Headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: November 13, 2018

Jackson SchneiderNovember 13, 2018

A man serving a life sentence in connection with the 2013 disappearance and murder of a Salina woman has died. According to Kansas Department of Corrections records, 30-year-old Joel Heil died on Sunday. Back in 2014 Heil plead guilty to charges that include first degree murder and attempted robbery charges. He was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years. The victim, a  27-year-old woman, was beaten with a log chain and then left under a bridge on a rural road.

Kansas State University is saving energy costs and becoming greener by using one of Kansas’ most abundant resources: wind. A new university agreement with Westar Energy will provide approximately 50 percent of the energy needs for the university’s main Manhattan campus from a wind farm in Nemaha County and save the university nearly $200,000 annually. The program involves the 300-megawatt Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center, which is a wind farm that will be built in Nemaha County and is estimated to be on line in 2020. Kansas State University is one of 14 Kansas organizations that will receive electricity from the wind farm.

AAA Kansas has predicted that more than 54 million people will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving this year, the highest in  over a dozen years.  The 2018 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005. 2.5 million more people are expected to travel as compared with last year.

Extra officers will also be out on the roads. Law enforcement agencies from across Kansas will join others from across the country focusing on impaired drivers, child passenger safety laws, and seat belt use among travelers of all ages.

So what would you do with all of that free time if you gave up Facebook and other social media sites? In research led by KU Professor Jeffrey Hall, participants tracked their activities and mood during a social media fast. The real finding is that when people have to do without social media, they end up surfing the web and engaging in activities they may be putting off, like work and housecleaning.

Gas prices are on the decline in Kansas.  According to AAA Kansas Statewide, the average price for a gallon of unleaded is $2.47, which is 23-cents less than the national average of $2.70 pe -gallon.

Police are warning residents about the risks of leaving vehicles running unattended in the cold weather. Not only is there a risk of theft, but it is illegal to leave an unattended vehicle running in many communities.

A more than 30-year tradition at Fort Hays State University continued this week when the university’s president’s tour of Kansas began. However, this year’s tour features the acting president, Dr. Jeff Briggs. University President Tisa Mason is recovering from an illness that has significantly reduced her ability to speak.






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