Davis sees Kansas school cuts if Brownback wins
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Democratic challenger Paul Davis predicts that funding for Kansas public schools will be cut if Republican Gov. Sam Brownback wins re-election, but Davis is not outlining a specific education plan.
Davis had a news conference Tuesday at Lowman Hill Elementary School in Topeka to criticize Brownback on education funding issues. Davis said Brownback has made cutting the state's personal income taxes his top priority, to the detriment of public schools.
The Democrat said that if Brownback wins a second four-year term, Kansas will have to reduce aid to schools because of budget problems created by the tax cuts. The Legislature's nonpartisan research staff is projecting a budget shortfall of $238 million by July 2016.
Brownback spokesman John Milburn said Davis is distorting the governor's record while offering no specifics.
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS-DONATIONS
Kansas has record-setting year for donations
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The University of Kansas says it received a record $253.2 million in donations in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The university said in a news release Tuesday that the donations compared with $174.2 million donated the previous fiscal year.
The contributions to the university and the University of Kansas Hospital included $193.1 million in outright gifts and pledges, $59.1 million in deferred gifts and $1 million in contributions directly to the university.
The donations allowed the university to create seven new professorship and fund 91 new scholarships and fellowships. The statement says the money also will be used to expand or build several buildings, including Capitol Federal Hall, the DeBruce Center and the Earth, Energy and Environment Center.
Woman to change plea in Kansas adoption scam case
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A woman accused of pretending to be pregnant to scam prospective adoptive parents in Kansas and elsewhere has notified the court she intends to change her plea.
A court notation Tuesday shows 34-year-old Chrystal Marie Rippey, of Marshall, Texas, is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing Sept. 17 before a federal magistrate judge in Kansas City, Kansas.
Rippey was indicted in February on federal charges of mail and wire fraud.
Defense attorney Thomas Bartee did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Prosecutors allege Rippey contacted adoption agencies and individuals, pretending she was pregnant and seeking to give up her unborn child for adoption. The indictment contends prospective parents bought her meals and gifts, believing she was willing to let them adopt her baby after birth.
VOTER REGISTRATION PROBLEMS
Advocates seeking people with voter problems
(Information in the following story is from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com)
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - League of Women Voters chapters are trying to contact about 20,000 Kansas residents whose voter registrations are stalled because of problems proving their citizenship.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the president of the Lawrence-Douglas County chapter says the work is slow because many of the potential voters do not answer telephone messages or emails from the organization.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach contends it is easy for residents to prove their citizenship before voting. He says the law is necessary to prevent illegal immigrants from voting.
Dolores Furtado, president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas, said the chapters are using various methods to help local election commissioners reach people whose registrations aren't complete.
GENDER CRASH DIFFERENCES
Study: Gender linked to type of traffic crash
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas State University study says gender could affect the likelihood of young drivers being involved in different types of crashes.
For the study, a civil engineering professor and doctoral student looked at five years of Kansas accidents involving 16- to 24-year-old drivers.
Their findings include that young female drivers had more crashes at intersections and collisions with pedestrians. They also found that young male drivers had more off-road crashes and accidents at sunset.
The researchers said they hoped the study would be used to help develop more targeted educational materials.
The findings were published in the Journal of Safety Research. The research is part of a larger Kansas Department of Transportation study about improving highway safety of young drivers.
Survey: Highway workers loyal, but dissatisfied
(Information in the following story is from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A survey of Kansas Highway Patrol employees found a high degree of loyalty to the organization but strong frustration with management.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the $20,000 study was done by University of Kansas researches and was prompted by complaints of weak morale in the organization.
About 83 percent of those surveyed said they cared about the fate of the organization and nearly 70 percent said they felt loyalty to the agency. But more than two-thirds said they didn't believe the highway patrol's management consistently enforced disciplinary procedures for all workers.
The highway patrol's superintendent says two-thirds of civilian and uniform personnel volunteered for the survey. He says he'd received complaints in the past three years and wanted the review to identify whether the concerns were perceived or real.
HEALTHIER SCHOOL MEALS-GRANTS
Kansas gets $350K to push healthier school meals
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas is receiving nearly $350,000 in federal grants to help schools serve healthier meals and snacks.
The Kansas Department of Education says it will use the money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide training. The state also will take steps to increase participation in the school breakfast program and use gardening as a way to entice students to eat different fruits and vegetables.
Schools also will be able to apply for money to offer staff wellness programs and cooking/tasting activities in the classroom.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S TOP DEPUTY
Kansas attorney general names new top assistant
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has a new top assistant.
Schmidt announced last week that Jeff Chanay (CHAY'-nee) is the new deputy chief attorney general. Chanay previously led the office's civil litigation division.
Chanay joined the attorney general's staff when Schmidt took office in January 2011. He'd previously had a private law practice in Topeka for 24 years.
As chief deputy, he'll replace John Campbell, who'd also been with Schmidt from the beginning of his tenure but stepped down for health reasons.
Campbell began working in the attorney general's office in 1981, rising to chief deputy in 1995, under Republican Carla Stovall. He worked as the Insurance Department's chief counsel for eight years, starting in 2003, before returning to the attorney general's office in 2011.
Kansas State Fair will showcase new museum
(Information in the following story is from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com)
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - When the Kansas State Fair opens Friday, it will include a new museum honoring a longtime painter and fair fixture who died last year.
The fair's new Lair White House is located on the site of the former home of J.B. Holdren, long known as Bardo the Clown. He was a clown and show painter at the fair for decades before his death in 2013.
The half-million-dollar, two-story Lair White House includes a museum on its ground floor. It was paid for with private funds.
The Hutchinson News reports the first exhibit will be "Year of the Clown," which will showcase Holdren's private collection of carnival artifacts including antique posters, restored carousel horses and Bardo's clown suit from the 1930s.
The fair runs from Friday through Sept. 14.
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