Author

Allison Kite

Allison Kite

Allison Kite is a data reporter for The Missouri Independent and Kansas Reflector, with a focus on the environment and agriculture. A graduate of the University of Kansas, she’s covered state government in both Topeka and Jefferson City, and most recently was City Hall reporter for The Kansas City Star.

‘Statesman,’ ‘hero,’ ‘favorite son’: Well wishes pour out after death of Sen. Bob Dole

By: - December 5, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Reverence for U.S. Sen. Bob Dole’s service as a soldier in World War II, a longtime senator and fixture in Washington, D.C., was evident Sunday morning following the announcement of his death. In the hours after the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced Dole, 98, had died following a battle with lung cancer, […]

Consumer advocates fear hedge funds’ influence could mean more spending, rate hikes at Evergy

By: - November 24, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four of the five members on Evergy’s finance committee, tasked with recommending management and investment decisions to the board of directors, were selected by activist hedge funds that critics worry are asserting undue influence over the electric utility. That involvement, consumer advocates say, could drive up rates for Evergy’s 1.6 million […]

Douglas County hires nonprofit to establish indigent defense office for misdemeanors

By: - November 18, 2021

LAWRENCE — Douglas County will hire a Lawrence nonprofit to establish a public defender office for those facing misdemeanors in district court, replacing a panel of attorneys who are currently appointed to handle a host of cases. In Kansas, a state board pays for indigent defense for those accused of felonies who can’t afford a layer. […]

Free legal service for $400? Douglas County Commission considers competing public defender ideas

By: - November 17, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A for-profit consortium of lawyers would charge low-income residents $400 for public defense services that are currently free under a proposal before the Douglas County Commission. The commission is evaluating two proposals meant to establish a public defender, or indigent defense, office to handle misdemeanor cases — one by a nonprofit […]

Alligator snapping turtle, nearly extinct in Kansas, could be listed as threatened species

By: - November 9, 2021

Federal wildlife officials have proposed listing the “dinosaurs of the turtle world” as a threatened species, citing habitat loss across much of their range.  Alligator snapping turtles have powerful jaws that come to a point and tough spiny shells. Adult males can weigh nearly 250 pounds, making them the largest freshwater turtle in North America.  […]

Kansas trails U.S. average in nursing home staff vaccinations as federal deadline looms

By: and - November 5, 2021

Even as nursing homes worked late this summer to get Missouri over the halfway mark in employee vaccinations, the state fell further behind peers, dropping to last in the nation. And while neighboring Kansas has fared better, both states have large swaths of nursing home staff to get vaccinated before a federal deadline next month. […]

Anti-masker’s profane outburst targeting Kansas Reflector editor restored to video recording

By: - November 4, 2021

An anti-masker’s profane outburst targeting Kansas Reflector editor Sherman Smith is now posted online after initially being edited out of a video of a Kansas legislative committee meeting, prompting concerns about the Legislature’s transparency. Justin Spiehs, who referred to himself as a doctor, appeared before the Leigslature’s Special Committee on Government Overreach and the Impact […]

with the computer system in 2019 at a drinking water treatment facility in Ellsworth County. The recommendation is the former employee of the water plant serve one year in jail. (Getty Images)

Report allows Kansas residents to see what contaminants are in their drinking water

By: - November 3, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas and Missouri residents may be drinking unsafe amounts of arsenic, nitrates and other chemicals — even if their provider is meeting federal drinking water requirements, according to data published Wednesday by an environmental group. The Environmental Working Group released its most up to date tap water database, compiling testing information […]

On top of $1B fallout from February cold snap, natural gas prices expected to climb this winter

By: - November 2, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a historic cold snap depleted natural gas reserves in February, prices for heating could be as much as 30% higher this winter, prompting concerns about increasing bills for Kansas and Missouri customers. Kansas is already grappling with the $1 billion fallout from this winter’s cold snap, when natural gas prices […]

Environmental advocates say Evergy can shutter two more coal plants within decade

By: - October 28, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Evergy can retire two more coal-burning power plants within the decade without sacrificing affordability or massively increasing rates, environmental advocates say in a new report. The electric utility, which serves 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, is scheduled to stop burning coal at its Lawrence plant by the end of […]

Kansas Evergy customers could soon get help to make homes more energy efficient

By: - October 25, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Ashok Gupta and his wife bought their home, adding insulation to their walls and roof and investing in energy-efficient appliances was a no-brainer knowing they would save money in the long run through lower energy bills. But Gupta, a senior energy economist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said myriad […]

A coalition of juvenile justice reformers eager to advance alternatives to incarceration in Kansas share skepticism about wisdom of Legislature and governor cutting $21 million from community program fund. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Nonprofit report calls for closing last juvenile prison, keeping kids out of system

By: - October 15, 2021

Incarcerating young Kansans is more costly and inhumane than providing community services, education and mentoring to keep them out of the juvenile justice system, according to a new report by a nonprofit pushing the state to shutter its last juvenile prison. Kansas-based Progeny, which focuses on juvenile justice reform, released a report Thursday outlining steps […]