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Kansas and regional news

Ex-KBI official pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a child
March 27, 2014
A former Kansas Bureau of Investigation deputy director has pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child.
KU Natural History Museum takes community members ‘behind the glass’ of famous panorama
March 26, 2014
Several dozen members of the Lawrence community got to take a look “behind the glass” at the Kansas University Natural History Museum panorama Wednesday night. Not literally, of course — that would require a hazmat suit. Attendees of the public lecture at the KU Commons did get to learn more about the history and ongoing conservation of 120-year-old exhibit featuring North American plants and animals, one of the oldest and largest panoramas in the world and most popular attractions at the KU Natural History Museum. By Giles Bruce
Republicans in Kansas Senate unveil school funding plan that would let districts increase property taxes
March 26, 2014
Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate have outlined a new school funding plan that would give local districts extra authority to increase property taxes to supplement their state funds.
Former Lawrence superintendent Weseman to step down in Tonganoxie
March 25, 2014
Tonganoxie USD 464 Superintendent Randy Weseman has decided that he really is retiring this time.
Governor generally pleased with progress on Kansas school finance bill
March 25, 2014
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday he was optimistic that legislators were getting closer to a school funding solution to satisfy a Kansas Supreme Court ruling, though he would like to see more of the new spending directed toward classrooms.
Roadwork: Construction planned this week
March 23, 2014
Construction projects listed are now available in a map format at http://lawks.us/construction-map.
Conservators work to preserve 120-year-old panorama at KU Natural History Museum
March 22, 2014
As they looked through the windows of the KU Natural History Museum’s panorama one day this week, several kids asked their parents, “Why are those people in there?” They were there to clean and preserve the 120-year-old exhibit. By Giles Bruce
Range fire in Lyon County burns 4K acres
March 21, 2014
A range fire has burned about 4,000 acres in east-central Kansas, injuring one firefighter.
Fred Phelps Sr., founder of Westboro Baptist Church, dead at 84
10:21 a.m., March 20, 2014 Updated 11:35 a.m.
Fred Phelps, Sr., the 84-year-old founder of one of the most-hated churches in America, died early Thursday, according to family members. Staff and wire reports
Huelskamp calls Douglas County district attorney’s letter ‘prosecutorial misconduct,’ exploring legal options
March 20, 2014
Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s campaign released a second statement Wednesday in response to a letter sent by Charles Branson on Tuesday that expressed concern over a contest promoting a chance to win NCAA men’s basketball tournament tickets in exchange for a contribution of at least $10.
New green stripe appears in downtown Tonganoxie
March 19, 2014
Another green stripe magically has appeared in downtown Tonganoxie.
Douglas County district attorney writes congressman over concern about NCAA Tournament ticket lottery email
March 18, 2014
An email sent by U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp offering a chance at winning NCAA Basketball Tournament tickets in exchange for campaign contributions was a felony violation, according to Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson.
Douglas County commissioners to discuss agritourism recommendations Wednesday
March 18, 2014
The Douglas County Commission will once again take on the topic of revising zoning codes for agritourism businesses at its weekly meeting Wednesday.
Education officials ponder application of Rose standards in school finance case
March 18, 2014
The Kansas Supreme Court set out a new standard recently for determining whether the state has met its obligation to provide adequate funding for public schools. But it has left some education officials in the state curious about how the new standard will actually work in deciding how much money schools should get. By Peter Hancock
Tonganoxie man ticketed for painting traditional St. Patrick’s Day stripe through downtown
March 17, 2014
A green stripe has been painted down Fourth Street all but one year of the St. Patrick’s Parade through downtown Tonganoxie.
Roadwork: Construction planned this week
March 15, 2014
Construction projects listed are now available in a map format at http://lawks.us/construction-map.
Bert Nash trying to get mental health program back into all Lawrence schools
March 15, 2014
Officials at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center are still working to get the Working to Recognize Alternative Possibilities program, or WRAP, program back into the entire Lawrence school district, years after it became a victim of budget cuts. They say WRAP helps reduce violence, suicides and bullying by identifying — and treating — students with mental illnesses at an early age. By Giles Bruce
After 37 years on lam, killer caught in Florida
March 14, 2014
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — In the nearly 40 years after he escaped from the maximum-security military prison at Fort Leavenworth, convicted killer James Robert Jones carved out a new life for himself in Florida, living under an assumed name, getting married and working for an air conditioning company.
Moody’s calls school finance ruling a ‘credit negative’ for Kansas
March 14, 2014
Moody’s Investors Service said the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling last week casts a negative outlook on the state’s credit. The credit rating agency said the court’s ruling adds pressure to state finances that are already stressed due to recent tax cuts. By Peter Hancock