Stephen Koranda

Contributing Reporter

Stephen Koranda reports on the Kansas Legislature, state government and everything else for Kansas Public Radio. He previously worked in Mississippi and Iowa, where he covered stories ranging from hurricanes to state executions. 

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Stephen Koranda

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

A committee in the U.S. Senate will consider legislation co-sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran and aimed at using tax credits to increase donations to food banks. The legislation would expand tax credits for businesses that donate food.

The credit is only allowed for certain businesses, but has been temporarily expanded to other businesses until the end of this year. The bill would make that expansion permanent, and make farmers eligible to use the credit.

Voter registration applications for more than 12,000 people in Kansas are on hold because of missing documents that could prove U.S. citizenship. A law that took effect this year requires people who register to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he's considering a rule that could allow those voters to cast ballots in certain elections.

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