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Top Morning News
Local coverage of education issues, health care, and science and technology.

Top Morning News 10.23.12


TransCanada restarts oil flow through Keystone XL; Lead Democrats create their own portal for school funding reporting; Voters invited to tour Salt Museum in Hutch

TransCanada Restarts Keystone Pipeline

TransCanada has restarted the Keystone oil pipeline that carries about 590,000 barrels of crude oil each day from Canada to facilities in the Midwest. The pipeline passes through Kansas en route to Cushing, Oklahoma.

Oil began flowing again Monday afternoon. Company spokesperson Shawn Howard says the system will be operated at a slightly reduced pressure for about 24 hours. Contractual delivery levels will resume in November TransCanada had shut down the pipeline last Wednesday after tests showed possible safety issues.

The company had planned to restart the pipeline Saturday. Howard blamed logistical issues for the delay, saying bad weather complicated efforts to move equipment on site and made inspections take longer.

The potential problems were detected in a section of the line between Missouri and Illinois. Howard says there were no leaks and the pipeline system's integrity is sound.

Democrats Create Own Website For School Funding

Kansas legislative Democrats launched their own online survey on schools Monday, to counter a new website created by Governor Sam Brownback's administration.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley and House Minority Leader Paul Davis said their site will gather suggestions for finding school spending efficiencies - like the governor's - but it will also collect success stories of how schools are operating.


Kansas Winter Wheat Planting Nearing End

Kansas farmers have reached the 91 percent mark in planting the 2013 winter wheat crop.

In its weekly crop report Monday, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service also said about 62 percent of the wheat has emerged.

The agency says 2 percent of the young wheat is rated in excellent condition, with 38 percent rated good, 49 percent fair and 11 percent rated poor to very poor.

Meanwhile, the fall harvest of other Kansas crops is moving ahead amid mostly dry, warm conditions around the state.

Ex-KBI Director To Talk About His New Book

A former head of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will give the Wichita Crime Commission a behind-the-scenes look at the agency.

Retired KBI Director Larry Welch is the featured speaker at the crime commission's annual awards banquet Thursday evening in Wichita.

Welch's book "Beyond Cold Blood: The KBI from Ma Barker to BTK" was released last month. It lays out some details about key cases the agency investigated from its inception through 2007.

Welch began his law enforcement career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was appointed director of the KBI in 1994 and oversaw the agency until his retirement in 2007.

Hutchinson Voters Invited To Tour KS Salt Museum

Registered voters in Hutchinson are being offered free tours of the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. Museum officials are offering the tours this evening ahead of next month's vote on extending a city sales tax that benefits the attraction.

Officials say the museum gets about roughly 10 percent of its budget from the sales tax.