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Top Morning News

Top Morning News 12.28.12


New KS Senate President picks multiple staff members; Wichita Public Schools are taking nominations for best teachers; Natural resources conference to be held in Wichita. 

New Kansas Senate President Fills Out Office Staff

Incoming Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle has appointed three new aides to fill her staff vacancies.

The Wichita Republican says Harrison Hems will be her legislative director. Hems will leave the Kansas Department of Transportation, where he'd been a liaison to Congress.

Wagle appointed Jan Johnston as her executive assistant. Johnston most recently worked in the Kansas House as an aide to Republicans Clay Aurand of Belleville and Elaine Bowers of Concordia.

The new Senate president's personal secretary will be Margaret Cianciarulo. She's been Wagle's secretary during legislative sessions since 2001.

Wagle already has named former House staffers Ryan Gilliland and Aly Rodee as her chief of staff and communications director.

Wagle becomes Senate president when lawmakers open their 2013 session on January 14.

USD 259 Taking Nominations For Teacher Awards

Wichita Public Schools is accepting nominations for the 2012-2013 Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award. Both new and experienced teachers will be honored.


Kansas Natural Resource Meeting Set For Wichita

The sixth annual Kansas Natural Resource Conference will take place next month in Wichita. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism says the gathering of natural resources professionals is set for January 24 and 25.

This year's conference will focus partly on invasive species like the Emerald Ash Borer, which has been destroying trees in Kansas and several other states.

Other session topics will include: aquatics, forestry, pasture and wetlands.

The Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Society of American Foresters, Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams are among the conference sponsors.

Investigation Continues In Officers' Deaths

Shawnee County sheriff's deputies continue to investigate the killings of two Topeka police officers, even though the assailant was shot to death the following day.

Sheriff Herman Jones has asked the county commission for overtime expenses to investigate the deaths of Officer Jeff Atherly and Corporal David Gogian on December 16. The two were shot while checking a possible drug deal outside a Topeka supermarket.

Their killer, 22-year-old David Tiscareno, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers on December 17.

Sheriff Jones says there are still more people to interview. He's requested $8,000 to help pay for overtime.