Environment

Summer hurricanes, wildfires and storms loom as FEMA faces pressure to step up

BY: - May 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — Another grueling summer disaster season is arriving, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is under intense pressure even as its portfolio balloons, it pleads for more money from Congress and criticism comes on several fronts. The agency manages more than 300 disaster declarations a year, a dramatic increase from the average of 108 […]

NOAA forecasts busy Atlantic hurricane season, with at least 3 major storms

BY: - May 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be the seventh in a row with an above-normal number of storms, according to a forecast the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Tuesday.  NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad said the agency expects there will be between 14 and 21 named storms, with six to 10 […]

OPINION

Bill offers opportunity to fund threatened wildlife in Kansas without new taxes

BY: - May 23, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Michael Donnelly is a member of the Audubon of Kansas communication and Celebration of Cranes committees and is editor-in-chief of Prairie Wings magazine. Residents and visitors […]

Why an ambitious effort to overhaul Kansas water management fell short

BY: - May 16, 2022

The dire state of water in western Kansas is not in dispute. The aquifer Kansans out west rely on to irrigate crops and provide drinking water dropped by a foot in 2021.  “If you look at charts as to where it was … when they started irrigating and now, it’s alarming,” said the House Water […]

Gov. Laura Kelly toured a Flint Hills grassland cattle ranch operated by Jan Lyons and her family near Manhattan to sign a proclamation designating May as Kansas beef month. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly tips hat at influence of Flint Hills grassland on Kansas beef industry

BY: - May 12, 2022

The beef industry is the largest sector of the Kansas agricultural economy, and Gov. Laura Kelly moved her office outdoors to experience that reality.

A Kansas State University research project is looking at the effects virtual cattle fencing has on grassland birds and the areas along waterways on the tallgrass prairie and a cattle ranch. GPS devices emitting sound or a light charge may direct cattle away from designated areas. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from KSU photograph)

KSU researching ‘virtual’ fencing’s influence on grassland conservation, cattle business

BY: - May 9, 2022

Kansas State University researchers are part of a study of electronic collars on cattle to steer them from fragile water resources, protect nesting birds.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Republican-turned-Democrat, lower left in the photo, was sworn into office as governor in 2009, but declined to seek election to the post in 2010. His career is documented in a lengthy article in the journal Kansas History. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Former Kansas Gov. Parkinson claims to have ‘Forrest Gumped’ his way to state’s top political job

BY: - May 9, 2022

Former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson outlines his political career in a Kansas history journal, including his brief, productive stint as Democratic governor.

The Kansas Corporation Commission limited the ability of a business coalition to formally participate in regulatory debate on construction of a new electricity transmission line in southeast Kansas. Evergy and other utility companies were granted full intervention rights by the KCC. (Jill Hummels/Kansas Reflector)

KCC chairman dissents on vote muffling business group’s voice in transmission project case

BY: - May 6, 2022

KCC majority limits ability of major businesses to formally participate in regulatory debate on new electricity transmission line in southeast Kansas.

U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner, appearing Thursday at a congressional forum hosted by the Greater Topeka Partnership at the Topeka Zoo, says an increased bipartisan desire to be self-sufficient is a silver lining of the pandemic. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

LaTurner finds silver lining in pandemic, raises concerns about effects of inflation in Kansas

BY: - May 5, 2022

TOPEKA — While the COVID-19 pandemic took many lives and left many businesses and people in precarious positions, U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner sees a silver lining in the growing emphasis on becoming a self-sufficient country. For example, LaTurner touted the COMPETES Act, a bill that members of Congress have touted as a key to reinvigorating American […]

OPINION
Friday's tornado in Andover reminds us that the chance of bad things happening must be accepted as an inevitable part of existence, writes opinion editor Clay Wirestone. The good news? We don’t have to do this alone. (Submitted by Gov. Laura Kelly's office)

In wake of latest Andover tornado, a newfound appreciation of risk in Kansas and beyond

BY: - May 2, 2022

Few events shaped my childhood like the one-two punch of the Hesston tornado in 1990 and the Andover tornado in 1991. My family lived only 18 miles away from Andover, and the notion that a storm could descend from nowhere and wreak destruction terrified me. Those memories flooded back Friday night, when another powerful tornado […]

OPINION

A boulder’s journey: Lawrence monolith will be returned to the Kaw in thoughtful process

BY: - May 1, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Dave Kendall served as producer and host of the “Sunflower Journeys” series on public television for its first 27 seasons and continues to produce documentary videos through […]

Kansas governor, legislators offer support for Andover after ‘stunning and heartbreaking’ tornado

BY: - April 30, 2022

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly on Saturday surveyed damage in Andover and promised to help the town recover from the large and destructive tornado that tore through the town the night before. Legislators from the area offered prayers and assistance for the Butler County community. The National Weather Service in Wichita said the severity of […]