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Stephen Koranda Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Kansas could become the only state in the nation without a facility allowed to perform abortions, at least temporarily. A new law that takes effect tomorrow (FRI) sets new, tougher standards for inspecting and licensing abortion clinics. KPR's Stephen Koranda has the story.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

The Kansas Department of Transportation has added a page to its website that includes information about flooding...not only in Kansas, but also in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. Barb Blue is a spokesperson for K-DOT:Calling 5-1-1 from any phone in Kansas will connect you to the latest driving conditions, work zone updates and other travel information. Information on the Kansas Turnpike and any U-S, Interstate or state highway that runs through Kansas or Nebraska is available there, 24 hours a day.The information is also accessible at 1-866-511-KDOT (1-866-511-5638), or online at...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Officials with candy maker Mars Chocolate have announced they'll build a 250 million dollar factory in Topeka. The facility will make M&M'S and Snickers candy bars. The factory will provide around 200 jobs when it opens in 2013. KPR'S Stephen Koranda has more on why Mars chose Topeka.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Candy maker Mars Chocolate announced today (WED) it will build a 250 million dollar factory in Topeka. The facility will manufacture M&M's and Snickers candy bars and create around 200 jobs when it comes online in 2013. Mike Wittman with Mars says the city of Topeka itself was one of the deciding factors in the decision to locate in Kansas.The state and local government will provide more than 10 million dollars in incentives to Mars to help build the plant. Groundbreaking for the factory is slated for August.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

A provision in the Kansas budget will re-route federal dollars that currently go to Planned Parenthood. The money is called Title X (ten) funding. It’s used to subsidize health care for women. The state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1st will route the title X funding Kansas receives to clinics other than Planned Parenthood. But as KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, it’s not clear which clinics those will be.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Heirloom vegetables are grown from seeds that have not been cross-pollinated or genetically modified in a laboratory. These seeds...also called vintage seeds...are highly coveted, and the farmers who plant them are finding a special market for their produce. John Pemble reports from Iowa for Harvest Public Media. You can learn more about this story, and find more agricultural news online, at HarvestPublicMedia.org. This special website features news, video, podcasts and blogs about agriculture in the Midwest.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

U-S Postal Service officials are calling on Congress to approve legislation aimed at keeping the agency from running out of cash. Brian Sperry is USPS spokesperson. He says if Congress doesn't act, it could mean a disruption of mail service. Kansas Senator Jerry Moran is one of the lawmakers the USPS is trying to sway. Moran serves on the Senate committee that oversees many government agencies. The legislation is aimed at reducing costs at the Postal Service. It would let the agency have control over what days mail is delivered, which could mean cutting Saturday delivery.

Bryan Thompson Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

A celebratory cake was waiting for U-S Senator Jerry Moran when he stepped into the boardroom of Topeka’s Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center yesterday (MON) . That’s because with the stop, Moran achieved the distinction of having visited all of the state’s hospitals since being elected to Congress. But as Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, the celebration quickly turned into a nuts-and-bolts conversation about the nation’s new health reform law.

KPR Web Operations Monday, June 27th, 2011

Low-income Kansans who received federal assistance with their heating bills last winter will be getting help with their cooling bills this summer. More from Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson.

Bryan Thompson Monday, June 27th, 2011

About one in four adults has a mental health condition…and in places like Johnson County, Kansas, community mental health centers provide important support to such individuals. But lately, the centers have been trying to do more with less: a growing number of people are turning to them for care; fewer dollars are coming in to pay for it. KCUR’s Elana [AH-LAH-NAH] Gordon has more on how the region is dealing with the strain.

KPR Web Operations Monday, June 27th, 2011

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.

Bryan Thompson Monday, June 27th, 2011

Heavy thunderstorms dumped more rain in the Missouri River Basin Sunday night. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson reports, that’s likely to compound the already serious flooding along the Missouri. Bryan will have more about the Vulnerable Needs Registry later this morning. (approx. 6:35 and 8:35 on KPR)

KPR Web Operations Friday, June 24th, 2011

The University of Kansas had three of its players from last season's basketball team taken in the NBA Draft last (THUR) night. Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin has the story.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

A report ranking states on their business climate put Kansas near the middle of the pack. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, put the report together. They ranked states on their tax burden for businesses and the economic outlook for states. KPR's Stephen Koranda has more.

KPR Web Operations Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

The head of the state Democratic Party wants Kansans to scrutinize Governor Sam Brownback’s plan for transforming Medicaid. Joan Wagnon says Brownback voted several times as a U-S Senator to cut Medicaid funding. And she’s concerned that his administration’s efforts to cut at least $200 million from the Kansas program will force the reduction or elimination of critical services.Wagnon, a former legislator and cabinet secretary, attended a public forum yesterday (WED) on the Medicaid transformation initiative. The meeting was led by several members of Brownback’s cabinet who say that cutting...

Bryan Thompson Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

More than 400 people showed up yesterday (WED) in Topeka for a public forum on reforming the state’s Medicaid program. As Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, the meeting was called by officials of Governor Sam Brownback’s administration who say the massive program is growing at an unsustainable rate.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Despite lingering opposition to federal health reform, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says the state should continue to implement the law. Praeger is using a $31 million federal grant to design a new online exchange that at least 240,000 Kansans are expected to use to purchase health insurance starting in 2014. Consumers will also use the Web-based system – which Praeger says will function much like an online travel site – to determine whether they’re eligible for government subsidies. Conservative Republicans have warned that legislation needed to create the exchange will...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The federal government has awarded Kansas more than 13 million dollars for economic development programs. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the funding will mainly be used to provide business loans.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The federal government has awarded Kansas 13 million dollars to use for economic development programs. The federal funding will help provide loans to small businesses in Kansas. Ken Daniel is a board member for the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides small business loans. He says currently they can only make loans in smaller communities. He says the federal funding will allow them to start working with larger businesses in the state’s five most populous counties.The federal funding is part of a small business jobs bill Congress passed last year.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The Lawrence Humane Society is playing host to a large number of animals...especially cats and kittens. Kayse (KAY-see) Aschenbrenner (ASH-en-brenn-ur) is with Lawrence Humane, and says the group hopes a special promotion will help convince more people to adopt a pet: The no-adoption-fee promotion will run until the shelter's cat population has stabilized. More information is available online at lawrencehumane.org.

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