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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? »

email2 - letter

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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Hineman: Consolidation by starvation »

Hineman crop

I am sitting at my home office in my nine-county legislative district and pondering the recent controversy about forced school consolidation and who might or might not be in favor of such a policy.  That is an issue of utmost concern to me and my constituents. My legislative district contains all of eleven school districts […]

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HAWVER: School consolidation more complicated than it appears »


This school district consolidation issue is one of those hot button topics that on its face seems simple, if you don’t look at it very long or critically. It’s one that you can toss around a gubernatorial campaign pretty easily, again, if you don’t look at it very long or critically. Start with the most […]

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‘No Good Deed?’ More like, ‘No good, dude’ »

Gerstner James crop

“No Good Deed” is a home invasion “thriller” (those are exaggerated quotations, which are difficult to express in print) that does, in a very mediocre way, what nearly every home invasion thriller does, to poor effect. Idris Elba, of “Pacific Rim” and “Thor” fame, leads an uninspired cast with a very uninspiring performance himself. Elba […]

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GOP has little to smile about »

Haxton crop

It’s tough being a Republican candidate in Kansas these days. There once was a time, if you entertained thoughts of going to Washington, D.C., or spending a couple months out of the year in Topeka, the hardest thing you had to do was make sure your name appeared on the ballot with a big, bold […]

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INSIGHT KANSAS: The Zero Option »

Rackaway, Chap crop2

Frustration with political candidates is nothing new. For decades political science’s truism about Congress held: people hated the institution but loved their Congressman. Things are different in 2014. In June, a Rasmussen poll reported only 25% of respondents indicated they believed their member of Congress deserved re-election, the lowest rate in years. Every now and […]

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Make and take a pizza for family meal together »

Linda Beech

Sitting together at the family dinner table may seem hard to manage with the busy lives people lead these days. However, a family meal helps cultivate an environment where parents can have a conversation with their children. And that family interaction is an important factor to protect children from the dangers of smoking, drinking and […]

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Why branding ISIS matters »


“ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State — or whatever you want to call it.” That’s how one NPR reporter referred to the new face of terror this week as the United States prepares for another long, hard struggle against a brutal enemy of humanity. What’s in name? After all, evil by any other name remains evil. When […]

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DAVE SAYS: Avoid interest on loan? »

Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave, In an attempt to improve my bad credit I recently bought a new car, which I financed at 17.9 percent for 72 months. If I make the minimum payment of $468 a month, I’ll end up paying about $13,000 in interest alone. Is there a formula I can use to avoid paying all […]

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A closer look at the ‘College Experience’ »


Across the United States, public universities are focusing on providing resident students with the “college experience.” With the movement to present lectures online as a strictly audio-visual experience, there is a natural feeling that something is missing from the post-high school experience. This has led administrators to contrive to restore the social interactions that occur […]

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