Category Archives: Kansas

Kurtis launches documentary project



Television journalist Bill Kurtis of Sedan has a new project starting, traveling the nation to chronicle positive stories from the recession.

At a campaign event for his sister, 4th District congressional candidate and state Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, Kurtis said he is in discussions with a major financial services firm that wants to underwrite a series of documentary profiles and town meetings to find the silver lining in the economic downturn.

“We’re going to try and find the positive stories of people who have changed their lives for the better,” Kurtis said.

Some possible examples might be people who took advantage of being laid off to start their own business or do volunteer work.

Kurtis said he thinks a lot of people are tired of being battered by news of people beaten down by the economy and want to see people picking themselves up.

“As a journalist, I can just sense the feeling is out there,” he said.

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What they’re saying about Sebelius

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is getting all kinds of mentions — not all flattering — as a possible nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. Numerous papers picked up an Associated Press story Saturday saying the Kansas governor “is very near the top of President Obama’s list of candidates.” The Fix, the political blog at, called Sebelius “clearly a serious contender” but cautioned that “one White House official warns that the reporting is getting ahead of itself and that the process remains ‘wide open’.”

Meanwhile, the HillBuzz blog has its own take on the possibility, with this headline: “Politico claims The Cryptkeeper’s going to be Health and Human Services Secretary.”

And Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson told AP he’s ready to serve if Sebelius heads to Washington — but he still doesn’t plan to run for governor in 2010.

Kansas Republicans launch a new blog

ElephantKansas Republicans launched a new blog today called The Kansas Tunkline. And judging from the first few posts, Congressman Dennis Moore and Congresswoman Nancy Boyda aren’t going to like it. The most recent post after they announced the new blog ripped the Democratic superdelegates for not declaring who they’ll support in the presidential race. “Who will Boyda and Moore support—the most liberal Senator in the nation who claims half of their constituents are bitter? Or the woman who has voted to raise taxes 230 times?”

Of course, the Democrats have had their blog — Buffalo Blog — for about a year and a half. Their most recent post takes a shot at Congressman Todd Tiahrt for delaying debate on critical issues by asking for a re-vote on a resolution celebrating the role of mothers. “Tiahrt then joined 177 of his Republican friends and voted against their mothers, and ate up 28 minutes of their day in doing so.”

Nothing like more strong dialog in the Kansas political blogosphere.

Kansas among 22 states that don’t lower flags for fallen soldiers

A story in USA Today this morning says that Kansas is among 22 states that don’t lower the flag every time one of the state’s soldiers is killed overseas. The other 28 states have different policies — sometimes lowering all flags, other times lowering flags only at request or in a soldier’s hometown. The Hall Monitor contacted the Governor’s office to see why Kansas decided to keep flags at full staff. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran wrote in an e-mail that Sebelius follows the President’s lead and the U.S. code (Title 4, Chapter 1) related to flag protocol.

“In conferring with our State’s Adjutant General very early during the Governor’s first term, it was determined that the best way to honor the memories of our soldiers is to fly our flags high with pride,” she wrote. “Our Adjutant General advised Governor Sebelius that some may see the lowering of the flag as defeat and that is not a message we would send to our troops fighting for freedom and the strength of our country. When we lower our flags on the morning of Memorial Day each year, and have a special ceremony with our Governor and families of fallen soldiers, that is our time to lower our flags and encourage all Kansans to do the same. (The President orders the US flag to be lowered at this same period.)”

For more on flag etiquette and efforts in Kansas, see Beccy Tanner’s piece in The Eagle.