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.
Kansas City, MO – A new Wizards soccer stadium and Cerner Corporation office park is closer to becoming reality with an offer from the Kansas Commerce Secretary. It adds up to nearly $230 million in incentives.
Five weeks ago the Unified Government of Wyandotte County asked for $155 million in help from the STAR Bond program. The offer yesterday is ten million dollars short of that but includes $85 million in cash incentives and state tax credits.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Bioscience Authority is providing $50 million to increase investments in Kansas companies. The funding will be split between eight venture capital firms. The groups are each required to raise at least $25 million from other sources, to bring the total capital available to $250 million. The money, in turn, will be invested in Kansas-based bioscience companies. Tom Thornton, with the Kansas Bioscience Authority says goal is growing the industry in the state.
Kansas City, MO – Two Kansas City nonprofits have been recognized for their efforts to address critical social issues. They'll receive $400,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.
Communities Creating Opportunity provides tools and training to tackle issues like health care, housing, and economics. And the Charlotte Street Foundation supports the local arts community with annual cash awards, free studio spaces, and other opportunities.
Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center is doing well, paying the Kansas City, Missouri a $1.8 million dollar bonus for the year. That's because the city gets 50 percent of the arena's profits after Anschutz Entertainment Group reaches its guaranteed profit amount. But AEG also manages Kemper Arena, and Oscar McGaskey, who is in charge of the city's revenue-producing properties, says the contract estimates on the older arena just didn't pan out.
Topeka, KS – September may have been a bad month for the Kansas budget as corporate and income taxes fell below estimate.
Kansas officials say the state's revenues in September came in $67 million below expectations. So far in the fiscal year that began July 1, state revenues are $65 million below the forecasts that formed the basis for the state budget.
Claycomo, MO – The Missouri automotive jobs situation is on sound footing, according to a panel drawn together by Governor Jay Nixon. He summarizes the task force conclusions as "poised for growth" and said so at the Ford Claycomo Plant.
Kansas City, Kansas – Kansas City Missouri's apparent loss is Wyandotte county's gain. Negotiations are free to begin between the Unified Government and owners of the Wizards for a soccer stadium at Village West next to Kansas Speedway.
Kansas City, MO – Anyone who has jumped behind the wheel of a brand new car might themselves saying, "There's just nothing like a new car smell!" In fact, go to the car wash, and "New Car" is one of the scents you're offered. But toxicologist Marcus Iszard wants us to think twice before we get too carried away with the fresh smell of new vehicles. Susan stopped by his office and he told her all about the hidden dangers of new cars.
Kansas City, MO – The recent recession has many people completely rethinking how they manage their money. KCUR's Susan Wilson recently caught up with certified financial planner David Jackson, of Waddell and Reed, to find out whether changes in the economy should prompt major changes in people's investments.
Olathe, KS – A panel of experts says the U-S Army Corps of Engineers assessment of the environmental risks posed by a planned shipping facility near Gardner is deeply flawed. They presented their critique at a public meeting in Olathe on Thursday. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson was there, and filed this report.
Find out more about the Kansas Health Series on Kansas Public Radio here
Kansas City, MO – First thing Saturday morning at the big truck stop out in Oak Grove, Missouri the restaurant is not quite half full of truckers. Jones: My name is Dee Jones. Dee is a nick name that I've gone by for 66 years, and I'm known nationwide by it.
Like many of the other guys Dee Jones is here killing time, and making calls, looking for work.
While many people are still trying to dig out from under bad mortgages, new data shows that foreclosures are actually down in the Kansas City area, compared to the first six months of last year. And some people are finding that it's a pretty good time to buy a house. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson spoke to Certified Financial Planner David Jackson, of Waddell and Reed, for his thoughts on buying, or keeping, a home.
Kansas City, MO – Trucking companies are posting big losses as the recession drags on. One of the largest, YRC Worldwide, lost more than 300 million dollars in the second quarter, and may be headed for bankruptcy. KCUR's Frank Morris reports.
The amount of stuff shipped by truck, as measured in tons, fell off steeply last year, and hasn't come back. It was down more than 13% in June. That makes for a lot of idled or under filled semis and steep losses for trucking companies.
Kansas City – In this recession pre-paid, the low end of the mobile phone market, is hot. Sprint established itself as a price leader in that segment early this year, coming out with its Boost, 50 dollar a month, unlimited voice plan. Virgin Mobile matched that. Now with Sprint taking over Virgin, the Overland Park based company will gain more than 5 million customers . But analyst Christopher King doesn't see a lot in the deal for Sprint, beyond that.