Top Stories Of The Week | KCUR

Top Stories Of The Week

Jul 7, 2012

Kansas City was getting ready for the All-Star Game. UMKC announced possible locations for a proposed downtown arts campus. And, need we be reminded?... it was hot. Those and other top stories of the week.

Heat Wave Scorches Midwest with 100°+ Temperatures

Temperatures will likely ease for the coming week., but this week the heat and accompanying drought brought no-burn orders and fireworks bans to many area communities Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning commented that there was particular danger to rural and semi-rural areas. A grass fire on the edge of Lawrence resulted in the evacuation of a two-block residential area.

Reaction Continues To Health Care Ruling

Debate was hot over the Affordable Care Act. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, it's up to the states to decide whether to form on-line health care exchanges (which are legal) and whether to expand Medicaid (now that the penalty for not doing that has been declared unconstitutional). Expansion supporters included Ryan Barker, with the Missouri Foundation for Health, who noted that in currently a single mother of three making over $3500 a year does not qualify for Medicaid.

Bur state Senator Brad Lager wanted a special legislative session to opt out of the health care law. Neither Democratic Governor Jay Nixon nor Republican House Speaker Steven Tilley was willing to call one.

Lager is running in the GOP primary against Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder who filed suit this week over proposed ballot language for a ballot measure that would require a vote of the legislature or the people before a Missouri health care exchange could be established. The suit focuses on the ballot language's assertion that the measure would “deny access” to affordable health care for some persons.


Democratic Missouri U-S Senator Claire McCaskill got off the health-care fence, reaffirming her support for the Affordable Care Act. And she took on Republican proposals for a voucher system for Medicare. McCaskill said it would make seniors “arm-wrestle insurance bureaucrats for their healt care.

Meanwhile, insurance companies had to comply with the law, and most were preparing rebate checks for their clients.

New Veterans Drug Court Debuts In Missouri

The VA and the Missouri courts announced a new kind of court: the region's first drug court veterans' program. Missouri Supreme Court Justice William Ray Price told a group in Jackson County that more than incarceration is needed, and that veterans deserve more than that. All veterans taking part will be supervised by a probation officer.

Kansas City Prepares for MLB All-Star Game

Kansas City was busy preparing for Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star Game. And at a ribbon-cutting for a fan event at Bartle Hall George Brett, joked about being the designated Kansas City Ambassador, saying he had “kind-of milked it,” insisting that his wife call him “Mr. Ambassador” through Tuesday. 450 reporters will be covering the game.

Three Possible Sites Proposed for Arts Campus

Three possible sites were announced for a UMKC downtown arts campus – two in the Crossroads Arts District and one near Barney Allis Plaza. Proponents say moving arts education closer to venues including the Kauffman Center could make the programs among the most respected in the nation.

MO SUPCO Agrees: Kansas City Must Hold E-Tax Elections

The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling on the law that requires a renewal vote on Kansas City's e-tax every five years. The higher court agreed that the law, passed as a statewide ballot measure, was constitutional and not an unfunded mandate.

Artistic Director of KC Ballet To Step Down

William Whitener, Artistic Director of the Kansas City Ballet announced on Friday that he will leave that position at the end of the season. Whitener said the ballet is doing well now, and he wants to expand his association with choreographer Twyla Tharp.