KU officials going to Asia
Several Kansas University officials are headed to Japan and South Korea today for meetings with potential donors, alumni and education officials.
The travel group includes David Shulenburger, provost and executive vice chancellor, Diana Carlin, dean of the KU Graduate School and international programs, and Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco, director of the Office of Study Abroad.
The trip includes an alumni reception Monday in Tokyo, a Thursday dinner with the KU Korean Assn. in Seoul and an alumni reception Friday in Seoul. Also Thursday, the group will visit Sungkyunkwan University to meet with its provost for external affairs and sign an academic agreement between the two institutions.
House Democrat seeks Westar donations probe
The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee asked the attorney general Friday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate campaign donations to Republicans by a utility seeking a legislative exemption that could have saved the company billions of dollars.
In a letter to Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan said only a special counsel from outside the Justice Department, "with no ties to the Republican Party or the Bush administration," could ensure an impartial investigation.
Internal documents raised the question whether there was an exchange of campaign contributions for legislative favors to help Westar, a Topeka energy conglomerate.
Conyers noted that Ashcroft's Senate campaign received $500 from a Westar executive.
"Investigating high-ranking Republicans by an attorney general who has himself received campaign contributions from the entity involved constitutes a conflict of interest," Conyers wrote.
Kansas City, Kan.
Grant to help preserve abolitionist history
The National Park Service has approved a $200,000 grant to a group working to preserve the remnants of an abolitionist community.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church announced Thursday that an association affiliated with the church had received the grant.
The Rev. E. Lewis Branch, vice chairman of the Western University Assn., said the grant would pave way for construction of the Quindaro Ruins Archaeological Park in northeast Kansas City, Kan. The ruins are the remnants of a town that thrived from 1855 to 1862 as a community that helped free slaves.
The first phase of construction includes a scenic overlook and trails. The 154-acre site was named to the National Register of Historic Places last year.