State and Region

Investigation: 26 high-risk dams in Kansas in danger of failing

Wichita — Nearly a century ago, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built a large dam near Augusta to supply water for the steam locomotives that at the time were chugging across the dusty Kansas prairie. Today, the aging Santa Fe Lake Dam is considered a high-hazard dam because of its ...

Electric buses coming soon to Wichita, Kansas City area

Wichita — Wichita will add the state’s first electric buses to its public transit fleet in hopes of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The first bus is expected to hit the road this month, while an additional 10 ...

Kansas Rep. Watkins pays outstanding amount on Alaska condo after foreclosure lawsuit

Story updated at 3:49 p.m. Friday TOPEKA — Republican Kansas Rep. Steve Watkins paid a homeowners association in Alaska that was seeking to foreclose on his condominium, an email sent by the property manager shows. The email shows that Watkins called the property manager to resolve the ...

Kansas raises tax forecast by $510M over next 2 years

Topeka — Kansas officials on Thursday boosted the state’s projections for tax collections by $510 million over two budget years, something certain to renew an already intense dispute between Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and the Republican-controlled Legislature over cutting income ...

Removing King’s name from historic Kansas City street opens wounds, talks

Kansas City, Mo. — Kansas City leaders and residents on Wednesday began what is likely to be a challenging conversation about how to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and recover from wounds inflicted during a nearly yearlong debate over naming a street for the civil rights icon in the majority ...

GOP complaint spurs probe of Kansas court selection process

Topeka — A top Republican legislator’s complaint has launched an investigation into whether the commission that screens Kansas Supreme Court applicants violated the state’s open meetings law in picking three finalists for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to consider in filling a vacancy. The ...

Kansas corrections official says mass commutation worth considering

TOPEKA — The acting secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections said a mass commutation of offenders was worth considering during his confirmation hearing. The Wichita Eagle reports that Jeff Zmuda was asked to comment Tuesday on what happened one day earlier, when more than 450 ...

Kansas GOP colleagues spurn Davids’ request to oppose adoption rule

TOPEKA — Congressional Republicans from Kansas have rejected a request from the delegation's lone Democrat that they join her in opposing a federal policy that allows faith-based adoption agencies to get taxpayer funding even if they turn away same-sex couples. Rep. Sharice Davids sent a ...

Kansas City votes to reverse renaming historic street after Martin Luther King

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Kansas City leaders and residents on Wednesday began what is likely to be a challenging conversation about how to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and recover from wounds inflicted during a nearly yearlong debate over naming a street for the civil rights icon in the majority ...

Two former employees sue Baldwin City, alleging age and sex discrimination

Two former employees of Baldwin City have filed lawsuits against the municipal body, both alleging that they faced discrimination on the basis of sex and age and that they were wrongfully terminated. Tamara Hagerman, 57, a former administrative assistant for the city, and Amanda Croucher, 45, ...

More health insurance options in Kansas for next year

TOPEKA — Kansas residents using the federal marketplace for individual health insurance will see more options than ever for 2020, and some plans are less expensive than 2019. KCUR reports that the downside for 2020 is that for the second year in a row, consumers must foot the full bill for ...

Armed man at Missouri Walmart pleads guilty to lesser charge

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A man who caused panic at a Missouri Walmart when he walked inside wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons in what he described as an effort to test his right to bear arms pleaded guilty to making a false report Friday after initially being charged with a more ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka

Kansas anti-abortion groups divided over ‘personhood amendment’

Topeka (AP) — Abortion opponents who support a constitutional amendment to ban abortions in Kansas are meeting resistance from other anti-abortion groups that are pushing a different approach. Two legislative committees have recommended lawmakers consider the issue during the 2020 ...

Garden Variety: Emerald ash borer infestation expands in Kansas

Last week, the Kansas Department of Agriculture announced that they had confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Spring Hill. The finding of this invasive exotic pest will lead to expansion of a federal quarantine and is a reminder to area residents with ash trees on their property to ...

Wichita State University names East Carolina administrator as next president

WICHITA — A vice chancellor at East Carolina University experienced in building research campuses will become the new president of Wichita State University. The Kansas Board of Regents announced Thursday that Jay Golden will assume the job in January. He replaces John Bardo, who led the ...

USDA picks Missouri office building as its Kansas City site

WICHITA — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is renting permanent office space for two of its research agencies in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, despite the union concerns that relocation from the nation's capital has left the agencies critically understaffed and lacking vital ...

Kansas legislative committee OKs steps toward medical marijuana

TOPEKA — A Kansas legislative special committee on Wednesday approved two early, tentative steps toward considering a medical marijuana bill in a state where earlier attempts to consider the issue went nowhere in the face of strong opposition. The Special Committee on Federal and State ...

New Jersey senator wants review of Pompeo visits to Kansas

WASHINGTON — A Democratic senator from New Jersey is questioning whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trips to Kansas violate federal election laws. Sen. Robert Menendez sent a letter Tuesday to the independent U.S. Office of Special Counsel seeking a review of Pompeo's four trips to ...