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Regional Headlines for Sunday, August 26, 2012



Kansas School Finance Trial Nears Final Stretch 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys for a group of students, parents and school districts head back to court next week for one final attempt to convince a three-judge panel that Kansas' system for funding public schools is constitutionally flawed. Closing arguments are set for Wednesday, but it could be months before a verdict is known. Each side has been allotted 90 minutes to make their final arguments, which will be heard by a three judge panel. A ruling is likely later this year, but the decision will almost certainly be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.
Attorneys for the state maintain that legislators did their best to mitigate cuts to school spending during the recent economic downturn and that schools continue to show academic improvement.

Company Proposes 351-acre Pit mine Near Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A mining company is seeking approval to create a 351-acre sand pit mine in eastern Kansas. Bill Penny, of Lawrence-based Penny's Concrete, has asked Douglas County officials for a conditional use permit to create the mining operation between Lawrence and Eudora. The facility could mine up to 5,000 tons of sand per day. The review process is in the early stages and that Douglas County planners want more information about the number of pits and other details about the plant's operations before proceeding.
Two other recent mining proposals in the Kaw River Valley have been turned down because of concerns for the environment and area farmland. A hearing on the proposal before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission is tentatively set for September 24th.

CEO of Liberty Memorial Resigns

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The president of the Liberty Memorial and the National World War One Museum in Kansas City has resigned. Brian Alexander, president and chief executive officer of the memorial since 2007, told chairwoman Mary Cohen, of the memorial's board of trustees, that he was resigning on Monday. The Kansas City Star reports that the full board accepted his resignation Thursday. Cohen praised Alexander's work for the memorial and said it was Alexander's decision to resign. She said the decision was not made at the request of the board. Cohen will be interim president of the memorial and museum while a national search for a new president and CEO gets under way.

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