Rachel Mipro

Rachel Mipro

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Rachel Mipro has covered state government in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She and her fellow team of journalists were 2022 Goldsmith Prize Semi-Finalists for their work featuring the rise of the KKK in northern Louisiana, following racially-motivated shootings in 1960. With her move to the Midwest, Rachel is now turning her focus toward issues within Kansas public policies.

A man lies under shading on July 19 on North Topeka Avenue in Wichita. Temperatures reached 108 degrees in Wichita that day. (Lily O'Shea Becker/Kansas Reflector)

Homeless advocates: ‘We’re seeing more and more folks die on the streets’ in Kansas

By: - July 26, 2023

TOPEKA — Advocates say unhoused Kansans need more support from state and local governments.  The Kansas Mental Health Coalition held a Wednesday meeting to begin discussing goals for legislative action on the state’s homelessness problem. Mary Jones, coalition president, said she wanted to focus on creating more resources in cities for people who are struggling.  […]

Rep. Susan Ruiz, a Shawnee Democrat, discussed legislation passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature during a July 19, 2023 Kansas Reflector podcast. (Sam Bailey/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas lawmaker denounces influence of national far-right groups on state laws

By: - July 24, 2023

TOPEKA — Susan Ruiz feels a lot of pressure to resist legislation coming from national far-right organizations. As a clinical social worker, Latina and one of the first openly gay state representatives, Ruiz, a Shawnee Democrat, said she needed to advocate for many different groups in Kansas but felt a special responsibility for standing up […]

The administration of Gov. Laura Kelly said an inquiry had been launched into allegations of a state employee and "concerned taxpayer" about potential misuse of aircraft by the Kansas Highway Patrol's aviation unit. The allegations center on pilots obtaining flight credentials of little use to the KHP and of using a helicopter for trips to Kansas City restaurants. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

‘The KHP waged war’: Federal judge orders end of Kansas trooper ‘two-step’ maneuver

By: - July 21, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas Highway Patrol has been ordered to stop its infamous “two-step” technique by a federal judge, in what the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas calls a “huge win” for all motorists using state highways.  The U.S. district court ruled KHP’s policies and practices violate the Fourth Amendment, releasing a Friday opinion […]

Lesser prairie chicken perform dancing

Kansas ranchers, county commissioners take action against lesser prairie chicken protections

By: - July 21, 2023

TOPEKA —  A group of Kansas county officials and ranchers filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the latest attempt to block protections for a prairie bird. The lawsuit, filed late Thursday, names the Kansas Natural Resource Coalition and several Kansas farmers and ranchers as plaintiffs in the case. The […]

bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, on display before a press conference on a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, Sept. 23, 2016, in New York City

AG Kobach to announce ongoing initiative combating fentanyl in Kansas. Here are the basics.

By: - July 20, 2023

TOPEKA — As the threat of fentanyl overdose deaths increases locally and nationally, Kansas officials are looking at different courses of action.  Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach has said he will prioritize slowing the spread of fentanyl in the state, starting a fentanyl awareness campaign in June with the Joint Fentanyl Impact Team. Kobach’s team […]

Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services Secretary Laura Howard gave updates on mental health beds to lawmakers during a Friday meeting. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansans with disabilities struggle with decade-plus wait for state aid

By: - July 19, 2023

TOPEKA — Some Kansans with disabilities are having to wait more than 10 years for government help due to a “monumental problem” with backlogged service requests.  To receive Medicaid-funded support waivers from the state, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are placed on a waiting list supervised by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability […]

Filling Medical Form, document, stethoscope

Wichita hospital faces two lawsuits after allegations of rape and sexual assault of patients

By: - July 18, 2023

WICHITA —  An 82-year-old cancer patient and another woman have filed lawsuits against a Wichita hospital after accusations of rape and sexual assault while under hospital care.  The Hutton & Hutton Law Firm filed its first civil lawsuit against Ascension Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc., which operates the Ascension Via Christi St. Francis hospital, on […]

A police officer's gun is strapped to his hip

Annual report shows drop in Kansas violent crimes for 2022

By: - July 17, 2023

TOPEKA — Reports of burglary, murder and rape declined statewide in 2022, according to an annual report, though numbers have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s annual Crime Index Report compiles data from law enforcement agencies to look at crime trends. The 2022 crime index report showed a 4.3% decrease […]

Barton County residents will vote August 1, 2023, on whether to disorganize or keep the USD 112 school district intact. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

After school shutdown, rural Kansas community tries to divorce district

By: - July 14, 2023

CLAFLIN — Barton County residents will decide whether to break up with their school district and “start fresh” following heartbreak and anger over the closure of a rural community’s high school. The change could result in hundreds of students displaced and three more schools shut down. The Aug. 1 disorganization vote is a test case […]

A view of books inside the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library in St. Marys

St. Marys officials again threaten library because of LGBTQ books

By: - July 11, 2023

ST. MARYS — Gerard Kleinsmith says he hates the idea of censorship. He just wants to pull the lease for the city’s public library because he doesn’t like books about transgender people. As a city commissioner, he feels it is his duty to remove transgender content — “garbage,” as he refers to it. Kleinsmith said […]

Todd Thornburg appears for a July 6, 2023, recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast.

Kansas lawyer with disability aims for district judge seat, motivated by desire to set example

By: - July 10, 2023

TOPEKA — Sitting in the Kansas Reflector podcast studio, Todd Thornburg quoted former President Theodore Roosevelt as inspiration in his fight to become one of the first visibly disabled people with a prominent position in the Kansas judicial system. “To paraphrase,” Thornburg said, “we won’t be with those cold and timid souls who know neither […]

New study tracks increase in pregnancy deaths for Kansas women of color

By: - July 6, 2023

TOPEKA — The rate at which Kansas women of color die from pregnancy increased sharply over 20 years, furthering racial disparities, according to a new national study. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and Mass General Brigham conducted a state-by-state analysis of maternal deaths rates for 1999-2019, and released the study Monday. While maternal […]