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.

Members of the State Finance Council, including Gov. Laura Kelly, Senate President Ty Masterson and House Speaker Ron Ryckman, voted to obligate state taxpayers to financial settlement of two lawsuits. One case involving the Kansas Department for Children and Families required payment of $250,000 to settle. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

State Finance Council approves payment of $255,000 to settle lawsuits against Kansas

By: and - May 18, 2022

Kansas political leaders endorse $250,000 settlement in lawsuit against state agency and foster care provider and award $5,000 to injured prison inmate.

Why an ambitious effort to overhaul Kansas water management fell short

By: - May 16, 2022

The dire state of water in western Kansas is not in dispute. The aquifer Kansans out west rely on to irrigate crops and provide drinking water dropped by a foot in 2021.  “If you look at charts as to where it was … when they started irrigating and now, it’s alarming,” said the House Water […]

Lisa Pascoe with her 2-year-old daughter on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at their home in Clarkson Valley, Missouri. (Brian Munoz/St. Louis Public Radio)

Known to be toxic for a century, lead still poisons thousands of Midwestern kids

By: and - April 11, 2022

CLARKSON VALLEY, Mo. — When the pediatrician recommended Lisa Pascoe have her then-toddler tested for lead poisoning, she thought there was no way he could be at risk. Everything in her South St. Louis home had been remodeled. But then the nurse called to say her son’s blood lead level was dangerously high — five […]

Missouri House bill would cut down on poisonous lead in school drinking water

By: and - March 29, 2022

Missouri children would be better protected from lead poisoning under a state legislative bill to  require schools to nearly rid their drinking water of the dangerous toxin. The bill, heard Monday by the House Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, would require schools to test drinking water, remove old coolers and filter water where lead is […]

KU professor accused of fraud under China Initiative goes to criminal trial

By: - March 21, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The two and a half years since her husband, Franklin Tao, was arrested have been a waking nightmare for Hong Peng and the couple’s two children. Peng said she is working three jobs while the family falls into debt from her husband’s legal expenses — and his lost income. She said […]

Kansas bill targeting property tax breaks for wind farms fails in committee vote

By: - March 18, 2022

Another in a series of bills criticized as an effort to end development of wind farms in Kansas failed to make it out of committee Thursday. The bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Thompson, a Shawnee Republican and chairman of the Senate Utilities Committee, who has proposed a number of bills critics say are attempts […]

Kansas Senate bill would bolster inspections of dog breeders, animal shelters

By: - March 17, 2022

A Kansas Senate bill could bolster the state’s efforts to inspect dog and cat breeders, shelters and kennels after an audit found the program lacking. The bill — supported by animal shelters and the Humane Society of the United States, and opposed by the Kansas Livestock Association and dog breeders — would establish a division […]

Kansas bill would require wind farms to minimize blinking lights

By: - March 9, 2022

Residents of the Kansas prairie asked legislators Wednesday to restore the night sky they say is dominated by red blinking lights from industrial wind turbines.  “One of the greatest things about living in rural Kansas is being able to enjoy the night sky, the moon and the stars … the red blinking lights have taken […]

‘Shooting themselves in the foot’: Committee guts Kansas bill to protect water

By: - March 1, 2022

The prospects for a major overhaul of Kansas water programs dimmed Tuesday after a legislative committee gutted a reform bill meant to give cabinet-level importance to a near crisis in Kansas. “What ended up happening is we kicked the can down the road again,” said Rep. Ron Highland, chairman of the House Water Committee.  For […]

‘We can’t wait 15 years’: Legislative committee works to overhaul Kansas water policy

By: - February 20, 2022

Time to protect water in Kansas is running short.  Parts of the aquifer in far western Kansas may only have 10 years of water left. Small towns are struggling to provide clean drinking water, and upgrading their facilities would bankrupt them.  If the state is going to preserve its water resources, it has to act […]

Aggressive spending or necessary investments? Kansas Senate bill would cap Evergy rate hikes

By: - February 18, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansans can’t keep tolerating electric rate hikes from the state’s dominant monopoly utility, Evergy, say proponents of a bill to cap increases. Energy in Kansas used to be competitive compared to the region, they said, but costs are now soaring past peer states. According to the Energy Information Administration, average electricity […]

Kansas Senate committee unable to advance anti-wind bills, chairman says

By: - February 16, 2022

One of a half-dozen bills opponents say are meant to end renewable energy in Kansas won’t make it out of committee, the senator leading the charge said Wednesday.  As he prepared to adjourn the Senate Utilities Committee, Sen. Mike Thompson, a Johnson County Republican, seemed to say there weren’t enough senators on the 11-member committee […]