Kansas and regional news

Federal health law forces expansion of State Employee Health Plan
December 2, 2014
More than 2,000 employees of state and local governments in Kansas will become eligible for full-time health benefits starting Jan. 1 as a result of the Affordable Care Act. State officials say that will cost those governments about $5.3 million per year. B Peter Hancock
Few Kansas welfare applicants tested for drugs
10:49 a.m., December 2, 2014 Updated 01:30 p.m.
The new practice of drug testing welfare applicants in Kansas is off to a slow start.
Chanute’s broadband effort faces another hurdle
08:52 a.m., December 2, 2014 Updated 01:31 p.m.
A small southeast Kansas town seeking to extend an ultra-high-speed fiber broadband network to its residents and businesses will be required by a 1947 state law to get permission from the Kansas Corporation Commission.
Report: Kansas farmers wrap up 2014 growing season
December 2, 2014
Kansas farmers are harvesting the last fall crops from the 2014 growing season.
New justice to join Kansas Supreme Court this week
December 2, 2014
The Kansas Supreme Court is having a special session this week to swear Caleb Stegall in as its newest justice.
Judge allows publication of ‘In Cold Blood’ files
02:41 p.m., December 1, 2014 Updated 08:48 a.m.
The son of a Kansas law enforcement officer who helped investigate the 1959 killings that inspired the book “In Cold Blood” can publish his father’s field notes that he says substantially contradict the account found in Truman Capote’s literary masterpiece.
Union cites work violations at Topeka state prison
08:59 a.m., December 1, 2014 Updated 10:59 a.m.
State and union officials acknowledge that understaffing has led to violations of the contract covering employees at the Topeka Correctional Facility for women and other state prisons.
Report: Midwest economic index dips again
December 1, 2014
A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains states has dipped again.
Kansas farm groups gathering as season wraps up
December 1, 2014
The fall harvest of crops in Kansas is mostly in the bin now. Winter wheat planting is done. And calving is still months away.
Grave of Kansas town’s founder found in Missouri
November 30, 2014
An amateur historian has solved the old mystery of what happened to the founder of the southwest Kansas town of Liberal.
Kansas ranchers warned of possible rustling surge
November 30, 2014
A Kansas livestock expert is urging farmers and ranchers to take precautions against rustlers as historically high cattle prices make the animals a prime target for thieves.
Fair competition convention focus at Farmers Union
November 30, 2014
The director of the U.S. Agriculture Department agency that oversees fair and competitive trading is headlining this year’s annual meeting of the Kansas Farmers Union in Manhattan.
Outlook of high cattle prices headlines convention
November 29, 2014
Cattlemen from across Kansas will be converging in Wichita next week for the annual convention of the Kansas Livestock Association amid all-time high cattle prices.
Recipe submissions sought for ‘New Kansas Cookbook’
November 28, 2014
The University Press of Kansas, along with authors Frank and Jayni Carey are seeking recipes from Kansas cooks — both amateur and professional — for possible inclusion in “The New Kansas Cookbook.”
Kansas Farm Bureau event to focus on public policy
November 28, 2014
More than 1,000 farmers are expected to gather in Manhattan next week to layout the roadmap for public policy issues the Kansas Farm Bureau members consider of importance to agriculture.
Kansas tax collections $3.1M more than estimated
November 28, 2014
State officials say Kansas’ tax collections were $3.1 million more than estimated in November after recent shortfalls. The Kansas Department of Revenue said Wednesday that tax collections totaled more than $409 million this month, while about $406 million was estimated, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported ( ).
New Riley County commissioner, 21, ready to learn on job
November 27, 2014
In just over a month, 21-year-old K-State student Ben Wilson will be sworn in as the newest Riley County commissioner.
Kansas prison workers’ pensions face big decision
November 27, 2014
Kansas lawmakers are again considering where to place the state’s pension obligations to more than 2,000 state corrections employees.
New Kansas education chief wants focus on ‘whole student’
November 27, 2014
Randy Watson has been an unconventional leader during his time as superintendent of the McPherson school district, shunning the state’s annual student assessments and becoming one of the first “innovative” school districts freed from a host of state laws and regulations governing public education. On July 1, he will take over as the next Kansas Education Commissioner, leading the state agency that supervises all other public schools in the state. By Peter Hancock