Local, state talking points


Filing deadline for number of April election passes

With a deadline of Tuesday at noon, the Riley County Clerk’s Office listed the final candidates for city commission, city council and school boards. Three seats are up for grabs on the Manhattan City Commission. Six candidates are running for the spots, including John Ball, incumbent Wynn Butler, Mike Dodson, Kaleb James, Jerred McKee and Linda Morse.

The Manhattan/Ogden USD 383 Board of Education has four seats up for election. The race is dominated by incumbents, with only one non-incumbent running. Incumbents David Colburn, Darell Edie, Leah Fliter and Curt Herrman are running to retain their seats while candidate Nicholas Dyer is also fighting for a spot.

Four seats are open in the Riley USD 378 Board of Education race. Eleven candidates are vying for the positions, including Shane Allen (incumbent), Kyle Bohnenblust, Donna Bulk, Jay Caley, Glen Hawkins, Jared Larson, Michael Lindell, Michael McCoy, Randy O’Boyle, Dennis Tegtmeier and Vinton Visser.

The general election will be held April 7.

Bomb threat in Onaga leads to arrest of juvenile

The Pottawatomie County sheriff’s dispatch received a bomb threat at 10:42 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. The caller specifically mentioned the Onaga Community Hospital and Onaga Elementary School as possible targets.

Both buildings were evacuated and the students were sent home for the day. Late Tuesday, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Greg Riat said a child under the age of 14 was taken into custody and booked with aggravated criminal threat. No explosive devices were found in either location.

Budget director warns that Kansas will soon have cash flow issues

Kansas Budget Director Shawn Sullivan warned lawmakers that the state will run into cash flow problems unless budget legislation is passed in the next few weeks, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Sullivan spoke to the Kansas House of Representatives about the potential problems.

“Cash flow gets tight by the middle of February,” Sullivan said. “There’s $45 million of school payments that go out Feb. 17.”

State legislators are currently looking at transferring funds away from a number of programs in order to pay more than $253 million in debt spending. Current proposals would cut $55 million from the medical programs feed fund and $158 from the state highway fund.

Bob Totten, executive vice president of the Kansas Contractors Association, is opposed to the transfer of state highway funds because he said it will undermine T-Works, the state’s transportation improvement program.

“We know further cuts or transfers from (Kansas Department of Transportation) will jeopardize the completion of T-Works as it was conceived and passed in 2010,” Totten wrote in a statement. “We believe that in addition to filling the budget holes in the coming years, projects in 2018, 2019 and 2020 are at risk.”