LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Regional Headlines for Tuesday, March 19, 2013

KPR-News-Summary




Kansas House Advances $14B State Budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a proposed $14 billion

state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Tuesday's roll call vote of 71-51 advances the bill to final House action set for Wednesday. The legislation would spend about $6 billion in state general fund revenues. The budget covers spending for public schools and higher education, social services and public safety, including the Highway Patrol, prisons and emergency management. The House Appropriations Committee budget made about $25 million in cuts from the budget proposed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. It would leave the state with ending balances of more than $565 million in reserve on June 30, 2014, and about $485 million in reserve on June 30, 2015.

==============================

KS House Rejects Abortion Exception for Rape

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has rejected a proposal to make an exception to limits on late-term abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape, incest or sexual abuse of a child. House members voted 90-31 on Tuesday against an amendment to a sweeping anti-abortion bill offered by Lawrence Democrat John Wilson. He wanted to revise a state law that bans abortions starting with the 22nd week of pregnancy unless they're necessary to save a woman's life or prevent major, irreversible harm to her health. Wilson said the state should clearly protect the right to an abortion in cases of rape, incest or crimes against children. Abortion opponents noted that Kansas law allows abortions for any reason before the 22nd week. House members expected to vote on giving the bill first-round approval Tuesday.

==============================

Kansas House Debating $14B State Budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has opened debate on a proposed $14 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. An effort early in Tuesday's debate to delete $1.2 million over two years for public broadcasting and use the money for senior citizen meals was rejected. The legislation would spend about $6 billion in state general fund revenues. The budget covers spending for public schools and higher education, social services and public safety, including the Highway Patrol, prisons and emergency management. The House Appropriations Committee budget made about $25 million in cuts from the budget proposed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. It would leave the state with ending balances of more than $565 million in reserve on June 30, 2014, and about $485 million in reserve on June 30, 2015.

==============================

Kansas House Advances Anti-Abortion Bill

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and barring public schools from using sex education instruction from abortion providers. The chamber's voice vote Tuesday advanced the measure to final action, which is expected Wednesday. Abortion-rights advocates consider the bill as the biggest threat in Kansas this year to access to abortion services. Supporters contend it demonstrates the state's commitment to protecting life. The bill would prevent groups providing abortions from receiving tax exemptions or credits that go to other nonprofit groups or health care providers. It would also bar women who claim income tax deductions for medical expenses from including the cost of abortion services. The legislation also prohibits abortion providers from furnishing materials or instructors for schools' sex education classes.

==============================

NE KS Mom Walks to Topeka to Back Teachers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas mom has completed a three-day walk from her home in Merriam to Topeka to protest policies she says hurt public schools and teachers. Heather Ousley began her 60-mile trek Saturday and finished with a news conference Tuesday in the Statehouse. Ousley says she was compelled to act because of bills before the Legislature that she and other critics claim are an attack on teacher rights and quality public schools. Ousley was joined by several dozen teachers, parents and children from the Shawnee Mission school district who were lobbying legislators. The gathering was part of a new organization, Game on for Kansas Schools, which is advocating for strong public schools and increased funding.
==============================

New Push to Lessen KS Green Energy Rules Stalls

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new effort to roll back green energy rules for utilities in Kansas has stalled in the state Legislature. The House Energy and Environment Committee on Tuesday tabled a bill to back off a requirement for utilities to have wind and other renewable resources account for 20 percent of their capacity for generating electricity by 2020. Chairman and Wichita Republican Dennis Hedke (HED'-kee) said the panel's 10-9 vote likely ends this year's debate on the renewable energy standard. The House bill set the standard at 15 percent. The bill cleared Hedke's committee last month, but the House sent it back. Hedke believes the standard increases electricity costs and hoped to revive it. Environmentalists, wind companies and farmers said the standard benefits the state and lobbied against the bill.

==============================

KS Man Dies After Being Trapped Under Bale Bed

KINGMAN, Kan. (AP) — A 51-year-old south-central Kansas man is dead after getting trapped beneath a bale bed while working on a farm truck. Kingman County sheriff's investigator Dustin Cooke says emergency responders declared Orrin Westerman of Kingman dead at the scene following the accident Tuesday morning. Cooke says family members were present at the farm about seven miles southwest of Kingman when Westerman was caught beneath the hydraulic device, which is used to handle hay bales.

==============================

Eisenhower Family Wants New Ike Memorial Design

WASHINGTON (AP) — The family of President Dwight D. Eisenhower is supporting new legislation in Congress to scrap the design and block funding for a planned memorial honoring the former president and World War II hero in Washington. The future of the memorial was up for debate Tuesday as lawmakers questioned the project's design by architect Frank Gehry and its estimated cost of $142 million. The 14-year-old project is nearing an expiration date for a site approved at the foot of Capitol Hill. Gehry has proposed a memorial park for Eisenhower with statues framed by large, metal tapestries depicting a Kansas landscape from Ike's boyhood home. Eisenhower's family has objected, calling it "too extravagant." On Tuesday, Susan Eisenhower, the president's granddaughter, said Congress should restart the process and redesign the planned memorial.

==============================

New Effort to Scale-Back on KS Green Energy Rules Stalls

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new effort to roll back green energy rules for utilities in Kansas has stalled in the state Legislature.  The House Energy and Environment Committee has now tabled a bill to back off a requirement for utilities to have wind and other renewable resources account for 20 percent of their capacity for generating electricity by 2020.  Chairman and Wichita Republican Dennis Hedke (HED'-kee) said the panel's 10-9 vote likely ends this year's debate on the renewable energy standard.  The House bill set the standard at 15 percent.  The bill cleared Hedke's committee last month, but the House sent it back.  Hedke believes the standard increases electricity costs and hoped to revive it.  Wind companies, environmentalists and farmers said the standard benefits the state and lobbied against the bill.

==============================

KS House Bill Advances that Targets Civil Service System

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans on a House committee have approved a measure that cuts protections of the classified employment system for many state workers.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the measure now goes to the full House. The bill would make all state attorneys, supervisors and information technology workers unclassified. Under the bill, all new hires would also be unclassified, and any current state employee who is either transferred, demoted or promoted would also be unclassified.  The bill wouldn't affect public safety employees.  Representative Jerry Henry, an Atchison Democrat, says the measure warrants more study because it drastically alters the system that allows classified employees to appeal job dismissals and demotions through the Civil Service System. Opponents also say the bill would lead to jobs awarded based on politics instead of merit.

==============================

Kansas House Considers Anti-Abortion Bill

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House is preparing to debate legislation blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and barring public schools from using sex education instruction from groups that provide abortion services.  Abortion-rights advocates consider the bill on the chamber's agenda today (TUE) the biggest threat in Kansas this year to access to abortion services.  Supporters contend the measure will lessen the state's entanglement with a procedure that many residents find objectionable.  The bill would prevent groups providing abortions from receiving tax exemptions or credits that go to other nonprofit groups or health care providers. It would also bar women who claim income tax deductions for medical expenses from including the cost of abortion services.  The legislation also would prohibit any abortion provider from furnishing materials or instructors for public schools' sex education classes.

==============================

Kansas House to Debate $14B State Budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas House members are preparing to debate a proposed $14 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.  The measure on today's (TUE) House calendar would spend about $6 billion in state general fund revenues. The budget covers spending for public schools and higher education, social services and public safety, including the Highway Patrol, prisons and emergency management.  The House Appropriations Committee budget made about $25 million in
cuts from the budget proposed by Republican Governor Sam Brownback. It would leave the state with ending balances of more than $565 million in reserve on June 30, 2014, and about $485 million in reserve on June 30, 2015.  The Senate is planning to debate its own version of the budget Wednesday.

==============================

KS Official Says Pension Bonds Would Help System

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top administrator of the retirement system for Kansas teachers and government workers says it would benefit from a legislative proposal to issue $1.5 billion in pension bonds.  Executive Director Alan Conroy told the House pensions committee yesterday (MON) that its plan would boost the short-term financial health of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.  KPERS projects a $9.3 billion gap between anticipated revenues and the benefits promised to public employees through 2033. Its assets now cover 53 percent of its obligations.  Legislators made changes last year to close the gap. But KPERS officials say dumping bond proceeds into the retirement system would boost the funding ration to 61 percent in 2015 and accelerate its rise toward 100 percent.  Tax dollars already contributed to KPERS would pay off the bonds.  

==============================

Congress Considers Eisenhower Memorial's Future

WASHINGTON (AP) — The future of a planned national memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington is up for debate in Congress.  A House panel is hosting a hearing today (TUE) on the project. For more than a year, the memorial's design by architect Frank Gehry has been criticized by some and defended by others.  Susan Eisenhower, the former president's granddaughter, will testify for the family today (TUE).  Retired Brig. Gen. Carl Reddel, the executive director of the federal Eisenhower Memorial Commission, also is scheduled to testify, along with California Rep. Darrell Issa, who has been questioning the project's spending and design process.  A new proposal in the House calls for a new design competition and would block future funding for Gehry's design. Millions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent on the project.

==============================

Damage to KS Wal-Mart Estimated at $1 Million

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — The damage is estimated at $1 million from an episode of vandalism at a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market being built in south-central Kansas.  KSNW-TV reports that contractors discovered the damage Saturday morning when they arrived at the site in Derby, just east of Wichita.  Police say the vandals broke in through a plywood door sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning.  They used scissor lifts to ram freezer and cooler units located along one wall and in the center of the store.  Doors were broken on 47 of the units, which were also pushed backward into plumbing and electrical systems.  Police say most of the freezer and cooler units are beyond repair.

==============================

Fed's Automatic Spending Cuts Hit Pocketbooks of Soldier Students

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Automatic federal spending cuts that took effect this month are hurting some U.S. military service members taking college courses, including 64 at the University of Kansas.  The Army, Air Force and Marine Corps have suspended tuition assistance programs for active-duty, reserve or National Guard service members because of cuts that went into effect March 1.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports a University of Kansas spokesman says students who enrolled in spring classes won't lose the funding they already were awarded.  It's unclear whether future classes of students will be able to apply for tuition assistance, which can be as much as $4,500 per year.  Two U.S. senators are pushing this week for an amendment to restore the tuition assistance programs.

==============================

Human Skull Found in Eastern Kansas

GARDNER, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in eastern Kansas are investigating a human skull that hunters found outside Gardner.  The Kansas City Star reports that authorities say the skull was found Monday and appears to have been exposed to the elements for several years.  Officials are trying to determine who the skull belonged to and if there was any foul play involved.  Investigators searched for other bones or evidence near the scene and will continue searching today (TUE).  

==============================

KC Downtown Benefiting from Back-to-Back Basketball Tourneys

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Downtown Kansas City has been benefiting from back-to-back waves of basketball.  Just a couple of days after serving as host for 120,000 people over the four-day run of the Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament, the Sprint Center is now gearing up for the NCAA basketball tournament.  Nick Benjamin, executive director of the Power & Light District, told The Kansas City Star that the crowds for the Big 12 tournament and St. Patrick's Day were the biggest in the five-year history of the entertainment district.  Now college basketball fans from several states are expected back in Kansas City as the second and third rounds of the NCAA tournament get under way later this week.

==============================


 

 

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org