Universities team up to help local law students

PITTSBURG, Kan. – A new partnership between Pittsburg State University and the Washburn School of Law is underway.

Officials say the partnership will positively impact students, ultimately leading to money and time saved for those seeking law degrees.

“We have inked a partnership that will allow students to complete a bachelor’s degree as well as a law degree in six years total — three years here at Pittsburg State, and three years at Washburn School of Law,” said Chris Childers, director of PSU’s School of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences, in a press conference Monday in Russ Hall officially announcing the partnership.

The partnership also means a year less in tuition and fees at PSU, he noted, and students who are accepted into the program are guaranteed a minimum tuition scholarship of $5,000 per year at Washburn School of Law.

The announcement comes at a time when demand is high and supply is low: Officials say Southeast Kansas is considered underserved when it comes to the number of cases on the books and the number of lawyers available.

“Kansas will benefit and Kansans will benefit,” said Kansas Supreme Court Justice Marla Luckert. “We have a critical shortage of attorneys…especially in rural Kansas.”

Washburn Associate Dean Shawn Leisinger said students in the program also will be able to go into communities in their third year of law school for externships with law firms, serving communities and gaining valuable real-world experience.

Click here to learn more.

Carthage announces the start of “Small Business Saturday”

CARTHAGE, Mo. – The City of Carthage today celebrated the proclamation of a new yearly initiative.

Saturdays will now be celebrated as “Carthage small business Saturday”.

This new initiative starts after Thanksgiving.

Officials say Small Business Saturday is an initiative started by American Express formed in the midst of the 2010 recession.

Click here to learn more.

Kansas AG Schmidt petitions against Biden’s vaccine mandate for health workers

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is calling on the Biden administration to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and all related guidance.

Schmidt argues that the mandate violates the rights of workers and the authority of states.

“CMS’s objective is to coerce the unvaccinated workforce into submission or cause them to lose their livelihoods,” the attorneys general wrote. “If CMS succeeds in coercing states to enforce the IFR against their own citizens, these healthcare workers will lose their jobs (or not return if they already have), states will lose frontline healthcare workers, providers, suppliers, and services, and America’s most vulnerable populations will lose access to necessary medical care.”

Officials say the petition is the latest action taken by Schmidt to push back against the Biden administration’s insistence on a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to learn more.

Kansas completes post-election audit

TOPEKA, Kan. – Scott Schwab, the Secretary of State, declared on Friday that all 105 Kansas counties had completed their post-election audit.

State law mandates post-election audits, which were conducted in Kansas for the first time in 2019 under the Schwab administration.

A post-election audit is performed to confirm that the ballot count and tabulator vote total is identical.

“A post-elections audit is another check and balance to ensure integrity of Kansas election,” said Secretary Schwab. “It gives voters assurance their vote was counted and that election results can be trusted.”

Counties are required to submit the audit results to the Secretary of State’s office for final approval.

Fairview, Mo. Audit: Improper use of City funds, conflicts of interest

FAIRVIEW, Mo. – The Missouri Auditor gives the City of Fairview a “Poor” rating for its overall performance.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway started the audit in 2021 at the request of the City’s residents. They requested the audit through the petition process.

“My audits examine how public resources are used, detail any concerns about how government operates and make recommendations on how taxpayers can be better served,” Auditor Galloway said.

Under Missouri law, the State Auditor’s office may be called on to audit a political subdivision of the state if enough qualified voters of that entity request the audit. The petition audit from Fairview residents required 67 signatures.

In her audit of the City of Fairland, Galloway found overpayments, improper use of City funds and conflicts of interest.

“The former City Clerk was overpaid $3,351, and the Board improperly spent $120,252 of restricted funds from a city trust fund. The city paid $17,325 to a business that a former Mayor managed and owned in violation of city code related to conflicts of interest, and some of the checks issued to the former Mayor’s business were dated prior to the date of the related invoice,” states the audit.

Other issues found include:

  • Lack of payroll controls and procedures
  • Not always soliciting bids or proposals as required by city code
  • Not always entering into written contracts
  • Making adjustments to customer accounts, including writing off charges caused by water leaks or incorrect meter readings, without obtaining independent approval or maintaining adequate documentation to support the reason for the adjustment
  • Not adequately monitoring budget-to-actual receipts and disbursements
  • The Board didn’t comply with the Sunshine Law for 7 out of 8 closed meetings in 2020
  • Lack of maintaining records for capital assets

You can read the full audit report, including other issues found, below. Or, click here.

If you would like to provide information for consideration in any audit, you can contact the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline at moaudit@auditor.mo.gov or by calling 800-347-8597. You can also submit concerns anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.

Fairview, Mo. Audit – Improper use of City funds, conflicts of interest

Labette County selects its newest Commissioner

LABETTE COUNTY, Kan. – For the first time since the 1980s, Labette County in Kansas has selected a new commissioner in District One following Lonie Addis’ retirement.

Lonie was first elected as the Labette County 1st District Commissioner in 1982.

After winning that election, he won nine more, the most recent in 2018.

Last night, voters decided to elect republican Vincent Schibi to win the seat over democratic candidate Mel Hass.

“Whether it’s the sheriff’s office or whether it’s the road and bridge department or whether it’s dispatch or public works. If you just have a hand in things and you can try to make them better,” Addis stated.

Officials with the City say Addis will officially leave the commission in January.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly wins reelection


In a close race, Democratic Governor Laura Kelly wins her bid for reelection against three-term GOP state Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

–> Previous Article: Democratic Gov. Kelly seeks 2nd term in GOP-leaning Kansas

–> More Election Results here



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Burlison wins US House in Missouri’s 7th Congressional Dist.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Eric Burlison has been elected to Congress from southwestern Missouri.

–> More Election Results here


7TH DISTRICT Jasper, Newton, McDonald Counties, Mo.

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Burlison defeated Democratic baker Kristen Radaker-Sheafer to win the seat held by U.S. Rep. Billy Long. He’s among two new Missouri members of Congress set to be elected Tuesday.

Former Kansas City morning news anchor Republican Mark Alford faced Democrat Jack Truman in the race for the 4th District seat held by U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Hartzler and Long ran unsuccessfully for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat rather than seek reelection.

Alford, of Raymore, defeated six other candidates in the August primary to reach the general. Burlison, of Battlefield, said he’s the most conservative state legislator. He served as a member of the now-dissolved Senate Conservative Caucus, a six-member group formed in 2019 to draw attention to issues including abortion, gun rights and reducing the size of government.

Party control of Missouri’s eight congressional seats appears unlikely to shift from Republicans’ current advantage over Democrats in six districts.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, representing the Kansas City area, and Cori Bush, in the St. Louis area, face little threat from their Republican challengers, and the state’s GOP incumbents’ seats are also secure.

While redrawing congressional maps based on 2020 U.S. Census data this year, state lawmakers attempted to make it easier for Republican Rep. Ann Wagner to fend off Democratic competition for her suburban St. Louis seat.

The plan strengthens the Republican vote share there by 3 percentage points over the former districts, according to an analysis by legislative staff that focused on top-of-the-ticket election results from 2016-2020. Democrats nationally have been eyeing Wagner’s seat for years as an opportunity to flip the district.

Wagner won re-election with 52% of the vote in 2020 and 51% in 2018. This year voters will pick between her and Democratic state Sen. Trish Gunby.

The remaining incumbents – Republican Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Sam Graves and Jason Smith – are expected to win reelection easily.

Schmitt defeats Busch beer heir in Missouri U.S. Senate race

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) – Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the election to the U.S. Senate Tuesday, defeating Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine and keeping what’s considered a safe Republican seat in GOP hands as the party fought for control of the Senate.

–> Previous Article: GOP’s Schmitt hoping to claim open Missouri Senate seat

–> More Election Results here



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Schmitt, 47, will take the seat occupied for the past 12 years by Republican Roy Blunt, who announced in March 2021 he would not seek a third term – ending a half-century career in politics.

Schmitt largely campaigned against Democratic President Joe Biden and inflation, characterizing Valentine during the campaign as an out-of-touch heiress who would side with the Democratic president over Missourians. Valentine’s campaign catch-phrase was “nobody’s senator but yours,” and she slammed Schmitt for voting as a state senator to allow foreign ownership of farmland and over his support for the state’s ban on abortion.

Missouri was once a swing state but has become solidly Republican over the past decade. Valentine had plenty of money to spend – she’s the daughter of the late longtime Anheuser-Busch chairman, August Busch Jr. But she lacked name recognition and her campaign never gained momentum.

Schmitt himself has moved to the right since Gov. Mike Parson appointed him attorney general after Josh Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018. As a state senator from suburban St. Louis, Schmitt earned a reputation as a moderate willing to work with Democrats. He was elected state treasurer in 2016.

As attorney general, he has filed dozens of lawsuits, many of which were criticized as politically-motivated. He sued school districts over mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. He sued China over the origins of the pandemic, a case that was tossed out by a judge. And since Democrat Joe Biden defeated Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, Schmitt has been involved in more than two dozen lawsuits against the federal government. Schmitt said it’s part of his responsibility as attorney general to stand up to what he views as “disastrous” federal policies.

Schmitt’s win in the general election followed a surprisingly easy win in what was expected to be a competitive Republican primary in August. That race also featured former Gov. Eric Greitens, U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, and others.

Greitens’ presence in the race and early indications that he was doing well worried national Republican s, who feared he could win the primary but lose a seat in the general election as the party fought to regain control of the Senate. Greitens resigned in June 2018, a year-and-a-half into his first term, in the midst of investigations related to a sex scandal and campaign finance questions.

Greitens, Schmitt and others sought endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who did well in the state in 2016 and 2020. Trump eventually endorsed “Eric” without specifying which one.

Valentine, 65, is a nurse who ran on a pledge to return compassion to politics. She entered the Democratic primary late with a mostly self-funded campaign and edged Marine veteran Lucas Kunce in the August primary.

She spent millions of dollars of her own money in the general election campaign in an unsuccessful bid to turn around recent history in Missouri, where Republicans have become the dominant party.

The Senate race is one of two statewide offices up for grabs in Missouri. In the other, Republican Scott Fitzpatrick faces Democrat Alan Green in the race for auditor. Incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway is not seeking reelection.

Fitzpatrick is currently state treasurer – at 35, Missouri’s youngest statewide elected official. His campaign platform includes a pledge to audit schools and curriculum to “ensure schools are following the law and keeping politically divisive curriculum like Critical Race Theory, and discussions relating to gender or sexual preferences out of the classroom,” according to his campaign website.

That pledge may be in conflict with the Missouri Constitution, which states no duty shall be imposed on the auditor “which is not related to the supervising and auditing of the receipt and expenditure of public funds.”

Green, of St. Louis County, is a former state representative, police officer and founder of a nonprofit. He wants to expand protections for whistleblowers who provide information about government fraud or waste.

AP Calls Races

AP will tabulate and declare winners in 101 contested elections in Missouri, including seven statewide races and eight U.S. House races. In the 2020 general election, AP first reported results at 8:19 p.m. ET and 99.5% of results by 3 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

AP does not make projections or name apparent or likely winners. Only when AP is fully confident a race has been won – defined most simply as the moment a trailing candidate no longer has a path to victory – will we make a call. Should a candidate declare victory – or offer a concession – before AP calls a race, we will cover newsworthy developments in our reporting. In doing so, we will make clear that AP has not yet declared a winner and explain the reason why we believe the race is too early or too close to call.

The AP may call a statewide or U.S. House race in which the margin between the top two candidates is 0.5% or less, if we determine the lead is too large for a recount to change the outcome.

AP: Republican Kevin Stitt wins reelection for governor in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt held off a tougher-than-expected challenge to his reelection on Tuesday, defeating Democrat Joy Hofmeister despite millions of dollars in attack ads against him.

–> Previous Article: Oklahoma’s GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt in fight for second term

–> More Election Results here



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Stitt, 49, was aided in part by a late infusion of advertisements from the Republican Governor’s Association that linked Hofmeister to President Joe Biden, who lost every one of the state’s 77 counties in the 2020 presidential election and remains unpopular in the state. The ads also criticized Hofmeister, the state’s superintendent of public schools who switched parties to run against Stitt, for supporting a series of tax increases in 2018 that helped fund pay raises for teachers.

Hofmeister, 58, had been blasting Stitt on the campaign trail for his voucher-style plan to divert public education money to private schools, an issue that concerned voters in deep-red rural swathes of the state with few private-school options for students.

But Stitt, a wealthy mortgage company owner who dumped nearly $2 million of his own money into his campaign in the closing weeks, told voters he was making progress on his promise of four years ago to improve the state’s low rankings in many quality-of-life indicators. The loans to his campaign boosted his total fundraising haul to more than $10 million, more than triple the $3.1 million raised by Hofmeister.

He boasted of record-level state savings and funding for public schools under his watch, and the state’s rapid emergence from pandemic-related closures that helped the economy rebound quickly and keep the state’s unemployment rate low.

“The turnaround that you elected me to do, it is working,” Stitt told a crowd of more than 300 gathered at the Crossroads megachurch on Oklahoma City’s south side for a rally last week with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. A separate rally was held with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in Tulsa.

Jessica Perez, 46, cast her ballot Tuesday for Stitt at Oklahoma Christian University and said his oversight of the state during the pandemic appealed to her.

“It didn’t make sense to me that you could go to Home Depot, but not to church,” Perez said. “I believe he’s an effective leader. What he says he’s going to do, he does.”

Stitt also survived a barrage of blistering attack ads from dark-money groups, which don’t have to report their donors and spent millions since the June primary hammering his school-voucher plan. Other ads highlighted his mass release of prisoners and a series of scandals in his administration, including a lucrative no-bid contract with a barbecue restaurant, misspent pandemic relief funds for education and his plans to build a new state mansion.

The dark-money attacks on Stitt and other media boosting Hofmeister followed ongoing feuds Stitt has engaged in with many of the 39 federally recognized Native American tribes, another issue Hofmeister hits hard on the campaign trail.

Independent Ervin Yen, an Oklahoma City anesthesiologist and former Republican state senator, and Libertarian Natalie Bruno of Edmond also were running on Tuesday’s gubernatorial ballot.