State and Region

Court tackles feud over glass panels at KU football stadium

The Jayhawks are winless on the football field in 2020, but frustration borne of that folly cannot compete with the 15-year competition to assign financial responsibility for life-threatening mistakes with installation of the glass-and-metal shroud on Memorial Stadium’s press box. This ...

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 ...

Consumer agency urges Kansas regulators to reject solar rate

WICHITA (AP) — A consumer advocacy agency has urged state regulators to reject Evergy’s proposal to add charges to recover the cost of providing solar energy. The Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board, a state agency which advocates for consumers in utility cases, requested a temporary plan ...

Shawnee Mission schools under pressure to change mascot

OVERLAND PARK (AP) — The Shawnee Mission school district is looking at making changes to mascots that use Native American imagery after thousands of people — including current and former students — signed a petition seeking to have the Shawnee Mission North High School drop its Indians ...

Churches help forgive $5.2M in medical debt in Kansas, Oklahoma

Topeka — The Rev. Traci Blackmon counts each contribution to an ambitious United Church of Christ program aiding people trapped by medical debt in Kansas and Oklahoma as a gospel-infused demand for justice. Indeed, the pastor said, $5.2 million in health care debt held by more than 3,200 ...

Could pandemic put an end to snow days in Kansas schools?

WICHITA — Between concerns about schools staying open and the challenges of learning remotely, teachers and students are haunted by another question that goes beyond 2020: Will snow days disappear forever? Schools invested in both the knowhow and technology to teach students remotely. In the ...

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 ...

Kansas City area tops 1,000 deaths from COVID-19

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City area has reached an unwanted milestone: Coronavirus deaths in the region have now topped 1,000. The Kansas City Star reports that nine new deaths cited Thursday brought the total since the onset of the pandemic to 1,003. The number includes Kansas ...

KC, St. Louis cracking down on restaurants that break virus rules

Kansas City, Mo. — Missouri’s two largest metropolitan areas are cracking down on restaurants that violate rules designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Kansas City’s liquor control authorities found two dozen bars and restaurants in violation of the city’s new COVID-19 ...

Iowa Tribe creating national park on Kansas-Nebraska border

Lincoln, Neb. — The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is creating the nation’s largest tribal national park on a forested bluff overlooking the Missouri River and a historic site of its people. The 444-acre park will allow the tribe to tell the story of the Ioway people and provide a ...

Sen. Moran says review of voting affirms that Biden won presidential race

TOPEKA — U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran referred to Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect Tuesday by pointing to state election certifications affirming defeat of President Donald Trump and by recommending the future president have benefit of national security briefings and access to federal agency ...

Christmas traditions canceled as pandemic sweeps rural Kansas

Story updated at 2:08 p.m. Wednesday It's barely a town anymore, battered by time on the windswept prairie of northwest Kansas. COVID-19 still managed to find Norcatur. Not much remains of the rural hamlet, save for a service station, a grain elevator, a little museum, and a weekend hangout ...

KSHSAA allows winter sports to start on time, but with no spectators

The 2020-21 high school winter sports season will start on time, though there will be a longer break before competition resumes in January. And there won’t be any spectators allowed at these competitions until at least Jan. 29. During a meeting on Tuesday that lasted about four hours — and ...

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 ...

Fishing license fees going down in Kansas

WICHITA (AP) — It will be a little less expensive to fish in Kansas starting Jan. 1. The Wichita Eagle reports that on Thursday, the Kansas Wildlife Parks and Tourism Commission announced several change related to outdoor recreation. Among them: The cost of a one-day fishing license was ...

Kansas to launch pro-mask campaign, but some officials are skeptical

TOPEKA — Kansas is preparing to launch a media campaign aimed at getting more of its residents to wear masks so that the coronavirus doesn't keep spreading rapidly, though some officials are skeptical that it will move the needle much. The campaign comes months after the state's ...