Steve Bell en Kansas City Council Committee Endorses Open Carry Ban <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">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.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">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.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:56:30 +0000 Steve Bell 59409 at KCI Commission 'Overwhelmingly' Favors One-Terminal Plan <p>The recommendation to replace the three terminals at the Kansas City International Airport with one new building is still controversial among the general public.</p><p>But according to its final report, the mayor's airport advisory commission didn't find it was controversial at all.</p><p>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.</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:39:15 +0000 Steve Bell 58745 at KCI Commission 'Overwhelmingly' Favors One-Terminal Plan Power And Light Building Could Become Apartments With Council Vote <p><strong>&nbsp;Updated 6:11 p.m.:</strong></p><p>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.</p><p><em>The original post begins here:</em></p><p>The Kansas City City Council votes Thursday afternoon on declaring the historic Power and Light Building and several blocks surrounding it a blighted area.</p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:46:20 +0000 Steve Bell 58661 at Power And Light Building Could Become Apartments With Council Vote Kansas City Loosens Liquor License Rules For Some Felony Offenders <p>Finding a job may be getting a little easier in Kansas City, Mo., for some people convicted of crimes.</p><p>Some of them will no longer have to wait four years to get a “liquor card.”</p><p>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.</p><p>People convicted of violent crimes are not eligible. &nbsp;And until now, those with nonviolent felony convictions, including drunk driving, had a four-year wait after they had served any time involved.</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:36:48 +0000 Steve Bell 58014 at Kansas City To Outsource Ambulance Billing <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">City manager Troy Schulte and finance chair Jan Marcason said signing up with</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Advanced Data Processing Inc., a company that already does billing for several cities in the metro, would save $800,000 and increase collections.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">“For the taxpayers and for the city this is a good deal and I think we should approve it today,”&nbsp;Marcason<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">told her council colleagues.</span></p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:59:21 +0000 Steve Bell 57633 at Kansas City Council Approves Zoning For Plaza Office High-Rise <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">A Kansas City council committee approved zoning changes for a 14-story office tower on the north edge of the Country Club Plaza on Wednesday. There appears to be no organized effort to stop its construction.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">In recent years, plans for a North-Plaza law office high-rise and a luxury hotel were derailed by opposition. But this time there is no business opposition and Dan Cofran of Friends of the Plaza says his group does not want to stop or delay the Block Real Estate project.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:57:25 +0000 Steve Bell 57565 at Kansas City Council Approves Zoning For Plaza Office High-Rise Kansas City Ordinance On Food For Homeless Fails <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Kansas City's city council turned down an ordinance regulating the distribution of food to the homeless Thursday after it was opposed by social services organizations, including the Salvation Army.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">A frustrated Councilman Scott Wagner insisted throughout the debate that the ordinance he spent a year putting together was simply what it appeared to be on the surface – a matter of food safety and sanitation.</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:32:29 +0000 Steve Bell 57256 at Kansas City Ordinance On Food For Homeless Fails Homeless Advocates Question Kansas City 'Food Sharing Permit' Plan <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">A number of organizations that help feed the homeless were heard but not heeded Wednesday as a city council committee revisited an ordinance requiring setting standards for charitable food sharing.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">The plan would require all individuals and organizations providing food for the homeless to have a city food sharing permit, that all food preparation areas meet city standards. The organizations would be responsible for trash disposal and other sanitation matters.</p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:07:09 +0000 Steve Bell 57185 at Kansas City FBI Posts Rewards For Laser-Pointer Violators <p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Children's Mercy Hospital joined with federal and local law enforcement Tuesday at Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Mo., to promote a 90-day crackdown on people who point hand-held lasers at flying aircraft.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Children's Mercy displayed its “Just for Kids” helicopter as an example of the kind of aircraft that could be downed by a misplaced laser beam in a pilot's eyes.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:30:48 +0000 Steve Bell 56769 at Kansas City FBI Posts Rewards For Laser-Pointer Violators Kansas City Adopts Point System For Development Incentives <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Kansas City's development incentives policy becomes more structured under a measure passed by the city council Thursday. The city will adopt a scorecard system to determine which projects get incentives and how large those incentives are.</p> Fri, 30 May 2014 12:40:47 +0000 Steve Bell 56551 at Kansas City Council Committee To Tackle Fate Of Kemper Arena <p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">There will be no blue ribbon citizens panel to decide the future of Kemper Arena. The Kansas City, Mo., city council Economic Development Committee has decided to tackle the matter itself.</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 12:52:54 +0000 Steve Bell 56487 at Kansas City Council Committee To Tackle Fate Of Kemper Arena Kansas City Council Approves $8 Million In Phase II Streetcar Planning Contracts <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Freshly returned from Thursday's ground breaking for phase one of the streetcar system, the Kansas City city council committed $8 million to getting started on phase two.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Two area firms <span style="background: #e6e6e6">– HDR Engineering and Burns and McDonnell –</span> were chosen to plan southward and eastward extensions of the streetcar line.</p> Fri, 23 May 2014 12:58:47 +0000 Steve Bell 56202 at Kansas City Council Considers August Ballot For Sales Tax Issue <p><span style="background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5;">Kansas City, Mo., residents can expect to be asked to renew a sales tax in August. But meeting fire department needs may take more than that.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><span style="background: transparent">The quarter-cent sales tax created 14 years ago currently funds less than 14 percent of the fire department's $145 million budget. Personnel costs account for 90 percent of that budget.</span></p> Mon, 12 May 2014 12:48:50 +0000 Steve Bell 55565 at Kansas City Council Closes Lyft Loophole <p></p><p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Transportation company Lyft says it will find you a friend with a car via mobile device app. But, the Kansas City, Mo., City Council says the company is running a taxi cab service and trying to loophole its way out of city regulations covering drivers, vehicles and insurance.</p> Fri, 09 May 2014 12:50:56 +0000 Steve Bell 55451 at Kansas City Council Closes Lyft Loophole Charges Filed In Gas Station Shooting That Left Boy Paralyzed <p></p><p></p><p style="margin-right: 0.04in; margin-bottom: 0in">A 27-year-old Kansas City man faces multiple charges including first-degree murder in a gas station shooting that left a man dead and his ten-year-old son paralyzed.</p><p style="margin-right: 0.04in; margin-bottom: 0in">At a Thursday news conference, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was visibly moved by the police work that led to the arrest of Dontae Jefferson.</p> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 12:50:18 +0000 Steve Bell 54740 at Charges Filed In Gas Station Shooting That Left Boy Paralyzed Prosecutor Names Suspect In Kansas City Highway Shootings <p></p><p></p><p>Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced charges Friday against a man tied to recent highway shootings in the Kansas City metropolitan area.</p><p>The afternoon announcement revealed Mohammed Whitaker, 27, of Grandview, Mo., faces 18 felony counts, including class A and class B felonies related to shooting into a vehicle.</p><p>The charges stem from a <a href="">series of at least a dozen shootings on Kansas City area highways</a>. Three people have been hurt as a result.</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:54:18 +0000 Steve Bell, Alyson Raletz & Laura Spencer 54404 at Prosecutor Names Suspect In Kansas City Highway Shootings Suspect Jailed In Serial Highway Shootings <p></p><p><strong>Updated 2:03 p.m. April 18:</strong></p><p>On Friday, Jackson County prosecutors <a href="">named Mohammed Whitaker, 27, as the suspect</a> in the recent highway shootings in Kansas City. He was charged with at least 18 counts tied to a series of at least a dozen shootings.</p><p><em>The original post begins here:</em></p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:37:49 +0000 Steve Bell 54366 at Suspect Jailed In Serial Highway Shootings Corporon Remembered As A Family Man <p>Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 69, was taking his grandson Reat Underwood, 14, to a singing audition at the Jewish Community Center when both <a href="">were fatally shot Sunday afternoon</a>.</p><p>Corporon and his wife of 49 years, Melinda, moved to Johnson County, Kan., in 2003 to be closer to his family. Before that, he practiced family medicine in Oklahoma for more than 25 years.&nbsp; He continued to see patients in the Kansas City area.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:47:29 +0000 Maria Carter & Steve Bell 54328 at Malted Milk Balls End 'Great Ape Escape' At Kansas City Zoo <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal">Kansas City Zoo visitors were locked up indoors for an hour Thursday while seven chimpanzees ran free outdoors in an area accessible only to zoo personnel.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal">Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff told TV-9 the chimps using a tree branch for a ladder was an example of primate intelligence and strength.</p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:44:28 +0000 Steve Bell 54024 at Kansas City Council Gets Final Streetcar Line Price <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><span style="font-weight: normal">Eight hundred tons of streetcar rail </span><span style="font-weight: normal"><span style="background: #e6e6e6">– 50 truckloads – </span></span><span style="font-weight: normal">will be delivered to Kansas City next week, marking the end of bargaining and a final negotiated maximum price for the project: $102 million. </span></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:43:15 +0000 Steve Bell 54025 at Kansas City Council Committee Urges E-Cigarette Ban On Buses <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">A city council committee is recommending that e-cigarettes and similar nicotine delivery devices be banned from Kansas City buses and streetcars.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><span style="background: #e6e6e6">The city already bans tobacco smoking of any kind on public transit vehicles and other public facilities, but some smokers have been using e-cigarettes, cigars or pipes to circumvent those bans. </span></p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:47:04 +0000 Steve Bell 53954 at Brownback Comments On School Funding, Health Care Compact <p></p><p></p><p style="margin-right: 2.93in; margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 130%"><font size="4">Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was in kansas City, Kansas Tuesday for the official signing of a bill that substantially reduces the percentage rate employers are required to pay into the state's Unemployment Trust Fund. </font></p><p style="margin-right: 2.93in; margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 130%"><font size="4">Brownback used the occasion to tout what he called a call, growing Kansas economy.</font></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:51:14 +0000 Steve Bell 53894 at Brownback Comments On School Funding, Health Care Compact Districts, Advocates See Shortcomings In Kansas School Funding Plan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Attorneys for the group that sued Kansas over school funding have issued a statement critical of the plan the Legislature sent to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Sunday. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Attorney John Robb expressed concerns that the plan shifts money from some programs for at-risk students, allows more well-to-do districts to increase local funding, and reduces revenues that could go for schools by offering tax credits for private school scholarships.</span></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:56:40 +0000 Steve Bell 53829 at Kansas City Council Moves To Replace 19th Century Sewer Pipe <p></p><p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">The Kansas City city council was in an infrastructure-improving mood Thursday — some of its very old infrastructure.&nbsp; <span style="background: #e6e6e6">The city council took several steps toward replacing crumbling sewer and water lines. </span></p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:08:27 +0000 Steve Bell 53676 at Kansas City Council Moves To Replace 19th Century Sewer Pipe Public Vote On Kansas City Charter Changes Vote Set For Next Tuesday <p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; line-height: 0.14in; widows: 0; orphans: 0"><font size="3">Next Tuesday, Kansas Citians will decide whether to make changes to the city charter. The city council has submitted voters three charter-revision ballot questions. Most city council members hope one of them will “warm up” voters attitudes on city elections.</font></p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:56:42 +0000 Steve Bell 53482 at Council Approves Streetcar Phase II With No Brookside Extension <p></p><p></p><p style="margin-right: 0.05in; margin-bottom: 0in">Phase two of Kansas City's streetcar system moved ahead again Thursday, but it won't be rolling through Brookside.</p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:51:13 +0000 Steve Bell 53320 at Council Approves Streetcar Phase II With No Brookside Extension Kansas City Council Opposes State Attempt To Void Local Animal Control Rules <p style="margin-right: -2.03in; margin-bottom: 0in; widows: 0; orphans: 0"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Kansas City's city council is asking the Legislature not to pass a bill that would restrict local Missouri animal control ordinances. </font></p><p style="margin-right: -2.03in; margin-bottom: 0in; widows: 0; orphans: 0"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Supporters say the bill was created to prevent cities from outlawing pit bulls. The proposed state law forbids animal control rules directed at any specific breed. </font></p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 11:58:57 +0000 Steve Bell 52976 at Gunshots Could Change Kansas City Zoo's Free-Admission Days <p style="margin-right: 0.04in; margin-bottom: 0in; widows: 0; orphans: 0"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Fights and gunshots in a Kansas City Zoo parking lot are prompting a debate on the future of “free admission days” that are held four times a year. Monday's was the second such event marked by unruly behavior and fighting among young people. </font></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:01:26 +0000 Steve Bell 52914 at Kansas City Council Defies State, Votes Down 'Carrying While Intoxicated' <p></p><p style="margin-right: 0.02in; margin-bottom: 0in">The Kansas City council voted Thursday not to allow intoxicated persons to carry loaded guns. The ordinance was expected to pass even though everyone on the council thinks it's a bad idea.</p><p style="margin-right: 0.02in; margin-bottom: 0in">City Attorney Bill Geary advised the council public safety committee that a new Missouri gun rights law conflicts with a city ordinance that prohibits carrying a firearm while “under the influence.”</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 23:35:47 +0000 Steve Bell 52208 at Kansas City Council Involves Airlines, Voters In KCI Planning <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Collaboration on the future of the </span>KCI<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> airport was the focus Thursday as the Kansas City council promised the airlines and the voters their voices will be heard. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">T</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">he council approved a lease renewal agreement with eight airlines that also includes structure for airline input into whether the city will renovate or replace its aging airport terminals. </span></p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 13:54:56 +0000 Steve Bell 51590 at Kansas City Council Involves Airlines, Voters In KCI Planning