Kansas

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

VALLEY CENTER, Kansas — On its face, band camp at Valley Center High School looks pretty normal: Lines of students with instruments march up and down a football field while the color guard practices throwing flags into the air.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

COUNCIL GROVE, Kansas — Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and 30 other schools owe at least part of their existence to land taken from Kansas’ indigenous people.

Kansas Geological Survey

WICHITA, Kansas — On Aug. 16, the second day of the school year, students in the Burrton district felt the shake of a 4.2 magnitude earthquake. They knew exactly what to do: hide under their desks until it stopped.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service file photo

WICHITA, Kansas — The water coming out of your tap might meet legal standards, but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe to drink — at least according to the Environmental Working Group, an environmental advocacy nonprofit.

EWG found that nearly all of the 870 water utilities in Kansas tested for at least one contaminate above what it considers safe, though most water utilities in the state meet federal standards, which are different than EWG’s. 

Jim Lovett / Monarch Watch

The annual spring migration of monarch butterflies from Mexico northward could reach Kansas in the next few weeks.

The monarchs are important pollinators across the U.S. but have seen large declines in their numbers due to habitat loss and climate change.

Brian Grimmett

New research shows that Kansas is slowly seeing a shift in when it gets its rainfall during the year.

Depending on the region, Kansas typically receives between 35 percent and 41 percent of its annual precipitation during the summer months of June, July and August. But during the past 100 years, that trend is slowly shifting toward the spring.

Kansas has once again scored below the national average in the latest National Health Security Preparedness Index.

The index is an effort to measure a state’s ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies that pose health risks. That’s anything from extreme weather events like tornadoes to an outbreak of a deadly disease or virus. On a scale of 10, Kansas scored a 6.9. The national average is 7.1.

“The good news is that it’s been improving over time,” project director Glen Mays said.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

The latest drought report shows that all of Kansas is drying out, with the southern parts of the state now being considered in extreme drought.

But what impact could this weather pattern have if it sticks around?

More than 50 percent of the state is currently seeing drought conditions, up from only 1.5 percent three months ago. And assistant state climatologist Mary Knapp says the outlook for the next three months isn't much better.

New health statistics show that the Kansas' population has nudged up slightly to 2.9 million.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported a 0.3 percent population increase from 2013 to 2014. The report released this week shows that three counties in the Manhattan and Fort Riley area had the largest relative increases in population from 2010 to 2014. Geary County's population increased to 7.4 percent, Pottawatomie County's to 6.5 percent and Riley County's to 5.7 percent.

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Archaeologists from across the U.S. are in south-central Kansas this week searching for artifacts that would confirm a five-mile stretch once was home to a Native American tribe of 20,000 people.

KAKE-TV reports volunteers have found small pieces of tools and pottery in a dusty Arkansas City field that are believed to be from a settlement discovered by Spanish explorer Juan De Onate in 1601.

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