Recall petition circulating in Thomas County and other headlines: January 12, 2016

andy lambertJanuary 12, 2016

Organizers are collecting signatures on a petition to recall Thomas County Sheriff Rod Taylor. It comes amid allegations of misconduct in recent months, including two collisions involving county vehicles in one week, misused county funds and misplaced weapons. Organizers have 90 days to collect more than 13-hundred valid signatures to force a a recall vote.

The Kansas Legislature opens its annual session. Leaders of each chamber’s Republican majority were hoping this year’s session will be 80 days or less. Sessions are typically scheduled for 90 days, but last year’s was the longest ever at 114 days because of GOP infighting over budget and tax issues. Lawmakers are set to consider a proposal to set new limits on property taxes, among other things. The Legislature enacted a law last year aimed at cutting annual increases in the property tax levies cities and counties rely heavily upon to finance local services. The restrictions take effect in 2018 but a new bill would tighten the restrictions and have them take effect in July.

An inmate who raped and killed two young sisters in Topeka nearly 30 years ago has died. That inmate died Sunday night at the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility. The bodies of the 3- and 6-year old girls were found in his basement, wedged between a furnace and a wall.

The University of Kansas will use a $2 million donation from a Missouri couple to establish an architecture scholarship and to help a reading program for children. About $1.6 million will be used to establish a scholarship for architecture students. The rest will go to a nonprofit program at KU Med that partners with doctors to provide books for kids and encourage parents to read to them.

Kansas could be a big winner if someone buys the winning ticket to the $1.3 billion Powerball drawing in the state. The Kansas Lottery says a Kansas winner of Wednesday’s jackpot would have to pay at least $40 million to the state. That would easily cover the state’s current budget shortfall of more than $10 million.




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