Top Stories Of The Week | KCUR

Top Stories Of The Week

Apr 20, 2012

Sprint was accused of major tax evasion. A Kansas City North teen became the first in Platte County to be charged under Missouri's texting while driving law. KCUR's Steve Bell looks back at those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.


Teen Faces Texting And Manslaughter Charges.

Sixteen-year-old Rachel Gannon faces charges of texting while driving and involuntary manslaughter for the accident that killed 72 year old Loretta Larimer. The anti-texting law currently applies only to persons under 21, but Prosecutor Eric Zahnd believes it should be expanded to include everyone. A conviction of  breaking the texting law carries  a $200 fine; involuntary manslaughter, as many as four years in prison.


Truancy Cufew Revived for May 3 Vote

The Kansas City and Hickman Mills school districts, the police board, the crime commission and a platoon of city leaders pleaded for a plan to pick up kids who skip school and fine their parents. But resistance was strong, including from Council Member Michael Brooks, who advocates some action that would affect only chronic offenders.

The council committee back-burnered the plan till July. But Scott Wagner opted for seldom used “rule 28” to call the curfew to a vote in early May. He said he was standing behind the police, the schools and concerned citizens in northeast Kansas City.


Second Bill Passes Allowing Immediate School Takeover

As Kansas City school officials were trying to persuade council members to vote for their daytime curfew plan, lawmakers in Jefferson City were moving in the direction of a state takeover. The Missouri Senate joined the House in passing a bill allowing immediate state control of the unaccredited district.


Missouri Bill Outlaws Federal Health Care Law

The Missouri House passed a bill that prohibits and criminalizes enforcement of the 2010 federal health care law. Republicans argued that the measure protects the constitution. Democrats argued that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional under the interstate commerce clause. The Republicans won out.

The bill now goes to the Missouri Senate.


Auditor Says Pay For Play Hints Haunt Fee Office Bids

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich released two audits that examine the bidding process for awarding bids for fee offices that handle driver’s licenses and vehicle tags.  Schweich said he found no evidence of outright pay for play, but did find some that were suspect. He said there were instances of allowing bidders to alter their bids and being allowed to win the process a second time after being fired once. He noted that those providers were contributors to elected officials' political campaigns.


New York Sues Sprint For Tax Evasion

New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit claiming that Sprint Nextel deliberately underpaid more than $100 million in state and local sales taxes so it could undersell competitors. Sprint executives deny the charges, but if Sprint is found liable, it could be ordered to pay more than $300 million.