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Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Kansas Lawmakers have officially wrapped up the 2011 session. A group of legislators used the final day to make a last-ditch effort to save funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, Governor Sam Brownback has been pushing to eliminate state funding for the arts.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Even though Joplin has been the center of many disaster relief efforts in the last two weeks, Kansans aren't forgetting the need for disaster assistance WITHIN the state. Tammy Vopat with Lyon County Emergency Management says the need is still great in the town of Reading.Vopat says donating money continues to be the best way to help. If you're interested in giving specific items, workers are reporting a shortage of flashlights, batteries, duct tape, storage totes, tarps and bungee cords. Food products such as breakfast cereals, bread, and sandwich condiments are also needed. Those items...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The unemployment figures for April have been released, and the number of people working in the state of Kansas is not holding pace with the national average. Linda Nickisch of the U-S Department of Labor Statistics office in Kansas City says while the employment rate grew nationwide, Kansas saw a decline.Nickisch says there wasn't one particular industry that suffered a huge loss. Instead, she says job losses were spread throughout the state's workforce in each sector of employment. While fewer Kansans are working than a year ago, the unemployment rate stands at 6.3 percent. That's lower...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Members of the Kansas House and Senate met briefly today (WED) to officially end the 2011 legislative session. Some House lawmakers made a last-ditch effort to save funding for the Kansas Arts Commission, which has been vetoed by Governor Sam Brownback. House members tried to override Brownback’s veto. Ann Mah, a Democrat from Topeka, said cutting the Arts Commission would cost the state jobs and hurt arts opportunities in rural areas.House members fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to overturn the veto. Governor Brownback has said cutting the Arts Commission will save money and...

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

See a movie for free on the Statehouse lawn in Topeka tomorrow (THUR) night. The Topeka and Shawnee County Public library is part of a group showing films for the next 6 weeks with no admission charge. Lisa Coble-Krings says the movies are way for the library to reach out to the community. The first movie, "The Great Outdoors," stars John Candy and Kansas native Annette Bening (BENN-ing). The last movie in the series will be the Wizard of Oz, which will be shown on July 7th. The film organizers ask that you bring a blanket to sit on the lawn. No lawn chairs are allowed on the grass,...

Bryan Thompson Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

A new law that went into effect May 19th allows law enforcement officers to find out whether someone they’ve arrested has been treated for mental illness. Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson has more.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Emergency loans are being made available to farmers whose crops were affected by drought, wind and fires earlier this year. Lee Hartford of the Kansas Farm Service Agency says these emergency loans are designed to assist farmers who are being faced with crop failures.Farmers may qualify if they have crop losses to report in the counties that were recently declared natural disaster areas by the U-S Department of Agriculture. Low-interest emergency loans of up to 500 thousand dollars are available. The deadline for filing is January 10th of next year.

Bryan Thompson Monday, May 30th, 2011

The World Health Organization has designated today (TUE) as World No Tobacco Day—a day to call attention to the fact that tobacco is responsible for killing one in every ten adults worldwide. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson explains, while health officials are trying to discourage tobacco use, the tobacco companies are test marketing a new form of their product in Kansas.

Bryan Thompson Monday, May 30th, 2011

Kansas members of Congress have embraced a controversial budget-cutting bill even as some other Republicans are distancing themselves from it. As Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, the plan is controversial in part because of changes it would make to Medicare.

KPR Web Operations Monday, May 30th, 2011

In golf, Tom Watson captured the Senior P-G-A Championship yesterday (SUN) after winning a one-hole against David Eger (Eager). Afterward, Watson told The Golf Channel that winning never gets old.Watson at the age of 61 became the oldest to win a major since the Senior Tour was started in 1980.

KPR Web Operations Sunday, May 29th, 2011

A freshman from Wichita pulled an upset over the weekend at the NCAA Division Two track and field championships. By winning the 110-meter hurdles title, Andrew Etheridge also helped Emporia State to its best finish ever as a Division Two school in the NCAA. As Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin reports, Etheridge barely qualifed for the event's final.

KPR Web Operations Friday, May 27th, 2011

An old steam-powered train engine will be rolling through Kansas this weekend. Union Pacific's legendary engine number 844 will pull in to Marysville, Kansas tomorrow (SAT) night. U-P spokesman Mark Davis says the old locomotive typically travels a few hundred miles a day, and makes frequent stops. The locomotive, from the 1940s, will pass through Topeka on Sunday, on its way to Little Rock, Arkansas. The train will also stop at Union Station in downtown Kansas City on Monday.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Following this month’s deadly storms, Governor Sam Brownback is urging Kansans to stay aware of severe weather alerts. The governor says he wants Kansans to pay attention to the weather and have a plan ready in case sever weather develops in their area.(Insert info on current severe weather warnings here) Brownback has also signed an order aimed at speeding the recovery in Reading, Joplin and other storm-damaged areas. The order will temporarily waive certain fees that have to be paid for large truck shipments. Brownback hopes that will help speed the delivery of supplies to areas hit hard...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, May 26th, 2011

A new program is aimed at increasing the number of engineering graduates coming from Kansas universities. Supporters of the bill hope it will prepare more Kansans for engineering jobs in the state. KPR Statehouse reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The Kansas Board of Regents has created a committee to search for a new Emporia State University president. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, ESU’s current president is set to step down at the end of June.

KPR Web Operations Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Kansas needs more engineers and a new law is designed to make that happen. Governor Sam Brownback has signed a measure that will allocate $10.5 million a year to engineering programs at the University of Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State. Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, is president of the Kansas Senate.Republican Senator Carolyn McGinn, of Sedgwick, says this legislation will help address that shortage.Lawmakers hope the new legislation will increase the number of engineering graduates by 60 percent.

KPR Web Operations Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The Ogallala -- or High Plains -- Aquifer is one of the largest aquifers in the world, supplying about 30 percent of all the ground water drawn in the United States. It supports an istimate 12.7 million acres of irrigated land in eight states, including Kansas. But some parts of the aquifer are running out of water. Harvest Public Media's Eric Durban brings us this audio postcard from a drilling site in southwest Kansas where researchers are seeking a better understanding of how the aquifer works.For more information on the High Plains Aquifer -- and for more agricultural news -- log on to...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The state's annual "Click-It or Ticket" campaign is underway. Police officers across the state are once again ramping-up enforcement of the Kansas seat belt law. Highway Patrol Lieutenant Robert Baker says buckling-up is important -- even for short trips.Nearly 150 law enforcement agencies across the state are taking part in the effort to crack-down on motorists who aren't wearing seat belts. The campaign runs through the 5th of June.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill into law aimed at fixing a huge deficit in the state pension plan. The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, faces a nearly 8 billion dollar deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, lawmakers have crafted a plan they hope can reduce the shortfall.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Stefan Petrovic (steh-FAHN PET-roh-vitch), a seventh-grader from South Junior High in Lawrence, won third place honors in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D-C today (WED). The national competition features students competing in a variety of tests on geographic knowledge. Stefan says he enjoys the study of geography, and thinks it will help him as he pursues some big dreams:Stefan credits his parents for his success in the competition, along with two of his teachers - Mary Van Dyke of Broken Arrow Elementary and David Olson of South Junior High.


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