Fri March 17, 2006
By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO – State and federal crews have identified almost 900 homes damaged as a result of last weekend's severe storms in Missouri. The hardest hit area was Christian County in southwest Missouri with 127 homes destroyed and 138 damaged. In Lawrence, KU confirmed that new roofs will be needed on Danforth Chapel, Blake and Parker halls, the GSP residence hall and the computer services facility.
A Kansas House committee finally produced a school funding bill today. What started out as a $500-million, 3-year plan ended up a one-year, $175 million one. The failure of the gambling bill and unwillingness to support new taxes resulted in the one-year-only recommendation.
There was an effort to get support for a revised expanded gambling plan today, but Senate President Steve Morris said he will not consider allowing a vote on it unless it has the ironclad support of enough Senators to pass.
Kansas has joined Missouri in producing a budget bill for the coming fiscal year. The plan calls for slightly decreased spending overall. It includes a cancer center for the KU Med center, but no provision for increased school funding.
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says a proposal to sell off 21-thousand acres of the Mark Twain National Forest would benefit other states more than Missouri. Blunt's press secretary contested the Forest Service's stance that the acres are isolated and expendable. Money from the sale was to go for rural schools and roads.
The Fulton high school drama teacher whose production of "The Crucible" was cancelled after church members complained about an earlier presentation of Grease has resigned rather than face a possible firing. But the Arthur Millier work will be produced in Fulton by Westminster and William Woods college professors.