Good for Gov. Sam Brownback for touring southwest Kansas last week and bringing attention to how the ongoing drought is affecting that region. He said he expects an answer soon to his request that the U.S. Department of Agriculture issue a drought disaster declaration for 21 Kansas counties. "We want to have a clear understanding of what's happening and how the state can assist these communities in the coming months," Brownback said. The New York Times reported last week on Boise City, Okla., a small town in the western edge of the panhandle that, as of last Tuesday, had gone 222 consecutive days with less than a quarter-inch of rainfall in any single day — the longest dry spell there since record keeping began in 1908.