Roberts committee hears update on bio-defense lab competition

Sen. Pat Roberts (R)!(Topeka Capital-Journal) NBADF competition update is featured during a Roberts advisory meeting: Kansas State University is a potential site for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility but is facing stiff competition from Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi, a university official said Tuesday. Ron Trewyn, vice president for research at Kansas State, said the $450 million federal facility would employ about 300 people. The facility would conduct research on how to combat biological terrorism and foreign animal disease in order to keep the domestic food supply safe. Trewyn spoke Tuesday to members of Sen. Pat Roberts’ Advisory Committee on Science, Technology and the Future at the Kansas Bankers Association office in Topeka. The committee also talked about aviation, medicine and defense. Trewyn said other communities trying to win the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility are Athens, Ga.; the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina; San Antonio; and Madison County, Miss. (Wichita Eagle, by Maren Turner) Contributing columnist says Roberts can provide Medicare help: Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., has an opportunity to help millions of older Americans in our state and throughout the nation. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, he can play a leading role in relaxing unreasonable asset limits that restrict access to Medicare’s low-income programs. These low-income program improvements would be especially helpful in states like Kansas with significant rural populations. More than 1 in 4 people on Medicare live in rural areas, and these beneficiaries are more likely to be living on very limited incomes. In fact, almost half of rural Medicare beneficiaries have annual incomes below 150 percent of the poverty level. … We should be encouraging people to save for retirement, but current asset limits are so unrealistically low that they punish low-income people who have managed to be even modest savers. That’s neither smart nor fair. There is hope for change. Roberts and the Senate Finance Committee are about to consider Medicare legislation to improve these programs by raising the asset limits, simplifying applications, and improving coordination in the programs.(Wichita Business Journal) Roberts announces grants for Wichita State, Barton County: Wichita State University and Barton County Community College will split $500,000 in grants that are designed to help low-income students attend college. U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, made the announcement Tuesday. The grants were funded through the Upward Bound Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The funds were set up to equip students with skills in areas like academic instruction, preparation for college entrance exams and help with financial aid applications.Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) !(KWCH) Tiahrt staffer takes another job: Chuck Knapp, communications director for Congressman Todd Tiahrt, resigned his position after seven years of service in politics. The resignation will become effective December 31, 2007. Knapp says he has taken a new job that will allow him to spend more time at home with his family. He will be living outside Wichita and plans to send out a release naming his successor sometime soon.