State and Region

KCMO voters elect KU law instructor as new mayor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 34-year-old black man whose family was homeless at times during his childhood in Kansas City, Missouri, will become the city's 55th mayor. Voters on Tuesday chose Quinton Lucas over fellow City Council member Jolie Justus in a mayoral runoff, according to unofficial ...

Kansas faces future budget woes even with a revenue surplus

TOPEKA — Kansas' tax collections have beaten expectations nearly every month for the past two years and the state expects to end June with close to $1 billion in cash reserves, but the budget problems that followed a former governor's notorious tax-cutting experiment aren't necessarily a ...

2 Kansas men ‘collateral damage’ in gun control dispute

Wichita — The unregistered gun silencers, each stamped “Made in Kansas,” were arranged in a display case at a military surplus store in a rural Kansas town. Beside them was a copy of a Kansas gun law signed a year earlier by then-Gov. Sam Brownback that purports to prevent federal ...

Kansas Supreme Court strikes down cap in injury cases

Story updated at 4:48 p.m. Friday TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the state's cap on damages for noneconomic injuries in personal injury lawsuits is unconstitutional. The court ruled 4-2 that capping damages an injured person is able to recover in a lawsuit violates ...

Lawrence business wins Governor’s Exporter of the Year award

A Lawrence company that designs, manufactures and sells laboratory research equipment for use in the field of neuroscience was recently awarded the Governor’s Exporter of the Year award. Pinnacle Technology Inc., 2721 Oregon St., received the award from Team Kansas and the Kansas Department ...

Kansas Supreme Court finds new K-12 education funding law constitutional

Updated at 5:31 p.m. Friday The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s newest education funding plan is constitutional, seemingly bringing an end to an almost decade-long fight over the adequacy of K-12 funding. But the justices are refusing to relinquish jurisdiction over the ...

Solar power system goes online at Wichita-area high school

Wichita — A Wichita-area high school is operating one of the largest privately owned solar power systems in Kansas and hopes to generate enough energy in one day to power the school for a month. Maize High School on Tuesday switched on a 240-kilowatt system, which has 720 solar panels, is ...

Southeast Kansas’ Big Brutus museum adds another giant mining shovel

West Mineral — A historic coal mining shovel that was hidden under bramble for more than 70 years has gone on display in southeast Kansas alongside its more well-known successor, an 11 million-pound orange giant known as Big Brutus. The Joplin Globe reports that a ceremony to dedicate the ...

USDA research relocation expected to bring 550 jobs to Kansas City area

Story updated at 2:19 p.m. Thursday TOPEKA — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that it will relocate two research agencies' headquarters to the Kansas City area, delighting Kansas and Missouri officials but intensifying critics' fears that research will suffer and be less ...

Kansas education officials vote to launch anti-vaping campaign

TOPEKA — Kansas officials want to put the brakes on vaping in public schools as usage soars. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Kansas State Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to launch an anti-vaping campaign. Officials say local school boards need to amend student codes ...

Kansas Democrats hope move away from caucuses boosts presidential primary participation

TOPEKA — Kansas Democrats plan to have voters rank candidates rather than pick only one in a presidential primary set for May 2020. The party is moving away from its more traditional caucuses, trying ranked-choice voting and allowing mail ballots to boost participation, State Chairwoman ...

Gov. Kelly taps KU vice provost for administration secretary

Topeka — Gov. Laura Kelly has nominated a University of Kansas vice provost, DeAngela Burns-Wallace, for secretary of administration. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kelly announced her pick Friday. Burns-Wallace will replace Duane Goossen, who is retiring after serving in the ...

State: Rhododendrons bought at Kansas Walmarts should be destroyed

TOPEKA — The state is asking anyone who bought a rhododendron plant at Walmart stores in Kansas since April to destroy them. The Kansas Department of Agriculture reported Friday that confirmed cases of the Sudden Oak Death disease have been found in rhododendrons sold at 60 Walmarts in ...

Top GOP lawmakers hold up nearly $10M for Kansas prisons

TOPEKA — Top Republican legislators on Wednesday blocked nearly $10 million that Kansas corrections officials argue they need to deal with prison overcrowding and said lawmakers might reject Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's choice to be the prison system's next leader. The actions by Republican ...

Lawrence chamber says effects of tariffs on Mexico will likely be harmful

If the United States imposes tariffs on Mexican imports next week, the Lawrence chamber of commerce does not know how exactly it will affect the local economy, but it will likely be harmful. “Unfortunately, we may learn that the hard way if these tariffs are sustained or ramp up as the ...

Man suing Topeka after falling through gap in bridge

Topeka — A man is suing the city of Topeka for nearly $2.78 million in damages for injuries he suffered when he fell through a gap in a highway bridge in the same place four people have plunged through since 2001, including a 14-year-old boy who died. The lawsuit filed Monday contends Trong ...

Kansas GOP leaders say new food assistance policy breaks state law

TOPEKA — Top Republican legislators on Tuesday accused Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration of breaking Kansas law with a new policy that makes it easier for adults who are not working to keep receiving food assistance. Kansas House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins demanded in a letter ...