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Headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: December 21, 2015

andy lambertDecember 21, 2015

A federal lawsuit trying to stop an Indian casino in Oklahoma from expanding into Kansas gets tossed out. The judge said the court didn’t have jurisdiction in the case. That suit comes from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Cherokee County Commission, and targeted Downstream Casino Resort near Miami, Oklahoma which has plans to  expand across the state line into Kansas.

There will be no Medicare funding for new patients at Osawatomie State Hopsital. That means the state will be on the hook for the entire tab because the mental facility doesn’t meet federal standards. Those include ceilings where patients could hang themselves, and persistent overcrowding. The hospital is being renovated to address the concerns, and officials plan to try to get certification back right away.

The Department of Health and Human Services says about 50,000 people in Kansas signed up through the federal health insurance exchange as of December 12th. Open enrollment runs through January 31st, but people who haven’t signed up by now won’t have coverage until February.

The FBI will foot the bill for damage to a home in Galena where the agency was trying to capture a fugitive from Missouri. They weren’t succesful, and the home was damaged as part of the attempt to take him into custody.

Wildlife officials say a bacterial disease that spreads so quickly that birds can die while in flight is to blame for the deaths of hundreds of waterfowl in central Kansas. Roughly 1,100 dead birds have been found over the past two weeks at the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and the nearby Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

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