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

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.

KU Landscapers Prepare Campus for Spring, Commencement

Spring is here... and commencement is near... for many schools across the state. Here at the University of Kansas, flowers are in full bloom, providing a perfect backdrop for new graduates and their families. Of course, those flowers didn't just plant themselves. It takes an entire staff of dedicated landscapers to keep the campus beautiful. KPR news intern Mark Arehart (AIR-hart) recently went behind the scenes to see what a day in the life of a landscaper is like.

KPR news intern Mark Arehart (AIR-hart) is a senior from Omaha, who will be graduating this month with a degree in journalism. His feature on KU landscapers originally aired on KU's student-run station: KJHK.

Kansas Sampler Festival Begins in Leavenworth This Weekend

For the second consecutive year, Leavenworth will play host to the Kansas Sampler Festival. The two-day event begins at 10 o'clock tomorrow (SAT) morning in Ray Miller Park. KPR's J. Schafer has more.

Next Year, the Kansas Sampler Festival travels to southwest Kansas. It will be held in Liberal in 2012 and 2013.

Holocaust Commemoration in Topeka

The Kansas Holocaust Commission is holding a commeration service today (MON) in Topeka. The event features choir music, a cellist, and a keynote speech by a holocaust survivor. Co-chairman Lana Gordon says she thinks it's important to hear from survivors.

More than six million Jews, gypsies and others were murdered by the Nazi Regime during World War II. The Topeka commemoration begins at 1:00 o'clock this afternoon (MON) at the Kansas History Museum in Topeka. The event is free and open to the public.


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