K-State, Manhattan area briefs: Aggiefest tickets on sale, ‘American Pickers’ come to Kansas


Foundation to help K-State first-generation college students
The Suder Foundation has awarded K-State $850,000 to fund startup costs and scholarships for the university’s First Scholars program. First Scholars is a national program designed to help first-generation college students finish school. The Plano, Texas-based Suder Foundation started the program five years ago. According to the Associated Press, students who participate in First Scholars have higher grade point averages and graduation rates than those who are not in the program.

‘American Pickers’ visits Greensburg, other Kansas towns
The History Channel’s TV show “American Pickers” is visiting locations in south central and southwest Kansas. The program centers around finding and appraising antiques. On Sunday, according to the Hutchinson News, the show’s crew stopped by Greensburg, Kan., a town made famous for its destruction by a tornado in 2007. The Kansas footage is expected to air this fall.

Brownback refuses organization’s request to disclose judicial nominees
The League of Women Voters of Kansas sent a letter to Gov. Sam Brownback, dated July 2, asking him to disclose the names of applicants for the Kansas Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The Associated Press reported that Brownback had rejected their request on July 5.

In the past, a statewide nomination commission would submit three names and the governor would choose one name from that list. Under the new process, signed into law last month by Brownback, the governor will make appointments to the Court of Appeals without a nominating committee.

Delores Furtado, president of the League of Women Voters, said the new process provides less information to the public. Her group filed a request for the names of applicants under the Kansas Open Records Act, but it was rejected on the grounds that applicants are not subject to the Kansas Open Records Act.

Film to be shot near Junction City, other Kansas locations
Two Los Angeles-based filmmakers have begun shooting a movie based on the real-life story of a family of murderers in Kansas. Shooting on “The Bender Claim” is scheduled to begin today and run through Aug. 11 on locations in Junction City, El Dorado and Wichita. “The Bender Claim” concerns the true story of a family in Labette County, Kan., who robbed and murdered travelers in the 1870s, burying the bodies in the apple orchard behind their inn. The “Bloody Benders” escaped justice before the bodies were found and were never seen again. The film is expected to be completed by next year and will be entered in film festivals, including the Tallgrass Film Festival in Kansas.

Aggiefest 2013 features ‘name your price’ tickets
Tickets are now on sale for Aggiefest 2013. The two-day long music festival will feature more than 60 different local bands and artists in a variety of genres on September 27 and 28 in Aggieville. The first 50 ticket purchases get an “early bird” special opportunity to name their own price. For more information, visit aggiefest2013.brownpapertickets.com.