Laura Kelly

TOPEKA, Kansas — Protesters angry about the stay-at-home order in Kansas and the tens of thousands of people it’s tossed from work rallied at the state Capitol Thursday.

They clogged traffic on the four blocks that ring the Statehouse for more than an hour, honking on horns, calling out slogans on bullhorns and pressing Gov. Laura Kelly to reopen businesses in the state.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas on Monday slashed its projections for what it expects to collect in taxes by nearly $1.37 billion to reflect the economic damage associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Two Kansas churches temporarily don’t have to abide by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s limit of 10 or fewer attendees, a federal judge ruled Saturday.

The judge sided with the First Baptist Church in Dodge City and Calvary Baptist Church in Junction City, which had argued in a lawsuit that Kelly’s executive order was an unconstitutional limit on the right to exercise religious freedom and went against the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Easter services at Heritage Baptist Church in Lawrence felt like a typical Sunday meeting. Several dozen congregants sang hymns and heard messages about Jesus Christ and the importance of going to church.

Some people sat in every other row and tried to maintain separation in the pews. A few wore masks.

“I believe very strongly that the Bible commands us to have church,” said the Rev. Scott Hanks, one of only a handful of ministers who held services in defiance of a statewide order, backed by the state Supreme Court, that limited even religious gatherings to 10 or fewer people. 

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas will remain under a statewide stay-at-home order for at least two more weeks to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Gov. Laura Kelly said in a briefing Wednesday that she’s extending her executive order that all but shut down a wide range of businesses across the state to May 3.

But her chief counsel later said it might not be that simple. The order will actually end May 1. That's when her state of emergency declaration is scheduled to expire.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly won a ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court Saturday that said she holds sweeping powers to shut down operations in the state, including large church services, in the face of a public health crisis.

The high court said that a panel of legislative leaders lacked the power to reverse Kelly’s controversial limits on church and funeral services. She had said the action was needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19.

The battle in Kansas over religious freedom and pandemic control grew more fierce Thursday, clashing over an executive order limiting religious services and funerals to 10 or fewer people. 

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas may not have any limits on the number of people who can safely gather — at all.

Have you been tested for COVID-19 in Kansas, or have you tried? We want to hear from you. We’re also interested in hearing from health care workers about what they’re seeing in their clinics and hospitals, and from patients.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas is struggling to get its hands on the millions of N95 masks, surgical gowns and other protective gear it wants to shield first responders and health care workers against COVID-19.

Gov. Laura Kelly told reporters Monday that Kansas has been pursuing three routes to get more of those supplies, along with testing kits and ventilators.

TOPEKA – Gov. Laura Kelly said the U.S. government was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic and that Kansas hasn't gotten needed supplies despite multiple requests approved since mid-March.

Kelly said Kansas has sought “hundreds of thousands of everything,” including masks, gloves, gowns and testing kits, to deal with the outbreak of the virus that causes COVID-19. The state also has been overwhelmed by questions and claims from jobless workers seeking unemployment benefits.

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