Author

Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda started his journalism career in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, covering local government and producing an episode of the podcast Show Me The State while earning his bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Noah then made a short move to Kansas City, Missouri, to work at KCUR as an intern on the talk show Central Standard and then in the newsroom, reporting on daily news and feature stories.

Emporia State University alumni data exposed in ransom attack

By: - August 14, 2020

TOPEKA — The Emporia State University Foundation says the personal information of 67,000 alumni was exposed in a data security breach involving Blackbaud Inc., a fundraising service provider for the higher education sector. Blackbaud fell under a ransomware attack in May 2020, and the perpetrator was able to obtain several sets of data from clients […]

Additional positive COVID-19 cases send Hutchinson Correctional Facility into lockdown

By: - August 12, 2020

Kansas Department of Corrections secretary Jeff Zmuda said Wednesday a lockdown has been initiated at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility central unit after additional staff and inmates tested positive for COVID-19. This week, 84 inmates and 10 staff tested positive, bringing the total number of people infected in the facility to 99 inmates and 17 staff […]

Kansas State University athletic director Gene Taylor said the decision to play this fall is in line with the desires of players, coaches and administrators (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Big 12 announces plans to play fall sports with intensified testing

By: - August 12, 2020

TOPEKA — Student-athletes and coaches in Manhattan and Lawrence let out a collective sigh of relief Wednesday morning as the Big 12 conference announced its intentions to carry on with plans for fall sports. All fall sports will commence after Sept. 1. Football conference play begins Sept. 26 with any nonconference games to be played […]

Kansas college towns await potentially ‘disastrous’ verdict on Big 12 fall sports

By: - August 11, 2020

TOPEKA — Business leaders and owners in Kansas’ biggest college towns are bracing themselves for an announcement on the status of fall sports for the Big 12 conference — a decision which could further damage already weakened local economies. The Big 12 board of directors, along with key administrators from each of the 10 member […]

Mark Pringle and his wife, Mary Jane Shanklin, say the pandemic has exacerbated issues that already existed in farming communities (Submitted)

Kansas farmers find themselves increasingly isolated, in need amid pandemic

By: - August 11, 2020

TOPEKA — Mark Pringle has seen the self-sufficient mindset of many Kansas farmers and their families challenged by COVID-19 as the virus disproportionately impacts rural communities. Pringle is a fourth-generation farmer and the Democratic candidate for the Kansas House in the 13th District. He and his wife, Mary Jane Shanklin, a registered nurse, have watched […]

Payment Protection Program loans kept health care facilities across Kansas operating through the pandemic (University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita Medical Practice Association)

PPP loans keep hospitals, clinics financially stable

By: - August 9, 2020

TOPEKA — Hospitals and clinics in Kansas, which were struggling to pay employees and stay above water financially before COVID-19, were buoyed by millions of dollars in Payment Protection Program loans. Since 2010, seven rural hospitals have closed across Kansas, including Sumner Community Hospital and St. Luke’s Cushing Hospital this year. A 2019 study indicated […]

Brianna Ibarra, a Shawnee freshman at the University of Kansas, said Friday she willingly participated in the mandatory COVID-19 testing of students as the campus prepares for opening of fall semester classes. Her father, George, helped with her belongings outside a KU residence hall. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

K-State, KU take different avenues on COVID-19 testing of students

By: and - August 7, 2020

The University of Kansas and Kansas State University to employ different testing strategies for COVID-19 when students return to campus.

Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (July 29, 2020, photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Coronavirus trends, testimonials humble and educate top Kansas health official

By: - August 5, 2020

Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary Lee Norman said rural counties lacking mask mandates have struggled more than their urban counterparts to contain COVID-19 in recent weeks. In the 15 counties with mask ordinances, Norman reported a rapid dropoff in cases per 100,000 people over a four week period. He said in the 90 […]

U.S. House, 3rd District: Amanda Adkins wins crowded Republican primary, Sharice Davids next

By: - August 4, 2020

OVERLAND PARK — Amanda Adkins emerged victorious Tuesday from a crowded Republican primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, in a race that focused heavily on who would match up best with Democratic incumbent Sharice Davids in the November general election. Adkins, an Overland Park resident, defeated four challengers, tallying […]

Kansas election offices have been flooded with advance voting ballots as COVID-19 and competitive races prompted people to express themselves in a safely before Election Day on Tuesday. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas voters pivot to advance by-mail voting amid COVID-19

By: and - August 4, 2020

TOPEKA — Six times the number of advance by-mail ballots have been returned to local election offices in Kansas compared to the 2016 and 2018 primary elections with the surge in popularity tied to competitive races and the pandemic. Secretary of State Scott Schwab, who serves as the state’s top elections officer, said 159,000 voters […]

Keynen ”KJ” Wall Jr. becomes the newest Kansas Supreme Court justice during a small, socially distanced swearing in ceremony Monday at the Kansas Judicial Center. (Screenshot from live stream)

Newest Kansas Supreme Court justice promises tenure free of external influences

By: - August 3, 2020

TOPEKA — Keynen ”KJ” Wall Jr. promised to devote himself to the mission of serving the people of Kansas equitably and free of outside influence as he was sworn in Monday as a Kansas Supreme Court justice. Wall, who took the oath at a private ceremony, was appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly in March to […]

Harvesters, a private food bank, saw the amount of food distributed increase from 54 million pounds in 2019 to 65 million in 2020. In this picture, food is distributed at a drive-in in Kansas City, Kansas. (Harvesters — The Community Food Network)

As food insecurity rates rise amid COVID-19, Kansas advocates call for assistance

By: - August 1, 2020

TOPEKA — Haley Kottler sees firsthand desperation of young families struggling to put food on the table as the economy wilts under the COVID-19 pandemic. She understands the lifeline offered by the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that delivers food benefits nationwide. “Families often depend on school lunches, […]