Dodge City

DODGE CITY, Kansas — In the days leading up to President Donald Trump’s mandate that all meatpacking plants stay open, workers in western Kansas’ meatpacking triangle were worried that precautions now being taken aren’t enough to slow the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

“We're right next to each other in the locker rooms,” Brandon Vasquez said about the possibility of social distancing at the National Beef plant in Dodge City, where he’s worked for about a year. “The lunch line ... they put stuff on the floor where we should stay six feet apart. But a lot of people are not listening and there's nobody enforcing (social distancing) in there.”

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — The continuing spread of COVID-19 among workers who slaughter livestock and package meat poses a growing threat to keeping the industry’s plants in operation.

Go here to subscribe to the My Fellow Kansans podcast. This season, we look at the prospects of rural places.

DODGE CITY, Kansas — The history of this small city built on the cattle trade sets it apart from most towns in rural Kansas. The mere name of the place evokes recollections of the Wild West and the subsequent romancing of that age.

Yet Dodge City also stands apart from the region that surrounds it. This place is growing.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service, File Photo

The Catholic Diocese of Dodge City on Wednesday released a list of 12 clerics or seminarians with substantiated allegations of abuse against minors.

The diocese said five of the priests were assigned to the Dodge City diocese, while five others worked at some point in the diocese but allegations against them were made in other dioceses. Two others were seminarians.

Long-running frustration about Amtrak’s willingness to keep a rail passenger line running through remote parts of the country has politicians threatening to block new directors to the agency.

A handful of U.S. senators demanded specifics by this week about how Amtrak plans to spend an added $50 million to keep the Southwest Chief line running from Chicago, through Kansas, to Los Angeles.

DODGE CITY — Check out Dodge City.

A new $12 million waterpark. A shiny new craft brewery — not far from the new whiskey distillery. And, yes, that trendy new downtown cafe.

A nearly $6 million addition to Boot Hill Museum just kicked off last fall. That’s about when Dodge City wrapped up $86 million in renovations and expansions to its schools.

A few days before the November midterm election, Alejandro Rangel-Lopez turned 18.

But before he cast that first ballot, local election officials moved Dodge City’s only polling location from the relatively convenient center town to its outskirts.

The move caused confusion, drew national criticism and raised questions about voting access governed by white elected officials in a town where nearly two-thirds of the population is Latino.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Election Day in Kansas is expected to surpass previous midterm elections. One college student in Wichita said he voted for the first time in a general election because of concerns about voter suppression in the state.

A federal judge has ruled that Ford County, Kansas, does not have to provide a second polling place in Dodge City on Election Day.

In a ruling late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree denied a request for a temporary restraining order filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in late October on behalf of a Dodge City resident and a Latino community organization. 

Local organizers in Dodge City fought for more, and more accessible, polling places even before their lone, out-of-the-way voting location drew national attention.

On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union sued County Clerk Debbie Cox.

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