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Stephen Koranda Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

A new dining hall at Fort Leavenworth is providing job opportunities for workers who are blind. Federal and state laws give blind individuals the opportunity to manage food services in public buildings. The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services helped land the five year contract. Michael Donnelly, with SRS, says the dining hall will be managed by a blind entrepreneur and will create jobs for others with disabilities.The dining hall opened last week. It employs 50 people and can serve 1500 meals a day.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

For years, education researchers have been warning that schools are facing a shortage of science and math teachers. Increasingly, college students trained in STEM disciplines...that is, science, technology, engineering and math...choose not to become teachers. What's more, the few teachers who are carrying the STEM education teaching load are edging closer to retirement. The University of Kansas Center for Science Education conducted a study showing that the situation is reaching a dramatic and disturbing tipping point. KPR's Laura Lorson talked with CSE director Steven Case and study co-...

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Continued turmoil in the Big 12 Conference. A statement from the Pac 12 has now left the future home of Texas and Oklahoma athletics in doubt. KPR's Greg Echlin has more.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Young, educated people are the driving force behind the "Arab Spring" that is rocking the Middle East this year. Foreign policy expert and journalist Robin Wright says that's good news for the future of the Mideast: Robin Wright is the author of "Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World." She will speak at 7:00 tonight (WED) at Washburn University's Memorial Union as part of Constitution Day. Her talk is open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

State budget cuts have meant eliminating some educational programs at Kansas prisons. But a community college in Great Bend is helping reverse that. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the programs help inmates learn to read and earn GEDs.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Six years ago, the state of Kansas was widely derided because of a debate at the state board of education over teaching the theory of evolution in public school science classes. But now, the state is joining 19 others to develop new national science education standards. They're aimed at bringing U-S students up to par with students in other industrialized nations. Dana Tofig (DAY-nah TOE-figg) is a spokesperson for the non-profit education organization developing the new standards. He (cq) says there will be no discussion of creationism in the new science standards.The next-generation...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In 2005, the state of Kansas received a great deal of national attention - most of it negative - as its board of education discussed whether to keep teaching the theory of evolution as a mandatory science requirement in public schools. But now, the board has announced that Kansas and 19 other states will lead an effort to produce the next generation of science standards for students all across the nation. Dana Tofig (DAY-nah TOE-figg) is a spokesperson for the nonprofit education group called Achieve. Tofig says the national science standards will include principles of evolution, and will...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

State budget cuts have meant eliminating programs that help prison inmates learn to read and earn GEDs. But a community college in western Kansas is stepping in to help. Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts told a legislative committee today (TUE) that inmates who earn a GED are less likely to return to prison after being released.Education programs were cut at five prisons. Barton Community College has used grant money to restore the education services at facilities in Ellsworth and Larned. Roberts says they’re working to see if other colleges could help reinstate additional education...

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

A state senator says planned cuts in Medicaid could trigger marches on the Kansas Statehouse. Senator Roger Reitz (RIGHTZ) voiced the concern yesterday (MON) during a legislative briefing on a Medicaid reform plan being developed by Governor Sam Brownback’s administration.

KPR Web Operations Monday, September 19th, 2011

State officials are making changes in which poor Kansans are eligible for income, childcare and food assistance. As Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, some are concerned the changes are coming at a bad time for many Kansas families.

KPR Web Operations Monday, September 19th, 2011

True to his Kansas roots, Victor Ortiz had a Jayhawk and the KU colors clearly visible on his boxing trunks over the weekend. A pay-per-view audience saw them in a world title match between Ortiz...a Garden City native...and Floyd Mayweather Junior. But the night ended for Ortiz with a black eye...and a bruised ego. Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin has the story.

Stephen Koranda Friday, September 16th, 2011

One hundred new citizens were welcomed to the U-S today (FRI) following a naturalization ceremony on the University of Kansas campus. KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little urged them to exercise their new rights, like the right to vote.Faisal (FAH-sill) Ikram (ICK-rahm) was raised in Kuwait and came to the U-S in 1998. He pointed to a group of friends when asked why he wanted to become a citizen.The 100 new citizens hail from 44 different countries.

KPR Web Operations Friday, September 16th, 2011

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is investigating the organization that processes payments to the state’s network of mental health centers. As Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, Schmidt is looking into allegations that about $1 million in Medicaid funding was embezzled from the nonprofit organization.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, September 15th, 2011

September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and first responders are urging people to take the time to prepare for disasters and emergencies that can strike Kansas without any notice. Reno County Emergency Management Director Bill Guy says having a plan is an important first step. He recommends families choose one specific person to call if there’s an emergency and the family can’t meet at home.We’ll have a full report on how to prepare for emergencies later this hour from KPR’s Stephen Koranda.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, September 15th, 2011

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. State officials are hoping the anniversary serves as a reminder to Kansans to think about emergency preparedness. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, emergency responders gathered at the state fair this week to share tips on how people should prepare.For more information on how to prepare for emergencies, including a full list of what to put in an emergency kit, visit the Kansas Adjutant General’s website. Or follow this link:...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Pick Up America is a pro-environmental group making its way across the nation, cleaning up trash from alongside roadways. From the project's starting point in Maryland, group organizers and local volunteers have already cleaned up more than 118,000 pounds of litter. Now, Pick Up America is coming to northeast Kansas to tackle roadside trash in parts of Johnson and Douglas counties. Greg Katski (KAT-skee) is a volunteer with the group, and says this particular event will be its most ambitious yet. The Midwest Litter Fest cleanup will cover 45 miles of area roadways, beginning in Shawnee...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Environmental advocacy group Pick Up America will be in Kansas as part of a coast-to-coast effort to clean up national highways and support sustainable living. Greg Katski (KAT-skee), a volunteer with Pick Up America, says the project began in 2010 after the group's founder and a friend visited Half Dome in Yosemite National Park:Pick Up America will be cleaning up roadsides between Kansas City and Lawrence on Saturday, September 24. For more information, or to sign up as a volunteer, visit pickupamerica.org.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Pick Up America is a national effort to clean up trash from public spaces, stretching from coast to coast. Environmentalists and activists promoting recycling and sustainability are now planning a cleanup in northeast Kansas. Greg Katski(KAT-skee) is a volunteer with the project:Pick Up America is hosting the Midwest Litter Fest, picking up litter on roadways between Kansas City and Lawrence, on Saturday, September 24th. People interested in participating are encouraged to pre-register online, at pickupamerica.org.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, September 15th, 2011

The start of a curbside recycling program in Shawnee County could be delayed. That's because county commissioners today (THUR) rejected bids to build a processing plant to handle the recyclables. But commissioners did agree to enter into talks with Waste Management, one of the companies that submitted a bid. County attorney Rich Eckert says Waste Management’s plan will need to be tweaked.County commissioners had planned to start a curbside recycling program in 2012. The program now probably won't be ready until 2013.

Bryan Thompson Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Federal health officials are advising consumers not to eat cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford region of Eastern Colorado. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson explains, the melons could be contaminated with the potentially deadly bacteria known as Listeria.

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