State and Region

Baldwin City Council approves $1.35M bid to build new police station

The Baldwin City Council has approved a $1.35 million contract to construct a new police station that Mayor Casey Simoneau said will serve the community for half a century. At its Dec. 3 meeting, the Baldwin City Council approved a bid from Lloyd Builders, of Ottawa, to tear down the former ...

Kansas judge accused of bigotry, profanities in courthouse

WICHITA — A foul-mouthed Kansas judge accused of bigotry and racism who cursed at courthouse employees so often that a trial clerk kept a “swear journal” documenting his obscene outbursts is facing complaints that his conduct violates the central judicial canons of independence, integrity ...

Elections chief resigns in Kansas county beset with problems

TOPEKA — The top elections official resigned Thursday in Kansas' most populous county, which was plagued in two recent major elections by long delays in reporting results. Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab's office did not give a reason in announcing that Johnson County Election ...

KCK officer sues Wyandotte County over alleged discrimination

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas City, Kan., police officer contends in a federal lawsuit that the Unified Government of Wyandotte County has not addressed rampant racism and sexism in the police department. In her lawsuit, Z’Iontae Womack, a black woman, joined the police force in July 2007. ...

Prisoner rights group: Kansas prisons unfairly block books

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Corrections unfairly censors publications even with the adoption of a new policy and the elimination of a banned book list, a prisoner rights groups said. The Human Rights Defense Center has cited more than 200 books and magazines that administrators have ...

Tax council recommends low-income Kansans receive refunds on food sales taxes

Low-income and disabled Kansans may be able to get refunds on their sales taxes from grocery purchases if Gov. Laura Kelly implements the recommendations of her Council on Tax Reform. Members of the council determined on Tuesday what their suggestions to Kelly would be in advance of the 2020 ...

Trump: Would talk to Pompeo if GOP risks losing in Kansas

LONDON — President Donald Trump says he would talk to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about running for an open Senate seat in Kansas if Republicans appeared at risk of losing it next year. Trump’s comments to reporters Tuesday during a NATO meeting in London came as Pompeo dismissed ...

Raising bison appeals to ranchers, conservationists

Hutchinson — One of the promising industries for agriculture harks back to the days when bison roamed the Kansas prairie. The Hutchinson News reports that when Moundridge rancher Dick Gehring started his bison ranch more than 30 years ago, he did it for the money. The animals quickly became ...

Sedgwick County to pay $37K to police officer bitten by K-9

Wichita — A Kansas county has agreed to pay $37,500 to a Wichita police officer who was bitten by a sheriff deputy’s K-9, years after the deputy received her own settlement for being bitten by a police department dog. The Wichita Eagle reported that documents it obtained through an open ...

River watchers say 2020 could bring more severe floods

Kansas City, Mo. — After a year that has seen some of the worst flooding ever in parts of the Midwest, concern is already rising that the spring of 2020 may bring more high water to places that still haven’t fully recovered. Flooding ravaged much of the Missouri and Mississippi River ...

Will free college tuition revitalize small town in southeast Kansas?

Neodesha — Three hundred middle and high schoolers filed into their school auditorium last week in the small, southeast Kansas town of Neodesha, uncertain why they’d been called there. They left cheering and hugging. Some of the older students were teary-eyed. College tuition and fees ...

4 children killed in Thanksgiving Day crash in northern Kansas

BELLEVILLE — Authorities say four children have been killed in a Thanksgiving Day crash. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner said in a tweet that the crash happened around 11:30 a.m. when a vehicle went off the side of a road and into a pond in Republic County, near the state’s ...

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Kansas State’s handling of rapes

MANHATTAN — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by two women who alleged that Kansas State University refused to investigate complaints that they were raped in off-campus fraternity houses. Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer permanently dismissed their federal Title IX lawsuits against the ...

Greensburg’s environmentally friendly rebuild has mixed results, residents say

Greensburg — A dozen years after a tornado nearly wiped out Greensburg, city leaders acknowledge that the decision to rebuild as “the greenest community in America” has been a mixed success. The E-5 tornado on May 4, 2007, killed 11 people and destroyed most of the town. City, state and ...

Kansas Republicans turn on novice Rep. Watkins after helping him win House seat

TOPEKA — Republicans are going after one of their own in Kansas. Some party members who helped a political novice squeak to victory in a 2018 race for an eastern Kansas seat in Congress have turned on him in favor of the state treasurer, roiling a district where President Donald Trump enjoys ...

Thanks to immigrants, Dodge City is thriving

DODGE CITY — The history of this small city built on the cattle trade sets it apart from most towns in rural Kansas. The mere name of the place evokes recollections of the Wild West and the subsequent romanticized views of that age. Yet Dodge City also stands apart from the region that ...