Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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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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Government
8:16 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Call For Special Legislative Session Draws Support And Questions

Gov. Brownback during a ceremony announcing the special session.
Credit Stephen Koranda

In 2005, 17-year-old Robert Haberlein and two other people entered a Dollar General store in Bonner Springs. It was late in the day and only one person, 44-year-old Robin Bell, was working in the store. The three overpowered Bell and took her into the back of the store, forcing her to open the safe. They beat her before shooting and killing her.

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Legislature
4:17 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Brownback Officially Calls Special Session

Governor Sam Brownback Tuesday signed a proclamation officially calling a special session of the Kansas Legislature in September.

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Government
8:54 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Brownback Won't Set Date To Unveil Judicial Nominee

Gov. Sam Brownback
Credit Stephen Koranda / File Photo

Gov. Sam Brownback won't set a date for nominating a candidate for an open seat in the state's appeals court system.

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Historic Places
4:35 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

State Finance Council Approves Sale Of Dillon House

Credit Stephen Koranda

The State Finance Council Monday approved the sale of a historic building across the street from the Kansas Statehouse.

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