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.

GOP supporters at Topeka rally

As election looms, Kansas Republicans rally around fentanyl crisis

By: - October 7, 2022

TOPEKA — At national and local levels, Kansas Republicans are rallying around the issue of battling fentanyl to win over voters in a close race.  During Wednesday’s GOP rally in Topeka, U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall told the crowd that, unlike Gov. Laura Kelly, Attorney General Derek Schmidt would take fentanyl off the streets.  “We need […]

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie spoke at Wednesday's rally in support of Derek Schmidt. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Republicans rally voters against Biden, Kelly at start of statewide tour

By: - October 5, 2022

TOPEKA — The Kansan Republican Party was out in full force Wednesday, starting a six-day statewide bus tour meant to woo voters and energize support for GOP candidates ahead of the November election.  In the parking lot of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Derek Schmidt was joined by former New […]

The Kansas Department for Children and Families, with headquarters in downtown Topeka, provides oversight of the child welfare system. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas child death report finds greater risk of suicide for youth in state custody

By: - October 5, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas children involved in the foster care system have an increased suicide risk, according to a new report on adolescent deaths in the state.  Half of all deaths by suicide in 2020 were children who had a history with child protective services. In 35% of the cases, the child had a history of […]

A high number of appeals prompted the Kansas Republican Party's loyalty committee to suspend sanctions against GOP officials who signed a petition leading to placement on the November ballot of independent governor candidate Dennis Pyle. The state party alleges Pyle's presence helped reelect Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly by drawing votes from GOP nominee Derek Schmidt. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

November election to decide Kansas Supreme Court climate, constitutional amendments

By: - October 4, 2022

TOPEKA — In November, six of Kansas’ seven Supreme Court judges are up for retention votes, and two constitutional amendments will be decided. Advocacy groups say these choices on the November ballot offer voters an opportunity to shift Kansas’ political landscape. One state constitution amendment focuses on reducing the governor’s executive power and the other […]

The state of Kansas faces a federal class action lawsuit over delays in mental health evaluations at the chronically understaffed Larned State Hospital. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from KDADS video)

Kansas inmates wait months for treatment due to shortage of mental health hospital beds

By: - October 3, 2022

TOPEKA — Local government officials urged Kansas lawmakers to fund more mental health services, saying the shortage of mental health beds is pushing understaffed hospitals and jails to the brink.  Larned State Hospital is the largest psychiatric facility in the state, used by the western two-thirds of Kansas. With a shortage of available beds there, […]

Kansas rehab patients sent to nursing homes because of attendant care shortages

By: - September 30, 2022

TOPEKA —Medical professionals say patients are being sent from rehabilitation services to nursing homes because of a shortage of medical support workers in Kansas. Janet Williams, CEO of Mind Matters, a brain injury rehabilitation organization, said health care providers are recommending people go from rehab to nursing homes because of a lack of available care. […]

In a 90-minute debate, Laura Kelly and Derek Schmidt weren't just in different worlds. They were in different universes.

Parental rights fight in Kansas schools spawns book bans, scrutiny of LGBTQ students

By: - September 30, 2022

TOPEKA — Lawmakers say remnants of a proposed parents’ bill of rights are impacting school districts, referencing several schools’ transgender student policies and recent attempts to remove books from curriculum. Critics of the parents’ bill of rights say the proposal is unnecessarily restrictive. Under the bill, which Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed in April, each public […]

During Monday's meeting on the Kansas health care system, parent Rick Elskamp urged legislators to provide more aid to struggling families. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Robert G. Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight meeting)

Parents of disabled kids urge Kansas lawmakers to expand aid and fix issues with health care system

By: - September 27, 2022

TOPEKA — A Kansas mother struggling to balance treating her cancer with caring for her disabled children urged lawmakers Monday to provide more support for people like her. Kathy Keck, a mother of five kids, three of whom have developmental and medical disabilities, said she left the workforce more than five years ago to care […]

Rep. Vic Miller and Rep. Mike Amyx unveil their property tax reduction proposal during a Monday news conference (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Democrats float proposal to lower property taxes by reviving dormant fund

By: - September 26, 2022

TOPEKA — A three-part proposal to reduce property taxes could save Kansas homeowners millions, Democratic lawmakers said during a news conference Monday at the Statehouse.  Rep. Vic Miller, D-Topeka, and Rep. Mike Amyx, D-Lawrence, released the plan for consideration in the next legislative session, which begins in January. The plan includes reducing residential property assessment […]

Kasper Schirer at Kansas Court of Appeals

ACLU of Kansas: Legislature needs to fix ‘endless probation’

By: - September 26, 2022

An “endless probation” case is still dragging on in Kansas, with the defendant set to keep paying restitution for the next four decades, if legal reforms don’t address the situation. Edwanda Garrett pleaded guilty in 2009 to making fraudulent content, and again in 2017 for writing bad checks. Garrett’s restitution included deducting $50 from her […]

Gov. Laura Kelly, Lynn Peterson and Phyllis Fitzgerald stand by the Kansas Gold Star Memorial Monument after Friday's unveiling ceremony. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Newly installed Kansas Capitol monument honors families of fallen soldiers

By: - September 23, 2022

TOPEKA — Soldiers, legislators and military families gathered Friday at the Kansas Capitol for an unveiling of a memorial honoring families of soldiers who died while serving in the armed forces. Gov. Laura Kelly and Sen. Pat Roberts spoke at the unveiling ceremony about losses suffered by military families. Kelly, who grew up in a […]

Democratic attorney general candidate Chris Mann, right, conceded the race to Attorney General-elect Kris Kobach, a Republican who narrowly led since election night with uncounted mail and provisional ballots. (Photos by Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas attorney general candidates split on voter fraud, abortion rights, immigration

By: - September 23, 2022

TOPEKA — Republican and Democratic candidates for Kansas attorney general clashed on immigration issues, women’s rights and voting laws during their first debate Thursday, held at the Wichita Crime Commission Forum.  Both candidates said the federal government failed to do enough about immigration. GOP candidate Kris Kobach said he viewed the role of Kansas attorney […]