Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Teaming Up With Burns & McDonnell, AECOM Asks City Council To Reconsider KCI Bid

Updated at 2:30 p.m. to include response from Kansas City councilman Jermaine Reed. With the contract for a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport seemingly up for grabs, Los Angeles-based AECOM on Monday added local engineering firm Burns & McDonnell to its KCI Partnership team. Although Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate was selected by city council for the billion-dollar terminal, the council on Thursday rejected a memorandum of understanding setting out terms for the project.

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Central Standard

From The Navy To Higher Education

Today, Monsignor Stuart Swetland is the president of Donnelly College in KCK. But in 1985, as a Navy officer, he was called to lead a rescue mission when TWA Flight 847 was hijacked. Hear his story.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

In Organic Labels Consumers Trust, But Fraud Threatens The Industry

Peyton Manning, the NFL quarterback-turned-pitchman, apparently has another side hustle: Certifying shipments of grain as organic for a Nebraska-based agency called OneCert. Problem is, OneCert president Sam Welsch doesn’t remember hiring Manning for his business, which is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect everything from small vegetable farms to processing plants and international grain operations.

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Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

In a corner of her house in Sparta in southwest Missouri, Jymie Jimerson has set up a kind of shrine. It has Native American art representing her Cherokee heritage alongside Willie Nelson albums, books and photos in remembrance of her late husband. On one side is a copy of Willie’s mid-’70s LP, “Red Headed Stranger.”

“When Steve was young, he had red hair and a red beard, so he always really identified with Willie’s Red Headed Stranger,” Jimerson says. “I try to keep it up there as a reminder of better days.”

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Westport has seen a major uptick in gun violence this year. 

According to stats collected by the Westport Regional Business League, there were 16 gun-related weapons offenses in the district in 2016. In 2017, there were 65 — and that's only through Oct. 31.

A Missouri law that took effect in January allows people to carry guns without a permit in nearly every public space, so there’s not much business owners or police can do to keep guns out.

Plantlady233 / Wikimedia-CC

A Leawood family whose home was raided more than five years ago by Johnson County sheriff’s deputies in a fruitless search for a marijuana growing operation lost its lawsuit alleging the deputies violated their Fourth Amendment rights.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The hulking, richly ornate Vaile Mansion, designed by famed architect Asa Beebe Cross, sits alone on a postage stamp of its former grounds in a mostly working-class residential neighborhood in Independence, Missouri. It looks more like a rip in time and space than a wonderland of Victorian Christmas cheer.

Courtesy Photo

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer continues to shape top levels of Kansas government amid anticipation that the U.S. Senate may soon confirm Gov. Sam Brownback for an ambassadorship at the State Department.

Although Colyer made the selection, Brownback — who may have just weeks left as governor — issued a news release Tuesday announcing that former Kansas education commissioner Diane DeBacker will serve as education liaison and adviser to the Governor’s Office. 

File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

The new secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families has come in promising a thorough review of the agency, staffing changes and more accountability following allegations and outrage about problems in the state’s foster care system.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

A discrimination complaint filed earlier this year by a Tennessee woman who claims a former Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services official sexually harassed her is still pending before the Kansas Human Rights Commission.

Platte County

This story was updated at 5:14 to include Eric Zahnd's reaction to the decision.   

A disciplinary panel has found Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd guilty of professional misconduct and recommended that he be publicly reprimanded.

The matter now goes to the Missouri Supreme Court, which will decide whether to accept or reject the panel's findings and recommendation.

The three-person panel – two lawyers and a layperson – issued its decision after listening in November to two days of testimony, including from Zahnd himself.

Frank Morris / KCUR

It’s a common story: Ambitious kids move from small towns to larger cities, never to look back. When their parents die, the family wealth that’s been built over generations through farming, ranching or agriculture-related businesses often follows the kids, draining the economic lifeblood from those rural communities.

The largest generational transfer of wealth in modern times is expected to happen in the next 10 years and rural foundations in states like Iowa and Nebraska are working hard to retain at least a bit of those hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Courtesy Loaded Goat / Facebook

When The Matchsellers’ Julie Bates sent out the word that she was organizing Cover Me, Kansas City Folk, an evening of local roots and acoustic songwriters covering each other’s songs, nearly every songwriter leapt at the chance.

“People were really excited about it,” she says. “If they could make it, they signed up right away.”

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A Year After Election, Is The Trump Train Still Strong?

The president rode a wave of discontent into the White House, but Republican pollster Neil Newhouse wonders if the voters who put him there still as likely to have his back.