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Kansas A.G. joins others around the country in support of new technology to stop robocalls…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: August 23, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiAugust 23, 2019

The nation’s biggest phone companies are promising to use new technology to spot and block robocalls.  The pledge is part of an agreement with 51 attorneys general, including Kansas Attorney general Derek Schmidt. The agreement calls for the phone companies to use call-blocking technology and provide free blocking tools to customers.  It would also let people know if the incoming call is real or coming from a spoofed phone number. Officials say there were four-point-seven-billion robocalls made to American phones just in July.

Over a dozen bodies of water in Kansas remain unsafe because of potentially deadly algae. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 16 bodies of water across the state are under public health warnings due to toxic blue-green algae. Along with the 16 lakes and ponds which are under a warning, 7 others are under a watch. Contact with water tainted by blue-green algae is a health risk to both humans and animals.

Police in Lawrence and Wichita are trying to determine whether two burglary incidents last week at Islamic centers in both cities may be related.  Officials in Lawrence say an unidentified man wearing a red hoodie and cap stole one-thousand to two-thousand dollars in cash from the Islamic Center of Lawrence on August 13th.  He reportedly sped off in a red or maroon sedan that matches a vehicle seen in surveillance video of a similar incident a day later at the Islamic Society of Wichita. Authorities in both cities are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a suspect linked to the thefts.

Kansas’ ranking dips from 2nd to 6th in the nation in highway performance and cost-effectiveness rankings. The 24th Annual Highway Report, based on data that states submitted to the federal government, ranks each state’s highway system in 13 categories, including traffic fatalities, pavement condition, congestion, spending per mile, administrative costs and more. North Dakota ranks first in the Annual Highway Report’s overall performance and cost-effectiveness rankings for the second year in a row. Virginia and Missouri, two of the 20 most populated states in the country, are second and third in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. Maine and Kentucky round out the top five states. The highway systems in New Jersey (50th), Alaska (49th), Rhode Island (48th), Hawaii and Massachusetts rank at the bottom of the nation in overall performance and cost-effectiveness.

Fort Hays State University’s five-year capital campaign has raised $88 million toward its $100 million goal. The “Journey” campaign to support scholarships, academics, student life and athletics, is the largest, most aggressive campaign in school history.

It’s going to take at least one-million dollars to repair a historic building damaged by fire in downtown Wichita.  That’s the word from local fire officials, who say investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze inside the Occidental Hotel building.  The fire may have started in the building’s upper two floors, which were being converted into a series of apartments.  No injuries were reported.

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