Politics + Government

A radiologist guides a male patient through an integrated PET-CT scanner. KanCare patients who are high risk for lung cancer can not get free or low-cost screenings. (American Lung Association)

New Kansas policy makes lung cancer screening free for at-risk patients

BY: - July 27, 2020

A new Kansas Department of Health and Environment policy makes lung cancer screenings available at little to no cost for Medicaid recipients at high risk of the disease. The policy, which went into effect July 1, adds low-dose CT scans to KanCare coverage for people between the ages of 55 and 77 who currently smoke […]

Former Secretary of State Kris Kobach received endorsements from 10 county sheriffs in his quest for the GOP nomination for attorney general. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kris Kobach not banking on Trump endorsement in U.S. Senate race

BY: - July 27, 2020

U.S. Senate candidate Kris Kobach says he can't count on a last-minute endorsement from President Trump to carry him to victory in the GOP primary.

Three Kansas State University students were detained by police and banned from the Statehouse in March 2019 after lowering banners in support of Medicaid expansion that targeted four GOP lawmakers. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed a lawsuit on their behalf. (Submitted by Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan)

Their banners got them banned from the Statehouse. Then they changed the rules.

BY: - July 26, 2020

When Jonathan Cole unfurled a 24-foot banner in the rotunda of the Kansas Statehouse calling for the expansion of Medicaid, he didn’t expect to reshape Capitol policy on protests. Cole, who now works in government technologies, sees how pertinent the demonstration was to current, ongoing protests over police reform. “I’m glad we were able to […]

Samuel Dermas Habtemariam, a refugee from Eritrea, is a doctoral student at the University of Kansas. Resettlement agencies that help individuals like Habtermariam are strained by major cuts to the number of refugees being admitted to the United States and the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted to Kansas Reflector)

Kansas refugee programs struggle as funding, resettlements dwindle

BY: - July 25, 2020

Samuel Dermas Habtemariam came to Wichita as a refugee of the East African country Eritrea with a PhD in teaching English in a foreign language, but even with such relevant education, he needed help navigating unfamiliar terrain. Habtemariam, a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, came to the United States after spending 10 years […]

Julie Herron was booked into jail Wednesday on charges of unlawful sexual relations with a patient in state custody who was younger than 16. (Shawnee County Jail)

Topeka therapist charged with having sex with child in state care

BY: - July 24, 2020

TOPEKA — A Topeka mental health professional faces charges of having sexual relations with a patient in state care who was younger than 16. Julie Herron, 51, is accused of engaging in intercourse, lewd fondling or sodomy with the child between February and July of 2015. She was booked into jail on Wednesday and released […]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was expected to unveil the details of the Republicans' proposal for extending jobless benefits but adjourned without doing so. (Jan. 23, 2020, photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Senate Republicans pursue pay cut for jobless, adjourn without action

BY: - July 24, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders slammed Republicans on Friday for leaving in the lurch millions of jobless Americans who are relying on enhanced unemployment benefits to stay financially afloat amid ongoing public health and economic crises. Republicans in Congress and the White House were engaged in heated negotiations this week over the details of their party’s proposal for a […]

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 […]

Members of the Commission on Racial Equity and Justice express an interest Thursday in increasing diversity of listening session communities. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Commission on Racial Equity and Justice turns focus to community involvement

BY: - July 23, 2020

Wichita police Chief Gordon Ramsay says throughout his career in law enforcement he has noticed, and often been told of, the need to address the system of fines leading to the removal of driver’s licenses and sometimes incarceration. “Once you get into that cycle of debt, you lose your license and then you can’t get […]

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.

Members of the Kansas State Board of Education, who met via video conference Wednesday, rejected the governor's order delaying the opening of public schools until after Labor Day. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Board of Education blocks Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to delay K-12 classes

BY: - July 22, 2020

The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order to delay the start of public and private school instruction for three weeks because of a resurgence of coronavirus in the state, with half the board members citing a need for a more local approach. The controversial decision by Kelly to […]