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Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Polls Show Kansas' 3rd Congressional District Race Tightens

All four major political ratings organizations currently consider the race for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District a toss-up. FiveThirtyEight moved the race Saturday from "leans Republican" to a "toss-up" between incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder and Democrat Sharice Davids. It comes on the heels of two pieces of good news for Davids, a lawyer who is making her first run for office, though she still lags behind Yoder, the incumbent, in fundraising. A New York Times/Siena College Poll has Davids...

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Miles Of Roads, A Dearth Of Dollars: Does Missouri Need A New Gas Tax?

It's high time for a fuel tax bump, says Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. In November, voters will consider a ballot measure that could generate about $288 million annually for new road and bridge funding.

Kansas Election Roundtable: Another Republican Backs The Democrat, A New Old Ad In The 2nd

Another Republican broke ranks this week to endorse the Democrat in the Kansas governor’s race. And an attack from the 2014 governor’s race resurfaced, this time in the battle for a 2nd Congressional District seat. Jim McLean, Madeline Fox, and Stephen Koranda of the Kansas News Service catch up on the latest from the campaign trail.

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Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

On Friday, a Jackson County judge sentenced the woman convicted of starting a deadly fire at her own nail salon to 74 years in prison.

Firefighters, law enforcement officials and family of the two firefighters killed in the fire — John Mesh and Larry Leggio — packed the courtroom and an overflow room. 

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Kansas could end up handing out fewer felonies — and more misdemeanors —  for certain property crimes.

That could mean sending fewer people to state prison, though some might end up in county jail instead.

Until 2016, stealing $1,000 worth of property was the threshold between misdemeanor and felony theft. Then Kansas raised the dividing line to $1,500.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Updated Sept. 21 with ruling — A ballot measure that would change Missouri's ethics laws and redistricting process will go in front of voters in November, an appeals court panel ruled Friday.

But within minutes, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, which filed one of the challenges to the proposed constitutional amendment, said it will ask the state Supreme Court to weigh in.

MR King Images

Kansas City songwriter Amanda Fish has just proclaimed herself "Free." That's the title song on her newly released sophomore album, after 2015's "Down in the Dirt."

The record reflects Fish's literal and philosophical growth. The older sister of another Kansas City singer, Samantha Fish (who has a few more records to her credit), Amanda started playing music at 18 but set that aside to earn a living. By age 25, she was working as a security guard and unhappy, so she quit to go into music full time.

Kansas City Police Department

Reporting a sexual assault to police is unquestionably traumatic. Victims undergo an invasive medical exam. Police ask sensitive questions. Then, when victims get home, sometimes they have no sheets.

That's because police take clothing and fabric from the scene of the crime for DNA analysis. And while a victim is likely to have multiple items of clothing, he or she may not have an extra set of bed sheets.

Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling hundreds of thousands of pounds ground beef products following because of an E.coli outbreak after one death and 17 illnesses.   

According to the USDA, Cargill is recalling over 132,00 pounds of ground beef products that may be infected with E.coli following an epidemiological investigation that found the affected people purchased the meat from grocery stores supplied by Ft. Morgan, Colorado’s Cargill Meat Solution

Jeff Schock / Billy Joel

Feel like singing along?

You’ve got plenty of opportunities this weekend with tuneful attractions galore, led by a batch of highly accomplished pop, rock and country artists whose memorable records began successfully spinning decades ago.

Risk the earworm!

1. Billy Joel

Despite recent rainfall, more than half of Missouri is still in a drought, hitting hard at one of the state’s key economic engines: agriculture.

Missouri hay — the primary feed for livestock — has hit its lowest production levels in 30 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ideally, each acre of pasture produces two tons of hay a year, which would be two of those large circular rolls often seen in farm fields. In 1988, the average acre in Missouri only yielded 1.2 tons, and this year it’s been 1.5 tons.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill won’t vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, the Democrat said in a news release Wednesday.

After weeks of deliberation, McCaskill said she opposes Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court because of so-called dark money — donations to nonprofits that keep the source secret.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

A committee of Kansas judges and attorneys says cities need to reduce the costs of appearing in municipal court.

The Kansas Supreme Court appointed the ad hoc committee last September to assess whether the state’s municipal courts impose an unreasonable financial burden on low-income people. 

A report released Wednesday lists more than a dozen suggestions to reduce or simplify fees, bail and monetary fines that come with being arrested and charged with a crime.

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