Sherman Smith is the Kansas Press Association’s journalist of the year. He has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He previously spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. A lifelong Kansan, he graduated from Emporia State University in 2004 as a Shepherd Scholar with a degree in English.
Privacy concerns shadow popular voter registration website
By: Sherman Smith - August 2, 2020
‘A lot of anger’: Kansas authorities on alert for threats to health officers
By: Sherman Smith - July 30, 2020
TOPEKA — Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary Lee Norman says he is used to “looking over my shoulder,” behavior the lieutenant colonel in the Kansas Army National Guard learned while serving as senior medical commander in a combat zone. Norman again finds himself under threat of attack. Public health officials across the the […]
Affidavit: Rep. Steve Watkins lied about address change, not voting
By: Sherman Smith - July 29, 2020
A Shawnee County sheriff’s detective in her affidavit report says U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins lied to her when he claimed he didn’t actually vote in a local election and wasn’t responsible for listing a UPS store as his home address. Video surveillance and a review of mail-in ballots provide the basis for three felony charges […]
Employee at Topeka women’s prison dies from COVID-19
By: Sherman Smith - July 28, 2020
A facility maintenance supervisor for the state-run women’s prison in Topeka has died after being infected with COVID-19. The Kansas Department of Corrections said Richard Rose, 74, died on Saturday. He was a 17-year employee at the agency. Rose is the third staff member and the first at Topeka Correctional Facility to die after being […]
Topeka therapist charged with having sex with child in state care
By: Sherman Smith - July 24, 2020
TOPEKA — A Topeka mental health professional faces charges of having sexual relations with a patient in state care who was younger than 16. Julie Herron, 51, is accused of engaging in intercourse, lewd fondling or sodomy with the child between February and July of 2015. She was booked into jail on Wednesday and released […]
Medical experts dispute claims by Kansas Board of Education member
By: Sherman Smith and Tim Carpenter - July 23, 2020
TOPEKA — Kansas State Board of Education member Michelle Dombrosky confronted health secretary Lee Norman during Wednesday’s meeting to ask why his advice — to delay the start of school for three weeks — conflicts with the opinion of other medical experts in the state. The board member from Olathe identified Children’s Mercy Hospital, the […]
Norton inmate tests positive for COVID-19
By: Sherman Smith - July 23, 2020
Kansas Department of Corrections secretary Jeff Zmuda on Thursday said an inmate at the state-run prison in Norton had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total of corrections facilities with known infections to eight. The infected man was among 96 residents in the minimum security unit at the Norton Correctional Facility. All of the unit’s […]
I was on front lines, and sidelines, of pandemic coverage. Now, I’m living the dream.
By: Sherman Smith - July 21, 2020
At the height of an unprecedented health crisis, I found myself on the sidelines. I knew somebody who knew somebody, and before I knew it, I had accepted an offer for my dream job — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch a nonprofit news organization dedicated to serving the people of Kansas.