Author

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.

Close-up of bartender serving beers at bar

Hutchinson microbrewery hopes to avoid losing liquor license with plea to buy food

By: - September 21, 2022

A Hutchinson microbrewery sold more than $16,000 worth of hot dogs and other food Tuesday night in defiance of antiquated Kansas liquor laws. With another $13,000 worth of food sales by the end of the month, the business can stay open. Sandhills Brewing, a microbrewery with two taprooms, is in danger of losing its liquor license […]

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will cancel thousands of dollars in student debt and pause student loan repayments. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Thousands of Kansans eligible for student debt forgiveness, White House officials say

By: - September 20, 2022

Kansans who have struggled to repay student debt may receive relief, with hundreds of thousands in the state eligible for some form of debt forgiveness, the Biden-Harris administration announced Tuesday.  In Kansas, about 360,900 student loan recipients qualify for some form of loan forgiveness, with 225,500 Kansan Pell Grant recipients eligible. In the neighboring state […]

Kansas uninsured rate now higher than national average

By: - September 19, 2022

Nationally, more and more Americans have been enrolled in health insurance since the Affordable Care Act was implemented. But no longer in Kansas, which now has a higher uninsurance rate than the national average rate for the first time in years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Nearly 264,000 Kansans went without insurance in […]

In the past nine months, hundreds of books across dozens of states are being banned at an alarming rate. A majority of the bans feature books written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ+, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups. (Getty Images)

Community divided over Kansas school district book ban push 

By: - September 16, 2022

The Gardner Edgerton School District has made news recently with a transgender student policy that the Kansas American Civil Liberties Union condemned as potentially unlawful. With the policy still under discussion and a vote delayed, it seemed as though things were finally settling down for the district. But the newest issue to come up is […]

Laura Howard, secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, . (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Child sex abuse reports sent by abortion providers misleading, DCF secretary says

By: - September 15, 2022

Department for Children and Families secretary Laura Howard said “we dropped the ball” in presenting child sexual abuse allegations reported by Kansas abortion providers at a Monday committee meeting.  The data, which run from 2011 to 2022, weren’t available to the public until the Topeka Capital-Journal filed public record requests earlier this year, despite a […]

Sen. Mike Thompson said he was fed up with the state's distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funds during Wednesday's funding review. (Photo by Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas lawmakers dig into pandemic relief spending report

By: - September 14, 2022

TOPEKA — Pastries, plastic tube people and festivals. Kansas lawmakers questioned whether federal COVID-19 relief funding was spent appropriately during a Wednesday review of expenditures. The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit’s report focused on the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress. The act included $339.8 billion […]

Jeffrey Cramer, Gardner Edgerton District teacher, speaks against potential transgender policy. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Gardner Edgerton school board video)

‘A traumatic and fatal conclusion’: Kansas school district debates potential transgender policy

By: - September 13, 2022

TOPEKA — Debate over a potential policy covering transgender students exposed a school district’s ideological rifts on Monday night, complete with two legal letters and details from anonymous teachers. Parents, students and board members in the Gardner Edgerton School District have wrangled over the policy since July, with many concerned it would hurt transgender students. […]

Nicole and John DeHaven speak about their experiences with the foster care system ahead of Monday's committee meeting. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas family struggles to adopt foster daughter, says system is broken

By: - September 12, 2022

TOPEKA — Nicole DeHaven broke down in tears while giving testimony about her foster care experience during a meeting Monday with state lawmakers.  DeHaven and her husband, John, have raised their foster daughter since she was three days old. But when the Gardner couple tried to adopt the 2-year-old, they were told they also would […]

Former U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp claimed there was no proof of misconduct in abortion amendment campaign. (Photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Former U.S. representative denies sending false text messages before Kansas abortion vote

By: - September 10, 2022

HUTCHINSON — Weeks after he was accused of sending false text messages in an attempt to trick people into voting for an anti-abortion amendment, former U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp claimed there was no proof of misconduct. “There’s no evidence of that,” said Huelskamp after the Kansas State Fair debate between Gov. Laura Kelly and Attorney […]

Recent bills in the Kansas House pose threats to education, freedom and reason, writes David Norlin. (Getty Images)

Kansas school district’s planned transgender policy could violate law, ACLU says

By: - September 8, 2022

TOPEKA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas condemned a school district’s discussed transgender policy as potentially illegal and harmful, in anticipation of a deciding vote on the matter. Parents, students and board members in the Gardner Edgerton School District discussed the contentious policy during July and August board meetings.  The policy would require […]

Labor Secretary Amber Shultz answers questions on cybersecurity during Wednesday's meeting on insurance fraud claims. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas legislators clash with Labor secretary over report on unemployment fraud, identity theft

By: - September 8, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas’ IT system for unemployment claims could have been hacked by any fifth-grader, the chairman of an oversight committee said during a tense meeting Wednesday on security breaches.  “Most of it was grade-school type stuff that we should’ve been aware of in the first place,” said Rep. Sean Tarwater, a Stillwell Republican and […]

Gov. Laura Kelly announces the creation of the Office of Registered Apprenticeship during a news conference Tuesday at Washburn Tech in Topeka.(Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

‘The key is always people’: Kansas governor creates new office for job training

By: - September 6, 2022

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly created the Office of Registered Apprenticeship Tuesday, emphasizing statewide economic growth under her administration and new employment opportunities.  Standing in a Washburn Tech auto garage, the Democratic governor said the new office would expand training opportunities for Kansans, especially for nontraditional workforce members, including women, formerly incarcerated people, people of […]