line that would carry wind power from western Kansas to the East Coast say they will present the proposal again in Missouri, which rejected it last year. But opponents of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line say they are ready to stop the proposal again.The proposed transmission line would run from Kansas through Missouri and Illinois to a substation in Indiana,where it will connect with a grid to take power farther east.Kansas, Illinois and Indiana regulators have approved the project but the Missouri Public Service Commission rejected it after strong opposition from many residents. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Clean Line Energy Partners, the Houston-based company leading the project, plans to re-file the application with the Missouri commission in the coming weeks.
Pesky Zebra Mussels Spotted in Hillsdale Reservoir
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Invasive zebra mussels have been found in another Kansas reservoir.The state department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says zebra mussels have been found in Hillsdale Reservoir in Miami County. The department says there's no way to completely rid a lake of zebra mussels, which are usually introduced into lakes after attaching themselves to boats or from bait buckets. Zebra mussels can produce huge populations in a short time. Their vast populations can clog intake pipes hindering water treatment and other operations that draw water from the lakes. The invasive mollusks have also been found in most of the other reservoirs in Kansas, as well as several lakes and rivers.