Daily Archives: Feb. 15, 2011

Nurses, parents talk to state senators about OTC medicine in schools

Several school nurses spoke to Kansas state senators today about a bill that would allow them to give students over-the-counter medicine with written parental consent.

While some school districts now allow nurses to give such medicine as aspirin or Tylenol to students without a doctor’s written authorization, the Wichita school district requires a doctor’s order to dispense over-the-counter medicine. Some parents and school nurses in other school districts, such as Augusta, say that policy hurts students from low-income families that can’t afford to see a doctor.

Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, who heads the Senate’s education committee, called Wichita’s policy “barbaric.”

She said she wasn’t sure what the committee would do with the bill, sought by Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita.

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City Council approves letter of intent to help YMCA build new downtown facility

Wichita City Council members voted 5-0 this morning to approve a letter of intent to issue $23 million in industrial revenue bonds to help the YMCA build a new downtown facility.

Vice Mayor Jeff Longwell and council member Lavonta Williams abstained from the vote because they are YMCA board members.

The council’s approval came after criticism from some people who feel the IRBs, paired with other exemptions the nonprofit YMCA gets from state and federal government, would give the organization an unfair advantage over other health clubs and would force more of them to go out of business.

“It’s not right. It’s not fair,” said Rodney Steven II, owner of Genesis Health Clubs.

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Bioscience president takes tough questions from legislators

Kansas Bioscience Authority president and CEO Tom Thornton took some tough questions today from state senators about how the agency spends taxpayer money.

Commerce committee members asked Thornton for a breakdown of staff salaries as well as who got paid what to build KBA’s offices.

The KBA has come under some fire from the Center of Innovation for Biomaterials in Orthopaedic Research, or CIBOR. It says the KBA promised $20 million over five years. Thornton has denied that.

Paul Wooley, the chief scientist with the Wichita group, has said the money is vital to its future.

State legislators say the scientist group has been telling them, publicly and privately, that the KBA has not given them the money they promised and that the lack of money is damaging the scientists’ ability to invent the new industry and create the jobs and the revenue.