The Economy Project

Frank Morris

Kansas City, MO – It looks like banking isn't the only industry coming in for some added regulatory scrutiny from the Obama administration. US Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack have launched a series of workshops probing anti-trust issues in agriculture. Some big agribusiness firms say the forums will showcase a well functioning, free market. But, many producers think they'll expose a system increasingly hostile to the traditional family farm.


Kansas Mental Health Centers Stretched Thin

Feb 1, 2010

Kansas City, MO – A third of community mental health centers in Kansas are operating in the red. Nine out of 27 spent more than they took in last year, according to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

This year's revenue may not be any better for centers, now that the state's also enacted a ten percent cut to Medicaid reimbursements, according to the SRS's Rick Shults.

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.

Topeka, KS – The Kansas Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is running out of cash. The fund may start drawing loans from the federal government as soon as next month to keep paying benefits.

The fund pays for unemployment benefits in Kansas. High unemployment rates have meant millions in payments and that has drained the fund over the last year. There is currently around $60 million available to pay unemployment benefits. at the beginning of last year, the fund held more than $500 million.

Kansas City , Mo. –

Kansas City, MO – Johnson County Park officials say the meat and hides from the deer harvest at Shawnee Mission Park will be put to good use.

The Park Board released a statement yesterday saying meat from the deer killed during the harvest would be processed at USDA-approved facilities and donated to Harvesters Food Bank.

WIC Changes Encourage Breastfeeding

Oct 5, 2009

Kansas City, MO – Beginning this month, several new food options will be available through Missouri WIC, or women infants and children programs. Officials say the move marks the most comprehensive change to nutrition guidelines in three decades and is designed to encourage breastfeeding.

Mothers will get enhanced food packages with more fruits and vegetables if they breastfeed their newborns for at least a month. Formula will also no longer be part of the standard package.

Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – Wyandotte County is slated to receive more than $3 million in federal stimulus funding to support the redevelopment of abandoned or foreclosed homes. The Argentine Neighborhood Development Association hopes to use $800,000 of that amount to improve housing in its area. But the head of that organization is also a Unified Government Commissioner and some other commissioners are concerned that it might be a conflict of interest.

Aquilla and Eliot Clark outside their home. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – In the first six months of this year, foreclosures in Kansas City marked a decline, even while the national numbers continued to rise. But in that time period, according to RealtyTrac, one out of every 122 area homes were in some stage of foreclosure. And in a few neighborhoods, those statistics are much higher. For local families facing foreclosure, the mortgage crisis is personal - destroying the middle class dream of home ownership. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross talked to one such family in the Blue Hills neighborhood.

Kansas City , Mo. – Reports from the federal government last week underscore optimism about the farm economy. But for farm activists, there are lingering concerns.

The US Department of Agriculture and Federal Reserve reports suggest the farm economy is in relatively good shape. Among the reasons are stabilizing land and commodity values, greater demand for corn-based fuel because of higher prices for crude oil, and the potentially record crop harvests.

Salina, KS – A coalition of faith leaders is launching a nationwide effort to make sure that every American family receives quality, affordable health care. More from Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson.

Listen to the story here.

Find out more about the Kansas Health Series on Kansas Public Radio here