Five sessions are scheduled in the third week of July around the state to train local government officials, the public and the press about the Kansas Open Records and Kansas Open Meetings acts.
Sponsors are the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, the Kansas Press Association, Kansas Newspaper Foundation and Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government.
The sessions are July 16 in Hutchinson, July 17 in Dodge City, July 19 in Iola and July 20 in both Leavenworth and Topeka.
“Kansas has a strong tradition of open access to our government,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. “These training sessions provide an opportunity for elected officials, the media and citizens to learn about the requirements of our open government laws.”
KPA will be represented on panel discussions at each location by Doug Anstaett, executive director.
At each stop, a representative from the newspaper industry is scheduled to be on the panel.
The schedule for the sessions is as follows:
Monday, July 16, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Hutchinson Community College, 1300 N. Plum, Hutchinson. John Montgomery, editor and publisher of the Hutchinson News, will be involved in panel discussions.
Tuesday, July 17, 9 a.m. to noon, Dodge City Community College, 2501 N. 14th St., Dodge City. Dena Sattler, editor and publisher of the Garden City Telegram, will be a panel member.
Thursday, July 19, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Allen County Community College, 1801 N. Cottonwood St., Iola. Bob Johnson of the Iola Register is slated to participate on the panel.
Friday, July 20, 9 a.m. to noon, Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St., Leavenworth. Caroline Trowbridge of the Lawrence Journal-World will be on the panel.
Friday, July 20, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Memorial Hall, 120 S.W. 10th Ave., Topeka. Andy Marso of the Topeka Capital-Journal is scheduled on the panel.
Other panel members will include county and district attorneys, court officials and representatives of the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government.
“I encourage KPA members to send reporters to cover these events or at least to listen to the discussions,” Anstaett said. “I think these are helpful because they help dispel some of the myths our city and county officials are operating under. At the same time, I think reporters gain a new perspective on the laws of Kansas as well.
The seminars are free, and open to the public. Space at each location is limited, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants can register at the Kansas Attorney General’s website, www.ag.ks.gov, or by calling (785) 296-2215 or (888) 428-8436.