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Kansas and regional news

Democrats still studying Brownback’s budget plan
06:37 p.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:24 p.m.
Four days after Gov. Sam Brownback unveiled his budget plan for the next two years, Democratic leaders in the Kansas Legislature still have not issued a formal response. But some rank-and-file members, as well as some Republicans, say parts of the plan could be a tough sell this year. By Peter Hancock
Lawmakers concerned about costs of proposed Clean Power Plan
05:46 p.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:24 p.m.
The Obama administration is proposing new clean air regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. But state utility regulators told a legislative committee Tuesday that the result could be huge rate increases for consumers, prompting some lawmakers to consider challenging the proposed new rules in court. By Peter Hancock
Man convicted in beer-bottle death free from prison pending appeal
05:33 p.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:20 p.m.
A 23-year-old Mission man sentenced in August to 32 months in prison after a Douglas County jury convicted him in June of involuntary manslaughter in the 2012 death of Nicholas Sardina is free on a $50,000 appeal bond.
Eudora man, 39, charged with indecent liberties with child
05:01 p.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:22 p.m.
A 39-year-old Eudora man was charged Tuesday with one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
Kansas governor’s pension plans would boost long-term costs
01:51 p.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:24 p.m.
Kansas legislators have learned that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposals for reducing the state’s annual payments for public pensions would increase long-term costs by $3.7 billion.
Kansas program to help pay utility bills offered
January 20, 2015
A government program that helps people pay winter utility bills will begin taking applications this week.
Earthquakes strike in southern Kansas again
05:07 p.m., January 19, 2015 Updated 11:01 p.m.
South-central Kansas and northern Oklahoma on Sunday and Monday experienced the second batch of manmade earthquakes in four days with magnitudes reaching as high as 3.9 and 4.1.
Sign-ups to begin for annual trans-Atlantic pancake race
January 18, 2015
Sign-ups get underway next weekend in southwest Kansas for an annual trans-Atlantic pancake race.
Kansas payday lending operation agrees to $21M settlement
January 18, 2015
Two payday lending companies with ties to race car driver Scott Tucker have agreed to pay $21 million and waive $285 million in unpaid fines and loans assessed to consumers in order to settle federal claims that they misled borrowers.
Kansas quakes likely caused by disposal of saltwater that results from oil and gas fracking process
January 17, 2015
Kansas officials have been reluctant to link the mysterious earthquakes in south central Kansas to fracking, but last week they said for the first time that the temblors are likely caused by disposal of the waste water that is a byproduct of the oil and gas extraction process. “We can say there is a strong coalition between the disposal of saltwater and the earthquakes,” Rick Miller, geophysicist and senior scientist for the Kansas Geological Survey, told the Journal-World. It’s the first time state officials have so clearly stated the likely cause of the earthquakes, which are afflicting a region where fracking is widely used. By Karen Dillon
Kansas water officials plan big projects
January 17, 2015
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is vowing to establish a 50-year water plan for the state before the end of his term, but budget constraints may delay big-ticket projects.
Kansas Humanities Council awards grants to fund veterans-related projects
January 17, 2015
The Kansas Humanities Council has awarded seventeen organizations with “The Things They Carried Home” grants totaled at $14,420, which support preservation projects and workshops related to veterans and military service.
20-year-old Perry man arrested on suspicion of aggravated indecent liberties with a child
01:15 p.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 10:15 p.m.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 20-year-old Perry man on suspicion of aggravated indecent liberties with a child Thursday, according to the Douglas County Jail booking log.
State of the Kansas Judiciary address to be webcast live
January 16, 2015
Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss is giving the State of the Judiciary address next Wednesday from the courtroom of the Supreme Court.
Agriculture Department funds Kansas conservation projects
January 16, 2015
Kansas has been awarded $13 million from the Agriculture Department for a multi-state project designed to improve water quality through the use of forestry practices.
Kansas governor seeks tax increases to address budget woes
08:00 a.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 09:50 a.m.
Kansas would nearly triple its cigarette tax, raise taxes on alcohol and slow down promised income tax cuts to balance its budget under proposals Republican Gov. Sam Brownback outlined Friday.
Text of Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2015 State of the State address
January 15, 2015
Prepared text of Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2015 State of the State address.
Brownback calls to repeal school finance formula in State of the State address
07:00 p.m., January 15, 2015 Updated 09:42 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday blamed the school finance formula for most of the state’s projected $714 million budget shortfall, and he called for repealing the formula immediately while spending the next two years writing a new one. By Peter Hancock
Text of Sen. Anthony Hensley’s Democratic response to State of the State
January 15, 2015
Text of the Democratic response to Gov. Sam Brownback’s State of the State address, delivered by Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.