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Noonletter, Oct. 25, 2018

Crysta Henthorne
Kansas News Service

Why not Wyandotte

Wyandotte County has long represented undeveloped political muscle for Kansas Democrats. Lots of Democrats there. Not nearly as many Democrats who show up to vote.

Mobilizing that potential could, maybe, mean trouble for incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, whose district includes both Wyandotte and Johnson counties. And in close statewide races (think this year’s contest for governor), a big turnout in Kansas City, Kansas, could be a gamechanger.

Madeline Fox reports on the shoe leather tactics Democrats are deploying to prod people in Wyandotte County to vote. She also notes that in predominantly Republican (if sometimes moderate) Johnson County, the Democrats are looking less at turnout and more at persuading GOP voters to cast the rare vote for the other party. Republicans say they've got the issues on their side to hold on to the seat.


Who doesn’t love low gas prices? The oil biz. Including in the land of wind turbines and sunflowers.

Researchers at the University of Alaska tell us a little about how oil-producing states have fared in recent years amid historically low petroleum prices.

Notably, it’s made the business a smaller part of state economies as the price per barrel has dropped and, quite often, producers have pumped less while waiting for an uptick.

In 2010,  mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction accounted for 1.65 percent of the Kansas gross domestic product. By 2017, that fell to 0.71 percent — a drop of more than half.

Brian Grimmett has reported the struggle over whether to crank up production in the state as prices begin to return to higher levels..

It’s gotta be the shoes

The verdict in a New York courtroom centered around sneaker deals and blue-chip high school ballers echoed across Lawrence on Wednesday.

KCUR’s Greg Echlin reports that a former Adidas executive and two other college basketball insiders were convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud — and the University of Kansas was ostensibly among three schools who were cheated when the shoe seller helped steer recruits to a particular campus.

KU chancellor Doug Girod said the university would look at options over its ongoing athletic apparel  deal with Adidas. Men’s basketball coach Bill Self said sophomore Silvio DeSousa wouldn’t play in the Jayhawks first exhibition game. Testimony presented at the trial suggested that DeSousa’s guardian received a payment shortly before DeSousa said last year he’d play basketball at KU. 

Wash those socks, roomie

There’s plenty of factors contributing to the scent of a dorm floor, from spilled bong water to, well, spilled beer. And apparently neglected laundry isn’t the only source of mold. Kansas State University officials now say all the rooms in one of their Manhattan dorm will be checked out.

They found the mold in Ford Hall during recent inspections, but it wasn’t active or growing. A possible culprit: the air-handling system in the building.

Go ’Cats.

Kansans, in person

Tonight the Johnson County Library is hosting a discussion built around our own Kansas News Service’s “My Fellow Kansans” podcast. Free. Entertaining. You might learn something. And you can quiz Jim McLean about the podcast and politics broadly.

Things start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the main branch of the library, 9875 West 87th St., Overland Park.

Scott Canon is digital editor of the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. You can reach him on Twitter @ScottCanon.

 Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.

As the editor of a statewide news outlet, I aspire to work with our reporters to give Kansans a clear-eyed view of the place they call home. That means delivering hard-hitting stories that expose those things that keep Kansas from being the most vibrant, healthy place it can be. You can reach me at scott@kcur.org or 816-235-8023.
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