Archives for September 2013

kansas gas prices down overall

Kansas gas prices jumped over the weekend after being on a steady drop for most of the month. THe average price of gas in the state today is 3-33 a gallon… it had been down to 3-31 on saturday. kansasgasprices.com says the statewide average is down nine cents over a week… it’s down 26 cents in a month. The national average today is 3-42 a gallon… that’s down six cents in a week and 19 cents in a month.

Pittsburg State dumping two majors

Students attending Pittsburg State University – will have two fewer majors to choose from. The school is dumping its spanish and fresh bachelors of arts degree programs because not enough students are pursuing, or finishing, those degrees. The joplin globe says students already in those programs can finish their degrees, but the school will no longer allow students to declare a major in either program. Karl Kunkel – dean of the college of arts and sciences – says the spanish degree had enough people majoring but not enough graduating… kunkel said the french degree had low numbers of majors and few graduates. The kansas board of regents had set up criteria mandating that programs generally have 15 degree-seeking students enrolled and ten graduates each year, averaged over a five-year period.

Hunters warned about algae

Officials with the state’s health and wildlife departments are warning hunters who take dogs with them – about the dangers of harmful blue-green algae in waterways. Agency officials caution that dangerous blue-green algae blooms can remain a threat to humans and pets through october or later. Dogs that drink or swim in the contaminated water might become extremely ill or die… the same effects can happen if dogs eat dried algae along shorelines. Hunters should watch for symptoms in the dogs – like vomiting, difficulty breathing, or general weakness… symptoms in dogs usually appear within 30 minutes. Human exposure can cause similar symptoms.

Brownback Asks Federal Help On Flooding Repairs

Several flood-plagued Kansas counties are hoping temporary repairs to roads and bridges can withstand autumn rains until federal funds are available for more permanent fixes. Gov. Sam Brownback last week requested a federal disaster declaration for 47 counties because of storm damage and flooding that hit much of Kansas between July 22 and Aug. 16. The governor said some of those counties received as much as five times their normal amount of rainfall.
Allen county was originally on the state-level disaster list, which covered 66 counties. But the damage in the county didn’t meet the threshold for inclusion in the federal request. Some southeast and eastern Kansas counties did make the final list though: Bourbon, Coffey, Labette, Linn, Lyon, Wilson, and Woodson Counties.

Iola Goes To Smaller Schools Division Of 4A

As expected, Iola High athletes playing team sports will compete with the state’s smaller Class 4A teams in the postseason, some as early as this fall. The Kansas State High School Activities announced the Class 4A split breakdown Friday.

The Register reports the 32 largest 4A schools go into Division I, including IHS rivals Chanute, Fort Scott and Field Kindley of Coffeyville.

The smaller half, with enrollments between 235 and 195 students, go into Division II. With 260 students, Iola is the sixth-largest of the Division II schools.

The 4A schools approved the split earlier this summer in a statewide vote.

Sen. Moran To Keynote ACRH Opening Ceremony

Senator Jerry Moran’s office says the Senator plans to speak at the Grand Opening celebration for Allen County Regional Hospital October 18th. The Senator’s remarks are planned for 11am that day; the event runs from 11 until 5 and includes a dedication and ribbon cutting. The event will also feature  music from Allen Community College, and the Humboldt, Iola and Marmaton Valley High School bands. You’ll also be able to go on tour of the new facility.

US 54 Work Closes Main St In La Harpe

As the major project on US-54 continues, K-DOT officials have temporarily closed one of the US 54 intersections in La Harpe. They closed access to Main Street at LaHarpe on Saturday. It’s expected, weather permitting, that the closure should end by the weekend or early next week. During this time traffic can access LaHarpe on Harrison and Jefferson streets.

Lawsuit filed to block science standards

A lawsuit has been filed in an effort to block the state from using new multi-state science standards in public schools. The kansas board of education adopted new standards in june… the standards developed by kansas and 25 other states treat both evolution and climate change as key scientific concepts to be taught from kindergarten through 12th grade. The group citizens for objective public education argued in a lawsuit filed thursday that the standards promote atheism and violate students’ and parents’ religious freedoms. The lawsuit says the new standards will cause kansas public schools to promote what it calls a “non-theistic religious world view.” The case is the latest chapter in a long-running debate in the state over what to teach students about evolution.

wheat check off to cost more

The board of the kansas wheat commission has approved an increase in the wheat check-off program that supports research and market development… the group has approved a check-off increase from 1 and a half cents per bushel, to 2 cents per bushel. The change is effective november first. the chairman of the kansas wheat commission, ron suppes, said a drop in government research funding, put together with fewer wheat acres and smaller crops, means it’s more important than ever for farmers to invest in their industry. The group says the check-off increase will pay down debt on the building and fund research at the new kansas wheat innovation center, which opened last december. it’s a 10 point 3 million dollar facility that is expected to create new wheat varieties.

Westar, Schools Reach Rate Settolement

School districts in parts of Kansas will get away with a smaller increase in their electric rates if the Kansas Corporation Commission approves a proposed Westar Energy rate hike. Business and other users have  agreed to shoulder more of the cost. Yesterday afternoon Westar, the KCC staff and the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board presented a proposal they had agreed upon to the three KCC commissioners. The commissioners will have to decide whether to approve the agreement or draft their own order by Dec. 2.