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Sat October 12, 2013
Top Stories Of The Week
The Kansas Supreme Court listened to arguments on school funding. Overland Park voters extended a sales tax. And tax incentives were approved for Kansas City's biggest office complex ever. Steve Bell revisits those and other top stories of the week on KCUR's Saturday News Review.
Council approves Bannister renewal incentives
Cerner estimates the cost of its Bannister Mall area redevelopment project at $4.3 billion, more than half of which is underwritten by tax breaks from Kansas City and the State of Missouri.
Councilman Scott Taylor said there was a good reason for the big incentives: the project is the largest office complex ever proposed in Kansas City and one of the largest in the nation. That, he says, makes.the venture risky, even with the incentives.
The tax breaks are about equally divided between the city and the state.
Cerner expects the redevelopment to yield about 15,000 new jobs.
Kansas Supreme Court hears school funding arguments
The Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments on the latest school funding lawsuit.
Plaintiffs contend that the legislature ignored a high court order to increase school funding while cutting taxes. The state argues that the court has no authority to order spending because only the Legislature has the power to appropriate money.
Some wondered if ta comment from Jusitce Eric Rosen that in his mind the current funding status was a “broken promise” might portend the outcome.
Court watchers noted that it also could have just been one justice trying to clarify his own thinking on whether the state should have to spend another $440 million on schools..
Kansas Court System Faces $8 million shortfall
Chief Justice Lawton Nuss tried to make it clear what he meant when he told a legislative committee about the financial status of the Kansas court system. Nuss said at current funding levels, the courts could easily end up $8 million short of having enough funding to continue the current level of staffing and operation.
Nuss has said a number of times that such a deficit could mean weeks of court closures and furloughs.
Kansas City AlQuaeda supporter given 14 year sentence
A Kansas City man, Khalid Ouazzani, who sent financial support to Al Qaeda was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.
After the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson tol;d reporters that, “Mr. Ouzzani made his bed and now, unfortunately for him, he's getting to lie in it.”
Ouzzani pleaded guilty to defrauding banks and a businessman to give $23 thousand to Al-Qaeda.
Nixon expresses resolve in execution drug controversy, but sends drugs back
Governor Jay Nixon was sticking to his guns about using the anesthetic propofol for Missouri executions despite threats from a German manufacturer to stop supplying it to the US if the state did.
The governor said publicly that he would not give in to complaints, and the matter would be settled in a court of law.
The ACLU has filed two suits in the matter, and attorneys for one of two men scheduled for execution filed a motion to block the execution.
In the meantime, Missouri sent back the propofol made by the German Company.
Neighborhood more amenable to latest St. Paul's campus proposal
The Saint Paul School of Theology negotiated a contract to sell its former Truman Road Campus to prominent local social service agency the Guadalupe Center.
Neighborhood groups had been upset with a plan for a consortium of social service agencies to move into the campus – including one that sought to rehabilitate prostitutes.
Kansas City unveils new logo... for some uses
Kansas City Missouri unveiled a new logo reminiscent of one used by the Kansas City Monarchs years ago. The current emblem depicting water from a stylized fountain forming a heart shape will still be used on vehicles and for other uses unless the City Council votes to replace it.
Overland Park extends sales tax
Overland Park voters extended a one-eighth sent sales tax for streets and sidewalks for another ten years. Mayor Carl Gerlach said the money will be set aside for those specific purposes, and the use of a sales tax allows visitors who appreciate good streets and infrastructure to help pay for them.
Jury finds Prairie Village councilman willfully neglegent
A Johnson County jury ruled that Prairie Village Councilman David Morrison willfully neglected his duties when he allowed a homeless man to sleep at city hall. A district court judge will decide soon whether Morrison is removed from office for the offense.