State and Region

Former U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins enters diversion in voter fraud case

TOPEKA — Former Kansas Congressman Steve Watkins has entered a diversion program to avoid trial over allegations that he voted illegally in a 2019 municipal election. Watkins, a Republican from Topeka who served only one term in the U.S. House, was facing three felony charges. He was accused ...

3 Kansas police officers injured by shotgun blast in vacant home

WICHITA — Three Wichita, Kansas, police officers were injured by a shotgun blast when they checked out a vacant home, and authorities were investigating Sunday whether it had been rigged to fire when the door opened. Wichita Police said Sunday that "a modified, loaded shotgun" discharged as ...

Kansas legislators taking another run at legalizing medical marijuana

Topeka — Kiley Klug, flanked by her 13-year-old son, Owen, in a wheelchair, stood before Kansas lawmakers Wednesday and pleaded to let her treat her son’s hundreds of daily seizures with legal medicinal marijuana. At one point, she paused to tend to one of the boy’s seizures before ...

Kansas’ first Space Force recruit ‘excited to see where this takes me’

Wichita — For more than a decade, 22-year-old Valley Center native Braden Vining had plans to follow his brother into the military. He couldn’t have planned on the military career he’s about to have, though, because it didn’t exist. Vining is the first Kansan to be recruited into the ...

Kansas Supreme Court suspends foul-mouthed judge from bench

BELLE PLAINE — A foul-mouthed Kansas judge accused of bigotry who cursed at courthouse employees so often that a trial clerk kept a "swear journal" documenting his obscene outbursts was on Friday suspended from the bench for one year. The Kansas Supreme Court called Montgomery County Judge ...

Trump endorses Kansas Sen. Moran; primary fight less likely

TOPEKA — Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran for reelection in 2022, early backing that makes it unlikely the two-term Republican will face a serious challenge in the GOP primary. Trump's endorsement Thursday evening came less than two weeks after Moran voted ...

Student arrested at Shawnee high school with gun in backpack

SHAWNEE — A high school student in the Kansas City, Kan., suburb of Shawnee was found with a handgun in his backpack at school, police and school officials there said. The gun and other contraband were found by Shawnee Mission Northwest High School staff Thursday morning in a search of the ...

Audit: Bogus unemployment claims may have cost Kansas $600M

This story was updated at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday. TOPEKA — Kansas may have paid $600 million worth of bogus claims for unemployment benefits last year, a legislative audit said Wednesday, more than double an estimate from the state Department of Labor. The report from the Republican-controlled ...

Critics: Discussing bill on transgender student-athletes would lead to bullying

TOPEKA — LGBTQ-rights advocates warned Kansas legislators Tuesday that their discussion of a proposed ban on transgender students in girls and women’s school sports would lead to bullying, and one group promised to sue the state if such a law is enacted. The state Senate Education ...

GOP officials launch new effort to limit Kansas governor’s power

Story updated at 6:04 p.m. Tuesday: Topeka — Top Kansas Republicans launched a new effort Tuesday to curb Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s power after months of criticizing her handling of the coronavirus pandemic and problems with the state’s unemployment system. GOP Attorney General ...