Author

Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the 2021 and 2022 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. He is a lifelong Kansan.

Julie Herron was booked into jail Wednesday on charges of unlawful sexual relations with a patient in state custody who was younger than 16. (Shawnee County Jail)

Topeka therapist charged with having sex with child in state care

By: - July 24, 2020

Editor’s note: A Shawnee County jury has determined Julie Herron is not guilty. TOPEKA — A Topeka mental health professional faces charges of having sexual relations with a patient in state care who was older than 16. Julie Herron, 51, is accused of engaging in intercourse, lewd fondling or sodomy with the child between February […]

Health secretary Lee Norman outlines the growing number of COVID-19 infections in Kansas during a news conference last week in which Gov. Laura Kelly announced her order to keep schools closed until after Labor Day. On Wednesday, Norman told board members that schools can't be safe islands in unsafe communities. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Medical experts dispute claims by Kansas Board of Education member

By: and - 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 […]

The Kansas Department of Corrections led by secretary Jeff Zmuda says a fifth inmate who contracted COVID-19 has died. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Norton inmate tests positive for COVID-19

By: - 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 […]

OPINION
From left, Kansas Reflector's founding team members are reporter Noah Taborda, senior reporter Tim Carpenter, opinion editor C.J. Janovy and editor in chief Sherman Smith. (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

I was on front lines, and sidelines, of pandemic coverage. Now, I’m living the dream.

By: - 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.