Jackson County

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The Jackson County Legislature had a full agenda Tuesday morning but, once again, problems at the downtown jail dominated the session. After an hour of grilling County Executive Frank White, legislators decided to punt on other work before them.

The focus of several legislators was on the task force recently named by White. The Legislature once again said another task force is a waste of time. The time to act, a majority said, is now.

Jackson County Jail
Jackson County Prosecutor

In a curt and strongly-worded letter, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Monday that she refused her seat on a new jail task force established by County Executive Frank White.

The recent brutal assault of a corrections officer made her change her mind about serving on the task force, Baker wrote, and it’s “clear that action is required immediately” on the embattled jail.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Amidst mounting tensions over ongoing issues at the Jackson County Detention Center, County Executive Frank White, Jr. announced a new Jail Task Force to determine what steps to take to fix these issues, which include overcrowding and understaffing. 

Kansas City Area November 2017 Election Results

Nov 7, 2017
Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Below are the unofficial results for the Nov. 7 special elections and general elections in Kansas City, Missouri, and other municipalities.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

You wouldn't believe some of the things that bring people to violence, says Annette Lantz-Simmons. Mundane, seemingly everyday occurrences can lead down a dark path. 

The executive director of the Center for Conflict Resolution recalls an incident several years ago between neighbors with kids.

"The children would play outside and be noisy and use screaming voices," she says. "It got to the point where one of the parents was making death threats because of the noise."

Jackson County Executive's Office

Monday’s meeting of the Jackson County Legislature began with some drama when the legislature unanimously voted to block the appointment of Teesha Miller as director of COMBAT, the county’s anti-drug and anti-violence program.

Miller previously served as head of Jackson County’s prescription drug monitoring program.

Legislators criticized Jackson County Executive Frank White for not being inclusive in the hiring process.

Pixabay - CC

Tensions over the Jackson County jail continue to mount. Attorneys for former inmates filed a class-action lawsuit last week that would force authorities to address the detention center's dangerous, dirty conditions. Today, we speak with two Jackson County legislators about what they'd do to improve the facility. Then, we kick off a week full of conversation with presenters from this year's TEDxKC.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

By a margin of fewer than 900 votes, residents of Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday acted to prohibit city officials from moving forward with any streetcar extension without first gaining citywide voter approval. 

Ralph Lauer / The Cliburn

Recent claims from elected officials and investigations into Russian election meddling have some wondering about the security of their vote. Today, we find out what the Kansas City, Missouri, and Johnson County Kansas election boards are doing to protect electronic, paper and absentee ballots.

www.16thcircuit.org

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell to the state Supreme Court.

Powell, a Springfield native and Mizzou law grad, will fill a seat on the seven-member court that has been vacant since Judge Richard Teitelman died in November.

At age 46, he will be the youngest member of the Missouri Supreme Court.  

Kansas City lawyers who dealt with Powell, both when he was a prosecutor and a judge, applauded his selection.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As a former county lawmaker, teacher, community planner, advocate and volunteer, Mamie Hughes has had a lasting impact on Kansas City. Today, we look at life of one of the metro's most dedicated activists.

Then, we meet the enthusiastic conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and ask what it's been like leading "America's Orchestra" for more than 20 years.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

After the EF-3 tornado that destroyed homes in Oak Grove, Missouri, residents of the damaged neighborhoods were mostly in good spirits Tuesday afternoon – happy to be alive and grateful for neighbors who were helping clean up.

Jennifer Swartz’s home on South Clinton Street was gone. She and her husband were having dinner in Lee’s Summit when the storm hit on Monday night. When they tried to return home, they hit a blockade and drove to Independence, where they spent the night with her husband's parents.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

An attorney for a now 36-year-old Kansas City man hopes he can persuade prosecutors to file criminal charges against a former Boy Scout leader who was the subject of a $100 million civil judgment.

Last week, a Jackson County judge ruled in a civil case that the victim, identified only as “John Doe,” had been abused by his former Scout leader, Scott Alan Bradshaw.

File photo

Facing a rise in police excessive force cases often gone viral on social media, a national group of prosecutors issued a “guidance document” Friday designed to help law enforcement work in a more public and proactive manner.

Led by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, the report by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys urges local and regional agencies to be more transparent, quickly respond to a scene and create written internal protocols.

David Jones / Flickr -- CC

Before you pack away your Chiefs gear: A look back at the history of the team and how they helped shape KC.

Plus, Question Quest discovers why people keep leaving little bird figurines around a statue in Brookside.

Guests:

  • Monroe Dodd, KCUR's resident historian
  • Joel Thorman, Editor, Arrowhead Pride

Eva Wilson / Leawood Baptist Church

Kansas City recently hit a milestone: 2016 saw the highest number of homicides in the past 10 years. What's going on in the metro? A look at what each death means for KC and its children.

Guests:

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

It might be easy for social services supporters in Jackson County to be asking “What if?” in the wake of Tuesday’s election, when residents resoundingly approved creation of a Children’s Services Fund through a new eighth-cent sales tax.

After all, the projected proceeds could have been nearly three times greater, if not for bureaucratic snafus that hampered an effort to help more at-risk kids in the region. But that was not the case in the wake of a victory amid other taxes that went down to defeat.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

“I love the chainsaw guys,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon interrupts.

Dwain Carter, director of disaster relief for the Missouri Baptists, is trying to tell the group what his organization does in the aftermath of a tornado. Often tree limbs and wooden structures need to be removed by chainsaw crews. But Carter lets the governor continue.

Noah Jeppson / Creative Commons-Flickr

This story was updated at 3:10 p.m. to include a statement from the CEO of U.S. Engineering. 

Up to 7,500 people who worked in the Jackson County Courthouse after a retrofit dispersed asbestos throughout the building will be eligible for medical monitoring under an $80 million settlement reached Tuesday night.

The settlement was agreed to after a jury was chosen but before the class-action case was scheduled to go to trial today at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

With Donald Trump urging supporters to watch for instances of voter fraud, we find out how the Jackson County Election Board ensures fair and free voting. Then, a 1938 Supreme Court ruling forced the University of Missouri Law School to accept black students, or create a separate school for them. The litigant, Lloyd Gaines, disappeared soon after, but his case made history.

Corbis / Flickr-CC

Following allegations that two women were sexually assaulted inside their cells at the Jackson County Jail, Kansas City Mayor Sly James says his patience is wearing thin. 

"However, being impatient doesn't solve the problem," James told KCUR's Steve Kraske on Up To Date.   "We have an investigation going, outside council has been hired by the county and we’re hopeful that that investigation will be swift and conclusive and then that the county will take appropriate action." 

David Shane / Flickr-CC

A loophole in Missouri's criminal code means most stealing cases are no longer felonies. 

On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court reduced multiple felonies for a woman convicted of stealing firearms to misdemeanors, citing vague language written into the state's criminal code in 2002. 

The court looked at the case of Amanda Bazell, who was convicted of felony stealing. Her lawyer noticed that the language in the criminal code that designates stealing offenses as felonies was unclear.  The court agreed. 

Here's what the court's opinion states:

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The last time the New Madrid fault really shook, Missouri wasn’t a state yet. It wasn’t even a territory. President James Madison was in the White House.

And he thought someone was trying to break in.

“When we had this event in 1811, it was strong enough to make the Mississippi River run backwards,” says Jackson County Emergency Manager Mike Curry. “It rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A few years ago, Blue Springs police officers were fielding daily calls about disturbances at two apartment complexes near Interstate 70 and Woods Chapel Road.

Now disturbances are down at the complexes, which are  under new management. Both have been renovated recently .

Police Department Deputy Chief Bob Muenz credits the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, a national initiative to clean up apartment complexes.

Participating landlords attend training and attach a “crime-free” addendum to their lease.

CC--Wikimedia

Many Bates County, Missouri, residents are in favor of a move this week by Sheriff Chad Anderson. He has temporarily waived fees for new concealed carry permits and renewals through the end of June. 

"Our phones rang non stop yesterday," Sheriff Anderson's assistant Jami Page says. "We had to bring in another dispatcher to handle all the calls." 

The Bates County Sheriff's office made the announcement Monday on Facebook in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The gunman, who was killed by police, claimed allegiance to the Islamic State. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker doesn’t think victims and first responders should lose their right to privacy just because they’re witnesses in criminal proceedings.

Baker filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday firing back at a St. Louis judge who in several cases has ordered the City Circuit Attorney there to disclose the home addresses of crime victims and law enforcement officers scheduled to testify in court.

“We're not trying to hide them,” Baker says. “But what we are trying to do is balance their privacy right against our system of justice.”

The Health Inequality Project

A new study drawing on a massive trove of data confirms long-held notions that when it comes to life expectancy, income matters: The richest American men live 15 years longer than the poorest men and the richest American women live 10 years longer than the poorest women.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

As second baseman for the Kansas City Royals, Frank White helped bring the team a big first: a World Series win.

On Friday, more than 30 years after the 1985 World Series, White celebrated two more firsts: his first State of the County address as the first African-American Jackson County Executive. 

"Today I feel like a rookie again," White said with a wide smile and to much applause. "I have never experienced a first quite like this."

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Newly sworn-in Jackson County Executive Frank White says he’ll consider running in November for a two-year term.

White, a former Royals player, was the legislature’s unanimous pick to replace Mike Sanders, who served nine years before stepping down earlier this month.

“When I ran for the legislature, I thought that was what I was going to be,” White said Monday after his swearing in at the historic Truman Courthouse in Independence. “It was my intention to be there because I really felt like that was a great place to help the people in the community.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Fred Arbanas became the temporary Jackson County Executive during a ceremony Tuesday at the golf course that bears his name.

Arbanas, a former Chiefs player who served 42 years in the county legislature, stepped into the role after Mike Sanders announced last month he would step down just one year into a four-year term.

“After working in the county for so many years, you really get attached to it,” says Arbanas. “I want to see Jackson County keep moving forward and have good, honest government.”

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