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

Flash Floods Prompt Evacuations in Manhattan

Heavy rain last (WED) night and early this (THUR) morning caused flash flooding in Manhattan and parts of Riley and Pottawatomie counties. Pat Collins, with Riley County's emergency management team, says rising water along the Kansas River forced authorities to move about 80 people out of a low-lying apartment building.

Officials are also keeping close watch on Rock Creek in Ogden near the Fort Riley Army base. The stream has spilled over its banks, inundating homes and roadways. Flooding is expected to last for
several hours before waters subside.

Two Tornadoes Touch Down in Lincoln County

Flooding isn't the only problem facing Kansas today (THUR). Sharon Watson, with the state division of emergency management, says
residents of Lincoln County are dealing with the after effects of a severe storm.

So far, no serious injuries have been reported as a result of the tornadoes in Lincoln County or from the flooding in eastern Kansas.

Free Movies Showing Thursdays on the Statehouse Lawn

See a movie for free on the Statehouse lawn in Topeka tomorrow (THUR) night. The Topeka and Shawnee County Public library is part of a group showing films for the next 6 weeks with no admission charge. Lisa Coble-Krings says the movies are way for the library to reach out to the community.

The first movie, "The Great Outdoors," stars John Candy and Kansas native Annette Bening (BENN-ing). The last movie in the series will be the Wizard of Oz, which will be shown on July 7th. The film organizers ask that you bring a blanket to sit on the lawn. No lawn chairs are allowed on the grass, but they can be used on the sidewalk.

Emergency Loans Available for Drought-Stricken Farmers

Emergency loans are being made available to farmers whose crops were affected by drought, wind and fires earlier this year. Lee Hartford of the Kansas Farm Service Agency says these emergency loans are designed to assist farmers who are being faced with crop failures.

Farmers may qualify if they have crop losses to report in the counties that were recently declared natural disaster areas by the U-S Department of Agriculture. Low-interest emergency loans of up to 500 thousand dollars are available. The deadline for filing is January 10th of next year.

ESU Freshman Wins Hurdles National Championship

A freshman from Wichita pulled an upset over the weekend at the NCAA Division Two track and field championships. By winning the 110-meter hurdles title, Andrew Etheridge also helped Emporia State to its best finish ever as a Division Two school in the NCAA. As Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin reports, Etheridge barely qualifed for the event's final.

Steam Train Engine Travelling Through KS This Weekend

An old steam-powered train engine will be rolling through Kansas this weekend. Union Pacific's legendary engine number 844 will pull in to Marysville, Kansas tomorrow (SAT) night. U-P spokesman Mark Davis says the old locomotive typically travels a few hundred miles a day, and makes frequent stops.

The locomotive, from the 1940s, will pass through Topeka on Sunday, on its way to Little Rock, Arkansas. The train will also stop at Union Station in downtown Kansas City on Monday.

KS Law Aims to Increase Number of Engineering Grads

Kansas needs more engineers and a new law is designed to make that happen. Governor Sam Brownback has signed a measure that will allocate $10.5 million a year to engineering programs at the University of Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State. Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, is president of the Kansas Senate.

Republican Senator Carolyn McGinn, of Sedgwick, says this legislation will help address that shortage.

Lawmakers hope the new legislation will increase the number of engineering graduates by 60 percent.

Core Drilling the Ogallala Aquifer to Find Answers

The Ogallala -- or High Plains -- Aquifer is one of the largest aquifers in the world, supplying about 30 percent of all the ground water drawn in the United States. It supports an istimate 12.7 million acres of irrigated land in eight states, including Kansas. But some parts of the aquifer are running out of water. Harvest Public Media's Eric Durban brings us this audio postcard from a drilling site in southwest Kansas where researchers are seeking a better understanding of how the aquifer works.

For more information on the High Plains Aquifer -- and for more agricultural news -- log on to HarvestPublicMedia.org. You'll find features, photos and podcasts online, at Harvest Public Media - DOT - org.

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