Kansas and regional news

Fate of man who jumped from jail window still unknown
July 4, 2014
State and federal officials this week were unable to say whatever happened to Alberto Contreras Gonzalez, who left Kansas University Hospital holding a nearly $140,000 medical bill. His case was the subject of a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling. By Peter Hancock
More Kansas and regional news
Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL oil pipeline
03:58 p.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying a presidential veto threat and setting up the first of many battles with the White House over energy and the environment.
Man charged with sexual battery in connection with Kansas University dorm room incident
02:24 p.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:32 p.m.
A 20-year-old Kansas City man and former Kansas University student was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor sexual battery in connection with an April incident in a KU residence hall.
Kansas House panel eases off plan to delay school aid funds
10:33 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:40 p.m.
Public schools would have to wait before getting some of the increased aid they were promised last year, and some of that increased aid could actually be cut under bills being considered in the Kansas Legislature. In fact, the Lawrence school district stands to lose $1.3 million this year under one bill being considered in the Senate. If that were carried forward into future years, it would effectively negate the property tax increase that voters in the district approved this week in a mail ballot election. By Peter Hancock
Kansas governor to announce nominee for state appeals court
09:17 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:37 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback is preparing to announce his nominee for an open seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals.
US Senate rejects amendment on lesser prairie chicken
09:15 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
The U.S. Senate has rejected an amendment by Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas that would have removed the lesser prairie chicken from the federal government’s threatened species act.
Ex-fire chief in Kansas township sentenced for stealing
January 29, 2015
A former fire chief of a township near Leavenworth has been sentenced to a year of probation for felony theft.
Kansas police officers may be required to wear body cameras
09:10 a.m., January 29, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that may require police officers to wear body cameras, but opponents of the proposal argue that the costs may outweigh the benefits.
Douglas County man appealing status as violent sexual predator
January 28, 2015
A Douglas County man who has been judged as a violent sexual predator will ask the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday to overturn that conviction. By Peter Hancock
Kobach pushing bills to limit ballot withdrawals and to allow straight-party voting
05:40 p.m., January 28, 2015 Updated 11:00 p.m.
Last year’s controversy over Democrat Chad Taylor withdrawing from the U.S. Senate race is prompting Secretary of State Kris Kobach to push for changes in the state’s election laws. He also is pushing for legislation to allow voters to cast straight-party ballots. By Peter Hancock
New two-lane Wakarusa roundabout may be a little confusing at first, but it’s safer, city official says
08:26 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
The Wakarusa roundabout intersecting Inverness and Legends drives has been twisting traffic in the three weeks since its completion. City Engineer David Cronin said that’s the reason roundabouts are preferable to traffic lights or four-way stops: safety. The roundabout’s design keeps speeds low and reduces the number of “conflict points,” or opportunities for collision, thus reducing the likelihood of an injury accident, Cronin said. By Caitlin Doornbos
Senate bill would repeal Common Core standards
04:38 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:31 p.m.
A Senate bill would repeal many of the new academic standards adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education and would make future standards merely advisory for local school districts. By Peter Hancock
Kansas bill targets patent trolls
04:25 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:29 p.m.
Business and banking groups say their members are being targeted by companies that demand licensing payments based on bogus claims of owning patents or trademarks. A bill being considered in the Senate would prohibit that activity and give the Attorney General authority to seek civil damages against such companies. By Peter Hancock
Brownback nominates Kansas Highway Patrol veteran for superintendent job
January 27, 2015
Gov. Sam Brownback is nominating the man serving as interim superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol to get the job permanently.
Kansas City area to get 1,001 electric car chargers
08:35 a.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:04 a.m.
Kansas City Power & Light plans to spend about $20 million to install 1,001 public electric car chargers in an effort to make the Kansas City region one of the most convenient areas in the country to drive an electric car.
Brownback’s tax proposals panned by anti-tax activist
January 26, 2015
National anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is urging Kansas legislators to reject Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposals to increase the state’s tobacco and alcohol taxes to help close state budget shortfalls.
Kansas geologist says fracking not the cause of earthquakes
05:52 p.m., January 26, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
The recent spate of minor earthquakes in south-central Kansas is more likely caused by the disposal of saltwater, a byproduct of oil drilling, than the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” One quake in November registered 4.9 on the Richter scale, the strongest temblor ever recorded in Kansas. By Peter Hancock
Perry-Lecompton High principal stepping down
04:56 p.m., January 26, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
J.B. Elliott is stepping down from his position as the principal of Perry-Lecompton High School to become the district’s curriculum director, according to Superintendent Denis Yoder.
Ex-executive seeks to toss extortion claims from Kansas Medicaid suit
01:48 p.m., January 26, 2015 Updated 10:35 p.m.
A former executive of the firm managing part of the privatized Medicaid program in Kansas has asked a judge to toss out counterclaims accusing her of trying to extort $3 million.
Topeka district works with historically black colleges
January 26, 2015
The Topeka school district is working with several historically black colleges and universities in Texas to make its teaching staff more diverse.