Kansas cold case task force lays groundwork for sharing DNA database hits

BY: - September 15, 2021

TOPEKA — Members of a task force developing protocol for newly discovered DNA evidence in closed cases is backing a recommendation laying out a process to ensure defense counsel is made aware when a match is found in DNA registries. Following an August meeting of the Alvin Sykes Cold Case Task Force to discuss possible […]

Putting on pandemic pounds: State obesity rates hit all-time highs

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The number of states with high obesity among residents has nearly doubled since 2018, according to new data Wednesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 16 states that had obesity rates among adult residents of at least 35% last year, with Iowa, Ohio, Delaware and Texas on that […]

Kansas Supreme Court is asked by guardians of 50-year resident of Parsons state hospital to block Kansas agency's plan to force disabled woman's transfer to community-based housing. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Supreme Court drawn into fight over plan to discharge 50-year resident of state hospital

BY: - September 15, 2021

Kansas Supreme Court tries to resolve conflict over plan to transfer a 50-year disabled resident of Parsons state hospital to a community-based setting.

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

As child care options dwindle, Kansas advocates seek funding to address staffing shortages

BY: - September 15, 2021

TOPEKA — Lack of accessible child care often pushes Kansas families to leave their children with overworked or unlicensed caregivers. Amid a growing workforce shortage exacerbated by the pandemic, child care advocates say there is an immediate need for long-term solutions. Throughout the last decade, the number of family child care providers across Kansas has […]

Four Kansas school districts temporarily close as COVID-19 outbreaks hit 31 schools

BY: - September 14, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas education commissioner Randy Watson says at least 31 Kansas schools are reporting outbreaks of COVID-19, forcing more school districts to close temporarily. COVID-19 cases are up dramatically in school-age children compared to last school year as school districts grapple with masking policies, testing strategies and vaccinations for eligible students, Watson said. Some […]

Voting rights attorneys argue whether new Kansas law blocks registration drives

BY: - September 14, 2021

TOPEKA — Voting rights attorneys battled Tuesday in Shawnee County District Court over the merits of a new law that threatens felony prosecution for any activities that could be mistaken as the work of an election official. Nonprofits including the League of Women Voters of Kansas sued the state before the law took effect July […]

How the U.S. House spending bill targets 4 local plans for oil and gas leasing, mining

BY: - September 14, 2021

Proposals targeting specific areas for conservation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and federal waters off Louisiana’s coast made their way into the gigantic budget reconciliation bill that Democrats are moving through Congress. The portion of the $3.5 trillion package approved on a party-line vote by the House Natural Resources Committee last week includes nationwide measures […]

Agriculture section of U.S. House spending bill centers on climate change, research

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion […]

The Kansas Supreme Court is evaluating conflicting views on two cases raising questions about how Kansas prosecutors should weigh prior DUI convictions from other states. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Supreme Court dives into ambiguity of K.S.A 8-1567 — the state’s DUI statute

BY: - September 14, 2021

Kansas Supreme Court considers a pair of DUI cases challenging findings of the Court of Appeals on the counting of prior out-of-state convictions.

School COVID-19 safety panel aims to keep kids in school while reducing COVID-19 outbreaks

BY: - September 13, 2021

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly is urging a new COVID-19 school safety workgroup to focus on policies that will not only keep Kansas children and staff healthy but in the classroom, after hundreds of infections were reported in school districts across the state. Kelly established the Safer Classrooms Workgroup as outbreaks and clusters forced some […]

Rep. Mark Samsel, a Republican from Wellsville, entered a guilty plea to three misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct for a physical and verbal episode during April at Wellsville High School. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas House member takes plea deal in Wellsville school case

BY: - September 13, 2021

A Wellsville Republican in the Kansas House agreed to plead guilty to three misdemeanors in wake of his bizarre behavior while a substitute teacher.