Saturday, December 27, 2008

Whither the weather?

Weather plays an important part in Kansas day to day life. Many of us watch the sky, the Internet, weather networks or the TV news for the latest information on changes in the weather.

State and federal agencies provide a wealth of information on climate and day-to-day weather in the Sunflower State. Here are some resources to keep on hand:

The National Weather Service in Kansas

---Dodge City NWS

---Goodland NWS

---Kansas City NWS

---Topeka NWS

---Wichita NWS

Current Kansas Road Conditions
(or just call 511 on your phone from anywhere in Kansas. From: Kansas Department of Transportation)

Kansas Turnpike Information
(Click on "Weather" at the top of the screen)

NOAA Weather Radio
(A nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. Includes warnings, watches and alert notices)

Kansas Weather Emergencies
(Information from the Kansas Adjutant General's Office)

Kansas Weather Data Library
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Kansas Climate Collection
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Some Weather Images
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Weather Trivia
(Just for fun and a bit of education!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reindeer and a Sleigh on Radar?

T’was the week before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring except for a mouse.
It glided across a pad of bright green
While web pages glowed on a glittering screen
The viewer was tracking a flight of good cheer
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be here....

For your viewing pleasure... the many faces and places that are and have been Santa Claus, brought to you by different government agencies and institutions:

Track Santa's journey around the world
(North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD)

Do a search in google for letters to Santa (include the quotes in your search):
"letters to santa" site:gov

This from the Library of Congress:

and this from NASA:

Santa at the White House

In Search of Santa (Smithsonian Institute)

And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight....

Happy Holidays to all from the State Library of Kansas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Child care helps

The following resources are compiled by the State library to help both parents and childcare providers in finding the assistance they need to provide Kansas kids a safe, happy, and educational environment.

Information for daycares/babysitters and those seeking them:
Kansas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies- this site provides a list of agencies in various parts of Kansas that help parents find child care providers and they assist those providers with continuing education.

Daycare homes and group daycare home regulations

Child care licensing and registration

Materials available for caregivers from KU Early Childhood Resource Center

Financial help for child rearing:
Child care subsidy program from the Kansas Department of SRS

Kansas Head Start Association- supports all 28 Head Start programs in Kansas

Tips for child rearing:
Kansas Parent Information Resource Center has wonderful ideas, tips, and website links to arm parents

Kindergarten in Kansas- guide for Kindergarten readiness

Parenting tools for the internet age
From the Governor’s office:
From the Attorney General’s office:

Kansas Parents as Teachers

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Job Training and Retraining

Statisticians and economic analysts have been top news makers lately pointing at figures indicating that thousands of Americans are losing their jobs at an alarming rate. Years ago Kansas set up various job training and retraining programs which have developed into a network of agencies, services and institutions ready to educate and assist Kansans in reentering the workforce. Listed below are links to some of these resources:

General Information
(Website for posting and finding jobs in the state of Kansas)

Kansas Share Network
(SHARE Network is a unique resource to help customers become self-sufficient)

Some helpful links to determine personal strengths and job areas that show a good future:
(Cowley County Community College)

Kansas Colleges and Training Schools

Kansas Civil Service

Kansas Unemployment Insurance System

Kansas Workforce Development Programs
(Part of the 2009 Kansas Legislator Briefing Book prepared by the Kansas Legislative Research Department. Information on programs developed by government within Kansas)

Links offered by Independence Community College

Some Workforce Development Programs
Offered by Kansas Community Colleges

Barton County Community College
Workforce Training and Community Education

Colby Community College
(Adult and Continuing Education)

Cowley County Community College
(Workforce Development and Business & Industry Training Center)

Hutchinson Community College
(Business & Industry Institute. Includes workforce development)

Johnson County Community College
(Workforce, Community and Economic Development)

Kansas City Kansas Community College
(Workforce Development Department)

Neosho Community College

Allen County Community College
(Placement and Workforce Development)

Some Job Service Agencies in Kansas

Local and Regional Workforce Development Centers
(Kansas Benefits Counselors Network)

Heartland Works
(Northeast Kansas)

Wichita Workforce Center

Workforce One
(Western Kansas)

Workforce Partnership
(Kansas City Metro)

The Flint Hills

The Flint Hills in central Kansas are an amazing sight no matter the time of year. It preserves our ranch heritage and tall grass prairies. Learn more about this valuable Kansas resource at the following links.
Tallgrass Prairie Maps
(Kansas Energy Information Network)

Travel in the Flint Hills

Flint Hills as featured in National Geographic:

Flint Hills as a geologic region

Flint Hills National Scenic Byway: and

Symphony in the Flint Hills

Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge

Kaw Mission State Historic Site

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Monday, December 8, 2008

National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF)

Recently Kansas Media announced that the U.S. Homeland Security Department was recommending Kansas as a location for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility.

"The National Bio and Agro-defense Facility -- or NBAF -- is a $451 million national defense laboratory being proposed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Homeland Security proposed the lab because there is a gap in the nation’s strategy against bioterrorism -- namely in the nation’s ability to stave off and quash agricultural disease. Scientists at the facility will research biological threats and develop vaccines and other countermeasures to prevent and combat these diseases. NBAF will be America’s first line of defense in the war against animal and agricultural disease." (from KSU FAQ below)

Below are some links to information on who, what, where, why and how in regards to the NBAF:

Frequently Asked Questions
(Kansas State University Media Relations)
(Other K-State Media articles:

National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
(U.S. Department of Homeland Security website)

National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility for Kansas Heartland BioAgro Consortium
(Task Force created by Governor's Executive Order to promote the Facility's location in Kansas and to inform the public of its benefits)
---Information about the Coalition
---"The NBAF Belongs in Kansas"
---Public Education Pamphlets
---Frequently Asked Questions

Creation of Kansas National Bio and Agrodefense Facility Task Force
(i.e. the above Consortium)
(Kansas Governor's Executive Order no. 07-01)

Proposed location of NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas
(U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Statements of Support regarding Kansas' Selection as Location
Senator Sam Brownback
Rep. Jerry Moran
Senator Pat Roberts

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Wistfulness

Do the holidays make you think of family long past or days gone by? Are you interested to see when your great grandmother got married or you think your grandfather was born in White City, or was it White Cloud, Kansas? Have you misplaced your son’s birth certificate? Kansas has resources to help you in your search through your family tree.

To obtain birth, marriage, divorce or death records, contact the Office of Vital Statistics (a division of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment).You can order records online at . Or you can contact them by phone or email at 785-296-1400 or .

Did you hear that great-uncle Larry was once a Kansas representative? Then try looking through Kansas Legislators Past and Present at .

Heritage Quest available from the State Library of Kansas is a great resource. Heritage Quest is a database that searches US federal censuses 1970-1930, family & local histories, tax lists, city directories, probate records. You can find it among the other statewide databases at (click on “explore our resources”).

The Kansas State Historical Society has a wealth of great family information at

Was a relative in the military? You can search military records at

You may want to utilize a Family History Center, available from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (well known for their extensive family histories). Find the one closest to you at

You could try searching biographical sketches, obituaries, and other short biographies about Kansas people in various publications owned by the Kansas State Historical Society through their Kansas Biographical Name Index at .

Did you see a picture of your relative someplace, somewhere? Then try searching through Kansas Memory at

Saturday, November 29, 2008

December Days

December signals the beginning of many different celebrations, holidays and observances in the United States and around the world. Starting with World AIDS Day on December 1st and culminating with New Years Eve the month offers a diverse journey through awareness, cultures, belief systems, history and many opportunities to give of oneself to others.

Below are some links to resources and information on some December events with an emphasis on Kansas:

The Winter Holidays
(Information on December holidays and events provided by the State Library of Kansas)

Diversity Calendar
(The University of Kansas Medical Center offers up a calendar with information on special days around the world)

"World AIDS Day is December 1st"
The Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment urges people at risk to be tested

Kansas Travel & Tourism
(For Kansas events around the state click on EVENTS and put in a search term: winter, christmas, snow, etc. Site is part of the Kansas Department of Commerce. They also provide a short list of Featured Events.)

Candlelight Tour at Fort Scott, Kansas (December 5th and 6th)
(U.S. National Park Service)

December books for children provided by the Kansas City Kansas Public Library
---Celebrate With Reading: December Books
---The World of Holiday Books
---December Holiday Fiction
---December Holiday Picture Books
---New Winter Holiday Books
---Hanukkah Booklist
---Old Fashioned Christmas Picture Books
---Kwanzaa Favorites: Picture Books
---Reading About Kwanzaa
---Christmas Books From Europe

and also from KCKPL, how to say Merry Christmas in different languages:

Christmas Cookie Recipes
(Brought to you by the Girard Public Schools)

Decorate with care!
(Advice on the use of candles, lights, trees, food, decorations from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Inspect Christmas Trees Often
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

'Tis the shopping season

Beginning this weekend the shopping season will be in full swing. While some may already be well on their way with this task there is no question that many will be hitting stores, both online and in-person in the coming weeks. This post will provide you with information on selecting the right age appropriate gift for those youngsters on your list, store shopping safety tips, charitable giving information, online purchasing information, and also reminders on how to correctly ship packages.
Consumer Reports has a very timely article about after Thanksgiving shopping and provides a shopping guide for all those individuals who will get an early start Friday morning.
The Kansas Attorney General Office provides many consumer brochures with topics ranging from mail order shopping, charitable giving, and checking account fraud.

Store shopping
Provided by the Federal Trade Commission this list provides holiday shopping tips to help you navigate sales, and special store policies.
Brochure offered by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation providing information for women but still applicable to all, while shopping, traveling or at home.

Online buying
This informational site, created by the American Bar Association, will help you order safely when shopping online.
Provided by the Federal Trade Commission this site offers information to help you shop safely and wisely online. You can learn, for example, how to use online payment services, participate in an Internet auction or resolve a complaint with an online dealer.

Selecting the right gift
Toys"R"Us, Inc., in collaboration with Safe Kids Worldwide, has developed a list of Safe Holiday Toy Shopping and Play Tips.
Toy safety shopping tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Kansas Charity Check serves as a great resource for those wanting to make an informed decision when giving.
The Better Business Bureau website has what you need to check the standing of a business or charity. You can also receive advice on giving, and receiving, pre-paid bank card. Be sure to check out their News Center which has recent posts dealing with shopping safely online and avoiding dangerous or toxic toys.

Mailing packages

Information for many of the major package carriers are provided below. Each provider lists a holiday shipping schedule and tips on how to best package your gift.
USPS- United States Postal Service
UPS- United Parcel Service
FEDEX- Federal Express

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kansas 100 Years Ago

Tabor College is celebrating its centennial this year. One hundred years ago a group of people with a shared faith and vision came together and opened an educational institution they hoped would shed light into a future they knew nothing about giving young adults the opportunity to prepare for that future.

It’s important to look back and recognize the lives that built up the world around us. We can learn from their mistakes, benefit from their successes, celebrate their accomplishments and reflect on their losses.

So what was Kansas like 100 years ago? Computer technology as we know it today was an unknown. The automobile was relatively new. Like 2008 it was a presidential election year. The wild days of cattle drives and bushwhackers were past. Kansas agricultural and small town society was at its zenith with many counties peaking in population in the 1910 census.

The Internet offers us a wonderful opportunity to look back at the past. Below are links to a mix of online books, gleanings, graphics and a even a bit of poetry…. glimpses of Kansas in 1908 as we leave 2008. The resources below come from government, educational and private sites.


Tabor College Centennial Celebration

History of Wyandotte County Schools
(Includes maps of school locations in 1908. Wonderful graphics of old school buildings. From a site created by the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools.)

Haskell Indian Institute Panorama
(American Memory website, Library of Congress)

Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kansas, Regimental Parade
(American Memory website, Library of Congress)

Kansas State University [i.e., University of Kansas, Lawrence]
(American Memory website, Library of Congress)

Information on Graduates, KANSAS STATE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE (Kansas State University) 1867, 1871-1913 (from a book published in in 1914)
1908-1910 GRADUATES
(What were the 1908 K-State grads up to four years after leaving school? From the KSGenWeb Project)


The Mound-Building Prairie Ant
(Some cool graphics and information of this insect from a publication issued by the Agricultural College. Part of a large archive of online publications held by K-State Research and Extension)

The Pocket Gopher
(The drawings of the pocket gopher make it look like a creature suitable for a 21st century science fiction film. Great artistry and information on an animal that still irritates plant growers)

Winfield Raspberry
(Received in June 1908 as Providence seedling from Winfield Nursery Co., Cowley Co., Kansas. Appeared as plate V in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Yearbook, 1909.)
watercolors in the USDA collection at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland.


The Great Dream
(A photo of a 1908 attempt at flight in Girard, Kansas. Part of the Henry Laurens Call Collection at Pittsburg State University)

(Glimpses at life at the turn of the last century)

Riley County Ramblings – 100 Years Ago
(Gleanings from Manhattan newspapers provided by the county government of Riley County.)

Tihen Notes From the 1908 Wichita Eagle
(Research notes kept by Dr Edward N. Tihen, gleaned from Wichita newspapers he perused. They read like a diary of daily events that caught the eye of this reseracher)

McAdam's Rambler automobile, Dorrance, Russell County, Kansas, 1908 (A photo from the L.W. Halbe Collection supplied by the Kansas State Historical Society)

Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Team, 1907/1908
(part of a short history of basketball page)

Ninth Street, Coffeyville, Kansas 1908 (postcard)

Belleville Kansas, 1908 (postcard)

Decoration Day, 1908 (poem)
(Now known as Memorial Day Decoration Day began soon after the Civil War as a way of honoring those who have died in War. From the Poetry of Kansas website, part of Blue Skyways)

Little Sweden (Prelude to the Future: Multiple Faces of the Lindsborg Legacy)
("Local Legacies" from the Library of Congress. Includes a 1908 photo of Lindsborg residents in folk dress)

E. L. Feagan's Drug Store, Norwich, Kansas, 1908
(From Kansas State Historical Society Kansas Memory site)

Independence Day Parade, Fowler, Kansas, 1908
(From Kansas State Historical Society Kansas Memory site)


Kansas Governor Edward Wallis Hoch’s 1908 Message to the Legislature
(Transcribed by State Library of Kansas staff. Banking, transportation, taxes and crime… things haven’t changed much in 100 years)

1908 Presidential General Election Results - Kansas
(So how did the Sunflower State vote in the 1908 election?)

Kansas Delegation to the 1908 Republican National Convention
(Information on some of the movers and shakers in Kansas politics 100 years ago)

Breweries versus C.W. Trickett
(An account of how the brewers and saloon keepers caused the arrest of Assistant Attorney General C.W. Trickett, charging him with having "received a fee before it was due," and the subsequent clearing of these charges after an investigation was conducted by the Attorney General of Kansas. From Kansas State Historical Society Kansas Memory site)


1908 Deaths - Brown County, Kansas
(Genealogical information from KSGenWeb, part of the State Library’s Blue Skyways website)

Souvenir History of Lincoln County, Kansas / by Elizabeth N. Barr
(Transcribed from the 1908 edition, Farmer Job Office publisher, Topeka, KS, by Joan Stevenson. From the KSGenWeb Project)


ATLAS books about Kansas published in 1908

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kansas Helps Grandparents caring for their grandkids

Caring for your child's children can bring joys and burdens both emotional... and financial. The Grandparents as Caregivers Assistance program can provide adults who are providing in-house care of their grandchildren financial assistance from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. It provides cash benefits to grandparents or other relatives raising children. See below for more information on this valuable program as well as other available assistance from the state of Kansas and the Federal Government.

Find out more about this program at:

Brochure to hand out about the program

Online application form

Relatives as Parents Program from the Kansas Department of Aging

Health Assistance

Guide to Food Assistance resources

Info on Kansas Vision Cards (used to be called food stamps)

Child care subsidy information from the state of Kansas

Childcare referral help from Kansas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies

Factsheet on Grandparents caring for grandchildren in Kansas

The Grandparents as Caregivers program is made possible by the Kansas Grandparents as Caregivers Act under Kansas Statute 38-142 through 38-148. These statutes can be found at

Funding from the U.S. Office of Family Assistance and financing through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families can be found at

Monday, November 10, 2008

U.S. Presidential Transition Resources

The workings of government are tested most when one administration hands over power to the next. The peaceful process currently underway in the U.S. is a wonder of sorts being watched by many around the world. Below are links to information from various government sources as well as a few non-government websites on the current presidential transition as well as a few glances back at past transitions.

Presidential Transition Act of 1963
("An Act to promote the orderly transfer of the executive power in connection with the expiration of the term of office of a President and the Inauguration of a new President.")

Office of the President-Elect
(Information from President-Elect Barack Obama's pending administration team)

Information from President George W. Bush administration on transition

Executive Order: Facilitation of a Presidential Transition
(Issued October 9, 2008)

Fact Sheet: Ensuring a Smooth and Effective Presidential Transition
(Issued by the President Bush Administration)

Report of the Administration Transition Task Force
(Homeland Security Advisory Council)

The Plum Book
(Just what is this book that the news media has been talking about?)

Presidential Transition Guide to Federal Human Resources Management
(A guide to Federal jobs, appointed and civil service)

2008-2009 Presidential Transition Resources
(Information supplied by the U.S. General Services Administration)

"Presidential Transitions"
by Stephanie Smith (Congressional Research Service, February 2008)
(Information on some past transitions and recommendations on what will be needed for a smooth transition in 2009)

2008-2009 Presidential Transition Resources
(Information supplied by the U.S. General Services Administration)

Presidential Transition of Barack Obama
(Wikipedia article)

United States: Presidential Transition and Implications for National Security in 2008-2009
by Raphaƫl RAMOS
(September 2008 : European Strategic Intelligence Security Center. Europeans observe the transition in the U.S.)


U.S. Constitution Annotated, 20th Amendment
(Commencement of the terms of the president, vice president and members of Congress, etc. From Cornell Law School)

2001 Presidential Transition Documents Online
(The American Pesidency Project)

"Abrupt Transition"
by C.L. Arbelbide (Prologue Magazine, vol. 32, no. 4, winter 2000)
(Read how administrations have dealt with sudden, unexpected presidential transitions in the past)

Presidential Libraries
(Storehouses across the country with information on U.S. presidents and their administrations)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Veterans Day

November 11 is Veterans Day. Emporia, Kansas has the distinction of being the founding city for Veterans Day and has many murals downtown to honor all veterans both domestic and foreign. Listed below are resources to help citizens honor those who have fought for our country. Also listed are resources to help current Veterans receive health and other services for their service to our country.

Veteran’s day events across Kansas

Kansas Commission on Veteran’s Affairs

Quilts of Valor- providing quilts for war wounded for generations

U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs

University of Kansas Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) is an educational and skills program designed specifically to serve the needs of today's veterans

Kansas Military Distinctive License plates

Online news source for Veterans

Kansas Veterans of Foreign Wars

All Veterans Memorial at the Great Overland Station

Resources and Phone numbers for local VA offices

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Resources

Happy Thanksgiving! It's a bit early but we thought we'd share some information on this day and the celebration of food, football, friends and family.

Thanksgiving Resources from USA.GOV
(Air travel status, food, How to send presents to military personnel overseas, etc.)

Thanksgiving Facts from the U.S. Census Bureau
(Which U.S. state is full of the most turkeys?)

Thanksgiving History
(From the Smithsonian)

Thanksgiving Memories
(From the Library of Congress' Memory Project)

Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1861, by Kansas Governor Charles Robinson
(From the Library of Congress American Memory site)


Native American Heritage Month
(Library of Congress)

American Indian Heritage Month
(U.S. Department of Defense)

National American Indian Heritage Month
(University of Kansas Medical Center)


Classic American Recipes

Poultry Preparation
(U.S. Dept of Agriculture)

Thanksgiving dinner safety


Involving children in Thanksgiving meal preparation

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Thawing a Turkey

Holiday Cooking Recommendations

Suggested Thanksgiving Recipes for Vegetarians
(Organic Consumers Association)


Public Service and Volunteerism

From:, a commercial site)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How to find out more information on judges in your area

Kansas government has given you a new tool to help you become an informed voter. There is a new website from the Kansas Judicial Branch that offers you the voter a way to learn more about the judges who may be on your ballot for retention in your district.

Go to and input your county to find out the names of judges in your area and to obtain their "report card." The report cards were developed by the Kansas Commission on Judicial Performance.

To find out more about district courts in Kansas and how judges are selected go to and click on "You and the Courts of Kansas." You can find a map of the court districts here.

Click here to read the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Click here to find out which judges may up for retention in your district. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the list.

To learn more about the Kansas Supreme Court Justices, click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Making the Grade

Did you know that the Kansas State Department of Education provides an annual report card on the state of education? Statistics are available on schools statewide, by district and even down to individual schools (i.e. "building").

You can check on school/district population, racial and ethnic breakdown, student economic status, percentage of students with disabilities, gender and English language learners.
Information is available on performance of various groups' testing results in science, history/geography, writing, math and reading abilities. Information is also provided on many of the private schools in Kansas as well.

Attendance, graduation and dropout rates are on the site as well as information on school performance within the federal government "No Child Left Behind" program.
Check out the 2007-2008 Kansas Report Card at:

District and school breakdowns can be found by clicking on the "School/District" link at the middle top of the main page under the logo title.

Links to previous years' reports are found in the left column menu bar as are demographics and definitions. The online service also allows users the opportunity to work the stats for custom reports:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voting in Kansas

A high voter turnout is expected on November 4th as Kansas citizens' button pressing fingers are itching. This has many Kansans asking, where do I vote and who’s on my ballot? Follow these steps to find out who you will see on your November ballot:

Step 1. To find your district for Congressional leaders, State Board of Education, and state officials go to . Type in your address and your current elected officials will pop up as well as your districts.

Step 2. Once you know your districts you can find out who is running for your districts at the Secretary of State’s candidate list available here:

You may also be interested in the presidential and vice-presidential write-in candidate list available:

Step 3. To find out where you need to go to vote, contact your county election office. A list of offices and their phone numbers is available from the Secretary of State’s website at:

Another way is to access your personal voter registration information. This will name your polling site. You can find that at

Step 4. Be sure to mark November 4th on your calendar! If you would like to vote in advance, follow the steps provided at

*For more information on registering to vote and advanced voting go to

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The end of October traditionally signals harvest festivals and Halloween. As you join in the festivities and accompany or greet young trick-or-treaters here are some helpful links on safety, events, crafts and history.


Safe Kids Kansas Provides Halloween Safety Tips
(Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Halloween Safety
(Office of the Governor)

Enjoy Halloween Candy, But Skip Tummy Aches
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Safety Tips for Halloween
(U.S. Food and Drug Administration)


Neewolah Festival
(The Neewollah Festival (Halloween spelled backwards) began in 1919 as an effort to provide positive activities for kids of all ages in place of the typical Halloween pranks that occurred in the community of Independence, Kansas, and has grown into the largest annual festival in the Kansas.)

Trick or Treat at the "Booseum"
(Events at the Kansas State Historical Society Museum of History on October 31st)

Search for Kansas Events
(Kansas Travel and Tourism)


"Happy Halloween Fact"
(Check out the Kansas Fact of the Month at the Kansas State Data Center)

Haunted Kansas
(Homes and haunts of the otherworldly in the Sunflower State)

Happy Halloween from the Library of Congress!

The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows
(The American Folklife Center)

Halloween Information
(Provided by

"Happy Halloween Fact"
(Check out the Kansas Fact of the Month at the Kansas State Data Center)

Spooky Astronomy
Spooky Space Sounds
(U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA)

The Kansas Halloween Flood of 1998

The Halloween Flood of 1998
(KSN network)


Wax Halloween Pumpkins to Make Them Last
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Halloweeen Fare that won't Scare Your Arteries
(Recipes from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)

Pumpkin Recipes
(U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kansas Economics

Kansans are feeling the pinch due to recent events in the nation’s economy. Below are some of the tools that our lawmakers use to predict events and write laws pertaining to Kansas’ labor market and economy:

Kansas, Inc.: Kansas, Inc. provides a respected forum for business and industry, local leaders, and state executive and legislative officials to debate issues directly with one another

KTEC: The Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) is a private/public partnership established by the state of Kansas to promote technology based economic development.

Kansas Economy at a Glance- developed by the U.S. Department of Labor

2008 Kansas Economic Report- developed by the Kansas Department of Labor

Economic Development Report- developed by the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit

Kansas Labor Market Information- developed by the Kansas Department of Labor

2008 Kansas Wage Survey- developed by the Kansas Department of Labor

Kansas Economic Incentives from the Kansas Department of Commerce

Employment and Economy Statistics from the Kansas Department of Commerce, Business Development

2007-2008 Data Book from the Kansas Department of Commerce

The Governor's Economic and Demographic Report

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

T-LINK: Getting us from here to there

Government is at its best when it is a participatory process. Often opportunites arise for participating in this process and we let them slip by only to complain later about decisions and plans that we might have influenced by stepping foward and sharing our thoughts.

T-LINK is an effort by the state of Kansas to plan its transportation future. At a time when public and private funds are in a flux it's vital to set out what's important in providing services that help us all get from "here to there" safely. It is also essential that we keep the flow of business, agriculture and industry moving smoothly and provide affordable transit for those who might otherwise not be able to get about on their own.

Listed below are links to information on our state's efforts in developing a viable path toward a future that will guarantee the movement of goods and people across Kansas. Public meetings were held across the state in September but there is still time to share your thoughts. Read through the information provided and make your voice heard.


T-LINK Website

Governor Sebelius Creates the Task Force

Governor Sebelius' Charge to T-LINK Task Force

Public Meetings Held Around the State in September
(These links include meeting materials, summaries, public reactions, and options to leave feedback)
Ulysses, September 11
Hays, September 12
Abilene, September 18
Topeka, September 19
Olathe, September 22
Hutchinson, September 23
Pittsburg, September 26
Wichita, September 30

The Kansas T-LINK Calculator
Try out the Kansas T-LINK Calculartor, an interactive tool that allows you to create your own theoretical Kansas transportation program. You can develop your budget by making assumptions about current funding sources and choosing from a variety of potential new funding options by making changes to the "Revenues" tab. Then you can allocate funding on a variety of transportation modes on the "Local Roads", "Modes", and "State Highways" tabs.

Contact the T-LINK Task Force!
(Share your thoughts and concerns)


Kansas Department of Transportation
---Rail and Freight
---Public Transportation
---Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation

Kansas Turnpike Authority

U.S. Department of Transportation

Transportation Equity Act (2005)

Aviation Links Provided by the City of Wichita

Kansas Transit Links
(Provided by the American Public Transportation Association)

Railroad Service in Kansas
(Association of American Railroads)

(The official website of the trucking industry in Kansas)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Emancipation in Kansas

(This blog article was updated March 1, 2012)

is the process by which a minor can petition the district court of the county in which they live for emancipation. A person must be at least 16 years old to petition and be a resident of his or her county for one year. The minor petitioning must be able to give the reason that they are seeking emancipation. In open court the minor seeking emancipation must be able to prove sound mind and an ability to conduct their own affairs.

Should these requirements be met the court may decree that the petitioner be empowered to exercise the rights of majority that are covered by statute (38-108). These include the rights to contracts, real and personal property, to purchase, and control in their own person any goods that they have lawfully acquired or inherited, as well as to right to sue and be sued.

On Your Own
Useful pamphlet for things to think about before starting the emancipation procedure
(Kansas Bar Association)

For the Record: A guide to your rights and responsibilities as a young adult
(Kansas Bar Association)

Laws applicable to minors

Johnson County information on emancipation
(From frequently asked questions page at JoCoGov)

Emancipation of Minors
(Pamphlet from Kansas Legal Services)

Statutes that address emancipation:
K.S.A 38-101, 38-108, 38-109, 60-1610
You can find the full text of these statutes at

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recycling Resources

Recycling is a positive way to impact your community and the world. Recycling and purchasing recycled material benefits the environment and recycling also creates jobs. Check out the links below, provided by federal, state, local and private sources for more information:

Recycling (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
---Recycling old computers
---Create your own compost pile
---Consumer tips
---Consejos para Consumidores
---Municipal Solid Waste in the United States
---Recycling Publications
---Buy Recycled
---Common Wastes and Materials
---Recycling Market Development

Get Caught Recycling!
(The Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Kansas Green Teams
(The Green Team program was created as a way for you to make a difference by incorporating environmentally responsible practices into your daily routine at work and at school.)

Kansas Don't Spoil it!
(Sponsored by the Kansas Bureau of Waste Management. Kansas is a clean state, and we want to keep it that way. We began the KDSI campaign, an awareness and education program, to encourage Kansans to reduce, reuse and recycle waste and keep their state in a beautiful condition. We aim to keep the Kansas environment top-of-mind so that every Kansan will do what's needed to "keep it clean" to minimize the amount of waste entering the environment.)

Kansas Recycles

Why recycle?
(Shawnee County Recycling, Kansas)

Find a Kansas Recycling Program
(Provided by the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment)

Kansas Organization of Recyclers
(The Kansas Organization of Recyclers is a non-profit, membership based network of representatives from government, industry, non-profit and public entities and individuals that support environmental stewardship through waste reduction, composting, reuse, recycling, and
sustainable efforts in Kansas.)

Find a recycling center near you
(Type in your zip code and see what's nearby you)


Glass Recycling: Just How Clear Is It? (1995)
Green Confusion (1995)
Leaf Recycling (1995)
Recycling Grass Clippings (2001)
Resources for Recycling (1991)
Tips for Home and Yard (1998)
Using Wood Chips for Mulch (2006)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to Find Your Congressperson

Are you a concerned Kansan wanting to get involved in congressional events, but are afraid to speak out because you are unsure of who you can talk to?

Well, worry no more!

These links take you to sites sponsored by your Kansas government that will help you get in contact with Kansas' two senators and four representatives in Washington, D.C.

Congressional District Profiles from Kansas Legislative Research

Kansas Congressional Districts by County from Kansas Legislative Research

Kansas Congressional Districts by City from Kansas Legislative Research

Find your legislators by address or by map from KU Institute of Policy & Social Research

Kansas State and Federal Officers contact list from the Kansas Secretary of State

The Kansas Legislative Hotline can give you congressional contacts over the phone:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Home Heating and Energy Conservation

With October come the winds of change in Kansas. The days are shorter and the temperature begins to drop. At a time when energy costs continue to skyrocket it's important to find ways to conserve the use of energy at home and work. It is also a good thing to be aware of services to those who cannot keep up with high energy bills.

Below are links to information to help you cut back on home energy use and connections to agencies and groups that can assist those in need:


Kansas State University Extension
(You can find answers to frequently asked questions, publications, and an extensive list of other Web resources in their link library to help answer your home energy questions.)

Winter Storm Preparation Tips
(Provided by NOAA National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, Wichita, Kansas)

10 Ways to Increase Home Energy Efficiency
(Provided by Kansas Lieutenant Governor, Mark Parkinson)

Conserving Energy
(Information from Governor Kathleen Sebelius)
(Includes a list of Kansas energy providers, Conservation Tips, Ways to Help and a Media Center)

Home Energy Checklist for Action
(Provided by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)


Cold Weather Rule
(The Kansas Corporation Commission established the Cold Weather Rule in 1983 to protect human health and safety and to insure that Kansans have residential electric and gas services they need during the winter. The Cold Weather Rule is effective from November 1 through March 31.)

Kansas Low Income Energy Assistance Program
(The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a federally funded program. It helps eligible households pay a portion of their home energy costs by providing a one-time per year benefit.)

Weatherization Assistance Program
(The Weatherization Assistance Program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, provides housing improvements that increase energy efficiency in income-eligible, single- or multi-family dwellings, including manufactured homes. Found on the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation website)

Energy Assistance Agencies
(A list of agencies around the state that may be able to help. Due to limited funds some may not be able to be of assistance. Provided by the Kansas Gas Service corporation)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

State and Personal Finances

At a time of financial uncertainty it a good idea to be aware of how government can assist you. Below is a list of Kansas state agencies and how they oversee and regulate firms, activities and individuals while educating and assisting Kansas citizens. We've also included some other online resources that might be of help to you in understanding economic issues in our state.

More questions? Contact us!


Kansas Department of Credit Unions
(The mission of the Kansas Department of Credit Unions is to protect Kansas citizens and credit union members from undue risk through the examination and supervision of Kansas chartered credit unions to ensure safe and sound operation and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.)

Kansas Division of Consumer Protection, Attorney General's Office
(This Division investigates scams, mediates and prosecutes violations of the Consumer Protection Act, Kansas Charitable Organization and Solicitations Act, the Funeral and Cemetery Merchandise Agreements Act and the Kansas Cemetery Corporation Act.)

Kansas Housing Resources Corporation
(The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation mission is to enhance Kansas communities with housing opportunities. This goal is achieved through using a variety of strategies and approaches, including increasing homeownership opportunities, leveraging the construction of more affordable rental housing, preserving existing housing through rehabilitation, promoting energy efficiency improvements for owner-occupied and rental housing, providing affordable housing through rent assistance to low-income families and senior citizens, and creating housing opportunities for previously underserved persons and communities.)

Kansas Insurance Department
(The Kansas Insurance Department regulates and reviews companies, educates consumers, assists consumers, and licenses agents selling insurance products in the state.)

Kansas Office of the Securities Commissioner
(The mission of the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner is to protect and inform Kansas investors, to promote integrity and full disclosure in financial services, and to foster capital formation.)

Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner
(The mission of the Office of the State Bank Commissioner is to ensure the integrity of regulated providers of financial services through responsible and proactive oversight, while protecting and educating consumers.)

Kansas State Treasurer
(The mission of the State Treasurer's Office is to participate in the management of public funds to ensure safe and sound financial practices that benefit the people of Kansas. Through efficient and effective use of public and private resources, we will partner with Kansas citizens in the pursuit of their financial security.)


Publications on the status of Kansas' economy

Kansas Economic Opportunity Initiatives Fund- disaster assistance funding available to businesses

Kansas Economic Development Alliance

Kansas economic data summary: