Kansas Board of Regents approves tuition hikes
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Board of Regents has approved tuition increases at public universities that will have some students paying nearly 9% more this fall.
The increases approved Wednesday by the board are expected to raise an additional $34 million during the fiscal year beginning in July.
The universities want to boost faculty salaries and pursue other initiatives, but the increases in tuition also would partially offset cuts in state funding enacted by legislators.
Out-of-state graduate students at Pittsburg State University would see the biggest increase at 8.8%. The smallest increase, 3%, would be for out-of-state veterinary medical students at Kansas State University.
For undergraduates from Kansas, tuition would rise 7% at Kansas State and almost 5% at the University of Kansas.
Gehry refines design for Eisenhower Memorial in DC
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Eisenhower Memorial Commission has unanimously approved architect Frank Gehry's design for a monument honoring the 34th president near the National Mall in Washington.
The commission's vote Wednesday allows the $142 million project to move forward after a year of objections to the design. Designers must next seek approvals from two panels that oversee public art and architecture in the nation's capital.
Gehry presented changes he made to the design after listening to objections from the Eisenhower family. He added additional images of Ike as president and World War II hero.
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a member of the memorial commission, says he is sorry they could not resolve differences with Eisenhower's family. But he says the project must move forward after more than 12 years of work.
Pompeo tries to reassure Kansans on cyberspying
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo is trying to calm fears back home about government electronic surveillance.
Pompeo is the newest Republican member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, which held a rare, open hearing Tuesday amid debate over national security and personal privacy.
In a phone interview Wednesday, Pompeo said conservatives have a long tradition of understanding the federal government's primary mission to be ensuring the nation's ability to defend itself. He wants to make sure the country does not lose the capability to do that.
He says the programs exposed by a contractor for National Security Agency have adequate oversight.
Pompeo says the Intelligence Committee is working to declassify as much as possible to show the programs are saving lives.
Wheat harvest activity picks up in parts of Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The winter wheat harvest is spreading across parts of south-central Kansas.
The industry trade group Kansas Wheat said Wednesday in its first harvest report of the season that test cutting is now underway as far north as McPherson County and as far west as Clark County.
The OK Co-op elevator in Kiowa has taken in about 350,000 bushels of wheat, with test weights averaging about 59 pounds per bushel.
A few isolated fields were harvested last week near Kiowa (KY'-oh-wah) and some farmers in Sumner County on the Oklahoma border began cutting Tuesday after fields dried out from recent rains.
Anthony Farmer's Co-op is reporting test weights there averaging about 60 pounds per bushel. The elevator in Anthony had taken in 305,000 bushels by Wednesday morning.
Shawnee DA files complaint against KCC board
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor has filed a complaint against members of the Kansas Corporation Commission over alleged violations of the state's open meetings act.
WIBW radio reports that Taylor filed the complaint Wednesday in Shawnee County District Court. It seeks an injunction against the KCC and its individual members over approval of a rate increase for a Salina water district.
Attorneys for the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board argue that the KCC approved the rate increase improperly and asked Taylor and Attorney General Derek Schmidt to investigate. CURB argues the KCC members approved the rate increase by a process called "pink sheeting," in which members individually approve the request without holding a public hearing.
KCC attorneys argue the process is legal when commissioners are unable to meet together.
WAL-MART LOT-CHILDREN BOUND
Illinois father gets prison in child-binding case
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for binding and blindfolding 2 of his children in a Wal-Mart parking lot in eastern Kansas.
A spokeswoman for the Douglas County district attorney's office says 53-year-old Adolfo Gomez also was ordered during Wednesday's sentencing hearing to serve 24 months of post-release supervision after his prison term ends.
Gomez and his wife, Deborah Gomez, of Northlake, Ill., were arrested Jun 13, 2012, in Lawrence. Police reported finding 2 of their children, ages 5 and 7, bound by their hands and feet in the store parking lot.
Adolfo Gomez pleaded no contest to felony child abuse and child endangerment.
Deborah Gomez was sentenced earlier to one year of probation after pleading no contest to child endangerment.
Kansas couple missing on trip to Illinois
GARNETT, Kan. (AP) - An elderly Kansas couple that had not been seen since Monday has been found safe in Michigan.
Garnett police say 92-year-old Vernon Hunt and 81-year-old Goldie Hunt of Garnett left their home Monday for a trip to Dwight, Ill., but did not show up as scheduled that evening.
Police say the couple was found Wednesday after stopping in Milo, Mich., to ask for directions. Milo is in northern Michigan, more than 400 miles from Dwight, Ill.
Kan. man accused of taking ax to girlfriend's home
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita police are looking for a 31-year-old man accused of attacking his girlfriend's car and belongings with an ax.
The 33-year-old woman told police the man was intoxicated when he showed up at her home around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. KSNW-TV reports the two began arguing, and the woman ran to her car and called 911.
Police say that's when the picked up an ax and started pounding the woman's car and another vehicle nearby. The woman says he then went inside her home and wielded the ax on her belongings, destroying an estimated $7,000 worth of property.
ASH GROVE-POLLUTION PENALTY
EPA levies $2.5M penalty against US cement maker
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency levied a $2.5 million penalty against a cement maker and required the company to invest $30 million in pollution controls at plants in nine states alleged to have violated the federal Clean Air Act.
Ash Grove Cement Co.'s penalty was announced Wednesday by the EPA and Department of Justice in a deal where the Kansas-based company also will spend $750,000 to mitigate effects of past emissions.
The EPA said this will reduce thousands of tons of harmful pollutants from plants in Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Texas.
Ash Grove disputes it violated federal pollution laws, but says it agreed to the deal as costs rose.
The EPA says this pact will reduce pollution that can hurt human health and cause acid rain.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.