Today in Kansas Report Headlines: September 29, 2016

andy lambertSeptember 29, 2016
A civilian worker accused of setting a co-worker on fire at a health center at Fort Leavenworth faces more charges in a new indictment. Those include assault with intent to commit murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors claim he threw a flammable liquid on his female supervisor, lit her on fire, then attacker her with a straight-edge razor and scissors. Other workers stopped the attack.
Former Lawrence Mayor Jeremy Farmer admits in court to stealing money from the food pantry where he worked. He resigned from that job after it was revealed he hadn’t paid more than $50-thousand in payroll taxes. A sentencing date hasn’t been set.
The Brownback administration plans to withdraw plans to limit the amount of sick leave state workers and donate to colleagues and scrap a proposal to reduce the opportunity for employees to appeal their annual evaluation ratings. The Kansas Department of Administration still plans to move forward with exempting some employees from layoffs regardless of performance scores, plus overriding hiring priority for laid-off staffers and allowing extra time off to be used as a reward.
A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts says Kansas could run on its cash reserves for just two days. The nationwide average is just over 29 days. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office claims the study highlights just how much the oil and ag economies have declined, and that other states relying on those sectors have similar problems with their cash reserves.
Kansas reports its lowest infant mortality rate on record. According to the Department of Health and Environment there were 5.9 baby deaths for 1,000 live births in the state in 2015, down from 6.3 in 2014 and slightly below the national average. Officials attribute the drop to ongoing work from more than 20 groups aimed at pushing down the infant mortality rate.




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