Allison Kite

Allison Kite

Allison Kite is a data reporter for the Missouri Independent and Kansas Reflector, with a focus on the environment and agriculture. A graduate of the University of Kansas, she’s covered state government in both Topeka and Jefferson City, and most recently was City Hall reporter for the Kansas City Star.

Southeast Kansas town is almost out of water, and signs of crisis are everywhere

By: - November 3, 2023

CANEY — It’s hardly a question of whether the water will run out for one town on the Kansas-Oklahoma border. It’s a matter of when. The stubborn drought that has hung over southeast Kansas for close to two years has brought Caney, a town of less than 2,000 people, within weeks of reaching the end of […]

Biden vetoes bill that would remove lesser prairie chicken protections

By: - September 27, 2023

U.S. President Joe Biden vetoed legislation meant to undermine federal protections for the lesser prairie chicken, a previously ubiquitous bird that is now endangered in several states. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, and co-sponsored by fellow Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran and four other senators, sought to undo a listing by […]

Kansas county scuttles talk of converting Leavenworth jail to ICE detention center

By: - September 22, 2023

Leavenworth County officials voted unanimously Wednesday to halt discussions over whether to convert a former private federal jail into a detention center for immigration enforcement. For years, CoreCivic, the nation’s largest private prison operator, ran a federal pretrial detention center in Leavenworth for individuals charged with — but not convicted of — federal crimes from Kansas, […]

Shuttered private jail in Leavenworth could become ICE detention center

By: - September 7, 2023

A private pretrial detention center in Leavenworth, Kansas, beset with violence when it closed in 2021 could house individuals detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. For years, Nashville-based CoreCivic operated the Leavenworth Detention Center, which held individuals charged — but not convicted — with federal crimes from Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and western Missouri. Now […]

oil spill

Keystone pipeline owners knew of defect years before Kansas spill

By: - May 23, 2023

Owners of the Keystone pipeline knew a defect had formed years before the strain finally caused the pipeline to burst and flood a Kansas creek with oil last year. The Keystone pipeline, owned by TC Energy, burst near the Kansas-Nebraska border late last year, spilling almost 13,000 barrels of oil onto adjacent farmland and into […]

Keystone executive gives Kansas legislators vague answers on oil spill cleanup

By: - March 14, 2023

TOPEKA — Owners of the Keystone pipeline still don’t know why it ruptured in northern Kansas, spilling almost 13,000 barrels of oil into Mill Creek and onto surrounding farmland, an executive of the company said Tuesday. Gary Salsman, vice president of field operations for TC Energy, which owns the Keystone pipeline, testified before a joint […]

Kansas House committee advances bills to conserve water in Ogallala Aquifer

By: - February 17, 2023

Members of a Kansas House committee on Thursday passed legislation meant to push officials in western Kansas to come up with ideas to conserve water in the disappearing Ogallala Aquifer. The legislation — along with a bill dedicating sales tax revenue to fund water projects — passed the House Water Committee on a voice vote with […]

Keystone pipeline owner blames Kansas spill on faulty weld, estimates $480M remediation cost

By: - February 9, 2023

TOPEKA — The Keystone oil pipeline’s massive spill in northern Kansas was likely caused by a faulty welding job, the company that owns the pipeline said Thursday. Meanwhile, a Kansas environmental group claimed that Canada-based TC Energy was attempting to “pass the buck” for design flaws that will likely cause more crude oil spills. The […]

‘It’s time to deal with this’: Kansas Water Authority wants to save Ogallala Aquifer

By: - December 16, 2022

COLBY, Kansas — Kansas should scrap its de facto policy of draining the Ogallala Aquifer, a state board decided Wednesday. Instead, the board said, the Kansas government should take steps to stop the decline of the aquifer and save it for future generations. “It has taken decades for this to be said formally in writing […]

keystone leak

Leak on Keystone Pipeline released more than half a million gallons of crude oil

By: and - December 9, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details about response and reaction to the leak. LINCOLN — A leak from the Keystone Pipeline is estimated to have released 14,000 barrels of oil, or about 588,000 gallons, into Mill Creek, three miles east of Washington, Kansas. It was the largest leak to date on […]

Longhorned tick that can cause illness to cattle found in northern Missouri

By: - September 28, 2022

A species of tick known to cause severe weight loss in cattle has been discovered in northern Missouri, researchers from the University of Missouri reported this week. The longhorned tick was found in southern Missouri last year, according to a press release from the university. But Rosalie Ierardi, an anatomic pathologist at the MU College […]

‘Time bomb’ lead pipes set to be removed. But first water utilities have to find them.

By: - June 20, 2022

TRENTON, Mo. — It took three years for officials to notice lead was seeping into the city’s drinking water. Missouri regulators had given the green light in 2014 for Trenton to start adding monochloramine to its drinking water to disinfect it without the harmful byproducts of chlorine. But by 2017, the city noticed something alarming. […]