Kansas

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Kansas artist Jane Booth specializes in large, abstract paintings. When she outgrew her workspace, she created one that could expand her reach. As part of our occasional series called Tools of the Trade about artists and their relationship to the tools that make their work possible — we visited Jane Booth's new studio.

One early morning, Booth is out on the back porch of her metal studio in Spring Hill, Kansas. She’s dressed for work — jeans and a smock splashed with layers of paint. The prairie is alive with birds and Booth is just starting a new painting. As pigment moves across the fabric, Booth begins to get excited about what she sees.

“I mean, you know, can you even stand it?” says Booth. “I just love what happens right there. Where that water is and isn’t. So, we’ll come back in a little while.”

The Native American tribe that gave Kansas its name will dance in the state for the first time in 142 years.   

The Kaw or Kanza tribe once occupied most of what became Nebraska, and nearly half of modern day Kansas. Tribal spokesman Ken Bellmard says bad treaties and European diseases decimated the tribe.

Last week, Kathryn Gardner was the second judge confirmed under Kansas’s new method of selecting appellate court judges, and her confirmation gives the state a look at the system Gov. Sam Brownback wants to use for choosing state supreme court justices.

Confirmation by a process "comfortable" for Kansans

Washburn law professor Michael Kaye says he thinks Gardner was a good choice.

“When I think of her temperament, I think she would be an excellent judge,” he says. 

Wikimedia Commons -- CC

A Wednesday shake-up in Kansas politics even has seasoned pundits amazed. 

Chad Taylor, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, has withdrawn from the race, leaving Kansas Republican Pat Roberts facing his toughest political test in decades.

Steve Kraske, host of Up To Date on KCUR and Kansas City Star political commentator, says the change spells bad news for the incumbent.

"Pat Roberts is suddenly in very deep trouble in Kansas," Kraske says. "His polling numbers have not been good. He was ahead only because he was in a three-way contest."

Thomas Fox Averill On 'Rode'

Sep 24, 2013
Courtesy Washburn University

Third time’s a charm for Kansas fiction writer, Thomas Fox Averill.   The author of several collections of short stories, it is Averill’s third novel, Rode—a western—that has brought him national acclaim and Washburn University’s selection for their fall 2013 iRead Program.

The American Civil Liberties Union says in a letter that it's ready to go to court over a voter registration law in Kansas.

The law requires people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate. More than 12,000 voter registration applications have been put on hold because of that requirement.

Doug Bonney is with the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. He says the law, which was strongly championed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, puts unnecessary hurdles in front of voters.

KHI News Service

In a little less than two months, Kansans will be able to begin shopping for individual health insurance plans through the new, online marketplace called the exchange. Most of the plans will be sold by three companies.

According to Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, they'll be the same three companies that provide the bulk of health insurance in Kansas now: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Blue Cross of Kansas City, and Coventry.

Matt Kleinmann / Matt Kleinmann Photography

From the hair museum, to the bridge to nowhere and Big Brutus, there are some interesting and even bizarre things to see and do in Missouri and Kansas.  

So grab the kids and a cooler, and take a day trip to one (or more) of these quirky destinations in our corner of the Midwest.

Clay Enos / Warner Brothers Pictures

In a scene from the recent film Man of Steel, Superman is asked why he should be trusted. He responds, "I grew up in Kansas." For the past year, three natives of Hutchinson, Kan., have argued that their hometown is probably the closest fit to the superhero’s: Smallville.

On Friday, June 21, for one day only, Hutchinson will be known as "Smallville, Kansas – the Home of Clark Kent."

Hutchinson as candidate for Smallville

Athletics Communications / Iowa State Cyclones

With a large contingent of Iowa State fans clearly outnumbering the Oklahoma followers, the Cyclones advanced to the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

Conference tournament basketball begins for the three area major schools today. Missouri plays in its first Southeastern Conference tournament game tonight in Nashville as the number-6 seed.  In Kansas City at the Big 12 tournament, top-seeded Kansas plays this afternoon at 2, then K-State takes the floor tonight at 6.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Governor Sam Brownback and state officials are urging Kansans to prepare for the storm that’s sweeping across the state. Brownback says the winter weather has already caused one fatality in Kansas.

proforged / flickr

For the second straight year, this area will showcase a major all-star event.

A Kansas man's decision to donate sperm to help a lesbian couple conceive a child in 2009 has landed him in a complicated legal case, as a state agency is now pursuing him for child support payments. William Marotta, 46, is asking a judge to dismiss the case, which has grabbed national attention.

courtesy of Henry Fortunato

In recent years, urban planners have renewed their focus on creating walkable communities. Walking is the most basic mode of transportation – and yet, in the Kansas City metropolitan area, it’s not as common as in other parts of the country.

courtesy of Kansas Department of Health and Environment

A new report out this week finds that Kansas and Missouri are vulnerable in key areas when it comes to being prepared for a public health emergency, like a disease outbreak or natural disaster.

The votes are tallied; the results are in.

Some might say the big news in Johnson County elections happened during the primaries, when conservative Republicans beat moderates in four out of five races for state Senate.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

The Republican incumbent candidate in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District continues to hold a big fundraising advantage over her Democratic challenger.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A deadline is looming to register to vote in Kansas time for the fall election. The cutoff in Kansas is Tuesday, October 16th.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is creating a task force to look for ways to improve the DMV system in Kansas.

KC History: Kansas Bureau Of Investigation

Sep 28, 2012

Coming up on Central Standard Friday, a look at some of the most high-profile criminal cases spanning the past 70 years in the state of Kansas.

For this show, we'll get a detailed history of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. History host Monroe Dodd talks with Larry Welch, author of Beyond Cold Blood: The KBI from Ma Barker to BTK.

3rd District Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder told an audience at Kansas Community College yesterday that during an election season, partisan bickering escalates. 

PMAA

Many pundits and pollsters say that this year's Presidential race is already over: polls show Democratic President Barack Obama with a commanding lead over Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

For the first time, a Kansas Governor is actively campaigning against members of his own party. Governor Sam Brownback is hoping to replace moderate Republicans with more conservative members of his party.

KCUR

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is predicting 18 percent of registered voters will cast a ballot in the state's primary elections next week.

city-data

In Kansas, 54 school districts are currently suing the state for cutting their funding. The state has budgeted $3,800 per student for the coming school year. 

Kansas City Star

If you happen to stand in one spot in a Kansas town or city, did you ever wonder what things looked like 100+ years ago? 

Kansas African American Affairs Commission

How does the status of African Americans in Kansas compare with that of its white citizens? That’s the question that inspired a recent report by the Kansas African American Affairs Commission.

Governor Sam Brownback yesterday signed the bill to create a new Kansas Creative Industries Commission. This commission merges the Kansas Arts Commission with the Kansas Film Commission.

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