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Question: Is Manhattan implementing a new law that bans cellphone use while driving?

Yes and no. Manhattan has a new law that takes effect Thursday which bans cellphone use while driving and holding the cellphone. It allows hands-free use of cellphones, which means using a mobile phone headset: for example, a Bluetooth wireless headset or a wired headset, a car kit or other phone extension that keeps the driver's hands free.

According to the Manhattan Mercury's June 17 article, violators will receive warnings until Jan. 1, 2011, when fines will start being given. 49 News reported June 22 that Manhattan City Commissioners made the change to be consistent with the state's new text-messaging ban.

For more about the new law, see the's Feb. 8 article: Manhattan, Kansas, Lawmakers Vote to Ban Driving With Cell Phones.

Question: Does Kansas have a new law that bans text messaging while driving?

Yes. The law was signed by Gov. Mark Parkinson on May 24 and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011. It bans all text messaging -- sending, receiving and reading -- by drivers in Kansas.

For more information, visit to learn about cell phone and texting laws in Kansas and to learn about Kansas cell phone laws and legislation.


Effective Thursday, a new fee structure will be put into place for personal computer repair provided by the Information Technology Assistance Center.

For a list of new fees, visit


As K-State goes live with the calendar portion of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite for official calendaring use on campus, the question has been asked as to which mobile devices work best with the suite and do not require additional changes beyond a typical cellular rate and date plan.

The chart below lists devices that have been confirmed to work well with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite and require no additional charges beyond the cellular rate and data plan.


It is possible other devices are compatible with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite. However, K-Staters are encouraged to discuss possible options with their departmental technical staff or IT Help Desk before purchasing a mobile device.


K-State's College of Engineering has two new department heads.

Joseph P. Harner III has been named head of the department of biological and agricultural engineering. He began his position June 13. Alok Bhandari will head the department of civil engineering and be K-State's inaugural Dr. Robert Snell Professor of Civil Engineering. His appointment is effective Aug. 8.

Harner came to K-State in 1983 with a 100-percent extension appointment in biological and agricultural engineering and responsibilities in programming related to grain and livestock systems. He has been serving as the department's interim head since February 2009.

He has three degrees from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, including both a bachelor's and a master's in agricultural engineering and a doctorate in environmental science and engineering.

Harner is a registered professional engineer in Kansas and is active in numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. He was named the society's Mid Central Engineer of the Year in 2009 and the Kansas Section Engineer of the Year. He also received the society's Henry Giese Structures and Environment Award.

"Dr. Harner had certainly proven to be a capable leader during his time as interim head, and his qualities and credentials once again stood out in the national search for this position," said John English, dean of the College of Engineering. "We could not be more pleased to have him as the permanent department head of biological and agricultural engineering."

Bhandari is currently an associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, serving as focus area leader of the water and environmental stewardship engineering faculty and director of the water quality laboratory. From 1998 to 2007 he was a civil engineering faculty member at K-State, where he also served as the founding coordinator of the university's New Faculty Institute.

He has a bachelor's in civil engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Tech University and a master's in environmental engineering and doctorate in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Bhandari is a registered professional engineer in Minnesota. His many awards and recognitions include the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Excellence in Student Chapter Advising Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was a Miller Faculty Fellow at Iowa State University and a Big 12 Faculty Fellow.

"We could not be more pleased to welcome Dr. Bhandari back to K-State as department head," English said. "His outstanding credentials and proven leadership skills will serve both civil engineering and the college well."

Bhandari will replace Yacoub Najjar, professor of civil engineering, who has been serving as interim department head.


Beat the heat and enjoy the smooth sounds as this year's Little Apple Jazz Festival promises a new family-friendly area as well as all that jazz residents have come to love.

The 10th annual event is Saturday, July 17, in Manhattan's City Park, 1101 Fremont. The fun begins at 4 p.m. with family-friendly events before the live music begins at 5:30 p.m.

From 4-8 p.m. in and next to the Jon and Ruth Ann Wefald Pavilion, families can enjoy the Fort Riley Morale, Welfare and Recreation's horses and troopers from the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, inflatables and a HMMWV and armored security vehicle with crew from the 97th Military Police Battalion. Crafts and recycled crafts will be offered by UFM Community Learning Center, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art and the Manhattan Arts Center. The zoo animal program from the Sunset Zoo and an insect "petting zoo" from the K-State Insect Zoo are also sure to delight. Willie the Wildcat will make an appearance at 5:30 p.m.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, is part of the city's Arts in the Park series -- a collaborative effort between Manhattan's Parks and Recreation Department and the K-State Student Union Program Council. The event is sponsored by the Dow Chemical Multicultural Resource Center, Meritrust Credit Union and Ag Press Commercial Printing, among others.

This year's performance lineup includes different styles of jazz from local, regional and national artists. Performances are as follows:

5:30-6:15 p.m. -- Tommy Lee
6:15-6:45 p.m. and 7:30-8 p.m. -- Susan Hancock and the K-State Jazz Combo
6:45-7:30 p.m. -- Michael Bellar and the AS-IS Ensemble
8-8:45 p.m. -- Roxi Copland
8:45-9:30 p.m. -- Tim Seisser Trio
9:30-10:45 p.m. -- Khani Cole

Food vendors will also be on hand.

While some seating is available, blankets and portable chairs are encouraged.

In case of rain, the concert will be held at the Pavilion.

For audio, video and links to the artists' websites, visit

For questions, contact Beth Bailey, assistant director of the K-State Student Union and manager of programs, at 785-532-7326 or


As the old adage goes, "out with the old, in with the new." However, it should probably include something about "and onto the backs of thankful K-State students," as Career Closet is again accepting donations for the fall 2010 semester.

Career Closet is a service initiated by K-State's career and employment services. The service takes donated gently used business attire and offers it to students at no cost so they can dress appropriately for career fairs and job interviews.

Faculty and staff wishing to help students while also freeing up some closet and dresser space are encouraged to donate to the Career Closet.

Articles accepted are button-down shirts, suits, blazers, ties, belts, dresses, skirts, blouses and cardigans. Shoes are also accepted on the condition they appear lightly worn or in like-new condition.

"Last year Career Closet served over 100 students, and approximately 775 items were donated," said LaToya Farris, Career Closet coordinator and assistant director of career and employment services.

"The students who participated last year were very impressed with the selection and variety of clothes. Many of them were very appreciative," Farris said.

She is also encouraging faculty and staff to spread the word about the donation service by encouraging family and friends to donate their gently used professional attire as well.

Clothing may be dropped off at 100 Holtz Hall durig regular operating hours.

While the clothing is available to the students at no cost, any money the students donate is given to the Manhattan Emergency Shelter.

For any questions, contact Farris at 785-532-1686 or


Two brand new high-tech classrooms on campus will be completed and holding classes over the summer.

Previously used as a regular general-use classroom, 41 Waters was reopened for classes on June 7. The room now features a ceiling-mounted Epson projector and a technology podium equipped with a document camera, PC, connections for a portable laptop and audio and video switching equipment. All of the equipment is tied into a new sound system as well.

Construction and installation of equipment is also under way in 10 Leasure. The room was previously used for storage by the department of environmental health and safety on campus. Once completed, the room will have many of the same features as 41 Waters and will be ready for classes starting July 6.