Top Local News Stories
Negotiations between House and Senate Republicans over tax-cutting proposals crashed Thursday morning as Senate leaders moved ahead to potentially vote on a new plan that House leaders say they haven’t seen yet.
The anticlimactic meeting came on the final day of the scheduled legislative session. Rep. Richard Carlson, R-St. Marys, said the conversations may be moot because Senate Republicans are said to be pushing through another tax plan during a floor debate later Thursday.
Wichita Republican Sen. Les Donovan said he was disappointed that the House Republicans wouldn’t budge from their long-standing position of continuing only half of the six-tenths of a cent sales tax. The Senate and Gov. Sam Brownback have strongly backed a proposal to continue the 6.3 percent sales tax rate enacted during the recession and set to expire in July.Full Story
The president of Wichita State University has said he has always known when his honeymoon period will end as the new leader.
It will end, John Bardo has said, when a big section of WSU parking lot is sealed off for construction, on a campus where parking is always at a premium.
That day arrives Sunday.Full Story
A former Clearwater Middle School teacher was granted probation Thursday for taking indecent liberties with a 15-year-old former student. Cathleen Balman, 40, pleaded guilty to the charge in February.
Balman was a middle school language arts teacher at the time of her arrest in October 2011. She was fired five days later.
Prosecutors said Balman maintained a yearlong relationship with the boy. In imposing the sentence, District Judge Terry Pullman ordered Balman to have no contact with non-relatives under the age of 18.Full Story
Storm caused $2 million in damage to Wichita school buildings; tentative contract reached between district SEIU
Wichita schools sustained about $2 million damage from wind and hail during a storm that swept through the city Sunday, according to district officials.
During a special meeting set for noon Thursday, the Wichita school board will vote on authorizing up to $2 million for repairs to district properties. All but $250,000 should be reimbursed by the district property insurance, officials said.
District spokeswoman Susan Arensman said earlier this week that at least four schools in northeast Wichita – Buckner Elementary, L’Ouverture Elementary, Brooks Middle School and the Chester I. Lewis Academic Learning Center – had windows broken.Full Story
For Wichita doctor Jenifer Cook, it’s not the first time in the field.
Cook, a volunteer physician with Olathe-based Heart to Heart International, which provides medical aid across the world, is working in Moore, Okla., this week after a devastating tornado hit the city on Monday afternoon. She also volunteered after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and the Greensburg tornado.
“I just got on the highway and headed down. … I just happened to have 19 days off of work,” said Cook, who is also the medical director at Pregnancy Crisis Center in Wichita.Full Story
People in Wichita continued to leave food out by their mailboxes even after the annual letter carrier food drive on May 11.
So the letter carriers collected it — another 4,700 pounds of non-perishable food — to donate to the Kansas Food Bank, officials there said.
That means area residents donated a total of 146,716 pounds this year, said Larry Gunkel, a Food Bank official.Full Story