Senator wants to reduce Legislature
TOPEKA (AP) — Sen. Chris Steineger wants to cut the size of the Legislature by 45 people, but he doesn’t have much support among colleagues. The Kansas City Democrat presented his idea Tuesday to the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee. It’s chairman, Pete Brungardt, a Salina Republican, said he has no plans to bring the bill up for a committee vote, unless the majority of its members supports it. He said that’s not the case now. S...
TOPEKA (AP) — Democratic Sen. Chris Steineger says he’s thinking about running for governor next year.
The Kansas City lawmaker said Tuesday that it will be two or three months before he makes a decision.
No other Democrat has expressed an interest in the job.
Democrat Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is in her second term and barred from seeking a third term.
Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson has said he doesn’t want to run for governor. Some Democrats had view...
Kansas suspends income tax
refunds, may miss payroll
Top Republicans refused to borrow millions from other state accounts to cover bills John Hanna Associated Press Writer TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas has suspended income tax refunds and may not pay its employees on time, state officials said Monday. The state doesn’t have enough money in its main bank account to pay its bills. That means payments to public schools and doctors who provide care to needy Kansans under the Medicaid program also c...
Deliberations to resume in slaying case
WINFIELD (AP) — A jury deciding the fate of a Kansas man convicted of killing a 19-year-old student will resume deliberations Tuesday.
The panel in Cowley County District Court went home Monday after noon after spending about three hours discussing whether Justin Thurber should be put to death or spend life in prison.
The 25-year-old Arkansas City man was convicted last week of capital murder in the 2007 killing of Jodi Sanderholm. The Cowley...
Most TV stations going digital Tuesday
From staff and wire reports
Most Kansas television stations plan to cut off their broadcast analog signals Tuesday and switch to digital, despite national legislation allowing them to postpone the conversion for four more months.
“I am anxious like anybody. Something as big as this, anything can happen,” said Kent Cornish, executive director of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. “But based on statistics and based on as prepared as I think...
The Manhattan Mercury, on Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ future:
We don’t know whether President Barack Obama will nominate Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, but whatever he decides, we hope he acts soon.
Yes, we hope he takes long enough to check potential nominees’ tax records, but we also presume by now that potential nominees have such information ready for inspection.
Among the effects of th...
Legislature approves $326M deficit plan
TOPEKA (AP) — A $326 million budget-balancing plan won final legislative approval Thursday, bringing Kansas closer to joining other states in trimming education funding to deal with recession-related financial problems.
The House passed the bill Thursday morning on a 70-51 vote. The Senate approved it seven hours later, 27-11, sending the measure to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat who has tried to avoid cutting aid to public schools.
McCune couple now together for 68 years
Nikki Patrick The (Pittsburg) Morning Sun MCCUNE (AP) — When Paul Huff started courting pretty Margaret Bowin, the two could have a nice evening out for $1. “When I’d go to see her, I’d have a $1 bill in my pocket,” said Huff, McCune, who will be 92 in July. “I’d buy three gallons of gas at 10 cents a gallon and we’d drive to Pittsburg to see a movie at the Colonial Theater. The show was 15 cents a person. After the show, there was enough...
Obama treads fine line on church, state
The Associated Press President Barack Obama, signaling early in his administration that religion belongs in the public discourse, has promised to open a big tent to voices from across the spectrum of belief without crossing boundaries separating church and state. The Democrat’s inaugural pomp was steeped in prayer, and one of his first proclamations included a shout out to “an awesome God.” Last week, Obama used the platform of the Nationa...
Regents name Schulz as Kansas State president
TOPEKA (AP) — Kirk Schulz was introduced Wednesday as the next president of Kansas State University and said his biggest tasks will be coping with the economy and promoting the planned federal research laboratory to study dangerous livestock diseases. Schulz, 45, has been vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University for the past two years. He also was the school’s dean of engineering and director of i...
Twisters touch down in Oklahoma, killing eight
LONE GROVE, Okla. (AP) — Emergency crews sorted through bricks and beams Wednesday, looking for more victims after a half-mile wide tornado blasted through a small Oklahoma town, killing eight and seriously injuring 14. Most of the deaths occurred in a mobile home park where no tornado shelter was available for residents to take refuge. In one case, the wind lifted a car and dropped it on a man. There were also miraculous tales of survival...
Cutting edge: Kansas State charting UAV territory
SALINA (AP) — Being on the cutting edge of a new technology often really means being on several cutting edges at once.
That’s what’s happening with the new unmanned aerial vehicle program at Kansas State University at Salina.
The college — one of just two in the country starting programs to train UAV operators — held an open house recently so students and faculty could see the equipment and hear about the current and future capabilities of un...
Mayor who killed dogs gets standing ‘O’
McCUNE (AP) — Dozens of residents gave a standing ovation Monday to the mayor of a southeast Kansas town who shot and killed two dogs he believed were vicious. More than 70 people showed up for the McCune City Council meeting, many of them to show support for Mayor Don Call, who is charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of criminal discharge of a weapon. The mayor has admitted shooting resident Duane Wah...
Lt. governor ‘ready’ if Sebelius leaves for HHS
AP Political Writer
TOPEKA (AP) — Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson said Monday that he’s “ready to serve” if Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is appointed federal health and human services secretary, but he still won’t run for governor in 2010.
The Statehouse continued to buzz with speculation about Sebelius. A senior official in President Barack Obama’s administration has said she’s a top candidate for the job.
Parkinson said he and Sebelius have di...
Teen’s arm amputated to free him
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A doctor had to amputate a teenager’s left arm to free him from a large oilfield pump he had been playing with, firefighters said. The 17-year-old boy and his friend jumped an 8-foot fence Sunday to play with a pump jack, a common, motor-driven piece of oil field equipment that rocks up and down to lift oil out of a well. He turned on the machine to ride it but became entangled in one of its moving parts, and his frien...
White House, allies scratch for stimulus support
President calls further delay ‘inexcusable, irresponsible’ given job losses in U.S. David Espo AP Special Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — With the economy showing stunning new signs of weakness, the White House and Senate Democratic leaders bargained intensely with Republican moderates on Friday in an unexpectedly difficult search for votes to pass slimmed-down emergency economic stimulus legislation. President Barack Obama said further ...
Kansas legislators eye congressional race
TOPEKA (AP) — At least four Kansas legislators are interested in running for the 4th Congressional District seat in 2010. That seat will be open because incumbent Republican Todd Tiahrt is running for the U.S. Senate. State Sen. Dick Kelsey, a Goddard Republican, says he’ll announce Friday whether he’ll run. His event is set for 2 p.m. at the headquarters of the Wichita Independent Business Association. He wouldn’t say Monday whether he’s...
as economy weakens
John Rogers Associated Press Writer BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Throwing your money around is so pre-recession. As the economy weakens, the wealthy and the businesses that cater to them say it’s more common — even chic — to scale back extravagant spending and play down affluence. Retailing experts call it luxury shame, or stealth wealth. From Rodeo Drive to Fifth Avenue, that means one thing: Hide the labels. Some shoppers are asking c...
40-county effort tracks homeless numbers in state
TOPEKA (AP) — Bundled in a warm coat and hat, Ken Mildfelt sat next to a roaring fire in a metal drum to warm against the afternoon chill invading his home — a tent, sleeping bag and scattered belongings in a wooded area near the Kansas River. Mildfelt, known as “Pork Chop” to those who see him at the Let’s Help Inc. center in downtown Topeka, has lived near the river with his brother Ernie since they were evicted from their rental house ab...
Girl: I was fed up with father’s abuse of sister
HARRISONVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The sister of a girl who was allegedly molested and impregnated four times by their father says she waited until she turned 18 to come forward because she was afraid of being placed in state custody. “Everybody says I’m a brave girl,” the 18-year-old told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. “I didn’t think I could ever do it. But I was tired of it. I was tired of not having no home, not having anything.”...