Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Tinker Air Force Base

The new reality of smoking at Kansas high schools is visible in the parking lots, where used-up Juul pods have taken the place of cigarette butts.

“You can pick up the discarded Juul cartridges all over the concrete,” Andover High School school resource officer Heath Kintzel said of the popular vaping brand. “It’s everywhere.”

Kansas has dropped its effort to terminate Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid, ending a three-year-long court battle that the state lost at every turn.

The change in policy wasn’t announced publicly but rather came in the form of a joint stipulation to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit challenging the state’s move.

Multiple cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been confirmed in horses across Kansas over the past few weeks.

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of  Animal Health, 10 confirmed cases have been reported in Lyon, Marion, Neosho, Seward and Wichita counties.

KDA Spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne said there may be other infected horses that haven’t yet been tested. 

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

If the experience of getting a bat stuck in your house or office isn’t unpleasant enough, Kansas health officials say it also means you should go get checked for rabies.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Seven years ago, a toxic form of algae bloomed in Milford Lake near Junction City. Kansas had never really seen a bloom quite like it before. It lasted for almost three months and has returned every summer since.

The event set state scientists looking for what spurred the blue-green algae, scientifically known as cyanobacteria, and how to stop the return of what is essentially killer pond scum.

Brian Grimmett

Evergy, the company formed in the merger between Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, has announced the official retirement dates of several older power plants.

Tecumseh Energy Center, near Topeka, and two units at Gordon Evans Energy Center in Colwich will shut down on Oct. 1. Those will be followed by the last two units at Murray Gill Energy Center outside of Wichita on Nov. 1.

Several members of a task force formed by Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer to address the opioid crisis claim his refusal to consider Medicaid expansion undermines their work.

KDHE

South-central Kansas, including Sedgwick County, is under a high-risk warning for West Nile virus.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday that portions of north central and southwest Kansas also are under a high-risk warning. That is based on historical data involving previous cases.

Southeast, northeast and northwest Kansas are under a moderate risk.

http://www.sedgwickcounty.org

Lake Afton is closed to all water contact due to a blue-green algae outbreak.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a public health warning Friday for the upcoming weekend and next week. The warning is effective immediately for the entire lake.

Sedgwick County said in a news release that prohibited water contact includes swimming and water skiing. The county said fishing is permitted but fish kept for eating should be prepared using guidelines established by KDHE.

Physicians, researchers and hospitals broadly agree that cesarean sections have become too common. That’s powered efforts to limit them to ever fewer cases.

Still, it can be hard to gauge the track record of most Kansas hospitals. When a national group came asking for numbers that reveal how regularly C-sections are performed, many hospitals in the state didn’t reply.

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