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Stephen Koranda Tuesday, August 2nd

There was heated discussion today (TUE) at the meeting of the Kansas Arts Commission. The conflict was over how the state agency will work with a new private foundation that will raise money for arts programs in Kansas. A commissioner asked multiple times how much the foundation had raised. Kansas Arts Commission Chair Linda Browning Weis, who also works on the Arts Foundation, declined to answer. She says the foundation isn’t required to make those records public.Weis says they will release a report on how much money has been raised. Commissioner Henry Schwaller says the foundation isn’t...

Bryan Thompson Tuesday, August 2nd

The Kansas Dental Association is urging dentists who are not currently accepting Medicaid as payment to sign up for the government-funded insurance program. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson reports, the goal is to help give poor children access to dental care.

Stephen Koranda Monday, August 1st

Building on a campaign that began at the end of last school year, Topeka-area law enforcement and civic organizations are planning to supply thousands of high school and middle-school students with school-specific lanyards. These lanyards, which can carry a student's identification in addition to some information designed to prevent underaged drinking, will be distributed this fall. Lynn Smith is with the Topeka "Safe Streets" Coalition: The lanyards will have information about the underage drinking task force Facebook page, as well as the Topeka Crime Stoppers program phone number....

Stephen Koranda Monday, August 1st

As students prepare to head back to school, a coalition of Topeka-area law enforcement agencies and civic groups is launching a new campaign aimed at cracking down on underage drinking. Lynn Smith, the Youth Development Coordinator for the "Safe Streets" organization in Topeka, says the campaign will involve the distribution of lanyards for kids to wear that keep their student IDs handy, along with some other important information: Smith says this fall's effort is the latest in a series of moves to stop underaged drinking. Last spring, Crime Stoppers began offering cash rewards for...

Stephen Koranda Monday, August 1st

A judge has blocked a state law that diverts federal funding away from Planned Parenthood in Kansas. The judge agreed with Planned Parenthood, which argued the funding cut would cause significant harm to the group while it fought the new law in court. Peter Brownlie (BROWN-lee) is president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. He says the more than 300 thousand dollar cut would have forced them to close a health care clinic in Hays.Supporters of the law have said no tax dollars should go to an organization that provides abortions. Use of federal funding to pay for abortion...

KPR Web Operations Monday, August 1st

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Bryan Thompson Sunday, July 31st

Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer is making his way up the highest mountain in Africa with his teen-aged daughter. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson reports, the climb is to raise money for medical care in war zones and disaster areas around the world. For more information, or to donate, go to internationalmedicalcorps.org/JeffColyer

Stephen Koranda Friday, July 29th

A top official at the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services says he will urge district court judges to reduce the number of people sent to state mental hospitals. The state hospitals are frequently over capacity. KHI News Service reported on the comments by Deputy Secretary Pedro Moreno. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, some mental health advocates say there would be few other options for people needing mental health services.

Stephen Koranda Friday, July 29th

Education advocates will rally at the state Capitol tomorrow (SAT), to push for increasing school funding in Kansas. Kathy Cook is with the group Kansas Families for Education. Cook says even though the Legislature isn’t in session, state officials are working on plans for the coming year. She wants those plans to include more funding for education, so programs like art and music aren’t cut from Kansas schools.Lawmakers cut state education funding by more than 200 dollars per student last legislative session to help balance the Kansas budget.

Stephen Koranda Friday, July 29th

A rally at the Statehouse tomorrow (SAT) is aimed at keeping education on the minds of Kansas lawmakers, even when the Legislature isn’t in session. Education groups will rally in support of increasing school funding in Kansas. Kathy Cook is with the organization Kansas Families for Education. She says the state can’t maintain quality schools at current funding levels.Lawmakers cut education funding by more than 200 dollars per student last legislative session to help balance the Kansas budget.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, July 28th

After last (THUR) night’s debt ceiling vote in U-S House of Representatives was postponed, some political watchers suggested it was because the Republican party is split on the issue. That divide is mirrored by two Kansas congressmen. The plan would raise the debt ceiling, but it also includes around a trillion dollars in spending cuts. Wichita Republican Mike Pompeo says he supports the bill, calling it is a step in the right direction.First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp says the plan drafted by Speaker John Boehner doesn’t cut enough, and he doesn’t support the bill. Huelskamp...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, July 28th

For some people, sitting down with a glass of beer or wine can be the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon. This hasn't always been so easy in Kansas -- a state known for prohibition and strict liquor laws. But there's more to the story of alcohol in Kansas than just efforts to ban it. KPR news intern Justine Greve (GREEV) looks at brewing and winemaking in the state and finds that over the past 150 years, the industry has come full circle. KPR news intern Justine Greve graduated from Baker University with majors in history, English, and German. She's now a graduate student at KU.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, July 28th

A rumored plan to redraw the state’s congressional districts is raising the ire of some Kansas lawmakers. A legislative committee has begun work on the redistricting process. One plan being discussed would expand the First District in western Kansas eastward to include Wyandotte County. There are concerns that this plan would reduce the influence of Democratic voters in an area that has historically been a Democratic stronghold. Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, is the top Democrat in the Senate. He says party officials drew a test map to see if Wyandotte County could be put in the First District....

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 27th

Kansas is the 10th state in the nation to meet new federal rules for sex offender registries. The rules require sex offenders to register their addresses more often and increase penalties for not registering. Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the Legislature passed a law last session to update the state system, so it would meet the new requirements.Schmidt says states that don’t comply risk losing a portion of the federal grants they receive to help pay for law enforcement.Schmidt says yesterday (WED) was the deadline to comply with the new rules.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, July 27th

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Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 27th

Kansas is the 10th state in the nation to comply with new federal rules for sex offender registries. The rules require sex offenders to register their addresses more often and increase penalties for those who fail to register. Attorney General Derek Schmidt says a recently passed Kansas law made the tweaks necessary for the system to meet the new rules.States must comply with the new federal rules by today (WED). States that don’t comply risk losing a portion of the federal grants they receive that help pay for law enforcement.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, July 27th

Interstate 70 west of Topeka is closed due to a standoff between police and the driver of a motor home. Trooper Mark Engholm, with the Kansas Highway Patrol, says an officer stopped the vehicle around 8 o'clock this (WED) morning.Traffic is being rerouted around the closure. This is the second time this week that I-70 near Topeka has been closed. On Monday, concerns over a vehicle reportedly carrying hazardous materials closed the interstate for more than eight hours.

Bryan Thompson Wednesday, July 27th

People in Wichita and Kansas City are eating a lot of fast food -- more so than Americans living in most other cities. According to a website devoted to personal finance and business, Wichitans and Kansas Citians rank high on a survey of fast food consumption. KPR's Bryan Thompson takes a look at how the numbers were “crunched.”

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, July 27th

The Kansas City Chiefs are back in action. On the first day after NFL players and team owners came to agreement on a new contract, the Chiefs are scrambling to get ready for the season. The first practice at training camp is scheduled for Friday in St. Joseph, Missouri. As KPR's Greg Echlin reports, the Chiefs are now busy assembling their team roster.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, July 26th

Kansas is home to one of the U-S Army’s key training facilities: the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth. But the training there isn’t all push-ups and target shooting. Much of the training is conducted in a digital world. KPR’s Stephen Koranda recently visited Fort Leavenworth and files this report on how the military is using a high-tech, virtual world to train soldiers.

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