Government

Government
4:53 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

McCaskill: Police Departments Need To Invest In Body-Mounted Cameras

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, was in Kansas City Wednesday touring a manufacturing company. She talked about the events in Ferguson, Mo., and how police can better serve their communities in the future.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says after what happened in Ferguson, Mo., more law enforcement agencies should be equipped with body-mounted cameras.

"I believe with today's technology, body cams on police officers not only protect members of the community from somebody who might be overreacting, but it really protects police officers, also," says McCaskill, who was in town Wednesday visiting a Kansas City manufacturing company.

McCaskill says she would support legislation requiring the cameras for all police departments that receive federal funding.

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Government
3:27 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Sen. McCaskill Says Not Reauthorizing Export-Import Bank Would Hurt Missouri Businesses

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, center, tours the Western Forms factory in Kansas City. The company, which makes aluminum models used to pour concrete houses, uses the United States Export-Import Bank to do business overseas.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill toured a Kansas City manufacturing company Wednesday before calling on Congress to reauthorize the United States Export-Import Bank.

The bank helps finance and insure overseas purchases of American-made goods.

According to McCaskill, 96 Missouri companies currently use the Export-Import Bank, including Western Forms. The Kansas City company sells aluminum molds to pour concrete houses and does about half of its business abroad.

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Government
8:52 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Law Enforcement Officials Back Ballot Measure To Allow More Evidence In Some Sex Crime Cases

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 1:50 pm

A group of Missouri law enforcement officials have officially endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment designed to make it easier to prosecute sex crimes against children.

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Government
3:20 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

So Far This Year, Crime Is Down In Kansas City

Fewer violent crimes were reported in Kansas City, Mo., in the first half of 2014, down 7 percent compared to the same time last year.

"For example, homicides, we've had 42 this year, which is way too many," says Kansas City Police Captain Tye Grant. "But year-to-date, that's in comparison to 67 last year."

Mayor Sly James tweeted a copy of the police department's monthly crime summary Tuesday, calling the drop "good news" for Kansas City.

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Up to Date
10:06 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Early Education, Economy And Ferguson With Mayor James

Reading is the central element of a new education program in Kansas City.
Credit Phil Dowsing Creative / Flickr-CC

A new campaign is urging parents to spend more time reading with their kids, and Kansas City is at the front of this push for early childhood education.

On Monday's Up to Date, Kansas City mayor Sly James and a representative from the U.S. Department of Education join us to discuss what cities can do to promote early learning for kids. We also talk with Mayor James about what the situation in Ferguson means for Kansas City residents. We also take a look at some economic and development issues facing the city.

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Government
12:32 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Kansas City Council Sidesteps Chastain Lawsuit Threat, Reaffirms Ballot Language

Legal maneuvering continued Thursday over a court order to put a Clay Chastain light rail proposal on the Kansas City ballot. The city still appeared to stay a step ahead of the perennial activist.

After the Kansas City Council voted to put the two sales taxes Clay Chastain proposed to pay for his light rail initiative on the ballot with no mention of the plan or light rail, Chastain threatened to sue charging that the council failed to give the public the required 24 hours notice of their final vote.

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Government
3:27 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Christie Says Republicans Will Spend Big On Kansas Governor’s Race

Kansas Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, Gov. Sam Brownback and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stop by Oklahoma Joe’s on their way to a Mission Hills fundraiser.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made another trip to Kansas City Wednesday to stump for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and attend a fundraiser in Mission Hills.

Christie heads the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

“Kansas is an important race for us in the country, and that’s why I’m here and told the governor I’ll be back between now and election day as well,” says Christie. “RGA is going to make a significant investment here in Kansas, because we believe in Sam.”

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Wed August 20, 2014

WWI: Changing The Dynamics Of Espionage

A WWI poster from New Zealand warns about spies.
Credit Archives New Zealand / Flickr-CC

World War I brought a new kind of warfare to the battlefield in many ways. The world of espionage got a facelift, especially in America, with aerial photography, code breaking and more.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a former intelligence analyst about these strategies and how they changed the way spies work.

Guest:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

New Anita Hill Film Examines Testimony, Fallout

Anita Hill joins Steve Kraske to discuss the documentary 'Anita: Speaking Truth to Power.'

Anita Hill's 1991 testimony in the confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas ignited a firestorm, both in the media and the public.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with Hill about a new documentary that examines her experience giving the testimony and the fallout that resulted, both in the media and in her personal life.

Guest:

  • Anita Hill, professor of social policy, law and women's, gender and sexuality issues at Brandeis University
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Government
8:54 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Tear Down Kemper Arena, American Royal Insists

The American Royal is sticking to its guns, insisting that Kemper Arena be torn down to make way for a new, smaller arena.

A council committee was looking favorably at a Foutch Brothers Developers' plan for a youth sports facility would save Kemper Arena. But the American Royal's plan now includes a youth sports aspect backed by Sporting Kansas City. And given that, plus disruption to the parking area and the annual barbecue contest, American Royal chairman Mariner Kemper says the old arena has to go.

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Government
8:43 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Chastain Rail Plan To Voters With No Mention Of Light Rail

Clay Chastain's latest light rail proposals will go to the voters in November as the Missouri Supreme Court ordered, but not in a form voters would easily recognize.

The city council is taking advantage of a loophole in the court order that allows them not to mention a plan or even “light rail.” Instead, one tax initiative is listed as for “capital improvements” and the other for “public transportation.”

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Government
1:37 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Sanders Confident On Katy Trail Expansion To Kansas City

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says a deal is in place with the Union Pacific Railroad to extend the Katy Trail the 25 miles from its present terminus to the Truman Sports Complex.

That would not only make it possible to hike or bike to St. Louis, but, Sanders says, also is a major step toward an area light rail system.

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Government
1:12 am
Tue August 12, 2014

SEC Charges Kansas With Securities Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Kansas with fraud Monday for failing to inform purchasers of state bonds about underfunding of the state employees pension fund.

The charges centered on the sale of $273 million in bonds in 2009 and 2010.

The Brownback administration quickly released a statement saying that the risk  disclosure is now being made and strides have been made toward better pension system funding.

Kansas City securities attorney Diane Nygard says though the SEC did not issue a fine the problem is not completely solved.

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Government
3:27 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Prairie Village Will Cut Down 100 Trees Due To Infestation

Emerald Ash Borer larva bore into ash trees, cut off its nutrients, and kills the tree.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This fall, the city of Prairie Village, Kan., will remove 100 ash trees from city property due to Emerald Ash Borer infestation.

The Emerald Ash Borer is considered the most destructive forest pest in North America. Its larva bore into ash trees, cuts off nutrients and kills the tree.

Before 2002, the dime-size iridescent beetle had never been detected in North America. It’s predicted that the species arrived in ashwood used for stabilizing cargo.

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Government
7:35 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Kansas City Council Committee Hears Plan To Save Kemper Arena

A Kansas City council committee responded favorably Thursday to a proposal to convert Kemper Arena into a youth sports complex, but it's too early to declare the aging arena safe from the wrecking ball.

Developer Steve Foutch told the council committee: there's no need to tear down Kemper to make way for a new, smaller American Royal complex, there's plenty of room for two separate arenas to coexist.

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Government
5:20 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Mayor Says Streetcar Defeat Bad For Job Seekers

Credit HDR, City of Kansas City

Not long after Kansas City's proposal to add street car lines along Independence Avenue and Linwood Boulevard went down to defeat in Tuesday’s election, Kansas City Mayor Sly James was in front of microphones expressing his disappointment.

The mayor reiterated those concerns the morning after the election. “Things are not going to get better unless we do something different,” he said in an interview with KCUR.

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Government
10:08 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Roeland Park Revotes, Bans LGBT Discrimination

After months of debate and a second vote, the Roeland Park, Kan., city council approved an anti-discrimination ban, granting equal protection regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In July, council member Beck Fast missed the vote, saying she was in a car accident. The ordinance lost by a 4-3 vote. Fast was present for the vote Monday evening and tied the vote at 4-4. Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt broke the tie and passed the ordinance.

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Government
7:50 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Kansas City Council Passes Open Carry Ban

The Kansas City, Mo., city council voted Thursday to ban open carry of firearms. 

Delivering the pitch that sealed the ban's passage, Mayor Sly James told the council that openly carrying exposed guns is intimidating, invites accidental shootings and killings out of rage, and is particularly undesirable because unlike concealed carry it requires no permit or training.

Government
9:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Obama To Focus On Middle-Class Families in Kansas City Today

President Obama greets the crowd on the runway at Kansas City International Airport. The president is in town to give a speech on the economy and meet with Kansas Citians who have written him letters.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

President Barack Obama will talk about the economy in Kansas City today, focusing on his executive orders that are aimed at helping middle-class families.

Obama touched down in Air Force One shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kansas City International Airport Wednesday, where an invitation-only crowd of well-wishers greeted President Barack Obama.

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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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