Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith

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.

Supermajority of Kansas voters support expanded Medicaid, when informed, survey shows

By: - February 7, 2022

TOPEKA — New research sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas shows 78% of Kansas voters support Medicaid expansion after learning about current qualifications for the health insurance program. With Republican leadership in the Legislature uninterested in expanding Medicaid, the alliance has shifted its focus toward correcting misconceptions about the topic. The new survey, […]

Kansas Supreme Court weighs sanction of former prosecutor for ethical lapses in high-profile cases

By: and - February 4, 2022

Former prosecutor faces possible disbarment by Kansas Supreme Court in case of misconduct at murder and sexual abuse trials.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has signed an anti-sanctuary city bill. That’s a kick in the teeth to progressives, writes opinion editor Clay Wirestone. (Jan. 27, 2022, photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas governor vetoes GOP congressional map, calls for bipartisan compromise

By: - February 3, 2022

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday vetoed a GOP-drawn congressional map that would divide the Kansas City metro and place Lawrence into a rural district that stretches to the Colorado border. The Republican-dominated Legislature adopted the map, known as Ad Astra 2, along party lines and could attempt to override the governor’s veto. Democrats […]

Kansas Rep. Suzi Carlson jailed after drunk driving citation in Topeka

By: - February 1, 2022

TOPEKA — Rep. Suzi Carlson was arrested late Monday and booked into Shawnee County Jail for driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to maintain a single lane, Topeka police said Tuesday. Topeka police Lt. Manuel Munoz said officers stopped Carlson around 9 p.m. Monday in the area of S.W. 14th and Topeka Blvd., […]

Kansas, Montana senators unveil plan to provide VA care for burn pit exposure

By: - February 1, 2022

TOPEKA — U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Jon Tester say swift action is needed to ensure post-9/11 combat veterans who were exposed to burn pits can receive medical care. Moran, a Kansas Republican, and Tester, a Montana Democrat, in a news conference Tuesday outlined a billion-dollar plan to offer access to VA medical care to […]

Attorney raises questions with evidence, interrogation in Kansas death penalty case

By: - January 31, 2022

TOPEKA — An attorney for death row inmate Kyle Flack on Monday pointed to unidentified DNA, cellphone evidence, an unlawful police interrogation and rushed trial as reasons to overturn the capital murder conviction. A Franklin County jury in 2016 convicted Flack in the 2013 killing spree of three adults and a toddler, whose body was […]

Kansas lawmakers rebrand complaints with public education in push for ‘school choice’

By: and - January 30, 2022

TOPEKA — Lawmakers in the Kansas House began laying the groundwork last week for redirecting taxpayer money from public to private schools by holding a two-hour hearing on complaints two parents have with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Rep. Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, organized the discussion on “critical pedagogy” as a rebranding of critical race theory, although […]

Kansas reports spike in COVID-19 deaths

By: - January 28, 2022

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Friday reported 134 more people have died from COVID-19, the highest two-day total since safe, effective and free vaccines became widely available last spring. The rapidly growing toll of the pandemic now stands at 7,522 dead Kansans. Hospital leaders for weeks have pleaded with Kansans […]

Hope springs from Kansas governor’s proposal to restore water funding

By: - January 28, 2022

TOPEKA — Connie Owen, director of Kansas Water Office, says the governor’s recommendation to restore funding for water projects has given her organization momentum as it considers a wide range of needs. Legislators since 2008 have not allocated the full $8 million that is supposed to go toward a State Water Plan, established in 1989. […]

Kansas senator under investigation after prescribing ivermectin for COVID-19, seeks legal cover

By: - January 26, 2022

TOPEKA — Sen. Mark Steffen revealed Wednesday he is under investigation after prescribing ivermectin to COVID-19 patients, accused the chief medical director of the University of Kansas Health System of spreading propaganda, and challenged him to a public debate. Steffen, a Republican and anesthesiologist from Hutchinson, introduced legislation that would give himself and other doctors […]

Kansas Republican defends gerrymandering and partisan politics as ‘just things that happen’

By: - January 25, 2022

TOPEKA — Rep. Steve Huebert during a four-hour House debate Tuesday defended an obvious attempt by Republicans to gain an upper hand in congressional races through redistricting as simply “a political process.” The Republican from Valley Center was responding to complaints by Democrats about a rushed process that ignored the voices of residents who wanted […]

‘You have awakened a sleeping lion’: Kansas City residents denounce GOP congressional map

By: - January 24, 2022

TOPEKA — Wyandotte County resident Connie Brown Collins says new congressional boundaries passed by the state Senate appear to “literally cut through backyards” of several diverse communities. Republicans in the Legislature have fast-tracked an effort to redraw congressional districts in a way that would divide the Kansas City metro area along Interstate 70. As a […]