Kan. lawmaker, allies push for renewable energy
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas Senate Democrat and her allies plan to push next year for policies promoting renewable energy because of concerns about climate change.
A key Republican lawmaker is interested in the same issues, but he worries the policies will lead to higher electric rates.
Lawrence Democrat Marci Francisco had a Statehouse news conference Friday to discuss energy issues. She said Kansas can take steps to promote renewable energy and combat climate change.
She said Kansas should rewrite its laws to encourage more electric customers to take advantage of a law giving breaks on rates for installing solar panels and other renewable energy technology.
But Senate Utilities Chairman and Louisburg Republican Pat Apple said he wants to examine whether such policies merely shift electric rates to other customers.
HEALTH CARE OVERSIGHT
Panel questions Kansas health care system changes
(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com )
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Two days of hearings in Kansas by a national health care oversight panel raised questions about the implementation of the state's KanCare system and the impact on Medicaid services.
The hearings were conducted Wednesday and Thursday by the National Council on Disability, which advises the president and Congress on health care issues.
Members of the panel on Thursday questioned changes in how services were provided to the disabled under KanCare. The Wichita Eagle reports that the panel asked Kansas officials to explain why some residents no longer qualified for services.
Shawn Sullivan, secretary for the Department for Aging and Disability Services, says the changes were related to how service levels were approved under a new managed-care model. He says that gave less discretion to deviate from approved standards of care.
Former Kan. AG seeks rehearing over law license
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - An attorney for former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to consider modifying a ruling that indefinitely suspended Kline's law license.
The motion for a rehearing was filed this week by Tom Condit, who argued that investigators in Kline's case were biased and facts about the former attorney general's investigations into abortions were misrepresented.
The Supreme Court in October agreed with a state disciplinary panel that Kline repeatedly misled or allowed subordinates to mislead others, including a Kansas City-area grand jury, during his investigations. The unanimous decision came after disputes between the Republican and critics of his tactics.
Kline is now a professor at Liberty University in Virginia.
Kan. seeks dismissal of suit on science standards
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas education officials are seeking dismissal of a federal lawsuit over new, multistate science standards filed by a group that claims the guidelines promote atheism and violate students' religious freedoms.
Attorneys for the State Board of Education, its 10 members, the Department of Education and Commissioner Diane DeBacker filed the request Thursday.
They argued that Citizens for Objective Public Education and the 15 parents who joined it in challenging the standards can't show they were harmed by the state board's adoption of them in June. Among other things, the suing parties object to how evolution is handled.
State lawyers said the state board provides only general supervision of local schools, and decisions about what's taught are local.
Attorney Doug Patterson, representing the suing parties, said a dismissal request was expected.
Economic impact of national Juco tournament drops
(Information in the following story is from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com )
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - A study found the economic impact of the national junior college basketball tournament dropped in Hutchinson this year after the format was changed.
The NJCAA Division I tournament switched from a 16-team double elimination format to 24-team single elimination. The Hutchinson News reports that made all the games more meaningful but it also meant half the teams were gone by the second day of the tournament.
The NJCAA is threatening to look for another site if the city doesn't upgrade its arena. The tournament has been held in Hutchinson since 1952.
A study contracted by the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce found the five-day tournament in March brought in a little more than $1 million.
The Greater Hutchinson Convention/Visitors Bureau had estimated the impact at $2.3 million.
Frozen pipe problem leads to Dodge City fire
(Information in the following story is from: The Dodge City (Kan.) Globe, http://www.dodgeglobe.com )
DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) - An attempt to thaw a frozen pipe turned into a big problem for a southwest Kansas resident.
The Dodge City Daily Globe reports that an above-ground water pipe beneath a mobile home froze and broke Thursday afternoon.
The resident tried to unfreeze the pipe with a propane burner, but set a fire instead. No one was injured, but firefighters said the flames then spread across the bottom of the home.
Dodge City Fire Captain Mark Elder says that such fires are common when exposed pipes beneath mobile homes freeze in cold weather. Elder advises making sure that siding is in place to provide some insulation.
The temperature was 12 degrees at the time of Thursday's fire, and southwest Kansas is expected to have wind chills below zero through the weekend.
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