Government

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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Up to Date
11:22 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Political Polls: Kansas Races

Paul Davis is challenging Gov. Sam Brownback as Brownback seeks re-election this fall.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new poll shows Gov. Sam Brownback trailing opposing Democrat Paul Davis, who’s showing support from independents and Republicans that many didn’t expect.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about that race, how Sen. Pat Roberts is faring against the competition and what former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin is saying this week.

Guests:

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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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Government
2:58 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Key Lawmaker Says Smaller Government A Goal Of Kansas Tax Cuts

Conservatives had two reasons for advocating deep cuts in state income tax rates, says one of the legislative leaders who championed them.

The first and most often touted by Gov. Sam Brownback was to lower taxes for business owners so that they could use the savings to create more jobs.

But a second and less talked about goal was to shrink state government by reducing tax collections and forcing legislators to cut spending, according to Senate President Susan Wagle.

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NBAF
12:53 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

K-State Says Proposed Funding For NBAF Is A Big Step Forward

U.S. Department of Homeland Security rendering of finished facility.
Credit courtesy photo / U.S. Department of Homeland Security

A U.S. Senate subcommittee has appropriated $300 million in funding for the National Bio and Agro- Defense Facility , or NBAF, in Manhattan, Kan.

Ron Trewyn, vice president for research at Kansas State University, says this week's appropriation for a top-security animal disease lab on Kansas State's campus will allow the Department Of Homeland Security lab be finished.

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Books
10:08 am
Tue June 24, 2014

FULL AUDIO: Hillary Clinton Speaks In Kansas City

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Rainy Day Books co-owner Vivien Jennings at the Midland Theater on June 21, 2014.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Kansas City on Sunday June 21 where she spoke with Rainy Day Books co-owner Vivien Jennings in front of a crowd of thousands at the Midland Theatre. 

The former Secretary of State was in town to promote her memoir, 'Hard Choices.'

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Government
10:18 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Debate About Kansas Finances Previews Fall Election

A routine financial meeting last week at the Kansas Statehouse turned into a heated exchange between Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and some Democratic lawmakers. The two sides sparred over the state's financial policies, and the meeting previewed many of the arguments that are likely to be repeated on the campaign trail this fall.

The state of Kansas borrows money to help manage cash flow during the year, but the annual meeting soon turned to a debate over fiscal policy.

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Missouri Statehouse
5:22 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Nixon Signs Bill Revamping Missouri's Funeral Protest Law

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:18 pm

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed several bills passed during the 2014 regular session into law Friday.

Tweak to funeral protest law

First, Nixon signed  House Bill 1372, which fixes a legal issue with Missouri's ban on protests at funerals.

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Government
6:59 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Kansas City To Outsource Ambulance Billing

City manager Troy Schulte and finance chair Jan Marcason said signing up with

Advanced Data Processing Inc., a company that already does billing for several cities in the metro, would save $800,000 and increase collections.

“For the taxpayers and for the city this is a good deal and I think we should approve it today,” Marcason told her council colleagues.

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Government
4:45 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Cash-flow Loan Triggers Debate About Brownback’s Economic Policies

The state of Kansas is loaning itself $675 million to ensure that it can pay its bills as it transitions from one budget year to the next.

That’s not unusual.

For the last 16 years, it has been standard practice for the State Finance Council to approve certificates of indebtedness, which transfer money from a fund used to collect fees and pay off bonds to the state’s general operating fund.

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Kansas Statehouse
3:30 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Concealed Firearms To Be Allowed In Kansas Capitol

Kansas lawmakers decided not to ban concealed firearms in the capital building.
Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

Visitors who have a concealed weapons permit will be allowed to bring guns into the Kansas Statehouse starting in July.

A state law grants the Legislative Coordinating Council the authority to bar concealed firearms in the Capitol. But at a meeting Thursday, those legislators chose not to discuss any regulations. That means concealed guns will be allowed in the Capitol next month.

Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, says this puts the Statehouse on a par with many other facilities.

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