Kansas News Service

The Kansas News Service produces essential enterprise reporting, diving deep and connecting the dots regarding the policies, issues and and events that affect the health of Kansans and their communities. The team is based at KCUR and collaborates with KMUW and public media stations across Kansas.

The Kansas News Service is made possible by a group of funding organizations, led by the Kansas Health Foundation. Other funders include United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Sunflower Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Additional support comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Ways to Connect

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

The new head of Kansas’ troubled child welfare agency got a unanimous vote of confidence from a legislative committee Friday.

Even the agency's staunchest critics think she’ll sail through a confirmation vote from the full Senate to head the Department for Children and Families.

Brett Flanders / flickr, Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers, increasingly skeptical that tax breaks deliver economic wins, looked closely this week at economic incentive programs.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

How far must people go to prove they’re really Americans when they register to vote?

Orman Campaign

(An earlier version of this story mistakenly said Doll was removed from committees. He actually gave up those posts.)

State Sen. John Doll, a one-time Democrat, started the week as a Republican holding leadership posts on influential legislative committees.

Then he agreed to be a candidate for lieutenant governor running in the second spot on an independent ticket with Johnson County businessman Greg Orman.

Stephan Bisaha

Students are bearing more than two-thirds of the cost of their education at Kansas state universities.

Derek Gavey / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers are looking for ways to come up with cash to respond to a court ruling that says the state needs to spend more on schools. Currently, the House Tax Committee is considering a plan to raise property taxes.

The proposal would boost property taxes over three years, topping out with a $659 million increase. The plan met urban and rural opposition in a hearing on Tuesday. Realtors said the tax hike would make it harder to buy a home. It would also hit farmers by raising taxes on their land.

Orman For Kansas

Independent candidate for governor Greg Orman on Wednesday picked a running mate with middle-of-the-road credentials who also balances the ticket geographically.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Republicans in the Kansas House on Tuesday unveiled a plan they say will make schools safer.

Ruins Pub

Ryan Cavanaugh has a vision for downtown Topeka: a restaurant and pub called Brew Bank, where customers can access a wall of 20 electronic, self-serve beer taps as a way to mingle and try local brews.

“It’s just about a community experience,” he said. “For the patrons to be able to try all of these beers and try them responsibly in small amounts is just an exciting thing.”

The devices let customers use an electronic card to dispense brews.

“Let’s face it,” Cavanaugh said, “the technology’s just really cool.”

Roy Anderson / Oklahoma Highway Patrol/Oklahoma Forestry Services

One year and nearly a half million torched acres after the Starbuck wildfire, strong winds blow across a parched Kansas landscape.