Kansas Budget Issues Await State Lawmakers After Break
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Before starting their annual spring break, Kansas lawmakers approved an education funding plan designed to satisfy a state Supreme Court mandate to help poor school districts. The also approved an overhaul of the juvenile justice system and new protections for religious groups on college campuses. But the Republican-dominated Legislature is likely to face difficult budget issues when it reconvenes April 27 to wrap up its business for the year. Legislators approved a bill last month to balance the state's $16 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. But state tax collections have fallen short of expectations 11 of the past 12 months.
Kansas National Guard Helicopters to Aid in Firefighting Efforts
MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) _ Firefighters trying to snuff out the biggest wildfire in Kansas history are getting help from military helicopters _ and a potential assist from rain or snow. Two Black Hawk helicopters from the Kansas National Guard have been dispatched in the efforts to contain the persistent prairie blazes in south-central Kansas. Each helicopter has a 660-gallon bucket that will be used to dump water from local sources onto the flames.
Garden City Woman Sues State of Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A western Kansas woman is suing the state and some of the agencies involved in questioning and removing her 11-year-old son from her home after he spoke up at school about her marijuana use. The Wichita Eagle reports that Shona Banda's federal lawsuit alleges the state and the agencies are depriving her of her civil rights to treat a debilitating condition. The Garden City woman also claims officials have infringed on her parenting.
Stokes to Stand Trial in Henderson Murder Case
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas City, Kansas, man has been ordered to stand trial in connection with a shooting death during a robbery attempt last year. The Kansas City Star reports that a Johnson County judge ordered the trial after a preliminary hearing for 19-year-old Marquise Stokes. Authorities allege Stokes shot and killed 18-year-old Velik Henderson inside the victim's Overland Park home last June.