While you were away at fall break

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Fall vacation included a number of changes both locally and abroad. Here are some things that happened while students were taking a break from campus:

The 2nd annual Manhattan Festival Of Lights

Last Friday, the Christmas tree in Blue Earth Plaza was officially lit up. The ceremony included a speech by Wynn Butler, mayor of Manhattan.

People watched the ceremony from throughout the plaza: among smaller decorated trees, rooms in hotels surrounding it and the balconies of Blue Earth Place, which is home to Radina’s Bakehouse. Families also had the opportunity for their children to take pictures with Santa Claus.

Ferguson police officer not taken to trial by grand jury, resigns

A grand jury decided not to indict former Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri last week. The decision led to widespread protests across the U.S. including in Ferguson and in cities spanning from Los Angeles to New York City, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, Wilson announced his resignation Saturday night, according to a CNN article. Wilson cited the need to protect his fellow officers and the community in his letter of resignation.

“I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow,” the letter stated.

Funding for NBAF lab delayed

On Nov. 24, the K-State legislature agreed to postpone a vote on the $231 million of bonds allocated to the National Bio-Agro Defense facility in Manhattan, according to the Topeka Capital Journal.

The vote came after Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita argued the need for wording in the contract that would limit the state’s investment in the project at $307 million.

“I understand that we need to affirm the project,” Wagle was quoted in the article as saying. “However, the language is still not in the contract that our legal adviser says we need.”

Initially, the state only agreed to invest $105 million into the project. However, due to political hesitancy at the national capitol, the Brownback administration recommended an increase of $202 million in an agreement to secure the interest of Congress, according to the article.

The agreement on the new spending limit comes with the expectation that future increases in the cost of the facility will be handled by the federal government. The new limit on funding, though, must be in writing before Kansas Lawmakers will agree to the funding.

Brownback administration settles lawsuit in hospital death

Kansas lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback agreed to a $225,000 settlement on Tuesday relating to the death of Michael Lykins, a former K-State football player, in a Larned, Kansas hospital according to the Topeka Capital Journal.

Lykins’ children took the lawsuit to the Shawnee District court last year, arguing that the hospital should have done more to prevent Lykins’ 2011 suicide. The lawsuit was filed against the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability services, which oversees the Larned State Hospital, according to the article.

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Shelton Burch
Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.