Daily Archives: April 12, 2010

Future of major downtown development is a moving target

Exchange Place

Exchange Place

About three weeks ago, Michael Elzufon said his development company’s $51.5 million residential and retail project in the heart of downtown could fail without more help from City Hall.

That could be a setback in the city’s push to revive downtown — though it’s unclear how it would ultimately play in the emerging long-range revitalization plans.

A lot more should pop up during a public hearing on the additional financing at the 9 a.m. council meeting today. (Watch online.)

Top city officials are recommending only a shred of Real Development’s request. And developers aren’t sure the city’s suggested alternatives would work — at least as of a Monday morning briefing by Allen Bell, the city’s director of urban development. So a lot is at stake. Read More »

Whipple files to run against Hermanson for legislative seat

TOPEKA _ Wichita Democrat Brandon Whipple hopes to regain a state House seat for his party in the fall.

Whipple, 27, does volunteer work with at-risk students in the Wichita school district and said that experience gives him an unique perspective on the Kansas budget.

“Our state’s founding fathers wrote the Kansas constitution with the intent to make public education our state’s top priority,” he said. “Even in times of crisis, our legislature must support education.”

He plans to run for the 96th District seat held by Wichita Republican Phil Hermanson. In 2008, Hermanson won the seat from Democratic incumbent Terry McLachlan.

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Sedgwick County commissioners could decide on jail consultants’ future

jailWICHITA —After months of delays, Justice Concepts Inc. is expected to find out this week if it can continue to work on jail overcrowding in Sedgwick County.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to allow the firm to finish its contract, which expired in June. Consultants Nancy Insco and Allen Beck signed a $124,616 contract with the county in August 2008 to reduce the jail’s population by 25 percent within 10 months.

Citing problems with cooperation and a lack of data, Justice Concepts didn’t meet that goal and, according to its new plan to finish its original work by May 31, doesn’t plan to.

The new deadline for that goal is marked “NA” —or not applicable — on a new schedule of tasks commissioners will consider Wednesday.

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