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Eagle editorial: Boys ranch closure is tragic

If only the 53-year-old Judge James V. Riddel Boys Ranch at Lake Afton inspired as much political will as it does praise. That high regard makes its apparently imminent closure all the more tragic, especially because there are no reassuring answers for what will happen to the young offenders who could benefit from the program next year and beyond.

Eagle editorial: Good job opening affidavits

Thanks to good work by state lawmakers and Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett, Kansas will soon unseal the affidavits used by police to justify search and arrest warrants – that is if Gov. Sam Brownback signs a bill approved last week, as he should.

Eagle editorial: FBI probe cause for concern

Gov. Sam Brownback was awfully quick to use the word “smear” to dismiss the reported FBI investigation involving close political associates – too quick, given the seriousness and length of the ongoing federal probe. Still, this controversy could end up as all smoke and no smoking gun.

Eagle editorial: At least legislative session is over

Kansans could exhale over the weekend, as the 2014 Legislature’s adjournment ended the risk of more unexamined and damaging bills popping up on the House or Senate floor and ending up as law.

Kansas views on tax revenues, FBI probe, health care compact, McConnell Air Force Base, Dole

Tax revenues – Last year’s strong first-quarter tax collections – 53 percent above the previous year – were driven by taxpayers “realizing capital gains and other income in tax year 2012 to take advantage of more favorable federal tax rates set to expire Jan. 1, 2013.” That isn’t our assessment; that comes straight from the Kansas Department of Revenue.

Eagle editorial: Need action on jobs

Six years after the Great Recession grounded general aviation and two years after Boeing announced its pullout, Wichita’s economy isn’t exactly healing itself. City, county and economic development leaders are right to sound the alarm about the need for a bigger war chest for business recruitment, though it’s too soon to say the sales tax should rise to fund it.

Eagle editorial: KanCare rollout has been rocky

A legislative joint oversight hearing this week highlighted how the rollout of KanCare has been rocky, with some improvements and cost savings from the state’s privatization of Medicaid but also payment delays and some service problems. A new report that the private insurance companies lost more than $110 million last year raises additional concerns about the reform.

Eagle editorial: Stream video of Legislature

What a disappointment that Kansas House leaders are unwilling to allow a floor vote to enable online viewing of legislative hearings.

Eagle editorial: Bishop, diner here to serve

It’s fitting that Carl Kemme is hosting a luncheon at the Lord’s Diner before his ordination Thursday afternoon as the new bishop of Wichita. The diner reflects the humility and service that Kemme plans to emphasize and emulate.

Eagle editorial: Close the discipline gap

Because equal educational opportunity demands equal discipline, administrators and school boards for Wichita and area districts should take seriously the new data showing black students are more likely than whites to be suspended or expelled at their middle and high schools, and root out any race-based discrimination via policy and training changes.

Eagle editorial: FBI probe raises questions

It’s hardly a good thing for Gov. Sam Brownback and his re-election bid that, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal, his political right-hand man and two other former employees are at the center of an FBI probe related to lobbying and KanCare, Brownback’s signature privatization of Medicaid in the state.

Kansas views on school bill, social media policy, food labels, Sebelius, Dole

School bill – Gov. Sam Brownback has put his signature on a bill trying to take away public school teachers’ right to due process. This late-night law throws down the political gauntlet against our public schools. An open battle is about to begin between those who believe in public education and those who, for whatever reason, do not believe in it.

Eagle editorial: Legislative dos, don’ts

Even with controversial education, court, gun and health care bills already on the books for the year, there is a chance of further troublemaking during the Legislature’s wrap-up session, along with a likelihood that some needed legislation will be willfully neglected.

Eagle editorial: Visit neighborhoods near Wichita schools

Wichita West High School principal Joel Hudson sometimes has his teachers knock on doors in the neighborhoods surrounding the school near Lincoln and McLean. “I want them to see where our children come from,” he said.

Eagle editorial: More ups, downs for Wichita

Six years after the bottom fell out of the nation’s economy, Wichita is seeing successes but also far too many job losses.

Eagle editorial: Shame for signing compact

The day after he signed a bill stripping public school teachers of their due-process rights, Gov. Sam Brownback quietly signed another bill that could endanger the health care of Kansas senior citizens. Is there no bad bill that he won’t sign? Does he not care what seniors think?

Eagle editorial: Jail diversion is paying off

The Sedgwick County Jail would have to keep growing along with its population, or so taxpayers were told. But that conventional wisdom is turning out to have been wrong, thanks in part to the county’s alternative corrections programs such as pretrial services, a day-reporting center, a drug court, mental health assessment and more.

Eagle editorial: Law weakens Kansas court system

Gov. Sam Brownback should have vetoed the bill linking needed additional dollars for the judiciary to unneeded systemic changes undercutting the Kansas Supreme Court’s authority. Instead, he signed the bundled bill last week, even saying in a press release that the legislation “includes minor reforms.”

Eagle editorial: Bad bill now bad law

Gov. Sam Brownback predictably signed the school-finance bill on Monday afternoon, focusing on its virtues instead of acknowledging that its flaws justified a veto – and another try during the Legislature’s wrap-up session.

Kansas views on due process, water plan, moving elections, Kochs, Medicaid fraud

Due process – It seems hard to imagine that it is all that difficult to fire a bad teacher. The modest protection offered now seemingly just requires an administrator to go through the same process any other employer should when dealing with a performance issue.

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