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.

Rural hospitals see funding, testing strategy among biggest pandemic hurdles

By: - September 20, 2020

TOPEKA — Amid a pandemic that has drastically impacted the way rural hospitals provide services, telehealth has provided patients and staff at Smith County Memorial Hospital desperately needed services and support. Allen Van Driel, CEO of the northern Kansas hospital, said medical professionals been able to connect with specialists from distant sites to provide services […]

Restrictions ‘depressing as hell’ for gameday business at Lawrence bars

By: - September 19, 2020

On the first game day of the 2020 season for the University of Kansas football team, bars and restaurants across town had empty seats at kickoff and were closed before halftime, a strange sight for fall Saturday in Lawrence. When the Big 12 conference announced plans to play fall sports, businesses in both Manhattan and […]

Chase County ICE facility outbreak highlights concerns over detainee overcrowding

By: - September 18, 2020

TOPEKA — A Kansas immigrant detention facility was on high alert last month after an outbreak of COVID-19 infected nearly 60 detainees. The Chase County Detention Center — which has contracted with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house immigrant detainees since 2008 — first identified an outbreak in the facility in early August […]

Attorney: Driver’s license for undocumented immigrants key to safer roads in Kansas

By: - September 17, 2020

TOPEKA — An Overland Park attorney is pushing for action that would allow undocumented immigrants in Kansas to obtain a state driver’s license, something she said is necessary for safer roads and safer immigrant populations. To obtain a Kansas driver’s license, immigrants are required to prove they are citizens of the U.S. by providing a […]

As COVID-19 cases in Kansas rise, state is a step closer to ramping up testing

By: - September 16, 2020

TOPEKA — Kansans may soon see widely expanded COVID-19 testing after a state task force Wednesday approved a plan for the distribution of millions of dollars in leftover federal pandemic aid. Gov. Laura Kelly’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas, or SPARK, task force’s proposed strategy for the $290 million in remaining CARES act funding emphasized […]

Criminal Justice Reform Commission explores high costs of incarceration in Kansas

By: - September 14, 2020

TOPEKA — A Kansas commission is teaming with a national justice initiative to rethink how and where state taxpayer dollars are being spent in the criminal justice system in order to reduce financial waste amid a budget shortfall. Kansas joins more than 30 states who have implemented the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a federally funded program […]

‘Broken teeth and black eyes’: Kansas domestic violence shelters scramble for space

By: - September 13, 2020

TOPEKA — Since the pandemic began in March, the Family Crisis Center in Wichita has stretched its resources thin to provide space for survivors of domestic violence and their families to recuperate. Amanda Meyers, executive director for the crisis center, said she had to cut capacity by two-thirds in the 25-person shelter to maintain proper […]

Adjunct professors upset with compensation at Johnson County Community College

By: - September 12, 2020

TOPEKA — Some adjunct faculty members at Johnson County Community College say school administrators are being dismissive toward their concerns about inadequate compensation. Daniel Murtaugh, an adjunct faculty member in the English department at JCCC, said adjunct faculty members are not being paid for online education training that could take hours to complete. Murtaugh said […]

Kansas commission members seek refreshed ideas on race and the criminal justice system

By: - September 8, 2020

TOPEKA — Members of a legislative panel said a refreshed approach to the intersection of criminal justice reform and race is needed after decades of inaction. Melody Brannon, a federal public defender in Kansas, said having the same conversations on police reform with the same ideas won’t move the needle to where marginalized communities need […]

For high school athletes recovering from COVID-19, gradual return is critical for safety

By: - September 8, 2020

TOPEKA — Fall sports have officially kicked off in Kansas, but for athletes returning from a COVID-19 infection, the road back may be a bit longer due to added precautions over lingering effects of the virus on hearts, lungs and brains. Gov. Laura Kelly has repeatedly said that safety should be the priority over a […]

Path to civic engagement for Kansas’ marginalized communities littered with barriers

By: - September 5, 2020

TOPEKA — Shannon Portillo remembers the glares and sideways glances cast at her father, a darker-skinned, Mexican American man, and her mother, a blond, blue-eyed, white woman, as they entered their polling location together. Despite the looks, her parents took pride in voting, said Portillo, the assistant VP of academic affairs at the University of […]

Gov. Laura Kelly declined to accept demands of Republican legislators to insert language into the statewide COVID-19 disaster declartion that she wouldn't close businesses in the next 30 days in response to the pandemic. Kelly is asking the State Finance Council to approve a 30-day extension of the disaster declaration. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas enters race for Space Command headquarters

By: - September 4, 2020

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly announced Friday she would make a strong push to land the new U.S. Space Command in Kansas. The governor’s office said four Kansas communities have submitted proposals to become the home for headquarters of the U.S. Space Command, which is responsible for military operations in space. The cities are Derby, […]