K-State, Manhattan area news updates

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Tornado strikes SE Kansas town, injures dozens
Sunday’s storms spawned a tornado that struck the small southeastern Kansas town of Baxter Springs. About 25 people were reported injured, nine of which were hospitalized. None of the injuries were considered life threatening, according to KMBC-TV news in Kansas City, Mo. There were no deaths reported.

The tornado hit at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, destroying about 70 homes and more than 20 businesses. The total number of buildings damaged or destroyed is estimated to be more than 100. By 6:30 p.m., Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of disaster emergency for Baxter Springs. The Red Cross immediately responded and set up emergency shelters for victims.

Baxter Springs is located in Cherokee County, located in the furthest southeast corner of Kansas. The 2010 Census reported a population of 4,238.

The storm was also reported to have knocked over a grain elevator, derailed several train cars and damaged six homes in the nearby town of Hammond, Kan.

New Kansas National Guard brigade to bring jobs to Manhattan
A new Kansas National Guard field artillery brigade has been approved, which will bring 15 full-time jobs and about 160 drill status individuals to its headquarters in Manhattan, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. The new jobs are expected to provide an economic boost for the Manhattan community, as well as provide military resources for the area that can deploy during emergencies, such as natural disasters.

The full-time employees will begin setting up on June 1 and it will become fully operational about a year after that. The new 130th Field Artillery Brigade will also provide command and control to two field artillery battalions in Wichita and Hiawatha, Kan.

The full-time job positions will be available to National Guard members in Kansas and across the U.S., while the drill positions are for individuals who drill once a month and train two weeks per year.

Manhattan Regional Airport completes fence to protect wildlife
A wildlife fence construction project was recently completed at Manhattan Regional Airport to prevent deer and other animals from wandering onto airport grounds, according to a press release by the City of Manhattan. The 8-foot-tall fence spans the perimeter of the airport grounds for 19,000 feet, or about three miles.

The project cost $988,886. The Federal Aviation Administration funded 90 percent of the project and the City of Manhattan paid for the remaining 10 percent. The new perimeter fence is designed to protect both wildlife and planes by preventing them from coming into conflict with one another.

While birds are the most common form of wildlife to collide with airplanes, other animals can cause damage and injuries if they stray onto airport grounds. Between 1990 and 2012, there were more than 1,030 collisions between deer and civil aircraft and 400 collisions with coyotes, according to Bird Strike Committee USA.

The Graduate School announces final doctoral dissertations
The final doctoral dissertation of April Sulabo, “Packaging and Storage Effects on Listeria monocytogenesReduction and Attachment on Ready-To-Eat Meat Snacks, will be held May 5 at 1 p.m. in Call Hall, room 140.

The final doctoral dissertation of Kurt Schindler, “Examining the Capacity and Preparation of Teachers for Teaching Personal Finances in Puerto Rico, will be held May 12 at 11 a.m. in Justin Hall, room 167.

The the final doctoral dissertation of Sarah Donley, “The Overtaking of Undertaking: Feminization and the Changing Gender-Type of the Funeral Industry, will be held May 14 at 10 a.m. in Waters Hall, room 201A.

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