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Oklahoma governor's staffer faces heat for 'body bags' tweet

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A new member of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's communications staff faced fierce criticism Tuesday for a tweet last week in which she praised a national Republican group for putting "House Democrats in body bags." Oklahoma Democra... Full story

 

The power of words in crisis: Who hits mark, and who misses?

WASHINGTON (AP) — In moments of crisis, of war and terror, of loss and mourning, American leaders have sought to utter words to match the moment in hope that the power of oratory can bring order to chaos and despair. Lincoln at Gettysburg....

 

Kansas House Dems move to oust member over issues with women

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators on Tuesday began the process to oust a newly elected lawmaker over multiple issues that include the 20-year-old's rhetoric on Twitter and allegations that he harassed and threatened girls and women. A formal...

 

Kansas abortion opponents see mandate from 2020 elections

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion opponents say elections last year that made the Kansas Legislature more conservative showed voters support putting a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot next year. Anti-abortion...

 

GOP seeks to push Kansas to right over governor's objections

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature is set to convene its annual session Monday with GOP leaders seeking to wrest control of policy from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly amid their ongoing disputes over how to handle the COV...

 

Kansas lawmakers open session clouded by COVID, DC violence

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators opened their annual session Monday with new leaders in the Senate, new lawmakers in a quarter of the seats and a top Republican acknowledging that he's asked for extra security. The 90-day session began amid...

 

Red tape delays law making voting easier in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas law designed to allow voters to cast their ballots at any polling place in their county, instead of just their assigned voting precinct, may not be implemented until 2023 because of bureaucratic delays. Passed in...

 

Protesters swarm Statehouses across US; some evacuated

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Protesters backing President Donald Trump massed outside statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico on Wednesday, leading some officials to evacuate while cheers rang out at several demonstrations as a pro-Trump mob stormed the... Full story

 

Oklahoma House, Senate to meet for organizational day

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House and Senate will convene Tuesday for a constitutionally mandated organizational day at the state Capitol where each body will formally vote for its leaders and seat its elected members. The House and Senate...

 
 By JOHN HANNA    Regional    January 6, 2021

Kansas GOP Sen. Moran says he'll vote to certify Biden's win

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran said Tuesday that he will vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the Electoral College, breaking with President Donald Trump and others in the GOP trying to overturn the result. Moran's...

 

Oklahoma County's first Black sheriff sworn into office

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma County's first-ever Black sheriff was sworn in on Monday. Republican Tommie Johnson III took the oath of office during a ceremony at his former high school. Johnson, who was elected in November, said the first issue...

 
 By JOHN HANNA    Regional    January 3, 2021

Kansas leaders reflect on pandemic lessons from 2020

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — As 2021 begins, health officials and elected leaders in Kansas are reflecting on the lessons learned so far about the coronavirus pandemic. THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the pandemic showed Kansas...

 

COVID fund taken offline after raising $23M since March

DENVER (AP) — A statewide relief fund for those in need because of the coronavirus pandemic has been taken offline after raising nearly $23 million since March. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund website indicates contributions aren't currently being a...

 

Oklahoma governor replaces his top attorney, a key staffer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Thursday that he is replacing his top attorney, a key member of his staff. Stitt said in a press release that his general counsel, Mark Burget, is returning to the private sector and will be...

 
 By JOHN HANNA    Regional    January 1, 2021

New Kansas lawmaker under court order denied committee seats

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top Democrat in the Kansas House has refused to give an incoming lawmaker any committee assignments over issues that include an anti-stalking court order filed against him after he won his seat. Minority Leader Tom Sawyer's...

 
 By JOHN HANNA    Regional    January 1, 2021

Kansas governor promises another push for Medicaid expansion

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly will push again this year to expand Medicaid in Kansas even though top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature are less receptive to the idea than they were last year. "I will never stop fightin...

 

Virus aid, police reform dominate new US laws for 2021

Responses to the coronavirus pandemic and police brutality dominated legislative sessions in 2020, leading to scores of new laws that will take effect in the new year. Virus-related laws include those offering help to essential workers, boosting unem...

 

Athletes act: Stars rise up against racial injustice in 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — As the NBA neared its restart in late July, its players vowed to keep the calls for social justice reform at the forefront in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The basketball stars weren't the...

 

Kansas county prepares for jury trials at the fairgrounds

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — One northeast Kansas county is moving jury trials to a building on its fairgrounds to allow for better social distancing amid the pandemic. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the plan is for jury trials in Douglas County...

 

Outgoing Texas House speaker tests positive for coronavirus

DALLAS (AP) — Dennis Bonnen, the outgoing speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, said Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, as coronavirus hospitalizations in the state hovered just below their summer peak. Bonnen, 48, wrote on...

 

Kansas Senate to have new committees, including ethics panel

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate will have two new committees, including one focusing on ethics and government transparency issues. Incoming Senate President Ty Masterson's appointments of new committee leaders for 2021 reflect turnover in...

 

Wichita councilman caught up in cover-up plot resigns

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita city councilman who has been under fire for his role in a plot to frame the local GOP chairman for a false ad against a mayoral candidate has resigned. James Clendenin said Tuesday in a written statement that had...

 

Kansas' Sen. Roberts exits Congress after a half century

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — After Sarah Little watched her former boss of 20 years, Sen. Pat Roberts, deliver his farewell speech on the Senate floor Dec. 10 after 40 years in Congress, she left a voicemail to express her appreciation. Later that day,...

 

Kansas equity, justice panel wants end to no-knock raids

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A commission established by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly in response to the mass civil unrest over racial injustice earlier this year is urging state lawmakers to ban officers from entering a home without announcing their presence,...

 

Lawsuit over false ad in Kansas mayor's race moving forward

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by Wichita's mayor against three GOP officials who were behind a smear campaign against the mayor will be allowed to move forward. The lawsuit is related to an ad published on YouTube during the mayoral...

 

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