Efforts to Repeal Common Core Gain Traction in Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An effort to repeal national educational standards in math and reading is moving forward in the Kansas Legislature. The House Education Committee approved a bill last month that would prohibit school districts from using Common Core standards. The Kansas Department of Education says the standards will better prepare students for college and life, but critics say they set a national curriculum instead of letting local leaders decide what's best for students. House Speaker Ray Merrick's spokeswoman Rachel Whitten said the bill was sent back to committee to remove the most-opposed provisions. Common Core supporters say they worry that signals the bill could pass this year. The standards call for a classroom focus on analytical skills instead of rote memorization.
Parents of Alleged Rape Victim Sue University of Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Parents of a former University of Kansas student who says she was raped in university housing are suing the university, claiming its housing is unsafe. The university, however, says its campus and housing are safe and that it works hard to ensure student safety. In the lawsuit filed Friday in Douglas County, James and Amanda Tackett's daughter, Daisy Tackett, says she was a freshman at the University of Kansas when she was raped in a university apartment by another student-athlete in 2014. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, claims the university has misled the public by representing campus housing as safe. The Associated Press doesn't normally name rape victims, but Daisy Tackett, a former varsity rower, told The Lawrence Journal-World and The Dallas Morning News she wanted her name used.
Kansas Man Found Guilty of Murder after Third Trial
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A jury has convicted a 31-year-old man in the 2014 death of another man. The Lawrence Journal World reports that Dustin Walker was found guilty Friday of first-degree felony murder in the March 2014 death of 39-year-old Patrick Roberts. It was Walker's third trial in connection with Roberts' death after two previous juries failed to reach decisions on the murder charge. Walker was accused of breaking into Roberts' duplex to steal marijuana and money. During the incident, police say, Walker shot and killed Roberts. Another defendant, Archie Robinson, was found guilty earlier of first-degree murder and aggravated burglary in Roberts' death. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 20 years. Sentencing for Walker is April 29th.
KC Named a Finalist for Transportation Award
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Transportation says Kansas City is among seven finalists for a $50 million award. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement yesterday (SAT) that Kansas City is a finalist in the "Beyond Traffic, Smart City Challenge," which is intended to help mid-sized cities deal with changing transportation needs and plan innovative traffic approaches. The Kansas City Star reports the federal government will allocate $40 million to one city, which also will be eligible to apply for $10 million from Vulcan Philanthropy to support the development of electric vehicles and other low-carbon strategies. The other finalists are Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. The winning city will be announced this summer. The finalist cities will receive $100,000 to refine their proposals.