Marc Johnson, a researcher at the University of Missouri, says he's part of a team closely monitoring sewer water to determine whether a new strain of COVID-19 takes hold during the holiday season. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from KU Health System's Facebook channel)

Kansas health experts monitoring COVID-19, flu and RSV trifecta as holiday season arrives

BY: - November 24, 2022

Anticipated rise in incidence of COVID-19, flu and a challenging form of influenza could lead to crowding of Kansas hospitals during the winter months.

New Kansas crime-tracking system halfway completed, officials say

BY: - November 23, 2022

TOPEKA — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation director said the agency’s new data tracking system is about halfway complete and will create a better overview of the state’s crime problem, including a potential rise in fentanyl cases. During a Tuesday legislative budget hearing, KBI director Kirk Thompson said the new system would store details about […]

Evergy building in downtown Topeka

Kansas regulators want to slash Evergy’s energy efficiency plan

BY: - November 23, 2022

Regulators’ opposition could unravel a consensus plan to provide millions of dollars in energy efficiency programs to Evergy’s Kansas customers. Evergy, the largest electric utility in Kansas, came to agreement with consumer and environmental advocates on a variety of programs meant to lower energy demand and save customers close to $100 million over four years. […]

House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, a Democrat from Wichita, said Tuesday he wouldn't seek reappointment to the job during the 2023 legislative session, saying it was time for a new generation of Democrats to lead. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Democrat Sawyer steps away from leadership post; Hawkins seeks job of Kansas House speaker

BY: - November 22, 2022

House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer declines to seek election to Democrat's top leadership post, GOP Rep. Dan Hawkins seeking selection as House speaker.

Sen. Caryn Tyson said she supports removing social security taxes. (Kansas Reflector Screen Capture from Kansas Legislature Youtube channel)

Kansas lawmakers consider using state’s surplus to cut Social Security taxes

BY: - November 22, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators want to use a projected budget surplus to address the state’s “Social Security cliff,” which they say is driving retirees out of the state. Kansas taxes income from Social Security benefits, with an income tax exemption for those who make $75,000 in federal adjusted gross income or less. Critics of the […]

Investment advisers cautioned trustees of the Kansas Pubic Employees Retirement System about imposing investment restrictions by law or policy in wake of demands by activists for investment portfolio changes based on politics of fossil fuels as well as tensions in China. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas pension investment advisers caution against robust legislative rebuttal to ESG activists

BY: - November 22, 2022

Kansas Public Employee Retirement System's board prepares for debate in 2023 Legislature about environmental activism and China's role in global economy.

The annual welcoming of the Christmas tree to the governor's mansion happened Monday. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Santa, Christmas tree growers weigh in on Kansas climate during annual Christmas tradition

BY: - November 21, 2022

CEDAR CREST — Heavy is the head that wears the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association presidency.  David Wilderson said he feels a lot of pride in his first year at the helm of the association, representing Christmas tree growers across the state at the annual welcoming of the Christmas tree to the governor’s mansion. Every […]

Megan Monsour stands before microphone to testify at legislative hearing

Kansas child welfare panel raises issue with guardian ad litem, CASA programs

BY: - November 21, 2022

Kansas legislators red-flag guardian ad litems hired to work child-in-need-of-care cases and lackof diversity in volunteer program tied to foster children.

A view of electricity transmission lines stretching across a partly cloudy sky above a field

As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring  

BY: - November 20, 2022

An aging electric grid, fossil fuel power plant retirements and a massive renewable electricity buildout are all contributing to a boom in transmission and distribution wire projects by electric utilities across the country. In 2020, investor-owned electric utilities spent $25 billion on transmission, up from $23.7 billion in 2019, figures that the Edison Electric Institute, […]

A medical bill with "past due" stamped in red

Two communities find a cure for medical debt: pandemic stimulus funds

BY: - November 19, 2022

Local governments in Ohio and Illinois are using American Rescue Plan Act money to relieve residents struggling with medical debt by partnering with an organization that buys debt and wipes the slate clean for debtors. It’s a strategy advocates say could be duplicated across the country to help erase a multibillion-dollar problem. On Nov. 9, […]

Pages from internal polling of Kim Zito's House race

‘Complete bulls***’: Kansas Democrats scrutinize internal polling offered to House candidates

BY: - November 18, 2022

TOPEKA — Three weeks before Election Day, Kim Zito received internal polling and analysis of voters in her House district that could help her focus campaign efforts in the closing days of a tight race. Zito, a Democrat running for state office for the first time, viewed the assistance as a gesture of faith and […]

Kansas, western Missouri at low risk for insufficient electrical supply this winter

BY: - November 18, 2022

The electrical grid that covers Kansas and western Missouri is expected to have plenty of power to keep up with demand this winter. But in the event of severe weather, the St. Louis area could be at risk.  The North American Electric Reliability Corporation released its winter outlook Thursday assessing potential vulnerabilities to the grid. […]