Top Stories Of The Week | KCUR

Top Stories Of The Week

Oct 6, 2012

The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the malpractice damage cap law. Kansas City school officials got tough on misbehavers at the African-Centered College Prep campus. Those and other top stories of the week.

Children's Mercy Tests Genome Mapping

The test of a new genome analysis system at Children's Mercy Hospital involved diagnosing infants critically ill with genetic diseases. But Dr. Stephen Kingsmore said it has a much broader potential in that it makes genome mapping relevant and useful in hospital medicine.

The new method, which in part is based on a more selective approach, speeds the process of testing for genetic disease in infants from two or more weeks to about two days. Kingsmore hopes the new approach will become more widely available within the next year.

Kansas Malpractice Cap Law Upheld

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the state's $250,000 limit on non-economic damages in malpractice cases is constitutional. But the justices did express concern that the Legislature hasn't raised the amount of the cap since it was passed in 1988.

The challenge was from a Eudora Woman who was awarded almost $560,000 by a jury but saw it reduced because of the law.

The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that a similar law was unconstitutional.

Problems, Discipline At ACE Campus

After false fire alarms and fights, about 50 students were kicked out of the Kansas City school district's African-Centered College Prep Academy.

Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green announced a zero-tolerance policy on breaking the school's rules and commented that the school existed to prepare young people for college and that those who don't want what it has to offer should not be there.

Parents say problems began after the district took over the school and doubled the enrollment.

McCaskill Campaign Thrives, Akin Goes Negative

Senator Claire McCaskill took in $5.8 million for her war chest for the quarter – likely setting a record. The money poured in after opponent Todd Akin came said “legitimate rapes almost never cause pregnancy.”

Meanwhile, challenger Akin's campaign started airing an ad which accuses McCaskill of “getting rich off the stimulus bill.” The ad implies that the Senator voted for the bill so it would make her “a millionaire.”

Several fact-check organizations said the accusations were exaggerations based on unsubstantiated assertions.

Former Kansas Senate Leader Endorses Democrat

Retiring Kansas Republican State Senator John Vratil endorsed Democrat Mike Delaney to be his replacement. Vratil told KCUR that the Republican candidate, conservative Jeff Melcher, would represent the governor, not the people. Vratil added that he was not such a fan of partisan politics that he would support a bad candidate put forth by his own party. Melcher called Vratil “out of step with most Republicans.”

Group Postpones Push On Judge Selection Method Change

Supporters of a Missouri ballot measure to change the way top judges are selected scuttled campaign efforts. They say without a huge ad campaign, the ballot language, upheld in court, will kill the proposal. Some of the groups members suggested that they will return next year with a new plan in which Missouri judges would be elected in partisan elections.

MU Players Suspended After Marijuana Bust

MU wide reciever Dorial Green-Beckham, former number one college football recruit, and two other players were suspended for a week. MU Police Chief Brian Weimer said his officers found the young men smoking marijuana in a parking lot near the stadium. The other two Tigers suspended are linebacker Torey Boozer and reciever Levi Copelin.

Drought-Stricken Royals Fire Hitting Coach Seitzer

As the Royals set the record for the longest-running postseason drought in Major American pro sports, manager Ned Yost fired hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, saying the coach had needed not been endorsing the right strategy. Yost wants more focus on long-ball hitting. He said the rest of the coaching staff will be back next season.