State and Region

Number of coronavirus cases in Kansas jumps 12% since last week

MISSION — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Kansas jumped by 568, fueled in part by outbreaks in day cares, schools and sports. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday that there were now 13,538 cases, up 4.3% from Wednesday and 12% from last Friday. The state ...

Spirit AeroSystems extends furloughs for about 900 workers

WICHITA — Spirit AeroSystems is extending a temporary layoff of about 900 employees as it grapples with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX About 900 employees who were on a three-week furlough that was to end in early July will now be ...

Protests spark move to rename iconic Kansas City fountain

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Decades after influential developer J.C. Nichols kept Black and Jewish people and other minorities out of subdivisions he built that transformed the Kansas City region, protests over the death of George Floyd might lead to his name being removed from one of the city's most ...

Jump in state’s COVID-19 cases biggest in more than 6 weeks

TOPEKA — Kansas on Wednesday saw its largest jump in coronavirus cases in more than six weeks, an increase of more than 500 cases in two days. The state health department reported the spike two days after Gov. Laura Kelly urged local officials to postpone lifting their last restrictions on ...

Lawsuit seeks to force disclosure of uncounted ballots in Kansas

BELLE PLAINE — The top election official in Kansas violated the state's open records law by refusing to release the names of people who cast provisional ballots or say whether their votes were counted, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The American Civil Liberties Union sued Kansas ...

U.S. inmates — many in Kansas — got virus relief checks, and IRS wants them back

BOISE, Idaho — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent. The legislation ...

White parents of Black children navigate a changing nation

OKLAHOMA CITY — Izzy Simons has been fired up about the prospect of driving on his own. The 15-year-old has craved the freedom a license promises. He has proudly and effectively maneuvered the family's vehicles around the church parking lot and beyond, and he's confident he'll pass his test ...

Business partner’s son helped reduce charge for future Kansas Rep. Marshall

GREAT BEND — A local prosecutor who was the son of one of Roger Marshall's business partners helped the future western Kansas congressman and U.S. Senate candidate reduce a misdemeanor reckless driving conviction in 2008 to a conviction for a less serious traffic infraction. The reckless ...

Kelly recommends Kansas counties stay in Phase Three of reopening

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is advising counties to delay moving into the next phase of reopening, citing data that shows COVID-19's spread in the state is trending upward for the first time in weeks. On Monday, when the state was originally slated to move into Phase Four under Kelly's ...

One in three Kansas households has yet to fill out census

Amid a pandemic that has slowed efforts to count Americans, more than a third of Kansas households haven’t yet responded to the U.S. Census. In some counties, especially in rural areas, less than half of the population has filled out the forms that help steer billions in federal dollars and ...

T-Mobile lays off more than 200 Sprint employees in Kansas

OVERLAND PARK — More than 200 employees at the former Sprint headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas, have been laid off just two months after the company merged with T-Mobile. A June 17 notification to regulators shows T-Mobile cut 241 positions at the headquarters, The Kansas City Star ...

Judge: Suit can proceed in fatal Wichita swatting incident

Belle Plaine — A judge on Friday ruled that a lawsuit can move forward against a Wichita police officer who fatally shot an innocent man in 2017 while responding to a hoax emergency call stemming from a dispute between two online gamers. The death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch drew national ...

Kansans in need can receive extended unemployment benefits

TOPEKA — Kansans struggling to find work amid the coronavirus pandemic can receive unemployment for 13 more weeks. The Kansas Department of Labor announced Thursday that the state has qualified for a program that provides federal reimbursement for extended benefits during periods of high ...

Republicans attack transgender rights in Kansas Senate race

TOPEKA — Three Republicans running seeking their party's nomination for U.S. Senate in a competitive Kansas primary have launched ads opposing transgender rights. Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said if elected he would offer legislation to withhold federal funds from ...

KU announces mandatory mask policy for all of campus, effective immediately

All individuals on the University of Kansas campus, effective immediately, will be required to wear a face covering to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, KU Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer said Thursday. The KU policy office is in the process of drafting new personal safety requirements for ...

Topeka area officials see rise in funeral-linked virus cases

Story updated at 4:33 p.m. Wednesday TOPEKA — Health officials are reporting 41 cases of the coronavirus and one death linked to funeral services and visitations in Topeka's Shawnee County. The positive cases include residents from five different counties, the Shawnee County Health ...