State and Region

Kansas vaccine numbers increase while COVID-19 cases continue to drop

TOPEKA — The state of Kansas continues to see a drop in COVID-19 cases while vaccination efforts expand, health officials said Monday. More than 16% of the state's residents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported. More ...

Local pharmacists across the nation step up in COVID-19 vaccination effort

NEW YORK — They're just your regular neighborhood pharmacists, but some now wear superhero capes. Local pharmacy owners are filling in the gaps as federal, state and county authorities across the country struggle to ramp up vaccinations vital to crushing the COVID-19 pandemic. In some small ...

What Hays’ history, ‘Noose Road’ say about Kansas and race

Hays — On the night of Jan. 6, 1869, Luke Barnes, Lee Watkins and James Ponder sat in jail accused of shooting a white railroad worker in this northwest Kansas town. By sunrise, the three Black men had been dragged from their cell by a mob of white townspeople and hanged from a railroad ...

Remains of Kansas priest Emil Kapaun, who died in Korean War, identified

WICHITA — The remains of a Kansas priest who is being considered for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church for his ministry during the Korean War have been identified, U.S. military officials said. The Rev. Emil Kapaun, of Pilsen, Kan., died on May 23, 1951, as a prisoner of war during the ...

Former U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins enters diversion in voter fraud case

TOPEKA — Former Kansas Congressman Steve Watkins has entered a diversion program to avoid trial over allegations that he voted illegally in a 2019 municipal election. Watkins, a Republican from Topeka who served only one term in the U.S. House, was facing three felony charges. He was accused ...

3 Kansas police officers injured by shotgun blast in vacant home

WICHITA — Three Wichita, Kansas, police officers were injured by a shotgun blast when they checked out a vacant home, and authorities were investigating Sunday whether it had been rigged to fire when the door opened. Wichita Police said Sunday that "a modified, loaded shotgun" discharged as ...

Kansas legislators taking another run at legalizing medical marijuana

Topeka — Kiley Klug, flanked by her 13-year-old son, Owen, in a wheelchair, stood before Kansas lawmakers Wednesday and pleaded to let her treat her son’s hundreds of daily seizures with legal medicinal marijuana. At one point, she paused to tend to one of the boy’s seizures before ...

Kansas’ first Space Force recruit ‘excited to see where this takes me’

Wichita — For more than a decade, 22-year-old Valley Center native Braden Vining had plans to follow his brother into the military. He couldn’t have planned on the military career he’s about to have, though, because it didn’t exist. Vining is the first Kansan to be recruited into the ...

Kansas Supreme Court suspends foul-mouthed judge from bench

BELLE PLAINE — A foul-mouthed Kansas judge accused of bigotry who cursed at courthouse employees so often that a trial clerk kept a "swear journal" documenting his obscene outbursts was on Friday suspended from the bench for one year. The Kansas Supreme Court called Montgomery County Judge ...

Trump endorses Kansas Sen. Moran; primary fight less likely

TOPEKA — Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran for reelection in 2022, early backing that makes it unlikely the two-term Republican will face a serious challenge in the GOP primary. Trump's endorsement Thursday evening came less than two weeks after Moran voted ...

Student arrested at Shawnee high school with gun in backpack

SHAWNEE — A high school student in the Kansas City, Kan., suburb of Shawnee was found with a handgun in his backpack at school, police and school officials there said. The gun and other contraband were found by Shawnee Mission Northwest High School staff Thursday morning in a search of the ...