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Vote Today in Goodland…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: November 3, 2015

andy lambertNovember 3, 2015

Voters in Goodland have the chance to vote on a 1% sales tax to fund a new Multi-Event Center. It would include a number of things, including a museum, visitor’s center, conference rooms, and bowling alley. If approved, the tax would kick in after the 1% for the Sherman County Road Improvement Project sunsets. That’ll happen by 2020, at the latest.

State revenue officials say Kansas collected nearly $11 million less in taxes than anticipated in October. Tax collections have fallen more than $78 million short of expectations since the fiscal year began in July.

The Kansas corrections secretary is proposing a $27 million expansion of a maximum-security prison outside El Dorado. Adding more than 500 beds is one of the options that state is exploring for dealing with rising inmate numbers. It may also look at housing more inmates in county jails and private prisons.

Jailers in Sedgwick County are checking their maximum-security inmates less often because of low staffing levels. The county has changed its policy and no longer requires that cells be checked every 30 minutes. The sheriff says the jail now has fewer than 70 deputies.

Some people in Kansas felt the shaking from an earthquake Monday in Oklahoma. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded two earthquakes including one of magnitude 4.1. It was centered near Langston but no one has reported any damage.

Thousands of farmers, grain handlers and corn exporters in 22 states are suing Syngenta now that a federal judge says their cases have merit to move forward. The lawsuits say the Swiss company’s introduction of a new genetically modified corn seed in 2011 interrupted trade with China and harmed the market for U.S. corn by depressing the commodity’s price. That cost the U.S. corn industry an estimated $1 billion to $3 billion.

Construction of the Kansas Crossing casino near Pittsburg remains on hold. The company says it will decide at the end of November on whether to seek another 90-day extension on completing the project. Another casino company alleges in a lawsuit that the state’s process for choosing Kansas Crossing was rigged. State officials deny that.

A Topeka activist could become the first transgender member of the Kansas Legislature. Stephanie Mott is one of three people seeking to replace a retiring member of the state House of Representatives. Topeka Democrats will vote on Harold Lane’s replacement November 14.

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