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Statehouse

KPR opened its first full-time Statehouse Bureau in Topeka in January of 1978. Ever since, KPR's Statehouse Bureau, which is often called the KPR-Network, has provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of the legislature, executive and judicial branches of Kansas government and other stories of statewide interest. KPR is the only broadcast outlet in the state that maintains a full-time, year-round bureau at the Capitol.

Six Kansas Hospitals Tops in Patient Survey

A list ranking the nation's best hospitals for patient care includes six Kansas facilities. HealthGrades is a company that rates hospitals. The group ranked facilities based on Medicare patient surveys. Kristin Reed is with HealthGrades. She says the nearly 350 hospitals that came out in the top 10 percent excel in specific areas.



Kansas hospitals in the top 10 percent of the rankings include the University of Kansas Hospital, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and St. Luke's in Overland Park.

New Secretary Transforming Social Welfare Agency

A transformation is underway at the state’s social welfare agency. Secretary Rob Siedlecki (Side-Lekee) says the goal is to make the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services more efficient and effective by among other things utilizing more faith-based service providers. We get more from Jim McLean of the KHI News Service.


Northeast KS Counties Prepare for More Flooding

Emergency officials are helping prepare areas along the Missouri river for increased risks of flooding this week. Ten Kansas National Guard troops headed to Doniphan County in northeast Kansas last week to help patrol levees. But as KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, those levees could be topped by rising waters later this week.



KS National Guard Troops in Doniphan County

Kansas National Guard troops are on the ground in Doniphan County as the Missouri River continues to rise. Sharon Watson is a spokesperson for the Adjutant General’s Department. She says the 10 troops are watching levees in the area, to make sure they stand up to the rising waters.



Troops will also be preparing the area for possible flooding next week. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from reservoirs upstream, which will likely cause the Missouri River to top levees near the small town of Elwood.

US Attorney: Drug Arrests Will Hamper KS Drug Trade

The U-S Attorney for Kansas says this week's drug arrests in Topeka will have a lasting effect on the state's meth trade. On Tuesday, law enforcement served dozens of federal arrest warrants. The charges include distributing -and conspiring to distribute- methamphetamine. U-S Attorney Barry Grissom says the raids will have a major impact on the distribution of meth in Kansas, because of who was targeted.



Sixty people were indicted on felony meth charges and more than 40 of those are now in custody.

KS Board of Regents Sets Goals for ESU Search Committee

The Kansas Board of Regents has set the goals for a committee searching for a new Emporia State University president. The goals include keeping the interview process confidential and seeking a diverse pool of candidates. Andy Tompkins is the president of the Board of Regents. He’ll serve on the search committee, which will interview candidates and recommend up to 5 finalists to the Regents. Tompkins says they’ll want someone who can help the university raise funding, but they’ll be looking for a lot more than just that.



Tompkins says they’d like to have a new Emporia State president in place early next year. Michael Lane is the current ESU president. He’ll be stepping down at the end of June after more than 4 years in the job.

Major Staff Changes Taking Place at KS Arts Commission

There’s a major leadership shakeup happening at the Kansas Arts Commission. The group has a new chair, and the group’s board will be undergoing significant changes this month. Some members of the Arts Commission and Governor Sam Brownback have been at odds over the governor’s push to end state funding for the arts. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.



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