State and Region

4 in 10 Kansans live in counties that opted out of mask mandate

TOPEKA — Four in 10 Kansans live in counties that have overruled Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide mask order even as coronavirus cases in the state soar. More than 90 of the state’s 105 counties have opted out of the mandate issued last week under a new state law that allows local leaders to ...

Kansas settles lawsuit pushing for foster care improvements

The state of Kansas settled a class-action lawsuit filed by child care advocates who accused the state of not providing foster children with adequate mental health care and moving them too frequently between homes. The settlement, filed Wednesday, mandates the state stop moving foster children ...

GOP establishment boosting Marshall over Kobach for Senate in Kansas

TOPEKA — Establishment Republicans who'd been coy for months about the GOP primary for Kansas’ open Senate seat are increasingly putting their thumbs on the scale, hoping to push Rep. Roger Marshall to victory over polarizing conservative Kris Kobach. A new GOP super-PAC this week launched ...

Kansas governor issues order on foster children’s education

KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order on Tuesday that will require the state to track foster children’s progress in school, shortly after having vetoed a similar bill last month. In an annual report card detailing the academic progress and classroom ...

Kansas among 14 states with most rapid COVID-19 spread

TOPEKA — Kansas is among the top 14 states in the country for the most rapid spread of coronavirus, and in the top 14 states for having the least restrictions on activities, the state's top health official said Tuesday. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and ...

Republican PAC launches campaign against Senate candidate Kobach

TOPEKA — A new Republican political action committee has launched what it says will be a $3 million campaign in Kansas with an ad that says GOP Senate candidate and immigration hardliner Kris Kobach has ties to white supremacists. Kobach campaign spokesperson Danedri Herbert said Tuesday ...

Ex-officer gets 4 months for deadly crash near Arrowhead

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former police officer was sentenced Tuesday to four months in jail for causing a 2018 wreck that killed a Kansas teenager and injured two others outside the stadium where the Kansas City Chiefs play. Thirty-five-year-old Terrell Watkins pleaded guilty in early June to ...

Kansas reports 982 more cases linked to coronavirus outbreak

TOPEKA — Kansas reported 982 more confirmed coronavirus cases and three more deaths as the state seeks to combat the surging outbreak with a mask mandate. The state Department of Health and Environment reported Monday that Kansas has had 16,901 cases, up 6% from Friday. Kansas also has ...

Kansas newspaper owner now says he’s sorry for equating mask rule to Holocaust

TOPEKA — A Kansas county Republican Party chairman who owns a weekly newspaper apologized Sunday for a cartoon posted on the paper's Facebook page that equated the Democratic governor's coronavirus-inspired order for people to wear masks in public with the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis ...

Mask opponents protest at Wichita mayor’s home

WICHITA — Protesters who oppose a city ordinance requiring that masks be worn in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus gathered outside Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple’s home Saturday. The Wichita City Council voted 4-3 Friday in a special meeting called by Whipple to require masks ...

Kansas newspaper’s Facebook post equates mask mandate with Holocaust

TOPEKA — A weekly Kansas newspaper whose publisher is a county Republican Party chairman posted a cartoon on its Facebook page likening Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s mask mandate to the roundup and murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. The cartoon on the Anderson County ...

Experts: COVID-19 cases will spike if Kansans don’t wear masks

A month ago, the University of Kansas hospital had as few as nine of its beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Now, it’s about twice that. When the coronavirus-driven statewide shutdown began to go away in mid-May, clinicians in Kansas were confirming about 100 new infections a day. Now, that ...

KC police officer shot in head remains stable

Kansas City, Mo. — A Kansas City police officer who was shot in the head during an exchange of gunfire that left a suspect dead was in stable condition Friday following surgery, authorities said. A police spokesman, Officer Jacob Becchina, declined to release the name of the officer, and ...

Kansas sees largest 2-week spike in COVID-19 cases since pandemic began

Story updated at 4:16 p.m. Friday: TOPEKA — Kansas reported another big increase in confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, capping its worst two-week spike since the pandemic began and coming as a statewide mask mandate from the governor took effect. The state Department of Health and ...

Kansas City police officer in critical condition after shooting; suspect dead

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A shooting Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, left a suspect dead and a police officer in critical condition after being shot in the head, police said. The unidentified officer, who has been with the department for about 2 1/2 years, was hospitalized for emergency surgery ...