Grassroots Plays Outsized Role in Kansas Elections
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Bipartisan grassroots political organizations have been gaining strength across Kansas in recent months. Political experts say the movement is partly why the races for governor and U.S. Senate that were believed a year ago to be near-walkovers for Republicans are now close. Two groups of current and former moderate Republican officials have endorsed Democratic candidates. Dozens of advocacy groups with diverse agendas have formed coalitions to work together to reach dissatisfied voters. Activists have turned to social media to counter massive campaign money flooding into Kansas. Political scientist Bob Beatty says in past elections, grassroots campaigns came from the right, mainly from anti-abortion forces. That same tactic of grassroots organizing is happening now, but it is happening from the center and the left.
Kansas faces shortage of math, science teachers
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The challenge of recruiting math and science teachers is expected to increase in Kansas as more of them approach retirement and demand for the courses they teach rises. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that job growth is strong in the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. That's led to an enrollment surge. The head of the University of Kansas' Center for STEM Learning and a colleague analyzed six years of data on the state's middle- and high-school math and science teachers. They found that nearly 20 percent will become eligible to retire in three more years. Experts say there aren't enough new teachers being recruited to take their place. As of August 1st, Kansas' secondary schools were still seeking at least 36 math and science teachers.
Charges Amended Against Supremacist Suspect
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Criminal charges have been amended against a supremacist accused of fatally shooting three people at suburban Kansas City Jewish sites. The Kansas City Star reports that 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. faces a single capital murder count for all three victims after Johnson County prosecutors dismissed a separate first-degree murder charge. Cross, also known as F. Glenn Miller Junior, is accused of killing 69-year-old William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park on April 13th. Prosecutors said Cross then went to the nearby Village Shalom senior care facility and killed 53-year-old Terri LaManno of Kansas City, Missouri. The amended charges say the three were killed as part of a common scheme or course of conduct.