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.

The Kansas Department of Corrections says a 12th inmate incarcerated in state prison facilities died of COVID-19. The latest was a 62-year-old man at Hutchinson Correctional Facility. (Getty Images)

ACLU, public defenders urge White House to shut down violent private corrections facility in Kansas

By: - September 3, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The violence and neglect suffered by inmates at a pre-trial detention facility in Leavenworth has become so severe the facility should be shut down, a group of civil rights leaders and public defenders wrote in a letter to officials in Kansas and Washington, D.C. The letter, dated Thursday, said leaders at […]

Judge tosses lawsuit backed by Kansas AG challenging Biden’s ‘social cost of carbon’ calculation

By: - September 1, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge found a group of Republican attorneys general lacked the standing to sue President Joe Biden’s administration for taking steps to consider the “social cost of carbon” in federal regulations. The suit, supported by officials in 13 states, was led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running […]

Kansas City suffers from severe urban heat. Research now underway might help leaders address it.

By: - August 30, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The strain excessive heat was putting on the streets of Kansas City was obvious during a streak of days earlier this month when peak temperatures stayed above 90 degrees for days in a row. In and around downtown, volunteers with the Salvation Army handed out water bottles just after noon, hoping […]

Evergy’s Kansas customers with solar panels will get refund for unconstitutional fees

By: - August 27, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Evergy customers with solar panels on their homes will get refunds in the coming weeks for the unconstitutional charges the electric utility required them to pay.  The Kansas Corporation Commission earlier this week approved an order modifying rates for Evergy’s customers on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro, meant […]

A national survey indicated 36.1% of long-term care facilities in Kansas were experiencing staffing shortages that had worsened since 2020. The state ranked fourth worst in terms of the staffing shortage. (Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images)

Biden mandates nursing homes require COVID vaccine or lose Medicare, Medicaid funds

By: , and - August 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nursing homes will be required to ensure their staffers are vaccinated against COVID-19, or risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars, the Biden administration announced Wednesday in a major move on vaccinations as the Delta variant sweeps many states. Under the new nursing home policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services […]

‘We’re in unprecedented times’: Kansas university looks to new curriculum for climate change era

By: - August 18, 2021

In light of the catastrophic climate change that has produced devastating wildfires, rising oceans and sweltering summer heat, education that is siloed by students’ chosen fields is no longer workable, says a Kansas professor. “We’re in unprecedented times, so in that context, we cannot have an education like we used to have because the same […]

The Johnson County Commission voted Monday to adopt solar farm regulations that include a maximum size of 2,000 acres and a 2-mile setback from city boundaries. (Photo by Sirisak Boakaew/Getty Images)

Kansas, Missouri lost thousands of clean energy jobs last year, report says

By: - August 17, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After several years of continual gains, Kansas and Missouri lost more than 7,200 combined clean energy jobs last year — primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  A report published last week by E2 and the Clean Energy Trust found that the Midwest, home to nearly one-quarter of the nation’s clean energy […]

AARP calls for vaccine mandates as COVID reenters Kansas, Missouri nursing homes

By: and - August 16, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With cases on the rise among both residents and staff, the nation’s leading advocacy group for the retirees is calling on nursing homes to mandate COVID-19 vaccines. The number of COVID-19 cases reported each week in Kansas and Missouri nursing homes is rising again for the first time in months. Missouri, […]

As economic impact of winter storm nears $1B, some large Kansas customers want to investigate

By: - August 15, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The total cost from a more than week-long cold snap that brought the Midwest power supply to the brink of collapse is nearly $1 billion — and growing. The greatest breakdown during the storm, which forced controlled electrical blackouts in Kansas and Missouri, industry groups have said, was natural gas, which […]

Wildlife officials say Topeka shiner is no longer endangered, suggest listing as threatened

By: - August 12, 2021

Federal wildlife officials are recommending the Topeka shiner be removed from the list of endangered species after successful conservation projects gave the fish a “brighter and more sustainable future,” they announced Thursday. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released findings from a five-year review and recommended the fish be listed as threatened rather than endangered. […]

As threat of delta variant looms, 44% of Kansas nursing home staff are unvaccinated

By: and - August 9, 2021

Many of the staff and residents in Shunda Whitfield’s St. Louis County, Missouri, nursing home were sick before they even realized what was going on.  It was April 2020, and masks weren’t yet standard practice. Little was known about COVID before it swept through nursing homes, and as a certified nursing assistant, Whitfield said she […]

Customers of Kansas’ largest natural gas utility could pay cold snap costs for 10 years

By: - July 30, 2021

Customers of Kansas’ largest natural gas utility could be paying off costs from February’s deep freeze for the next 10 years, the company revealed Friday. The Kansas Gas Service, which serves more than 640,000 Kansas customers, filed plans with regulators to issue securitized bonds for approximately $390 million in extraordinary costs from the cold snap […]