Gov. Brownback agrees to four debates

TOPEKA, Kan. - Gov. Sam Brownback has agreed to four debates leading up to the 2014 race for governor.

Brownback faces Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Kansas house minority leader, Paul Davis. Keen Umbehr, an attorney based out of Alma, Kan., is also running for the office as a Libertarian.

Here's a list of the debates the governor has agreed to:

Kansas State Fair Debate
Saturday, September 6,
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Hutchinson
Broadcast statewide by WIBW radio

KWCH Television Debate
Date TBD
6:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Live Broadcast on CBS affiliate, KWCH

Johnson County Public Policy Council
Friday, September 19
Lunchtime
Location TBD

Kansas Association of Broadcasters
Tuesday, October 21
12:40 PM – 1:15 PM
Double Tree by Hilton Wichita Airport Hotel

The general election will be held November 4, 2014.

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KHP trooper shoots, kills suspect Saturday evening

File photo.

GREAT BEND, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) Trooper shot and killed a person early Saturday evening. The story is still developing and KHP has released few details so far.

WIBW reports, according to a statement put out shortly after midnight Sunday morning, troopers were called in to support the Barton Co. Sheriff's Office around 6;40 p.m. on Saturday after an armed suspect had harmed a family member and was threatening to hurt others.

Authorities said they "confronted" the suspect at 7:19 p.m. Afterwards a Trooper reported shots had been fired and the suspect was shot. The suspect, who has not been identified, was taken to a local hospital and died a shortly thereafter.

No officers were hurt.

Authorities have not released the location where the shooting occurred.

The Trooper, who wasn't identified, has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which will be conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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National Historic Site In Kansas Celebrates 50 Years

File photo.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP )- It's going to be a big weekend at the Fort Larned National Historic Site about 130 miles northwest of Wichita.

The fort is celebrating the 50th anniversary of becoming the Fort Larned National Historic Site making it the first national historic site in Kansas.

The Wichita Eagle reports, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the law that made the fort an historic site on Aug. 31, 1964. The fort itself stretches back to 1859, when it served several thousand soldiers for 19 years.

Chief Ranger George Elmore says the fort was chosen as a national historic site because it was one of the best preserved forts from the Indian Wars era. Nine of the original buildings still stood in 1964, and the parade ground was intact.

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Kansas Taxes $4M less Than Expected In August

ASSOCIATED PRESS - A new report says Kansas collected $4 million less in taxes than expected in August.

The Department of Revenue said Friday the state took in $421 million in taxes, about 1 percent below the official forecast of $425 million.

The department called revenues flat but said there are signs of economic growth in the figures. Corporate income tax collections exceeded expectations for the month.

The state saw a slight surplus in tax collections in July. Since the current fiscal year began July 1, the state has collected about $829 million in revenues, against projections of nearly $832 million. The difference is about $2.4 million, or 0.3 percent.

The numbers are likely to renew a political debate over massive income tax cuts enacted at Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's urging.

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Westar Energy Retirees' Benefits To Change

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Westar Energy is notifying its retired employees that they will have to find their own Medicare supplemental plans beginning Jan. 1.

Previously, the employees had received group coverage through the company.

Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig says the change will affect about 1,700 retirees who are older than 65 and qualify for Medicare. She says the employees will be paid a stipend to buy individual Medicare supplemental plans, known as Part B.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Penzig says the company believes at least 96 percent of the employees will end up with better plans than they had under the current Westar benefits. Westar says it currently spends about $3.5 million a year for retiree health benefits.

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Brownback names new Supreme Couirt Justice

AP Photo

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - At a Friday morning Statehouse news conference Gov. Sam Brownback named Caleb Stegall as his first appointment to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The finalists were state Court of Appeals judges Caleb Stegall, Karen Arnold-Burger and state District Judge Merlin Wheeler.

Stegall will replace former Justice Nancy Moritz, who left to join the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Stegall was Brownback's chief counsel before he joined the appeals court in January. Arnold-Burger has served on that court since 2011.

Brownback's appointee to the Supreme Court will not require state Senate confirmation.

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Kansas Gets 1-Year Waiver of Federal Schools Law

ASSOCIATED PRESS - Kansas has received a one-year extension of a waiver that gives it more flexibility in meeting some of the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind education law.

The U.S. Department of Education also granted an extension Thursday to Indiana. Kansas first was granted a waiver in 2012, but was told last August it was at "high risk" of losing it because the state hadn't taken enough steps to use student achievement data as part of teacher evaluations.

Interim Kansas Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander said he was "pleased."

The Kansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says education evaluation systems will incorporate the student data as a "significant" factor this year. But those student growth measures will not be used to make personnel decisions until the 2017-18 school year.

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