The ORP in the Press

Governor Kelly Encourages Participation in Statewide Virtual Job Fair

September 28, 2021
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Governor Laura Kelly Announces New Grant Program to Support Non-Profit Arts Organizations

August 30, 2021
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56 Kansas Cities and Counties to Receive Community Development Block Grants to Support Coronavirus Response

June 23, 2020
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A Kansas Farmer Says These 4 Things Will Help Ease Rural Pain

December 10, 2019

Whether it’s corn, wheat or soybean, Kansas grows it. And given the importance of those crops to the United States economy, people who live in cities might be forgiven for thinking the Sunflower State’s farmers have it made. Paul Johnson, an organic farmer in Jefferson County, just northeast of Topeka, and a policy analyst for […]

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Rural Kansas Loves Its Hospitals, But Keeping Them Open Only Gets Harder

November 9, 2019

ANTHONY, Kansas — Few things signal a rural community’s decline more powerfully than the closure of its hospital. Like shuttered schools and empty Main Streets, an abandoned hospital serves as a tangible reminder of the erosive power of decades of population loss and unrelenting economic trends. “Our rural communities are challenged and, because of that, […]

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Water Conference: Sustainable Water Future and Flood Response

November 7, 2019

Governor’s Water Conference Focuses on a Sustainable Water Future and Flood Response “Messages of Partnership and Collaboration with a Focus on Water Resources Delivered, Water Legacy Award” presented Wichita, Kan. – Nearly 600 attendees with diverse water interests were encouraged at the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas to keep pushing forward […]

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Lieutenant Governor stops at Newman Regional Health for meeting, tour

November 5, 2019

Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers (left) answers questions from Newman Regional Health’s administrative team as NRH Facilities Director Harold Blits observes Friday.Chuck Samples/KVOE News Newman Regional Health administrators welcomed Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers for a short visit Friday. Rogers leads the Office of Rural Prosperity, which is tasked with developing policies to bolster rural economic development in […]

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Lt. Governor learns about sediment reduction efforts near John Redmond Reservoir

October 31, 2019

Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers got to see sediment reduction efforts in action during a tour of southeastern Lyon County on Friday.The lieutenant governor stopped at three locations near the John Redmond Reservoir to learn about different approaches to cover crops and overall sediment reduction. He says the tour highlights the state’s two biggest needs when […]

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What Rural Kansas Child Care And Cafes Say About Shrinking Smart, Rather Than Withering

October 18, 2019

PHILLIPSBURG, Kansas — The opening of a child care center attracts little notice in a city or suburb. In rural Kansas, it’s cause for celebration. The focus on young families, and the hope that represents, is remarkably rare in small towns fighting for survival against forces largely beyond their control. No matter how scarce, said […]

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People In The Emptying Parts Of Rural Kansas Insist ‘We’re Not Going To Let Them Die’

October 18, 2019

Listen Listening… 24:36 The first episode of this season of the “My Fellow Kansans” podcast. Go here to subscribe to My Fellow Kansans. This season, we look at the prospects of rural places. COURTLAND, Kansas — Rural Kansas has a storied past, but decades of population decline stand poised to turn many once-vibrant places into ghost towns. […]

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Kansas City Company Makes Bid To Acquire Rural Kansas Hospital Out Of Bankruptcy

October 8, 2019

A Kansas City-based company that specializes in turning around financially distressed hospitals is proposing to purchase Hillsboro Community Hospital in rural Kansas for $6.9 million. The company, Rural Hospital Group, was formed in 2017 and has acquired three other rural hospitals: one in Wellington, Kansas; another  in Boonville, Missouri; and a third in Marion, Kentucky. […]

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Flu vaccine shortage in rural western Kansas

October 2, 2019

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – Flu season has officially started and people are lining up to receive their vaccines in Wichita. some towns in rural Kansas are seeing a shortage of the vaccines right now. The Edwards County Medical Center and health department in Kinsley is the only vaccination center for miles. “We have seen quite […]

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An innovative approach provides healthcare solutions to rural towns in Kansas

October 1, 2019

By McCownGordon Construction Oct 1, 2019 The Patterson Health Center opened July 2019 and is unlike any other health facility. The visionaries behind it turned their focus from healing the sick, to creating a healthy environment with accessible healthcare to the surrounding rural communities. Growing up and keeping ties to the area, Cerner founder Neal […]

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How A Rural Hospital In Kansas Survived Multiple Owners And Bankruptcy

September 30, 2019

Listen Listening… Sitting at the edge of the gently undulating landscape of the Flint Hills in east-central Kansas, the town of Hillsboro boasts a small hospital that has survived a remarkable roller coaster ride even as other rural hospitals stagger and fail. Nine months ago, everything seemed to be coming apart at the 15-bed facility, […]

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FCC chairman wants to bring high-speed internet to rural Kansas

September 19, 2019

EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) – Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants to make sure rural Kansas isn’t left in the dark ages of internet. “Having grown up in Kansas I’m keenly aware that there are many communities like Parsons, my hometown, that might be on the wrong side of the digital divide […]

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Historic neighborhood house coming down

September 17, 2019

The house at 522 E. 1st Ave. is missing glass windows and some siding, but it is listed on the state and national historic registers and sits in the Houston Whiteside Historic District. It will be demolished, based on a 4-0 vote Tuesday morning by the Hutchinson City Council. Bringing the home “to a liveable […]

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Kansans gather to grow the state’s agricultural prospects

September 4, 2019

Agriculture drives the Kansas economy. The 66 ag and food sectors plus food retail and ethanol production contributed $77 billion to the state’s economic success and account for nearly 51% of the state’s total economy and more than a fifth of the state’s workforce. Agriculture really is the state’s bread and butter. It’s so critical […]

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Kansans gather to grow the state’s agricultural prospects

September 4, 2019

Agriculture drives the Kansas economy. The 66 ag and food sectors plus food retail and ethanol production contributed $77 billion to the state’s economic success and account for nearly 51% of the state’s total economy and more than a fifth of the state’s workforce. Agriculture really is the state’s bread and butter. It’s so critical […]

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Kansans define rural prosperity

August 26, 2019

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s new Office of Rural Prosperity Listening Tour recently made its 12th and final stop for the summer in Dodge City. Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers kicked off the Aug. 7 public listening tour session at Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center, where community residents from Dodge City and surrounding towns shared […]

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Lt. Gov. Rogers looking for answers through rural Kansas tour

August 5, 2019

SABETHA, Kan. (KSNT) – Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers is traveling across the state to try and make sure rural voices are heard in Topeka. The lieutenant governor has made 11 of the 12 stops on the Rural Prosperity Listening Tour. On Monday he toured the town of Sabetha. Rogers toured the local hospital and talked […]

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Push to expand KanCare crucial for rural hospitals

August 1, 2019

GREG LOWER greg@chanute.com Rural health officials are pushing to expand KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program, to cover nearly 150,000 additional people. Dennis Franks, Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer, said rural health care in Kansas is facing a crisis, and expanding the program would not only help hospitals but also mental health, substance […]

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Kansas leader talks rural growth

July 20, 2019

WATHENA, Kansas — A Kansas leader is on a tour to assure constituents and businesses that he won’t approach their needs with a “Let them eat cake” attitude. Visiting Marie Antoinette’s Gluten Free Bake Shoppe and the Dairy Barn family restaurant on Thursday afternoon in Wathena, Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers emphasized how the Democratic-led administration […]

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Lt. gov. visits area and holds summit on rural prosperity

July 10, 2019

About 70 area residents gathered at the Winfield Community Center at Baden Square in Winfield Monday night to define prosperity, what is being done right to encourage prosperity and what is standing in the way of that prosperity in their communities. Among those present, there was a confluence of opinion in each of those categories. […]

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11 Kansas rural communities receive grants for quality life projects

July 7, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW/RELEASE) – Secretary of Commerce David Toland has announced the award of a special series of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to support 11 rural communities across Kansas. These grants are specifically designed to aid communities in constructing or reconstructing community swimming pools. Improvements to recreational assets will enhance the quality of life […]

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Study: Kansas rural roads among America’s most deadly

July 4, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – A new study of nationwide deadly car accidents says Kansas has some of the worst in the nation. Country roads in Kansas rank in the top ten of the most deadly streets. The report shows our rural roads are three times as fatal as our interstate highways. For every 100 million miles cars travel on […]

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Nickerson turnout impresses Kansas Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers

June 18, 2019

NICKERSON — About 120 people came to the Monday night kickoff of Kansas Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers’ 12-city Rural Prosperity Tour listening stops, exceeding organizers’ expectations. The event coincided with meetings of the Nickerson City Council and the Nickerson-South Hutchinson USD 309 Board of Education, but in addition to local residents, the listening tour attracted people from […]

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Listening tour will look at ways to help rural communities in Kansas

June 15, 2019

The newly created Office of Rural Prosperity will conduct a listening tour across the state, looking at ways to assist and revitalize rural communities in Kansas.  The office is the creation of Governor Laura Kelly, Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers, and Commerce Secretary David Toland. The 2020 fiscal budget allocated $2 million to create the office. […]

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Medicaid expansion would not resolve all rural healthcare woes, supporters acknowledge

April 29, 2019

Jonathan Rileyjriley@morningsun.net Monday Apr 29, 2019 at 4:36 PM PITTSBURG — Earlier this month, Gov. Laura Kelly doubled down on her previous calls to expand KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program, citing rural hospital closures. In interviews last week when they visited Pittsburg, however, supporters of Kelly’s plan to expand Medicaid in the state acknowledged that […]

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Patrick R. Miller: Rural Kansans voters key to passing Medicaid expansion

April 4, 2019

The key to passing Medicaid expansion may not necessarily be our polarized Legislature, but voters themselves, especially in small town and rural Kansas. But how much do average Kansans honestly care about expansion, and how much do they prioritize what their communities might gain from it? Maybe less than you think, which might help explain […]

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Broadband issues angering rural Kansas residents

April 3, 2019

CONWAY SPRINGS, Kan. (KAKE) – Rural Kansas residents are angered by bad cellphone connection in Conway Springs due to only one service provider working in the area. “It’s kind of a monopoly as far as the cellphone service goes,” said Clay Murphy, superintendent of Conway Springs schools. A map released by Gov. Laura Kelly showed […]

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Kansas Senate advances Rural Opportunity Zone bills

March 19, 2019

The Kansas Senate gave initial approval Tuesday to a pair of bills relating to expansion of the state’s Rural Opportunity Zone program. The program provides student loan forgiveness and income tax waivers to those who relocate to rural areas. About 80 counties already fall under the program. Proposed legislation would add eight counties to the […]

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Michael Smith: Revitalizing rural Kansas takes tolerance, not tax breaks

March 14, 2019

The Kansas Legislature has appointed a new, bipartisan Rural Revitalization Committee, with Rep. Don Hineman as its chairman and Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers a strong supporter. Here is a hint for them: There is only one way to bring economic growth to rural Kansas. Bring in the workers that businesses want to hire. That means […]

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Lt. Governor discusses rural health care at Newman Regional Health

February 23, 2019

“What would Emporia look like without a hospital?” That’s the question Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers asked administrators and health care providers at Newman Regional Health during a stop on his statewide rural health care tour Friday afternoon. Three Kansas hospitals have closed in the last eight years, including the Central Kansas Medical Center in Great […]

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Dodge City manager offers blueprint for dealing with rural Kansas housing shortage

February 21, 2019

Tim Carpenter TimVCarpenter Thursday Feb 21, 2019 at 4:47 PM Feb 21, 2019 at 7:55 PM City manager Cherise Tieben’s firm belief that housing construction was a market-driven segment of the economy didn’t survive a 2007 meeting with exasperated Dodge City bankers, developers, Realtors and employers. She learned from the group that the southwest Kansas community’s housing stock was profoundly […]

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Capitol Insider podcast: Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers leads rural prosperity efforts

February 17, 2019

Tim Carpenter Sunday Feb 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM Feb 18, 2019 at 10:41 AM The heart of Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers’ rural development initiative is the search for a basket of remedies to quality of life challenges eroding communities outside the state’s urban centers. The administration’s new Office of Rural Prosperity intends to grapple with housing shortages, financially struggling […]

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A Rural Kansas Hospital Owned By A Kansas City-Based Company Closes Abruptly

February 14, 2019

This story was updated to add the comments of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. Oswego Community Hospital, a 12-bed critical access hospital in southeast Kansas, abruptly closed down on Thursday, citing insufficient revenue to cover its operating expenses. The hospital’s board released a statement saying the hospital had “weathered low patient volumes; high number of uninsured […]

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Rural Kansas health care providers look to Medicaid reform for deeper response to mental illness

February 11, 2019

By T.J. RoweSpecial to The Capital-Journal Monday Feb 11, 2019 at 5:25 PM Feb 11, 2019 at 5:25 PM Rural Kansas physicians and health officials outlined Monday for a House committee devoted to rural issues the suffering of families struggling with mental illness and growing interest in Medicaid expansion to improve access to treatment. Nathan Fawson, executive director of Southeast […]

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Rural Revitalization Gets To Work

January 19, 2019

Mary Clarkin Saturday Jan 19, 2019 at 1:01 AM Only one committee in the Kansas House of Representatives has a leadership team comprised of three lawmakers living west of U.S. 81. It’s the new Rural Revitalization Committee. The problems of rural Kansas are varied and challenging, “but perhaps we can bend the curve,” said Committee […]

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