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Your local and regional news for Northeastern Kansas and the surrounding communities, brought to you by the KPR news staff.

Ben Kirtland Sentence Marks Closure in KU Ticket Scandal

Ben Kirtland, a former athletics department official at the University of Kansas, has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for his role in the KU ticket scandal. Kirtland received his sentence this (THUR) morning inside a federal courtroom in Wichita. U-S prosecuting attorney Barry Grissom says Kirtland’s sentence closes the book on this case.

Kirtland is the last of seven defendants to be sentenced in the conspiracy to steal and sell KU sports tickets. He was also ordered to pay more than a million dollars in restitution.

Bob Woodward to Deliver Dole Lecture Sunday at KU

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who helped break the Watergate story is coming to the University of Kansas this weekend.
Washington Post columnist Bob Woodward will speak Sunday afternoon at the Dole Institute of Politics. Institute Director Bill Lacy
says Woodward will talk about his career as an investigative journalist and about his series of political books.

Woodward will deliver the Dole Lecture at 2:30 Sunday afternoon. The talk is free and open to the public -- but seating is limited.
Doors at the Institute open at 1:45.

Journalist Bob Woodward to Deliver Dole Lecture

Bob Woodward, the investigative journalist who helped break the Watergate story, will give this year's Dole Lecture at the University of Kansas. Bill Lacy, the Director of the Dole Institute of Politics, says Woodward will deliver his remarks Sunday afternoon.

Woodward, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Washington Post, will speak at 2:30 Sunday afternoon. The event is free to the public, but seating is limited. Doors will open at 1:45.

Farm Aid 2011 to be Held in Kansas City, Kansas

For the first time in its 26 year history, Farm Aid will bring its annual benefit concert to Kansas. Farm Aid 2011 will be held Saturday, August 13 at the newly opened Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Governor Sam Brownback says that like Farm Aid, Kansas is moving towards preserving the legacy of agriculture in the state.

Willlie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and others will team up for the one day event. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20.

Train Travel Picks Up Steam in Kansas

With airfare and gas prices on the rise, budgeting for a vacation has become increasingly difficult. In response, some Americans are turning to the railroad for a cheaper way to travel. With Amtrak celebrating its 40th anniversary this month, KPR news intern Justine Greve (Greave) takes a look at train travel and its future in Kansas.

KPR news intern Justine Greve (Greave) is a Topeka native... and a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Kansas.

Kansas-born Welterweight World Champion Honored in Topeka

He was born in Liberal, grew up in Garden City and now... he’s the
welterweight boxing champion of the world. At the state capitol, today (TUE) was proclaimed "Victor Ortiz Day" in honor of Ortiz who won his championship bout last month. Ortiz took a moment to praise his mentor, Ignascio (ig-NOZZ-ee-oh) Avila (AH-vee-luh)...known to Ortiz as "Bucky"...for steering him down the right path during a troubled childhood.

Ortiz was abandoned by his family at an early age and lived in foster care before he turned pro as a boxer at the age of 17. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback saluted Ortiz for "getting better, not bitter" as a result of his childhood experiences.

Royals Phenom Makes a Box Office Dent

The much balleyhooed promotion of phenom Eric Hosmer (Hoz-mer)to the Kansas City Royals from the minors didn't translate into more team success. The Royals were beaten in two out of the three games against the Oakland A's, including 5-2 yesterday (SUN) afternoon. But, as Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin reports, Hosmer's promotion made an impact in ticket sales.

Farmhand Phenom Joins Royals

The Kansas City Royals have announced announcing the promotion of hot-hitting prospect Eric Hosmer (HAWZ-mer) from the minor leagues. He's expected to be in the starting lineup for tonight's (FRI) home game against the Oakland Athletics. Royals General Manager Dayton Moore says the decision to call up the 21-year old first baseman was made after in-depth discussions.

Hosmer is regarded as one of the future cornerstone players for the Royals as they hope to contend in the American League Central. Hosmer had a .439 batting average this season for Omaha, the Royals' Triple A farm club. The Royals are currently in second place in the A-L Central.

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