Kansas

Agent Kay: the official state of Kansas ‘chatbot’

TOPEKA - The state of Kansas entered into a new technological phase recently when it launched an official state "chatbot" that can answer a variety of questions about state government almost instantly, online, using a databank that's being built with artificial intelligence. "Agent Kay" is the ...

Mayetta man struck, killed trying to walk across I-70

MANHATTAN — Authorities say a 21-year-old Kansas man died while trying to walk across Interstate 70 overnight. The crash east of Manhattan forced the closure of I-70 for a couple hours after it happened shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday. The Kansas Highway Patrol says Matthew Bailey, of ...

Democratic candidates for Kansas governor differ on abortion, guns

TOPEKA - Hot-button social issues like gun rights and abortion typically play out in Republican politics in Kansas, but this year they are front and center in a five-way race for the Democratic nomination for governor. The two perceived front-runners in the race are state Sen. Laura Kelly, of ...

Affordable housing agency in Johnson County to close

OLATHE — For nearly two decades, Victoria Bruce has lived in a modest one-bedroom apartment at an affordable housing complex on Poplar Street in Olathe, close to friends and stores and not far from where she grew up. “This is home. It’s safe. It’s comfortable,” said Bruce, 67, who ...

Human trafficking conference to be held in Manhattan

MANHATTAN — Federal, state and local prosecutors are sponsoring a two-day conference on human trafficking next week in northeast Kansas. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister plans to open the conference Tuesday morning at the Manhattan Conference Center. His office says about 200 people are ...

Kansas governor expands counties in drought emergency to 50

TOPEKA — Kansas has expanded the number of counties classified as having a drought emergency so that nearly half are covered. Gov. Jeff Colyer issued an executive order Friday listing 50 of the state’s 105 counties as having a drought emergency. His new order replaces one in March listing ...

Moran presses Russia on election meddling

TOPEKA — U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, of Kansas, said Friday that he pressured Russian government officials about meddling in U.S. elections. Moran was part of a Republican congressional delegation that traveled to Moscow over the July 4 holiday to meet with Russian officials in advance of ...

Police say man rammed Highway Patrol car with stolen vehicle

Topeka — Police say a man rammed a Kansas Highway Patrol car while trying to flee with a stolen vehicle. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 29-year-old Robert A. Servantez was booked into jail early Wednesday. Police spokeswoman Gretchen Koenen says Servantez led police on a chase ...

Former deputy alleges she was fired because of her age

Kansas City, Kan. — A former Crawford County deputy alleges in a lawsuit she was fired after the sheriff told her she was too old and too feeble to do the job. Mary Mays spent more than 20 years at the sheriff’s office before she was fired last fall after failing a firearms test. The ...

KC man charged in fatal shooting outside Overland Park school

Overland Park — A Kansas City man is now charged in a shooting earlier this week near a Kansas elementary school that killed one man and left another critically injured. The Kansas City Star reports 32-year-old Anthony Grable was charged Thursday with premeditated first-degree murder and ...

New hiring rule for Kansas child protection workers faces pushback

TOPEKA — Ann Goodall's work with the Kansas Department of Children and Families is often traumatic, she said, and though she's been there for 16 years with no thought of quitting, many co-workers do. Child protection specialists such as Goodall spend their days knocking on doors that often ...

In GOP race for governor, Barnett challenges Colyer’s claims of KanCare savings

TOPEKA — Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett on Tuesday challenged incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer's claim that the state's privatized Medicaid program known as KanCare, which Colyer largely designed, has saved taxpayers more than $2 billion. At a news conference, Barnett pointed to a ...

Kansas 2018 tax receipts up $1.2 billion from previous year

TOPEKA — The state of Kansas received $1.2 billion more in tax revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30 than it did the year before, the Kansas Department of Revenue said Monday. The biggest increase over the year was in individual income taxes, which were $1 billion higher than the ...

Inmates break windows, set fires during weekend riot at El Dorado prison

EL DORADO — Inmates broke dozens of windows and set fires during a weekend disturbance at a maximum-security prison in south-central Kansas that has been the scene of other incidents, officials said Monday. Nobody was hurt in the fracas that started around noon Sunday in the recreation yard ...

U.S. Supreme Court revives Kansas woman’s prayer lawsuit

WICHITA — The lawsuit filed by a Kansas woman who claims police ordered her to stop praying in her home has been revived after the U.S. Supreme Court last week summarily reversed a lower court ruling that had thrown it out. Mary Anne Sause sued several Louisburg, Kansas, police officers and ...

Amtrak explores ending train service from New Mexico to southwest Kansas

HUTCHINSON — Amtrak is considering ending passenger train service from southwest Kansas to central New Mexico and instead implementing a bus connection on the route. Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson revealed to lawmakers last week the train operator is looking into ending Southwest Chief service ...

Even in Republican-dominated Kansas, 2 congressional seats in play

TOPEKA — Competitive races for two of Kansas' four U.S. House seats are making Republicans sweat to keep their all-GOP state delegation, a twist in a state where President Donald Trump won by nearly 21 points and a leading candidate for governor is gun-rights and immigration hardliner Kris ...

Kansas may be on hook for more costs in voting rights case

WICHITA — The ruling that struck down the state's proof-of-citizenship voter registration law leaves Kansas potentially on the hook to pay attorney's fees and costs for the winning side. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson granted Monday a joint request asking her to hold off awarding all ...

Midland Railway to offer ‘Polar Express’ rides this holiday season

Midland Railway is looking to establish a new holiday tradition around a children’s classic in which a train plays a central role. The Baldwin City tourist excursion railroad has signed a three-year contract with Warner Bros. and Rail Events Inc. to provide rides based on the popular ...