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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 2, 2010

For 1 day, Google becomes capital of Kansas

Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. For a month, Topeka was Google. For a day April Fools' Day Google was Topeka.

In a nod to the Kansas capital, which unofficially changed its name to Google, Kan., for a month in a bid to become a test site for the company's planned super-fast fiber optic network, the popular search engine changed its name yesterday to Topeka.

Visitors to the company's home page, www.google .com, were greeted by the name "Topeka" in Google's familiar multicolor typeface. Below it was a link to a lengthy blog posting by Google Inc. Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt explaining the move.

Topeka, Schmidt said, took its name from the Kansa Indians as "a good place to dig for potatoes" along the banks of the Kansas River.

"We'd like to think that our Web site is one the Web's best places to dig for information," Schmidt wrote.

Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten's office was inundated with calls yesterday.

"We've had a lot of fun with it. It's brought attention to our city," Bunten said. "I appreciate that they received our effort to change the name in good humor and we do the same with their change to Topeka."

Bunten and city leaders signed off on the unofficial name change in hopes of landing Google's broadband project in Topeka, a city of 123,000.

Google spokesman Dan Martin was quick to note the name change doesn't mean Topeka has risen to the top of the list of contenders, which includes Hawai'i.

"We continue to evaluate the approximately 1,100 community responses that we've received, and still plan to announce our target community or communities by the end of the year," Martin said.