Government

Government
7:56 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Kansas City Council Committee Endorses Open Carry Ban

The public safety committee of the Kansas City city council unanimously endorsed Mayor Sly James's proposal to ban the open carry of firearms Wednesday.

Citing a recent move by the town of Lake Ozark, Mo., to ban open carry because of its negative effect on tourism, the mayor said that if a Missouri city makes its gun ordinances exactly mirror state law, there is no reason open carry can not be outlawed by a local community.

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Government
12:34 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Obama Plans Trip To Kansas City

Obama in a 2008 appearance in Terre Haute, Ind.
Credit (flickr-BeckyF)

President Obama appears to be planning a visit to Kansas City next week.

KCUR’s Steve Kraske tweeted the news Tuesday that Obama will be here next Tuesday and Wednesday.

The White House said Obama will be speaking about the economy and will spend the night here before returning to Washington, D.C. Neither a time and location, nor any other details, have been announced.

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Government
8:25 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Roeland Park City Council Votes Down Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

The Roeland Park City Council on Monday voted down an ordinance  that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The anti-discrimination ordinance had been a hotly debated issue in the Johnson County suburb and drew a crowd last night of about 150 people. Some members of the crowd wore blue shirts to show their support for the ordinance.

After hearing nearly 50 public comments, the council voted 4-3 against adding the ordinance. One council member was absent.

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Government
4:10 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Nixon Says Legislature-Approved Tax Breaks Decimate Local Control

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon tells the Eastern Jackson County Betterment Council tax cuts he vetoed could have a detrimental impact on local revenues.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was in Blue Springs Friday asking local elected officials to oppose the tax breaks state lawmakers approved in the session's eleventh hour.

Nixon vetoed the cuts, which would have created sales tax exemptions for restaurants, dry cleaners and power companies, earlier this week. He says they weren't accounted for in the budget legislators sent him and would make it difficult for municipalities to raise the money they need through levy increases.

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Up To Date
3:29 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Kansas City Women Versus Tom Pendergast

Former Kansas City, Missouri mayor Kay Barnes
Credit MId-America glcc

In the 1920s and '30s, Kansas City was defined by the corruption of the political machine run by “Boss” Tom Pendergast. But the machine finally was brought down, in no small part through the efforts of reform-minded women.

Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes tells the story of these “civic housekeepers” whose fight came to a dramatic conclusion with the ballot-box victories of 1940, Pendergast’s imprisonment in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, and the smashing of machine-mob rule.

Guest:

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Government
12:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

What's Next For Kemper Arena? City Council Begins Discussion

Kemper Arena, which opened in 1974, mostly serves as the American Royal venue each fall. City officials say they struggle to attract other acts and events to the West Bottoms.
Credit wikimedia commons

Of all the possible plans for Kemper Arena, the one that changes the building the least is also the least viable for the city.

"Doing nothing doesn't seem to work for anybody," Kansas City Councilman Ed Ford told members of the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee Thursday morning, kicking off a series of meetings to discuss Kemper's future.

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Government
8:34 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Roeland Park Will Vote on LGBT-Inclusive Anti-Discrimination Policy

Credit City of Roeland Park

After being postponed four times in as many months, a vote has finally been scheduled for the proposed anti-discrimination policy in Roeland Park, Kan. The city council will vote on the measure July 21.

The council has been considering since March a policy that would extend legal protection beyond state and federal baselines, to include sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status. Its passage would make the community of less than 7,000 residents the second city in Kansas – after Lawrence – with such an ordinance.

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Central Standard
2:51 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

The Transparency Of Police Records In Kansas

Karen Dillon is an investigative reporter who works for The Pitch.
Credit Hearne Christopher Jr. / Kcconfidential

In May of 2013, investigative reporter Karen Dillon wrote a story in the Kansas City Star that shed light on Kansas' restrictive police records access laws. According to Columbia Journalism Review, her work was instrumental in changing those laws. This year, Gov.

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Up to Date
10:48 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Farm Bill Analysis Yields Surprising Results

Recently, Harvest Public Media took a look at the new Farm Bill, and what they found might surprise you.

On Monday's Up to Date, we discuss how little influence farmers and agricultural groups had in shaping the bill and look at who the major players actually were.

Guests:

Government
10:54 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Missouri Honors General And His Jumping Jacks

John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 4:42 pm

The Show-Me State is designating the jumping jack as its official exercise in honor of the U.S. Army's second highest-ranked general.

Gen. John Pershing, who was from Laclede, Missouri, is credited with inventing the exercise while training cadets at West Point before WWI.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 669 bill Thursday, which was sponsored by State Rep. Pat Conway of St. Joseph.

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KCI
8:39 am
Fri July 11, 2014

KCI Commission 'Overwhelmingly' Favors One-Terminal Plan

The commission tasked with reviewing KCI's terminals "overwhelmingly" favored the one terminal plan rendered here.
Credit Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

The recommendation to replace the three terminals at the Kansas City International Airport with one new building is still controversial among the general public.

But according to its final report, the mayor's airport advisory commission didn't find it was controversial at all.

Commission co-chairman Dave Fowler said Thursday that the panel began its study of the airport as a group divided in opinion, but finished in nearly complete agreement.

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Voting
12:12 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Need A Birth Certificate To Vote In Kansas? Douglas County Promises Help

Kansas' voter ID law went into effect in 2012. But Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew says some residents have had trouble securing the documents they need to prove they're citizens.
Credit Cle0patra / Flickr-CC

The Douglas County clerk says his office will offer financial assistance to residents who need an out-of-state birth certificate to prove their citizenship and comply with Kansas' voter identification law.

County Clerk Jamie Shew says the current law creates two classes of Kansans: Those who were born in-state and can get a free birth certificate, and those who were born out-of-state and must pay to get a birth certificate.

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City Council
6:46 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Power And Light Building Could Become Apartments With Council Vote

The iconic Kansas City Power and Light building could be repurposed as apartments. The skyscraper, which was built in the 1930s, is mostly empty.
Credit Noah Jeppson / Flickr--CC

 Updated 6:11 p.m.:

The Kansas City City Council has postponed the vote on the Power and Light building so city officials can conduct another hearing on the proposal's financial implications.

The original post begins here:

The Kansas City City Council votes Thursday afternoon on declaring the historic Power and Light Building and several blocks surrounding it a blighted area.

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Up To Date
4:54 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Supreme Court's 'Agency Fees' Ruling Impact On Kansas City Unions

Supreme Court Building
Credit Mark Fischer / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week we saw the closing of another Supreme Court session with landmark rulings about religious freedom, cell phone privacy, and recess appointments. But there was another decision: a 5-4 ruling that may have an impact on unions and how they operate, including right in the Kansas City area. On Tuesday's Up To Date,  guest host Brian Ellison talks with the AFL-CIO's Craig Becker on the highest court in the land's ruling on union agency fees.

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Government
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Kansas City Opens 'Dead Letter Office'

Kansas City is trying to clean out outdated laws from the books.
Credit CC Google Images

Last month, the city of Kansas City, Mo., opened what they’re calling a 'Dead Letter Office,' which is actually a website where the residents and business owners can petition to repeal out-of-date city regulations.

Assistant City Manager Rick Usher focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurship. He says due to Kansas City’s long history, some of the old rules are still in the books.

“Kansas City you know we’re over 150 years old. The city has weathered every economic, political, social, environmental crisis that has occurred through those times,” Usher said.

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Government
3:33 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Overland Park Expected To Green-Light Google Fiber

Credit Neerav Bhatt / Flickr--CC

The Overland Park City Council will vote Monday night on a pair of plans to bring Google Fiber to the Kansas suburb, months after striking a preliminary deal.

Google Fiber walked away from that discussion after several council members asked about liability for city-owned utilities such as light poles, even though they ultimately wanted to approve the plan. 

That shouldn't be a problem moving forward, says Councilman Paul Lyons.

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Drugs
9:29 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Nixon Signs Bill To Expand Access Of Heroin Antidote To First Responders

Heroin in powder and pill forms

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:52 pm

Missouri state Rep. Dave Hinson has seen first-hand what a lifesaver a heroin antidote can be.

Hinson, R-St. Clair, is a paramedic based in north St. Louis County. Just recently, he said, he used the antidote to save the life of a homeless man at a Metrolink stop who had apparently overdosed on heroin.

“It’s pretty simple to identify a heroin overdose, with the pinpoint pupils,” said Hinson. If the antidote is given soon enough – before the user has stopped breathing for several minutes – the effects of the heroin can be swiftly reversed.

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Government
7:56 am
Mon July 7, 2014

KC Health Department Teaching Classes On Pesticide-Free Pest Control

Credit CC Wikimedia

Michael Swoyer from the Kansas City Health Department receives a lot of calls from residents with bedbugs.

Unfortunately, he says there's not much the city can do to help them — exterminating bedbugs is a time-consuming and expensive business.

So, Swoyer and the Kansas City Health Department are organizing classes for the general public on how to prevent rats, mice and bedbugs from colonizing in homes – and what people should do if they’re already there.

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Government
8:17 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Kansas Statehouse Visitors Can Now Carry Hidden Firearms

Visitors with a concealed carry permit can now bring handguns into the Kansas Statehouse.

The change took effect this week, and Statehouse security officers have a process in place to determine who's carrying in the Capitol. Visitors with a firearm will need to provide their concealed carry permit and a photo ID.

Kansas Capitol Police Officer Stephen Crumpler says staff will screen the person for other weapons and use a system to double-check that the concealed carry permit is valid.

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Up to Date
2:47 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Many States Fail On Policies For New Parents, Study Says

The National Partnership for Women & Families recently released research that grades each state's policies affecting new parents.
Credit www.nationalpartnership.org

It's scary being a new parent, and many state regulations make the adjustment period very difficult for new moms and dads who have jobs. A recent study gives both Kansas and Missouri a failing grade in this area.

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Government
2:03 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Nixon Vetoes Bill Mandating 72-Hour Waiting Period For Abortions

Jay Nixon

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:14 pm

(Updated 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have tripled the state’s waiting period for an abortion to 72 hours, saying it reflected  “a callous disregard for women who find themselves in horrific circumstances.”

The governor noted in Wednesday’s veto message that the bill, HB 1307, had no exceptions for rape or incest.

“This extreme and disrespectful measure would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of rape and incest victims and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of women,” Nixon said Wednesday.

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Government
7:55 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Five Things You Need To Know About Transportation Tax

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 12:47 pm

Missourians will vote Aug. 5 on a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation projects. The proposal — commonly known as the transportation tax — would generate billions of dollars over the next decade to fix roads, repair bridges and improve mass transit. 

The stakes are high. Supporters say Missouri needs more money for its aging transportation infrastructure. With gas tax revenue dwindling and federal funding uncertain, some policymakers see the sales tax as a guaranteed way to fund transportation needs.

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Government
4:52 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Jackson County Won't Defend Missouri Gay Marriage Ban

A couple who married in New York in 2011.
Credit (flickr)

Jackson County will not fight a challenge to Missouri’s gay marriage ban because it discriminates against same-sex couples, the county’s top executive said Monday.

Last week the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of two Kansas City, Mo., couples who were denied marriage licenses.

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Government
11:47 am
Mon June 30, 2014

LGBT Issues: Divorce And Marriage

Kansas doesn't allow gay marriage, but one county in the state will recognize married gay couples in order to grant a divorce.
Credit Jose Antonio Navas / Flickr-CC

What happens if things go sour for a married gay couple? Many Kansas counties would dismiss any divorce cases without hearing them, but not Douglas County.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, we examine how its policy is different and take a look at other new developments affecting the local LGBT community.

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Government
11:36 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Kansas City Loosens Liquor License Rules For Some Felony Offenders

Finding a job may be getting a little easier in Kansas City, Mo., for some people convicted of crimes.

Some of them will no longer have to wait four years to get a “liquor card.”

In Kansas City, all people involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants, bars and retail stores have to be licensed by the city.

People convicted of violent crimes are not eligible.  And until now, those with nonviolent felony convictions, including drunk driving, had a four-year wait after they had served any time involved.

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Government
1:55 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Kansas City Unlikely To Join St. Louis In Granting Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

City officials in St. Louis mounted a challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban on Wednesday when they allowed four gay couples to wed at City Hall.

But on the other side of the state, it's unlikely Kansas City Mayor Sly James will follow suit. James tweeted Thursday that due to differences in the two cities' charters, he is unable to issue marriage licenses: 

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Central Standard
10:08 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Police Chief Discusses Community Involvement In Solving Crime

Credit KMBC

The Kansas City Police Department has long struggled to get information about violent crimes from community members because of a host of reasons, including fear of retaliation. In a couple of recent high-profile cases, suspects were apprehended thanks in large part to community-based efforts.

 

On Tuesday's Central Standard, we spoke to Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté about these recent cases, and checked in on the state of policing in our community.

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Government
8:42 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Schodorf Unveils Plan To Change Voter Registration In Kansas

A Democratic candidate for Kansas secretary of state has unveiled her proposal to revamp some voter registration rules. Kansas law requires proof of citizenship documents for people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas, and that requirement has put around 19,000 voter registrations on hold.

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Government
7:40 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Kansas City Out Of Running For 2016 GOP Convention

Mayor Sly James joined RNC committee members at a press conference during their site visit to Kansas City in early June.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Update, 1:10 p.m.

The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that Cleveland, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas, were finalists to host the 2016 Republican Convention. Kansas City and Denver have been eliminated.

Committee members were in Kansas City earlier this month to tour facilities and meet city officials. In a release, the committee says the decision was based on a review of bids and information gathered at site visits to each city.

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Government
3:27 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Nixon Cuts More Than $1 Billion From FY2015 State Budget

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon briefing reporters on cuts to FY2015 state budget.

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:58 pm

Updated at 3:57 p.m. with reaction from House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.

Updated at 3:21 p.m. with reaction from House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

Updated with reactions at 2:25 p.m., Tues., June 24. 

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced $1.1 billion in cuts from the Fiscal Year 2015 state budget that goes into effect July 1.

Those cuts include nearly $276 million in line-item vetoes and $846 million in temporary withholds, which could be released by the governor at a later date.

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