Author

Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, center, R-Wichita, challenged the legality of Gov. Laura Kelly's opinion that county commissions couldn't reject her executive order mandating that all students, employees and visitors to public and private schools wear a mask to reduce potential of spreading COVID-19. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Conflict persists about Gov. Laura Kelly’s power to impose school health orders

By: - July 24, 2020

House Minority Leader Dan Hawkins says Gov. Laura Kelly is wrong to believe county commissions can't block her order for all in K-12 schools wear a mask.

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 […]

Officials at University of Kansas, which fell silent this spring due to COVID-19, reported losses of $35 million in the last fiscal year and Thursday projected a revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year of $120 million with an additional $30 million spent on health and safety programs. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

KU anticipates $120M revenue shortfall, $30M in direct COVID-19 expenses

By: - July 23, 2020

University of Kansas says COVID-19 will cause a $120 million revenue shortfall this fiscal year and trigger $30 million in health and safety expenditures.

Two former majors in the Kansas Highway Patrol, who were dismissed in July, filed a federal lawsuit Friday alleging wrongful termination and violation of their First Amendment constitutional rights. The former officers allege they were retaliated against for helping female KHP employees file complaints of sexual harassment and gender discrimination against KHP Col. Herman Jones and Lt. Col. Jason De Vore. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Inquiries clear Kansas Highway Patrol superintendent of wrongdoing

By: - July 23, 2020

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday expressed unqualified support for the superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol following completion of internal and external reviews of allegations he engaged in sexual harassment, gender discrimination and misuse of state aircraft. KHP Superintendent Herman Jones, who assumed the law enforcement agency’s top job in 2019, was the […]

Nancy Jensen, center, a former resident of a Newton home for mentally ill adults led by Arlan Kaufman, objected to Kaufman's request to be released from federal prison due to poor health after serving 15 years of a 30-year sentence. A federal judge denied the request for compassionate release. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Victims: 15 years in prison not enough for architect of Kaufman House terror

By: - July 23, 2020

Victims of former Kansas social worker Arlan Kaufman's abuse of mentally ill adults persuaded a judge to deny him early release from prison.

Belinda Sturm, a University of Kansas engineering professor, says a research project involving KU and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows testing of wastewater can offer a one-week advance warning of COVID-19 community surges or declines. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Wastewater testing by KU, KDHE offers advance warning of COVID-19 surge

By: - July 22, 2020

A project involving KU and KDHE shows promise in tracking genetic evidence of COVID-19 in wastewater and offer an early warning to a community.

Rep. Troy Waymaster, left, a Republican from Bunker Hill, says the COVID-19 pandemic will erode casino and lottery revenue relied on by the state government to invest in economic development programs. (Nick Krug for Kansas Reflector)

State Finance Council complicit in cloaking financial terms of lawsuit settlements

By: - July 22, 2020

State Finance Council, comprised of the Kansas governor and eight legislators, test transparency limits by avoiding public discussion of lawsuit settlements.

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, who represents the 1st District in Kansas, is competing against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and a handful of other candidates in the August Republican primary. (Submitted)

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts endorses Roger Marshall in GOP primary

By: - July 21, 2020

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., endorses Congressman Roger Marshall in the GOP primary. Roberts' retirement set off a scramble for the seat.

Kansas Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran released a statement to constituents saying President Donald Trump has the right to wage a legal fight for a fair counting of votes in the presidential election, but should offer presumed Democrat Joe Biden the national security briefings and other support common to transition to a new president. (Submitted)

Kansas attorney general outlines COVID-19 scams for U.S. Senate panel

By: - July 21, 2020

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chaired a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday on COVID-19 scams. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt shared testimony.

Spirit AeroSystems employee Michelle Tran discovered after furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic that she had inadvertently accepted years ago unemployment benefits she wasn't entitled to receive. She paid back the money with interest, but is banned from getting jobless assistance for five years under Kansas law. (Submitted by Michelle Tran to Kansas Reflector)

Kansas enforces nation’s most draconian penalty for unemployment ‘fraud’

By: - July 21, 2020

Kansas has the toughest unemployment law in the nation — a five-year penalty — for any type of "fraud," which includes inadvertently taking extra cash.

Gov. Laura Kelly prepares for a podcast recording at Kansas Reflector's office. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly shields core government services as COVID-19 rocks Kansas economy

By: - July 21, 2020

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the Kansas economy’s emergence from COVID-19 depends on sober responses to the public health nightmare, record unemployment and inevitable declines in tax revenue. She said the answer wasn’t to recklessly throw open doors to business activity nor starve core state government services, such as education or transportation. That […]

Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill Friday that would have established a new three-person board to control distribution of about $500 million in federal COVID-19 aid to Kansas businesses claiming damages from temporary closures or other pandemic restrictions. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Board of Education to vote on Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to delay school opening

By: - July 21, 2020

TOPEKA — The Kansas State Board of Education will sit in judgment Wednesday of Gov. Laura Kelly’s response to the uptick in coronavirus cases and deaths that features a delay in opening of public schools serving 500,000 students until early September. Kelly released text of the directive Monday calling for postponement of in-person instruction, athletic […]