Today In Kansas Report – Jan. 10, 2020

Jackson SchneiderJanuary 10, 2020

A wintry mix of precipitation will move across Kansas today along with colder air.  There is a period of mixed precipitation that could occur between the rain and snow. Light ice accumulations are possible in areas. The main focus for snowfall accumulation will be on late Friday and into Saturday especially east of the Kansas Turnpike where four to six inches are possible with scattered higher amounts possible as well.

A missing Salina man who was the subject of a statewide Silver Alert has been found safe. An investigation by the Salina Police Department led to information that 88-year-old Leonard Clayton McIver was possibly in Wichita.  On Thursday he was located and contacted by an officer with the Wichita Police Department. McIver was safe and in good health.

A Kansas building contractor has admitted to conspiring to deprive the city of Lawrence of sales tax revenues in connection with the development of a seven-story hotel adjacent to the University of Kansas campus. 54-year-old Thomas S. Fritzel was a party to an agreement with the city to finance the more than $40 million hotel project, including $11 million worth of street repairs and a public parking garage. His company was to pay all costs up front and to be repaid $11 million for public improvements. The money to repay Oread Inn LC was to come from an incremental increase in property tax, a sales tax and an additional 1 percent tax on sales within a portion of the redevelopment district.  In his plea, Fritzel admitted that he and others caused false monthly Kansas sales tax returns to be submitted to the state of Kansas. The reports classified certain sales as occurring within the redevelopment district when in fact they occurred outside the district. As a result, the city of Lawrence lost a portion of sales taxes it was due. The city of Lawrence filed a civil lawsuit against Fritzel seeking the lost revenue and the parties settled that case in 2017.

A driver who was cited for running a stop sign before being involved in a motor-vehicle accident that injured nine people won’t face any criminal charges.  That’s the word from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, which says local authorities have declined to prosecute the case dating back to last March.  One of the victims, a 12-year-old boy, was initially listed in critical condition.  His mother was still listed in serious condition a few days after the crash.

A Kansas public school teacher is at the top of her class after she received a national award yesterday in Andover.  Andover Central Middle School 7th Grade math teacher Carly Bowden scored the 25-thousand-dollar Milken Educator Award.  Bowden is the only teacher in the Sunflower State to receive the award, and stands among only 40 recipients in the nation to be so honored for the 2019-2020 school year.

After weeks of negotiations, Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning have reached a compromise proposal to expand Medicaid while lowering health insurance premiums for Kansas families. Denning said his top priority is to lower the cost of healthcare for Kansans across the board. The Governor said the compromise will expand Medicaid and lower healthcare costs for Kansas families. She added  there are still several critical steps to be taken by the Kansas Legislature.

The State Library of Kansas will make up-to-the-minute information on the 2020 Kansas Legislature available. Kansas residents can access information about the Kansas Legislature, bill status, legislative process and more by calling the state library at 1-800-432-3924 weekdays 8-5.  Questions are answered by experienced reference/research librarians at the State Library of Kansas and are kept confidential. In addition to calling the hotline, Kansans can chat with a librarian instantly through the library’s Ask a Librarian service found at or use their phone to text questions to 785-256-0733. TTY users should call 711.  Questions can also be emailed to [email protected] or by visiting the State Library. Callers can also leave brief messages to be delivered to their legislators as well as request copies of bills, journals, and other legislative documents.

A former two-term president of the South American nation of Colombia and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will present the first Landon Lecture of the spring 2020 semester at Kansas State University. Juan Manuel Santos will speak at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m.  Santos’ lecture is free and members of the university community and public are encouraged to attend. One of the most prestigious lecture series offered at a U.S. college or university, the Alfred M. Landon Lecture Series was instituted in 1966 by former Kansas State University President James A. McCain. The series is a tribute to Alfred M. Landon, who served as governor of Kansas from 1933-1937 and delivered the first lecture in the series.


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