Newton Public Schools, Facebook

The Newton School District is asking voters to approve an $86 million bond proposal for high school upgrades and a new elementary school.

The bond issue is split into two ballot questions for the district’s special election.

The first question involves upgrades to Newton High School and safety and security projects at all schools. The projects total about $61 million.

The district wants to add a new science wing and a gym that would double as a storm shelter at Newton High.

Evan Pflugradt / KMUW/File photo

The president of the company that formerly ran a literacy program for Kansas' public elementary schools alleged Monday that the state canceled the multimillion-dollar grant in "retaliation" for the firm's opposition to major changes state officials were seeking.

The state of Kansas is canceling a contract that administered an elementary-school reading program because of what state officials call inappropriate spending on travel and salaries. 

The contractor disputes any mishandling of the money, which in recent years amounted to nearly $10 million routed from a program meant to serve needy families. 

Jacob Blicken

Earlier in 2019, Gov't Mule released Bring On The Music: Live at the Capitol Theatre, a multi-format collection celebrating the outfit's quarter-century career.

In addition to a stand-alone live album, fans can also witness the concert via a DVD/Blu-ray release, which features behind-the-scenes footage and band interviews. Directed by Danny Clinch, the film captures the veteran act's visual impact in great detail.

TOPEKA ― The “Kidney Stone Belt” is a thing, and it’s coming for Kansas.

Climate change is expanding that swath of America, currently in the south and southeast, that suffers much higher rates of this sometimes-excruciating renal complication.

By 2050, the belt will include Kansas, according to a new review by the Kansas Health Institute.

Amy Mayer / Iowa Public Radio/File photo

A monthly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture assessing the global supply and demand of key crops had mixed messages for Midwest farmers Monday.

A federal judge is holding the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas in contempt in connection with a burgeoning scandal involving recordings of confidential conversations between criminal defendants and their attorneys at a federal detention center in Leavenworth, Kansas.


TOPEKA ― Aetna remains in hot water with the state of Kansas, which recently threatened to cancel the company’s Medicaid contract.

In late July, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment gave Aetna Better Health 10 days to resolve a laundry list of long-running problems.

But on Tuesday, the agency said the insurer’s reply doesn’t cut it, “nor does it present a clear path to compliance.”

Aetna gets another shot at fixing what health care providers describe as chronic issues with payment, among other concerns.

stacey_newman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Wichita group that works to prevent substance abuse in the community is trying a new approach to reach at-risk young people.

The Safe Streets Coalition selected five students to serve as mental health advocates for their peers at Wichita high schools. Safe Streets calls their teen volunteers “youth mobilizers.”

Program leader Ngoc Vuong says youth mobilizers will support students who struggle with mental health issues or substance abuse.

Kylie Cameron / KMUW

The Wichita Police Department made more than 900 arrests in June and July as part of an effort targeting violent offenders.

Law enforcement officials discussed the effort, called Operation Triple Beam, during a news conference on Monday afternoon.

Out of the 900 arrests, U.S. Marshal Rod Miller said more than 500 led to felony charges.

"These are individuals that were priority cases ... individuals who were wanted and then the resources came together to be able to find these people," Miller said.

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A KMUW Music Tasting

Commentary & Podcasts

Book Review: 'Ask Again, Yes'

Mary Beth Keane’s novel, “Ask Again, Yes,” opens on a New York City street in 1973. Rookie cops Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope respond to an armed robbery in progress, and while Francis checks a victim’s pulse, he considers larger issues:

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KMUW Music

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Monday 8.19.19

Night Train kicks off the week featuring some jazz guitarists – including August featured artist Pat Martino (from one of his Blue Note releases and an early release as part of the John Handy Quintet), along with Dave Stryker, Larry Coryell with John Scofield and Joe Beck, Charlie Apicella, and Barney Kessell. Plus the latest from Chick Corea with his new Spanish Heart Band,  pianists Monty Alexander and Mike LeDonne, and singer Vanessa Rubin.

Tuesday 8.20.19

Night Train marks birthdays of drummer Frank Capp, trumpeter Enrico Rava, and jazz trombone pioneer Jack Teagarden (including a special about him in hour two of the show). Plus more from August featured artist Pat Martino (from an early release as a leader and a later album he did with Joey DeFrancesco) – and new music from organist Doug Carn, guitarist Corey Christiansen, and legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb.

Wednesday 8.21.19

Night Train birthday artists tonight include trumpeter Art Farmer, drummer Leon Parker, and legendary big band leader and pianist Count Basie (featured in a special in hour two of the show). We’ll also hear August featured artist Pat Martino with Willis Jackson, plus new duo sets from harmonica player Gregoire Maret and harpist Edmar Castaneda, and saxophone and clarinet player Ken Peplowski with guitarist Diego Figueiredo, and the contemporary soul jazz trio of Akiko Tsuruga, Jeff Hamilton and Graham Dechter.

Thursday 8.22.19

Night Train highlights contemporary and classic female jazz singers tonight. We’ll hear Billie Holiday, Stacey Kent, Dianne Reeves, Jazzmeia Horn, Tierney Sutton, Dinah Washington and Blossom Dearie. Plus music from pianists Takaaki Otono, Ben Paterson, Marian McPartland and Leslie Pintchik, soul jazz organ great Dr. Lonnie Smith, and the organ group B3B4.

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Monday, August 19

Global Village begins the week with music from pioneering American reggae singer Johnny Nash and supergroup drummer Ginger Baker, both born on this date, and more music for the August John Renbourn 75th Birthday feature, including music he did with Pentangle. Plus the latest from Afrobeat group Monkuti, the Ska Around the World compilation, and German-born, New York-based flamenco guitarist Adreas Arnold.

Tuesday, August 20

Global Village celebrates Szent István or St. Stephen’s Day – a major holiday in Hungary that marks the founding of the country. The program highlights a wide array of Hungarian music – from regional and national traditional styles, to contemporary jazz, Balkanbeats and more. Among the artists featured: acclaimed vocalist Marta Sebestyen, award-winning saxophonist Viktor Toth, world-jazz pioneer Gabor Szabo, cimbalom master Kalman Balogh, and tambura band Sondorgo.

Wednesday, August 21

August featured artist John Renbourn’s music has been dubbed ‘folk baroque’ and this time in the Global Village we’ll explore that in some of his music as a solo artist and with Pentangle, along with some interesting and different approaches to baroque and early music from Jordi Savall, the Elizabethan Session, the Pera Ensemble, the Dufay Collective, and Trio Mediaeval. Plus the latest from the Guo Gan Trio, Rhiannon Giddens, and Tristan Driessens.

Thursday, August 22

Global Village journeys to North Africa for music from the pioneering Nubian singer and bandleader Ali Hassan Kuban, the Nile Project that brings together over a dozen artists from countries and cultures along the Nile River, Algerian great Maurice el Medioni , Mauritanian artists Malouma and Noura Mint Seymali, and Nubian group Alsarah & the Nubatones. We’ll also hear some contemporary reggae from Raging Fyah and world jazz fusion from guitarist Al DiMeola.

Friday, August 23

Global Village wraps up the week with more English folk sounds. We’ll hear August featured artist John Renbourn with Pentangle and from his last solo album, along with music from Eliza Carthy and Linda Thompson, who were both born on this date. We’ll hear the two of them together on a Linda Thompson album, along with music Carthy did with the Imagined Village and with her father, Martin Carthy; and music Linda Thompson did both as a solo artist and with former husband Richard Thompson. Plus new music from the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, Turkish psychedelic folk artist Derya Yildirim, and Canadian group Constantinople with kora player Ablaye Cissoko.

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Monday, August 19

We’ll hear selections from the brand-new recording from Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Davina & The Vagabonds, Sugar Drops as well as the latest from The Bird and The Bee, Interpreting The Masters Vol. 2: A Tribute To Van Halen, which focuses on the music of that legendary California band’s initial run with vocalist David Lee Roth.

Tuesday, August 20

Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell spent two years teaching songwriting to women who were incarcerated through the program Jail Guitar Doors. She reflects on those experiences across her 2019 album Wake Up Again. We’ll hear music from that release as well as from Inara George’s 2018 release, Dearest Everybody.

Wednesday, August 21

The Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry recently released the meditative album, Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2: That Side of the River, which features members of The Sadies, The National and Friends of Fiddlers Green, the band which Parry’s late father was a member of. Listen for music from that recording as well as from the latest by The Appleseed Cast, The Fleeting Light of Impermanence.

Thursday, August 22

When The Replacements began thinking about making a new album in 1988, the band was at something of a crossroads. The Minneapolis quartet had failed to live up to commercial expectations since signing with a major label and signs of internal frictions were beginning to show. The album that resulted, 1989’s Don’t Tell A Soul, has long been a controversial point in the group’s discography, derided, in part for overproduction and a slickness that was, for many fans, not part of the group’s raw aesthetic. The group will issue a new box set later this year, titled Dead Man’s Pop featuring different mixes and outtakes that indicate the original, intended direction for the record. (And features a guest appearance from Tom Waits on several numbers.) We’ll hear selections from Don’t Tell A Soul as it was released in 1989 as well as music from Soul Asylum’s 1988 set, Hang Time.

Friday, August 23

We’ll hear selections from Kansas native Chuck Mead’s latest release, Close To Home, as well as music from his former band BR549’s 1996 self-titled debut.

Saturday, August 24

Carpet Denim is the latest from Tijuana Panthers. Listen for selections from that as well as the latest from St. Louis-based singer-songwriter Beth Bombara's Evergreen.

Jacob Blicken

Earlier in 2019, Gov't Mule released Bring On The Music: Live at the Capitol Theatre, a multi-format collection celebrating the outfit's quarter-century career.

In addition to a stand-alone live album, fans can also witness the concert via a DVD/Blu-ray release, which features behind-the-scenes footage and band interviews. Directed by Danny Clinch, the film captures the veteran act's visual impact in great detail.

Album Cover Art

August 18

Sunday on Soulsations, hear new music from R&B singer/songwriter and producer Brandon Williams. The Detroit native teams up with R&B vocalist Eric Roberson on the new single, "Don't Give Up On Love."

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Noteworthy

Jacob Blicken

Gov't Mule Continues To Bring On The Music

Earlier in 2019, Gov't Mule released Bring On The Music: Live at the Capitol Theatre, a multi-format collection celebrating the outfit's quarter-century career. In addition to a stand-alone live album, fans can also witness the concert via a DVD/Blu-ray release, which features behind-the-scenes footage and band interviews. Directed by Danny Clinch, the film captures the veteran act's visual impact in great detail.

Read More