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Kansas and regional news

US settles with Kansas over alleged pension fraud
12:56 p.m., August 11, 2014 Updated 03:00 p.m.
Federal authorities announced Monday that Kansas has agreed to settle a securities fraud charge accusing the the state of misleading investors about the financial health of its public employee pension system in 2009 and 2010 — at the time the second-worst underfunded system of its kind in the nation.
Small Kansas colleges have $980 million impact
August 11, 2014
A new study says small, private colleges might not be well known but they are having a big impact on the state’s economy.
Families spend time together, prepare for school year in final days of summer
August 10, 2014
Thoughts of homework and teachers were far from Colin Bradt’s mind as he pushed together the couch and chairs of his family’s Lawrence living room last week. “I build a fort the other day, just because I could,” Bradt, 14, recalled. “I had the time to do it.” There, under his cushioned stronghold, Bradt snuggled up to his dog —a golden retriever and German shepherd mix named Storm— and took some time to enjoy the final days of summer.
KCK police investigating deaths
August 10, 2014
Police in Kansas City, Kan., are investigating the deaths of a couple who were found in their car inside their garage.
After several good years, farmers take hit in 2014
August 10, 2014
One of the worst wheat harvests in decades followed by an abundant corn and soybean crop that’s driving down prices have Kansas farmers preparing for a sharp income decline after several good years.
Kansas shooting victim awarded nearly $12 million
August 10, 2014
A Topeka woman who has had eight major surgeries to rebuild her face after she survived two shotgun blasts has been awarded nearly $12 million in damages against the man convicted of trying to kill her.
Educational programs to mark 151st anniversary of Quantrill’s raid
August 9, 2014
While it won’t have all the hoopla of 2013’s sesquicentennial observance of Quantrill’s raid, this year’s anniversary of the Lawrence massacre nonetheless provides plenty of opportunities for interactive education. From Monday through Aug. 22, several programs will be held in the area about William Quantrill’s 1863 guerrilla attack on Lawrence and the lead-up to the Civil War in Kansas and Missouri.
Attorney General to appeal Carr brothers, Gleason death penalty rulings
August 8, 2014
Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he’ll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review last month’s decision by the Kansas Supreme Court to vacate the death sentences of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The Carr brothers were killing five people during a brutal crime spree in Wichita. By Peter Hancock
Kansas personal spending on par with neighbors
August 7, 2014
Kansas consumer spending grew at a slightly faster pace than most of its closest neighbors in 2012, but the state’s total per-person spending remained among the lowest in the region, a new government report issued Thursday shows.
Little impact in Kansas from Russia food sanctions
August 7, 2014
Russia’s ban on U.S. food imports will hurt Russia more than it will hurt Kansas farmers, the state’s trade director said Thursday. In retaliation for sanctions the Obama administration has imposed for Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, Russia announced Thursday that it’s banning most food imports from the West. A global market analyst says the impact on the U.S. agriculture markets, including Kansas, is minimal because Russia has already banned many agricultural products in the past.
Kansas wine: You needn’t go far to taste state’s unique terroir
August 6, 2014
The first rule about trying Kansas wine? Be open-minded to trying Kansas wine. “Get the California out of your mind,” said Lori Henderson, who along with her husband owns the newly opened Crooked Post Winery in Ozawkie. “Put all preconceived notions out of your head about what wines are supposed to taste like.” By Sara Shepherd
Brownback victory party dampened by another credit downgrade
August 6, 2014
The morning after his primary election win, Gov. Sam Brownback claimed credit for improving the state’s financial position. But the celebration was quickly dampened by news that Standard & Poors had downgraded the state’s credit rating. By Peter Hancock
Credit agency downgrades ratings on Kansas bonds
August 6, 2014
A second leading bond-rating agency has downgraded its credit rating for Kansas and cited what it calls the state’s “structurally unbalanced budget” following massive personal income tax cuts.
Brownback: State school aid has increased since 2011
August 5, 2014
Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration says total state aid to public schools has increased during his administration, countering critics who say he enacted the largest cuts in state history. The difference is mainly due to increases ordered by the Supreme Court and higher funding for the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. By Peter Hancock
Kansas city bans sexual orientation discrimination
August 5, 2014
Roeland Park has become the second city in Kansas to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
National Guard contractor denies any wrongdoing
August 4, 2014
A spokesman for Dentrust, a company that provides medical services on contract with the Kansas Army National Guard, said the company has cooperated with federal investigators and believes it will be cleared of any wrongdoing. Federal investigators have been probing allegations of improper gifts from the company to an officer who oversees that contract, as well as concerns over the handling of reports that a female employee of the company was sexually assaulted and harassed by another Guard soldier. By Peter Hancock
Kansas parents fear end of bingo fundraisers
August 4, 2014
Some parents at a Wichita school fear their annual bingo-night fundraiser will be canceled, after district officials reminded them that state law forbids pay-to-play bingo.
Authorities: 4-year-old injured in Kansas crash
August 4, 2014
A 4-year-old boy has been critically injured after being ejected from a SUV rollover near Wichita.
Kansas parents fear end of bingo fundraisers
August 4, 2014
Some parents at a Wichita school fear their annual bingo-night fundraiser will be canceled, after district officials reminded them that state law forbids pay-to-play bingo.