Kansas Reflector Podcast


Kansas Reflector Podcast

The Kansas Reflector Podcast, hosted by senior reporter Tim Carpenter, presents voices from the people and politics of Kansas.

Kansas Cannabis Chamber of Commerce pushes for marijuana policy reform

HOSTED BY: - October 4, 2021

When entrepreneurs wanted to convince politicians to be more pro-business, they formed a chamber of commerce to champion their ideas. Now, advocates of the nation’s growing marijuana industry have done the same. Heather Steppe, president of the new Kansas Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, talks with Kansas Reflector senior reporter Tim Carpenter about efforts to reform […]


Peter Brady, deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Labor, said the lawmakers ought to be wary of long delays in awarding an IT contract to upgrade the agency's unemployment claim processing network. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas unemployment modernization and fraud update

HOSTED BY: - September 27, 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Kansas Department of Labor has been overwhelmed by unemployment claims, both real and fraudulent. The beleaguered unemployment insurance computer system and the record volume of activity created drastic delays and invited criminal actors to submit false claims. A recent audit estimated the state paid out $700 million dollars […]


Economic fallout of 2021 deep freeze

HOSTED BY: and - September 21, 2021

In February the Midwest was gripped by a deep freeze from winter storm Yuri, resulting in electrical outages for many. The cost of the storm are still being sorted out. On this episode of the Kansas Reflector podcast, Allison Kite looks into the economic fallout from this winter’s deep freeze for Kansas residents who could […]


Homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic

HOSTED BY: and - September 13, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked economic upheaval that places more Americans at risk of being homeless, exacerbating the issue existing long before the current health crisis. A surge in evictions during 2020 prompted a federal order to temporarily halt such ousters, enabling many Americans to stay in their home, but the pandemic created poignant challenges […]


Kansas housing issues through the voices of a renter and advocate

HOSTED BY: and - September 6, 2021

Lack of affordable or permanent housing is not a new issue to Kansas, but amid the pandemic thousands of Kansas have come face to face with the threat of eviction. Estimates indicate 27,000 Kansas renters are currently behind on their rent and about 14,600 renters are at risk of eviction. COVID-19-related moratoriums and relief programs […]


Urban heat islands in the Kansas City metro

HOSTED BY: and - August 30, 2021

When extreme heat descends on the Kansas City metro, you can feel it radiate off of buildings and dark pavement. Built-up areas, like downtown, become nearly unbearable — superheating well beyond the outlying areas. It’s called the urban heat island effect, and Kansas City, dominated by highways and parking lots, gets hit hard. On this […]


Former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi, a Republican candidate for attorney general, defended his view that Kansas teachers with firearm training should be given the option of carrying a weapon in classrooms and schools to defend against armed attackers. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Mattivi touts federal prosecutor experience in campaign for Kansas attorney general

HOSTED BY: and - August 23, 2021

Tony Mattivi, a retired assistant U.S. attorney, is the latest entrant in the quest to find a replacement for Attorney General Derek Schmidt. He joins a GOP field that already includes Kris Kobach, the former secretary of state, and Sen. Kellie Warren, of Leawood. Mattivi sits down with Tim Carpenter to discuss how his experience […]


Derek Schmidt campaigns for governor

HOSTED BY: and - August 16, 2021

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is working hard to return to an office in the Capitol where he previously served as a state senator. Now he is campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination for governor in 2022. Schmidt joins senior reporter Tim Carpenter on the Reflector podcast to discuss the campaign and a potential shot […]


Laura Howard, secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, . (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Laura Howard on foster care improvements and remaining work

HOSTED BY: and - August 9, 2021

The Kansas foster care system has been the subject of numerous heartbreaking stories as a surge in the number of children entering foster care strained the capabilities of the system and placed children’s safety in jeopardy. While progress has been made in recent years, a lot of work remains. Laura Howard, secretary of the Department […]


Journey along the civil rights trail

HOSTED BY: and - August 2, 2021

Selma, Memphis, Little Rock, Montgomery and Topeka: The city names alone are a roadmap of the nation’s struggle for equality in terms of voting rights, educational opportunity, and jobs. These landmark cities are also on the U.S. civil rights trail. Joining Tim Carpenter on the Kansas Reflector podcast is Lee Sentel, Alabama’s tourism director and  […]


Commission on Racial Equity and Justice 2021 interim report

HOSTED BY: - July 26, 2021

In June of 2020, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and outcry for social and racial progress, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly established the Commission on Racial Equity and Justice. The first year of work was spent focusing on law enforcement and policing with more than 60 recommendations for different levels of government […]


Voices from the Frito-Lay picket line in Topeka

HOSTED BY: - July 19, 2021

Since July 5, more than 500 workers on strike have been posted across from a Frito-Lay plant in Topeka demanding higher wages and more limited hours. Union members rejected a contract offer from Frito-Lay with an annual 2% wage increase because for many workers that would be less than 50 cents per hour. Additionally, many […]