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

KS Tax Revenues Grow More Than Anticipated

While Kansas may still have a high unemployment rate, there is some positive news about the state’s economy. Tax revenues are growing at a rate faster than state officials had expected. That’s what Legislative Research Director Alan Conroy told a group of lawmakers today (MON). The state is three months into a new fiscal year, and Conroy says the state general fund is 50 million dollars ahead of expectations.

Most of the growth has been in income and sales tax collections. That means Kansans are earning more and spending more than expected.

UFO Sightings Reported in Sky Above KC

UFOs above the sky in Kansas City? Maybe. Several dozen eyewitnesses claim to have seen unidentified flying objects earlier this week in Kansas City, Lee's Summit and Raytown, Missouri. Margie Kay is a Missouri-based spokeswoman for an organization called MUFON (moo-FON) -- the Mutual UFO Network. Kay says a team of UFO investigators has converged on Kansas City to speak with the eyewitnesses.

Kay says some -- but not all -- of the UFO sightings may have a more Earthly explanation. She says in one case, eyewitnesses may have observed military planes or other aircraft. Some planes were known to be flying in formation in the area.

Danica Patrick to Race in a Stock Car in Kansas

Danica Patrick may be best known for her accomplishments in Indy Car racing. But tomorrow (SAT), she'll be driving a stock car at Kansas Speedway as part of NASCAR's Nationwide series. She says her two-year transition to stock car racing is almost complete.

Patrick will compete for the last time in an Indy car race next weekend in Las Vegas.

Dole Institute Program Takes Up Constitutional Law Issues

A constitutional debate is being staged this (THUR) evening at the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence. Noted attorneys and health care law experts Gregory Katsas (KAT-suss) and Catherine Stetson will face off on a provision of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring the purchase of health insurance coverage. Some legal scholars say that requirement is unprecedented, and exceeds the powers of the U-S Congress. Others say the requirement falls within Congress's power to regulate matters affecting interstate commerce. Dole Institute associate director Barbara Ballard says the issue poses some very interesting constitutional questions, which will eventually have to be decided by the Supreme Court.

The debate begins at 7:30 tonight (THUR) at the Dole Institute on the University of Kansas West Campus. Admission is free. Both students and community members are welcome.

Dole Institute to Host Program on Health Care Law

Constitution Day is an annual event that commemorates the signing of the U-S Constitution on September 17th. Events focusing on the Constitution are held in the weeks surrounding this day in schools and communities nationwide. The Dole Institute of Politics will hold its Constitution Day program this (THUR) evening, as noted attorneys Gregory Katsas (KAT-suss) and Catherine Stetson debate the constitutionality of the new Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Barbara Ballard is the Dole Institute's Associate Director. She says the debate will not address the philosophical pros and cons of the law, but will focus on the law's requirement that all Americans acquire health insurance, and whether Congress can require citizens to purchase a service.

Both Katsas and Stetson have argued before the U-S Supreme Court and are experts in constitutional law. The program begins at 7:30 tonight (THUR) at the Dole Institute on the University of Kansas West Campus. Admission is free.

Program Will Stage Constitutional Debate on Health Care Law

The Dole Institute of Politics is hosting a constitutional law debate this (THUR) evening. Attorneys Gregory Katsas (KAT-suss) and Catherine Stetson will debate whether certain provisions of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are constitutionally permissible. Dole Institute Associate Director Barbara Ballard says it's a particularly timely topic.

Ballard adds that the program is not designed to debate the merits of the health care law, but to discuss whether the U-S Constitution allows enforcement of the law's requirements. Students and community members are welcome to attend. The program begins at 7:30 tonight (THUR) at the Dole Institute on the University of Kansas West Campus. Admission is free.

KS Officials Urge Disaster Preparedness with Unusual Theme

State emergency management officials are urging Kansans to prepare for an invasion of zombies. October is Zombie Preparedness Month - it's part of a disaster readiness campaign. Devan Tucking is with the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. She hopes the zombie angle will help people prepare for other disasters.

Officials hope the zombie theme will help urge people to prepare an emergency kit and an emergency plan. Several events are planned in Topeka this month to to raise awareness of the campaign.

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