News

Gov. Laura Kelly announced distribution of $1.8 million in federal grants to nearly two dozen Kansas agencies working to improve public safety and reduce crime. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Twenty-three Kansas agencies share $1.8 million in public safety grants

BY: - September 25, 2020

Kansas council selects 23 state and local recipients of $1.8 million in federal grants to improve public safety and reduce crime.

Kansas public defender not convinced of need for blanket suspension of speedy-trial law

BY: - September 25, 2020

A Kansas defense lawyer is frustrated by suspension of speedy-trial law, while the state's attorney general expects a flood of lawsuits on that point.

Gov. Laura Kelly said the ongoing growth of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and fatalities tied to COVID-19 led her to sign a new statewide mask mandate that stipulates county officials must conduct a public vote to opt out. Her original mask order in July was disregarded by 80 of the state's 105 counties. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Executive order extends deadline to renew Kansas driver’s licenses

BY: - September 24, 2020

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly says her new executive order will extend Kansas driver’s licenses and identification cards that would have expired during the COVID-19 pandemic. The executive order, signed by Kelly Wednesday, allows driver’s licenses and identification cards that expired during the COVID-19 pandemic to remain valid until Jan. 26, 2021. “Due to the […]

Rep. Brad Ralph, a Republican from Dodge City, said the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the concentration of State Finance Council power in hands of urban legislators and the lack of voice by rural lawmakers. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

GOP legislators irritated by dominance of urban lawmakers on State Finance Council

BY: - September 24, 2020

Rural Kansas legislators are objecting to dominance of a House, Senate leadership council by lawmakers from urban counties.

Kansas foster care system a jarring experience for children, parents, caseworkers

BY: - September 24, 2020

TOPEKA — In nearly 18 years of working close with foster children, Amy Otey has witnessed the emotional burden the system places on social workers. Otey, the Wichita region independent living supervisor for Saint Francis Ministries, recalled how last year a foster child was hit by an automobile and sent to the hospital. The caseworker […]

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)

Pandemic puts nearly $100 million squeeze on Kansas casino, lottery revenue

BY: - September 23, 2020

COVID-19 forced closure of Kansas' four casinos and weakened lottery ticket sales, lowering revenue by early $100 million in fiscal year ending June 30.

Kansas agencies mailing 277,000 voter registration applications

BY: - September 23, 2020

TOPEKA — Hundreds of thousands of people across the state have already or will soon receive a voter registration application in the mail as part of a state effort to ensure eligible Kansans can vote in the upcoming general election. With COVID-19 hampering outreach and registration efforts, Gov. Laura Kelly, along with the Kansas Department […]

Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said wearing masks, improving testing capacity and isolating people infected with COVID-19 was the best approach during the pandemic as long as there is no approved vaccine. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

KDHE shifting gears on public report of site-specific COVID-19 clusters in Kansas

BY: - September 23, 2020

KDHE is altering metrics used to place COVID-19 outbreaks on a weekly list of site-specific clusters in Kansas.

U.S. House passes deal on stopgap funding, avoids government shutdown

BY: - September 22, 2020

House and Senate leaders reached a bipartisan agreement Tuesday night to pass a three-month funding stopgap, averting a government shutdown in the midst of a pandemic and a short time before the November elections. In a 359-57 vote, the House passed H.R. 8337, which extends federal government funding until Dec. 11, when lawmakers would have […]

Vicki Schmidt, the Kansas commissioner of insurance, attended a legislative committee meeting Monday for endorsement of the $535,000 sale of the vacant Woman's Club of Topeka building on the National Register of Historic Places. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Legislative committee endorses sale of historic Topeka building for $535,000

BY: - September 22, 2020

Sale of the Woman's Club of Topeka building for $535,000 to a group planning to renovate the historic structure is another step closer to reality.

Services for Kansas crossover youth slowed by lack of data, interagency collaboration

BY: - September 22, 2020

TOPEKA — A leader for the Kansas agency charged with maintaining the state’s child protective programs said youths involved in the child welfare system and juvenile justice system face unique challenges not often reflected in data collected by various state agencies. Department for Children and Families deputy secretary Tanya Keys said the lack of integrated […]

Kathy Winters, facing, hugs Cindy Poe during a hearing on foster care Monday in which they described the personal agony of having their grandchildren placed in foster care by the state of Kansas. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Heartbroken grandparents make emotional appeals for Kansas foster care reform

BY: - September 22, 2020

Foster parents, extended family members cut off from grandchildren share their pain with members of Kansas Legislature.