Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Political Party Officials Say Move To Fall Local Elections Offers Benefits

The 2017 Kansas election is officially in the books, as counties finished most of the work finalizing their results Thursday. This was the first election since local races were moved to the fall, and voter turnout was up in many areas. Shawnee County saw turnout of around 19 percent, a jump of about 5 percentage points compared to recent local elections.

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The 'Dark State' Of Kansas Government

Journalists and former state Rep. John Rubin reflect on a tradition within the state government of secrecy and resistance to public disclosure.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

Mayor Sly James Slams GOP Tax Proposals As 'Crippling' To Redevelopment

Mayor James came out swinging today against Republican tax reform proposals being considered in Washington, saying they would “cripple” vital city redevelopment and infrastructure efforts including the planned new terminal at Kansas City International Airport. “We need an agenda to revitalize and restore the infrastructure of our cities, not cripple future investment in our urban centers,” James said in a press release.

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File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Antonio Soave, a candidate with a colorful resume who at first blush appeared destined for a career in politics, has taken himself out of the running for a congressional seat in a Kansas district that Republicans are fighting to keep.

A former pick by Gov. Sam Brownback to head the Kansas Department of Commerce, Soave withdrew Tuesday as a candidate for the 2nd District seat held by five-term Republican Lynn Jenkins, who is not running for re-election.

Courtesy Tina Packer

Although he wrote one of the greatest romances of all time, William Shakespeare isn’t generally known as a sexy playwright. But a Shakespeare expert plans to explore that side of him in Kansas City this week.

“I’m going to talk on sex. I think it promises to be fun,” says Tina Packer, who speaks of his work in a way that leaves little doubt she’d crown him “most sensual writer to have ever lived” if given the chance.

Since the 1970s, Packer has directed all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays (excluding a few she is certain he did not write).

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

There’s a city council election in Des Moines soon, and voters have questions about the rivers where the city draws its water supply.

“Is (the water) safe to drink? Is it safe to consume?” candidate Michael Kiernan says he’s been asked.

The Des Moines Water Works spent more than $2 million over two years scrubbing high levels of nitrates from the water that goes to more than 500,000 customers. Cities like Des Moines that are surrounded by farmland worry the cost to treat water polluted by farm runoff is going to keep increasing. And the Trump administration already has rolled back some water rules and may have more in mind.

Shawnee County Sheriff Office

A Topeka man accused of running a large human trafficking ring out of a strip club in Lawrence was sentenced to almost four years in federal prison Monday.

Forty-three-year-old Frank Boswell had pleaded guilty to one count of human trafficking.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

The childhood poverty rate in Kansas has been decreasing since 2014. But a recently released report from the national KidsCount organization shows that decrease isn’t evenly distributed across the state.

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One of the biggest cases of human trafficking in our area ends Monday with a sentencing in federal court.

Dozens of women and girls from the most desperate of circumstances were lured into sex work by a Topeka man, according to the FBI.

File photo

A federal judge in Kansas City on Friday denied Planned Parenthood’s request to block a Missouri regulation requiring its clinic in Columbia to have a so-called complication plan for medication abortions.

The Legislature enacted the requirement this summer after Gov. Eric Greitens called it into special session. Later the Department of Health and Senior Services issued a rule that an OB-GYN had to be on call 24/7 to treat complications from a medication abortion.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Phyllis Gilmore, secretary of Kansas’ Department for Children and Families, announced Friday that she will retire effective Dec. 1. Friday was also the last day for her top deputy, Chief of Staff Jeff Kahrs, as he departs for a position with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

DCF oversees the state’s privatized foster care system, which has drawn particular scrutiny during Gilmore’s tenure.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

The Raytown School District board quietly approved an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit filed by former Raytown South boys basketball coach Brad Oestreich. Though the financial terms were undisclosed, a source says the settlement didn’t involve any punitive damages. The case was scheduled to go to trial next week.

Before regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 9, the board met behind closed doors to discuss “legal action, causes of action or litigation.” The case dismissal was officially posted on Oct. 31.

Courtesy Wick and the Tricks

It’s a Saturday night at Davey’s Uptown, and a white sheet is tacked on the north wall, catty-corner to the stage, a makeshift projection screen. The crowd is busy at the bar fending for the bartender’s attention as the night’s third band clears out. Next up are Wick and the Tricks, celebrating the release of their first record with a music video premiere.

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Meet The McFadden Brothers

Lonnie and Ronnie McFadden are horn players, singers and tap dancers. They learned how to tap from their father, and they've just received a 2017 Living Legends award. Hear their story.