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.

Gov. Laura Kelly appears on stage in front of a campaign banner

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly picks budget director to lead Department of Administration

By: - January 3, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly has appointed her budget director to serve as secretary of the Department of Administration as she kicks off her second term. Adam Proffitt will take over the agency formerly led by DeAngela Burns-Wallace, whose last day is Friday. Proffitt has been the governor’s budget director for the past two years. […]

Dorothy Hughes

Telehealth ‘another arrow in the quiver’ for Kansas providers, but barriers remain

By: - December 20, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas patients and health care providers value telehealth as a convenient and accessible option, new research shows, but they also recognize its limitations and technological challenges. Dorothy Hughes, an assistant professor of population health and surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s Salina campus, spent 18 months studying the use of […]

Debbie Cox registers new voters at the United Wireless Convention Center in Dodge City

Federal lawsuit says Dodge City’s election system keeps Latino candidates out of office

By: - December 15, 2022

TOPEKA — A coalition of voting rights groups says Dodge City’s election system is designed to prevent the community’s Latino population from holding office on the city commission. In a complaint filed late Thursday in federal court, the coalition argues the “at-large” election system is unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act of […]

Kimberlyn Jones and Brandon Hutton appear at a lectern

Kansas share of federal broadband cash in jeopardy because of ‘grossly inadequate’ map

By: - December 14, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas officials worry the state will lose part of its share of a $42.5 billion federal investment in broadband expansion because the Federal Communications Commission commissioned a “grossly inadequate” map of existing services. The map, released in late November, shows broadband is available everywhere in Kansas. The state faces a Jan. 13 deadline to […]

Vic Miller stands behind microphone and lectern in a room at the Statehouse

Kansas House Democrats pick Vic Miller for minority leader

By: - December 5, 2022

TOPEKA — Vic Miller told fellow House Democrats on Monday they can overcome their “numbers problem” by sticking together and being smarter than their Republican rivals. The caucus narrowly selected Miller, a Topeka Democrat, as the minority leader for the upcoming session. Miller beat out Lenexa Democrat Brandon Woodard in a 21-19 vote. In his […]

A judge's gavel on top of a pile of $100 bills

Wichita has spent $150,000 on legal fees in defense of police gang list

By: - November 29, 2022

TOPEKA — The City of Wichita has paid a private law firm more than $150,000 in legal fees to defend itself from litigation over the police department’s use of a gang list. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Kansas Appleseed filed a class action lawsuit against the city in April 2021, arguing that […]

Rep. John Barker appears in a committee hearing room

New York Times investigation shows how sports gambling industry exploited Kansas legislators

By: - November 25, 2022

TOPEKA — A New York Times investigation into the gambling industry’s bare-knuckled lobbying efforts provides insight into concessions Kansas lawmakers provided when they legalized sports betting earlier this year. Among the revelations from the report, published Sunday as part of a series on “a relentless nationwide campaign” to expand sports betting: Kansas lawmakers slashed an […]

Pages from internal polling of Kim Zito's House race

‘Complete bulls***’: Kansas Democrats scrutinize internal polling offered to House candidates

By: - November 18, 2022

TOPEKA — Three weeks before Election Day, Kim Zito received internal polling and analysis of voters in her House district that could help her focus campaign efforts in the closing days of a tight race. Zito, a Democrat running for state office for the first time, viewed the assistance as a gesture of faith and […]

Federal prosecutors moved to seize bank assets in a $10 million fraud investigation involving a former employee of Saint Francis Ministries, a Salina-based organization providing foster care and adoption services under a contract with the state of Kansas. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Federal grand jury indicts former Kansas foster care officials on fraud charges

By: - November 11, 2022

TOPEKA — A federal grand jury has indicted the former CEO and IT director of Saint Francis Ministries for scheming to defraud the foster care provider of at least $4.7 million by using fake invoices. The indictment follows a two-year investigation into accusations of financial mismanagement that led to the dismissal of former CEO Robert […]

A headshot image of Gleb Gluhovsky

Kansas National Guard veteran values service in country that welcomed him as refugee

By: - November 11, 2022

TOPEKA — Gleb Gluhovsky enlisted for military service as a way of repaying the country that saved his life as a teenage refugee from war-torn Eastern Europe. Gluhovsky, a physician assistant and colonel in the Kansas Army National Guard, has been deployed to Kosovo, Egypt, Kuwait and Liberal, Kansas, where he helped keep meatpacking plants open […]

Gov. Laura Kelly appears on stage at her watch party

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly wins reelection over Republican challenger Derek Schmidt

By: - November 9, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has won a second four-year term, defeating Republican Derek Schmidt in a campaign that pitted her economic accomplishments against his transphobic appeals and attacks on pandemic policies. Schmidt congratulated Kelly on her “apparent reelection,” pending a tally of remaining ballots, and said “absent any unexpected development, it appears this […]

A panel at the Dole Institute of Politics conclude Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's centrist philosophy, focus on kitchen-table issues and the sustained TV assault on former Gov. Sam Brownback were too much for Republican nominee Derek Schmidt to overcome in November. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

In Kansas governor’s race, Gov. Laura Kelly holds slim lead over Republican Derek Schmidt

By: - November 8, 2022

TOPEKA — Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, clinging to a slim lead late Tuesday, told cheering supporters she expects to be declared the winner over Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt after the few remaining votes have been counted. She took the stage at midnight at her watch party in downtown Topeka, flanked by family members […]