Daily Archives: April 15, 2011

Mayor Brewer urges state and feds to ignore April 6 air quality problems

A smokey haze envelopes downtown Wichita along Douglas Ave. on March 24.

Mayor Carl Brewer wants state and federal officials to cut Wichita a break on its air quality readings on April 6 because the haze stemmed from range burning in the Flint Hills.

“We recognize the absolute necessity for the range burning in the Flint Hills,” Brewer said in a news release.  “However, Wichita and our surrounding area should not be penalized for the short-term air quality problems that result from that event.”

If Brewer is successful, environmental officials would ignore the April 6 air quality readings, which exceeded federal standards.

Wichita has flirted with exceeding national air quality standards for years. If the city surpasses national standards, it would likely have to come up with plans to reduce air pollution that could be costly to residents and businesses.

City officials say if federal officials designated Wichita as a non-attainment area, it could cost the community $10 million a year.

30 days of detour on eastbound Douglas in Delano

Starting Monday, eastbound traffic on Douglas Avenue will follow a detour at Seneca while crews repair a water main and pavement at the Hadley Street intersection.

The detour will channel vehicles south down Seneca, east on Maple and back north on Sycamore, the city announced today. But drivers will still be able to reach the main drag of Delano on side streets.

City officials expect repairs to take about 30 days.

Bioscience Authority chief resigns amid investigations, turmoil

Tom Thornton, the embattled chief executive officer of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, has submitted his resignation, the agency announced moments ago.

In his resignation letter, Thornton said working for the authority has been an “honor and a highlight” of his career and that he would remain in contact.

“I am willing to serve in my current capacity until a mutually agreed upon date and committed to working with you, the KBA board of directors and staff to ensure a smooth leadership transition,” he said in his letter.

In a news release, former Gov. John Carlin, chairman of the KBA board, praised Thornton for his leadership in building the agency that is tasked with bringing high-tech biological and medical research business to the state.

See the full story, Thornton’s resignation letter and related stories here.