State Government

Bill exempting public hospitals from concealed-carry mandate moving through Senate

Topeka ? A Senate committee started work quickly Thursday on a bill that would exempt public hospitals, including the University of Kansas hospital in Kansas City, Kan., and Lawrence Memorial Hospital from an impending requirement to allow people to carry concealed weapons in those ...

Budget woes have Kansas lawmakers struggling with pensions

TOPEKA ? Kansas legislators worry about resorting to the kind of funding moves with public employees’ pensions that previously clouded the retirement system’s long-term financial health as they wrestle with the state’s serious budget woes.But lawmakers weren’t sure Wednesday whether the ...

Official says welder sparked massive Kansas apartment fire

Overland Park ? A fire that leveled a multimillion-dollar apartment building under construction and spread to about two dozen homes in suburban Kansas City started when a welder accidentally ignited wooden building materials, fire officials said.More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze at ...

Investigation begins into massive Overland Park fire

Kansas City, Mo. — Firefighters are investigating the cause of a fire that spread from a suburban Kansas City apartment complex that was under construction to nearly two dozen homes.Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes said foul play is not suspected of causing the blaze ...

Bill would put State Library under Legislature’s control

Topeka ? A bill pending in the Senate would make a big change to an agency that is one of the smallest in state government, yet one that has a big impact on other agencies and communities throughout the state, the Kansas State Library.Housed on the third floor of the Statehouse, in the west ...

New school funding formula outlined; dollars going into it not yet announced

Topeka ? A new school funding formula that looks much like the one lawmakers repealed two years ago will be the focus of attention for the next two weeks as the Kansas House tries to respond to a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling that said current levels of school funding are inadequate and ...

Investigation begins into massive suburban Kansas City fire

Overland Park ? Firefighters were investigating the cause of a fire Tuesday that spread from a suburban Kansas City apartment complex that was under construction to nearly two dozen homes.Overland Park, Kansas, Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes said foul play is not suspected of causing ...

Kansas lawmakers advance pay increase for most state workers

Topeka ? Kansas legislators advanced a proposal Monday to give most state employees a 2 percent pay raise, even as lawmakers wrestle with serious budget problems likely to prompt a big tax increase.The state Senate Ways and Means Committee voted to include the pay increase in its proposed state ...

Medicaid expansion moving through Kansas Senate committee

Topeka ? A Kansas Senate committee plans to vote later this week on whether to recommend a bill to expand the state's Medicaid program to cover an additional 150,000 people. That vote would take place even as the U.S. Congress works to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, ...

Concrete patching on I-35 to start Monday

The Kansas Department of Transportation on Monday will start patching concrete on a 41-mile section of Interstate 35, according to a news release. Patching will begin on the northbound lanes, from 1 mile west of the Beto Junction exit northeast through Coffey, Osage and Franklin counties, ...

Lawmakers unlikely to restore cuts to higher education

Topeka ? With a deal nearly in hand for balancing the state's budget for the current fiscal year, House and Senate budget committees will focus their attention in the upcoming week on writing a so-called "mega" budget bill for funding state agencies for the next two fiscal years.Heading into ...

Kansas man accused of illegal radioactive material storage

Kansas City, Mo. ? A Kansas chemist is accused in a federal indictment of illegally storing radioactive material that contaminated his now-closed lab in a suburban Kansas City industrial park, costing U.S. taxpayers $760,000 to clean up as a Superfund site.Thursday’s indictment and federal ...

Q & A: Questions about the abortion debate in Kansas

Topeka ? Kansas might chart its own legal path on abortion through a lawsuit that could turn a state in which the anti-abortion movement has won a long string of legislative victories into fairly friendly territory for abortion rights.The state Supreme Court heard arguments this past week in a ...

Dairy Queen offers free ice cream cones Monday

Omaha, Neb. ? Dairy Queen is offering free ice cream cones on Monday, the first day of spring.Anyone who wants a treat can stop by participating locations Monday for a free small vanilla soft serve cone.Dairy Queens will also be collecting donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on ...

Wichita police fatally wound 25-year-old man who pointed gun

Wichita ? A Wichita police officer fatally wounded a 25-year-old man who pointed a gun at officers during an altercation that also led to the death of a police dog.The Wichita Eagle reports the incident happened Saturday night around 8 at the Lamp Lighter Mobile Home Park on the south side of ...

Man pleads guilty to making false statements in Dodge City hate crime investigation

Kansas City, Kan. ? A Dodge City man pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI during an investigation of a hate crime attack on three Somali men.Federal prosecutors say 28-year-old Diego Martinez entered the plea Thursday for statements made during an FBI interview in October ...

Keeping gun ban at Kansas mental hospitals may cost $25M

Topeka ? It could cost $25 million to upgrade security at Kansas’ major mental hospitals in Osawatomie and Larned in order to avoid allowing concealed carry firearms in the building.A state law that takes effect in July requires an open-door policy at the two hospitals serving people with ...