State and Region

Excess carbon dioxide could be pumped under the ground in Kansas, researchers say

Wichita — Large industrial operations — think electrical power plants, oil refineries, ethanol facilities —cough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by the ton. That, in turn, warms the planet. But now some researchers think Kansas could be a good place to pump the gas underground rather ...

Popularity of vaping among students raises concerns

Topeka — Kansas schools are struggling to prevent vaping among students, even as growing cases appear nationwide of a mysterious lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been described as a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes, but health ...

Kansas City-area schools scrambling to find teachers

Kansas City, Kan. — Kansas City-area schools are trying to remedy a critical teacher shortage looming as the new school year begins, including by placing unqualified educators into some classrooms. Some school districts have been rehiring retired teachers, or training counselors and coaches ...

State looking for solution on lack of child care, preschool access

COFFEYVILLE — Preschool was a logistical boon for Delice Downing and an educational bonanza for her son, Adrian. The head volleyball coach and director of student life at Coffeyville Community College had ruled out day care when she heard the price: several hundred dollars a week. Then ...

New ethanol rules test farmers’ patience with Trump

Lacona, Iowa — When President Donald Trump levied tariffs on China that scrambled global markets, farmer Randy Miller was willing to absorb the financial hit. Even as the soybeans in his fields about an hour south of Des Moines became less valuable, Miller saw long-term promise in Trump’s ...

Man convicted of murder in alleged rape victim’s fatal crash

Kansas City, Kan. — A 35-year-old Kansas man has been convicted of murder after a woman died in a traffic crash while fleeing from what prosecutors alleged was a rape. A Wyandotte County jury on Wednesday found Orlando Taylor guilty of first-degree murder in the August 2017 death of ...

Authorities charge 54 people in Manhattan, Kan., drug network

Story updated at 5:06 p.m. Wednesday TOPEKA — Authorities said Wednesday that they've dismantled a major drug-trafficking operation in northeast Kansas responsible for a college student's fatal overdose in 2017, resulting in criminal charges against more than 50 people. Federal and local ...

Scam alert: Don’t pay the impostor Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will never ask you for money to deal with legal issues or to avoid being arrested. That’s a message that Jenn Hethcoat, a department spokeswoman, wants to ensure Lawrence and Douglas County residents know. In a phone scam that has made the rounds in ...

Ex-Kansas Gov. Colyer seeks primary challenger for Rep. Watkins

Story updated at 5:14 p.m. Tuesday TOPEKA — Former Kansas Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer on Tuesday urged the state treasurer to drop his Senate bid and instead challenge freshman Rep. Steve Watkins in the GOP primary, arguing the move would help “nominate a candidate that can ...

$1.45 million settlement reached in taping of Kansas inmate calls

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Inmates who alleged their calls with attorneys were illegally recorded at the Leavenworth Detention Center in Kansas have reached a proposed settlement with the prison operator and the provider of the phone and video system. The settlement, which needs court approval to ...

Former Kansas Gov. Colyer not running for U.S. Senate seat

TOPEKA — Former Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer is not running for the U.S. Senate next year. The ex-Republican governor made the announcement Monday. He said he is doing "interesting things" in the private sector and medicine. Colyer is a reconstructive plastic surgeon and a recently named fellow ...

Kansas Rep. Watkins faces calls for tougher gun laws at town hall

TOPEKA — Republican Rep. Steve Watkins got heat Monday from frustrated eastern Kansas constituents who pressed the freshman congressman to publicly endorse tougher gun laws following recent mass shootings. Several people left a Watkins town hall meeting in Topeka unhappy that he didn't ...

Federal tariffs, severe weather leading to ‘tough year’ for Kansas farmers

The farming season troubles for Jimmy Neis began in the early spring. The soil on his farm, Neis Brothers Farms just south of Eudora, was so wet that he had to slightly delay planting his corn until mid-April, he said. Then severe storms came in May. “It rained for several weeks and it ...

KBI: State’s fingerprint database is in danger of crashing

Topeka — A database of finger and palm prints used by law enforcement and child welfare workers is in danger of failing and needs to be replaced, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation official told lawmakers. The system contains more than 2 million finger and palm prints and if it stops working ...

Kansas prisons chief abolishes list of 7,000 banned books

Topeka — The new Kansas corrections chief has abolished a list of 7,000 books banned from state prisons and adopted a policy that allows for the review and appeal of confiscated publications. Jeff Zmuda became the acting secretary of the state Department of Corrections last month. His ...

Judge rules immigration law unconstitutional in case involving Lawrence company

Story updated at 2:32 p.m. Thursday KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A federal judge in Kansas has ruled that a law making it a crime to "encourage" or "induce" immigrants to enter or live in the country illegally is unconstitutional. KCUR-FM reports that U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia issued his ...

Court: Attorney can’t claim immunity in Floyd Bledsoe case

Story updated at 2:33 p.m. Thursday TOPEKA — A federal appeals court has ruled that a former Kansas county prosecutor does not have absolute immunity in lawsuits filed by a man who spent nearly 16 years in prison for a murder his brother later confessed to committing in a suicide note. The ...

Company sees retaliation in Kansas ending literacy grant

TOPEKA — The president of the company that formerly ran a literacy program for Kansas’ public elementary schools alleged Monday that the state canceled the multimillion-dollar grant in “retaliation” for the firm’s opposition to major changes state officials were seeking. The Kansas ...

Survey finds 1,040 Kansans ignored school bus stop signs in 1 day

TOPEKA — Kansas education officials are expressing concern that many motorists are ignoring a state law that requires them to stop when approaching a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children. A recent survey found 1,040 motorists illegally passed school buses in Kansas during ...