HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Health

‐state policy‐impact of federal policy‐rural health care delivery‐access & availability

Education

‐state policy‐programs and opportunities‐access & availability

Welfare

‐state policies‐income levels‐wellness‐quality of life

Kansas foster care contractors will now be paying a financial price for kids sleeping in their offices. The plan was made public Friday during a meeting of a child welfare task force.

Department for Children and Families Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said the contractors will face fines and citations against their licenses. The fines and citation consequences won't be set unless there's a violation, she said.

Last year, the public learned that kids were sleeping in the offices of Kansas foster care contractors because of a lack of available placements on short notice.

There were a record number of flu hospitalizations in Colorado last year. More than 4,600 people were hospitalized due to the flu during the last flu season.

Several factors contributed to a spike in hospitalizations, one of which is the strain, said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, epidemiologist for the Colorado Department of Public Health.

"And last year the predominant strain was a virus called H3N2,” said Herlihy. “And that strain of influenza is really known to cause higher rates of hospitalization and more severe illness, particularly in older adults.”

A prescription drug monitoring program in Kansas will receive a federal grant worth more than $736,000 to expand.

The Kansas Board of Pharmacy oversees K-TRACS, a system for monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances.

Kansans seeking health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federally run exchange will have the choice of three insurers in 2019.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said in a statement that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Medica Insurance Co. and Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan will offer 23 separate plans for individuals through HealthCare.gov, the federal government exchange.

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One day soon, some residents of the Texas Panhandle may be able to obtain free prescriptions. As NBCDFW reports, the first public free pharmacy in the state of Texas is now open in Dallas.

The facility was launched by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of North Texas, a group dedicated to giving a helping hand to low-income Texans who are ill and in need of medications.

Wikimedia Commons

The USDA has released a list of retail chains that received E.coli-infected ground beef.

Tons of ground beef recalled from a Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado, have been blamed for one death and 17 illnesses.

Sixty-five percent of children born to young parents in Texas are living in poverty, according to a new report.

The report, released Tuesday by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that 450,000 children were born to young parents in Texas from 2015 to 2017. It defined young parents as people between 18 and 24.

Kansas public schools will see $27 million from the U.S. Department of Education to improve literacy for all kids — including those not yet old enough for school.

After exploring the idea and stirring worries and warnings from retired teachers and elected officials, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas opted Friday not to raise monthly health care premiums for a group of nearly 68,000 retired teachers.

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

E. Coli Outbreak Prompts Recall Of Cargill Ground Beef

Sep 20, 2018
CC0 Creative Commons

Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling hundreds of thousands of pounds ground beef products following an E.coli outbreak that caused one death and 17 illnesses.   

According to the USDA, Cargill is recalling over 132,00 pounds of ground beef products that may be infected with E.coli following an epidemiological investigation that found the affected people purchased the meat from grocery stores supplied by Ft. Morgan, Colorado’s Cargill Meat Solution

Courtesy - Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Multiple cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been confirmed in horses across Kansas over the past few weeks.

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of  Animal Health, 10 confirmed cases have been reported in Lyon, Marion, Neosho, Seward and Wichita counties.

KDA Spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne said there may be other infected horses that haven’t yet been tested. 

The alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl while she was waiting for a foster care placement in May has many asking about consequences for the contractor, responsible that day for both the girl and the 18-year-old accused of assaulting her.

On a Facebook Live session Wednesday, Department for Children and Families secretary Gina Meier-Hummel fielded a question about why the contractor hasn’t been dropped.

In the wake of rape charge filed in an attack on a 13-year-old girl in the office of a foster care contractor, Kansas lawmakers said Tuesday they’ll investigate what went wrong.

One legislator said state officials and the contractor responsible for watching over the alleged victim will face tough questions later this month.

Colorado has the fourth worst teacher pay gap in the country. A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute found Colorado teachers make 35.1 percent less that other workers living in similar parts of the state with similar education.

The paper tracks teacher pay since 1979, when they made about 5.5 percent less than comparable workers nationally. By 2017 that gap had grown to 18.7 percent.

Texas Launches Mobile App To Help People Report Suspicious Activity

Sep 18, 2018

A new mobile app launched after a southeast Texas high school shooting last month will allow Texans to report on suspicious activity happening in their own communities and schools. 

Center for the Study of the American West

The Center for the Study of the American West in Canyon has received a major grant from Humanities Texas.

The Center for the Study of the American West, better known as CSAW, is fast becoming one of the nation’s most recognized centers for thought and research into the American West.

The grant of several thousand dollars annually will go toward producing the center’s annual “Forgotten Frontera” community conversation event.

A nine-year-old boy in Colorado took his own life on the first week of school this year. The tragedy highlighted a pervasive problem in the state and in the Mountain West region as a whole -- the high suicide rate -- especially among youth. Goal Academy in Pueblo, Colorado is a charter program with high schools around the state that focuses on both academic and mental wellbeing.   

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Oklahoma imprisons more people than any other state, which means the Sooner State remains the largest per capita incarcerator in the world. State Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh is trying to change that, and he may have found part of the answer in the nation’s previous leader in imprisonment, Louisiana.

Sepsis hits nearly two million people in the U.S. a year and kills more than a quarter million. It’s a particular problem in nursing homes, where the aging, confused and immobile are especially susceptible.

In Kansas, scores of nursing homes have received federal citations since 2015 for practices that can put residents at a higher risk of sepsis.

Colorado’s prison population has increased seven-fold since 1980 and the number of felony cases filed by prosecutors has jumped 50 percent in just five years — sparking a statewide incarceration boom that costs Coloradans almost $1 billion a year, according to an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

For the first time in years, the uninsured rate in Texas is starting to climb again. After the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014, the state’s uninsured rate dropped from 22 percent to about 16 percent in 2016. However, that trend has started to move in another direction.

Seventh grade Texas social studies teachers will likely still be required to describe Alamo defenders in terms of their “heroism” and refer to William B. Travis’ letter “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” contrary to an initial recommendation of a board-appointed work group.

The Kansas State University Foundation had its second-best fundraising year in history.

The foundation announced Monday that it raised $174.2 million in fiscal year 2018.

The Kansas State Board of Education approved new standards Tuesday for students learning English as a second language.

The changes come as the number of students learning English grows in the state. Kansas Department of Education statistics show they made up nearly 12 percent of students in 2017.

From Texas Standard:

The start of the new school year is one of the busiest seasons for the The Boy Scouts of America, which happens to be among of the country's biggest youth organizations. Right now, the group's representatives are focused on recruiting new scouts, but this year, they're taking a different tack with their usual membership drive.

Kansas State University announced plans to upgrade facilities for each of its 16 sports programs.

The $230 million-plus master plan was unveiled by Athletic Director Gene Taylor on Friday. The school said the projects will be financed through private donations.

The largest of the projects is an $85 million renovation of Bramlage Coliseum, the university's 30-year-old basketball stadium. This project will include a new grand entry and ticket office, along with space for a K-State athletics hall of fame.

From Texas Standard:

Two years ago, the Houston Chronicle investigated how Texas had been creating the false impression that there was declining demand for special education. The investigation was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and it showed that Texas had found ways to cap the number of special-education students, and block others from even qualifying. It was essentially a money-saving strategy, but now the federal government says it's time to pay up, and fix the system.

In 2015, a woman donned a clown mask and slipped into a Dollar General Store in Wichita just before closing time.

In the final moments of the robbery that eventually got her three years in prison, she did something that could complicate her life for many more years to come.

She flashed a stun gun, stuffed the $3,400 in her coveralls and fled.

Jonathan Baker

Since 1939, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch has been thought of as a safe space for at-risk youth in the Texas Panhandle. But late last year, allegations of abuse--spanning decades--surfaced.

On Friday morning, former Boys Ranch residents gathered in Amarillo to bring attention to what they say happened to them at the faith-based facility.

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