News Minute: Here is the latest Kansas news from The Associated - KCTV5 News

News Minute: Here is the latest Kansas news from The Associated Press at 4:40 p.m. CDT

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Texas prison officials are offering cold water, cold showers and opportunities to cool off in air-conditioned chapels and offices to thousands of inmates in lock-ups without central air-conditioning in a wide swath of the state under an excessive-heat warning. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel says the policy was expanded statewide for the first time in the agency's history on Friday.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas officials have delayed the launch date for its new vehicle plates. State officials said Friday that the original Aug. 1 launch date for the license plates has been delayed until Aug. 15 due to issues in the new digital processing equipment. Wichita's Center Industries will create the plates on demand using a digital printer that prints the tag information on a background, then bonds the background material to a metal plate. The customer will receive the plates within 10-14 business days.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A man, woman and small child are safe after an explosion destroyed their Topeka home while they were away. Topeka Fire Marshal Michael Martin tells the Topeka Capital-Journal that firefighters arrived late Thursday to find the empty home "pretty much destroyed" by the explosion and accompanying fire. Martin says the house's three occupants left before the explosion, citing a natural gas smell. Firefighters are working with Kansas Gas Service to determine the cause of the blaze.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A zoo in Kansas will celebrate its 85th anniversary with a touch of Africa far from the continent. The Topeka Zoo on Friday announced the Camp Cowabunga grand opening will be Aug. 31. Spokeswoman Megan Burns says Camp Cowabunga, billed as "Bringing the Heart of Africa to the Heart of Topeka," is the first exhibit of the zoo's master plan _the beginning of a whole new zoo. The $4.5 million exhibit is billed as the largest ever for the Topeka Zoo.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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