Kansas and regional news

Role of a lifetime: Retired KU professor revives one-man William Allen White play
April 11, 2015
When “The Sage of Emporia” premiered in March 1981, its star, Jack Wright, had to spend four hours in the makeup chair in order to convincingly portray a 74-year-old William Allen White. Fast-forward a couple of decades, Wright jokes, and the process takes about four minutes.
FBI: Topeka man plotted suicide bomb attack at Fort Riley
12:16 p.m., April 10, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
A 20-year-old man accused of planning a suicide attack at Fort Riley was arrested Friday while trying to arm what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb near the Kansas military base as part of a plot to support the Islamic State group, federal prosecutors said.
Kansas AG asks top state court to void Wichita pot ordinance
April 10, 2015
Kansas’ attorney general asked the state’s top court Thursday to nullify a new voter-approved ordinance in the state’s largest city that lessens criminal penalties for marijuana possession because it conflicts with state law.
Roberts: US Senate committee to consider food stamps reform
11:51 a.m., April 8, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
The idea of funding the federal food stamps program through block grants to the states has failed to gain traction in annual budget fights since the 1990s, but it has not gone away and may get a hearing in a U.S. Senate panel, Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas said.
Wichita seeks ruling on legality of marijuana initiative
09:14 a.m., April 8, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
A day after Wichita voters approved a ballot measure that would reduce the penalties for small amounts of marijuana, the city asked a court to rule on the legality of the proposed changes, which had already drawn a warning from the state attorney general.
Kansas governor signs nation’s 1st ban on abortion procedure
11:43 a.m., April 7, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Kansas became the first state Tuesday to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.
Lawrence school district expects to repay $672,000 in state aid
05:56 p.m., April 6, 2015 Updated 10:06 p.m.
The Lawrence school district has already received more state aid for its capital outlay and local option budgets than it’s entitled to receive under the new “block grant” school funding bill. Superintendent Rick Doll says that will result in a hiring freeze for classified employees this year and possibly fewer teachers in classrooms next year. By Peter Hancock
Kansas AG asks federal court to strike down labor rules for home health workers
03:23 p.m., April 6, 2015 Updated 10:04 p.m.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking a federal appeals court to strike down U.S. Department of Labor rules that say many home health workers are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. The Brownback administration says such a rule would threaten services for people who receive home and community based services through the state’s Medicaid program. By Peter Hancock
Kansas quietly passed religious objections law 2 years ago
03:08 p.m., April 6, 2015 Updated 10:06 p.m.
Religious objections measures in Arkansas and Indiana that prompted national criticism are similar to a law Kansas quietly enacted two years ago with the state’s leading gay-rights group officially neutral.
Kansas senator proposes bill on school transfer students
08:48 a.m., April 6, 2015 Updated 10:04 p.m.
A Kansas state senator is proposing a bill intended to ensure that school districts can’t remove current students who live outside their boundaries.
Pro-business lobby groups wielding big influence in Legislature, Democrats say
April 5, 2015
On issues like school finance, health care and reducing the power of labor unions, Democrats say pro-business lobby groups are wielding tremendous influence over the Kansas Legislature this year. Republicans say they’re winning the legislative battles because the voters who elected them prefer GOP policies. By Peter Hancock
Kansas set to prevent poor from using aid for swimming pools, psychics
03:31 p.m., April 3, 2015 Updated 10:40 p.m.
Kansas is close to telling poor families by law that they can’t use cash assistance from the state to visit swimming pools, get tattoos or consult with psychics among a list of other things, leading critics to focus on whether tighter rules for social services will make life more unpleasant for the needy.
Budget deal left in doubt as lawmakers adjourn regular session
07:01 p.m., April 2, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
The budget deal that House and Senate negotiators struck on Wednesday was left hanging in doubt Thursday when lawmakers went home for a three and a half week break. Analysts say it would require hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes, and some universities are now objecting to a proposed two-year freeze in tuition rates. By Peter Hancock
Brownback signs bill allowing concealed carry without permit, claims economic successes
06:14 p.m., April 2, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback marked the end of the 2015 regular session by signing a bill allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit and touting economic numbers showing the state’s job market is recovering. He would not back away from his social policies, including removal of job protection for LGBT state employees, which high-tech industry leaders are saying could cost the state jobs. By Peter Hancock
Uber says Kansas bill could force it to leave state
02:45 p.m., April 2, 2015 Updated 10:30 p.m.
The Kansas House has approved changes to a transportation bill that Uber says could drive it out of the state.
Kansas panel advances campus group bill amid protest fears
11:32 a.m., April 2, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
A Republican legislator warned Thursday that Kansas risks the same sort of national backlash as Indiana and Arkansas if lawmakers pass a proposal aimed at protecting college religious groups, but a GOP colleague said heeding such concerns would be “catering to the mob.”
Gov. Brownback signs bill allowing concealed carry without permit
08:46 a.m., April 2, 2015 Updated 03:30 p.m.
Kansas will become the fifth state to allow its residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit throughout the state.
Statistician sues seeking Kansas voting machine paper tapes
04:44 p.m., April 1, 2015 Updated 09:49 p.m.
A Wichita State University mathematician has filed an open records lawsuit seeking the paper tapes from electronic voting machines in Kansas hoping they will explain statistical anomalies in election returns.
Kansas saw increased use of abortion procedure last year
April 1, 2015
Kansas saw an increase last year in the number of abortions using a procedure banned under a policy that is expected to take effect in July.