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.

Counties ask Missouri Supreme Court to strike down law restricting local CAFO rules

By: - January 27, 2022

A pair of Missouri counties is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a 2019 law that stripped them of their ability to set their own rules for concentrated animal feeding operations.   Under the law, county commissioners are prohibited from setting policies that are “inconsistent with or more stringent than” state rules for CAFOs. The […]

Bill would block Missouri cities, counties from enacting EV charging station mandate

By: - January 18, 2022

A Republican lawmaker is seeking to undercut efforts by officials in the St. Louis area to build more electric vehicle charging infrastructure in preparation for the move away from gasoline-burning cars.  Both St. Louis and St. Louis County passed ordinances last year requiring businesses to prepare for electric vehicle charging. The city’s ordinance also has […]

December 2021 was the warmest on record in Missouri and Kansas — by a long shot

By: - January 17, 2022

Kansas and Missouri logged their warmest average December temperatures on record last month, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Average temperatures over the last half of 2021 were higher than they’ve ever been in either state — and across the country. Meanwhile, despite a devastating cold snap that forced power outages […]

EPA denies extension for Ameren to stop dumping coal ash, gypsum at two power plants

By: - January 12, 2022

Ameren Missouri must stop dumping waste from two of its coal-fired power plants into nearby pits following a federal crackdown on coal ash that denied the electric utility an extension to comply with new regulations.  The move could force the utility to retire at least one of the facilities years ahead of schedule.  The Environmental […]

Kansas City reinstates mask mandate for K-12 schools amid COVID surge

By: - January 6, 2022

Kansas City will reinstate a mask mandate for K-12 schools as COVID-19 cases reach record figures driven by the omicron variant. Council members voted 10-2 on Thursday to require that students and staff in school buildings wear masks starting next week and running until Feb. 3. Its previous mask mandate expired late last year.  Mayor Quinton […]

Evergy announces plan for large solar farm near coal plant in Kansas City

By: - January 5, 2022

Evergy will build a 10-megawatt solar farm near its coal-fired power plant in northeast Kansas City, the company announced on Wednesday.  The electric utility serves 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. Half of the energy produced at the solar farm will go to serve that entire base. The other half will be reserved for […]

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas speaks at a vaccine clinic

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tests positive for COVID-19

By: - December 31, 2021

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has contracted COVID-19, his office announced in a statement Friday. Lucas, who received two doses of the COVID vaccine this spring and later a booster, is in quarantine. He said in the statement that because of his vaccination status, his symptoms were mild. “Throughout the pandemic, I have been regularly […]

To protect water, University of Missouri professors recommend tighter regulation of runoff

By: - December 30, 2021

More than 190 segments of Missouri rivers, streams and lakes are impaired because of pollution from crop fertilizer, livestock waste and urban runoff. And without action, two University of Missouri professors say, more drinking water utilities might have to spend considerable sums to keep their water supplies healthy, raising rates for customers.  The professors — […]

Missouri bill would require schools to filter drinking fountains for lead

By: - December 22, 2021

Thousands of Missouri school buildings are likely not testing their water for lead. A Missouri House bill would require them to start filtering.  Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin. Medical professionals say there is no safe amount of lead for children to inhale or consume. But Missouri residents drink water supplied by lead pipes at rates […]

‘Ball of rolling fire and smoke’: Wildfires rip through north-central Kansas

By: - December 20, 2021

PARADISE, Kansas — There’s almost nothing left of Deb Maupin’s home near Paradise in north-central Kansas — a bench on the front porch with nothing behind it but the concrete of the basement, now full of ash, scorched appliances where the kitchen was. Hers is one of more than a dozen families who lost their […]

National Guard deploys helicopters to wildfires burning in Kansas

By: - December 16, 2021

The Kansas National Guard will deploy helicopters in an effort to put out wildfires in several counties in central and western Kansas, several state departments said in a news release Thursday. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly declared a state of disaster emergency last week because of the risk of fire. According to the news release, the […]

Ameren to shutter Rush Island coal plant by 2024 following Clean Air Act violation

By: - December 14, 2021

Ameren will shutter a Jefferson County coal plant found in violation of federal clean air laws rather than install what it says are expensive pollution controls, the company announced Tuesday.  The St. Louis-based electrical utility will close the Rush Island Energy Center, built in the mid-1970s, by the spring of 2024, if not sooner. Ameren […]