WICHITA, Kansas — Utility companies in Kansas will soon have a new accounting tool that could speed the closure of coal-fired power plants — and save customers money.

The financial tool is known as securitization. It’s not a new idea, but it is complex. The Kansas Legislature passed a bill approving the use of the tool after more than two years of discussion.

At 70, Linda Findley has long been active in her small town of Fort Scott, Kansas, which sits more than an hour away from any major city.

Findley, whose husband died in an accident just after the local hospital closed, helps with the Elks and fundraising, and — like many people in this part of the country — doesn’t think COVID-19 is that dangerous.

Kansans can now file for a protection order online instead of going to a courthouse.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a new statewide mask mandate Thursday, but Republican lawmakers quickly used newly crafted legislative powers to reverse her order.

The last time Deidre Dodds saw her Auntie Rose was the day before her body was found.

On July 20, 1996, Dodds was driving up 10th Street near Walker Avenue, in the heart of Kansas City, Kansas, when she saw Rose Calvin talking to a man in a semi-truck.

“I called her name, and she just kinda like brushed me off. Told me to go on,” Dodds recalled. “Never forget it. I will never forget it.”

COVID-19 Claims The Lives Of At Least Three Long-Term Caregivers In Kansas

Mar 29, 2021

Lisa Bramblett had underlying health issues and realized she could die if she caught the novel coronavirus.

The licensed practical nurse, who was the charge nurse overnight at Pittsburg Care and Rehabilitation Center continued to work as the pandemic rolled through 2020.

"The nursing home was testing everybody twice a week, and she tested positive on the 7th [of December]," her husband, Ron Bramblett, said.

By Dec. 11, she was in the emergency room. The following day, she was put on a ventilator at a Pittsburg hospital. Three days after Christmas, she died.

Beginning Monday, all Kansans 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Laura Kelly said Friday the state is ready to move into the fifth and final phase of its vaccine rollout, opening appointments up to the general public.

“With the anticipated increase in supply from the federal government, we must get every dose of vaccine into arms quickly,” Kelly said in a statement. “I strongly encourage every Kansan to get the COVID-19 vaccine so we can get back to school, back to work, and back to normal.”

WICHITA, Kansas — Wind now cranks up more kilowatts than any other power source in the state.

Kansas officials confirmed on Thursday that a 68-year-old Atchison County woman experienced anaphylaxis and died after she received a COVID-19 vaccination but said no link between the shot and her death had been determined.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said on Thursday it would investigate the case.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas stands among a shrinking handful of states that makes cannabis an outlaw drug, even as a medical tool.

Lawmakers trying to overcome resistance to any legalization are looking at adopting medical marijuana rules so tight that, for instance, only patients who’ve been with specially certified doctors for a full year could get it.

While the pandemic will be remembered as a major public health crisis, it was a significant mental health emergency as well.

A proposal to let nurse practitioners do their jobs — without contracts that can require them to pay thousands of dollars a year to doctors — got stymied again in the Kansas Legislature this session.

The bill died in the House this month without a vote. A technical maneuver in the Senate keeps the legislation alive, but it remains in committee with no vote scheduled.

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Nearly 70 years ago in a newly formed suburb of Kansas City, Kansas City Power & Light Co. built what it thought was a vision of the future — an all-electric home full of the latest technology.

“It was advertised as the lazy man’s paradise,” said Johnson County Museum curator Andrew Gustafson.

Wichita Area Sees Uptick In Earthquake Frequency

Mar 16, 2021
Created by Hayashi Fumihiro from Noun Project

At least eight earthquakes have shaken Wichita since early Sunday morning.

Since the fall, more than 30 earthquakes struck in an area centered near north-east Wichita. The strongest so far was a 3.9 magnitude that hit Sunday evening.

Thanks to Karen Deal, one of the Coordinators at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, for sharing some time and insight about this weekend’s virtual workshops happening March 20th & 21st for musicians and songwriters across our region. The deadline for registration is Tuesday, March 16th at 11:59 am CT, so check it out if you want in on the fun.

After the pandemic hit, the largest school district in Kansas set to calculating how much outdoor air it should pull into its buildings.

Wichita Public Schools turned to the nation’s top sources for expertise, then boosted ventilation and filtration in ways that scientists say dramatically cut the risk of inhaling COVID-19.

From Kaiser Health News

As the Biden administration accelerates a plan to use pharmacies to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, significant areas of the country lack brick-and-mortar pharmacies capable of administering the protective shots.

From Kaiser Health News

Pfizer’s management knew last year there was “a mold issue” at the Kansas facility now slated to produce the drugmaker’s urgently needed covid-19 vaccine, according to a Food and Drug Administration inspection report.

The McPherson, Kansas, facility, which FDA inspectors wrote is the nation’s largest manufacturer of sterile injectable controlled substances, has a long, troubled history.

The race among Kansas Republicans to see who will challenge Democrat Laura Kelly in the 2022 governor’s race is heating up.

When Ray Kapaun’s cell phone rang Thursday morning in his house north of Seattle, he didn’t recognize the number — so he let it go to voicemail.

“My wife came out, she goes, ‘You may want to listen to this message,’ ” Ray Kapaun recalled. “‘It's from somebody at Fort Knox about your uncle.”

Two weeks after Kansas said it wouldn’t earmark vaccines for meatpacking workers, the state on Thursday promised shots to thousands of people in those slaughterhouse jobs starting this week.

More than 10,000 people work in the plants, which include massive facilities in Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal vital to the economy of southwest Kansas.

By the end of next week, the state expects to get first doses to all the workers who want them.

Poets of the High Plains, get your pens ready! Seward County Community College’s English department is accepting entries for its annual poetry contest, and the deadline is 12:00 a.m. CT on WEDNESDAY, March 10th! I caught up with Dr. Lori Muntz, English instructor at SCCC, and student poet Dulce Perez. They shared more info about the contest, it’s history, and we even got a poem.

A new casino owned by a Native American tribe opened Tuesday in Park City.

The Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma built the CrossWinds Casino after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior last May, a decision the state of Kansas is seeking to reverse

A year into the pandemic, COVID-19 testing has become easier to get — just not necessarily cheaper.

If you go to the right locations, though, you can get a test for free instead of shelling out $100 or more.

For Kansas, sites that offer free testing are listed online, complete with information about wait times and booking.

You don’t have to show any ID or insurance. That eliminates the risk of a wrestling match later over billing.

Price tags matter, even when insurance pays

Local and federal authorities continue to investigate a shooting that injured three Wichita police officers.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kiley Klug, flanked by her 13-year-old son, Owen, in a wheelchair, stood before Kansas lawmakers Wednesday and pleaded to let her treat her son’s hundreds of daily seizures with legal medicinal marijuana.

At one point, she paused to tend to one of the boy’s seizures before resuming her testimony.

“He, as you can see, suffers from a rare, relentless seizure monster called Dravet Syndrome,” she said. “He, at his worst, has struggled through up to 200 to 300 seizures a day.”

TOPEKA, Kansas — Roger Marshall’s unflinching support of former President Donald Trump helped him vault over a crowded field of Republican hopefuls in the race to succeed longtime Kansas U.S. Senator Pat Roberts.

Roberts, like his successor, backed Trump and his administration almost without fail. But the now-former senator forged a career in a different era of partisanship that allowed more room for the occasional partnership with Democrats in the interest of lawmaking.

WICHITA, Kansas — Last February, the city of Cheney, Kansas – located just west of Wichita – paid about $2 per thousand cubic feet, or unit, of natural gas on the wholesale market.

But last week, during the height of the winter storm, it was paying more than $600 per unit.

“We didn’t have the option to just say, ‘We don’t want gas for our community,’” said Cheney City Administrator Danielle Young.  “We just had to take the price we were given to make sure our residents were staying warm.”

WSU Professor Champions Legislation Ensuring Kansas Hospitals Have Qualified Interpreters

Feb 22, 2021

When Veronica Mireles’ son complained he was in severe abdominal pain, she rushed him to a Wichita emergency room. No interpreter was provided for the Spanish-speaking family, and the teenager was told he may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease. His doctor sent him home.

Photo studios were busy places in Leavenworth, Kansas, in the late 1870's. Thousands of everyday people flocked to have their pictures taken.

Today, some of those pictures have re-emerged — and they tell a story of an African-American community that took root in the town as Black families migrated to escape the Jim Crow south.