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KPR Web Operations Thursday, August 25th

Students at the University of Kansas can take a course on the study of extra-terrestrial life, taught by a former NASA astronaut. Professor Steve Hawley, who's been to space on five different shuttle missions, says part of the course work includes a discussion on UFOs. KU is one of only three institutions in the country where students can earn a minor degree in astrobiology.

KPR Web Operations Thursday, August 25th

Is there life beyond planet Earth? That's a big question... and one that students at the University of Kansas are trying to answer. KU offers a class about extra-terrestrial life. It's taught by former NASA astronaut Steve Hawley, a KU professor of astronomy and astrophysics. KPR's J. Schafer recently spoke with Hawley about the course... and about KU's new emphasis on astrobiology. That's former NASA astronaut Steve Hawley, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Kansas. He was speaking to KPR's J. Schafer about a course in the study of extra-terrestrial life. Only...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, August 25th

Is there life beyond planet Earth? That's a big question... and one that students at the University of Kansas are trying to answer. KU offers a course on the study of extra-terrestrial life and now, students can get a minor degree in astrobiology. That's former NASA astronaut Steve Hawley, who helps teach the course. He says UFOs are discussed in class but are not the main topic. Instead, students will spend time studying the possibility of NON-intelligent life on other planets.

KPR Web Operations Thursday, August 25th

The general manager of the Kansas State Fair feels secure about the safety measures in place for the annual event in Hutchinson. Denny Stoecklein (STECK-line) says the fair's response to any emergency will involve a coordinated effort from public safety officials. Stoecklein (STECK-line) says fair officials and law enforcement authorities will spend some extra time reviewing safety measures in the next week, in light of recent concerns about safety at large public events. Officials at the Indiana State Fair recently came under criticism after a stage collapse killed seven people earlier this...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, August 25th

Kansas State Fair officials will meet this week with law enforcement and emergency management officials. Fair manager Denny Stoecklein (STECK-line) says the group will spend a little extra time talking about weather safety in light of a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair earlier this month. On August 13th, seven people were killed when severe winds destroyed a stage at the Indiana State Fair. Stoecklein says fair organizers currently have no concerns about the condition of the Hutchinson stage. The 99th annual Kansas State Fair runs September 9th through the 18th.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, August 25th

The chair of the Kansas Democratic Party is urging the state's congressional delegation to extend a payroll tax cut. Last year, the amount that workers pay into Social Security was cut from six-point-two to four-point-two percent of their wages. Democratic Party Chair Joan Wagnon says allowing the tax cut to expire would amount to a one-billion dollar tax increase on Kansas workers. Some opponents of extending the tax reduction say it will make Social Security’s long-term funding problems worse.

Bryan Thompson Thursday, August 25th

Governor Sam Brownback’s recent rejection of a $31 million dollar federal grant won’t stop planning for how to implement one of the health reform law’s major provisions. As Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, that decision was made late yesterday (WED) by the group planning Kansas’s health insurance purchasing exchange.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, August 24th

It's been more than six months since Congress convened in Washington with many new members. Controversy over the budget and raising the debt ceiling have caused a divide among lawmakers and brought the nation to the brink of default. One of the new members of Congress to take office at this critical time is Republican Kevin Yoder, who represents the 3rd District. KPR's Stephen Koranda caught up with Yoder after an appearance in Overland Park. Yoder says it's been a frustrating term for him so far.That's 3rd District Congressman Kevin Yoder speaking to KPR's Stephen Koranda. Congress is...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, August 24th

Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder says he supports spending caps and a balanced budget amendment as Congress works to tackle the national budget deficit. The 3rd District Republican voted against the bill to raise the nation's debt ceiling. He says the legislation promised to cut the nation's debt, but doesn't do enough to meet that pledge.Tune in later this hour when we'll have a legislative update from Congressman Yoder.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, August 24th

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Stephen Koranda Wednesday, August 24th

Governor Sam Brownback is pushing partnerships between private business and the state's universities as a way to grow the economy. At an economic summit today (WED), Brownback used an example from Kansas State University. K-State has formed a partnership where the university will perform veterinary diagnostic tests for a private company. Brownback has said he wants colleges and universities in Kansas to focus on ways their programs can grow jobs and the state's economy.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, August 24th

While carrying the ball for the Washburn football team last year, Vershon Moore was a headliner. Today (WED), Moore is making news off the field following a court appearance yesterday (TUE). Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin explains.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, August 23rd

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KPR Web Operations Tuesday, August 23rd

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Stephen Koranda Tuesday, August 23rd

Construction is now underway on a $200 million Mars Chocolate factory in Topeka. Yesterday (TUE), elected officials and company executives celebrated the groundbreaking. The facility will produce M&M’s and Snickers candy and is expected to create around 200 jobs. Governor Sam Brownback says landing a factory like this can help the state attract other industries. He says large projects can make other companies take a closer look at Kansas.The plant is the first new U-S factory built by Mars Chocolate in 35 years. It’s expected to open in 2013.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, August 23rd

State officials and executives from Mars Chocolate company broke ground today (TUE) for a 200-million dollar factory in Topeka. The facility, which will make M&M’s and other candy, is expected to employ around 200 people. Governor Sam Brownback says bringing the high-profile company to Kansas could help the state attract other businesses.The plant is the first new U-S factory built by Mars Chocolate in 35 years. It’s expected to open in 2013.

Bryan Thompson Tuesday, August 23rd

Governor Sam Brownback’s recent decision to return more than $31 million dollars in health reform grant money to the federal government may have unintended consequences for the state’s Medicaid program. We get more from Jim McLean of the KHI News Service.

Stephen Koranda Monday, August 22nd

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from the 2nd District, hopes Congress will be able to reach compromise on some important issues when lawmakers return to Washington in September. Jenkins was one of the legislators who voted for a debt ceiling deal earlier this month. She said she decided to compromise on that issue because it was a step in the right direction and avoided a national default.At a recent town hall meeting, Jenkins said the partisan divide in Congress mirrors a divide among voters, so reaching compromise could still be difficult. Tune in later this hour, when we’ll have...

Stephen Koranda Monday, August 22nd

Congress is in the middle of a month-long summer break. Many representatives are using the time to meet with constituents. Republican Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins is touring her 2nd District this month, holding a series of town hall meetings. KPR’s Stephen Koranda caught up with her at a recent meeting in Lawrence.

Stephen Koranda Monday, August 22nd

A semi-trailer full of cattle overturned in west Topeka early this (MON) morning, and the situation initially looked bad. But officials are happy with the outcome. The 39 head of cattle were successfully off-loaded onto other trailers without injury. According to fire department spokesman Greg Bailey, the driver was able to walk away from the crash.Bailey says the semi was part of a convoy headed from Texas to Nebraska when the driver mistakenly took the wrong exit off Interstate 470. The semi struck a median and overturned at around 3:30 this (MON) morning, shutting down a portion of...

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