Fri January 4, 2013
Top Stories Of The Week
Liberty Memorial got a new designation for the nation’s World War I centennial. And a new era began for the Kansas City Chiefs. Those and other top stories of the week on the Saturday News Review.
Chiefs GM Pioli Fired, Andy Reid In As Coach
Sports fans waited almost 12 hours after ESPN reported it for the official word that former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid was now head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
While Reid and Chiefs owner Clark Hunt reportedly worked out final contract details at Arrowhead, there was no news release... though there was one announcing that Chiefs had fired General Manager Scott Pioli.
Finally after 9 PM the Chiefs released what looked like a cell-phone photo of Reid and Hunt in which they appeared to be signing copies of what Associated Press said was a five-year contract.
They also announced that they would hold e a news conference on Monday and posted a video called “Turning Point, Andy Reed at the Helm” on their web site.
Area Senators Weigh In On Fiscal Cliff Deal
After Congress passed a starter deal on avoiding the so-called “fiscal cliff,” area politicians weighed in on the legislation. Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill commented that it “wasn't perfect,” but was a good first step for follwo-up after the holidays. Republicans, including Senator Roy Blunt, who did vote for the bill, predicted rough sledding with that, and another gridlock within a couple of months. Blunt Republicans said will refuse to raise the debt ceiling to pay the bills unless Democrats agree to bigger spending cuts.
Chastain Returns With Recall Threat
Transit activist Clay Chastain said the city council had sixty days to schedule his latest rail initiative for a public vote... or he would start a petition drive for a recall election for Mayor Sly James. The city council refused to honor petitions he collected because they said his plan for a rail system was under-financed.
Chastain emoted on the subject for TV-9 cameras, saying, “This mayor is to democracy what a chainsaw is to old-growth forest.” Later, on the phone, Chastain admitted he had never gotten as many petition signatures as it would take to mandate a recall election, but added, “I'm at my best when challenged.”
Downtown Streetcar Plans Keep Rolling
As Chastain stormed, the Kansas City Streetcar Authority held its first public meeting at the downtown public library to discuss finding an operator for a rail plan the council as well as the voters did approve.
Kit Bond Named Washington Lobbyist For K.C., MO
Mayor James announced that the city will have a new Lobbyist in Washington. Former Missouri US Senator Kit Bond gets the job. Bond, a Republican, served 24 years in the Senate after being 2-term governor of Missouri..
Serial Arsonist Suspected In Lawrence
Lawrence fire chief Mark Bradford said he believes that a serial arsonist is responsible for around 20 fires in multi-family dwellings in south central part that city, and asked apartment managers and residents to keep an eye out for people hanging around that shouldn't be. The ATF has put out a 75-hundred dollar reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of the arsonist.
DHS Takes Ownership of NBAF Site; Controversy Continues
Out in K-State country, the Department of Homeland Security officially took ownership of the proposed site for a National Bio and Agro Defense Facility as on Wednesday. Senator Pat Roberts predicted a groundbreaking before the end of the year. But Stephen Higgs, director of the Biosecurity Research Institute said with controversy over safety and budgets, there is still a chance NBAF “won't happen.” Oponents of the laboratory include some ranchers, scientists and Manhattan residents.
Liberty Memorial Declared WW! Commission Headquarters
And the US Congress made Liberty Memorial the official headquarters for the commission that will plan events for the World War I centennial. It was a compromise step back from declaring the memorial the nation's official World War I monument, which some opposed because they believed that one should be built in Washington, D,C.