Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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Court of Appeals
3:41 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Committee Seeking Testimony On Court Nominee

A Kansas Senate committee will hold a hearing next week to consider Gov. Sam Brownback's choice to fill an open court seat.

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Civil Rights
4:22 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Governor Marks 50th Anniversary Of March On Washington

Gov. Sam Brownback Wednesday signed a proclamation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

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Roofing Licenses
3:44 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

State Raising Awareness Of Roofing Law

Under a new law, roofers in Kansas are required to apply for a license to do business.

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Crime and Courts
7:39 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Lawmakers Recommend Fix For KS Hard 50 Law

A legislative committee is recommending a bill to amend the state's so-called Hard 50 sentencing law. The changes would allow juries to decide if convicted murderers deserve 50 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Under the old system, judges would decide if a crime warranted the harsher sentence of 50 years without parole. But the U.S. Supreme Court recently said judges can't make those decisions.

The bill would also apply some changes retroactively to past crimes. Some attorneys told the committee that it would be unconstitutional to do that.

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Government
7:36 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Work On Hard 50 Sentencing Law Begins Monday

A legislative committee is expected to meet Monday to begin work on modifying the state's so-called Hard 50 sentencing law.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling raised questions about whether the law could stand as-is. The Kansas law allows judges to sentence convicted murderers to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years. The committee is headed by Representative Lance Kinzer, a Republican from Olathe. Kinzer says the committee will hold a public hearing on a fix proposed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

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Government
8:47 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Group Using Open Records Act To Hunt Names Of Judicial Candidates

The head of the League of Women Voters of Kansas is hoping that seeing the governor's schedule could reveal the names of candidates for an open court seat. The league has filed an open records request for the calendars of Gov. Sam Brownback and some of his staff.

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Crime and Courts
1:39 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Governor Chooses His Chief Counsel for Appeals Court Seat

Governor Brownback looks on as Caleb Stegall speaks at the Statehouse Tuesday.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Gov. Sam Brownback has selected his office's top attorney, Caleb Stegall, as the nominee for an open seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals. Brownback calls him the most qualified candidate for the job.

“His depth of knowledge across the broad spectrum of legal topics continues to impress me and others around this building. I’ve never known an attorney who can provide such excellent counsel on so many topics," said Brownback.

But the top Democrat in the House, Paul Davis from Lawrence, says the selection means that Brownback picked a friend for the job.

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Drought Conditions
3:47 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Drought Conditions Easing In Parts Of Kansas

The drought that has been gripping parts of Kansas appears to be easing.

Just a few months ago, about 97 percent of Kansas was considered to be experiencing drought conditions. Now, much of central and eastern Kansas is back to normal. That's according to Mary Knapp, with Kansas State University, who called the turnaround "exceptional."

“In central and southeastern Kansas we’ve actually gone from drought to deluge. We’ve got a number of locations that have seen incredible amounts of rain in the last three weeks,” Knapp said.

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Voting Laws
4:12 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

ACLU Ready to File Lawsuit Over Kansas Voter Registration Law

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

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Community
7:34 am
Tue August 13, 2013

2015 World Horseshoe Pitching Championship Awarded To Topeka

For many people, horseshoes is a game you might occasionally play during a summer picnic. But for Topeka, horseshoes could mean big business in a couple years. It's been named as the host city for the 2015 World Horseshoe Pitching Championship.

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