Kansas City, MO – City Manager Troy Schulte's comments to the Kansas City Star that the city will have to pay millions of dollars for up to ten years to subsidize Power and Light District TIFs prompted responses from several Kansas City council members Wednesday.
Kansas City, MO – "It's a great day for all working people in the state of Missouri!" said Jim Wells, regional director for the Autoworkers union reflecting a pretty upbeat mood across the street from the Claycomo plant. Workers and politicians celebrated as governor Nixon signed the measure granting auto makers, and their suppliers up to 15 million dollars a year in tax breaks, for 10 years if they invest here.
"We are committed to making sure that Missouri is an automotive (manufacturing) state for years to come", said Nixon.
Kansas City, MO – A laptop stolen five years ago in Overland Park has led to federal charges of a custom, stolen-to-order airline ticket scam that ranged through 28 states and Canada. Secret indictments were opened today describing thousands of identity thefts.
Kansas City, Mo. – A city council committee is recommending that the city council allocate a quarter of a million dollars on an option to buy the block that contains the Power and Light building for a downtown convention hotel.
The planning and zoning committee is sending the full council resolutions to continue studying the possibility of a 1,000 room hotel and to pay New York's Gailord Enterprises $250,000 to take the property off the market for the year or so that study is expected to take.
Kansas City, Mo. – Low-income working people tend to qualify for tax refunds, to get their taxes done early and to buy lucrative "refund anticipation loans". Until recently, H&R Block expanded aggressively to grab that business.
But Block's tax preparation work dove 5 percent this year. CEO Russ Smyth says the mounting popularity of tax preparation software cuts into their business, but that double digit unemployment among the working poor cuts deeper.
Kansas City, Mo. – Last summer General Motors was clinging to life, bankrupt, propped up only by a massive infusion of government cash. Wednesday, though, money was flowing the other way. The company announced that it's sinking a lot of cash into its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas. It also trumped the fact that it has repaid a massive federal government loan, way early. Those two announcements in Kansas City lead to some rare, bi-partisan praise for the auto industry relief plan.
Kansas City, Mo. – Galaxies, black holes and supernova: for most of us, they are the mysteries of our universe. For UMKC physics professor Daniel McIntosh, it's his life's work. He is part of a team of over 100 scientists, led by University of California scientist Sandra Faber, who will be using the newest and most advanced version of the Hubble Space Telescope to survey the heavens during a three year period.
Kansas City, Mo. – The Department of Energy has awarded the Smith Electric Vehicle Company in Kansas City another significant grant to continue research and development of electric delivery trucks.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill got a tour of the Smith Electric Plant yesterday from executives and workers, after announcing DOE would add $22 million to the $10 million it had already given Smith.
The company manufactures delivery trucks, with electric engines.
Kansas City , Mo. – Scientists and business people are sharing research among institutions and across disciplines. That was the message at this weeks Life Sciences Summit sponsored by the University of Missouri campuses.
Collaborating is already happening . Working together has produced some tremendous breakthroughs in animal and human health.
Kansas City, Mo. – The Attorneys General from Missouri and Kansas are teaming with the Federal Trade Commission to counter growing confidence games used against holders of foreclosed mortgages.
It's the work of sharks in the quasi financial world. Kansas had no complaints about companies offering to fix foreclosures---and didn't-- in year 20007. Attorney General Steven Six counts it at 171 last year and into the hundreds this year.
Kansas City , Mo. – The old Bannister Federal Complex passed round one of EPA testing for hazardous pollution this week, but there are more tests to follow.
The environmental agency remained silent until the results were in. Volatile solvents, some of them carcinogens, have left no traces at the old Honeywell plant that pose a health hazard from breathing the air inside the buildings.
Kansas City, Mo. – The Full Employment Council in Kansas City has been awarded $5 million in stimulus money for a new program to prepare some 1,500 people for jobs in the fields of long-term care and allied health.
During a conference call where U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis made the announcement on Friday, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver said the award is great news for this area, especially as the population ages and the need for health care rises.
Kansas City, Mo. – Some of the nation's top economics bloggers have a breathtakingly pessimistic outlook. The findings come from the respected Kauffman Foundation on February 2, 2010.
Economic growth numbers from the last quarter of 2009 may look promising but they don't impress many of 200 economics devotees surveyed by The Kauffman group. Tim Kane is senior fellow with the foundation and engineered the first-of-its-kind study for the organization.
Dodge City, Kan. – Two years ago, Kansas lawmakers passed the Expanded Gaming Act, which would legalize gambling at four new casinos, all state-owned. Now that Kansas is facing a $ 400 million dollar budget deficit, it could use the casino revenue more than ever. But the only casino that's opened so far is in Dodge City.
Overland Park, Kansas – This story aired as part of a series we've been doing on the local economy. Johnson County, Kansas has some of the fastest growing and affluent cities in the country. Thousands of layoffs at local corporations like Sprint/Nextel and smaller technology companies have created unemployment Johnson County isn't accustomed to.
Kansas City, Mo. – Plans for a half billion dollar nuclear weapons parts plant are moving toward a vote of the Kansas City Council. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the council today recommended full council approval of a development agreement.
The committee heard from anti nuclear weapon activists, from contractors and school districts, from health advocates and others representing individual viewpoints and groups.
Kansas City, MO – Ask just about anybody in the commercial real estate field in Kansas City how business has been affected by the recession, and very early on, they will emphasize that the market here has not been affected as severely as in some other cities.
Olathe, Kansas – Now there are officially two centers under construction at the Kansas Bioscience Park in Olathe. The Kansas Bioscience Venture Accelerator officially broke ground this afternoon on a windy field adjacent to the K-State extension campus that will become The Olathe Innovation Center. Both are part of the Kansas Bioscience Park aimed at promoting the biosciences in the region.
The public-private Kansas Bioscience Authority plans for The Venture Accelerator to turn research into products and take those products to the market.
Olathe, Kansas – The Kansas Bioscience Park in Olathe got a jump on its second main part this afternoon with the groundbreaking of the "Venture Accelerator." It's to be an incubator for business ideas and strategies that will take research and turn it into profit. The center is to be located next to an extension campus of K-State where officials plan to do cutting edge reserach on food safety, food security, and animal health.
Kansas City, MO – A Kansas City-based architecture firm has been awarded a $1.2 million contract to design a new, and green, public works facility in Johnson County, Kansas. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
Out of a field of six finalists, 360 Architecture, Inc. was selected to design the new $14 million Johnson County Public Works facility in west Olathe, Kansas. It will replace a small, and aging, building from the 1960s.
Kansas City, MO – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and officials of Kansas City Power and Light announced a $24 million federal grant for the Green Impact Zone on Tuesday. The money will be used to develop a state-of-the-art "smart grid" electrical power system in the central east-side district.
The stimulus money will pay half the cost of a $48 million project that aims to install the new technology in what has been a disadvantaged area of the city.
Kansas City , Mo. – Officials with the Kansas Bioscience Authority and K-State are breaking ground later this morning for an animal health and food safety center in Olathe. It's the first building of the so-called Olathe Innovation Center, funded with revenue generated by the one-eighth cent sales tax Johnson Countians approved last year. CEO Dan Richardson says the center will become be a destination spot for people interested in learning what's happening around animal health and food safety.
Kansas City, Mo. – Water and sewer projects lead to jobs. As part of the "Get to Work, Missouri" program, Governor Jay Nixon went to a job site in Kansas City to herald a $266 million statewide initiative. More than a score of communities will get funds for sewer and drinking water plants.
Kansas City's share will be $24 million. Blue Springs will get $34 million.
Overland Park, KS – The Kansas City region is expected to shed fewer jobs in 2010 than thus far into the recession. But the message is mixed. Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce got its annual economic forecast from the regional council.
Analyst Frank Lenk believes, at best, economic output will be sluggish next year, but recovery in jobs and income will be slower. His best case adds 4,000 jobs. The longer recession scenario sees job losses added to the 31,000 lost this year.
Kansas City, Mo. – There is no obvious fix, as American Airlines' KCI overhaul base has been shaved to the bone.' It will close next September. Kansas City will still be paid rent of $1.1 Million a year for more than a decade, as required by contract.