Civil Rights

Kansas county scuttles talk of converting Leavenworth jail to ICE detention center

BY: - September 21, 2023

Leavenworth County officials voted unanimously Wednesday to halt discussions over whether to convert a former private federal jail into a detention center for immigration enforcement.  For years, CoreCivic, the nation’s largest private prison operator, ran a federal pretrial detention center in Leavenworth for individuals charged with — but not convicted of — federal crimes from Kansas, […]


I knew Kansas officials would overstep after Marion raid. I didn’t expect it to be in Lawrence.

BY: - September 20, 2023

Ding ding ding! We have a winner for the not-at-all-coveted prize of “first Kansas officials to embarrass our state by attacking the free press after the raid on the Marion County Record.” You knew this award was coming. I knew this award was coming. News outlets try to uncover information powerful people want kept secret. […]

Scales of Justice

Kansas judge rejects prosecutor’s attempt to seal affidavit by insulting newspaper

BY: - September 19, 2023

TOPEKA — Douglas County District Judge Stacey Donovan says a prosecutor’s criticism of the Lawrence Journal-World raises First Amendment concerns and is “beneath the dignity” of district attorney’s office. Joshua Seiden, Douglas County deputy district attorney, had tried to persuade the judge to seal an affidavit in the arrest of a homeless man because he […]

Two former captains with the Topeka Fire Department filed discrimination lawsuits in the past week against the City of Topeka alleging racial and gender inequities. (Kansas Reflector screen capture of U.S. District Court lawsuit)

Two retired Topeka Fire Department captains file lawsuits alleging discrimination

BY: - September 19, 2023

Two former captains with the Topeka Fire Department filed discrimination federal lawsuits against the City of Topeka alleging racial and gender inequities.

An original copy of the Declaration of Independence

As our country confronts serious threats, some Kansans want to laugh them off

BY: - September 18, 2023

As long as news stories and columns have appeared online with a way for readers to make their reactions known, one piece of advice to authors persists. Don’t read the comments. Yet I can’t help but do so when it comes to my work, simply because I’m curious to know what people think. My recent […]

Top view of people holding hands together while standing in the office

Suicide prevention is a priority for me now. Loved ones can help a person who is in crisis.

BY: - September 16, 2023

I live in an old Denver building with six units, one of which was occupied, until recently, by a mathematician. I met this neighbor several years ago when I asked permission to enter her apartment, because I was looking for the building’s main water shut-off valve, which I had reason to believe was located behind […]

Kris Kobach appears during a June 26, 2023, news conference at the Statehouse to offer his interpretation of Senate Bill 180

Transgender Kansans barred from altering birth certificates

BY: - September 15, 2023

TOPEKA — The state will no longer recognize transgender Kansans’ identities, reversing birth records back to assigned sex at birth and halting future modifications of birth certificates following a federal judge’s ruling. “Kansas birth certificates are state records that must reflect scientific fact as recorded by the doctor at the time of birth. I am […]

Gov. Laura Kelly walks to fill out her ballot Oct. 25, 2022, at the Shawnee County Election Office in Topeka.

‘When is it going to be our time?’ Young Kansas voters jilted by candidates and election barriers

BY: - September 15, 2023

This article is part of U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide collaborative on Sept. 15, the International Day of Democracy, in which news organizations cover how democracy works and the threats it faces. To learn more, visit TOPEKA — The way Dustin Morris sees it, his generation was sold a lot of false hope. You […]


When a high school student and coach collide, Kansas officials’ sympathy doesn’t flow equally

BY: - September 14, 2023

Possibly the best definition of modern racism came from journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who described it as “broad sympathy for some, broad skepticism of others.” This axiom came to mind recently during an email exchange with a private school administrator who seemed unbothered by secretly recorded comments his basketball coach, Mitch Fiegel, made about […]

DCF admin sign in front of building

Fixing Kansas’ child welfare system requires the voices of families ‘closest to the pain’

BY: - September 13, 2023

“Those closest to the pain should be closest to the power.” This quote from U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts is the impetus to solving many of the problems faced by Kansans. She meant that policies and laws should be filtered through the experiences of those most affected by them. If they are not capable […]

“Gender Queer,” a graphic memoir by Maia Kobabe, was the most challenged book in America in 2022, according to the American Library Association.

U.S. Senate hearing on book bans probes censorship attempts in local libraries

BY: - September 12, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators at a committee hearing Tuesday discussed the consequences of book bans and parents’ desire to control what their kids read — though they also acknowledged it’s not an issue for Congress to settle. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony about book bans, focusing on how censorship limits liberty and literature. The […]

Books featured in past Kansas Notable Book lists are displayed in the State Library of Kansas at the Statehouse in Topeka

As censors challenge more books, authors bring a new crop of Kansas literature to annual festival 

BY: - September 12, 2023

TOPEKA — One day, Kathleen Wilford observed a girl of about 12 walking home from the bus stop on her street. “She was eating a bag of Doritos and simultaneously absorbed in the book she was reading,” Wilford said. “I was struck by how much she reminded me of me at that age.” So Wilford, […]