KCUR
Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Residents Divided Over Whether A Ban On Panhandling In Traffic Will Hurt Or Help

Standing on the I-70 exit ramp at Independence Avenue on a cool fall morning is a thin guy, possibly in his late 30s or early 40s, his face weathered by the sun. He’s standing next to a backpack and holding a cardboard sign that says “anything helps.” Further south, on the western edge of the Country Club Plaza a man in his 50’s wearing a tie-dye shirt carries a sign that says, “Broke as F---.”

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Beyond the Ballot

Grassroots Approach Boosts Black Turnout In A Primary, But What About November?

Missouri Public Radio Stations Report: What Voters Are Really Looking For In The Midterm Election

Olathe Public Schools

Kansas' Public Schools To Get $27M For Boosting Reading Skills

Kansas public schools will see $27 million from the U.S. Department of Education to improve literacy for all kids — including those not yet old enough for school.

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Celia Llopis-Jepsen / KCUR/Kansas News Service

Angie Schreiber sees it time and again: dyslexic students failing to learn to read through traditional teaching techniques.

But she says she knows how they can flourish.

Schreiber’s private teaching service in Emporia uses an approach known as structured literacy. The method drills students on myriad rules of English sound and spelling that most of us never learned consciously.

On a recent Wednesday, one of her instructors fired up a laptop for a lesson with Harrison Leniton, an eighth-grader in the southeast Kansas school district of West Elk.

“If I have the ‘kuh‘ sound,” special education teacher Ann Lawyer asked him through their remote video connection, “and I'm using that with an A, O, U — or another consonant — what do I use?"

Harrison: “C.”

Lawyer: “Excellent.”

City of Merriam / YouTube

After facing pushback from a vocal group of Merriam residents this summer, the Merriam City Council voted to approve the final design for a new $36.6 million community center.

The plans for the center passed 5-3 Monday night, with councilmembers Al Frisby, David Neal and Bob Pape dissenting. The council also approved plans to allocate $6.6 million from the city’s I-35 TIF District for a parking structure at the community center and a preliminary development agreement to rezone the lot on Vavra to planned unit development.

Rebekah Hange / KCUR 89.3

Attorneys alleging their meetings and phone calls with clients at the Leavenworth Detention Center were unlawfully recorded can move forward with a class-action lawsuit, a federal judge ruled last week.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Bough found that a class action was the best way to proceed because “(i)t would be judicially uneconomical for the Court to entertain hundreds if not thousands of individualized claims” over the same issue.

Unleashed Pet Rescue

Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission, Kansas, took in 71 dogs from animal shelters affected by Hurricane Florence last week, and the vast majority are still up for adoption.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Updated Sept. 24 with appeal denied — 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. And the state Supreme Court confirmed as much Monday in denying an appeal.  

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Chiefs' first home game of the season brought a packed stadium, loud fans — and the rollout of a new tailgaiting policy.  

The Chiefs announced last month the new rules, which require fans in the parking lots to either enter the stadium or leave at kickoff, not allowing for people to watch the game or keep partying. So far, the rules have not gone over well, and fan reactions on Sunday were no exception.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

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.

Joe Gratz / Flickr-CC

A federal judge ordered Missouri officials to provide voter registration information to residents seeking to update their addresses at motor vehicle offices by mail or online.

U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes found that their failure to do so violates the National Voter Registration Act, more commonly known as the federal motor voter law.

Wimes ordered the action to be taken ahead of this November’s election. His order came in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this year by the League of Women Voters and the A. Philip Randolph Institute.

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.

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Up To Date

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.