Kansas and regional news

Kansas City suburb studying plastic bag ban
09:29 a.m., December 9, 2014 Updated 12:09 p.m.
The Kansas City suburb of Prairie Village is considering reducing the use of plastic grocery bags by imposing a ban or fining shoppers who continue to use them.
KCC staff recommends Chanute broadband plan
08:54 a.m., December 9, 2014 Updated 10:12 a.m.
A panel is recommending that the Kansas Corporation Commission approves Chanute’s plans to extend ultra-high fast broadband internet to its residents and businesses.
New Topeka police chief pulling officers from schools
December 9, 2014
Topeka’s new police chief says his department is providing far more officers to the local school district than its contract requires and thus will be reassigning some of them.
Preliminary injunction sought in Kansas gay marriage case to force full recognition of marriages
11:15 a.m., December 8, 2014 Updated 04:08 p.m.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday expanded its lawsuit challenging the state of Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage by asking a federal judge to order the state to recognize marriages that have already been performed here and in other states.
Topeka’s police reserve program ending
10:40 a.m., December 8, 2014 Updated 12:12 p.m.
The Topeka police department has ended a reserve program that had allowed trained volunteers to carry firearms and help enforce the law with the same authority as actual officers.
Governor has spot to fill on Kansas appeals court
December 8, 2014
Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s working on filling a vacancy on the Kansas Court of Appeals created when one of its judges was appointed to the state Supreme Court.
Police: Woman killed at Kansas City hardware store
December 8, 2014
Police are investigating the death of a woman who was shot in a Lowe’s Home Improvement store parking lot in Kansas City, Kansas.
Baldwin City man looking for new challenge after completing 50-mile marathon
December 7, 2014
Justin Hoffman says people respond to his next goal as an ultra marathon runner much as they did his most recent one. “People say I’m crazy, and then they ask ‘Why?’” he said.
Wichita minister frightened by death threats
December 7, 2014
A Wichita pastor who performs same-sex weddings is growing increasingly frightened by death threats directed at her and members of her church, especially since she officiated at a ceremony for 15 same-sex couples last month on the Sedgwick County Courthouse steps.
Kansas governor working on proposed budget fixes
December 7, 2014
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t publicly ruling out any ideas for helping to close state budget shortfalls, leaving officials and lawmakers to speculate about the proposals he’s expected to roll out before the Legislature convenes next month.
Brownback moving ahead on 50-year water vision
December 6, 2014
A long-term plan for the future of water resources in Kansas calls for dredging many of the state’s lakes and developing new sources for water, including the Missouri River. But those efforts will also require additional revenue, as well as cooperation from other states. By Peter Hancock
Kansas, Planned Parenthood settle abortion lawsuit
December 5, 2014
A federal judge says Kansas and Planned Parenthood have settled a lawsuit filed by the group over a requirement enacted last year for abortion providers.
FBI probes Kansas City teen’s death as a possible hate crime
09:37 a.m., December 5, 2014 Updated 11:18 a.m.
Authorities say a teenager was deliberately run over and killed by a man driving an SUV outside a Somali community center in Kansas City, Missouri, and a spokeswoman said Friday that the FBI was investigating whether the crash was a hate crime.
Stegall takes seat on Kansas Supreme Court
08:07 a.m., December 5, 2014 Updated 03:05 p.m.
Caleb Stegall is now a justice of the Kansas Supreme Court after serving as a lower-court judge and as a top aide to Gov. Sam Brownback.
Kansas tax agency hires House committee chairman
December 5, 2014
The retiring Taxation Committee chairman in the Kansas House has taken a job with the state Department of Revenue.
Topeka moves to take over troubled Heartland Park race track
December 3, 2014
The city of Topeka is proposing to bail out the financially troubled Heartland Park speedway. But its plan to issue $5 million in sales tax revenue bonds to finance the plan has some residents questioning whether the city is throwing good money after bad. By Peter Hancock
Suspect shot, wounded in suburban Kansas City
December 3, 2014
Authorities say a suspect was shot and wounded in suburban Kansas City as the U.S. Marshals Service was attempting to take him into custody.
Kansas Supreme Court declines to disqualify DA’s office in Martin Miller case
December 3, 2014
The Kansas Supreme Court has declined once-convicted murderer Martin Miller’s request to have the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office disqualified as the prosecuting agency in his retrial after it was revealed that witness and son Matthew Miller, 22, had been living with senior assistant district attorney Eve Kemple’s son in her home.
Kansas jobs recover to pre-recession levels, but new jobs not the same as old ones
December 3, 2014
Kansas lost more than 23,000 manufacturing jobs during the Great Recession. The Kansas Department of Labor says most of the jobs added since then have been in business and professional services. By Peter Hancock