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Archive for Thursday, January 27, 2005

Area briefs

January 27, 2005

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City government

Commissioners begin review of Wildgen

Lawrence city commissioners met in executive session for nearly two hours Wednesday to discuss their annual evaluation of City Manager Mike Wildgen.

Commissioners said they did not finish the evaluation and likely would continue it during an executive session at Tuesday's city commission meeting.

Typically, the commission has evaluated Wildgen, the top administrator of the city in a single session. Commissioners said they decided to have two sessions this year to ensure that they gave Wildgen a thorough and complete review and also to give them time to establish specific management goals.

Alliance seeks to halt Flint Hills wind farm

Wichita -- A coalition of ranchers, conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to halt development of the Elk River Windfarm in the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie.

The lawsuit, filed by the Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Foundation, seeks to stop construction of the wind farm in one of North America's few remaining stands of native tallgrass prairie.

"It is the greatest imminent threat to the Flint Hills of Kansas," said Ron Klataske, executive director of Audubon of Kansas, one of members of the alliance opposing the wind development.

The lawsuit names Scottish Power PLC and two of its subsidiaries, PacifiCorp and PPM Energy Inc.; Greenlight Energy Inc. and its Elk River Windfarm LLC; and Empire District Electric Co.

Representatives of PPM Energy, Greenlight and Empire declined comment.

State

Kline, press association push for open records

Topeka -- Atty. Gen. Phill Kline and the Kansas Press Assn. are launching a push for more open government.

Part of the effort is based on the Lawrence Journal-World's legal fight to obtain compensation records of Kansas University Athletic Director Lew Perkins.

KPA and Kline are seeking a constitutional amendment guaranteeing public access to governmental activities, expanding what must be disclosed in compensation records of public employees, and the formation of a public integrity office to investigate alleged violations of state public disclosure laws.

The package also includes a proposal to make available to the public records of companies that receive most of their funding through taxes and fees. Kline and KPA have scheduled a joint press conference for today to announce the initiative.

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