J. Schafer

J. Shafer is the news director for Kansas Public Radio

File photo

Funding for the entire Kansas court system has been in jeopardy. But Attorney General Derek Schmidt has now obtained a court order that prevents the judiciary from having its funding cut off, at least for a while.

First, some background: The Kansas Legislature passed a law that took power away from the Kansas Supreme Court by changing the way local chief judges are selected. The Supreme Court used to make those decisions but under this law, that power was transferred to local judges.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Funding for the entire Kansas judicial system is now in legal limbo.

A Shawnee County judge has struck down a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. But that law was tied to other legislation that said all funding for the judicial branch of government would be stripped away if the first law was struck down.

The Kansas Legislature passed a law that took administrative power away from the state supreme court.

Tim Evanson, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Geological Survey has determined there is a connection between oil and gas production and earthquakes.


One of the longest-serving members of the Kansas Supreme Court has died. Former Chief Justice Kay McFarland died Tuesday.

McFarland was the first woman to serve on the state's highest court and the first female chief justice in Kansas.

McFarland graduated from Washburn Law School where she was the only woman attending classes full time. She was the first woman elected as a Shawnee County district judge in 1972 and was appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court in 1977.


In 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons mission to explore the far edge of the Milky Way. Tuesday morning, the spacecraft finally reached its closest approach to Pluto and sent back the best pictures we've ever seen.

Jeff Carmody

Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins emphasized the role of women in community leadership on Sunday, when she delivered the Dole Lecture at the University of Kansas.

"Whether we learn it as babysitters or big sisters or mothers, we are good at keeping everybody happy and a lot of balls in the air and multitasking," Congresswoman Jenkins says. "We just have unique skill sets that maybe some of our men don't have." 

She also highlighted some of the challenges of a career in public office.

J. Schafer

The University of Kansas has received its largest private donation ever - $58 million. KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced the gift on Tuesday from the estate of Al and Lila Self.

"The Selfs have given the largest, single gift that we've ever received from an individual. This gift, in combination with what they've given before, totals 106 million dollars," the chancellor said.

KU alumni Al and Lila Self died last year, both at the age of 91. The largest part of the couple's $58 million gift will be used for graduate fellowships.

There's going to be a panel discussion on journalism and politics at the University of Kansas.

NPR political correspondent Juana Summers is joining three other reporters to talk about the midterm elections, including some tight races here in Kansas.

"The Kansas Governors race is one that surprised a lot of people," she says. "A lot of people, as you know, were not expecting this race as to be as hot as it is, but it's getting the attention of national political reporters just based on how close it is and the fact that it was unexpected."

The battle over the ballot in the Kansas Senate race continues. Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, the Democratic nominee, is trying to keep his name off the ballot this November.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trying to keep his name on. And now, the Kansas Supreme Court will decide. J. Schafer has more.

Next week, the Kansas Supreme Court will hold a hearing on a petition by Chad Taylor to get his name removed from the ballot. The court has scheduled arguments for 9am Tuesday.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and other Republicans held a short rally in Topeka to celebrate their Tuesday night primary victories. But Wednesday's celebration was clouded by news that yet another agency had downgraded the state's creditworthiness.

Joined by fellow Republicans who also won their primaries, Governor Brownback urged the party faithful to promote what he calls the "Kansas Economic Comeback."