Local and state briefs

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House committee aims to change Supreme court selection process

The House Judicial Committee held a hearing Wednesday on two measures that would change the way state Supreme Court Justices are selected, according to the Little Apple Post.

One change would select the justices in partisan elections, while the other would allow the governor to appoint them.

Current Supreme Court vacancies are filled by the applicants being screened by a nominating commission led by attorneys. The commission names three finalists and the governor picks one.

Representatives of three lawyers’ associations told the panel that the changes would politicize the court and weaken the independence of the judiciary.

Any amendment must be passed by a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate, and passed by a majority in a statewide referendum.

Sunset Zoo sets record attendance

Manhattan’s Sunset Zoo welcomed a record breaking 79,269 guests in 2014, a record year for the 82-year-old park, according to a Sunset Zoo press release.

Park attendance rose 6 percent from 2013, and 26 percent over a period of five years. Since 2012, the park has opened several major enhancements such as the Nature Exploration Center, an entryway educational facility and a veterinary clinic.

Sixty-three percent of all guests to the Zoo in 2014 were from Riley, Geary and Pottawatomie counties, and roughly 25 percent of them were from out of Kansas.

“We are blown away by this growth,” Sunset Zoo Director Scott Shoemaker said in the release. “Thank you – sincerely – to our local community and all of our guests for your fantastic support.”

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