Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser introduced a plan this afternoon to eliminate the city's sales tax for 23 years in the area surrounding 18th and Vine. The plan is intended to attract small businesses back to a once-thriving area.
At an outdoors press conference this morning, business owner Ollie Gates said there are currently about 80 retail businesses in the entire district.
Kansas City, MO – Family members and lawyers trying to save two men from federal death sentences have started trial testimony at the Kansas City U.S. District Courthouse. Prosecutors are ready with cross examination. KCUR's Dan Verbeck is covering the trial and has this report.
Kansas City, MO – First quarter earnings and losses reported Tuesday by Sprint-Nextel show losses even more remarkable than expected.
The Overland Park based wireless carrier reveals a loss of $505 million or 18 cents per share in the three months ending March 31st. It was down 7 cents a share, first quarter last year. Analysts had expected earnings of 2 cents per share.
Kansas City, MO – Anthony Tao is a sports writer and a former KCUR intern. He was born in Beijing, but grew up in Overland Park. Tao's back in Beijing now, visiting family and awaiting the Olympics. Two weeks ago, he was at a ceremony near Tianammen Square, counting down 100 days to the Opening Ceremonies, he shot this video which he put up on YouTube.
Kansas City, MO – Fired Blunt administration attorney Scott Eckersly says he recorded the personnel session at which he got his walking papers. And the St. Louis Post Dispatch has posted a profanity-laced excerpt from the tape of Eckersly's exit session with Blunt Chief of Staff Ed Martin on its web site.
The excerpt seems to substantiate Eckersly's claim that he was fired for insisting that the Blunt administration was breaking the law by deleting e-mails.
Jefferson City, MO – A bill passed Wednesday by the Missouri House would provide Bombardier Aerospace up to 240 million dollars in tax credits to build an aircraft factory at Kansas City International Airport. The tax credits would be issued in the year 2013.
G.O.P. House Member Timothy Flook of Clay County says it would put thousands of Missourians to work, adding that they are the types of jobs Missouri wants: manufacturing, warehousing and mechanical-technical positions.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Masonic Foundation has surpassed its $15 million pledge to the University of Kansas Cancer Center. The foundation launched a 5 year campaign in 2003, but met its goal about a year ahead of schedule. Foundation President Jeff Sowder says the money will go towards research and towards supporting the center's long term goal of becoming a National Cancer Institute Designation.
Overland Park, Ks – Efficient use of energy is one of the most formidable challenges facing state governments. That's the essence of a meeting of Midwestern governors in Overland Park. Kansas' chief executive has little use for the proposal to suspend gasoline taxes this summer.
Kansas City, MO – African Americans and Latinos are the two largest minority groups in the United States. But recently, the percentage of Latinos nationwide has grown to 14 %, surpassing the 12% of African Americans. In the Kansas City metro area, African Americans still double the number of Latinos, that's 13% compared to 6.5%. Many African Americans and Latinos have common civil rights interests; but cultural, political and historical differences can lead to tension and misunderstandings.
Kansas City, MO – A petition to ban race and gender-based affirmative action in Missouri has failed to gather enough valid signatures. It's a second set-back for California businessman Ward Connerly's campaign to get the issue on the November ballot in five states, in what he was calling "Super Tuesday for Equal Rights."
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri motorists will soon be on candid camera at selected intersections, but they needn't smile. Only their license plates will be photographed.
The Kansas City Council set the wheels in motion Thursday for the installation of the first 12 red-light cameras. The cameras will photograph the license plates, but not the faces of motorists who run red lights. The vehicle owner would then get a $100 traffic ticket.
Kansas City, MO – The winners of the 2008 National Magazine Awards, the highest honor in the magazine industry, were announced Thursday at a gala event at Lincoln Center in New York. Kansas City-based New Letters won the essay writing award for Thomas E. Kennedy's account of his cancer scare. Other finalists in the essay category included The Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, and The New Yorker, among others.
Kansas City, MO – Another arbitration session was postponed Friday in the dispute over the eight school buildings in the area that voted to leave the Kansas City school district and join the one in Independence.
The Kansas City district's latest asking price is about $90 million. But Superintendent Jim Hinson says his Independence district should owe nothing for six of the buildings.
Kansas City, MO – From the start, the attempt to get Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier to build in Kansas City has been based on a new kind of tax credit from the state. And from the start, Senate Majority Leader Charlie Shields has said it's a great idea for the Kansas City-St. Joseph area and for state economic development to come.
Shawnee Mission, Kansas – The Shawnee Mission School district will begin the next school year with a new superintendent. Dr. Gene Johnson, associate superintendent, will take over for Dr. Marjorie Kaplan on July 1st.
Kansas City, MO – The Charlotte Street Foundation has supported visual artists in Kansas City for more than a decade with unrestricted cash awards and a curated exhibition of work. The new awards for Generative Performing Artists support professionals who are actively creating new work in their fields, from dance to music to theatre and performance art.
Kansas City, MO – A report is raising questions about the safety of artificial blood, including one tested by KU Hospital. A review of human trials found patients given one of five blood substitutes had a 30 percent greater chance of death and a threefold increase in heart attacks. KU Hospital stocked the blood-substitute Polyheme in local ambulances in 2005 and 2006. Trauma Director Michael Moncure says the report raises questions about the safety of blood substitutes, but that it does not look at the specifics of Polyheme (POLY-HEEM).
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri will go smoke free in a little more than a month. Voters narrowly passed the ban earlier this month. The city's current rules prohibit smoking before 9pm in restaurants with liquor licenses, but the new ban will prohibit it in restaurants and bars at all times. Several other cities in the region, including Independence, already have similar smoking bans in place. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports that the transition there took some getting used to.
Kansas City, MO – There's a place where most of the bad economic trends sweeping the United States are turned upside down. Home values are up, foreclosures and unemployment are down, and gas guzzlers are flying off the lot. Forget about China, we're taking about western Kansas. Kansas has 23 times more oil wells than Saudi Arabia. Record oil prices, coupled with soaring prices for grain, have sparked a dramatic economic reversal in the western part of the state.
Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser delivered his State of the City address yesterday, emphasizing the power of the council and the Kansas City spirit to solve serious problems.
Funkhouser praised the council for having already passed an incentives policy and reining in city spending and outlined ten priorities for the coming year. He admitted that he hadn't been able to deliver on a campaign promise of TIFs for distressed areas