by Kelly Rogge

Registration is being accepted for the Kansas City Kansas Community College Innovation Summit.

The summit is Oct. 2, and the ticket cost, which includes lunch, is $10 until Sept. 17, and after that, $15. The deadline for submissions for the pitch contest is Sept. 12.

Registration to pitch your idea, product or business in the Pitch Competition is free. Last year, $10,000 was given away. To register for the 2015 Innovation Summit, purchase tickets, or for more information, visit the Innovation Summit’s website at

The 4th annual Innovation Summit is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at KCKCC’s Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center, 6565 State Ave. Tickets are $10 until Sept. 17. After Sept. 17, tickets are $15. Lunch is provided.

This year, the competition will have a national platform to showcase the business or product ideas of those who register. Friends, family and investors from throughout the United States can view a video of the pitch and cast their votes online. This provides a wider viewing audience for the product or service participants are presenting at the competition.

“Stephen Key, an award-winning inventor, will be one of our expert judges,” said Alicia Hooks, director of entrepreneurship at KCKCC. “People should attend the Innovation Summit for the learning, the ability to see new innovations and to simply go for the experience.”

Submissions for entry into the Pitch Competition must be received by Sept. 12. Online voting is Sept. 13-20. Information is also available by contacting Alicia Hooks at 913-288-7388 or by email at

“Your business or business idea will receive national recognition,” Hooks said of registering for the Pitch Competition. “It is no cost to register, and you will be able to get input from others, get noticed and possibly win cash.”

Another addition to the Innovation Summit is the MECA Summit Challenge (Most Entrepreneurial City in America). The MECA Challenge is for high school and college age participants who compete in small groups to create the best solutions for real problems small businesses experience. Judges will evaluate the solutions and give awards based on creativity, feasibility and more.

The 2015 Innovation Summit could not occur without the event’s sponsors who are all supporters of entrepreneurs – State Street, Mid-America Manufacturing and Technology Center and the Bank of Blue Valley.

Coordinating partners include the National Native American Chamber, Leavenworth Community Development Corporation, Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Chamber of Commerce, KCSourcelink, Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, CEED and the SBDC.

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor for Kansas City Kansas Community College.


Kraft Heinz Foods Company, a Newberry, S.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 2,068,467 pounds of turkey bacon products that may be adulterated because it may spoil before the “Best When Used By” date, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The turkey bacon was produced between May 31, 2015, and Aug. 6, 2015. The following products are subject to recall:

• 56 oz. cardboard boxes (containing four plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer “Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 4470007633 0, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 24 AUG 2015 through 26 OCT 2015.
• 36 oz. cardboard boxes (containing three plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154874 8, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 28 AUG 2015 through 20 OCT 2015.
• 48 oz. cardboard boxes (containing four plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154879 3, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 3 SEPT 2015 through 30 OCT 2015.

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-9070” inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as the line number “RS19”. These items were shipped nationwide and exported to the Bahamas and St. Martin.

The problem was discovered by the establishment during an investigation into spoilage-related consumer complaints.

FSIS has not received any confirmed reports of adverse reactions related to the consumption of these products. However, the company has received reports of illness related to the consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the Kraft Heinz Consumer Relations Center at 800-278-3403. Media with questions about the recall can contact Jody Moore, head of communications, at 847-646-4538.


by Jim McLean, KHI News Service

Premiums for Kansas health insurance plans offered in the federal marketplace won’t increase as much as originally proposed, state Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said Tuesday.

In May, Kansas insurance companies requested rate increases of up to 39 percent for individual market policies to be sold through the marketplace during the next open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2016.

But Selzer, a Republican serving his first term, said rate reviews conducted by the department reduced the proposed increases to an average range of 9.4 percent to 25.4 percent.

A single average increase wasn’t calculated, said Bob Hanson, a spokesperson for the department.

“During the review process our department was able to lower many of the rate increase requests for 2016, saving significant money for Kansas consumers compared to the original requests,” Selzer said in a news release. “We worked to find the balance between company claims trends and the need to hold down consumer rates.”

Still, Selzer, an ACA opponent, said that federal mandates — including a requirement that companies cover anyone seeking to purchase a policy regardless of their health status — were responsible for the rate increases.

But Sheldon Weisgrau, director of the Health Reform Project in Kansas, said the increases reflect “what it actually costs to insure a large majority of the population,” noting that the system that existed prior to the ACA “excluded a lot of people” who were sick.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the state’s largest health insurer, requested rate increases of 35 percent to 39 percent. Coventry Health Care requested increases of 20 percent to 35 percent.

At the time the requests were submitted, Mary Beth Chambers, a spokesperson for BCBS of Kansas, said the increases were necessary to cover anticipated claims in 2016. She said the rates charged by the company in 2014 and 2015 weren’t sufficient to cover the claims of new policy holders, many of whom were previously uninsured.

“In 2014, we absorbed about $74 million in underwriting losses,” Chambers said, explaining that many of the Kansans who purchased marketplace policies required more services, had more chronic conditions and needed more expensive drugs than the company anticipated.

Six companies will offer a total of 96 plans in the 2016 marketplace. In addition to BCBS of Kansas they are: Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company, Coventry Health Care of Kansas Inc., BlueCross BlueShield Kansas Solutions Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, and UnitedHealthcare of the Midwest Inc.

The nonprofit KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor reporting collaboration. All stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to when a story is reposted online.

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