© 2023 Kansas Public Radio

91.5 FM | KANU | Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM | K241AR | Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM | KANH | Emporia
99.5 FM | K258BT | Manhattan
97.9 FM | K250AY | Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM | KANV | Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM | K210CR | Atchison
90.3 FM | KANQ | Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

FCC On-line Public Inspection Files Sites:

Questions about KPR's Public Inspection Files?
Contact General Manager Dan Skinner at skinner@ku.edu
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Headlines for Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Kansas Public Radio
Kansas Public Radio

Oil Company Set to Resume Pumping through Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Canadian oil company TC Energy says it will soon resume pumping oil through Kansas, even as it continues cleanup from its biggest ever oil spill earlier this month. The U.S. Department of Transportation has given approval, though TC Energy says inspections and preparations are ongoing. It's still not clear what caused the Keystone's biggest spill ever on December 7th in north-central Kansas. Nearly 600,000 gallons spilled.


Southwest Cancels Numerous Flights from KCI

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – All Southwest Airlines flights out of Kansas City International Airport Monday night were canceled. WDAF reports that the airline is struggling to manage bad weather and staffing shortages. KCI Airport’s flight status site shows that several other flights from earlier on Monday had also been canceled or delayed, leaving long lines and frustrated travelers at the airport. As of early Tuesday morning, Southwest had cancelled 37 of the 48 flights scheduled for the day. Southwest issued a statement saying it expects flight changes to continue through the New Year holiday and advises travelers to check their flight’s status before leaving for the airport.


Woman Dies in Wrong-Way Crash in Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Highway Patrol says an Atchison woman died Monday in a wrong-way crash in Leavenworth. The accident occurred just after 7:00 am when the driver of a Chevrolet Silverado was traveling east in the westbound lanes of US Highway 73 before striking a westbound Ford Escape head on. The driver of the Ford, identified as 61-year-old Deborah Lynn Frans of Atchison, died in the crash. The driver of the Chevrolet suffered minor injuries.


Racial Proportions of COVID Deaths Changing

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Black and Hispanic Kansans made up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths in the state early on in the pandemic. Those numbers have now decreased while the number of white Kansans dying of the virus continues to rise. At a recent Kansas Health Institute panel discussion, state health officials explained how they reached out to communities of color. They highlighted the value of using trusted groups including churches to connect with people. The health department worked with community leaders to encourage people to get the COVID vaccine. The department brought mobile vaccine clinics to events including Fourth of July, Juneteenth and Cinco de Mayo. Department leaders say the success of vaccine outreach programs points toward measures that could be used to reach underserved communities when trying to combat other health issues.


Drug Convictions in Kansas Mean Lifetime Ban on Food Assistance

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansas currently bans people convicted of some drug charges from receiving food assistance, but that could soon change. The Legislature may consider changing the food stamp program when the session starts next month. Getting two drug felony convictions in Kansas means no food benefits for life. Advocacy groups want that lifetime ban eliminated. They say the ban on food stamps is overly harsh because people convicted of felonies might struggle to find jobs due to their criminal record and denying them food assistance could cause them to turn back to crime. Advocates pushed to change the state law last year but their attempts failed. There is now some bipartisan support for lifting the ban when the legislative session begins in January.


Kansas Republicans Push for Easier Impeachment of Judges

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Kansas lawmakers will consider making it easier to remove judges from office for undermining the power of the Legislature. The bill is related to Republican opposition to abortion rights. Republican state Representative Brett Fairchild is sponsoring the bill that would create more ways for judges to be removed from office. Currently the Kansas Constitution says judges can only be removed when they are convicted of serious crimes such as treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. Fairchild says court rulings in favor of abortion rights are wrong and the bill can help counteract that. “That might cause the supreme court justices and the other justices to not go quite as far in their rulings," Fairchild said. “I do believe that the judiciary has gone too far in taking away power from the legislature when it comes to regulating abortion.” The Kansas Bar Association opposed a similar bill passed by the Kansas Senate in 2016. Lawmakers return to Topeka for the legislative session on January 9.


Vital Statistics: Kansas Deaths Down in 2021

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) - Newly released vital statistics reveal that fewer Kansans died in 2021 than in 2020. But deaths were still significantly higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Heart disease and cancer remained the leading two causes of death in the state; COVID-19 was the third. But deaths from certain causes increased dramatically. Accidental drug deaths rose nearly 50 percent. And the rate of deaths by suicide rose to match the 2018 rate, which was the highest in the past twenty years. The birth rate remained unchanged from 2020, matching the lowest rate in more than a century.


USDA Predicts Record Farm Incomes for 2022

LINCOLN, Neb. (HPM) – National farm income will likely reach new highs when the numbers are tallied for 2022, despite a difficult growing season. Drought, bird flu and costly fertilizer and fuel made it hard to raise crops and livestock this year. Prices skyrocketed when Russia limited Ukraine’s grain exports. A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates high prices won out – net farm income is forecast at $160 billion, up 14 % since last year. But agricultural economist Brad Lubben says that higher profits are not evenly spread among American farmers. "The drought definitely hurt the Midwest and the Great Plains much more than it did the rest of the country," Lubben said. "And in some of those places, higher prices don't make up for the lost bushels." For example, Lubben’s most recent research indicated 2022 farm income would be flat in Nebraska.


States Contend with Short Timeline to Correct Broadband Map

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kansas and other states are racing against a deadline to challenge the map federal officials will use to divvy up the nation’s largest-ever investment in high-speed internet. At stake is a share of the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, part of the infrastructure measure President Joe Biden signed into law last year. States have until January 13 to challenge a broadband speed map the Federal Communications Commission released last month. For the first time, it illustrates the haves and have nots of internet access down to specific street addresses.


Longtime Kansas City Artistic Director Found Dead Following Social Media Accusations

UNDATED (AP) – Jeff Church, the artistic director at Kansas City's Coterie Theatre for more than 30 years, was found dead on Saturday. The Kansas City Star reports that Church, 63, had recently resigned his position as sexual assault allegations began circulating on social media. Kansas City Police officers found Church dead at his home on Saturday afternoon. The medical examiner's office has not yet released a cause of death. Detailed social media posts have been shared in recent days, alleging the children’s theater artistic director was responsible for sexually assaulting young men. The Coterie Theatre had recently issued a statement indicating that the Board of Directors had accepted Church's resignation in the wake of the allegations, and was committed to investigating the accusations.


Cerner Puts over 4 Million Square Feet of Office Space on the Market in Kansas City Area in Last 22 Months

UNDATED (WDAF) – WDAF reports that Oracle Cerner has moved to put at least 4.1 million square feet of its Kansas City-area office and support space on the market in the past 22 months. That’s nearly as much space as downtown Kansas City’s six largest office towers combined. By comparison, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s lease assumption at 1400KC, adds up to 260,000 square feet. WDAF also reports that the 28 largest office lease transactions since 2021, as tracked by Cushman & Wakefield, total only 1.44 million square feet. That's just over a third of what Oracle Cerner is putting up for grabs.


Topeka Zoo Accepting Used Christmas Trees

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Wondering what to do with this year’s Christmas tree? The Topeka Zoo will be happy to take it off of your hands. WIBW reports that the many of the zoo’s animals love to play with the decaying trees before they are mulched and put to use by the zoo’s grounds keepers. The zoo will accept any live trees through January 8. They can be dropped off at the zoo’s back gate on Munn Memorial Drive.


Chiefs Coach Reid Lauds Hackett After Broncos Fire Head Coach

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KNS) – After the Denver Broncos fired their head coach Nathaniel Hackett Monday, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said his team respected the Broncos as they prepare to face off against the Denver team on Sunday. The Broncos’ 4-and-11 record this season includes a loss to the Chiefs earlier this month, on December 11th. The Chiefs built a 27-0 lead in that game, but the Broncos made a comeback in the second-half. The Chiefs ultimately won the game 34-28. With a record of 12-and-3, the Chiefs still have a shot to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture. The Broncos come to Kansas City for the second-to-last game of the regular season this Sunday, New Year’s Day.


Unsung Players Join Chiefs Stars in Making Postseason Push

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have relied on unsung and overlooked players alongside stars such as Patrick Mahomes to not only win the AFC West, but continue to fight for the lone first-round playoff bye in the conference. Jerick McKinnon is tops on the list as the journeyman running back has scored in four straight games with seven TDs over that span. He signed a one-year deal that pays him a relatively paltry $1,272,500 this season, making him perhaps one of the best values in the NFL this season. Other unsung players such as Andrew Wylie and Justin Watson have been turned out to be steals for Kansas City at various points.


No. 1 Purdue Headlines AP Top 25; KU Holds Steady at No. 4

UNDATED (AP) – Purdue remained atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for a third straight week. The week also included preseason No. 1 North Carolina returning to the rankings at No. 25 and New Mexico cracking the poll for the first time in eight years. The Boilermakers earned 40 of 60 first-place votes in Monday’s new poll, while fellow unbeaten Connecticut earned the other 20 to sit at No. 2 in an unchanged top. Houston, Kansas and Arizona rounded out the top five. Miami made the week's biggest jump by climbing eight spots to No. 14.


Liberty Bowl Pits Kansas vs Arkansas for 1st Time since 1906

UNDATED (AP) – The Kansas Jayhawks see a bright future thanks to a quick turnaround under coach Lance Leipold. And the Arkansas Razorbacks go into Wednesday’s Liberty Bowl hoping quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders can provide enough offense to make up for a roster thinned by opt-outs and transfer portal departures. Kansas and Arkansas come in with identical 6-6 records in the first meeting between these neighbors since 1906. A winning season is on the line. Kickoff for the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, is set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium is having water pressure issues, and local officials are working to ensure the game is played, including bringing in portable toilets.


Winning Record at Stake for Kansas, Arkansas at Liberty Bowl

UNDATED (AP) – A winning record is on the line in a rare showdown between neighbors Kansas and Arkansas. This is the first bowl game for Kansas since 2008, when the Jayhawks routed Minnesota in the Insight Bowl in Arizona. This is just the Jayhawks’ 13th bowl game ever and second time playing in the Liberty Bowl. Arkansas is playing its second straight bowl under coach Sam Pittman and 44th in program history. The Razorbacks are familiar with the Liberty Bowl, having played in it six times. The last was in 2016 in a rout of Kansas State.


These area headlines are curated by KPR news staffers, including J. Schafer, Laura Lorson, Kaye McIntyre, and Tom Parkinson. Our headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays, 11 am weekends. This news summary is made possible by KPR listener-members. Become one today. And follow KPR News on Twitter.