Government

Government
7:23 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Kansas City Council Moves To Save Red-Light Cameras

Credit The Pelican Institute

The Kansas City council committee has endorsed changes to the city's red-light camera ordinance. If the full council agrees Tuesday the cameras will be back in operation in ten days

Kansas City stopped issuing red-light camera tickets earlier this month after a Missouri court ruled that running a red light is a moving violation, and must be charged against a specific driver.

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Government
11:07 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Kansas City Council Weighs Split Between Museum And Union Station

The Kansas City council is looking at a proposal for the city to take control of the Kansas City Museum and its collection. The move would cut the strained ties between the museum and Union Station, which has managed the museum since 2000.

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Central Standard
10:40 am
Fri November 22, 2013

The History Of The Kansas City Streetcar

Credit ChrisM70 / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Kansas City, Mo., is well on its way to building a downtown streetcar line. In the works is a two-mile project from River Market to Union Station, and it's likely there will be more miles of track extending further into the city.

Kansas City once had more than 300 miles of streetcar track, one of the largest systems in America, but the city tore up the tracks or, in some cases, paved over it.

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Government
6:25 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Streetcar Expansion Routes Narrowed, Studies Continue

The Kansas City, Mo., city council has approved a report that supports adding another eight to 10 miles of streetcar track to its 2.2 mile starter system over the next decade. 

Favored routes are eastward branches along Independence Avenue and the Linwood-31st Street corridor and a southern extension as far as Brookside or Waldo.

Members of the study group say federal grants should fund 50 percent of the cost.

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Up to Date
1:39 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

The Assassination Of JFK, 50 Years Later

John F. Kennedy rides in the Nov. 22 Dallas motorcade, shortly before he was shot.
Credit Victor Hugo King / Wikimedia Commons

If you were old enough to understand, chances are you remember what you were doing 50 years ago when you heard President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

On Friday's Up to Date, we look back at the assassination of JFK through the lens of the Secret Service, doctors at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas and a few of the ever-popular conspiracy theories.

Guests:

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Government
4:33 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Sandy Praeger Declines Invitation To Meet With President Obama About ACA

The head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and two members met Wednesday with President Obama to discuss the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, a moderate Republican who has generally supported the law, was invited but chose not to attend. NAIC President Jim Donelon, Connecticut’s insurance commissioner, organized the meeting.

Praeger said she wasn’t trying to distance herself from the controversy surrounding the law’s problem-plagued rollout.

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Up to Date
10:14 am
Wed November 20, 2013

A 20-Year View For MoDOT

Missouri's roads will need $70 billion in repairs and maintenance work over the next two decades, but the budget only allows for $17 billion of work.
Credit modot_stl_photos/Flickr-CC

The Missouri Department of Transportation just released its 20-year plan for the state’s roads and bridges. MoDOT expects it will have about $17 billion dollars to pay for the plan. However, if it completed all the maintenance and construction suggested by Missouri citizens in a recent survey, it would need a budget of $70 billion. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about the plan and how the state will prioritize its future projects.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:13 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Downtown Kansas City Streetcar Project: What's Next?

Kansas City's downtown streetcar line will run from the River Market to Crown Center.
Credit City of Kansas City, Missouri

Construction has already begun on the first leg of Kansas City’s streetcar system. The two mile line will run between the River Market area and Crown Center.

Now officials are looking at potential routes for a second leg and beyond. Where should the second leg go? Is it inevitable that route No. 2 will extend to the Plaza and maybe UMKC?

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Government
8:21 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Kansas Statehouse Renovation Drawing To A Close

The Kansas Statehouse has been under construction for more than a decade.
Credit Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A project that has taken more than a decade and cost $300 million is drawing to a close.

The renovation of the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka should be mostly finished next month, and, a state panel heard one of the final updates on the project Tuesday.

STD The project is in the home stretch, but the Statehouse grounds are very much still an active construction site. There's scaffolding on the building, fences block off large sections and construction equipment rumbles around the property.

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Government
3:53 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Ground Broken On New Kansas City Crime Lab

Earth moving equipment is at idle as Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte' leads ground breaking for a new East Patrol Station and crime lab.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Ground has been ceremonially broken for the already-in-progress East Patrol Police station/crime lab construction in Kansas City, Mo.

Chrome plated shovels were planted in dirt but it was obvious heavy equipment had been working for weeks. About 80 houses were torn down for the 17-acre, $74 million project.

Nearly every speaker talked about those who gave up property, some unwillingly. Though, there were no protestors visible at the gathering.

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Central Standard
2:24 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

An Interview With The Former U.S. Ambassador To Portugal, Allan Katz

Former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, Allan Katz, (left) with Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta.
Credit Secretary of Defense / Flickr - CC

Allan Katz recently returned from foreign service as the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal to teach at his alma mater, UMKC. Katz was a friend of Barack Obama (before he became President Obama) which he says contributed to being chosen as the ambassador. President Obama nominated Katz in 2009, which was followed by what Katz says was a long, arduous process of congressional approval. Katz says there were difficult times of misunderstanding, such as the publication of Wikileaks, but that if given the opportunity he would serve again. 

Guest:

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Government
8:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Brownback Rolls Out Controversial Kansas Reading Program

Credit U.S. Government / Wikimedia --CC

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is rolling out a program aimed at boosting reading proficiency among Kansas students. State reading scores are generally near the top of national rankings, but the administration believes Kansas can do better.

A child advocacy group says it's a laudable goal, but its members aren't happy that the initiative will be funded by taking $9 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF).

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Government
8:26 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Customer Advocates Upset As Utility Regulators Look At Changes

The Kansas Corporation Commission and an agency representing utility customers have been butting heads over comments made by a KCC commissioner.

The disagreement is over what the commissioner said about how the KCC decides rate increases for utility customers. In a recent filing, KCC Chair Mark Sievers endorsed a process that uses a formula to decide future rate increases.

The more common process is where advocates for utility customers and the utility make arguments before the KCC and then the KCC decides on the amount of the increase.

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Government
8:53 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Brownback Unveils Grade School Reading Program

Gov. Sam Brownback has unveiled an initiative aimed at improving reading proficiency in Kansas grade school students. The initiative will provide grant money for after-school reading programs. But the funding method is controversial.

The plan is to use $9 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), to fund the reading initiative. Gov. Brownback says focusing on reading in children can pay long-term dividends.

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Government
7:21 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Missouri Will Accept Joint Returns From Married Same-Sex Couples

The Missouri Department of Revenue must now accept joint state income tax returns from same-sex married couples, following an executive order issued Thursday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Gov. Nixon says the order is necessary for two reasons – because Missouri law requires married couples who file joint federal tax returns to also file joint state returns, and because of the U.S. Treasury Department’s recent decision to recognize same-sex marriages, even for couples living in states that don’t recognize gay marriage.

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Government
2:29 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Missouri Moving Forward With Executions, Despite Secrecy Over Drug Supply

Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.

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Government
10:28 am
Thu November 14, 2013

WATCH LIVE: Obama To Address Nation On Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama is expected to address the nation at 10:45 a.m. 

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Government
8:22 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Missouri Lawmakers Reject Medicaid Expansion

An interim committee of the Missouri Senate has adopted a draft report with recommendations on reforming the state’s Medicaid system, but the report specifically leaves out the possibility of Medicaid expansion.

The Republican chair of the committee, Gary Romine of Farmington, says Medicaid must be reformed before any expansion can be considered. Democrats balked at that position, but then said they’d back the committee’s report if they could add language reflecting that the majority of public testimony collected called for expanding Medicaid.

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Government
5:22 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Kansas City Poised To Push For GOP National Convention

Credit truthout.org

Business and government leaders from Missouri and Kansas are aligned to push for winning the 2016 Republican National Convention for Kansas City.

There will be a battle of bids for the GOP Nominating Convention and the Convention and Visitors Bureau is comparing Kansas City with other cities that have expressed interest, including Phoenix, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Chicago.

The local task force includes the Chairman of the Johnson County, Kan. Commission and the Mayor of Unified Government in Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

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Government
7:57 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Audit Finds No-Bid Bonds Cost Missouri Taxpayers $43 Million

A state audit released Tuesday finds that local governments and school districts in Missouri have cost themselves $43 million by not allowing competition for underwriting public bonds.

Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich cites the practice of negotiated bond sales, in which an underwriter is hired in advance and sometimes acts as a financial advisor to the local government that issues the bond.

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Government
5:42 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Missouri Governor Calls For Truce In Economic Border War

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon answers reporters' questions after outlining his proposal to abate the economic border battle with Kansas.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for a temporary halt to what’s known as the economic “border war” between Kansas and Missouri Tuesday, in an address to the Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Both states have a history of offering incentives to draw companies across state line. Nixon wants a temporary moratorium for the Kansas City metro area.

Nixon said his administration and that of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback have been negotiating the issue.

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Government
7:37 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Mediation Likely In Kansas University Hospital Labor Dispute

Negotiations are standing still between KU Hospital and members of its nurses' union. The next step is mediation.

Hospital administration and the KU Nurses' Association have declared impasse with the Kansas Public   Employee Relations Board. The hospital offered a pay hike of 2 percent but took away premium pay for less desirable shifts and other situations. Rank and file voted it down. 

Hospital spokesman Jill Chadwick said another union element may make agreement more difficult.

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Up to Date
11:32 am
Mon November 11, 2013

VFW Adapts To Changing Veteran Needs

The Veterans of Foreign Wars have chapters all across the United States.
Credit Pete Zarria/Flickr-CC

Today's recent veterans are finishing their service with different experiences than previous generations, and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups across the country are trying to figure out how to adapt.

On Monday's Up to Date, Adjutant General John Hamilton joins Steve Kraske to talk about the changing needs of veterans.

Guest:

  • Adjutant General John Hamilton recently finished his term as the commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
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Central Standard
9:29 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Bully Breed Bans In The Kansas City Metro

Credit maplegirlie / Flickr - CC

Many of the communities around Kansas City have passed into law what some call "bully breed bans"—restrictions on specific breeds thought to be dangerous, like pit bulls and rottweilers. Kansas City does not have any bans, but the city does require all pit bulls to be spayed or neutered.

The following area communities do have pit bull bans:

• Independence, Mo.
• Leawood, Kan.
• Liberty, Mo.
• Marion, Kan.
• Overland Park, Kan.
• Platte City, Mo.
• Prairie Village, Kan.
• Roeland Park, Kan.
• Shawnee, Kan.

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Government
7:17 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Newt Gingrich Backs Roberts Over Wolf In Kansas Senate Primary

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts campaigns backed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR-FM

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts campaigned with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a campaign event Friday in Overland Park, Kan. Roberts faces a serious primary challenge.

The event was a show of force, and conservative political clout.  Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer was there, along with Mary Kay Culp, the executive director of Kansans for Life, and Patricia Stoneking, president of the Kansas State Rifle Association.     

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Government
11:52 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Tight Security For Planned Neo-Nazi Rally And Counter Protests

Protesters at an anti-Nazi rally in gather in Dresden, Germany last year.
Credit dielinke_sachsen / Wikimedia --CC

The Kansas City Police Department says they will cover this weekend’s rally by neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Movement, as they would any protest or rally.

However, the KCPD released a statement this week outlining comprehensive security measures, including designated access areas to the protest site with a long list of prohibited items.

The police will have specific entry points at designated rally sites where uniformed officers will be screening those who enter.

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Government
8:00 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Officials Say MoDot Needs New Cash Flow For Maintenance, Improvements

Slogans on display at Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission event for local media.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Missouri will be fortunate to keep the highways and bridges it has for the next 20 years, much less do any new construction. That was the bleak message from State Highway officials delivered at a Kansas City presentation Thursday.

MoDOT spent months listening to  the public and local officials to put together a tentative long-range plan.

MoDOT Director Dave Nichols counts 12,000 suggested projects, far beyond what he calls a funding reality. Highway and Transportation Commission Chair Joe Carmichael said his group’s role is to find what Missourians want.

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Government
7:34 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Kansas City Streetcar Phase II: East, South Or Both?

Artist's rendering of proposed Main Street streetcar line
Credit Submitted photo / City of Kansas City, Mo.

Plans for Phase II of a streetcar system roll on. And though where the second stretch of track will be laid is not decided yet, the choices are narrowing.

The report the city council heard Thursday recommends one or more extensions of streetcar line, with the highest scores for routes south on Main to 51st Street, east on Linwood or 31st Street for several miles and/or east on Independence Avenue to Benton. Those selections rated highest on a combination of factors including potential economic development.

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Government
10:03 am
Thu November 7, 2013

See Which Missouri Legislators Took Gifts From Lobbyists

Credit St. Louis Public Radio/NPR

In partnership with NPR, St. Louis Public Radio has created a new website to keep track of all the gifts Missouri state lawmakers have been receiving from companies and organizations that have lobbyists at the capitol in Jefferson City. And, the information is searchable and downloadable. 

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Government
7:50 am
Thu November 7, 2013

EPA Awards $30K Health Care Grant To Black Health Care Coalition

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy presented a $30,000 grant to combat childhood asthma to the Black Health Care Coalition in Kansas City.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The recently confirmed Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was in Kansas City, Mo. Wednesday to present a federal grant to the Black Health Care Coalition.

McCarthy said the agency was one of 39 applicants to receive an Environmental Justice Small Grant Award from the EPA. She said the process was competitive, saying there were hundreds of proposals.

The grant offers $30,000 for one year to educate teachers and health care professionals about the onset and treatment of childhood asthma.

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