Laura Kelly

Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and top Republican legislators agreed Tuesday to try for now to encourage Kansas counties to adopt local mask mandates rather than consider a statewide rule as the state experiences its biggest surge in new coronavirus cases of the pandemic.

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Amazon is planning to build two fulfillment centers in Kansas, including one in Park City, just north of Wichita.

Seattle-based Amazon said Friday that the centers combined will create 1,000 jobs with a minimum starting salary of $15 an hour. The other center will be in Kansas City, Kansas.

“Today’s Amazon announcement further proves why Kansas can offer prospective businesses the kind of workforce, infrastructure, and central location that can compete with anywhere in the country,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said in a statement.

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TOPEKA — Kansas on Wednesday reported its largest seven-day increases in both COVID-19-related deaths and new coronavirus cases.

The state Department of Health and Environment said Kansas had another 67 deaths since only Monday, an increase of 8.7%, to bring the total for the pandemic to 838. The state has reported 115 additional deaths over the past seven days, for an average of 16 a day.

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TOPEKA — Kansas collected nearly $73 million more in taxes than expected in September, suggesting that its economy is bouncing back faster than the state had initially anticipated, though officials still warned Thursday that the recovery is fragile.

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Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has moved a Kansas Statehouse meditation room created by Republicans as a place for prayer and reflection to a less-visible space to create more room for her staff to social distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new meditation room is on the northwest side of the building’s basement floor, down an out-of-the-way hall in what used to be a room set aside — but only occasionally used for — shooting videos and television interviews.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Republican lawmakers agreed to extend Kansas’ coronavirus disaster declaration Friday by a month after demanding assurances that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly won’t shutter businesses across the state a second time.

The contentious approval by the State Finance Council is just the beginning of a cycle: By law, the declaration can be extended only up to 30 days at a time.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Cottonwood Incorporated in Lawrence helps about 75 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with jobs, assembling things like cargo straps for the federal government and medical kits.

When the day is done, Cottonwood takes them back to their homes in the community. Ettie Brightwell stood outside the building in August, telling people goodbye. Brightwell, Cottonwood’s community relations and development director, even stopped one man to tie his shoe before he boarded a van.


Wichita, Derby and two other cities in Kansas have submitted proposals to become the site of the future U.S. Space Command headquarters.

TOPEKA — Kansas no longer has any counties free of reported coronavirus cases, with the last two, sparsely populated ones confirming their first as local schools were preparing to reopen.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday imposed a new ban on evictions and foreclosures on home mortgages in Kansas because one federal program to aid unemployed workers has expired and she isn’t sure that the state will participate in an alternative offered by President Donald Trump.