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KCUR News
1:29 pm
Tue November 17, 2009

Kansas City Royals' Zack Greinke Wins AL Cy Young Award

Zack Greinke
Photo courtesy of

New York, NY – Zack Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award on Tuesday, beating out Felix Hernandez after a spectacular season short on wins but long on domination.

Greinke went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA for the Kansas City Royals. Hernandez went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA for the Seattle Mariners.

Greinke received 25 first-place votes and three seconds for 134 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Hernandez drew two firsts, 23 seconds and one third for 80 points.

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KCUR News
9:30 am
Tue November 17, 2009

Wyandotte County Settles Suit Against Police

Kansas City, KS – Wyandotte County's Unified Government will spend almost $500,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged police misconduct.

The federal lawsuit claimed that Kansas City, Kan., officers violated the civil rights of a black family and two of their friends when they broke up a birthday party in 2005. The suit alleges that officers forced their way into the family's duplex, demanded that people leave and fought with the residents.

Members of the family say the white officers used racial slurs, punched and kicked them and hit them with flashlights.

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KCUR News
9:28 am
Tue November 17, 2009

More Charges Against Dad, Son In Sexual Abuse Case

Lexington, MO – Prosecutors in Missouri have filed 15 additional charges against a father and his sons who are all accused of sexually abusing children.

The additional charges against 77-year-old Burrell Mohler Sr., and his four adult sons include rape, sodomy and use of a child in a sexual performance. The new charges were filed Monday.

All five men are to be arraigned Tuesday on the earlier charges. The men are being held in the Lafayette County jail. It's not clear if any of them had lawyers. No attorneys were listed on any of the court documents.

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KCUR News
8:39 am
Fri November 6, 2009

Two Charged In Salsa Poisoning

Lenexa, KS – Two people were charged Thursday in federal court with poisoning salsa at a Lenexa, Kan., Mexican restaurant twice in August and making nearly 50 people sick.

Thirty-year-old Arnoldo Bazan and 19-year-old Yini De La Torre are accused of putting the pesticide Methomyl into salsa at Mi Ranchito restaurant to get back at the owner for Bazan losing his job and car.

Prosecutors say De La Torre put the poison into salsa on Aug. 10, and the next day 12 diners immediately became sick. She is accused of doing the same thing on Aug. 30, making 36 people ill.

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KCUR News
8:37 am
Fri November 6, 2009

Early Morning Blast Rocks St. Joseph, No One Injured

St. Joseph, MO – A massive blast at a production plant in St. Joseph rocked part of the city but initial reports were that everyone at the plant escaped injury.

KQTV reports that the explosion at the AG Processing Inc. plant occurred around 3:20 a.m. Friday on the city's south side and was felt by residents miles away.

First responders say about 25 to 30 employees were working during the explosion, but the blast occurred outside the plant. Emergency crews evacuated nearby businesses.

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KCUR News
8:34 am
Fri November 6, 2009

Former Kansas Governor William Avery Dies

Topeka, KS – William Avery, a one-term Republican governor in the 1960s and former U.S. House member, has died, the governor's office said Thursday. He was 98.

Gov. Mark Parkinson's office said Avery died Wednesday and ordered flags across the state lowered until Nov. 14.

"Governor Avery led our state during a time of tragic loss and national attention. Kansas honors his long life and service to our state. Our thoughts and prayers are with his children and family," Parkinson said in a statement.

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KCUR News
9:53 am
Tue November 3, 2009

Polar Bear To Come To Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City, MO – After nearly 20 years, the Kansas City Zoo will again have a bear exhibit.

Zoo officials said Monday that the zoo will receive a polar bear in time for a new exhibit to open next spring.

Only 81 polar bears are held in captivity in North America. Kansas City hasn't had one since 1990.

The zoo expects to receive a 3-year-old male polar bear on loan from the Toledo Zoo, where he was born and is called Nikita.

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KCUR News
10:05 am
Thu October 29, 2009

Kansas Governor Says He'll Make More Budget Cuts

Kansas City, MO – Kansas' governor Mark Parkinson said Wednesday that he's prepared to make additional spending cuts this year to keep the state's budget balanced, and key legislators predicted he'll be forced to further trim aid to public schools.

Parkinson wouldn't speculate during a news conference about what steps he'll take to close any projected deficit for the fiscal year that began July 1. But he said he won't leave the job of closing a shortfall to legislators when they reconvene in January.

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KCUR News
10:03 am
Thu October 29, 2009

Kansas Governor Says Soccer Complex Offer Final

Topeka, KS – Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson said Wednesday that the state doesn't plan to sweeten a $230 million package of incentives to lure a soccer stadium and office complex to Wyandotte County.

During a news conference at the Kansas Statehouse, Parkinson said the proposal offered two weeks ago to medical software maker Cerner Corp. and Kansas City Wizards owner OnGoal LLC was final.

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KCUR News
9:56 am
Thu October 22, 2009

Missouri Drops Integrated Math

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says it is dropping plans to create statewide math exams using an "integrated math" curriculum.

Integrated math offers a sequence of courses that teaches some algebra, geometry and higher math in the first year, followed by more complex concepts the next three school years.

It replaces a system used in many districts where math is taught in a sequence of algebra I, geometry, algebra II, and then higher level courses.

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Tracking NBAF
1:45 pm
Wed October 21, 2009

Senate Approves $32 Million For Kansas Bio-defense Lab

Kansas City, MO – The U.S. Senate has approved $32 million for a massive Kansas lab aimed at research on foot-and-mouth and other diseases.

The money is in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that the Senate approved on a vote of 79-19 Tuesday. The House has already approved the $44.1 billion compromise spending bill, which is headed to President Barack Obama.

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KCUR News
8:16 am
Wed October 21, 2009

Kansas Mountain Lion Sighting Confirmed

Mountain lion
(USDA National Wildlife Research Center media archives)

WaKeeney, KS – The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks says its staff have verified that a big cat photographed by the hunter northwest of WaKeeney was a mountain lion. The agency says it's the first documentation of a live, wild mountain lion in the state.

In a statement Tuesday, the department said the hunter was in a tree stand when the mountain lion appeared near a pile of corn. The hunter took multiple photos as the lion approached within 10 feet of the stand and looked up before moving out of sight.

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KCUR News
8:12 am
Wed October 21, 2009

DNA Backlog Hurts Kansas Crime Efforts

Topeka, KS – Kansas Attorney General Steve Six worries that some crimes in the state may stay unsolved longer because of budget problems facing the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Six's office said Tuesday that the KBI lab that processes DNA samples is understaffed, leading to a backlog in testing and including test results in the state's database.

Spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett said the backlog affects samples collected from people who are arrested for felonies, not from current investigations.

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KCUR News
7:44 am
Tue October 20, 2009

K-State Frat Suspended Over Hazing

Manhattan, KS – A judicial board at Kansas State University has suspended the Phi Delta Theta fraternity for a hazing incident that left a student hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.

The 18-year-old freshman was found unresponsive at the off-campus fraternity house in late September. He recovered and is still a member of the chapter.

The Interfraternity Council imposed the sanctions on Phi Delta Theta. The fraternity will be on probation until September 2011, will have to pay fines and won't be allowed to have any event involving alcohol until February 2011.

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KCUR News
7:36 am
Tue October 20, 2009

Zebra Mussels Start Crowding In On Lawrence

The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), introduced from Russia via shipping canals to non-native areas in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and later to North America.

Kansas City, MO – A water treatment plant on the Kaw in Lawrence reports finding zebra mussels starting to clog an intake pipe. And plant officials are pondering how often they may have to clean the molluscs out. Tim Banek of the Missouri Department of Conservation explains how prolific the Eurasian species is. He tells of a test conducted by putting plastic signs under water in a Missouri lake.

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KCUR News
7:13 am
Tue October 20, 2009

Flu Widespread In Kansas

Topeka, Ks – Outbreaks of seasonal and swine flu continue to be widespread across Kansas, even as the first shipments of vaccine arrive in the state.

The Department of Health and Environment reports that there were 30 deaths from pneumonia or influenza out of 456 deaths in the state for the week ending Oct. 10, or about 6.6 percent. That's slightly higher than the national average of 6.5 percent for the preceding week.

Overall, 75 of the 105 Kansas counties had confirmed cases of swine flu.

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KCUR News
7:11 am
Tue October 20, 2009

E. Coli Closes Lake Of The Ozarks Beach

E. coli bacteria

Jefferson City, MO – A public beach at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks is closed because of high levels of E. coli.

The Department of Natural Resources says it closed the beach after tests Friday showed high levels of bacteria in the lake's main channel. The agency blames runoff from last week's rains for the contamination.

It's the same beach that was not closed in May despite two tests showing high E. coli. An internal investigation found several other examples of beaches that were not properly closed.

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KCUR News
7:08 am
Tue October 20, 2009

Missouri Prison Population Peaks

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's prison population has reached an all-time high.

The Department of Corrections says its number of inmates has risen over the past year, after declining or holding steady for the previous few years.

At the end of September, the department had 30,720 inmates. That topped the previous high mark of 30,654 set in October 2005.

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KCUR News
3:55 pm
Mon October 19, 2009

KHPA Facing Public Insurance Application Backlog

Topeka, KS – More Kansans are applying for public health programs like Medicaid, and that's caused a backlog of around 8,000 of applications.

The Kansas Health Policy Authority handles the paperwork. KHPA Spokesperson Peter Hancock says the upsurge is unusual and that the economy has played a role.

"The economic downturn that really started hitting Kansas last fall caused an increase in the number of people applying for Medicaid and SCHIP on top of our regular workload," Hancock said.

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KCUR News
9:19 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Tax Incentive Delays Risk Losing KCK Stadium Deal

Kansas City, MO – Kansas may be about to botch efforts to lure a corporate office complex and major league soccer stadium to Kansas City, according to some legislators who are pressuring Gov. Mark Parkinson's administration to close a deal.

Medical software maker Cerner Corp. and the owners of the Kansas City Wizards are proposing a $414 million development near NASCAR's Kansas Speedway. The project includes an office complex for 4,500 Cerner employees, an 18,500-seat stadium for the Wizards and two dozen soccer fields for amateur teams.

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KCUR News
8:31 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Lawsuit Seeks To Overturn Tax Incentives To Stop St. Louis Development

St. Louis, MO – Two St. Louis residents have asked a court to strike down Missouri's latest economic incentives law in an attempt to halt tax credits for a massive redevelopment project.

A lawsuit against the state claims the tax credits for assembling large tracts of land violate a constitutional ban on granting public money to private entities.

The suit also claims the law expanding the annual tax credits, passed this year, is unconstitutional because the legislation included too many topics and went beyond its original intent.

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KCUR News
8:18 am
Tue October 13, 2009

Missouri Governor Wants Tougher DWI Law

Kansas City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has called for reforming the state's DWI laws in response to news accounts exposing deals that allow drunken drivers to avoid conviction.

Nixon said he will ask legislative leaders this week to change the state's laws on DWI by spring, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday.

He and others called for reforms in response to a story Sunday in the Post-Dispatch that revealed a culture of deal-cutting in St. Louis-area courts handling DWI cases.

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KCUR News
10:47 am
Mon October 12, 2009

Construction On Kansas Turnpike Near Lawrence Set To Start Next Year

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Turnpike Authority has approved a $23 million project to replace the last remaining stretch of original concrete on the turnpike.

The project northeast of Lawrence is scheduled to begin in June and last until November 2011.

The Turnpike Authority's board of directors approved the project last week to remove the 54-year-old concrete and replace it with fresh asphalt. It will be financed by turnpike tolls.

Nearly 30,000 vehicles pass through the area each day.

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KCUR News
9:09 am
Thu October 8, 2009

UMKC's Urban Education Program Get $8 Million Grant

Kansas City, MO – The Institute for Urban Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is receiving an 8 million dollar federal grant.

The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help the four-year-old institute expand its efforts to train education majors to work in urban classrooms. The grant will allow the institute to hire more professors and increase student enrollment in the program.

The school of education's dean says the grant suggest the focus on urban education is cutting edge and nationally relevant.

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KCUR News
8:32 am
Thu October 8, 2009

Senate Confirms Former Kansas Education Commissioner

Kansas City, MO –

The U.S. Senate has confirmed former Kansas education commissioner Alexa Posny's appointment to a federal education post.

President Barack Obama nominated Posny as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services in July. She worked for the U.S. Department of Education from 2006-07 as director of special education before becoming Kansas education commissioner.

When announcing Posny's nomination, the White House noted her experience as both an administrator and a teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

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KCUR News
7:40 am
Tue October 6, 2009

Kansas Official Says Illegal Sex In Prisons Not Widespread

Kansas City, MO – Illegal sex is a problem in Kansas prisons, but it's not as widespread as inmates and staff suggest, the state's top prisons official.

Corrections Secretary Roger Werholtz responded to an investigation by the Topeka Capital-Journal, which reviewed hundreds of documents on the Topeka Correctional Facility and interviewed inmates and prison employees. The investigation concluded as many as a third of the prison's 250 staff members have been involved in an illegal black market, including exchanging sex with female inmates for drugs.

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KCUR News
7:31 am
Tue October 6, 2009

Lake E. Coli Levels Spike

Kansas City, MO – High bacteria levels may have been fairly common at the Lake of the Ozarks this summer. Newly released Missouri water records show a spike this year in bacteria levels at two state beaches.

Results from E. coli tests at the popular central Missouri tourist attraction were high enough in 2009 that the state's two beaches should have been closed 11 times since May. That's more than twice the number of times those beaches were to be closed from 2003 until 2008. It's also more than this year's closings at every other Missouri waterway.

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KCUR News
6:30 am
Tue October 6, 2009

Moore Pushes For Public Option

Kansas City, MO – Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore says he's pushing for a public option in national health reform legislation. Moore, a Democrat from Lenexa, is part of the Blue Dog Coalition. The group is made up of more than 50 fiscally conservative Democrats in the U.S. House. Moore says he hopes a public option will be part of a bipartisan bill.

Moore: "It's not about trying to establish some kind of national health care plan. It's about giving some competition to some other players out there and making sure that everybody has an opportunity for health care in this country."

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KCUR News
7:12 am
Thu October 1, 2009

Beth Phillips Nominated For US Attorney Post

Kansas City, MO – President Barack Obama has nominated Beth Phillips to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, which is centered in Kansas City. The Obama administration announced the nomination yesterday.

Phillips has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Kansas City office since last year and has prosecuted child exploitation cases. She served as an assistant prosecutor in Jackson County from 1997 to 2001, when she entered private practice.

The appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.

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KCUR News
2:35 pm
Sat September 12, 2009

Rep. Graves & Cleaver Respond To President Obama's Healthcare Speech

Kansas City, MO – Up to Date host Steve Kraske speaks with Representatives Sam Graves and Emanuel Cleaver following President Obama's speech to Congress about healthcare.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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