Daily Archives: April 28, 2010

New Oklahoma abortion law draws emotional response from patients

By Tim Talley/Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — The requirements of Oklahoma’s new abortion law are drawing some emotional responses from patients, a clinic director said Wednesday, now that women must have an ultrasound  and hear a detailed description of the fetus before the procedure can be done.

The law went into effect a day earlier, when the state Senate overrode Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of that measure and one that prohibits pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy.

“It’s been difficult for some of the patients,” said Linda Meek, executive director of Reproductive Services of Tulsa. “We’ve had patients leave the ultrasound room in tears because of what  they had to hear.”

Read More »

Chris Presson resigns from post as GM of Intrust Bank Arena

Bruce Haertl (left) of KWCH News talks to Chris Presson of SMG at the Media Open House for the Intrust Bank Arena in 2009

Bruce Haertl (left) of KWCH News talks to Chris Presson of SMG at the Media Open House for the Intrust Bank Arena in 2009

Chris Presson is resigning from his post as general manager of Intrust Bank Arena on May 7 because of “family reasons,” Sedgwick County and arena management company, SMG, announced this afternoon.

Presson said he made his decision last weekend after thinking about the priorities in his life and how he spends his time.

“I need to renew my energy and think about where I’ve been and where I’m going,” he said in an interview.

Presson, 44, is married and has three girls under age 10. He said he loves his job, but that it is very demanding.

“Opening a new arena is a very tough job and it takes a lot of time, energy and effort,” he said. “And it takes a toll on anyone.”

The abrupt departure comes almost two years after he was named general manager.

SMG will search for a replacement from within the company, according to a statement by Gary Desjardins, SMG general manager, Ford Center, and SMG regional oversight manager.

In an interview, Desjardins declined to discuss details about the resignation, saying that it is something that is “kind of private.”

“There’s not much more to read into it,” he said.

County Commissioner Gwen Welshimer said that she and other commissioners were “dumbfounded” when County Manager William Buchanan informed them about Presson’s resignation after an executive session today.

She said there was no indication that he would be leaving. “He’s done a good job so far,” she said. “He’s been responsive to our questions and so on.” Read More »

City wants your help in Arkansas River cleanup

Stacey Groner, front, and Mike Patrick pick up trash along the banks of the Arkansas River in 2002.

Stacey Groner, front, and Mike Patrick pick up trash along the banks of the Arkansas River in 2002.

You usually don’t have to walk far along the Arkansas River downtown to find a plastic bottle, candy wrapper or discarded beer can. But every year, the city tries to get volunteers to come out and help clean it up before Riverfest kicks off.

This year’s River Trash Round Up kicks off Saturday at 9 a.m. If you want to help out, just show up at the southeast corner of the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium parking lot at Maple and McLean streets. (See map.)

It can be a dirty job. So the city recommends you wear clothing you don’t mind tarnishing a bit. The city will hand out gloves and plastic bags.

The city also hopes that folks that canoe and kayak will bring their boats down to help pick up litter that can’t be reached from the banks.

The cleanup is sponsored by Cargill, Ducks Unlimited, Waste Management and the city.

Senate narrowly rejects Health Care Amendment

healthcareTOPEKA – The Senate on Wednesday voted down a resolution that sought to amend the Kansas Constitution to bar the federal government from requiring people purchase health insurance.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1626 failed on a vote of 19-21. Because the resolution sought to amend the state constitution, it needed to receive a two-thirds majority in both chambers – or 24 votes in the Senate.

Senate declines new regulations for sexually oriented businesses

Sexually-oriented businessTOPEKA – The Senate sent back to committee Wednesday a bill that would regulate sexually oriented businesses such as adult bookstores and strip clubs.

Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, had attempted to have the Senate simply agree with changes the House had made to the measure and send it to the governor. That failed on a tie vote of 20-20.

The measure would have imposed restrictions on where sexually oriented businesses (or SOBs as lawmakers were calling them on the chamber floors) could set up shop and how far dancers needed to remain from their clientele while on stage. The bill would also require such businesses be closed between midnight at 6 a.m. Read More »

Republican state senator to oppose Jenkins in 2nd Congressional District primary

Lynn JenkinsFreshman Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins from Kansas’ 2nd District has picked up a Republican opponent as she seeks re-election this year.

Two-term state Sen. Dennis Pyle of Sabetha , a farmer, cited what he called Jenkins’ “questionable votes” and support from liberal groups.

From a Pyle statement:

“This race will be an issue-oriented one, and we will clearly define the differences between us. Most voters base their choices on the combination of a candidate’s record and rhetoric. With me, they will find no differences.

Kansas Democrats get another candidate for U.S. Senate

Her name is Lisa Johnston.

She’s an assistant dean for student academic services at Baker University, and she lives in Overland Park.

She’ll be kicking off her bid at noon Wednesday at the Hudson Auditorium at Johnson County Community College.

Sean Tevis, a 2008 Kansas State House of Representatives candidate, will introduce Johnston.

Here’s her website.

She joins Charles Schollenberger who just reported $100,000 in his campaign warchest and Patrick Coriolan, who hasn’t raised a penny, according to the Federal Election Commission.

That means there will be an Aug. 3 primary. The winner takes on Republican Todd Tiahrt or Jerry Moran.

Sedgwick County throwing away less trash

011708landfill_th2The weak economy may have one upside: Less trash going into the landfill.

Sedgwick County is throwing 11 percent less trash compared with three years ago, environmental resources director Susan Erlenwein told commissioners this morning.

That probably doesn’t mean people are recycling more, she said. It’s because we’re making fewer purchases because of the economy. Fewer purchases equals less stuff to throw away.

Cardboard is what businesses throw away the most; grass clippings are what residents throw away the most, she said. She encouraged people to mulch mow their yards, which is more environmentally friendly and can be good for yards.

The lawmakers are back in town

Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard chats with a page visiting the Senate for the day.

Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard chats with a page visiting the Senate for the day.

TOPEKA – The Legislature has returned to Topeka for the veto session.

Usually, the mini-session lasts a handful of days and is used to make minor budget changes and attempt to override vetoes the governor has issued during the break.

This year, lawmakers have a much fuller plate. Still up for discussion are the main budget proposals from both the House and Senate, a highway plan and possible tax increases.

Lawmakers are also planning to take up a veto override vote for a late-term abortion bill that Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, vetoed earlier this month.

Many lawmakers and lobbyists are bracing for a longer-than- average veto session.

For more, check back with the Wichita Eagle.

Art garden to be featured at Sedgwick County Park

Connor Hardin throws bread to geese at Sedgwick County Park in 2009

Connor Hardin throws bread to geese at Sedgwick County Park in 2009

Sedgwick County commissioners have approved designating an area of Sedgwick County Park, near the zoo, as an art garden.

The Arts Council will review and make recommendations about art to be featured in the garden.