State and Region

Kansas legislators weigh security risk as police gear up for threat of violence

TOPEKA — A little insurrection goes a long ways. Kansas legislators and Capitol Police are bracing for the potential of violence in the days leading up to and including Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. There are no specific threats to sack the Kansas Statehouse, but ...

GOP legislator frustrated after Kansas health department opts out of hearings

TOPEKA — A Republican legislator voiced frustration with the state health department for ditching a planned presentation to the Senate health committee amid distrust with the governor’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy. A representative for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was ...

Republicans in Kansas House seek healing through day of prayer, fasting, humiliation

TOPEKA — Four Republicans in the Kansas House backed a resolution Wednesday to declare Sept. 24 a day of prayer, fasting and public humiliation in Kansas. The resolution, introduced by Wellington Republican Rep. Bill Rhiley, asks for God “to heal our land of calamities, division, anger and ...

Kansas COVID-19 hospitalizations fall from last month’s peak

TOPEKA (AP) — Coronavirus hospitalizations have fallen in Kansas from their high last month and staffing is under less strain as the shaky vaccine rollout gains momentum, although overall case numbers remain stubbornly high. Kansas Department of Health and Environment data shows that 889 ...

Kansas governor’s budget includes proposals GOP has rejected

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly outlined a proposed annual budget Wednesday that includes a tax increase and two other major initiatives likely to be rejected by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature. Kelly's $20.9 billion spending plan for the budget year that begins ...

U.S. executes Kansas woman, 1st female inmate put to death since 1953

This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A Kansas woman was executed Wednesday for strangling an expectant mother in Missouri and cutting the baby from her womb, the first time in nearly seven decades that the U.S. government has put to death a female ...

‘He is a danger to women’: Kansas House Democrats move to oust member

TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas House Democrats started the process Tuesday to oust a newly elected lawmaker over multiple issues that include the 20-year-old’s rhetoric on Twitter and allegations of harassing and threatening girls and young women. A formal compliant filed in the House about State ...

Kansas Republicans target 2022 primary for abortion amendment

TOPEKA — Republicans bolstered by conservative gains in the Legislature plan to place a constitutional amendment on abortion before voters on the 2022 primary ballot. The controversial decision to delay a popular vote on the measure could jeopardize progress in the Legislature, where the ...

Kansas House, Senate forge ahead without mask mandate covering legislators

TOPEKA — Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau's brother, Wichita retiree Randall Faust Jr., usually adhered to basic public health rules by wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing. But he let down his guard and set his mask aside while visiting an out-of-town relative. And then Faust, ...

Judge halts execution of Kansas woman who killed expectant mother, cut baby from womb

Story updated at 7:48 p.m. Tuesday TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. government’s plans to carry out its first execution of a female inmate in nearly seven decades were on hold Tuesday amid a flurry of legal rulings, and two other executions set for later this week were halted because the ...

Kansas governor will try again to reorganize social services

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly plans to try a second time to reorganize Kansas' social services after the Republican-controlled Legislature blocked the move last year. Kelly announced Monday that she will issue an order next week creating a single Department of Human Services to ...

Kansas Legislature begins its 2021 session under shadow of COVID-19

TOPEKA — The 2021 Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly convened Monday to begin chipping away at a massive backlog of legislation with the cloud of COVID-19 hovering over the proceedings. Outgoing Sen. Susan Wagle, retiring after 30 years in the Legislature, offered a bit of advice as she shed ...

Hallmark Cards asks Marshall, Hawley to return campaign donations

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hallmark Cards said Monday that it wants U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Roger Marshall of Kansas to return employee campaign donations after the senators challenged Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election. The Kansas City-based greeting card company said ...

Kansas lawmakers review state’s lagging vaccine distribution

TOPEKA (AP) — Legislators are reviewing Kansas' distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, though U.S. government data showed Monday that the state's inoculation rate no longer lagged behind most other states. Top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature were unhappy with what they considered a ...

FBI warns of more plans for armed demonstrations by extremists nationwide

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week's deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol. An internal FBI bulletin warned ...

Kansas woman set to die for killing woman, cutting baby from womb

MISSION (AP) — Becky Harper sobbed as she spoke to a Missouri dispatcher after stumbling across her expectant daughter in a pool of blood, her womb slashed open and the child she had been carrying missing. “It’s like she exploded or something,” Harper told the dispatcher on Dec. 16, ...

Marijuana advocates hope collaborative bill is key to legalizing medicinal use in Kansas

TOPEKA — After a shortened session dashed hopes for medicinal cannabis legalization in 2020, proponents of the plant are taking a fresh approach for the upcoming legislative session. Last year, two separate bills were filed pushing for medicinal use, but both died in committee, despite a ...