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KPR Web Operations Friday, March 2nd

Future site of federal bio-lab in Manhattan. TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new assessment on the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan concludes that changes in the lab's design have sharply reduced the risk for accidental release of deadly diseases.  The assessment released today (FRI) by the Department of Homeland Security updates a report issued in 2010. The new document puts the risk of an accidental release at one-tenth of 1 percent, down from the previous calculation of a 70 percent chance of release.  Supporters credit design changes made since the first report for the...

KPR Web Operations Friday, March 2nd

(Photo Courtesy of U.S. Secret Service) ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — St. Joseph police say someone has been passing counterfeit $20 bills around town for the past couple of weeks.  Detective Richard Shelton says most of the bills have the same serial number, which leads him to believe the counterfeiters are local. At least eight businesses have reported receiving the fake money.  The St. Joseph News-Press reports that the manager of a U.S. Oil store says someone tried to use two fake $20 bills last month, but a clerk became suspicious and determined they were counterfeit. The manager says the...

KPR Web Operations Friday, March 2nd

  First Lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo) KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Michelle Obama will be in Kansas City and St. Louis next week for Democratic Party events.  Obama's office says the first lady will to speak Monday at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Kansas City, then fly to St. Louis later in the day to speak at a DNC reception. No other details of those appearances were announced.  The White House says Obama will greet National Guard members and military veterans when she arrives at airports in Kansas City and St. Louis.

KPR Web Operations Friday, March 2nd

  19 Kansas Counties Now Covered by Gov's Disaster Declaration TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback has declared a disaster emergency in 19 counties hit this week by violent weather, including the storm that spawned a deadly tornado in the eastern Kansas town of Harveyville.  The governor made the disaster declaration yesterday (THUR).  Brownback had already declared of a state of emergency Tuesday night in Wabaunsee County after the tornado hit Harveyville. But other areas also had damaging winds, hail and tornadoes.  In addition to Wabaunsee County...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 1st

  Governor Brownback joins a mounted color guard at the Statehouse. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)Governor Sam Brownback has signed legislation aimed at helping military families in Kansas. The law will make it easier for some spouses of military personnel to work in the state. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the signing was part of Armed Forces Appreciation Day at the Statehouse  

KPR Web Operations Thursday, March 1st

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Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 1st

Brownback speaking to reporters before his trip to Harveyville. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)Governor Sam Brownback toured Harveyville today (THUR) to see first hand the damage caused by this week’s tornado. The twister damaged around half the town's buildings. It left one person dead and more than a dozen injured. Before the trip, Brownback said he’d be looking for any specific needs the community may have. Brownback says the state has already deployed all available resources. He says the damage will have to reach more than $3 million to be eligible for federal emergency management assistance...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, March 1st

LANSING, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in northeastern Kansas have identified the man who opened fire in a murder-suicide as a 32-year-old Leavenworth resident.  The shootings occurred around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday outside Lansing, in rural Leavenworth County.  Undersheriff Ron Cranor said today (THUR) that Kenneth McClellan forced his way into the home of 66-year-old John O'Brien Jr., with whose daughter he had an estranged relationship. The undersheriff said McClellan shot and killed O'Brien, then left through a back door and fatally shot himself.  The Kansas City Star reports that authorities...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, March 1st

  Harveyville tornado damage. (Photo Courtesy of KS Adjutant General's Dept) A man who was critically injured by an EF-2 tornado that struck Harveyville Tuesday night has died from his injuries at a Topeka hospital.  Authroities say 53-year-old Richard D. Slade was airlifted to Stormont-Vail Emergency and Trauma Center in Topeka Tuesday night after being pulled from the wreckage of his home. He remained in critical condition and the decision was made Wednesday afternoon to take him off life support. Slade passed away last (WED) night.  

KPR Web Operations Thursday, March 1st

  UPDATE: Harveyville Tornado Claims One Life   A man who was critically injured by an EF-2 tornado that struck Harveyville Tuesday night has died at a Topeka hospital.  Officials say 53-year-old Richard D. Slade was airlifted to Stormont-Vail after being pulled from the wreckage of his home. He remained in critical condition and the decision was made to take him off life support. Slade died last (WED) night.   ============================== KS Tornado Victims Clean-Up, Get Help Replacing Documents People...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 1st

  Arlen Siegfreid (R-Olathe).  (Photo by Stephen Koranda)A House committee is considering legislation that would establish an all faiths chapel in the Statehouse. House Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid (SIG-freed), an Olathe Republican, is sponsoring the bill. He hopes it will be a place for quiet reflection in the often busy Capitol. Siegfreid says the chapel won’t endorse any religion, so it should not run afoul of laws requiring separation of church and state. Any construction costs would come from donated funds, not state tax dollars. Siegfreid says the Statehouse used to contain a chapel...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, March 1st

Harveyville tornado damage. (AP Photo) UPDATE: Authorities say one person has died from injuries sustained in the Harveyville tornado. The victim has been identified as 53-year-old Richard D. Slade. He died at a Topeka hospital Wednesday night. Emergency responders in Harveyville are shifting their focus to cleanup and recovery after severe storms battered the area. A tornado packing 130 mile per hour winds heavily damaged the small town in Wabaunsee County. As Kansas Public Radio’s Stephen Koranda reports, it left at least 14 people injured....

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 29th

  Tornado damage in Harveyville, KS. (AP Photo) Widespread damage has been reported in various parts of Kansas as a result of powerful storms and tornadoes that rolled across the state last (TUE) night.   -HARVEYVILLE, KS- One tornado damaged more than 40 percent of the small town of Harveyville, southwest of Topeka, in Wabaunsee County.  At least 14 people were hurt in Harveyville and one of them suffered critical injuries.  Westar officials say the entire town of about 250 people was without electricity today (WED).  Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteers are on the scene...

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 29th

Tornadoes and powerful storms caused widespread damage across central and eastern Kansas last (TUE) night.  The hardest hit community was the tiny town of Harveyville, in Wabaunsee County.  More than a dozen of the town’s 250 people were injured – at least one of them, critically.  Nearly half the town was damaged.  As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports,  the Kansas Adjutant General's Department is one of the agencies on the scene in Harveyville.      

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 29th

  Tornado Hits Harveyville, State of Emergency Declared in Wabaunsee County Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has declared a State of Disaster Emergency in Wabaunsee County, after an apparent tornado tore through the small town of Harveyville.  The town of about 250 people is located some 30 miles southwest of Topeka.  More than a dozen people were hurt -- including one who was critically injured when the storm struck around 9 o'clock last (TUE) night.  A church and numerous homes were either damaged or destroyed.  Officials estimate nearly half the town sustained damage. ...

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 29th

  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has declared a State of Disaster Emergency for Wabaunsee County.  An EF-2 tornado struck the small town of Harveyville, about 30 miles southwest of Topeka, just after 9 o'clock last (TUE) night.  More than a dozen people were injured -- one of them, critically.  A church and many homes were either damaged or destroyed in the town of 250 people.  Trees and power lines were knocked down throughout the area.  Wabaunsee County Emergency Management said four people were trapped in a building for a time, but law enforcement officials say everyone has since been...

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 29th

  The U.S. Air Force is canceling a disputed $350 million aircraft contract and opening an investigation into the award. Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft was excluded from bidding on the contract to build light attack aircraft. The company has challenged the decision in court. The Air Force has set aside it’s previous award to Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corporation. Officials say they aren't satisfied with doucmentation supporting the decision. Wichita Congressman Mike Pompeo has been asking military officials to provide more information on why Hawker Beechcraft was excluded. The decision to...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 28th

Legislators could soon take action aimed at slowing Governor Sam Brownback's plan to overhaul Medicaid in Kansas. That's according to Paul Davis, from Lawrence, the top Democrat in the Kansas House. Davis says he's talked to both Republicans and Democrats who have concerns about the proposal. Right now it's unclear what action lawmakers would take. Governor Brownback's plan would create privatized managed-care programs, with the goal of improving patient outcomes and cutting costs. Earlier this month, the administration revealed that five companies had submitted bids. Medicaid provides...

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, February 28th

  KS Panel Considers Cutting Funds for Remedial Course Work TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas House committee is considering legislation that would eliminate state funding for remedial courses at state universities and community colleges.  Testimony on the bill is scheduled tomorrow (WED) before the House Appropriations Committee.  The measure would prohibit Board of Regents colleges and universities from using state funds to teach language arts or math courses designed to give students basic skills before they take formal college courses.  Universities and community colleges...

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, February 28th

Now, there's no doubt about it -- the Kansas Jayhawks have won the Big 12 regular season title outright. KU took care of business last (MON) night by defeating Oklahoma State, 70-58, and is now in the driver's seat of the conference. The Hawks also secured the number-one seeding for the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City.  KPR's Greg Echlin has more from Stillwater, Oklahoma.  

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