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.

Evergy, regulators clash over costs of Kansas energy efficiency program

By: - August 23, 2022

Evergy could soon receive approval for more than $96 million in energy efficiency programs in Kansas meant to lower carbon emissions — and customers’ bills.  But the proposal is in a precarious position.  “I want to be excited, but I also know there’s a big a piece missing still, and it could easily all fall apart,” […]

A piece of lead pipe removed from Jerry Land’s yard in Olathe shows a layer of lining inside the pipe that indicates the city’s water supply provided a thin film that prevented the pipe from leeching lead into the home’s water. (Carlos Moreno/KCUR)

Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids touts federal funds for lead pipe replacement

By: - August 11, 2022

OLATHE — The locations of lead service lines seem like the sort of thing someone would know, Congresswoman Sharice Davids said Thursday. But as cities and counties across the U.S. grew, water utilities didn’t keep track of them all. Now, they’re finally required to find them. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s updated lead and copper […]

Evergy headquarters in downtown Topeka (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Evergy pays $500K to settle consumer protection investigation into worthless warranties

By: - July 20, 2022

Kansas’ largest electric utility, Evergy, must pay $500,000 for allegedly violating consumer protection laws by sponsoring home electrical warranties that provided no benefit. Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office announced the agreement between prosecutors and Evergy in a news release Wednesday. Evergy was not ordered to pay restitution. Asked how many customers were affected, Schmidt’s spokesman, […]

A crowd of 150-plus people gather June 24, 2022, outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka in opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and to protest the proposed Kansas abortion amendment. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Anti-abortion groups make dubious claims as Kansas amendment vote nears

By: - July 19, 2022

Claims made by campaigns for and against a constitutional amendment undoing Kansans’ right to an abortion look like descriptions of two different realities. The Value Them Both amendment, according to proponents, reverses the state’s “nearly unlimited ‘right’ to abortion.” The campaign’s website says “every reasonable regulation of abortion in Kansas may soon be struck down.” […]

In a crowd of people holding up their signs, one stands out. It reads, "I stand with her!" (Margaret Mellott/Kansas Reflector)

Missouri doctors fear vague emergency exception to abortion ban puts patients at risk

By: and - July 5, 2022

Some Missouri medical providers are fearful that patients with high-risk pregnancies will face delayed care in life-threatening situations because doctors fear prosecution under Missouri’s newly enacted abortion ban. “I’m following the rules that are made by people that have no understanding of medicine and science, and that’s extremely, extremely dangerous,” said Iman Alsaden, a doctor […]

An individual holds a lead pipe, a steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. The Environmental Protection Agency is only now requiring water systems to inventory their lead pipes decades after new ones were banned. (Environmental Protection Agency)

‘Time bomb’ lead pipes set to be removed. But first water utilities have to find them

By: - June 20, 2022

TRENTON, Mo. — It took three years for officials to notice lead was seeping into the city’s drinking water.  Missouri regulators had given the green light in 2014 for Trenton to start adding monochloramine to its drinking water to disinfect it without the harmful byproducts of chlorine.  But by 2017, the city noticed something alarming.  […]

Kansas City moves ahead with study of massive solar farm at KCI airport

By: - June 10, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of undeveloped acres near Kansas City International Airport could one day house one of the nation’s largest airport solar farms, capable of powering as much as one-third of Kansas City’s homes. Kansas City has completed a feasibility study that outlines steps and challenges to bring a utility-scale solar farm to KCI. […]

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 […]