Government

Not Your Same Old Ways: Boosters Plot Blight Fight

Jul 21, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Civic, government and business leaders have tentatively forged stimuli to turn around distressed parts of Kansas City. Member of the loosely formed think tank intend to create a private investment fund as an umbrella under which to maneuver.

McCain Rouses Union Station Crowd

Jul 18, 2008

Kansas City, MO –
Missouri is a state where votes may count more. It's a fact recognized by the campaign of Republican Senator John McCain in his quest for the White House. KCUR'S Dan Verbeck followed a McCain appearance at Union Station.


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Picture courtesy of kansascitylightrail.org

Kansas City, MO – The light rail starter route before the Kansas City council had its debut on the committee floor Thursday and met mixed reaction.

The ordinance proposed by Councilman Russ Johnson features 12 miles of track from Vivion Road through downtown to Cleaver Boulevard and East to Prospect. Johnson told the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee the public will vote for it and i eager for the chance to do so.

Kansas City, MO – With a cluster of Obama supporters gathered on the Liberty Memorial hillside across the street, Union Station packed in some 800 people to hear Senator John McCain in Kansas City, Missouri. Dan Verbeck was there.

Entry to the station was open to all. There were no hostile questions for the Senator. Some from the floor dealt with gas prices, gasoline taxes and drilling offshore.

Kansas City, MO – Arizona Sen. John McCain held a town hall meeting Thursday at Union Station. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee addressed approximately 800 people in a forum at Union Station's Sprint Celebration Plaza.

Six Million To Troost Transit

Jul 16, 2008

Kansas CIty, Mo. – More than one hundred Kansas City Area Transportation Authority buses will be replaced over the next five years with $6.1 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funds. The expenditure was part of the 2007 Omnibus spending bill and just announced this week as being confirmed. The funds are destined for the Troost Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. They were arranged by Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (D, fifth dist.) and Senator Christopher Bond (R, Mo.)

Photo by Teresa Sheffield

Kansas City, MO – First lady hopeful Michelle Obama reached out to women voters in Kansas City yesterday, as part of a two day swing through the Midwest.

She hosted a roundtable discussion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City about the economic challenges of working women. The event coincides with both the Obama and McCain Campaign's recent efforts to gain support from voters loyal to former rival Hillary Clinton. Some 300 people - most of whom were women - turned out for the UMKC event.

'Green' Tax Breaks In Missouri

Jul 10, 2008

It's now the law: The good part is there will be a one week tax break when you buy 'green' appliances in Missouri. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports, the timing could be better?

The tax exemption won't do you any good this year. The Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday will run from April 19th through the 25th every year.

Under provisions, the first $1500 of Energy Star certified new appliances will be exempt from Missouri state sales taxes. These would include such appliances as washers and dryers, furnaces and freezers.

Light Rail Vote In November Still Possible

Jul 10, 2008

Kansas City Missouri voters will decide on a light-rail starter route and the 3/8-cent sales tax to support in on November 4th if the process started today continues to fruition.

Councilman Russ Johnson introduced an ordinance that calls for a November vote on the sales tax and a resolution to use the tax for a light-rail starter route if voters approve it.

First Lady Hopeful Reaches Out To Working Women

Jul 10, 2008

Michelle Obama hosted a roundtable discussion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City today about the economic challenges of working women.

The aspiring first lady told a crowd 300 people that the struggles of balancing work and family are especially difficult for women today but her husband, Barack Obama, understands the plight of women and is best suited to take on those issues as President.

Kansas City, MO – Michelle Obama visited Kansas City in July to discuss the economic challenges facing families and women. This roundtable is one of a series of discussions with women that the wife of the Democratic presidential nominee has hosted across the country.
You can listen to the entire speech here.

Kansas City, MO – During a June gubernatorial primary debate in the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman labeled her Republican opponent, U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof, as a Washington D.C. insider. Hulshof struck back by suggesting that Steelman didn't understand how bills get passed in Congress.

Highway Horrors Face Funding Flaws

Jul 7, 2008

Missouri highway planners say there is no funding available for road and bridge projects valued at $5.5 billion. Missouri Department of Transportation is already considering a twenty year projection of needs that will cost $31 billion.

The intake of revenue over the same period is calculated at $13 billion. Long term projects include widening of Interstate 70 to eight lanes and turning South 71 Highway into a portion of Interstate 49.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Penned into law by Missouri's governor, a host of rules governing illegal immigration will go into effect in August. Another provision that will affect Kansas City law enforcement will become effective in January 2009.

Grant Launches Habitat Home Extension

Jul 1, 2008
kcur photo by Dan Verbeck

Habitat for Humanity extends its program in Kansas City's core.

The Habitat for Humanity is assured of funds for 11 new homes in Kansas City's urban core. Federal Home Loan Bank Executive Vice President Nicholas Spaeth has presented Fifth District Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver(D,Mo.) with a check for $110,000. While the sum may appear low for 11 homes, Habitat spokesperson Rebecca Dye says it costs the agency $95,000 to build one house. The new owners pay a maximum $85,000. This grant will satisfy the balance.

Independence, MO – Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee and Illinois Senator Barack Obama spoke to a crowd Monday gathered at the Truman Memorial Building Auditorium in Independence, Missouri. Up to Date's host Steve Kraske talked to the candidate.

Listen to the June 30, 2008 broadcast of Up to Date: Live from Independence with Presidential Candidate Barack Obama here.

Independence, MO – Hundreds of people turned out to see Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama Monday morning in Independence. KCUR's Maria Carter was there.

Senator Obama has been plagued by detractors who've questioned his commitment to the country, but Obama fired back today with a 30 minute speech outlining his views on patriotism.

KANSAS CITY, MO –
Walt and Laura meet with City Auditor Gary White and Kansas City Star Reporter Dave Helling to talk about the proposed budget. Listeners share opinions on what they feel should be Kansas City's top priorities. Also, hear more about the challenges facing the city council as expenditures are expected to rise.

Listen to the show. (54 min)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In an extended press conference this morning Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says he decided not to run for reelection in the last few days, less than two weeks after delivering a State of the State address that was widely viewed as a campaign speech.

 

Kansas City Voters Face Two Smoking Ban Proposals

Jan 18, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City voters will likely face two competing smoking ban proposals, and one to renew a tax that supports city buses. But as KCUR's Steve Bell reports, the final ballot isn't set in stone.

The city council agreed yesterday to fine-tune a 3/8 cent sales tax for the ATA so the proceeds could only go for bus service and planned to finalize putting it on the ballot next week. But City Attorney Galen Beauford Clay said Chastain's light rail lawsuit could invalidate that.

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City, Missouri City Council has approved an amended version of a smoking ban initiative for an April public vote. If the group that collected the petition signatures doesn't approve the changes, both versions will be on the ballot.

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Kansas City, MO – Steve Murdock became the first official demographer for the state of Texas in 2001. He uses population projections to advise the state government of Texas, and other states too, on everything from public education and health care to budget planning and economic growth. Texas is one of four states that are majority minority - where the combined population of all non-white groups is more than 50%, and Murdock says pretty soon, the whole country will look like Texas.

Kansas City, MO – In April, the Missouri House of Representatives assigned a special committee to research the effect of illegal immigration on the state. In early June, state officials told the committee that state services haven't seen much impact, but the picture in Kansas City is different. On Thursday, more than a dozen Kansas City officials and community leaders testified before the committee during a day-long forum at Penn Valley Community College. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross was there.

Kansas City, MO – On April 10, thousands of people gathered at Ilus Davis Park near City Hall to advocate for immigration reform that includes some kind of legalization for undocumented immigrants. A week later, a rally against illegal immigration drew several hundred people to Mill Creek Park, next to the Country Club Plaza. Many of the protestors there said they support legal immigration, but think existing laws are not being enforced by the government. Sylvia Maria Gross has more.

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