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.

Kansas county scuttles talk of converting Leavenworth jail to ICE detention center

By: - September 21, 2023

Leavenworth County officials voted unanimously Wednesday to halt discussions over whether to convert a former private federal jail into a detention center for immigration enforcement.  For years, CoreCivic, the nation’s largest private prison operator, ran a federal pretrial detention center in Leavenworth for individuals charged with — but not convicted of — federal crimes from Kansas, […]

Kansas condo board says it’s being forced to pay twice for gas used during 2021 winter storm

By: - September 19, 2023

For an Overland Park condo association, the next natural gas bill after a historic cold snap more than two years ago was stunning. Pinebrooke Condominium Subdivision Association, in Overland Park, typically paid about $4,500 for its members’ monthly bills. But its February 2021 bill came to more than $280,000. It settled and paid 75% of […]

Gov. Laura Kelly nominated former state Rep. Annie Kuether, a Topeka Democrat, to a vacancy on the Kansas Corporation Commission. Kuether spent 25 years in the Legislature and served on the House's energy committee. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Senate committee confirms former Democratic legislator to utility regulatory board

By: - September 13, 2023

Former Kansas state Rep. Annie Kuether was confirmed as the newest member of the Kansas Corporation Commission Wednesday with a near-unanimous vote.  Kuether, who served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1997 to 2022, will be seated immediately. She replaces outgoing commission Chair Susan Duffy. Gov. Laura Kelly announced she had appointed Kuether, a […]

Lawsuits take aim at BP for ‘unconscionable’ prices during 2021 cold snap in Kansas

By: - September 13, 2023

BP Energy and other suppliers took advantage of a historic cold snap two years ago to sell natural gas at hundreds of times its normal price, two class action lawsuits filed in Kansas allege. The lawsuits, which name a combined eight companies in the natural gas supply chain, allege defendants violated the Kansas Consumer Protection […]

A thermometer measures hot temperatures

August heat wave set records in parts of Kansas

By: - September 8, 2023

Intolerable heat and humidity that hovered over Kansas last month set daily maximum temperature records across the state and rivaled all-time highs. The heat that drove readings into the 110s and heat indices even higher served as a preview of what could become even more severe and frequent weather events as the effects of climate […]

Shuttered private jail in Leavenworth could become ICE detention center

By: - September 6, 2023

A private pre-trial detention center in Leavenworth beset with violence when it closed in 2021 could house individuals detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.  For years, Nashville-based CoreCivic operated the Leavenworth Detention Center, which held individuals charged — but not convicted — with federal crimes from Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and western Missouri. Now, it […]

Kansas City police made arrests based on rescinded warrants, records show

By: - September 3, 2023

Kansas City police arrested at least four people on invalid warrants in 2021 following its transition from one tracking software program to another, The Missouri Independent has learned. It’s unclear from the records obtained by The Independent how many individuals were mistakenly arrested. The department had been warned of possible technical issues that could lead […]

Long-awaited Evergy energy efficiency programs approved by Kansas regulators

By: - September 1, 2023

Kansas regulators approved a robust set of energy efficiency programs for Evergy customers after concerns the deal might fall apart. The 2-1 vote by the Kansas Corporation Commission on Friday brings programs, such as rebates and discounts on efficient HVAC systems and free thermostats, to Evergy’s Kansas customers. Missouri regulators have allowed energy efficiency programs […]

Lawsuit alleges Kansas City mayor tried to intimidate activist over request for records

By: - August 30, 2023

A Kansas City activist has filed a lawsuit alleging Mayor Quinton Lucas attempted to intimidate her into withdrawing a request for public records from his office. Lora McDonald, executive director of the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, or MORE2, sued the city earlier this month over alleged violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law. She alleges […]

A flock of green-winged teal settle on the marsh at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

Kansas farm irrigation still hinders Quivira National Wildlife Refuge water rights

By: - August 24, 2023

TOPEKA — The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge received insufficient amounts of water in two out of every three years between 2008 and 2021, a report by Kansas regulators found. The report updates a more thorough analysis from 2016 that found farm irrigation upstream from Quivira was infringing on the refuge’s water rights. That followed a […]

Evergy's coal plant in Lawrence pumps smog into the sky

Evergy requests first rate increase in five years. Rates outside Kansas City would jump 10%.

By: - August 11, 2023

Evergy’s request that Kansas customers pay another $218 million each year is a symptom of a system built without efficiency, an environmental advocate says. And until Kansas regulators allow the investor-owned utility to implement its proposed suite of programs designed to bring down customers’ usage, Ashok Gupta, an economist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, […]

Former detainee sues defunct for-profit jail in Leavenworth over 2021 stabbing

By: - July 25, 2023

A former inmate of a now-defunct private jail in Leavenworth is suing the facility’s operators for running a facility so “dangerous, understaffed and insecure” that he was stabbed in 2021. The lawsuit, filed last month in Wyandotte County and amended Monday, says CoreCivic, one of the country’s largest private prison operators, and its Leavenworth-based employees […]