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Tribune staff attend training
Classes explore open records/meetings, new technology
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Ever since upgrading software this year, staff at the Great Bend Tribune have been learning the finer points of page design using the Adobe Creative Suite products. Last week, reporter Susan Thacker traveled to Topeka, where Russell Viers led a two-day Technology Academy at the Kansas Press Association office. The seminar was partially underwritten by a grant from the Kansas Newspaper Foundation.
Viers led sessions on the most popular Adobe Creative Suite programs, including InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator, Bridge and Acrobat XI Pro.
Other Tribune employees have studied with Viers online, via his webinars.
Thacker also took time to tour the Kansas State Capitol building at Topeka.
Great Bend Tribune reporter Veronica Coons attended a regional seminar about Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) and Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) presented by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition. The meeting, facilitated by Assistant Attorney General Lisa Mendoza, was held at Dodge City Community College Tuesday, July 22.
A panel consisting of Ron Keefover, president of the Kansas Sunshine Coalition; Doug Anstaett, executive director of the Kansas Press Association; Richard Boeckman, county counselor and administrator of Barton County; and Dena Sattler, editor and publisher of the Garden City Telegram, took part in the discussion style format, providing input to questions from an audience consisting of members of the media, governmental officials and the public.  Attorney General Schmidt was in attendance as an observer and spoke briefly during a break.
Special attention was paid to the new probable cause affidavits law which went into effect July 1. With the passage of Senate Substitute for HB 2389, the Kansas Legislature opened records that for more than 30 years had been presumed closed and could only be opened by an order of the court. The bill allows for both arrest and search warrant affidavits to be open following actions by prosecutors and the district judge in each jurisdiction. Certain procedures must be followed in requesting these documents, which were covered in the training.
Both the KORA and KOMA were created to ensure that government is open and accessible to all Kansans. The three-hour class focused on what meetings and documents fall under the acts, how executive sessions work, what information is required to be available to the public and how to request it.  
The session was one of six across Kansas. Panelists provided anecdotal and real life illustrations during discussions.