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.

with the computer system in 2019 at a drinking water treatment facility in Ellsworth County. The recommendation is the former employee of the water plant serve one year in jail. (Getty Images)

Report allows Kansas residents to see what contaminants are in their drinking water

By: - November 3, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas and Missouri residents may be drinking unsafe amounts of arsenic, nitrates and other chemicals — even if their provider is meeting federal drinking water requirements, according to data published Wednesday by an environmental group. The Environmental Working Group released its most up to date tap water database, compiling testing information […]

On top of $1B fallout from February cold snap, natural gas prices expected to climb this winter

By: - November 2, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a historic cold snap depleted natural gas reserves in February, prices for heating could be as much as 30% higher this winter, prompting concerns about increasing bills for Kansas and Missouri customers. Kansas is already grappling with the $1 billion fallout from this winter’s cold snap, when natural gas prices […]

The Kansas Corporation Commission limited the ability of a business coalition to formally participate in regulatory debate on construction of a new electricity transmission line in southeast Kansas. Evergy and other utility companies were granted full intervention rights by the KCC. (Jill Hummels/Kansas Reflector)

Environmental advocates say Evergy can shutter two more coal plants within decade

By: - October 28, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Evergy can retire two more coal-burning power plants within the decade without sacrificing affordability or massively increasing rates, environmental advocates say in a new report. The electric utility, which serves 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, is scheduled to stop burning coal at its Lawrence plant by the end of […]

Evergy building in downtown Topeka

Kansas Evergy customers could soon get help to make homes more energy efficient

By: - October 25, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Ashok Gupta and his wife bought their home, adding insulation to their walls and roof and investing in energy-efficient appliances was a no-brainer knowing they would save money in the long run through lower energy bills. But Gupta, a senior energy economist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said myriad […]

A coalition of juvenile justice reformers eager to advance alternatives to incarceration in Kansas share skepticism about wisdom of Legislature and governor cutting $21 million from community program fund. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Nonprofit report calls for closing last juvenile prison, keeping kids out of system

By: - October 15, 2021

Incarcerating young Kansans is more costly and inhumane than providing community services, education and mentoring to keep them out of the juvenile justice system, according to a new report by a nonprofit pushing the state to shutter its last juvenile prison. Kansas-based Progeny, which focuses on juvenile justice reform, released a report Thursday outlining steps […]

Kansas natural gas utility nears deal to pass on $100M in cold snap costs to wholesale customers

By: - October 12, 2021

Kansas’ largest natural gas utility is close to reaching a deal to recoup more than $100 million from large-scale customers that failed to provide enough natural gas during a February cold snap that forced power outages across the Midwest. During the worst of the cold snap, which saw average temperatures in Kansas City fall below […]

For-profit Kansas prison an understaffed ‘hell hole’ of violence, death and drugs

By: - October 7, 2021

LEAVENWORTH — Dangerous understaffing, pervasive drugs and a stockpile of weapons have transformed a private detention center in Kansas into a “hell hole” where violence is routine and inmates are still on lockdown after one was beaten to death this summer. The Leavenworth Detention Center, a pretrial lockup run by the nation’s largest private prison operator, […]

with the computer system in 2019 at a drinking water treatment facility in Ellsworth County. The recommendation is the former employee of the water plant serve one year in jail. (Getty Images)

Study: More than 60% of Kansas, 80% of Missouri kids have lead in their blood

By: - September 30, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children in Kansas had elevated levels of lead in their blood at a greater rate than almost any other state, according to a massive national study published this week.  And more than 80% of Missouri children had some level of lead in their blood.  The study, authored by doctors at Boston […]

KS gas utility won’t release invoices detailing winter prices, but some data is already available

By: - September 23, 2021

Kansas’ largest natural gas utility has resisted releasing records about what suppliers charged it during the historic cold snap in February that saw prices rise by more than 200 times. But according to a new filing, it has already disclosed much of that information.  In February, when temperatures in Kansas City plunged below 15 degrees […]

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)

Evergy scales back plans to add solar power by 2024, will keep Lawrence plant partially open

By: - September 23, 2021

Evergy will keep open part of its Lawrence coal plant to run occasionally on natural gas despite earlier plans to shutter it completely and fall short of earlier pledges to add massive amounts of solar power to the electric grid, the utility revealed in regulatory filings this week.  Earlier this year, Evergy filed its “integrated […]

Attorney: More public disclosure needed in historic natural gas price proceedings

By: - September 20, 2021

State regulators’ refusal to dig deeper into the causes of a historic spike in natural gas prices this winter effectively shuts down the investigation, an attorney says.  Prices for the largest natural gas pipeline serving Kansas rose to about 200 times their normal price this winter during a severe cold snap that pushed the electrical […]

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican candidate for governor, issued a nonbinding legal opinion saying the Legislature had authority to delay preparations to rebid the $4 billion contracts with KanCare providers until 2024 rather than 2023.. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

AG says winter natural gas price spikes ‘appear to violate Kansas law,’ seeks help for investigation

By: - September 13, 2021

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office is seeking outside legal help to investigate huge spikes in natural gas prices this winter, signaling the state could consider suing over the disaster. Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office announced in a news release Monday that it planned to hire a law firm with expertise in the natural gas market […]