STATE OF STATE
Kan. gov. to give State of State address Jan. 15
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is scheduled to give his annual State of the State address Jan. 15.
Brownback says he's accepted an invitation from House Speaker Ray Merrick to address a joint legislative session on that date in the House chamber. The speech will come two days after lawmakers open their 2014 session.
The speech will give Brownback a chance to lay out his legislative agenda. It's scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the governor's office says it will be televised live on multiple stations.
The House speaker traditionally issues a formal invitation to the governor to speak in the chamber. For years, it's been scheduled in the evening to guarantee a bigger audience.
Man charged in 4 Kan. slayings returning to court
OSWEGO, Kan. (AP) - A 22-year-old man is returning to court after being charged with capital murder in the deaths of a southeast Kansas mother and her three children.
Wednesday afternoon's hearing in Labette County District Court comes a day after Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt's office filed a complaint against David Cornell Bennett Jr. of Cherryvale.
Schmidt's office also charged Bennett with raping and making criminal threats against 29-year-old Cami Umbarger. Also, as an alternative to the capital murder charge, four counts of premeditated, first-degree murder were filed.
Umbarger and her three children, ages 4, 6 and 9, were found Nov. 25 in their Parsons home. Bennett remains jailed on $5 million bond.
Kansas law allows the death penalty for multiple, premeditated murders arising from a single series of events or scheme.
Kan. Sen. Roberts visiting with Washburn students
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Sen. Pat Roberts is concluding a two-day, three-city tour of Kansas with a visit to Washburn University in Topeka.
The Republican senator was scheduled Wednesday to tour the campus and spend about 45 minutes talking with student leaders. He was expected to discuss a variety of topics ranging from the recent changes in the Senate debate rules to the status of the new farm bill.
Roberts also has been a strong critic of the implementation of the federal health care law. He has called for former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to resign as secretary of Health and Human Services over troubles with the government's health care website.
Roberts made stops Tuesday in Wichita and Manhattan.
Thieves hit SE Kansas library twice
COLUMBUS, Kan. (AP) - Somebody in southeast Kansas doesn't understand the concept of borrowing from a public library.
The Cherokee County News-Advocate reports burglars broke into the Columbus Public Library twice in the past week, making off with cash and computers.
Columbus Police Department spokeswoman Ann Sharp says the first break-in occurred sometime between the library's closing the day before Thanksgiving and its reopening on Saturday. The burglars entered through a basement window and stole money and a computer.
Library personnel returned to work again Monday to find that thieves had again broken in through the same window and stolen several more computers.
The amount of cash taken has not been disclosed. Sharp says police have no suspects bur are investigating leads.
Lawrence library gets $275K matching grant
(Information in the following story is from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com)
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The Lawrence Public Library is getting a $275,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the NEH will award the $275,000 grant in matching funds to the library for humanities programs.
Kathleen Morgan, executive director of the Lawrence Public Library Foundation, says the NEH grant is contingent on the library's fundraising efforts over the next several years. Morgan says the grant gives the library five years to raise enough money to meet the full match. The NEH will meet 30 percent of all donations up until it has contributed $275,000.
Morgan says the money will go toward a speakers' series, community reading programs and technology purchases that would enable the library to digitize local records and place them online.
Wichita St. investigating rules violations
(Information in the following story is from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com)
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita State's athletics department says it's investigating improper clothing and apparel benefits to baseball players.
The Wichita Eagle reports the university announced Tuesday that it has hired an Overland Park law firm that specializes in NCAA rules violations to help investigate.
Wichita State says the violations came to light during the transition that followed the June 4 firing of longtime head baseball coach Gene Stephenson. He was replaced in mid-June by Arkansas assistant Todd Butler.
No details of the violations or the number of Shocker players involved were disclosed in a brief statement issued by athletic director Eric Sexton.
Sexton says officials believe the problem involves only the baseball program. He says the school is determined to ensure its compliance with the rules of the NCAA and the Missouri Valley Conference.
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