Saturday, February 28, 2015

House committee reconsiders Parents as Teachers funding recommendation

By DAVE RANNEY
KHI News Service

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- The House Social Services Budget Committee changed its mind Wednesday, voting to shelve an earlier recommendation that could have led to the Parents as Teachers program being cut from the state budget.

“We’re going to have another hearing,” said Rep. Will Carpenter, a Republican from El Dorado and chairman of the committee. Earlier in the week, the committee voted to encourage the House Appropriations Committee to consider dropping Parents as Teachers from the list of programs supported by the Children’s Initiatives Fund, the state’s repository for tobacco settlement monies.

“That really wasn’t about grabbing money,” Carpenter said. “It had more to do with getting their attention, which I think it did.”

Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement established at Kansas State University

KANSAS CITY, KAN. — A new center at Kansas State University will lead the nation in new media technology research for the improvement of small rural enterprises.

On Feb. 10, the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement was established to help small businesses succeed through new media marketing research.

This interdepartmental effort represents a collaboration of previous federal grant funding and support from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Unified Government approves resolutions to bring Dairy Farmers of America to Wyandotte County


By NICK SLOAN, nick@kansascitykansan.com

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Unified Government Board of Commissioners approved multiple resolutions that will finalize a deal to bring the Dairy Farmers of America's headquarters to Wyandotte County.

The Unified Government will provide the project's developers with a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement.

The Unified Government will also pay temporary financing of $4.5 million worth of street improvements. Long-term funding will be provided from the State of Kansas.

The $20 million private investment will bring over 300 jobs to Wyandotte County.

In terms of size, the building will be around 100,000 square feet in size and three stories tall.

The DFA headquarters will be located near the intersection of France Family Drive and 98th Street in Western Wyandotte County.

An initial target date for the completion of construction is November 1, 2016.

Kansas House leaders reluctantly agree to Medicaid expansion hearing

By JIM McLEAN
KHI News Service

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The odds that the Kansas Legislature will pass a Medicaid expansion bill this session remain long.

But they improved Thursday, however slightly, when conservative Republican leaders agreed to allow a hearing on expansion to avoid an immediate vote on the House floor. Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, was attempting to amend his Medicaid expansion proposal into an unrelated bill.

Uncertain as to how a vote might turn out, House leaders dropped their opposition to a hearing in exchange for Ward withdrawing his amendment.

KU Hospital celebrates 10th anniversary of Girls' Night In program

Courtesy of the University of Kansas Hospital

KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The University of Kansas Hospital celebrates the 10th anniversary edition of its Girls’ Night In program tonight.

To coincide with the anniversary, several cardiologists at The University of Kansas Hospital reflected on some of the biggest changes in heart care in the last 10 years.

Dr. Ashley Simmons says there’s been an increased awareness among women that heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Single KCKCC course remains about past leaders of Kansas

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Kansas City Kansas Community College is offering its final course in a series looking at past leaders of Kansas.

The course on Dwight D. Eisenhower is at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in Room 3625 on the KCKCC main campus, 7250 State Ave. Cost for the class is $5.

The series, which included presentations on Dr. James Naismith, Octave Chanute and Wilbur Wright, gives students the opportunity to learn from a first person reenactor and see history come to life.

Students will get to “meet” the 34th President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, and through the re-enactment, those who attend will learn about D-Day, West Point, the 1952 and 1956 Presidential Campaigns, Winston Churchill, Little Rock and the Interstate Highway System.

For more information on this series of classes or to enroll, call KCKCC Continuing Education at 913-288-7660.

Hollywood Casino hotel gets OK from commissioners


By NICK SLOAN, nick@kansascitykansan.com

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Western Wyandotte County's newest significant economic development project got the final go-ahead Thursday night from the Unified Government's Board of Commissioners.

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve of the resolution for the Hollywood Casino's hotel. Construction is expected to begin in April, with the hotel being wrapped up by the end of 2016.

BNSF Railroad plans $103 million capital program in Kansas

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) today announced that its 2015 capital program for its operations in Kansas will be an estimated $103 million for rail maintenance and capacity improvement projects. Unlike other modes of freight transportation, U.S. railroads own and maintain their own networks.

To ensure BNSF’s network operates at optimal efficiency, each year the company allocates capital for infrastructure and expansion projects that will enable it to serve the growing needs of customers from a broad cross section of the economy.