State and Region

Judge denies restraining order in Missouri medical marijuana suit

Jefferson City, Mo. — A judge on Thursday denied a request for a temporary restraining order against the state that was sought by a southwestern Missouri family who was denied a license to grow medical marijuana. Paul Callicoat and his family sued the the Missouri Department of Health and ...

Transgender teen in Kansas City misidentified in missing-person flyer

Kansas City, Mo. — A frightened Kansas City mother rushed to the nearest police station one afternoon in September after her 14-year-old hadn’t come home from school. At the front desk, Judith Boris shared every detail she could think of that could help police find him. What he was ...

Gov. Kelly says changes are needed at mental hospital’s acute care unit

Wichita — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says a troubled unit within a state hospital for the mentally ill is “not a therapeutic environment,” and she’s promising to change it. Kelly discussed the latest problems at Osawatomie State Hospital on Thursday after federal inspectors again ...

Group that sponsored pro-Kobach ads won’t name its donors

TOPEKA — A group that sponsored ads promoting conservative Republican Kris Kobach during his failed 2018 run for Kansas governor is arguing that it isn’t legally required to disclose its donors to the public. The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission has given Per Aspera Policy until Jan. ...

Victims of Johnson County plane crash identified

An investigation continues after a small plane crashed during takeoff from an airport near Kansas City, killing the pilot and a passenger. The Kansas Highway Patrol identified the victims as the pilot, 48-year-old Jonathan J. Vannatta of Maumelle, Ark., and 43-year-old passenger Darcy L. ...

‘Captain America’ actress charged with killing mom in Olathe

OLATHE — An actress who had a small role in the movie “Captain America: The First Avenger" is accused of fatally stabbing her mother inside a suburban Kansas City home. Mollie Fitzgerald, 38, was arrested Tuesday by police in Olathe, the Kansas City Star reported. She is charged with ...

2 dead in plane crash at suburban Kansas City airport

OLATHE — Two people died Tuesday afternoon when a small plane crashed at a suburban Kansas City airport, the Kansas Highway Patrol reported. Overland Park and Olathe emergency personnel were called to the Johnson County Executive Airport Tuesday afternoon. The plane was on fire when ...

Attorney general: Kansas criminal justice reform hinges on treatment funding

TOPEKA — Kansas' top law enforcement official says boosting spending on services for the mentally ill and treating substance abuse is crucial to reforming the state's criminal justice system. Attorney General Derek Schmidt contends extra funding for such services, particularly in rural ...

Kansas officer resigns, faked story of expletive on his McDonald’s coffee cup

JUNCTION CITY — A Kansas police officer has resigned after he admitted to making up a story that a McDonald's employee wrote an expletive and the word “pig” on a coffee cup, the police chief announced Monday. Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday said at a news conference that the ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, February 2014.

GOP lawmakers in Kansas, Oklahoma seek anti-red flag laws on guns

TOPEKA — Republicans in two Midwestern states where GOP-controlled legislatures have gun-rights majorities are proposing measures aimed at preventing the U.S. government or other states from taking guns away from residents whom the courts deem a danger to themselves. Neither Oklahoma nor ...

Mental health professionals in short supply in rural Kansas

Topeka — It typically took Walt Hill more than a year to recruit a psychiatrist to northwest Kansas. Now he doesn’t even bother. Instead, the executive director of the High Plains Mental Health Center relies on out-of-state doctors willing to work remotely, treating patients through video ...

Sen. Tom Holland revs up in advance of 2020 session

Nine years ago, Sen. Tom Holland purchased a 100th anniversary 2003 Softail Standard Harley-Davidson. It wasn’t a mid-life crisis purchase, the 58-year-old Democrat said. “It was a post-campaign crisis.” “I bought it right after Sam Brownback kicked my butt when I ran against him for ...

Rejected marijuana grower applicant sues Missouri

Jefferson City, Mo. — A southwest Missouri family that saw its application to grow medical marijuana rejected by the state is now suing the state, demanding a license to participate in Missouri’s fledgling medical cannabis industry. The lawsuit filed Friday by Paul Callicoat and his ...

U.S. Sen. Moran to lead Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee

Washington (AP) — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran says his top issues as he prepares to become chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee are suicide prevention and ensuring that veterans get the care they deserve when suffering from cancer and other illnesses tied to toxic exposure. The ...

More than a dozen hurt in explosion at Wichita aircraft plant

Wichita — More than a dozen people were injured Friday when a nitrogen line ruptured at the Beechcraft aircraft manufacturing facility in Wichita, causing part of the building to collapse, authorities said. Daniel Wegner, deputy fire chief for Sedgwick County, said the explosion happened at ...

Conservative Kansas lawmaker Mary Pilcher-Cook retiring next month

Topeka — One of the Kansas Legislature’s most conservative members and strongest abortion opponents is retiring next month. Republican state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook of Shawnee announced Friday that she will step down Jan. 16, just days after lawmakers open their next annual session. She ...

Education leader, songwriter named 2019 Kansans of the Year

Topeka (ap) — A group dedicated to preserving and promoting Kansas history has named a longtime state education official and a country music singer-songwriter as its 2019 Kansans of the Year. The Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas plans to honor Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis ...

Farmers’ woes bring down Kansas’ personal income growth

TOPEKA — Personal income growth in Kansas is below the national average, due in large part to troubles in the agriculture industry, which makes up about 40% of the state’s economy. Kansas farmers face an expanding drought and low commodity prices, though a break in the ongoing tariff ...