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This Hour: Latest Kansas news, sports, business and entertainment

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RENEWABLE ENERGY

Brownback urges compromise on Kansas energy rule

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Gov. Sam Brownback is urging wind-energy advocates and critics of a renewable-energy requirement for Kansas utilities to work on a compromise for the policy's future.

The governor made remarks Wednesday in an impromptu meeting with Statehouse reporters suggesting that he supported phasing out the renewable energy rule.

But hours later, spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said the governor was referring to federal tax credits for wind production, not the state's mandate for utilities.

A 2009 law requires utilities to have wind and other renewable sources account for 15 percent of their peak electricity-generating capacity by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020.

The mandate has been targeted by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity and the powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce. But wind-energy advocates have successfully blocked efforts to repeal the rule.

VETERANS HEALTH CARE-KANSAS

Senator: VA center begged for surgical equipment

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran says a veterans medical center in Wichita left its laboratories unstaffed for entire shifts and sometimes resorted to "begging, borrowing and manipulation" just to obtain vital surgical equipment.

Moran made the allegations in a letter sent last week to Sloan Gibson, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair. The Kansas Republican senator says the problems at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center put veterans' lives at risk and forced employees to work under conditions of fear and retribution.

Moran cited whistleblower complaints and 177 pages of internal documents, including meeting minutes, budgets and equipment request lists.

The VA medical center Wichita confirmed it had received the letter a day earlier but was still reviewing it Wednesday.

CHASE-GIRL KILLED

Man charged in chase that ended in girl's death

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - An eastern Kansas man is charged with first-degree murder after an abduction and police chase ended in the death of a 5-year-old girl.

Thirty-year-old Marcus McGowan, of Atchison, was charged Wednesday with aggravated assault, two counts of criminal possession of a firearm, aggravated endangering of a child and trying to elude law enforcement officers.

Leavenworth County prosecutor Todd Thompson announced at a news conference that McGowan appeared in court early Wednesday and had the charges read to him. He is being held in the Leavenworth County jail.

Authorities say McGowan abducted Cadence Harris on Friday from a home they shared with the girl's mother in Atchison. Cadence was found dead in McGowan's car after a police chase ended with McGowan being shot when he pointed a gun at officers.

KANSAS CITY-TRAINING CENTER

Plans for national soccer training center unveiled

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced plans to build a $75 million National Training and Coaching Development Center.

Sporting chief executive Robb Heineman joined Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Wyandotte County officials Wednesday to announce plans for the 190-acre soccer village about 10 minutes from Sporting Kansas City's home stadium.

Center supporters say they hope the complex will serve as the future home of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Plans call for 16 fields, including one climate-controlled indoor field, 11 outdoor grass fields and four outdoor synthetic fields.

The center is expected to be completed in 2016.

BUSINESS-BORDER WAR

2 companies moving from Kansas to Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri has apparently won another round in the continuing border war with Kansas that involves using tax incentives to entice businesses to move across the state line that runs through the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Leawood, Kansas-based Cbiz Inc. and Mayer Hoffman McCann PC have announced plans to move their headquarters and 450 employees to Kansas City, Missouri's Country Club Plaza next summer.

The Kansas City Star reports the moves come as officials in Missouri and Kansas have been seeking a truce in the border war, in which each state has used tax incentives to lure businesses away from the other.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development says the moves will trigger millions of dollars in potential incentives from Missouri if the companies meet job creation and investment criteria.

TECHNICAL EDUCATION CENTER-PITTSBURG

Pittsburg commission approves fund for tech center

(Information in the following story is from: The (Pittsburg, Kan.) Morning Sun, http://www.morningsun.net)

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) - A proposal to build a technical education center in Pittsburg that would serve southeast Kansas has received a boost.

The Pittsburg City Commission on Tuesday approved appropriating $300,000 in economic development loan funds for the center, which would offer education and training to high school, community college and adult students while also providing workforce training for southeast Kansas businesses.

The vote came after more than two years of discussion about the center, which will cost an estimated $1.3 million. The Bicknell Family Foundation has donated $1 million to help buy a building and 18 acres.

The Pittsburg Morning-Sun reports a building in the Pittsburg Industrial Park that is currently used by Fort Scott Community College will house the center, with an expansion to allow additional programs.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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