Author

Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda started his journalism career in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, covering local government and producing an episode of the podcast Show Me The State while earning his bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Noah then made a short move to Kansas City, Missouri, to work at KCUR as an intern on the talk show Central Standard and then in the newsroom, reporting on daily news and feature stories.

Republican-backed redistricting map heads to Kansas governor after party line votes in Legislature

By: - January 26, 2022

TOPEKA — A proposed map of the state’s congressional district boundaries headed Wednesday to the governor for further consideration, despite claims the “Ad Astra” plan would disenfranchise communities of interest and minorities. Republican supporters said the process to determine the maps was fair and end product reflected a changing state. Opponents of the map said […]

Kansas bills eliminating food sales tax offer different approaches to addressing food insecurity

By: - January 26, 2022

TOPEKA — A pair of bills aimed at eliminating the food sales tax on food and groceries in Kansas will help reduce rising food insecurity and aid families in getting food on the table, supporters say. House Bill 2484 would exempt food and food ingredients, including products sold at restaurants, from state retail sales and compensation […]

Kansas committee considers bill to ban ‘humiliating’ practice of juvenile shackling

By: - January 25, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas legal leaders and juvenile justice advocates are backing a bill to end the use of restraints on a juvenile during court hearings, which they referred to as an unnecessary and humiliating practice. The bill before the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, chaired by Rep. Stephen Owens, a Hesston Republican, would prohibit […]

Hands-free cellphone policy sorely needed for Kansas drivers, bill backers say

By: - January 25, 2022

TOPEKA — In 2015, Nicole Allensworth was texting and driving in a construction zone when she over-corrected, resulting in a two-vehicle crash that ended up causing her a traumatic brain injury. Before the crash, Allensworth, a 45-year-old single parent, attended Johnson County Community College and worked part-time to provide for her daughters. She spent 27 […]

Kansas bill would broaden scope of investigation into maternal deaths

By: - January 23, 2022

TOPEKA — For 41 years, Rita Williams Thompson’s daughter Charmaine battled through health difficulties because of what her mother described as negligent behavior by doctors throughout her pregnancy. On three separate occasions, Williams Thompson told doctors something was wrong. She noted swelling in her feet, legs and hands, but the only response she got was […]

Kansas Republican senators approve map to split KC metro, splinter Democratic vote

By: - January 21, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas Republican senators over the course of a three-hour debate Friday countered criticisms of their plan for the state’s congressional district boundaries, passing the controversial “Ad Astra” map. Opponents argued Republican leadership rushed the map and did not do enough to preserve the integrity of minority communities and other communities of interest, pointing […]

Kansas bill extending executive order on health care staffing shortages gets legislative approval

By: - January 21, 2022

TOPEKA — A bill codifying the bulk of the governor’s recent executive orders authorizing a temporary suspension of regulations on health care providers now heads to Gov. Laura Kelly after approval Thursday by the Legislature. Legislators applauded House Bill 2477 as a temporary solution to a demanding issue. It is a response to the worsening […]

Exhausted and overworked Kansas corrections employees make case for pay increase

By: - January 20, 2022

TOPEKA — In her 13 years working as a corrections officer, Jennifer Wyman has fielded threats to herself and her family, sat with other officers in the emergency room and helped to rehabilitate inmates, all while working three other jobs because of insufficient pay. The pay issue is feeding into a growing staffing problem in […]

Kansas legal advocates want to streamline name change process following divorce

By: - January 19, 2022

TOPEKA — When Melinda Lavon divorced her husband, she wanted to use her middle name as her new last name, but she found several hurdles complicating the process. Under Kansas law, someone in the process of divorce can only request a name change to a previous name or maiden name. Changing one’s name to any […]

Kansas anti-vaxxers applaud effort to expand access to unapproved, early COVID-19 treatments

By: - January 18, 2022

TOPEKA — Dozens of anti-vaccine Kansans greeted Sen. Mark Steffen with raucous applause Tuesday as he announced immediate and forthcoming bills that would undermine local health officials and promote off-label use of prescription drugs. Steffen, an anesthesiologist, criticized mainstream medical experts for keeping treatments like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin from COVID-19 patients. In a bill introduced […]

Kansas bill promises speedy review of untested sexual assault kits

By: - January 15, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas advocates say a bill approved by a Senate committee Thursday will ensure survivors who undergo sexual assault exams will have their evidence kits tested in a timely fashion. Under House Bill 2228, providers of these exams would be required to send evidence packs to the lab quickly, no longer letting them languish on […]

Kansas ranchers plead for tax relief after devastating December wildfire

By: - January 14, 2022

TOPEKA — Dec. 15, 2021, began as just another day for Chris Pelton, a rancher living in Paradise, but in a matter of hours a ravenous wildfire flipped his life, home and livelihood upside down. Pelton, who also serves as a volunteer firefighter, said he smelled smoke about lunchtime that day. Despite his best efforts […]