State and Region

Kansas governor renews, expands protections for LGBT state workers

TOPEKA — Kansas' new Democratic governor on Tuesday reinstated a ban on anti-LGBT bias in state agencies' employment decisions that a Republican predecessor had repealed, and she also expanded the policy to cover government contractors. Gov. Laura Kelly's executive order was her first ...

Teacher in southwestern Kansas arrested after allegation of sex with student

Liberal — A southwest Kansas teacher has been arrested after police investigated an allegation that she had sex with a student. Liberal police said in a news release that the 25-year-old teacher was arrested Sunday. School administrators asked police to investigate allegations that the ...

Judge again delays trial of Sedgwick County commissioner

Wichita — A federal judge has delayed until late next month the fraud trial of Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren set the trial to begin Feb. 25 in Wichita after meeting with attorneys during a Monday status conference. A trial had been ...

Kobach grand jury process to begin next week in Douglas County

Story updated at 1:25 p.m. Monday Grand jury proceedings to investigate former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office will begin next week in Douglas County District Court, according to the judge presiding over them. Judge Kay Huff said that the proceedings would begin in her ...

New Kansas governor promises bipartisan approach at inauguration

Story updated at 2:07 p.m. Monday TOPEKA — Kansas' new Democratic governor called Monday for the state to "forge a new chapter" of bipartisanship, arguing as she took office that the Statehouse had lost the "spirit of neighbor-helping-neighbor" under her Republican predecessors. Laura Kelly ...

As lawmaker-turned-governor, Kelly’s priorities tied to budget

TOPEKA — Democrat Laura Kelly's top priorities as Kansas' new governor arise from her work as a state lawmaker and a decade as one of the Legislature's key players on budget issues. Kelly, formerly a veteran state senator from Topeka, has an agenda that includes boosting spending on public ...

Governor’s skill of splitting GOP will be tested by Kansas Legislature

Topeka (AP) — Kansas legislators are preparing to open an annual session that will show whether new Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is skilled at separating moderate Republicans from their more conservative GOP leaders to pass the bills that matter most to her. Lawmakers expect big debates over ...

Locally produced film examines acceptance of diversity, immigration in Garden City

When it comes to immigration, Lawrence filmmaker Steve Lerner said he finds the national debate has generally become polarized, rage-filled and uncivil. But in Garden City, a small town in a generally conservative area of southwest Kansas, the residents seem to have a different view, he ...

Schlitterbahn mum on plans for water park where boy died

Kansas City, Kan. — The operators of a Kansas water park where a 10-year-old boy was decapitated aren’t saying whether the attraction will open for the upcoming season. Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said Friday in an email that the Texas-based company doesn’t have an ...

Snow blamed for 2 fatal crashes on Kansas roads

Topeka — Authorities in Kansas have reported at least two killed in weather-related crashes as a winter storm swept the Midwest this weekend. The Kansas Highway Patrol says 62-year-old Bradley Horton of Topeka died after his pickup truck skidded Friday on the snow-slicked Kansas Turnpike ...

With local Rep. Horn leading the way, Statehouse opens private lactation room

During her first session as a state representative in 2018, Lawrence Democrat Eileen Horn did not have many options to breastfeed or pump breastmilk for her then 3-month-old son Bowie. At one point, she had to pump breast milk underneath her desk in a shared office just to find some privacy ...

New Kansas governor names agriculture, administration heads

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has picked an industry group's leader to be the state's top agriculture official and a former longtime budget director to be interim secretary of administration. The incoming Democratic governor announced Thursday that she plans to nominate Mike Beam to ...

Kansas abortion foes brace for state Supreme Court decision

TOPEKA — Abortion opponents in Kansas have been bracing themselves for nearly two years for a ruling from the state's highest court that protects the right to have an abortion and potentially upends politics in a state long at the center of the national debate. The Kansas Supreme Court is ...

Kansas Senate president Susan Wagle considering 2020 race for U.S. Senate

WICHITA — The top Republican in the Kansas Senate said Wednesday that she is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, saying she believes Congress needs more conservative Republican women. Senate President Susan Wagle told the Wichita Eagle that she plans to form an exploratory ...

New Kansas governor fills out administration ahead of inauguration

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has continued naming new members of her administration in the week leading up to her inauguration. Kelly announced new members of her cabinet Wednesday after revealing other top officials earlier in the week and at the end of the previous week. Those ...

Kansas state treasurer running for U.S. Senate seat in 2020

TOPEKA — Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner is running for the U.S. Senate in 2020. LaTurner declared his candidacy Tuesday for the Republican nomination, less than a week after four-term GOP Sen. Pat Roberts announced that he will not run for re-election. The 30-year-old LaTurner said ...

Kansas Sen. Moran says he wants government shutdown to end

WICHITA — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran says he wants the government shutdown to come to end, saying it will soon start to affect farmers and aircraft manufacturers. The Wichita Eagle reports that Moran said Friday after touring three Wichita businesses that he's "sorry" about what's happening. He ...