Kansas and regional news

Kansans listen closely to Obama’s immigration speech
November 20, 2014
Kansans on all sides of the immigration debate listened closely Thursday as President Barack Obama announced executive actions that could spare millions of undocumented residents from deportation. The new policies could have a direct impact on the Kansas labor force, higher education and partisan politics in the state. By Peter Hancock
Carjacking suspects crash into Overland Park duplex
November 20, 2014
Two carjacking suspects crashed into an Overland Park duplex while fleeing from police Thursday.
Kansas could tap highway funds to fill budget gaps
November 20, 2014
Kansas legislators are likely to consider diverting funds from highway projects toward general government programs next year to help solve the state’s budget problems.
Woman killed in blaze just west of downtown Topeka
November 20, 2014
A woman has been killed in a house fire in a neighborhood just west of downtown Topeka.
Republican River states pledge to cooperate more
11:21 a.m., November 20, 2014 Updated 11:43 a.m.
The three states crossed by the Republican River have agreed on a new approach to managing water in the disputed basin.
Arrest made after Wichita woman raped, set on fire
09:29 a.m., November 20, 2014 Updated 01:47 p.m.
A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the rape and severe burning of a woman who was found in park near the Wichita State University campus, police said Thursday.
Kansas Democrats’ petition seeks to oust Republican House speaker
09:24 a.m., November 20, 2014 Updated 11:58 a.m.
Kansas Democrats are seeking to remove House Speaker Ray Merrick from his leadership post because of disparaging remarks he made about government employees, but party leaders acknowledge they don’t have much of a say in who holds that position.
7 Kansas hunters plead to violating federal law
November 20, 2014
Seven Kansas hunters pleaded guilty and were sentenced for violating federal laws protecting birds.
DA: Wichita police fatal shooting justified
November 20, 2014
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says a Wichita police officer was justified when he shot and killed a man in April.
US attorney’s office collects $11.4M in Kansas
November 20, 2014
The U.S. attorney’s office says it has collected more than $11.4 million this year from criminal and civil actions in Kansas.
Regents, university officials fear budget cuts ahead
November 19, 2014
Higher education officials in Kansas are growing concerned that they may be the target of major budget cuts as the state tries to fill a projected $715 million revenue shortfall. Proposals being circulated include sweeping tuition fund balances, changing the block grant system for universities and moving to a “performance based” budgeting process. By Peter Hancock
Kansas considering opening some state lakes to seaplanes
November 19, 2014
The state’s aviation office is considering whether to allow qualified seaplanes to use state lakes that are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Topeka committee passes on public nudity ban
November 19, 2014
A Topeka city committee has declined to take action on a proposed public nudity ban that is headed to the City Council for consideration.
Report: Winter wheat faring well so far
November 18, 2014
The latest government report shows most of the newly planted Kansas winter wheat crop is faring well so far.
Lawmakers seek more regulation of mental health drugs
November 18, 2014
A legislative oversight committee agreed Tuesday to recommend considering repeal of a law that prohibits the state Medicaid system from regulating the use of mental health drugs. A recent federal study showed Kansas has the third highest rate in the nation of nursing home patients being prescribed powerful antipsychotic medications. By Peter Hancock
Osawatomie State Hospital at risk of losing Medicare payments
November 18, 2014
The federal government is threatening to cut off Medicare payments for Osawatomie State Hospital unless problems there are fixed by Dec. 8. State officials say they’ll have a corrective action plan in place by the end of this week. By Peter Hancock
Report: Fewer immigrants live illegally in Kansas
04:00 p.m., November 18, 2014 Updated 05:52 p.m.
While the overall number of immigrants living in the United States illegally has been relatively stable since 2009, far fewer of them are choosing to live in Kansas, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.
Western Kansas streams endangered because of low aquifer levels
03:46 p.m., November 18, 2014 Updated 04:50 p.m.
Western Kansas has lost many of its major perennial streams because farmers have pumped extreme amounts of water from the Ogallala Aquifer, water experts were told Tuesday. Jim Butler, geohydrology section chief with the Kansas Geological Survey, spoke at the Big 12 Universities Water Workshop at Kansas University about the dire situation with the Ogallala Aquifer. By Karen Dillon
Report: Kansas winter wheat faring well so far
November 18, 2014
The latest government report shows most of the newly planted Kansas winter wheat crop is faring well so far.