Company Plans $35M Rail Car Refurbishment Plant
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — An Illinois-based company plans to build a $35 million plant in Hutchinson to refurbish rail cars used to transport crude oil and other combustible liquids. The Hutchinson News reports that Illinois-based Mervis Industries projects that the new business, Mervis Railcar, will employ 150 people within three years of opening. Pressure is growing to improve the safety of tank cars used to transport the growing volume of oil that new drilling methods are producing. Several accidents, including one in July 2013 in Quebec, have drawn attention to the issue. The Association of American Railroads mandated new safety enhancements in 2011. Now, federal officials are proposing that older cars be retrofitted to those standards. Besides retrofitting tankers, the plant also could convert tankers for non-hazardous uses or destroy and recycle them.
KC Restaurant Reopens After Deadly Explosion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An upscale Kansas City restaurant leveled by a gas explosion that killed one worker and injured several others will reopen next week less than a block from its original location. Brothers Jimmy and David Frantze, owners of JJ's restaurant, have spent nearly a year recreating the original restaurant in a 5,000-square-foot lobby space of a new 10-story building. The Kansas City Star reports that JJ's also will have a 1,600-square-foot patio. A natural gas leak caused the February 2013 explosion that killed server Megan Cramer, destroyed the restaurant and damaged two neighboring buildings. The new space will open at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Although the blast happened 20 months ago, more than 90 percent of JJ's 35 former employees are returning.
Wireless Devices Strain School District's Network
DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school district that has equipped high school and middle school students with laptop computers and tablets is finding its wireless network overwhelmed. The Derby Informer reports the problem is most acute during the 42-minute advisory period each afternoon at Derby High School. The school's roughly 2,000 students were issued laptops in the past year, and the advisory period is a peak time for accessing the wireless network with their computers, cellphones or other devices. All that demand means a reliable Internet connection may not be available to students and staff. The Derby School District is now looking at doubling its bandwidth, but officials are worried about how they'll pay for it.
Salina Police Warn of Synthetic Drug Emergencies
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Salina police say herbal potpourri being sold on the streets is especially potent and has contributed to a sharp increase in the number of medical emergencies caused by smoking it. The Salina Journal reports the Police Department had 15 calls in October for emergency service involving patients who had smoked the substance containing synthetic cannabinoids and commonly known as "spice," or K-2. Drug task force commander Lieutenant Bill Cox says the number of recent medical emergencies is nearing the level of people treated before a February 2011 raid shut down a local business that had sold the potpourri. Cox says law enforcement wants to stop or disrupt the supply of the substance before someone is seriously injured or killed.
License of Nurse Charged With Sex Crimes Revoked
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials have revoked the license of a nurse who was fired and later charged with sexually assaulting three patients. The Kansas City Star reports that the Kansas State Board of Nursing took the final steps to strip Dennis Clark of his license Friday. The 47-year-old Gardner man was charged last month in Wyandotte County District Court with three counts of aggravated sexual battery. Prosecutors said in a written statement that the alleged assaults occurred from December through May while Clark worked in a post-anesthesia care unit at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City. Law enforcement officials in Wyandotte County and Johnson County, where Clark worked previously, are continuing to investigate.