Local and state talking points


College of Agriculture announces administrative changes

According to K-State Today, Ernie Minton and Nina Lilja, two members of the College of Agriculture’s leadership team, received new job titles that created a reorganization of the college’s administration.

Minton has been named associate dean of research and graduate programs, as well as the associate director of research for K-State Research and Extension. His job will be to promote the development of research and graduate programs while working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Lilja’s new position in the College of Agriculture is associate dean of international programs. This means that she will be leading in finding extramural funding for international research programs and the development of more science-based international research opportunities.

K-State water research for tree threat in grasslands

Allison Veach, doctoral student in biology; Walter Dodds, distinguished professor of biology; and Adam Skibbe, geographic information system administrator at the University of Iowa, are studying the grassland streams and new woody vegetation.

Veach said to the Little Apple Post that the grasslands in North America are disappearing into new forest ecosystems, which is a problem because grassland is “almost nonexistent on the globe.”

Dodds said that he has been studying streams and watersheds through hydrology and biogeochemistry, both of which can be used as evidence of the decreasing grassland area, on the Konza prairie (an 8,600-acre tall grass prairie) for over 20 years. According to Dodds, this change can affect cattle production with less grazing areas available.

The team’s latest research involved examining the changes in aerial photographs of the grasslands that show expansion of trees and shrubbery around streams. Their research shows that burn intervals of one to two years can decrease the expansion of woody vegetation.

Funding for Veach’s and Dodd’s research came from the National Science Foundation’s Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research program and the Kansas Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, according to the Post.

Naked, bloody man arrested in Topeka for murder

Police responded to a report of a naked man, later identified as Trevor William Adkins, 23 of Topeka, running down the street yelling and covered with blood on Wednesday.

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, Adkins was apprehended after being tased. After this, police found a woman’s body laying on a porch nearby. The woman was identified as Lacie Atchinson, 22 of Topeka, and her 15-month-old daughter was taken into protective custody.

Shannon Shively, 46, lives next door to where Atchinson’s body was found and told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Adkins and Atchinson had moved to their house about a month ago. Though she had seen them walking around, she had never met them.

Portions of the S.E. 34th block, where the incident occurred, have been blocked off for the investigation.

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