The Kansas City Star, on promoting economic development:
As a small state with a declining population and a worsening financial picture, Kansas needs to be smart about promoting economic development.
The state has at least five major initiatives and a host of smaller ones aimed at recruiting employers and growing the jobs base. But the efforts don’t always fit together neatly, the result being an incomplete puzzle with some pieces missing and...
Bill raising state’s minimum wage signed by Sebelius
TOPEKA (AP) — Starting next year, Kansas will no longer have the nation’s lowest minimum wage.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill Thursday that will increase the wage from its present $2.65 an hour to $7.25. The change takes effect Jan. 1, after more than two decades of efforts by Sebelius’ fellow Democrats, labor unions and advocates for the poor.
Most of the state’s 1.5 million workers are covered by the federal minimum wage, which is $6....
Greensburg signs up for wind farm development
GREENSBURG (AP) — The effort to rebuild tornado-ravaged Greensburg as a “green” community will include a wind farm that could power the entire south-central Kansas town.
The city, Kansas Power Pool and John Deere Renewables announced Wednesday that they have agreed to develop the Greensburg Wind Farm. It will eventually include 10 turbines that will provide a total of 12.5 megawatts of power, which supporters say would be enough to power all ...
Medical gas mishap in Lawrence prompts questions about inspections
LAWRENCE (AP) — A mishap in a dental office has raised questions about the inspections of medical gas systems by private contractors.
After allegations that an improperly installed medical gas system was to blame for a Tonganoxie teenager being seriously injured last month, the Lawrence Journal-World reviewed policies in various cities regarding such equipment.
The newspaper reported Wednesday that it found several other cities do significant...
Divided Senate committee gives Sebelius approval as HHS secretary
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kathleen Sebelius won Senate committee approval as health secretary over Republican opposition Tuesday, putting her on track for a final Senate vote in coming days.
Her expected confirmation would complete President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, which held its first formal meeting Monday without Sebelius there.
The Senate Finance Committee voted 15 to 8 in favor of sending the nomination of Kansas’ two-term Democratic governor to ...
McCune farm gets Certified Naturally Grown distinction for meat products
MCCUNE (AP) — Kevin Schenker and his wife, Cherie Thomas-Schenker, bought their farm on April Fools’ Day 2008.
Today, the 160-acres spread just west of McCune is home to about 80 head of cattle.
It also has become the first farm in Kansas to receive a Certified Naturally Grown distinction for its beef, pork and lamb products.
The couple pursued the designation to help market their meats and other products that they grow using natural methods ...
Fort Scott hosts ‘Sendler’ premier
FORT SCOTT (AP) — One of the children Irena Sendler worked to save from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II was among the 400 people attending the premier of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie about Sendler.
Renata Zajdman, one of about 2,500 Jewish children Sendler helped rescue in Poland in the 1940s, saw the film, “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” last week at its world premier in Fort Scott.
Zajdman said she still feels Sendler’s infl...
Ruling may affect other death cases
WICHITA (AP) — Lawyers are debating whether a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that led to a convicted murderer getting off death row could undermine three other death penalty cases.
The Supreme Court last year ruled that prosecutors have a choice in murder cases that have multiple victims. Prosecutors can either file a first-degree murder count for each murder victim or file a single capital murder count that covers all victims.
Before, Kansas pr...
Judge approves charges against Kansas immigrant
WICHITA (AP) — A magistrate judge in Wichita has determined there’s enough evidence for prosecutors to charge a Dodge City woman with threatening an Arizona federal prosecutor.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Bostwick ruled Wednesday that the government established probable cause is the case of 60-year-old Angela Ramos-Ocana. She is charged with felony obstruction of justice and misdemeanor illegal entry into the United States.
During a prelimin...
Re-count confirms passage of Emporia smoking ban
EMPORIA (AP) — A re-count has confirmed that an Emporia smoking ban ordinance has passed.
The measure won approval last week by just six votes, and the margin grew by two votes after Tuesday’s re-count.
The Lyon County Board of Canvassers certified late Tuesday afternoon that the final count was 2,369 votes for banning smoking in public places and 2,361 against it.
Attorney Michael Helbert, who has represented a group opposed to the ban, does...
want to preserve
eco devo agency
John Hanna Associated Press Writer TOPEKA (AP) — Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ plan to fold a state agency that nurtures high-tech businesses into the Department of Commerce hasn’t gotten much traction with the Republican-controlled Legislature. Sebelius has tried to push legislators into considering her proposal seriously by vetoing all funding for the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. She argues that her reorganization plan would ...
Sebelius lowballed donations
from controversial abortion doctor
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s health secretary nominee got nearly three times as much political money from a controversial abortion doctor as she told senators.
The Health and Human Services Department said Monday that the omission was an oversight that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would correct.
In a response to questions from the Senate Finance Committee made public last week, Sebelius wrot...
1 dead in SEK drive-by
COFFEYVILLE (AP) — Police are looking for suspects in the drive-by shooting death of a man in Coffeyville.
Commander Mike Brown of the Coffeyville Police Department said in a news release that 47-year-old Floyd Johnson was gunned down shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday in front of a home. Police said one or more people in a passing car had opened fire at the house.
Brown said the gunfire followed an earlier altercation between members of Johnson’s ...
Kidney transplant extends Lawrence man’s life
Mother of 26-year-old from Chanute
LAWRENCE (AP) — Logan Hastings signed up to be an organ donor as soon as he got his driver’s license.
He’s always been a believer in giving the gift of life.
He just never dreamed that he would be on the receiving end, especially at age 26. He was athletic and had only been in a hospital once for a broken arm at age 8.
“I was playing softball one night and ran to first bas...
Spring freeze raises fears about wheat crop
Associated Press Writer
WICHITA (AP) — A spring freeze has raised fears about possible damage to the Kansas winter wheat crop.
Experts aren’t expecting the same widespread freeze damage that devastated the state’s 2007 wheat crop, but temperatures dipped below freezing Monday night across much of Kansas and created some uncertainty among growers.
Damage will likely not be as bad as the Easter freeze of 2007 because the wheat cr...
New revenue figures make budget shakier
Associated Press Writer
TOPEKA (AP) — State tax collections fell $53 million short of expectations in March, putting Kansas’ budget for the next fiscal year on shakier ground.
Many legislators worry that they will have to significantly rewrite the $13 billion budget they approved last week for fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1. A Democratic leader also said Tuesday that legislators must consider tax proposals to boost state rev...
Smoking ban concerns some Salina businesses
SALINA (AP) — With a tougher smoking ban slate to go into effect next month, local business owners depending on smokers to frequent their establishments continue to worry.
The Salina ordinance that is slated to go into effect in May bans smoking in almost all public buildings. The old rule banned smoking in restaurants between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The new ordinance is leaving owners and managers of the three Bs — bingo halls, bars and bowling al...
Middle schoolers learn by ‘trading’ stocks
Bob Johnson The Iola Register IOLA (AP) — Two months ago, Eli Battles didn’t know the difference between a trend line and a hemline. Now, the Iola Middle School seventh-grader knows that a trend line is a stock market term and that when the line consistently is headed upward it’s a good thing. A hemline? Well, he is a boy and he does notice girls. Battles and others who report daily to Roger Carlin’s social science classroom at IMS are t...
SEK man displays replica cars
Bob Johnson The Iola Register IOLA (AP) — Don White put together his first plastic model car when he was about 10 years old in the late 1950s. Today, at 61, he’s just as intrigued as ever by miniature vehicles. He also likes to share his love of them. White owns more than 200 and during his lifetime of collecting he figures he’s had two to three times that many. A favorite aside to his collecting is showing what he has in public displ...