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Special session starts June 23 to discuss education funding…and other headlines: June 13, 2016

andy lambertJune 13, 2016

Republican legislators who want to limit the power of the courts to force changes in how Kansas funds its public schools could revive several long-standing proposals for revising the state constitution. Lawmakers convene June 23 for a special session called by Gov. Sam Brownback to respond to a state Supreme Court order last month. The court said the state’s school funding system remains unfair to poor school districts.

There is progress in Kansas providing low-income students with nutritious food when school’s out for summer. Advocates expect to have 162 sponsors providing breakfast, lunch or snacks at 575 sites this summer, an increase from 138 sponsors and 484 sites last summer according to an official at the state Department of Education.

An 18-year-old becomes the first woman in Kansas to enlist as a U.S. Army infantry soldier. Tristan Guzman swore in May 24 in Olathe, saying she knew she wanted to go into the military since she was 11. Women couldn’t be infantry soldiers until the decision lifting gender-based restrictions from all military positions became effective in January.

State wildlife officials believe it will take weeks, maybe months to figure out how 30 federally-protected egrets turned up dead in Wichita. The birds were found dead in a neighborhood last week. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism is heading up the investigation.

High numbers of mosquitos known to carry West Nile Virus turn up in traps in Sedgwick County. The Culex mosquito carries that disease, but not the Zika virus. Last year 34 West Nile virus cases were reported statewide. The peak came in 2012, when 57 people came down with the virus.

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