State Government

Fifth sex assault investigation opens at Kansas State University

Manhattan ? The federal government is opening another investigation on how Kansas State University handles reports of off-campus sexual assaults.The Manhattan Mercury reports the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights opened the recent investigation in late March. The office ...

Kansas holds off on renewal of student testing contract after problems

TOPEKA ? Kansas education officials are holding off on renewing a contract with the state's student assessment provider after the latest delays caused by technical problems.State Education Commissioner Randy Watson told state school board members Tuesday that there are "many other options" for ...

Kansas regulators reject $12.2B Westar sale to Great Plains

TOPEKA ? Kansas utility regulators Wednesday rejected a proposed $12.2 billion buyout of Topeka-based Westar Energy, saying the proposed purchase price offered by Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power and Light, was “simply too high.”In a 44-page order that was read ...

Brownback signs Kansas budget fix to get state through June

TOPEKA ? Kansas will use $291 million in internal government borrowing to avoid a deficit in its current budget and pay bills on time through June.Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed the budget bill into law Tuesday. The measure allows the state to avoid short-term cuts in aid to public ...

Brownback signs bill allowing sale of stronger beer in grocery, convenience stores

Topeka ? Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Tuesday that will, for the first time in modern history, allow grocery and convenience stores to sell "strong" beer, with up to 6 percent alcohol content by weight, starting in April 2019.At the same time, the bill also will allow liquor stores to sell ...

Report: Mistrust between Kansas prosecutors, defense harmful

Wichita ? Federal prosecutors in Kansas agreed in a court filing with an expert's finding that a "climate of mistrust" exists between themselves and defense attorneys, and it's harming the interests of justice.Monday's acknowledgement comes in the wake of a special master's report issued last ...

Kansas volunteer firefighters underfunded when needed most

GREENWOOD, KAN. — Volunteer firefighters, who make up 90 percent of the firefighters in Kansas, are seeking additional funding.Kansas spends about $300,000 at the state level on firefighting, less than almost any other state, the Wichita Eagle reported. This resulted in local firefighters ...

Sen. Jacob LaTurner, Pittsburg Republican, to become next state treasurer

Topeka ? Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday named Sen. Jacob LaTurner, a Pittsburg Republican, to become the next state treasurer in Kansas.LaTurner, 29, is a native of southeast Kansas and is currently serving his second term in the Senate. He and his wife, Suzanne, have four children and operate a ...

Rains help winter wheat, delay corn planting in Kansas

Wichita ? Rainfall in central and eastern Kansas is greening pastures and helping winter wheat, but is delaying corn planting. Most western counties remain dry.That is the latest assessment Monday from The National Agricultural Statistics Service of crop progress in Kansas.The agency rated the ...

St. Francis uncertainty likely to put Medicaid expansion back on the table

Topeka ? Concern about the future of St. Francis hospital in Topeka, as well as at least two other hospitals in the state, is prompting some lawmakers to say they'll try again to pass a Medicaid expansion bill when the Kansas Legislature comes back into session May 1."We are working hard to ...

Judge orders Kobach to turn over documents taken to Trump meeting

Wichita ? A federal judge ordered Kansas’ top elections official to turn over a document with proposed changes to federal voting rights laws that he took to a meeting with President Donald Trump in a scathing ruling Monday that questioned Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s candor and ...

Kansas VA official fired for inappropriate conduct

Topeka ? A high-level, Topeka-based Veterans Affairs official has been fired following an investigation into inappropriate conduct regarding sexually charged communication.The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that former Health Resource Center director Robert Downs received the VA's decision to ...

Trump budget proposal would end Amtrak service in Kansas cities

A federal budget proposal that puts a passenger train route that passes through Kansas at risk is raising concerns.At issue is a provision in President Donald Trump's budget that calls for the elimination of federal subsidies for some long-distance train routes, The Topeka Capital-Journal ...

Mild winter draws oak mites out of hibernation earlier

Kansas City, Mo. ? A mild winter has drawn oak mites out of hibernation earlier than expected.Extension agent Dennis Patton tells KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Mo., that the mites never did go fully dormant. He says there have been lots of reports of people getting bit while raking leaves and ...

Kansas commissioners disagree on gas pipeline replacement

Topeka ? A disagreement about who should take on the financial burden of replacing miles of dilapidated Kansas gas pipeline is dividing three commissioners on the state’s utility regulatory agency.Shari Feist-Albrecht, Pat Apple and Jay Emler discussed at a Kansas Corporation Commission ...

Concealed-carry policy approved at university in Topeka

Topeka ? Washburn University’s board of regents has approved a campus concealed-carry policy.The board at the Topeka school unanimously approved the gun policy without discussion Thursday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.“Unfortunately it’s come about and now we have to be prepared ...

Officials seek to keep Topeka hospital’s assets in Kansas

Topeka ? Kansas officials are moving to see that assets of a financially troubled nonprofit Catholic hospital in Topeka remain in the state if its out-of-state owner sells it.Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced late Friday that he would examine the financial structure of St. Francis Health ...