Top Stories Of The Week
Rev. Stan Archie, president of the Missouri State Board of Education, resigned Friday after allegations of sexual abuse. Kansas' governor spoke out against abortions and property tax deductions. Missouri's governor took heat from the legislature about the purchase of an airplane. KCUR's Steve Bell looks back at those and other top stories on this week's Saturday News Review.
State Board of Edication President Resigns
The new president of the Missouri Board of Education, Stan Archie of Kansas City, turned in his resignation on Friday. Archie was appointed to the board in 2006 and elected to its presidency in November. He is facing lawsuits from two women who accuse him of sexual improprieties while acting in his role of pastor of the Christian Fellowship Baptist Church.
Both women remain anonymous. One reportedly is a former church aide or assistant to Archie. The other, now in her 20s, says he made inappropriate comments to her and urged her to talk about erotic subjects when she was 15 and in counseling with him.
Archie denies the accusations. His resignation letter said the board needs to be able to focus on its mission without distraction.
Sanders Predicts 2013 Election On Regional Rail
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders was back in the transit spotlight, announcing that negotiations with railroads for use of tracks were progressing and he hoped to be able to send plan to the voters in April. The plan involves a one-cent sales tax to support the $650 million plan. Sanders said he would not put the idea to a public vote unless all details were finalized.
Meanwhile, Kansas City Mayor Sly James pitched the North Kansas City city council on joining Kansas City's yet-to-be-built downtown streetcar line.
GOP Legislators Would Reduce Appointment Power of Governor
The House endorsed legislation requiring special elections to fill statewide-office vacancies. The move is anticipation of the probability that Lt. Governor Peter Kinder becomes the GOP candidate to replace Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson, who is resigning to pursue a career as a lobbyist.. The bill would also prohibit temporary replacements appointed by the governor from running for the position. House Republicans swore it was not aimed at the Democratic governor but Democrats suggested otherwise, and call the proposal unconstitutional.
Nixon Appointment Stalled In Airplane Purchase Flap
Confirmation of Governor Nixon's appointment of Doug Nelson to head the Office of Administration was on hold after some Republicans heard that he had signed off on the Highway Patrol's purchase of a new airplane. Kansas City Senator Ryan Silvey, who was among those that said the legislature should have been consulted, called buying the plane, which would be used for travel by the governor and other statewide-officeholders “particularly troubling” in view of the redlining the Democratic governor had done on the Legislature's budgets, .
Bill Would Require Parents To Register Guns With Schools
Democratic St. Louis State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal introduced a bill to require parents om Missouri school kids to notify their school district if they are gun owners. Nadal said whe respects the Second Amendment, but that it does not “give a 12-year-old the right” to shoot classmates. Republican leadership quickly vowed to block the bill's passage, and with with the GOP in control of both houses, even Chappelle-Nadal didn't believe it would pass.
Brownback Condemns Abortions, Property Tax Deductions
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback encouraged abortion foes at a Topeka rally., encouraging the crowd of about 1,000 to continue working and praying for the cause and promoting anti-abortion candidates for office.
The conservative-majority legislature seemed supportive of more abortion restrictions. But even conservative members said they were uncomfortable with another Brownaback request to end tax state income tax deductions for interest and property taxes. On Friday, Revenue Director Nick Jordan chastised critics who were saying the Brownback tax plan as discriminating against low and middle-income families. Jordan said when the plan is taken in total, “Everybody gets a tax reduction.” Jordan did not discuss whether some groups would get bigger reductions than others.
HCA Loses $162 million Judgment
HCA, the for-profit company that is Kansas City's largest hospital owner, lost a $162 million judgment to a nonprofit who said the company's had not lived up to promises it made when it started buying up not-for-profit hospitals. The group had contended that building new suburban hospitals didn't satisfy an infrastructure-improvement commitment.
Think-tank Study Blasts “Border Wars”
Business leaders held a news conference to present a new study on the effect of economic incentives. The study, conducted by a Washington, D.C. Organization found that the Kansas City area was one of the worst when it came to granting massive tax breaks to businesses to lure them to move across the state line. Quoting from the study, Hallmark's Bill Hall that companies were moving across the state line to get the breaks, but their employees were for the most part continuing to live where they had in the past. Hall said the “border war” poaching in the Kansas City area.had actually created only 593 jobs in Kansas at a cost of $320,000 per job.
GM Poised To Announce Fairfax Expansion
Going into the weekend, there was no doubt among the media that a big GM's big news conference Monday morning would announce the expansion of its Fairfax plant. Unified Government Mayor Joe Reardon even commented that incentives offered by the county and state were going to result in a big expansion. But it remained for GM officials to announce the amount of new construction and jobs that would be involved in the expansion..