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 museum in Paola is in the middle of ongoing efforts of trying to return objects from a 38-piece collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Rural Kansas town returns invaluable Peruvian artifact

By: - September 18, 2023

PAOLA — A  Peruvian artifact estimated to be more than a thousand years old, well-wrapped in white tissue paper and stuck into a borrowed school duffel bag, marks the first success of a rural town’s plans to repatriate its art collection. The museum in Paola began its ongoing efforts of trying to return objects from […]

Shannon Little, the chapter co-lead for Kansas Moms Demand Action, and organization volunteer Ann Williamson talk about gun safety during a Sept. 13, 2023, recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast

Kansas gun safety advocates urge stronger firearm laws, more safe storage measures

By: - September 18, 2023

TOPEKA — During National Suicide Prevention Month, gun safety advocates shed light on rising rates of firearm suicide in the state. Shannon Little, the chapter co-lead for Kansas Moms Demand Action, and organization volunteer Ann Williamson discussed the need for more gun safety measures during a Kansas Reflector podcast. Little said the 2012 Sandy Hook […]

Kris Kobach appears during a June 26, 2023, news conference at the Statehouse to offer his interpretation of Senate Bill 180

Transgender Kansans barred from altering birth certificates

By: - September 15, 2023

TOPEKA — The state will no longer recognize transgender Kansans’ identities, reversing birth records back to assigned sex at birth and halting future modifications of birth certificates following a federal judge’s ruling. “Kansas birth certificates are state records that must reflect scientific fact as recorded by the doctor at the time of birth. I am […]

Kansas health care coverage lags behind national average for second year

By: - September 14, 2023

TOPEKA —  Kansas has fallen behind national health insurance trends for the second year in a row, with thousands of state residents falling into a health care coverage gap.  Kansas had a higher uninsurance rate than the national average for two consecutive years now, according to recently-released U.S. Census Bureau health insurance estimates. In 2021, […]

Kansas State Board of Education members Deena Horst of Salina and Danny Zeck of Atchison listen as state Department of Education members outline details of Senate Bill 113, a K-12 education funding and policy bill on the desk of Gov. Laura Kelly. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

‘I admit that I masturbate’: Kansas State Board of Education member laments ‘smut’ in libraries

By: - September 14, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansas State Board of Education member Danny Zeck quoted from the much-debated teen book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” as he turned a state meeting on book removal practices into a ideological discussion of why “smut,” as he calls these books, is allowed in local schools. “I admit that I masturbate,” […]

Climate change activists stand outside Lawrence City Hall, asking cars to honk in support of closing the coal-fired power plant during a Sept. 13, 2023, rally.

Kansans rally to pressure Evergy into keeping green energy promises

By: - September 13, 2023

LAWRENCE — Closing the city’s coal-based power plant will be the first step toward holding the state’s largest utility company accountable for keeping green energy goals, climate change activists said at a Tuesday demonstration. The Sierra Club partnered with local organizations for the rally outside City Hall to show city officials how much local support […]

Laura Howard at Kansas Department for Children and Families ribbon cutting for renovations to the Topeka Service Center.

Kansas earmarks pandemic-era funding for social services data software

By: - September 11, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department for Children and Families has poured the majority of a final round of pandemic-era grant funding into bolstering its online user referral system. Gov. Laura Kelly announced Monday that DCF selected five recipients for the final round of Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas community capacity grants. “It is vital that […]

Mark McCormick details his Quindaro report during an Sept. 8, 2023 Kansas Reflector podcast. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

‘Quindaro, the vision:’ Kansas ACLU report points to historic site as blueprint for future

By: - September 11, 2023

TOPEKA — A Civil War-era community has loomed large in Kansas history. Advocates say the former majority-Black community could be a useful template for confronting racism in today’s society. During a Kansas Reflector podcast, Mark McCormick, deputy executive director of strategic initiatives at the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, talked about racism in the […]

Senate President Ty Masterson

Republican leaders warn against substantial pay increases for Kansas lawmakers

By: - September 7, 2023

TOPEKA —  Increasing long-stagnant legislative pay could revolutionize state politics by encouraging Kansans from more diverse backgrounds to seek public office, but top Republican legislators also cautioned against dramatically escalating compensation.   Senate President Ty Masterson, R-Andover, said low pay has been a longstanding barrier for many Kansans. But Masterson also warned against raising pay to […]

President Joe Biden talks on the phone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 7, 2023, in the Oval Office of the White House, about the Canadian wild fires and the smoke blanketing parts of the U.S.

New student loan repayment program benefits far fewer Kansans than original debt plan

By: - September 6, 2023

TOPEKA — For thousands of Kansans knee-deep in student debt, relief will come soon —  just not as much relief as initially promised.  The Biden administration announced Tuesday that more than 4 million federal student loan borrowers have been enrolled in the Saving on A Valuable Education, or SAVE, program. In Kansas, 35,000 borrowers are […]

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona asks for Kansas educators' input on necessary educational reforms during a Sept. 5 bus tour. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

U.S. education secretary touts Kansas school initiatives, national debt forgiveness

By: - September 5, 2023

TOPEKA —Education will combat ignorance, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said, stressing diversity and debt forgiveness on the first leg of a Midwest bus tour meant to promote the Biden administration’s education initiatives.  The inaugural event was held at the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers, where students partner with businesses for learning initiatives. […]

Kansas lawmakers say guns shouldn’t be blamed in spiking youth suicide rates

By: - September 1, 2023

TOPEKA — Though firearm deaths make up a significant number of youth suicides in the state, lawmakers on a mental health committee rejected recommendations for gun safety measures, asking instead to look at social media and the internet. “We need to focus not so much on the tool as we do the reason,” said Rep. […]