Daily Archives: Sept. 21, 2010

Sumner casino bidder offers teachers money for supplies

peninsula2_copy.embedded.prod_affiliate.80One of the Sumner County casino bidders has added an educational sweetener to its proposal.

Peninsula Gaming, which is seeking state approval to build and manage the Kansas Star Casino, Hotel, Event Center near Mulvane, said Tuesday it will give teachers in the county and the Mulvane school district $500 a year to help them purchase classroom supplies.

The money would come from an annual $1.5 million educational scholarship program included in Peninsula Gaming’s  contract with the state, which has been approved by the Kansas Lottery Commission.

The program already includes a $100 credit for back-to-school supplies for all K-12 students in the county and Mulvane districts, as well as $1,000 scholarships for graduating seniors who plan to attend college.

Peninsula Gaming, of Dubuque, Iowa, and Global Gaming Partners, of Ada, Okla., are competing to build and operate a casino in the county. Both have had their contracts with the state approved by the lottery commission.

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Roberts wants health care hearings on insurance hikes



Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, who voted against the heath care reform bill, wants Congress to hold hearings on potential rising insurance costs.

Roberts, a Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, and GOP col-league Chuck Grassley of Iowa, its ranking member, have requested hearings before the next Senate recess on how “Obamacare” has affected health insurance premiums.

They cited a recent Wall Street Journal story, which reported that some insurance companies intend to raise rates next year because of the new health care law. The Obama administration, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a former Kansas governor, has said the increases would be lower.

Holland promises to be Kansas’ “economic cheerleader”



MANHATTAN – Promising to be the state’s “number one economic cheerleader,” Sen. Tom Holland on Tuesday laid out his plan to encourage economic growth in Kansas.

Speaking in Manhattan at the Kansas Economic Development Alliance fall conference, Holland, a Democrat from Baldwin City, said that if elected governor he would funnel more money to education – both kindergarten to 12th grade and higher education.

He also promised to put more economic development money into technical training so Kansas has a work force that meets the needs of potential employers.

“We know that companies come to Kansas in part because we have a quality work force and quality state schools,” he said.

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Council to vote on bridge and tax exemptions

By the end of this morning, city hall may be a step closer to building a new bridge and dam on the Arkansas River at Lincoln Street and giving tax incentives to three companies.

The bridge and dam vote budgets $12.5 million, including more than $5 million in federal funding. As early as this winter, construction crews will begin building a new dam. Then they’ll likely tear down the existing bridge and dam, which are badly deteriorated.  A new bridge will be built along with pooling areas on the river’s edge for fish and kayaks to travel through. (See page 26 of this PDF for a conceptual rendering.)

(Update: 9:15 a.m. – This item has been removed from the city council agenda.) The city’s plan to widen 119th Street between Pawnee and Kellogg involves taking nine tracts of land from private property owners. The move was on the council’s consent agenda, which is typically approved without discussion. But council members said Friday they want to be very careful about using eminent domain and moved the issue to the main agenda. A robust discussion is expected. (Pulled.)

The council will also vote on property tax exemptions for Leading Technology Composites Inc., which builds parts for military vehicles and body armor plates for soldiers. The company has expanded and plans to add 39 new employees in the next five years. The exemptions save the company about $52,700 a year.

Council members plan to give a similar exemption to Burnham Composite Structures. They will also vote to set a Nov. 2 public hearing on a tax increment finance district that would help Rob Snyder finance a Save-A-Lot grocery store and strip mall at George Washington Boulevard and Pawnee, in the Planeview neighborhood.