Valetine's Day fun to keep kids busy

Lee Richardson Zoo is offering childcare services for couples who want to spend a romantic evening alone on Valentine's Day. From 6 to 10 p.m. on Valentine's Day, couples may bring children age 4 and up to the Finnup Center, 312 Finnup Drive, where they will be served pizza and sweets, take part in activities and have some zoo animal encounters. The fee is $20 per child and, because space is limited, reservations must be made in advance at the Finnup Center or by calling 276-1250. Cash and checks will be accepted.

Sweethearts dance on Saturday

"Born In A Barn" will perform for a Valentine's Dance on Saturday at the Eagles Lodge, U.S. Highway 83 and Mary Street. The dance, open to the public, is scheduled from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Make a splash at 'Y Splash'

Session Six of the Garden City Family YMCA's "Y Splash" event is set for Monday through Feb. 13, open to youth age 3 to 14. The free swim lessons are from 5:30 to 6 p.m. (age 3 to 5) and 6 to 6:45 p.m. (age 6 to 14). For details, call Monica Colborn at 275-1199.

New swimming sessions begin

New sessions of all swim lessons offered at the Garden City Family YMCA will begin Feb. 17. Deadline to register is Tuesday. Lessons are offered for youth through age 16 and includes a parent/tot level. Fees are $20 with free/reduced lunch scholarship, $26 member rate and $52 program participant rate. For details, call Monica Colborn at 275-1199.

Utilities seek change in green energy law

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Utilities in Kansas are lobbying legislators to rewrite a state renewable energy law to provide less financial benefit to consumers who install solar panels or windmills.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that bills introduced in the House and Senate worry solar energy advocates. Under the state's so-called "net metering" law, consumers who use renewable resources and generate more electricity than they need get full credit for each extra kilowatt hour they send to the electric grid.

Westar Energy, the state's largest electric company, says the practice does not account for fixed costs faced by utilities, such as power plants and lines. But solar-energy device inventor Mark Moser of Manhattan says the changes would make Kansas among the worst states for solar businesses.

Kan. AG joins appeal of EPA ruling

TOPEKA (AP) Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has joined other states in appealing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed regulation of nutrients in runoff from farms and lawns.

Schmidt says he filed a brief Monday in a federal appeals court in Philadelphia in a lawsuit by the American Farm Bureau over the EPA's regulation of nutrient runoff in the Chesapeake River basin.

Schmidt says Kansas and other states are weighing in on the case before the EPA makes similar regulations on nutrient runoff in the Mississippi River basin, which includes Kansas.

The attorneys general contend the regulation represents EPA micromanagement of how states meet federal water quality standards. Schmidt and others maintain that states have the authority to control runoff and impose any restrictions on industry.