Author

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.

Permit for Ameren Missouri’s Labadie coal plant was issued lawfully, commission says

By: - October 12, 2021

Missouri’s Clean Water Commission agreed Tuesday that environmental regulators were correct to issue a permit allowing the state’s largest coal-fired plant to discharge superheated water into the Missouri River despite environmentalists’ contention the utility operating it should invest in newer technology. The commission’s vote upheld a determination by the Administrative Hearing Commission that a permit […]

For-profit federal prison an understaffed ‘hell hole’ of violence, death and drugs

By: - October 7, 2021

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Dangerous understaffing, pervasive drugs and a stockpile of weapons have transformed a private detention center in Kansas into a “hell hole” where violence is routine and inmates are still on lockdown after one was beaten to death this summer. The Leavenworth Detention Center, a pretrial lockup run by the nation’s largest private […]

Study: More than 80% of Missouri, 60% of Kansas kids have lead in their blood

By: - September 30, 2021

Children in Missouri had elevated levels of lead in their blood at a greater rate than almost any other state, according to a massive national study published this week.  And more than 80% of Missouri children had some level of lead in their blood.  The study, authored by doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital and Quest […]

Springfield families accuse company of contaminating drinking water with carcinogen

By: - September 29, 2021

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims Springfield residents whose homes are supplied with well water were exposed to a chemical known to cause cancer.  Northrop Grumman, a Virginia-based aerospace and defense company, knew but failed to notify area residents for more than a decade about the extent to which trichloroethylene, or TCE, had seeped from […]

Evergy scales back plans to add solar power by 2024

By: - September 23, 2021

Evergy will keep open part of its Lawrence, Kansas, coal plant to run occasionally on natural gas despite earlier plans to shutter it completely and fall short of earlier pledges to add massive amounts of solar power to the electric grid, the utility revealed in regulatory filings this week.  Earlier this year, Evergy filed its […]

A man with a microphone is addressing a crowd of about 200 to 300 people in the rotunda of the Missouri Capitol.

Missouri lawmakers look to undermine Biden COVID vaccine mandate

By: and - September 15, 2021

Members of the Missouri House on Wednesday floated the idea of pursuing legislation to undermine a mandate from the Biden administration meant to increase vaccination rates in the U.S.  The House Judiciary Committee held what Rep. David Evans said was the first in a series of discussions about vaccine mandates, including an executive order President […]

‘Dangling by a thread’: Nursing home industry warns of staff exodus over vaccine mandates

By: and - September 15, 2021

A federal mandate requiring nursing home staff members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 could worsen an already severe worker shortage, an advocate for the industry warned Missouri lawmakers Tuesday. Nikki Strong, executive director of the Missouri Health Care Association, told members of a Missouri House subcommittee on Tuesday that she didn’t believe the federal mandate […]

Spire STL Pipeline can keep operating for now despite court ruling on ‘self-dealing’

By: - September 14, 2021

The embattled Spire STL Pipeline can keep operating for up to 90 days while federal regulators weigh its fate over the coming months.  The order, issued Tuesday morning by federal regulators, saves the pipeline from a court order that was expected to shut it down. Spire STL Pipeline is a 65-mile natural gas pipeline running […]

Missouri’s largest wind farm isn’t running at night for fear of killing endangered animals

By: - September 9, 2021

Every night for months, turbines at Missouri’s largest wind farm sit idle to avoid killing endangered and threatened bats.  And now, as the wind farm’s owner, Ameren Missouri, seeks permission to increase customers’ rates, consumer advocates are sounding the alarm. They argue customers shouldn’t have to pay the full costs of the wind farm on […]

‘Simply unconscionable’: Advocates push Ameren to keep electric bills low during pandemic

By: - September 8, 2021

Ameren Missouri should not increase its electrical rates for its customers as they struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout, a coalition of environmental, veterans and tenants advocates said Wednesday.  The St. Louis-based utility filed with regulators in March seeking a rate increase worth nearly $300 million per year to pay for […]

Spire’s St. Louis natural gas pipeline dealt another blow by federal court ruling

By: - September 7, 2021

The Spire STL Pipeline is running out of options to continue operating its natural gas pipeline near St. Louis after a federal appeals court declined to reconsider a previous decision Tuesday.  Following the denial, the natural gas company argued it’s even more urgent that federal energy regulators grant it temporary approval to keep operating the […]

Judge tosses Missouri AG lawsuit targeting ‘social cost of carbon’ emissions

By: - September 1, 2021

A federal judge found a group of Republican attorneys general lacked the standing to sue President Joe Biden’s administration for taking steps to consider the “social cost of carbon” in federal regulations. The suit, supported by officials in 13 states, was led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running for the U.S. Senate […]