Top Stories Of The Week | KCUR

Top Stories Of The Week

Aug 10, 2013

Ford put another 900 workers on the Claycomo line. And challengers of Kansas City's downtown streetcar system were rebuffed by another court. KCUR's Steve Bell looks back at those and other top stories.

Judges reject streetcar tax challenge

A three judge panel ruled that a man and woman who challenged the property and sales taxes passed to support a downtown streetcar system waited too long to file. The panel ruled that when public hearings are held on a proposal, that it the time at which challenges should begin. The panel did not rule for or against the basis of the challenge.The plaintiffs have another week and a half to decide whether to appeal the ruling.

Ford adds 900 on third shift at Claycomo

Ford began a promised third shift at its Claycomo plant. About 900 workers will assemble cars on the shift, bringing the total number of UAW jobs to about 4500.

Ford has invested over $1 billion in the Claycomo plant since 2011.

Jackson County leaders propose sales tax for medical research

Development in the field of medicine was on the mind of Jackson County leaders proposing a 1/2-cent sales tax to pump $40 million a year into Children's Mercy and St. Luke's Hospitals and UMKC medical research.

Former Chamber of Commerce president Pete Levy and UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton were among the supporters of the tax.

There would be collaboration with the KU Medical Center, but not direct tax support.

Governor formally calls Kansas special session

Governor Sam Brownback signed the formal proclamation to convene a special legislative session of the Kansas Legislature.

A committee will convene August 29, and hopefully have the state's “hard-50” sentencing law rewritten for the full assembly's convocation on September 3. The hard-50 law was rendered partly unconstitutional by a recent US Supreme Court decision.

Brownback shies from nominee date and intervention in voter “suspense”

Governor Brownback declined to say exactly when he will name his final candidate for a vacancy on a state appeals court. Senate Democrats had asked for a nomination this week to allow more time to vet the nominee. But Brownback said he needed more vetting time himself.

He chose not to get involved in the matter of 12,000 Kansans whose voter registration is “in suspense,” most because of a computer problem. He said it was a problem for the secretary of state to solve.

Flooding brings road closures, 2 deaths

South Central Missouri and Southern Kansas struggled with flood conditions and resulting road closures in some areas. Some parts of the states got as much as 15 inches of rain within the week.

Though waters were receding in most troubled areas, forecast heavy weekend rains caused worries of morre flooding to come.

Floodwaters closed a section if I-44 in south-central Missouri for a time midweek, and at least two Missourians died when swept away in the flooding.

Missouri US Senator Claire McCaskill lamented that the federal disaster aid stream, though, was running dry due to budget cuts and sequestration.