Author

Lily O'Shea Becker

Lily O'Shea Becker

Lily O’Shea Becker is a senior studying journalism at the University of Kansas. She is an intern with the Kansas Reflector for the 2022 summer. Lily has experience as a multimedia journalist, photojournalist, producer and copy editor for a variety of news outlets in Lawrence and at the University of Kansas.

Police and railroad crew work the scene where an Amtrak train derailed on June 27, 2022, in Mendon, Missouri. The train, traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, struck a dump truck at a crossing, killing four people and injuring dozens. (Chase Castor/Getty Images)

Brother and sister recount ‘very traumatizing’ Amtrak derailment in Missouri

By: - June 29, 2022

A mother aboard a train derailment in Mendon, Missouri, on Monday climbed on top of the wreckage and went from train car to train car, yelling into each window while searching for her three children, according to her son, Dax McDonald.  The Amtrak train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it struck a […]

Democrat Jaelynn Abegg is running for the Kansas House seat in west Wichita held by Republican Rep. Brenda Landwehr. (Submitted)

Wichita candidate for Kansas House focuses on transgender rights, health care, business

By: - June 24, 2022

LAWRENCE — Kansas House candidate Jaelynn Abegg said her consideration for public office began while advocating earlier this year in Topeka against Senate Bill 160, which would have banned transgender athletes from school sports. Abegg, who labels herself as a progressive Democrat, is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Brenda Landwehr in the GOP-leaning 105th District […]

Former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom, departs the post Wednesday following the re-election defeat of President Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden. (Screenshot of U.S. State Department briefing/Kansas Reglector)

Brownback agrees with U.S. Supreme Court ruling on state funding of religious schools

By: - June 21, 2022

Former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback released a statement agreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday, which stated a Maine school voucher program cannot exclude funding for sectarian education.  The program – which is unique to Maine because more than half of its school districts operate without a public high school – appropriates taxpayer money […]

Kansas high school students embrace importance of journalism and voting

By: - June 17, 2022

LAWRENCE — Marisa Wise believes young voices deserve to be heard because, while they cannot vote, they have the “entire internet at (their) fingertips,” and she uses it to research and stay informed.  Wise, a 15-year-old from Gardner, was among more than 80 high school students who signed up for The University of Kansas School […]

Motient, the company that uses software to monitor hospital bed space in Kansas, says the available space is lower now than it was at this time a year ago. (Getty Images)

Hospital staffing shortages contribute to lower hospital bed availability across Kansas

By: - June 16, 2022

Hospital bed availability is lower across Kansas than it was at this time last year, according to Motient, which operates software that assists health systems with medical transports. The Kansas Hospital Association attributes the bed space to a statewide staffing shortage that has lingered along with the COVID-19 pandemic. “However, as I’ve been visiting with […]

Farmers Business Network’s senior commodity analyst Rejeana Gvillo visits wheat fields during the wheat quality tour through Kansas in mid-May. (Farmers Business Network)

Kansas wheat quality expected to be high despite drop in yield after yearslong drought

By: - June 14, 2022

LAWRENCE — Kansas’ wheat quality is estimated to be above average and high in protein this year because of a lack of rain, according to Farmers Business Network’s senior commodity analyst Rejeana Gvillo. Such findings from a mid-May wheat tour through Kansas conducted by the Wheat Quality Council are the good news. The bad news […]

More Kansas families relying on food pantries, study shows, as SNAP participation declines

By: - June 9, 2022

Fifty-two percent of Kansas food pantries reported serving more clients in 2021 than 2020, according to a new study from the University of Missouri. This trend is nationwide, as food pantries are experiencing an increased need in food assistance because of inflation and lingering effects of the pandemic. In Kansas, the situation could soon get […]

A participant in the Wichita Wear Orange Blood Drive smiles as she donates blood on June 3 at the Grant Chapel AME Church Of Wichita. (Jamie Krueger)

Kansas Moms Demand Action adds 2K members as chapters recognize National Gun Awareness Day

By: - June 3, 2022

LAWRENCE — An estimated 2,000 women have signed up to join Kansas Moms Demand Action since the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school mass shooting last week, organizers with the group say. Bolstered by the surge in membership, Kansas Moms Demand Action and its chapters across the state held blood and donation drives Friday to commemorate National […]

Candidates in Kansas races focused on schools, affordability and rural investments

By: - June 3, 2022

TOPEKA — Candidates who have entered races ahead of the filing deadline plan to focus their campaigns on bringing attention to rural Kansas, free school lunches, affordable gas and getting Kansas “back on track.” Some rushed to make a last-minute filing at the Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday, including Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who […]