Daily Archives: March 4, 2010

Lawmakers, relatives remember legislative pioneer Ruby Gilbert

Ruby Gilbert will be remembered as a leader who worked hard to help others, those who knew her say.

Gilbert, the first African American woman elected to the Kansas legislature, represented the 89th district in Wichita from 1991 to 2004.

Mrs. Gilbert died Feb. 28 after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 80.

The service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Tabernacle Bible Church, 1817 N. Volutsia.

“She was a lady of integrity and she did her job without a lot of fanfare,” said her husband, Booker T. Gilbert. “She didn’t go around broadcasting what she did. She worked with the grassroots people. She worked with kids and she helped people that needed help.”

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More state budget cuts coming tomorrow

TOPEKA – Gov. Mark Parkinson will announce more cuts to the state budget Friday morning.

The announcement comes on the heals of February revenue numbers which showed tax receipts lagging about $71 million behind expectations.

Already, lawmakers are expecting a $400 million plus shortfall for the fiscal year 2011 budget, which starts July 1.

In November, Parkinson, a Democrat, announced cuts to the current 2010 budget total ling about $260 million.

The new round of cuts are something Parkinson has tried to avoid. After the last round of allotments, the governor said further cuts could cripple state government.

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Senate panel considers resolution on Flint Hills burning

flinthillsburningTOPEKA — A resolution that seeks to allow rangeland burning in the Flint Hills without sending Wichita and other cities out of compliance with air pollution regulations drew testimony in a Senate panel  Thursday.

Each year, millions of acres of prairie land are burned in the Flint Hills. The process helps keep trees and other woody plants from encroaching on the grasslands and helps provide richer fodder for cattle.

Burning in the grasslands is an economic and environmental issue, said Mike Beam, senior vice president of the Kansas Livestock Association.

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City wants your help ticketing cars in handicap spaces

Handicap parking sign

Wichita police said today that they’re seeking volunteers to help spot vehicles that are illegally parked in handicap spaces.

Volunteers will photograph cars they believe don’t have proper tags to park in handicap spots and report it to police supervisors who can write tickets.

Applications for the volunteer program are due by April 10.

For more, visit http://bit.ly/avYWFc.

Who knew grass could be so controversial?

littlebluestemTOPEKA – On Wednesday, the House spent a lot of time debating the merits of naming Little Bluestem as the state grass.

Today the chamber passed House Bill 2619 on a vote of 87-25. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Olathe Republican Rep. Scott Schwab’s recorded response announced by the reader: “Really? I mean really?”

The bill names Little Bluestem, which grows throughout the state, as the state grass. Supporters fended off attempts to replace Little Bluestem with other grasses indigenous to Kansas, such as Buffalo Grass.

Needless to say, Schwab voted against the measure.