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

Last Chance To Apply For Emergency Mortgage Assistance

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has a billion dollars to help homebuyers in 27 states, including Kansas, escape foreclosure. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson reports, the deadline for pre-applications is tomorrow (FRI).

For more information about the Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program, call 1-855-346-3345 or visit the website at www.FINDEHLP.org

Sluggish Job Growth Not Affecting Health Care Industry

Despite the current tough employment market, the health care industry is continuing to generate jobs. Linda Nickisch is with the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics office in Kansas City. She says that unlike in many industries, jobs in the medical field continue to increase.

Available jobs also increased in the hospitality industry. Overall, unemployment rose nationally last month, from 9.1 percent to 9.2 percent.

Former SRS Secretary Comments on Office Closures

The planned closure of nine Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services offices across the state will make it harder to serve mentally ill and disabled Kansans, says former agency head Janet Schalansky (Sha-LANN-ski).

Schalansky was secretary of SRS under governors Bill Graves and Kathleen Sebelius. Rob Siedlecki, Republican Governor Sam Brownback's pick to head the agency, says the planned office closures are necessary to comply with budget cuts ordered by the Legislature.
Democratic legislators concerned about the impact of the cuts on vulnerable Kansans are hosting a public meeting tonight (MON) at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence. The meeting starts at 7 o’clock.

Manhattan Ranks High on Forbes Magazine List for Business

According to Forbes magazine, the city of Manhattan is at the top of the list for "best small places for business and careers" in the nation. And the area is no stranger to such rankings. In 2009, the Associated Press ranked Riley County -- where Manhattan is the county seat -- as the "least economically stressed" county in the country. So what makes Manhattan's economy so seemingly bullet-proof? John Pagen, with the local Chamber of Commerce, thinks he knows part of the answer.

NBAF is the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which is scheduled to begin construction in Manhattan early next year. Last year, the city ranked third on the Forbes list of best small places for business and careers.

KS Counties "Cry Foul" in Tax Dispute w/ Keystone Pipeline

TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline began transporting oil from Alberta, Canada to Cushing, Oklahoma earlier this year. The pipeline makes it's way through six counties in Kansas, and local officials have been eagerly anticipating a combined 40 million dollars a year in tax revenue. But as KPR's David Darman reports, those Kansas counties have not yet seen a nickel in taxes, and aren't likely to see any money for some time.

Wichita Receiving New Tech for Looking Into Storms

The Wichita National Weather Service office is getting a new tool for looking deep inside severe storms. A new technology called Dual Polarization Radar uses both a horizontal and a vertical signal to give forecasters more information about what's happening in any given storm. Dick Elder is the meteorologist-in-charge at the Wichita office. He says the new radar will make prediction and forecasting easier, and safer:

The new, advanced radar system is expected to be up and running by Monday the 18th. It will be the first in the central United States, and only the third in the nation; upgrades to other Kansas radar stations are expected in the next few years.

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