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.

Kansas mental health crisis exacerbated by rising stress, worker pay disparity

By: - October 5, 2020

The leading legislator on a committee charged with analyzing the state’s behavioral health system says the mental health crisis in Kansas has become more apparent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the state, mental health workers are underpaid, stress levels are rising and Kansans are struggling to access the care they require. Rep. Brenda Landwehr, a […]

Kansans have already requested twice as many mail-in ballots as past elections

By: - October 5, 2020

TOPEKA — More than twice the number of advance by-mail ballot applications have been processed in Kansas compared to the 2016 and 2018 general elections, sparked primarily by pandemic concerns. As of Oct. 1, election offices had received nearly 400,000 mail-in ballot applications, far exceeding the 194,505 sent by mail in 2018 and 202,138 in […]

Members of the Commission on Racial Equity and Justice express an interest Thursday in increasing diversity of listening session communities. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Judge: Balancing defendant’s liberties, public safety essential in pretrial justice

By: - October 2, 2020

TOPEKA — A leading Kansas appellate judge said finding a balance between pretrial restrictions that are fair to the defendant’s liberties and maintaining public safety is a task judges in the state have long struggled with. Karen Arnold Burger, chief judge for the Kansas Court of Appeals, said many judges fear lenient restrictions may result […]

Disadvantaged Kansans demand expansion of Medicaid amid health crisis

By: - September 29, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Charles Carney has seen firsthand how disadvantaged Kansans have struggled with access to health care, especially amid the pandemic. Carney, a recovering alcoholic, said those in recovery often face a difficult choice between overpriced treatment options or trouble with law enforcement. “We ask for beds and health care and, instead, we […]

Gov. Laura Kelly announces testing strategy to target asymptomatic Kansans in at-risk areas

By: - September 28, 2020

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday announced a COVID-19 testing strategy that will target asymptomatic Kansans in areas with high community spread. The current state plan limits access to testing for those with symptoms or exposure to individuals with confirmed infections. Phase one of the state’s new plan will provide testing for those without […]

Health care providers for at-risk Kansans dealing with funding barriers, scarce equipment

By: - September 28, 2020

TOPEKA — An advocate and long-term care worker said facilities across Kansas face sustainability issues amid low funding, insufficient testing, protective equipment scarcity and workforce shortages. Holly Noble, legislative committee chair of the Kansas Adult Care Executives Association, a group dedicated to assisting long-term care administrators, said many KACE member facilities only project up to […]

‘Time is of the essence’: Sick and vulnerable inmates make case for clemency

By: - September 27, 2020

TOPEKA — Last summer, Deana Estrada received an upsetting phone call from her husband, an inmate at a Kansas correctional facility. Ronnie Loggins, Estrada’s husband, had found a large growth developing near his groin. After several tests, he was diagnosed with liposarcoma, a rare cancer of connective tissues. Loggins, currently incarcerated at Lansing Correctional Facility, […]

Olathe monument recognizes families of those who lost lives in military service

By: - September 25, 2020

OLATHE — Kansas veterans and families, along with local and state leaders, unveiled Tuesday the first monument in the state dedicated to families whose loved ones died in service to the country. Debbie Murchison-Perri, a Gold Star mother from Overland Park, said the monument would help strengthen the memory of her son, Matthew, who was […]

Gov. Laura Kelly said the ongoing growth of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and fatalities tied to COVID-19 led her to sign a new statewide mask mandate that stipulates county officials must conduct a public vote to opt out. Her original mask order in July was disregarded by 80 of the state's 105 counties. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Executive order extends deadline to renew Kansas driver’s licenses

By: - September 24, 2020

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly says her new executive order will extend Kansas driver’s licenses and identification cards that would have expired during the COVID-19 pandemic. The executive order, signed by Kelly Wednesday, allows driver’s licenses and identification cards that expired during the COVID-19 pandemic to remain valid until Jan. 26, 2021. “Due to the […]

Kansas foster care system a jarring experience for children, parents, caseworkers

By: - September 24, 2020

TOPEKA — In nearly 18 years of working close with foster children, Amy Otey has witnessed the emotional burden the system places on social workers. Otey, the Wichita region independent living supervisor for Saint Francis Ministries, recalled how last year a foster child was hit by an automobile and sent to the hospital. The caseworker […]

Kansas agencies mailing 277,000 voter registration applications

By: - September 23, 2020

TOPEKA — Hundreds of thousands of people across the state have already or will soon receive a voter registration application in the mail as part of a state effort to ensure eligible Kansans can vote in the upcoming general election. With COVID-19 hampering outreach and registration efforts, Gov. Laura Kelly, along with the Kansas Department […]

Services for Kansas crossover youth slowed by lack of data, interagency collaboration

By: - September 22, 2020

TOPEKA — A leader for the Kansas agency charged with maintaining the state’s child protective programs said youths involved in the child welfare system and juvenile justice system face unique challenges not often reflected in data collected by various state agencies. Department for Children and Families deputy secretary Tanya Keys said the lack of integrated […]