kansas

Under the Microscope: Record-Breaking Spring Storms could be the New Normal

Jul 2, 2015
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

 Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

 


Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

As the number of farms hit with avian flu grows over 100 nationwide, regulators are implementing containment plans meant to stop the virus’ spread, spare millions of at-risk birds and thousands of poultry farms.

Farms in many states, including Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, are struggling to contain an active outbreak.

 

 

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

State representatives and other officials from Kansas and Missouri are announcing legislation aimed at reducing gun and domestic violence in both states. 

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas prosecutor will seek the death penalty for a white supremacist from Missouri who is charged with killing three people at two Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced his intention Thursday at a hearing where 74-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller of Aurora, Missouri, was ruled competent to stand trial.

Miller is charged in the April 13 shooting deaths of 69-year-old Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood and 53-year-old Terri LaManno.

Billion dollar day care

Aug 27, 2014
Nori / Flickr

    

Zsanay Duran lives at the end of a cul-de-sac in her neighborhood in Springfield, Mo. Inside her house looks less like a home and more like a daycare center.

Duran began providing unlicensed home daycare sort of by accident. Last fall when she was looking for work for her teenage son, she came across a posting on Craigslist from a mother who was desperate for childcare. The woman had an 8 month old baby and worked the 5am shift at a local fast-food chain. She could only afford $12 a day for childcare. Duran said her story really hit home.

“I was a single mom and I needed help in order to get on my feet and that’s why someone did for me,” Duran said. “And if I can help someone else get on their feet, why not?”

A federal appeals court in Denver is scheduled to hear arguments Aug. 25 in a dispute over whether Kansas and Arizona can require voters using a federal registration form to show proof of citizenship.

It's the first of several significant cases this fall that could determine who gets to vote, and how, in at least six states. The outcomes could also answer a much broader question: Who gets to decide?

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

Missouri is headed to the polls this week to vote for, among other things, a ¾ cent sales tax increase that would be used to fund Missouri’s Department of Transportation, or MoDot. Missouri citizens have the special privilege of deciding whether to bankroll a decade of transportation projects, thanks to former Missouri congressman Mel Hancock.

Hancock grew up in Springfield, Mo and before being elected to the U.S House of Representatives in 1989, he forever changed Missouri’s tax code with something called “The Hancock Amendment.” The amendment limits the power of the state legislature to raise taxes on its own, only allowing for small, inconsequential bumps. Voters have to approve bigger tax increases in an election, like the one Missouri is having this week.

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A proposed truce in the Kansas City business battle between Missouri and Kansas has gained another endorsement in Missouri.

Andrew Magill / Flickr

Supporters and critics of Missouri tax cut plans both are pointing to the results of recent tax cuts in Kansas.

Several business groups testified during a Senate committee hearing Thursday that Missouri must cut taxes to discourage employers in the Kansas City area from moving across the state line.

But opponents said Kansas revenues and education funding have suffered as a result of its tax cuts.

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.

kthread/Flickr

This week, Kansas let a 2009 government waiver expire that provided food stamps for the unemployed. Now, able-bodied Kansans between 18 and 49 who do not have dependents, have to work or be in a job training program to have access to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

Kansas currently has about 318,000 food stamp recipients. Advocates for low-income people say this change will create a dangerous hole in an already thin safety net.

Cerner, one of the largest employers in Kansas City, announced Thursday afternoon it intends to purchase about 237 acres at the site of the former Bannister Mall, which it hopes to use to build a new campus to house thousands of new employees.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA file photo

Gov. Jay Nixon stopped by Columbia twice this week. He has spent his summer drawing attention to the many problems he and other critics see with House Bill 253. That is the income-tax cut bill he vetoed in June. There is a chance state Republicans could make a run for an override of that bill in September. The bill cuts income tax and corporate taxes and under certain circumstances allows business taxes to be claimed on personal income taxes. Conservative estimates peg a state revenue loss of $692 million dollars if the bill were to become law.

Hillsborough / Flickr

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole celebrated his 90th birthday Monday, and the University of Kansas in Lawrence is celebrating his life of public service.

The event Monday will be held at the Dole Institute of Politics where the former Republican U.S. senator's archives are housed. The institute opened in 2003. Dole is not expected to attend.

Dole served in the U.S. Senate from 1969 until 1996, when he retired to run for president but lost to Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton. Dole is a World War II veteran who served in Europe, where he was severely wounded in battle in Italy.

KBIA file photo

Drowning deaths have risen dramatically in both Missouri and Kansas this year.

State officials say that before this weekend, 24 drownings had been reported this year in Missouri, four more than all of last year. And in Kansas, 12 drownings had been reported before this weekend, double the average for an entire year.

The Kansas City Star reports officials in both states say the pleasant summer weather likely has contributed to the increase, with more people venturing out to the states' waterways.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Our neighboring city of Independence, Mo., is going green with its lighting over the few years. 

At the 81st annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas last past weekend, Independence announced its plans to partner with Philips Lighting on an energy and maintenance saving project.

 Photo 3: Members of the communities surrounding Fort Leonard Wood gathered Tuesday to discuss the U.S. Army proposal to remove troops from the fort. Under the proposal, the fort could lose as many of 4,000 of its troops.Edit | Remove

Kansas seeks turning point for rural communities

May 1, 2013
Photo courtesy Rebecca Brown

When the Homestead Act of 1862 made land in the Great Plains virtually free, people rushed in to settle rural Kansas. But 150 years later, the dust has truly settled. Between 2000 and 2010, more than half of Kansas counties declined in population — many by 10 percent or more. 

American airlines
Simon_sees / Flickr

The American Airlines announced that the Columbia Regional Airport reached its revenue goal for the month of March.

File / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a phased-in tax overhaul designed to help the Show-Me State compete with neighboring Kansas, which recently slashed its tax rates.

dbking / Flickr

Airports in Columbia, Kansas City and St. Louis reopened but passengers were told to expect several cancellations, particularly in the morning.

American Airlines flight 3215 from Columbia to Dallas was canceled this morning, but the remaining flights are scheduled to take off and arrive as planned.

Lambert International Airport in St. Louis and Kansas City International Airport both closed Thursday after a massive snowstorm hit Missouri.

david shane / flickr

Language that would ban the creation of a Kansas Jayhawks specialty license plate in Missouri is on its way to Governor Jay Nixon.

Newscast for May 9, 2012

May 9, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City considers a name change
  • Dred Scott honored at Missouri Capitol ceremony
  • Mo. House backs pregnancy center advertising bill

Storms caused multiple outbreaks of severe weather most of Sunday from Kansas to Minnesota.

File / KBIA

A House committee reviews a bill that gives Kansas an ultimatum.

Kansas political leaders and top officials at Kansas State University are united in support of a plan to bring the nation's premier agricultural disease laboratory to the K-State campus. But many people remain uneasy about bringing dangerous pathogens into the nation’s heartland -- pathogens that could devastate the livestock industry and possibly harm humans as well.

Business Beat: February 8, 2012

Feb 8, 2012
Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

This week: Farmers buying up grain bins to help play the market. Plus, how refineries in Kansas and Iowa could help find another source of bio fuel.

Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

Corn has been the engine behind the ethanol industry for years, and that food vs. fuel debate doesn't look to end anytime soon.  But as researchers work to unlock the biofuels potential in crop residue and other biomass, a refinery is being built in Kansas may help take the industry to another level.

Recruiting doctors to live and work in rural America is a chronic problem. Most health centers try to attract workers with big salaries and expensive homes.

Shots previously reported that one center in Maine was trying to lure medical students to the countryside for their final two years with the hope that they stick around.