The week that was

BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOUR EGO DOESN'T HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON: SUV ownership in Kansas rose by 30 percent between 1997 and 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
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PULL TWO TUBES AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING: The Supreme Court last week listened to arguments over whether it should allow states to make medical marijuana legal. Eleven states have passed medical marijuana laws since 1996.
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THIS WILL MAKE READING THE PAPER ON THE WAY TO KANSAS CITY LESS DANGEROUS: Transportation officials are contemplating a new bus system to ferry commuters between Lawrence and Kansas City. "A lot of people would find it more relaxing and restful than having to drive themselves," said state official Terry Heidner. "Students could do a little homework or some reading, or you could even take a nap to get your day started."
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THE NEXT LAW WILL BE TO LITERALLY SHACKLE NEW COUPLES TO EACH OTHER: The Kansas Legislature next year is expected to create "covenant marriage" - an optional form of a marriage license that would mandate premarital counseling and require a two-year separation before divorce could be granted. Luckily, the Legislature will wait on that bill until they begin work to pass a constitution amendment making sure that gay people can't partake of "covenant marriage," or any other kind of official union.
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WHEN I SEE A COLLEGE-AGED, MIDDLE-CLASS WHITE GUY WALKING DOWN THE STREET, I GET SCARED AND LOCK MY CAR DOORS: A common thread links three high-profile recent crimes in Lawrence: they were all committed by college-aged white males from middle-class backgrounds. Such men were responsible for bank robberies, an arson spree and a crowbar beating. As a result, property values in Lawrence's "white" neighborhoods are expected to decline, and white people are likely to experience trouble getting a taxi after dark.
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WE'RE SURE THIS MEANS THE END OF THE CONTROVERSY: Lawrence's citywide smoking ban appears to be on the books for good. Leaders of a petition drive to force a public vote on the matter ended their efforts last week, saying they'd rather find a compromise with the City Commission. However, commissioners said they're not interested in finding a compromise.
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OHIANS MARGINALLY MORE ASTUTE THAN MOST STATES: President Bush's victory over John Kerry in Ohio was closer than the unofficial election night totals showed, but the change is not enough to trigger an automatic recount, according The Associated Press. Bush's margin of victory was 119,000 votes, smaller than the 136,000-vote margin he was originally credited with.
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FUZZY MATH = AWESOME MORALE BOOST: U.S. military commanders announced Wednesday they would increase troops in Iraq by "12,000" - of whom less than 2,000 will be new arrivals to the war. The rest will be among the 138,000 troops already in Iraq and ordered to stay longer.
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THE END OF AN ERA: The 30-year-old Lawrence Alternative High School will be closed at the end of the school year. Next school year, all those students - along with parts of the program - will be integrated into Free State and Lawrence High schools. Students at the school are there for a variety of reasons - they fell behind in class because of illness, others were truant, and others didn't fit well in a regular classroom.
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KANSAS: THE FINAL FRONTIER: Salina will be the launching point next month of GlobalFlyer, the first attempted a nonstop solo flight around the world without refueling. The plane was designed by Californian Burt Rutan, father of the SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded craft to reach space.
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