State and Region

Kansas judge whose tweets sank nomination will step down to take job in Lawrence

TOPEKA — A Kansas judge whose past political tweets sank his nomination for a higher court and prompted Republican legislators to call for a review of his conduct announced Friday that he will step down early next year. Labette County District Judge Jeffry Jack said he will retire Jan. 2 ...

Economic border war between Kansas, Missouri isn’t quite over yet

KANSAS CITY, MO. — There may be a cease-fire, but the economic "border war" involving the use of incentives to lure jobs across the state line in the Kansas City area isn't exactly over. Missouri officials plan to award more than $62 million in incentives to financial firm Waddell & ...

Photo gallery: Sunflowers draw visitors to Grinter Farms near Lawrence

A 35-acre field of sunflowers at Grinter Farms, northeast of Lawrence, is planted annually and draws thousands of visitors during the weeklong late summer blossoming of the flowers. Photos by Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Kansas has a lot of jobs, but not enough people to fill them

TOPEKA — While the Kansas economy continues to add jobs, state and labor officials are considering ways to address a looming shortage of workers, particularly in high-demand careers like health care. The state’s recent monthly economic report showed that Kansas created 14,000 jobs in the ...

Gamer sentenced to 15 months in fatal swatting case

Wichita — An Ohio gamer upset about a $1.50 bet while playing Call of Duty: WWII online was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison for recruiting a prankster to make a bogus emergency call that resulted in the fatal shooting of a Kansas man by police. Casey Viner, 19, of North College ...

Agreement means feds will decide on prairie bird designation

Dallas — A federal judge has approved an agreement that will require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make a recommendation by May 2021 whether the lesser prairie chicken should be federally protected as a threatened or endangered species. The agreement was reached Thursday between the ...

Former ICE agent accused of impersonating officer to free inmate

Wichita — A former agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been accused of impersonating an immigration officer during a foiled attempt to help an inmate escape from a local jail in Kansas. A criminal complaint made public Thursday charges Andrew J. Pleviak, 41, with ...

Regulators reject Westar proposal, saving customers millions of dollars

Wichita — State utility regulators have rejected a request by Westar Energy to pass along the cost of buying 8% of the Jeffrey Energy Center. The Wichita Eagle reports the request would have cost electric customers an estimated $93 million during the next 15 years. The Kansas Corporation ...

LaTurner hires Watkins’ former campaign manager in 2020 race

TOPEKA — Kansas Republican congressional candidate Jake LaTurner has hired the former campaign manager of U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins, his opponent in the race for the GOP nomination in the 2nd District. LaTurner announced Wednesday that Pat Leopold will be a consultant for his 2020 election ...

New state council on tax reform to include Lawrence school board member

Gov. Laura Kelly launched a council on tax reform Monday and appointed Lawrence school board member Shannon Kimball as a member. The Governor’s Council on Tax Reform, issued by Executive Order 19-11, will conduct an 18-month study culminating in the council making specific statutory ...

Kansas confirms state’s first death linked to vaping

Story updated at 12:39 p.m. Tuesday WICHITA — Kansas health officials have confirmed the first death in the state related to an outbreak of a lung disease linked to vaping. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said in a news release Tuesday the recent death involved a Kansas ...

Executive with Brownback ties kicks off run for Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District

OVERLAND PARK — A Kansas business executive with political ties to former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has officially kicked off her campaign to challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids. Amanda Adkins made the announcement Monday. It was expected after she filed paperwork last week ...

Kansas GOP among states dropping presidential primary during Trump reelection bid

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican leaders in Nevada, South Carolina and Kansas have voted to scrap their presidential nominating contests in 2020, erecting more hurdles for the long-shot candidates challenging President Donald Trump. "What is Donald Trump afraid of?" asked one of those rivals, ...

Women facing restrictions seek abortions out of state

ATLANTA — Thousands of women in the U.S. have crossed state lines for an abortion in recent years as states have passed ever stricter laws and the number of clinics has declined. Although abortion opponents say the laws are intended to reduce abortions and not send people to other states, at ...

Kansas congressman Marshall opens Senate bid to block Kobach

TOPEKA — Western Kansas' congressman launched a Senate campaign on Saturday, pitching himself to fellow Republicans as a pragmatic conservative who can keep the seat in GOP hands by thwarting immigration hardliner Kris Kobach's bid for the party's nomination. Two-term Rep. Roger Marshall ...

KC-based CBD chain is booming, but its strategies are controversial

As a teenager, Vince Sanders watched his father go to prison. He dropped out of school and ended up serving time himself. It makes an unlikely history for the 55-year-old founder of a fast-growing retail chain who owes his fall and rise to the cannabis plant. Nineteen years ago, Sanders ...

Kansas’ Pompeo could swing Senate race, but will he run?

Story updated at 1:59 p.m. Friday MANHATTAN — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn't address speculation that he might run for the Senate in Kansas during a Friday college lecture in his home state, though some who attended left convinced it's still possible. Pompeo focused his speech ...

Kansas treasurer drops Senate bid to challenge Rep. Watkins

Story updated at 2:25 p.m. Wednesday TOPEKA — Kansas' Republican state treasurer on Wednesday abandoned a campaign for an open Senate seat to challenge a GOP freshman congressman that he describes as vulnerable to Democratic defeat. Treasurer Jake LaTurner's announcement came little more ...

20, including 2 Lawrence lawyers, apply for Kansas Supreme Court vacancy

By the noon deadline on Tuesday, 20 people had applied to fill the Kansas Supreme Court vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Justice Lee Johnson on Sept. 8. These included two Lawrence lawyers, Lumen Mulligan and Keynen Wall. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court Nominating Commission will ...

Kansas tax collections slightly above expectations in August

TOPEKA — Kansas is reporting that its tax collections continued to be a little better than expected in August. The Department of Revenue said Tuesday that the state collected $497 million in taxes last month when its official revenue forecast predicted $494 million. The surplus was nearly $3 ...