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 By JIM VERTUNO    Regional    February 28, 2021 

Texas top utility regulator quits in fallout over blackouts

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' top utilities regulator resigned Monday in the widening fallout from blackouts triggered by an unusually heavy and widespread winter storm that left millions in the state without power and water for days. DeAnn Walker, t...

 

Board leaders of Texas' grid operator resign after outages

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Four board leaders of Texas' embattled power grid operator said Tuesday they will resign following outrage over more than 4 million customers losing power during a deadly winter freeze last week. All of the board directors...

 

Audit: Bogus unemployment claims may have cost Kansas $600M

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas may have paid $600 million worth of bogus claims for unemployment benefits last year, a legislative audit said Wednesday, more than double an estimate from the state Department of Labor. The report from the...

 

Meatpacking workers in Kansas still wait for vaccines

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Meatpacking plants were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, yet thousands of workers at facilities in southwest Kansas are still waiting to hear when they'll be vaccinated. The Kansas News Service reported that the wait is...

 

Biden declares major disaster in Texas as federal aid flows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Add Mother Nature to the pile of crises on President Joe Biden's plate. A month into the job and focused on the coronavirus, Biden is seeing his disaster management skills tested after winter storms plunged Texas, Oklahoma and...

 

Kelly urges FERC to investigate weather-related failures

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to investigate systemic failures during this month's weather emergency and to protect Kansans from demand-related price surges for natural gas and...

 

Cherokee chief: Time for Jeep to end use of tribe's name

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — It is time for Jeep to stop using the Cherokee Nation's name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs, the chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe said. Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said in a statement first reported by Car & Driver...

 

Kansas lawmakers hope for number on unemployment fraud cost

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers hope that a legislative audit to be released later this week will provide an estimate of how much the state has paid out in fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans i...

 

GOP plan to curb jobless aid during pandemic sparks backlash

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators and a powerful business group are pushing a proposal to make it harder for unemployed Kansas workers to get extended benefits, arguing that extra weeks of aid are available even when thousands of jobs...

 

The Latest: Oklahoma gov seeks federal disaster declaration

The Latest on winter weather across the U.S. (all times local): OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said Wednesday that he is asking President Joe Biden for a federal disaster declaration as a result of a winter storm that dumped snow and...

 

Last Known Living Survivors Added to Historic Tulsa Race Massacre Lawsuit Led by SolomonSimmonsLaw

TULSA, Okla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 17, 2021-- In a major step forward for the historic Tulsa Race Massacre lawsuit, a 76-page amended petition has been filed in the suit, adding two previously-unknown living survivors of the Massacre, among other...

 

Kansas lawmakers seek more control on unemployment upgrades

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers are moving to exert more control over upgrades to Kansas' unemployment benefits system, and a key GOP legislator has even suggested stripping Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly of her control over the state...

 

EXPLAINER: Why the power grid failed in Texas and beyond

DALLAS (AP) — The power outages tormenting Texas in uncharacteristically Arctic temperatures are exposing weaknesses in an electricity system designed when the weather's seasonal shifts were more consistent and predictable — conditions that most...

 

Kansas' 4 state-owned casinos say revenue down 28% in 2020

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' four state-owned casinos reported a 28% drop in revenue last year when they were closed for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The four casinos in Kansas City, Mulvane, Dodge City and Pittsburg generated ab...

 

Oklahoma tribe allowed to intervene in Arkansas casino suit

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court is allowing an Oklahoma-based tribe to intervene in a lawsuit by a Mississippi company over a casino license in Pope County. The court on Thursday overturned a prior ruling by Circuit Judge Tim...

 

Kansas governor, spouse victims of bogus unemployment claims

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Friday that both she and her husband had fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits filed in their names with the state. The Democratic governor's disclosure to reporters came amid an increasingly i...

 

GOP lawmakers narrow bill for cutting Kansas income taxes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers narrowed their proposal to cut Kansas' income taxes before it cleared its first legislative hurdle, and a GOP leader said Wednesday that they'll put off further action at least a short while to consider how...

 

How Jackson County court deputies train for evictions

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Jackson County Court deputies shot a man earlier this month while serving an eviction notice after he allegedly pointed a weapon at them. The specifics of what led up to the shooting are unclear, but what the incident does...

 

Kansas governor: Medical pot should fund Medicaid expansion

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly proposed Monday that Kansas should legalize marijuana for medical purposes and use the revenues to expand Medicaid health care for low-income residents, a top priority that the GOP-controlled...

 

Viola Expands Footprint, Opening In Oklahoma And Launching High-Potency Vape Products In Colorado

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Viola, a premium quality cannabis brand rooted in purpose, today announced its expansion into the flourishing market of Oklahoma as well as the release of its new vape products in Colorado. Both the move...

 

Kansas governor picks Lawrence woman to run labor department

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday tapped a Lawrence woman who has technology experience to run the Kansas Department of Labor, which has struggled to process a surge in claims from workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pan...

 

Kansas City, Kansas, fire department seeks minority recruits

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas City, Kansas department is making changes to improve its recruitment of minority and female candidates after the latest class of recruits did not meet its inclusion goals, Chief Michael Callahan said. The...

 

Oklahoma attorney general sues PPE company, seeks $1.8M

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Tulsa-based company accepted a $2.1 million deposit from the State Department of Health to purchase masks but then failed to deliver or refund the money to the state, Attorney General Mike Hunter alleged in a lawsuit filed Tu...

 

Oklahoma seeking to return $2M worth of hydroxychloroquine

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma attorney general's office is attempting to return $2 million worth of a malaria drug once touted by former President Donald Trump as an effective treatment for COVID-19, a spokesman said Wednesday. Alex...

 

Oklahoma Supreme Court rejects Stitt's gambling compacts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected gambling compacts that Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt negotiated with two Oklahoma-based Native American tribes, delivering the first-term governor another setback in his attempt to...

 

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