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Lawmakers want more oversight over school construction projects…and other headlines: January 20, 2016

andy lambertJanuary 20, 2016
A new report from Kansas’ Republican legislators says the state needs more oversight over local school construction projects. They’d do that through the creation of a legislative committee that would review proposals from districts that would get state money to help cover the costs of bond payments. It also suggests that lawmakers limit the projects eligible for state cash. Democrats claim the report insults local school boards.
The Kansas House approves a bill aimed at making it harder for judges and prosecutors to influence the work of grand juries convened by citizens. The legislation lets people calling grand juries to observe when judges instruct the jurors. It’s now up to the state Senate to determine if the bill advances to the governor’s desk.
Governor Brownback’s office is defending a budget proposal that a child advocate argues would make it easier for Kansas to take money from early childhood education. The governor’s budget proposal would shift the Children’s Initiatives Fund to the State General Fund in fiscal 2017. Brownback’s office says the move is meant to better coordinate early childhood programs but the CEO of Kansas Action for Children doesn’t see how the move leads to that.
Prosecutors are considering upgrading murder charges in the coming weeks against a man and wife accused in the death of a child who is believed to be the man’s missing 7-year-old son. Prosecutors in KCK didn’t say what evidence there may be to support a premeditated first-degree murder charge. Right now the two are charged with felony murder.
County officials say law enforcement officials likely made mistakes in an investigation that led to a Kansas man being wrongly convicted in the death of a 14-year-old girl in 1999, but they didn’t do anything to warrant criminal charges. That man served more than 15 years in prison for the girl’s death before the conviction was overturned and he was released from prison in December.
Right after the announcement that the only commercial carrier in Salina was pulling out, there’s a new airline coming in. SeaPort Airlines ended service last week to Great Bend and Salina and now Great Lakes Airlines plans to take their place April 1st. So far there’s no word on the future of commercial air service at Great Bend.

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