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‘This is Where I Leave You’ leaves room for improvement »

Gerstner James crop

“This is Where I Leave You” is a very typical “Family Reconnects After a Loss” type of film. These movies usually play out in very predictable fashion – the film opens with a death in the family, the adult children come back to their childhood home and bring their real life problems with them, there’s […]

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Chasing down the elusive ‘I’m against’ voting bloc »


There’s a subtle but starting-to-get identifiable undertone to this year’s elections that we really haven’t seen in decades in Kansas politics this year. It’s creating a new voting bloc, not just Republicans, not just Democrats, not just unaffiliated voters, or even Libertarians who remain split on whether your meat should be inspected. It’s a fast-growing […]

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In case of emergency, grab and go! »

Linda Beech

Imagine this scene: The doorbell rings at 3 a.m. to wake you from a deep sleep. You peek out to see a fireman in full gear standing at your front door. He tells you that your neighbor’s house is on fire and you must leave your home immediately. Would you be prepared for a situation […]

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Brownback caves on wind energy in exchange for Koch money »

email2 - letter

One of the few issues on which Governor Brownback and I have agreed is the importance of wind energy and the Renewable Portfolio Standard for Kansas. Unfortunately, Sam Brownback has caved on this issue. After almost a decade of advocating for wind energy, he now says he is in favor of repealing the RPS. The […]

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News From the Oil Patch »

Oil 001

By JOHN P. TRETBAR Baker Hughes reported 1,931 active drilling rigs across the US, up six. The count in Canada dropped nine rigs to 405. In Kansas there were 25 rigs actively drilling for oil and gas, up two. Independent Oil & Gas reported 123 active rigs across Kansas plus 33 awaiting their next assignment […]

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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Build Your Running Body’ »


“Build Your Running Body,” by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz and Melissa Breyer Whether you’re a miler or an ultramarathoner, if you want a fit, fast and injury-resistant running body, there’s a better way to train than relentlessly pursuing mileage. This easy-to-use workout manual draws on the latest research in running physiology to target all the […]

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INSIGHT KANSAS: Political trifecta draws national attention »


Who woulda thunk it? In deep-red Kansas, we’ve got three red-hot statewide races, featuring three nationally prominent Republicans — Sam Brownback, Pat Roberts and Kris Kobach. This oddity has sent reporters scurrying here from New York, D.C., L.A. and even London. No question, it’s bigger than the world’s largest ball of twine. Overall, the national […]

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Social media no longer just free expression ‘toy box’ »

Gene Policinski is senior vice president of the First Amendment Center

Time to take social media out of the freedom of expression “toy box.” Serious issues and serious work now abound in this relatively young method by which we not only exchange information, but also to rally to causes and hold public officials accountable. Just a few years ago, scarcely a few percent of Americans turned […]

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DAVE SAYS: Using the mortgage to consolidate »

Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave, I’m 38, single and I have three kids. I make $65,000 a year and have $34,000 in debt. I’m about to get remarried, and my new husband will make about $100,000 a year. Should I take the $34,000 and put it on my mortgage to consolidate it? Leslie Dear Leslie, Please don’t consolidate […]

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Now That’s Rural: Paul Shirley »

Ron Wilson crop

By RON WILSON Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development The little boy dribbled the basketball on the gravel driveway and dreamed of playing in the NBA.  He imagined the announcer saying, “Paul Shirley shoots…it’s good!” Many small town Kansas kids have dreams of playing in the NBA, but today we’ll meet a young man […]

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A year of green fields in Kansas »

John Schlageck writes for the Kansas Farm Bureau.

This year, Kansas has green fields, kissed by the sun. There are blue skies with white clouds high above. There are even valleys where rivers run. Heck, there’s even water standing in terrace channels. It’s been at least five years since the pastures have been this green in the eastern half of the state and […]

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State education rankings: Which can you believe? »


Where does Kansas rank when it comes to the quality of schools, teachers, and the education provided? It all depends on who does the survey, what they measure, and how they interpret the results. If you follow US News and World Report, Kansas ranks #47 (fourth from the bottom with Washington DC as a 51st […]

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What is Big Brothers Big Sisters? »

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Most of you have heard about Big Brothers Big Sisters, but may not be too familiar with what they do. It is a program that provides one-on-one mentors for children from dysfunctional backgrounds who need a strong, positive role model. The local program started here in Hays in 2000 as a way to help at […]

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