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Kansas and regional news

Final architecture dean candidate to visit KU on Wednesday
05:34 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
The fourth and final candidate for dean of the Kansas University School of Architecture, Design and Planning will give a public presentation from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at The Forum in Marvin Hall, with a reception immediately following. Bruce Stiftel is professor of city and regional planning and chair of the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Plan to allow Kansas groceries to sell wine, liquor advances
04:15 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:22 p.m.
A Kansas House committee has approved a bill to allow grocery stores to sell wine, liquor and full-strength beer starting in July 2018.
Lawrence superintendent testifies against a bill to repeal Common Core standards
02:25 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll told a legislative committee Monday that a bill to repeal many of the state’s education standards, including the Common Core standards for reading and math, would have far-reaching, unintended consequences. “You don’t kill a mouse with a shotgun,” Doll told the House Education Committee. “This shotgun approach that is advocated in this bill would literally gut many of our educational programs, placing school districts in the impossible position of making local decisions for students that are in direct conflict with the law.”By Peter Hancock
Kansas Gov. Brownback creates Social Services Policy Council
01:37 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is creating a taskforce to look for ways to decrease poverty.
Kansas legislative proposal focuses on open records enforcement
09:33 a.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:23 p.m.
Improperly withholding public records would be easier to investigate under a legislative proposal that has the backing of Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Kansas amputee support group members deal with phantom pain
February 22, 2015
Sometimes it feels like a knife is slicing through Pamela Jenkins’ right foot. But, she doesn’t have a right foot. Phantom pain is very real to the group of amputees who were attending the regular meeting of the Kansas Amputee Support System.
Push on to make catfish a Kansas state symbol
February 22, 2015
Some supporters of the lowly channel catfish are renewing efforts to make the species become a state symbol, despite past failed attempts.
Kansas legislators take up measures targeting Kansas Judiciary
February 21, 2015
As the mid-point of the legislative session approaches, Kansas lawmakers will turn their focus to measures that could bring big changes to the Kansas court system. Two constitutional amendments have already advanced that would change the way Supreme Court justices are chosen. Another would lower the mandatory retirement age for judges, automatically removing several sitting judges from the bench. By Peter Hancock
Immigration efforts designed to protect Kansans, Kobach says; attorney says hundreds in Lawrence would be hurt
February 21, 2015
An anti-immigrant bill pending in the Kansas legislature renouncing President Barack Obama’s recent executive orders easing deportation policies against select groups of undocumented immigrants would affect hundreds of local families, Lawrence immigration attorney Blanca Marin de Stevanov said Friday. Kansas’s Senate Bill 166, referred to as the “Rule of Law Restoration Act,” introduced earlier this month by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, argues the executive orders were illegal because they violated the separation of powers described in Articles I and II of the U.S. Constitution. By Caitlin Doornbos
Kansas House panel passes strict reform to school wage talks
03:59 p.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Kansas school boards would have the power to tell teachers that are not members of unions to “take it or leave it” in salary negotiations under a bill endorsed by a state House panel Friday.
Appeals court upholds Lawrence man’s murder conviction
01:47 p.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Christopher Belone, of Lawrence, was convicted of beating his girlfriend Linda Begay to death in 2006. His first conviction was overturned by the Kansas Supreme Court, but after a new trial he was convicted a second time of unintentional second degree murder. The Kansas Court of Appeals on Friday upheld the second conviction. By Peter Hancock
Bill restricting sex ed moved forward by Kansas House panel
12:42 p.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:15 p.m.
Debate in the Kansas House over requiring public schools to get parents’ consent to teach sex education is likely to be tense, just as it was before a committee approved the measure, the panel’s chairman said Friday.
Kansas Senate approves proposed ban on abortion procedure
08:43 a.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
A national group’s push to outlaw an abortion procedure and redefine is as “dismemberment” advanced Friday in Kansas, with the state Senate’s approval of what could become the nation’s first ban of the practice.
Kansas plan to change tag notifications postponed
08:11 a.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
State officials say they will indefinitely postpone plans to change the way Kansas motorists are notified when vehicle tags need to be renewed.
Public can comment online about Kansas education standards
08:09 a.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:11 p.m.
Kansas education officials have created an online tool to allow the public to comment about math, reading and writing standards.
Kansas bills aim to stall EPA’s Clean Power Plan
February 19, 2015
A Kansas Senate committee is considering two bills that would delay implementing a federal program aimed at reducing carbon emissions from power plants. One bill is supported by the Kansas Corporation Commission, while another was authored by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. By Peter Hancock
Kansas anti-immigrant bill puts Democrats’ focus on Latino voters
05:47 p.m., February 19, 2015 Updated 10:11 p.m.
Kansas Democrats strongly denounced a proposal by Secretary of State Kris Kobach aimed at blocking President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration policy. The party said it plans to start registering and mobilizing Hispanic and Latino voters, something leaders admit they failed to do in the 2014 elections. By Peter Hancock
Crackdown on Kansas scrap metal theft gains Senate approval
02:53 p.m., February 19, 2015 Updated 10:09 p.m.
Penalties for scrap metal theft in Kansas would rise significantly under a bill given first round approval by the state Senate Wednesday.
4 Kansas tribes to split $1.7 million for housing needs
February 19, 2015
Federal officials say four American Indian tribes in northeast Kansas will split $1.7 million in funds for affordable housing.