Government

Central Standard
8:54 am
Wed December 18, 2013

LED Street Lights Brighten Up Kansas City Metro

Credit dphiffer / Flickr - CC

Communities around the Kansas City metro are taking part in programs to install LED street lights.

Participating cities saw significant energy savings after switching to the high-efficiency lights, and felt they got more light for less cost. The initiative was funded by the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation grant program.

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Government
7:32 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Missouri Audit Alleges Misuse of EBT Cards By Some Welfare Recipients

(via Flickr/clementine gallot)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 6:42 pm

A new audit released Tuesday finds that some welfare recipients in Missouri have used their benefits to buy things besides food and other daily necessities, while others may have moved away but continue to get in-state benefits.

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Up to Date
10:27 am
Tue December 17, 2013

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill On The Budget, Sexual Assault In The Military

Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Steve Kraske to talk about the latest legislative issues.
Credit U.S. Senate

  We’re nearing the end of this year’s legislative session in Washington, but things aren’t cooling off quite yet.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Steve Kraske to discuss the future of the farm bill, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the recent House budget deal and what’s going on with John Boehner after his speech about the Tea Party to Republican lawmakers.

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:36 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Debate Still Rages Over KCI Rebuilding Ideas

The debate goes on over whether the KCI airport should build a new terminal.
Credit Kansas City Aviation Department

Whether or not to rebuild KCI is still a hotly-debated topic, and Kansas City voters might have a say in the matter.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, the issue at hand is whether the airport, built in the early 1970s, can still efficiently serve the community's needs with its current infrastructure.

Guests:

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Government
7:36 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Federal Officials Will Take A Second Look At Kansas Voting Request

A federal agency has been ordered to take another look at the national voter registration form and consider a change requested by Kansas and Arizona. The two states require proof of citizenship in some cases when registering to vote. The states want the federal form to include instructions on the document requirement.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the federal Election Assistance Commission hasn't yet made a decision.

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Government
9:54 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Proposal To Slow Student Transfers Expected In January

A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area may be considered by the Missouri General Assembly next year.

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Government
6:49 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Kansas City Red-Light Cams Will Stay Suspended, For Now

Red-light cameras in Kansas City will be suspended for at least a while longer.
Credit Intel Free Press / Wikimedia --CC

Kansas City's red-light traffic camera program will stay suspended for a while longer.

Before writing a new ordinance, the city is appealing the decision that turned the cameras off to the Missouri Supreme Court.

City Attorney Bill Geary says the legal staff is not only perplexed by two contradictory appeals court decisions, but also concerned that one of them would allow a class action lawsuit against the city by every person who was ticketed at a red-light camera.

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Central Standard
1:08 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

An Interview With Author Of 'The Undeserving Poor'

A homeless man in San Francisco's Chinatown.
Credit Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton / Flickr -- Creative Commons

In 1989 Michael Katz wrote the first edition of The Undeserving Poor and changed the way we talk about and understand poverty. He directly addressed the question of who is responsible for the victims of poverty.

His recently revised second edition came out last month, numerous aspects of poverty have completely changed, while others have persisted and some have even expanded over the last two decades.

On Wednesday's Central Standard, we talk with Michael Katz about his work and some of the deepest challenges regarding poverty.

Guest:

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Government
7:13 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Nixon Announces Bond Issue For New State Psychiatric Hospital

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced plans to use a bond issue to pay for construction of a new state psychiatric hospital in Fulton.

Fulton State Hospital opened in 1851 and is the oldest state mental hospital west of the Mississippi River. Nixon says the bond issue will be part of his overall state budget request for next year, and that it’s sorely needed to rebuild an aging and sometimes dangerous facility.

“Based on workers’ compensation costs, it’s far more dangerous to work here at Fulton than any Department of Corrections facility,” said Nixon.

Government
7:08 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Kansas Corporation Commission Chairman Submits Resignation

The chairman of the Kansas Corporation Commission, Mark Sievers, has announced he will resign. Sievers has chaired the regulatory board since 2011. The organization has recently been involved in some controversies.

The KCC regulates utilities like electricity and gas, as well as motor carries and oil wells. Last month, a Shawnee County judge fined the organization for violating the state's open meetings act.

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Government
8:33 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Missouri Senate Boeing Bill Passes House Committees

Two Missouri House committees have passed the Senate version of the Boeing incentives bill, which now heads to the full House for floor debate.

Much of Thursday's discussion focused on a handful of amendments the Senate added to the bill, including one that requires Boeing to report each year on its efforts to hire women and minorities, and another that would require the 777-X project to be profitable in ten years.

House Member Anne Zerr, who’s handling the Senate bill, says she thinks the additional language makes it better.

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Government
7:53 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Kansas City Council Approves New Management For KC Museum

Corinthian Hall, 3218 Gladstone Blvd, is the home of the Kansas City Museum. It's been mostly closed for renovations since 2008.
Credit Creative Commons

After years of discussion, the Kansas City Council Thursday approved a new long-term agreement for the Kansas City Museum. Union Station Kansas City has managed the museum since 2000. The agreement transfers it to the city’s parks and recreation department. But the bulk of the collection remains owned by Union Station. 

"This is a very long awaited resolution to a somewhat extended and difficult partnership that we've had with Union Station," says Councilwoman Jan Marcason, who introduced the ordinance before the council. It passed with a unanimous vote.

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Government
8:17 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Missouri Senate Passes $150 Million Boeing Tax Break Deal

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to land production of Boeing's 777X passenger jet is two steps closer to success, as the Missouri Senate gave it both first-round and final approval Wednesday.

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Government
7:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Kansas City Council Committees Stall On Downtown Drive-Thru, Traffic Cams

Drive-thru moratorium stuck on 2-2 vote

Opponents of a downtown drive-through restaurant and supporters of red-light cameras made no headway in Wednesday's KCMO city council committee meetings, but but neither are ready to throw in the towel.

Supporters and opponents of a proposed moratorium on all drive-thru restaurant construction in the downtown loop argued for more than two hours at a public hearing held by the Planning and Zoning committee.

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Government
7:38 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Missouri Lawmakers Move Forward On Tax Breaks For Boeing

Legislation that would provide tax breaks for Boeing to build its 777X passenger jet in Missouri was passed Tuesday night by two legislative committees.

First, the Missouri Senate Committee on Economic Development passed their version of the bill, followed a few hours later by the House Economic Development Committee passing its version.  There are no major differences in the two – both would provide $150 million in incentives to Boeing to build the 777X at its campus near Lambert Airport. 

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Up to Date
10:32 am
Tue December 3, 2013

A Look Inside The Political Process

Political maneuvering and upcoming elections are on the slate with our pundits on Up to Date
Credit Cle0patra / Flickr-CC

Political maneuvering is nothing new in Kansas City, and nowhere has that been more apparent lately than in the failed attempt to get a translational medicine tax established in Jackson County.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, our political pundits discuss where political money goes and the latest in Missouri, Kansas and federal lawmaking. 

Guests:

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Government
7:56 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Kansas Lawmakers To Receive Government IT Security Update

A select group of Kansas lawmakers will receive an update on the state's Internet technology security during a committee meeting Tuesday. The annual audit involves combing through the security protocols of state agencies looking for problems.

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Government
7:48 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Mo. Lawmakers Start Work On Boeing Proposal Despite Questions

Missouri's special legislative session kicked off late Monday afternoon, as lawmakers officially began work on Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to land Boeing's contract to build the 777X passenger jet.

The Missouri House briefly convened around 4:00 p.m. and adjourned for the day roughly 10 minutes later. Republican Speaker Tim Jones said afterwards that the Governor has been mum so far on the total projected cost of the Boeing project and the projected return on investment.

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Government
8:03 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Missouri Lawmakers Look At Deal To Land Boeing

Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has called lawmakers back to Jefferson City for a special session in an attempt to win a contract from Boeing to build the 777X passenger jet.

Missouri's regular session for 2014 begins in just over a month, but in a press release Nixon says holding a special session is necessary because Boeing's deadline for proposals is Dec. 10.

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Government
7:34 am
Wed November 27, 2013

New Court Ruling Threatens Kansas City Red-Light Cameras

Just as city attorneys thought they had come up with changes to save Kansas City's traffic-cam ordinance from one court decision, another court rendered the changes useless.

As he withdrew the revised ordinance, Councilman John Sharp expressed frustration. “It's been very difficult for us to follow court direction when we're getting different court directions in a very brief period of time," he commented.

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Government
8:00 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Coalition Formed To Fight Unabated Kansas City Hate Crimes

Michael Kaste, Special Agent In Charge, FBI in Kansas City speaks of forming Department of Justice Community Task Force on Hate Crimes.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

A Kansas City law enforcement and community coalition has been formed to attack hate crimes after a recent study found a need for it.

The number of hate crimes in Kansas City has been relatively consistent year after year. But, attempts to eradicate it haven’t worked.

Kansas City’s top FBI agent, Michael Kaste, looked at a bureau study released this week for the nation and region.

The FBI Special Agent In-Charge said 104 hate crimes were reported last year in Missouri.

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Kansas Statehouse
7:33 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Brownback Hosts Closed-Door Education Meeting

Gov. Sam Brownback met with education officials and some top Republican lawmakers Monday to discuss school finance. The gathering comes as the Kansas Supreme Court considers a lawsuit over education spending and lawmakers prepare for the 2014 legislative session.

Brownback says the closed-door meeting was aimed at bringing together his office, education officials that represent local districts and lawmakers. He says those groups have not always seen eye-to-eye on the issue of education funding, leading to lawsuits.

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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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