Injury-accident reported on K-7

An injury-accident was reported Thursday evening on northbound K-7 near Elizabeth Avenue, a little south of State Avenue. (KC Scout photo)

An injury-accident was reported about 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, on northbound K-7 near Elizabeth Avenue a little south of State Avenue, in Wyandotte County.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper’s report, a Nissan Versa that was northbound on K-7 made an illegal U-turn, and was struck by a Ford Taurus. Then the Taurus struck a Freightliner semi truck.

The driver of the Taurus, a 41-year-old Basehor, Kansas, man, had a possible injury and was taken to the hospital, the trooper’s report stated.

A 10-year-old Basehor, Kansas, girl who was a passenger in the Taurus had a possible injury and was taken to a hospital, according to the trooper’s report.

The driver of the Nissan Versa, a 23-year-old woman from Corinth, Texas, had no apparent injury, the trooper’s report stated.

The driver of the Freightliner semi, a 70-year-old man from Graceville, Florida, was not injured, the report stated.

Winter weather advisory issued for 6 p.m. today through 3 p.m. Saturday

Wyandotte County is under a winter weather advisory for Friday evening and Saturday. About 2 to 3 inches of snow are possible with this storm. (National Weather Service graphic)
Wyandotte County could receive 2 to 3 inches of snow in a winter storm from Friday evening to Saturday. (National Weather Service graphic)
The low will drop to 8 degrees on Saturday night into Sunday morning. (National Weather Service graphic)

A winter weather advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for 6 p.m. today through 3 p.m. Saturday in Wyandotte County.

A mix of rain, rain mixed with snow, and snow is expected with this storm, the weather service said.

A storm system is expected to come from the southern Rockies and track across the region later today through Saturday, according to the weather service.

Expect widespread snow across the region, the weather service said. Along the Interstate 70 corridor including the KC metro area, 2 to 4 inches are in forecast for Friday and Saturday.

Residents should plan on slippery road conditions, and patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility, according to the weather service. Snow on the roads, and rain that refreezes as temperatures drop tonight, will make for very slick road conditions, the weather service said. Motorists are asked to use caution.

Dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills expected behind this system Saturday night into Sunday with lows in the single digits and wind chills in the single digits below zero, according to the weather service.

Light snow accumulations will again be possible on Tuesday, the weather service said.

Today, there is a 90 percent chance of rain and snow before 1 p.m., then rain, the weather service said. Areas of fog are possible before 11 a.m. The high will be near 36 with an east southeast wind of 10 to 14 mph, gusting as high as 18 mph. Little or no snow accumulation is expected during the day.

Tonight, there is a 100 percent chance of rain before 8 p.m., then rain and snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain, between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., then snow after 10 p.m., according to the weather service. Patchy blowing snow is possible after midnight. The low will be around 18. It will be blustery, with a north wind of 11 to 16 mph increasing to 17 to 22 mph after midnight, and gusting as high as 34 mph. Little or no ice accumulation is expected. There could be new snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Saturday, there is a 20 percent chance of snow before noon, with patchy blowing snow possible before noon, the weather service said. Cloudy skies will change to mostly sunny, with a high near 19. The wind chill will be between zero and 5. It will be blustery, with a north northwest wind of 13 to 22 mph, gusting as high as 34 mph.

Saturday night, it will be mostly clear, with a low of 8, according to the weather service. The wind chill will be between zero and 5. A north northwest wind of 6 to 11 mph will become light and variable after midnight.

Sunday, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 30, the weather service said. A light and variable wind will become south 5 to 7 mph in the morning.

Sunday night, it will be partly cloudy with a low of 22, according to the weather service.

On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, it will be mostly sunny, with a high near 44, the weather service said.

Monday night, it will be mostly cloudy with a low of 32, according to the weather service.

Tuesday, there is a 30 percent chance of rain and snow before noon, then a chance of snow, the weather service said. The high will be near 37.

Tuesday night, it will be mostly cloudy with a low of 16, according to the weather service.

Wednesday, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 28, the weather service said.

Wednesday night, it will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 19, according to the weather service.

Thursday, it will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 33, the weather service said.

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Kelly budget spends on Kansas schools and child welfare, Republicans worry about cost

by Stephen Koranda, Kansas News Service

In her first budget as governor, Democrat Laura Kelly aims to inject cash into what she calls critical state services.

The proposal unveiled Thursday also would start to wean the state off money diverted for years from highway construction and upkeep.

But the bill met a predictably harsh reception from some Republicans. They argued the spending plan would lead to budget deficits.

To invest in services, while preserving a savings account, the budget would stretch out payments intended to fill a deficit in the state pension plan. It also continues transfers from the highway fund, although it would take less money from roads than in recent years.

That would let Kansas plow money into schools, child welfare and an expanded Medicaid program that would offer health coverage to an added 150,000 or so Kansans.

Kelly’s budget also shoots to end a years-long school funding lawsuit. It would add $92 million a year more for schools to comply with a court decision from last year.

The budget follows a theme Kelly has repeated, that she inherited problems from her Republican predecessors and that she can’t restore state services in a single year.

“It’s going to take time for Kansas to heal from the damage inflicted over the last eight years,” Kelly said in a statement, “so we don’t have a moment to lose.”

Kelly’s budget director, Larry Campbell, told lawmakers in a budget briefing that the spending plan invests in services while allowing Kansas to weather economic uncertainty that, he said, could include a possible recession in the coming months or years.

“We need a cushion, and we need tools back in the toolbox to address the unforeseen economic challenges coming,” Campbell said.

At the end of fiscal year 2020, Kelly’s budget would leave Kansas with a $686 million reserve. That’s 9 percent of state spending and a decrease from the $761 million the state had banked at the end of fiscal year 2018.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said lawmakers don’t want to extend the payoff schedule in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS. Without the restructured pension payments, he said, the numbers in the budget don’t work.

“This whole budget is built on a house of cards,” Denning said after the meeting.

Kelly’s also pushing to expand the health care program Medicaid. She’s budgeted $14 million, although the administration says the cost would rise in the following year.

That is an underestimate of the true cost, Denning said.

“We know that it’s impossible,” Denning said.

Yet Denning applauded the proposal to reduce transfers from the highway fund.

Medicaid expansion will likely have bipartisan support in the Legislature. A bill passed both chambers in 2017 but was vetoed by then-Gov. Sam Brownback.

Democratic Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-36th Dist., said even if the cost estimate isn’t exact, Medicaid expansion is something lawmakers need to do because of the benefit it could offer to Kansans and struggling rural hospitals.

“I absolutely believe we have to invest in that,” Rep. Wolfe Moore said.

The spending plan also makes investments in a variety of other services.

• It would spend $22 million to give state employees a 2.5 percent raise.
• The plan would reverse a funding cut universities absorbed in 2016. Those cuts had already been partially restored and finishing the job will cost almost $9 million.
• To tackle problems in the state’s troubled child welfare system, the budget proposes hiring 55 more social workers at a cost of $4 million. The plan would also spend more than $7 million on services aimed at keeping children in their homes so they never enter the foster care system in the first place.

The governor’s spending plan serves as a template for state lawmakers. Now, budget writers from the House and Senate will begin digging deeper into the bill and developing their own spending priorities.

“It’s kind of a rosy picture,” said Republican Rep. Troy Waymaster, the top budget writer in the House. “We have to go back and do a complete analysis.”

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for the Kansas News Service Kansas, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @kprkoranda. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link to
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