The Jayhawks headed for New Orleans & the Final Four, but it was MU's coach who received awards. Those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.
Budget Clips Fire Department
There'll be less money for street repairs, no leaf and brush pickup, fewer mowings of the parks and water and sewer rate increases, but the city budget cut that got the most attention was the $7.6 million pared from Fire Department spending. Mayor Sly James maintained that the city had done the right thing. James said that if firefighters accept contract changes the city is proposing it could avoid laying off up to 105 firefighters.
Recommendation: No Ballot For No Nukes
A council committee voted not to put an initiative from the anti-nukes group Peace Planters on the public ballot... though chair Ed Ford said if there are enough signatures the charter says to do that. The city attorney says 2 of 3 parts of the initiative are unconstitutional.
Bill Would End Elected School Board
As 14 candidates campaigned for seats on the Kansas City School Board, Clay County Representative Myron Neth introduced a bill in Jefferson City to replace the elected board with a group appointed by the mayor and the Missouri Commissioner of Education. Superintendent Steve Green called it a hasty move. The bill would also convert the city's most troubled schools into charter schools.
Religious-Based Bills Advance
A number of bills involving the right not to have to provide insurance that covers birth control or participate as professionals in abortions, sterilizations, and providing or selling things some people have religious objections to advanced in the Missouri and Kansas legislatures. Conservative Kansas Representative Lance Kinzer said religious expression is basic to this country, “the reason the Pilgrims came here in the first place.” Kinzer was supporting a broadly-based bill that says governments shouldn't pass laws that infringe on people's religious beliefs.
Bill To Limit Kansas Courts Fails
The fate of all those bills still remained to be seen. But the fate of one ending the power of Kansas courts over school funding and other appropriations matters was sealed. It failed in a second vote.
Ballot Language Trips Up Photo-ID Bill
In Missouri it was certain that a ballot measure on a constitutional amendment allowing voter photo ID will not call it the “Voter Protection Amendment.” Sponsor Bill Stouffer was surprised court sent the amendment back to the legislature to have the ballot language rewritten rather than just changing the language. Stouffer denies the ballot summary was written as it was to deceive voters.
Martin Leaves K-State For South Carolina
K-State basketball coach Frank Martin accepted a job at South Carolina. Athletic Director John Currie denied rumors it was because the two didn't get along... and shed some light on the suspension of key player Jamar Samuels from the game that ended the Wildcats' post-season play.
KU Makes Final Four, But MU Coach Honored
KU's Hoopsters were off to New Orleans for a matchup with Ohio State. Player Thomas Robinson said team members never stopped believing that they would have a spot in the Final Four.
As the KU team warmed up for the “big dance” in New Orleans, MU's Frank Haith won the AP Coach of the Year poll.