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.

In recent hearings on the 2023 farm bill, lawmakers in the U.S. House have discussed expanding crop insurance and trying to address the mounting challenges from drought, severe weather and climate change to the legislation. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Severe drought triggers assistance in nearly all of Kansas, half of Missouri

By: - October 17, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Almost all of Kansas and nearly half of Missouri are in severe enough drought to activate a federal program meant to help ranchers who have lost grazing acres for their herds, triggering millions of dollars in assistance. Eighty-five of Kansas’ 105 counties have been eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s […]

solar panels

Schmidt objects to federal energy proposal. But Kansas doesn’t have its own plan.

By: - October 7, 2022

A stalled federal proposal meant to speed up efforts to site transmission and energy projects amounted to a takeover of grid planning, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and other Republican attorneys general wrote to U.S. Senate leaders last week. But Kansas has no statewide energy plan. It’s one of just seven states without one, according […]

Environmental group gives Kansas, Missouri utilities low marks for clean energy transition

By: - October 5, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas and Missouri’s largest utilities earned nearly failing grades for their progress transitioning to renewable sources of energy, according to a new report from a national environmental group.  The Sierra Club’s “Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges” report gave Evergy an 18% for its investments in clean energy and moves to […]

The female anatomy is painted on a window

Kansas and Missouri women politicians celebrate history ahead of tough election

By: - September 23, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sipping “pink pussyhat punch” and “empowerment” cocktails, women leaders from Kansas and Missouri gathered Thursday in downtown Kansas City vowing to “smash the patriarchy” by encouraging more women to run for office. Hundreds of politicians and activists turned out for the 50th anniversary of the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus, where […]

Evergy building in downtown Topeka

Kansas regulators order Evergy to explain ‘highly concerning’ jump in planned capital spending

By: - September 21, 2022

The Kansas Corporation Commission wants Evergy to explain a more than 20% jump in the cost of its capital improvement plan. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas has $25 million to plug abandoned gas wells that can leak methane, polluting water and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. (Curtis Shuck/Well Done Foundation)

Kansas gets ‘once in a lifetime’ funds to plug thousands of abandoned gas wells

By: - September 9, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A “once in a lifetime” federal investment will clean up more than 2,300 abandoned gas wells — some of which may be leaking super-polluting methane — in Kansas.  But that’s only a fraction of the state’s approximately 11,000 abandoned wells. And data about old wells can be flawed. “Even if we have records, […]

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.  […]