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