State Government

Kansas lawmaker-to-be under order not to contact foe’s aide

TOPEKA (AP) — A soon-to-be seated Kansas lawmaker has had a temporary anti-stalking order issued against him in court at the request of a former opponent's campaign manager, who said he sent her harassing messages, came to her home twice and tried to get her evicted. State Rep.-elect Aaron ...

New leaders in Kansas Senate reinforce conservative opposition to Democratic governor

TOPEKA (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly could have a tough time with the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature during the last two years of her four-year term after lawmakers' selection of leaders Monday left no doubt that the GOP's conservative faction is firmly in control. The Senate ...

Kansas lawmakers issue ‘call to action’ against COVID-19

TOPEKA — A group of more than 60 Kansas legislators signed a joint letter declaring the state at a tipping point in the battle against COVID-19 and urging people to intensify their response to the pandemic. Members of the House and Senate, representing the Republican and Democratic parties, ...

Peaslee Tech pursuing countywide special taxing district to fund its operations

Douglas County residents soon may be asked to pay a new property tax to support a Lawrence-based technical school. Kevin Kelley, CEO of the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center, told the Journal-World on Friday that the school wants to receive permission from the Kansas Legislature to ask ...

Kansas counties reject new guidance on COVID-19 quarantines

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two northeast Kansas counties on Thursday rejected at least part of the new federal and state guidelines for shortening the time people are quarantined after they're possibly exposed to COVID-19. New guidance Wednesday from the federal Centers for Disease Control and ...

Governor picks appeals court judge for Kansas Supreme Court

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday picked an experienced appeals court judge, who started her career in retail sales, to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court. Judge Melissa Taylor Standridge, from Leawood, has served on the Kansas Court of Appeals since 2008. She previously ...

Kansas community colleges: No reason to take politics out of higher education mergers

TOPEKA — Kansas community college presidents oppose a bill developed by the state Board of Regents ending authority of the Legislature and governor to block voluntary mergers between community or technical colleges and a university. Dennis Rittle, president of Cowley Community College in ...

Mask resistance softens in Kansas as virus cases soar

Story updated at 4:24 p.m. Tuesday GREAT BEND (AP) — Resistance to masks appears to be weakening in Kansas as the coronavirus surges, straining the capacity of the state's hospitals. Gov. Laura Kelly's latest effort to require face coverings takes effect Wednesday, although Kansas law still ...

Extended unemployment benefits ending next month in Kansas

WICHITA (AP) — A federal program that had extended unemployment benefits for an extra 13 weeks in Kansas will stop next month just as new COVID-19 restrictions could lead to more furloughs and layoffs. The U.S. Department of Labor informed the state labor agency that the Kansas unemployment ...

Pandemic straining Kansas hospitals days before Thanksgiving

TOPEKA — Surging pandemic numbers are straining hospitals across Kansas just days before Thanksgiving gatherings that public health officials fear could worsen the outbreak. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported on Monday 95 new hospitalizations, bringing the total of ...

Movie theaters among businesses to get Kansas virus relief funds

TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas is including movie theaters among the businesses to receive aid as the state gets close to wrapping up its distribution of federal coronavirus relief funds. Legislative leaders signed off Friday on a proposal from Gov. Laura Kelly's pandemic recovery office to allocate ...

Kansas hospitals buckle, schools pull back amid virus surge

MISSION (AP) — Hospitals across Kansas are buckling as coronavirus cases swell, leading many schools to scale back in-person learning and one county to intensify plans for a possible field hospital. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment added 5,939 cases to the state’s pandemic ...

Kansas Supreme Court upholds 2 convictions using warrantless blood tests

TOPEKA (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that results from warrantless blood tests were admissible in two cases of driving under the influence, even though the statute that had authorized them was later found to be unconstitutional. In separate decisions, the state's highest court ...

COVID-19 spurs Kansas Legislature to plan $3M tech upgrade

TOPEKA (AP) — The Kansas Legislature plans to spend about $3 million on technology upgrades in hopes that people will be able to watch committee hearings and other functions even if they can’t leave their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic. The upgrades are designed to ensure that ...

Kansas racial equity panel to recommend police no longer use unmarked cars

TOPEKA (AP) — A commission Gov. Laura Kelly established to examine policing and other racial justice issues after George Floyd's death plans to recommend that Kansas law enforcement agencies no longer use unmarked police vehicles during traffic stops — unless police believe they are needed ...

Kansas aims to boost virus testing, but strategy unfinished

TOPEKA (AP) — Nearly two months after Gov. Laura Kelly announced that Kansas would develop a “unified” strategy to ramp up coronavirus testing, the program is enough of a work in progress that even some of the state's contractors don't yet have all the details. A Republican legislative ...

Kansas governor issues new mask mandate as COVID cases surge

Updated at 6:47 Wednesday TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly issued a new mask mandate Wednesday in hopes of lessening the spread of the coronavirus in Kansas after the state again reported another record seven-day increase in new cases. State law still allows Kansas' 105 counties to opt out of such ...

Kansas governor preparing to announce new COVID-19 measures

Updated story - Kansas governor issues new mask mandate as COVID cases surge TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly prepared Wednesday to announce new measures designed to control the spread of the coronavirus in Kansas as the state again reported another record seven-day increase in new ...

Kansas health officials urge communities to do more amid virus surge

Mission — Kansas health officials on Tuesday urged communities to take stronger action as more hospital rooms are devoted to caring for coronavirus patients and hundreds of doctors, nurses and other workers are quarantined, leading some surgical procedures to be delayed. Hospital emergency ...