Top Stories Of The Week
Two convicts holed up in the Northland. And volunteers searched for but did not find a missing toddler whose mother was murdered. Steve Bell revisits those and other top stories of the week on KCUR's Saturday News Review.
Charges Filed In Ottawa Murders; Toddler Believed Dead
There were deep concerns about 18-month-old Lana Bailey from the time the bodies of her mother and two men were on a farm near Ottawa Tuesday.
After 27-year-old “person of interest” Kyle Flack was arrested, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said there was reason to believe the little girl was dead.
The dead adults were identified as Lana's Mother, Kaylie Bailey, Andrew Stout and Steven White.
On Friday, the little girl's body had not yet been found, but Fleck was charged with killing her and the three adults. Charges included first degree murder, capital murder and rape.
Prosecutors were careful not to release information that might interfere in the investigation and the prosecution of Flack but did release some information. They believe that the killings of the adults did not all occur on the same day. A firearm was used in some aspect of the crime. They “have reason to believe” that the toddler is dead, but would not elaborate and would not disclose whether the victim of the alleged rape was the little girl or her mother.
A search for Lara Bailey's body continued. The Sheriff noted that Flack was arrested and Bailey's car recovered in Emporia, and that complicated the question of where the little girl's body might be.
Young Mother Falls From Party Bus, Dies on Interstate
There was also no definitive answer by Friday about how a young mother fell to her death from a party bus on I-35 near Southwest Boulevard Saturday night. Trooper Howard Dickinson said 26-year-old Jamie Frecks was celebrating a friend's bachelorette party when she fell from the van's emergency exit door.
Dickinson said Frecks was struck by at least 3 cars after she tumbled from the bus. Only one driver stopped.
He also said witnesses said the tragedy happened so fast that they were confused about exactly what happened.
The highway patrol impounded the party bus and two other vehicles and were examining them for physical evidence of what happened.
MO Lawmakers Pass Income Tax Cuts, Nixon May Use Veto
The Missouri Legislature sent Governor Jay Nixon a bill that would cut state business income taxes in half over 10 years while reducing personal income tax about a half-a-percent. Republican Will Kraus of Lee's Summit handled the measure in the Senate. He said he believed is was a good and reasonable plan that the governor could sign with confidence because after the first tax reduction, those in subsequent years would occur only if revenues had increased by $100 million in the previous year.
Nixon was still concerned that the cuts would fail to generate new revenue and as a result have a negative effect on vital state services. He said he would likely veto the tax cuts.
Though the measure did not pass by a veto-proof margin in the House, GOP leadership said they believed they could rally the six more votes needed for an override.
Other Missouri Bills On the May Veto/May Override List
Democrats said an amendment to the state constitution declaring federal gun laws unenforceable in the state was in violation of the US Constitution and bound to cost the state considerable legal expense when challenged.
They also fought against one that would roll back the prevailing wage law for government construction contracts in rural counties, but caved in when GOP rivals threatened to revive and pass a photo-voter-ID bill. Bill sponsor Casey Guernsey said the union wage factor in he prevailing wage, only one new school building had been built in his district in 31 years.
Nixon also said he might veto the legislature's repeal of the tax credit for low income renters. Nixon has said he would vote for it only if it was part of a major overhaul of the state's tax credit programs.
Scanned Document/Conceal-Carry List Release Conflicts Continue
The political standoff over scanned documents and concealed-carry carry lists continued, with House Speaker Tim Jones announcing an “expanded “investigation” by a committee to be headed by former US Attorney Todd Graves.
Democrats charged that Jones and Senate appropriations chair Kurt Schaefer of making an uproar over something completely legal and using it to advance their hopes to win statewide office.
The GOP leaders accused Nixon of disregard for privacy and the right to bear arms, open disregard of the Legislature's wishes and cooperation in “unconstitutional federal overreach.”
They also made the final a third of the drivers' license bureau's funding contingent on good departmental behavior, to which Governor Nixon responded that he had no choice except to treat fhe truncated figure as a full year's budget and make appropriate layoffs July 1.
Legislature Gives Brownback Provisional NBAF Bond Approval
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback faced opposition in his own party over $200 million more in bonds for the NBAF lab at Manhattan. Lawmakers said they were skeptical because the state has no guarantee in writing that the federal government will follow through on its share of the cost.
After reassurances from the governor's chief of staff, the legislators approved the bond issue, but made it contingent upon Washington coming through with $714 million President Obama has requested for the biodefense lab.
Week Ends With Prison Escape, Police Standoff
Two of three escapees from the Lansing penitentiary holed up in a house in the Northland Friday after a police chase in which they fired shots at officers. They broke into the house after the stolen pickup truck they were in crashed into a wall on the property.
There were concerns because the owner of the home told officers his gun collection was in the house. But shortly after five Captain Erik Holland of the Platte County Sheriff's Departmet announced that negotiators had “talked the men out” without incident.
The third escapee was apprehended later near Topeka.