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Your local and regional news for Northeastern Kansas and the surrounding communities, brought to you by the KPR news staff.

Manhattan Ranks High on Forbes Magazine List for Business

According to Forbes magazine, the city of Manhattan is at the top of the list for "best small places for business and careers" in the nation. And the area is no stranger to such rankings. In 2009, the Associated Press ranked Riley County -- where Manhattan is the county seat -- as the "least economically stressed" county in the country. So what makes Manhattan's economy so seemingly bullet-proof? John Pagen, with the local Chamber of Commerce, thinks he knows part of the answer.

NBAF is the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which is scheduled to begin construction in Manhattan early next year. Last year, the city ranked third on the Forbes list of best small places for business and careers.

KS Counties "Cry Foul" in Tax Dispute w/ Keystone Pipeline

TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline began transporting oil from Alberta, Canada to Cushing, Oklahoma earlier this year. The pipeline makes it's way through six counties in Kansas, and local officials have been eagerly anticipating a combined 40 million dollars a year in tax revenue. But as KPR's David Darman reports, those Kansas counties have not yet seen a nickel in taxes, and aren't likely to see any money for some time.

Wichita Receiving New Tech for Looking Into Storms

The Wichita National Weather Service office is getting a new tool for looking deep inside severe storms. A new technology called Dual Polarization Radar uses both a horizontal and a vertical signal to give forecasters more information about what's happening in any given storm. Dick Elder is the meteorologist-in-charge at the Wichita office. He says the new radar will make prediction and forecasting easier, and safer:

The new, advanced radar system is expected to be up and running by Monday the 18th. It will be the first in the central United States, and only the third in the nation; upgrades to other Kansas radar stations are expected in the next few years.

Wichita NWS Office to Be at Cutting Edge of Radar Technology

The National Weather Service radar in Wichita is about to go even more high-tech. Wichita will be just the third place in the nation to receive something called Dual Polarization Radar. Dick Elder is the meteorologist-in-charge at the Wichita office. He says this radar enhancement will improve certain aspects of weather forecasting and monitoring:

The new radar will be operational by Monday the 18th. In the meantime, the Wichita office will use radar feeds from Topeka; Dodge City; Springfield, Missouri and Enid, Oklahoma.

Radar Upgrade Coming to Wichita NWS Office

The National Weather Service office in Wichita is getting a new, state-of-the-art radar upgrade. It will be just the third site in the nation to receive the so-called "dual-polarization" technology. Dick Elder, the meteorologist-in-charge at the Wichita office, says this kind of radar provides an additional tool for looking inside storms:

The Wichita office's current radar is scheduled to be shut down today (WED) to begin the installation of the new technology. Elder says the upgraded radar is expected to be up and running by Monday the 18th.

Oil Production Rises Slightly in KS

Oil production in Kansas rose 2% in 2010 from the year before. Lynn Watney with KU's Kansas Geological Survey says the trend has been up for more than a decade.

The trend is heading in the opposite direction for natural gas production in Kansas. It was down 8 % in 2010 from 2009, mostly because new exploration has declined as gas prices slipped begining in mid 2008.

Fire Worries Cause 6 SW KS Counties to Prohibit Fireworks

Six Southwestern Kansas Counties including Finney and Stanton have banned the discharge of fireworks this year. The drought gripping the region has dried out wheat and other vegetation that can easily be ignited. Ulysses town adminstrator Daron Hall says recent experience convinced officials to ban any substance that can be burned.

A grass fire that burned in Stanton County incinerated 60 square miles in March. Despite the fireworks ban in 6 counties, a few others including Greeley and Scott Counties are going ahead with July 4th fireworks displays.

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