State and Region

Kansas officials express frustration amid coronavirus surge

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly and the state's top health official are expressing growing frustration as Kansas grapples with an continuing increase in coronavirus cases. Kelly, a Democrat, on Wednesday said President Donald Trump's suggestion that restrictions on people's movements could be ...

Kansas residents hunker down amid virus’ economic fallout

Story updated at 3:47 p.m. Tuesday WICHITA — Aircraft parts maker Spirit Aerosystems temporarily suspended production work for Boeing at its Wichita facility on Tuesday amid the coronavirus outbreak that has been sending shock waves through the economy and has more than half of Kansas ...

Kansas gets stricter on gatherings; 1M people told to stay home

Story updated at 6:46 p.m. Monday TOPEKA — Shelter-in-place orders are about to take effect for about a third of Kansas' population to slow the spread of coronavirus, and Gov. Laura Kelly announced Monday that she will tighten restrictions on public gatherings. Five counties with about 1 ...

In Kansas case, U.S. Supreme Court rules states can bar insanity defense

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can prevent criminal defendants from pleading insanity without violating their constitutional rights. The decision could prompt states across the country to toughen standards for defendants who wish to plead not guilty by reason of ...

4th Douglas County patient tests positive for COVID-19 after recent travel

One more Douglas County resident, who recently traveled on an international cruise ship, has tested positive for COVID-19, the local health department announced Sunday afternoon, bringing the county’s total identified cases to four. All four cases identified in the county so far have ...

Pandemic spurs some Kansas lawmakers to rethink governor’s power

Topeka — Some Kansas legislators say they didn’t understand how much power the governor has in emergencies until Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly closed K-12 schools for the rest of the semester and ordered a six-week halt to new evictions and mortgage foreclosures amid the coronavirus ...

Kansas City area, St. Louis order residents to stay home

St. Louis — Officials in Missouri’s largest cities are ordering residents to stay at home starting next week in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. St. Louis and Kansas City officials both announced their orders on Saturday. The St. Louis order goes into effect Monday, and the ...

Kansas sees second death from COVID-19 as cases rise

Story updated at 6:56 p.m. Saturday TOPEKA — A second COVID-19 death in Kansas was confirmed Saturday, this one in the Kansas City suburb of Johnson County. State health officials revealed the death in a news release meant to update the number of new coronavirus cases in the state and did ...

State agency could run out of most COVID-19 test kits soon, as Kansas cases top 40

Story updated at 6:30 p.m. Friday TOPEKA — Kansas' health department is “precariously low” on coronavirus testing kits and could be forced to rely on private labs, potentially delaying results, the agency's top administrator said Friday. Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Department of ...

Kansas temporarily allowing bars, restaurants to sell alcohol to go

TOPEKA — Kansas bars, breweries and restaurants with liquor licenses will be temporarily allowed to sell bottled beer and wine to-go during the pandemic as long as the business opens the beverage on the premises and seals it in a proper to-go bag. After strict restrictions due to the ...

Kansas creates emergency loan program for hospitality industry during pandemic

Story updated at 11:27 a.m. Friday Kansas restaurants and hospitality businesses suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic will have another resource available to supplement their income, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Friday. The Kelly administration created the Hospitality Industry Relief ...

Kansas legislators pass $19.9B budget

Kansas’ Republican-controlled Legislature finished a $19.9 billion annual budget on Thursday to keep state government operating after June. Lawmakers finished it as part of a day of pressing work before an early and unusually long spring break. The budget would boost the state’s overall ...

Kansas Republicans continue effort to curb Democratic governor’s power amid pandemic

Story updated at 5:25 p.m. Thursday TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers on Thursday extended a state of emergency prompted by the coronavirus crisis after making sure it gave the GOP-controlled Legislature oversight over the actions of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. The Senate voted 39-0 and the House ...

Kansas Democrats urging voters to mail ballots amid pandemic

TOPEKA — Kansas Democratic Party officials are encouraging voters to cast their ballots by mail for the presidential primary amid the coronavirus pandemic. The party still plans to hold its primary on May 2, The Kansas City Star reported. Primaries in some states have been postponed, ...

GOP pushes back on Kansas governor for closing schools, moves to limit her power

Story updated at 11:20 p.m. Wednesday TOPEKA — As most of the U.S. raced to get ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, conservative Republican lawmakers in Kansas moved Wednesday to limit their Democratic governor’s emergency powers, including the ability to establish quarantine zones if the ...

Kansas issues new quarantine mandates, bars new evictions

Story updated at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday TOPEKA — Kansas issued strict quarantine mandates Wednesday for people who have traveled or had close contact with those with confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, part of an effort to limit its local spread. But that local spread was inevitable, ...

Kansas reporting at least 18 cases of COVID-19 in state

Updated story - Kansas governor orders K-12 school buildings closed for remainder of school year Story updated at 4:04 p.m. Tuesday TOPEKA — Kansas has at least 18 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to spread in the state, officials said Tuesday. Health ...