Dan Margolies | KCUR

Dan Margolies

Health Editor

Dan Margolies is editor in charge of health and education news at KCUR.  Dan joined KCUR in April 2014. In a long and varied journalism career, he has worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star and Reuters. In a previous life, he was a lawyer. He has also worked as a media insurance underwriter and project development director for a video production firm.

Dan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Kansas City with his family when he was eight years old. He majored in philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and holds law and journalism degrees from Boston University. He has been an avid public radio listener for as long as he can remember – which these days isn’t very long…

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Level 5 Motorsports/Wikipedia Commons

Leawood businessman Scott Tucker was sentenced in New York today to more than 16 years in prison for running an illegal internet payday lending empire.

Tucker, who’s also a race car driver, and Timothy Muir, an Overland Park lawyer who worked for him, were convicted in New York in October of all 14 counts against them. Muir was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

In what may have amounted to his farewell address, departing Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland decried corruption in the city’s fire department at a Unified Government meeting that failed to muster a quorum of commissioners.

Holland, the mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, called the meeting after a government report found that KCK firefighters had been paid $920,000 in taxpayer money in 2017 for work they didn’t do.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland issued a statement Thursday morning saying that he had been the victim of a threat by a KCK firefighter and had notified the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Holland, mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, said the firefighter, Chris Wing, had threatened him on Facebook with a post stating, “You might need a security detail when you start witch hunts like so …”

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri

With a looming deadline, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday named 17 interim U.S. Attorneys, including one for the Western District of Missouri.

Timothy Garrison, an assistant federal prosecutor in the Western District’s Springfield office, was sworn in this morning and will assume his duties as the top federal prosecutor in the western half of the state on Friday.

File Photo / KCUR 89.3

In one of his last acts as mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, Mark Holland has called a meeting of the UG Commission today to discuss a report that KCK firefighters were paid for work they didn’t perform last year.

KU School of Law

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday evening unanimously voted to confirm KU School of Law professor Stephen McAllister as the top federal prosecutor in Kansas.

McAllister was nominated in September by President Donald Trump and succeeds Tom Beall, a career prosecutor who served as interim U.S. Attorney.

McAllister, 55, teaches at KU Law and was its dean from 2000 to 2005. 

He has also served as solicitor general of Kansas, defending the state in key cases such as Gannon, the school financing case, death penalty cases, and cases challenging Kansas’ abortion laws.  

Bob Brents / Flickr — CC

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which employs about 350 people in Overland Park, announced Thursday that it plans to slash its global workforce by 14,000 positions as part of a massive restructuring plan aimed at reducing $3 billion in costs by the end of 2019.

A spokeswoman for the company said it plans to consolidate its seven U.S. offices into one yet-to-be-determined location.

Plantlady233 / Wikimedia-CC

A Leawood family whose home was raided more than five years ago by Johnson County sheriff’s deputies in a fruitless search for a marijuana growing operation lost its lawsuit alleging the deputies violated their Fourth Amendment rights.

Platte County

This story was updated at 5:14 to include Eric Zahnd's reaction to the decision.   

A disciplinary panel has found Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd guilty of professional misconduct and recommended that he be publicly reprimanded.

The matter now goes to the Missouri Supreme Court, which will decide whether to accept or reject the panel's findings and recommendation.

The three-person panel – two lawyers and a layperson – issued its decision after listening in November to two days of testimony, including from Zahnd himself.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

In a rare move, a federal judge has thrown out a defendant’s conviction on drug charges after ruling that the prosecutor had interfered with his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.

In a blistering decision handed down Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson found that the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead, had “substantially interfered with a defense witness’s decision to testify” in the case.

STATE OF KANSAS OFFICIAL PORTRAIT

This story was updated at 5:12 p.m. to include the comments of Kline's attorney.   

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline’s bid to restore his law license appears to have come to the end of its long and winding road.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear his challenge to the Kansas Supreme Court’s indefinite suspension of his license four years ago.

Mariordo59 / Creative Commons-Flickr

This story was updated at 1:56 p.m. to include the comments of a Tesla spokeswoman.  

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has scored a big win after an appeals court ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging its right to sell automobiles directly to Missouri consumers.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

A former Haskell Indian Nations University student who says she was raped by two Haskell football players has settled her privacy claim against the school.

The settlement comes just days after two former KU varsity athletes settled their lawsuits alleging they were sexual assaulted by a KU football player.

The dismissed lawsuits sought damages under Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education.
Rolando Jones / Flickr — CC

Two former student athletes who sued the University of Kansas after claiming they were sexually assaulted on campus have dismissed their Title IX cases against the university.

Both lawsuits were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can’t be refiled. Typically, such dismissals mean the cases have been settled out of court.

Dan Curry, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, would say only that the cases had been “resolved.”

Dr. Warner / Creative Commons-Flickr

This story was updated at 4:24 p.m. to include comments from the CEO of McPherson Hospital.

Two Kansas hospitals have been selected to take part in a federal demonstration program aimed at ensuring access to health care in underserved areas.

The two, McPherson Hospital in McPherson and Morton County Health System in Elkhart, were among 13 nationwide chosen for the demonstration project being conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 1:59 p.m. to include a comment from the owner of Time Warner Cable.

Time Warner Cable remains on the hook to pay $3 million in damages for the explosion that destroyed JJ’s Restaurant after an appeals court on Monday upheld the judgment.

The Missouri Court of Appeals rejected the cable company’s arguments that the court wrongly instructed the jury and improperly admitted expert testimony.

File photo

Centene Corp. has agreed to offer individual marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act to patients who receive care at The University of Kansas Health System.

Until now, the KU Health System, which includes the University of Kansas Hospital, was not covered in-network under any of the individual marketplace plans offered in 2018 in the Kansas City area.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City had previously covered the hospital, the largest in Kansas, but the insurer in May said it would not offer individual plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2018.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Shawnee Mission Health has become the 17th member nationwide of the MD Anderson Cancer Network, joining forces with one of the top cancer centers in the United States.

The affiliation follows a year-long certification process by MD Anderson and is a big leap forward for Shawnee Mission Health’s cancer center, which opened not quite four years ago.

www.franchiseopportunities.com / Flickr — CC

The American Civil Liberties Union wants to know why a student athlete at Garden City Community College was kicked off the basketball team after he continued shooting baskets during the playing of the national anthem.

Rasool Samir, a Muslim, was sent home to Philadelphia two days later and has not returned to the school since.  

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Floyd Abrams probably is the best-known First Amendment lawyer in the United States. He represented the New York Times before the Supreme Court in the landmark Pentagon Papers case in 1971 and argued in the controversial Citizens United case, decided in 2010, that restrictions on corporate expenditures in elections violated the First Amendment. His newly published book, "The Soul of the First Amendment," argues that America's guaranties of free speech and press set it apart from the rest of the world. 

Platte County

A lawyer for the Missouri agency that oversees lawyer conduct urged a disciplinary panel to suspend the law license of Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd for at least six months.

The recommendation by Nancy L. Ripperger, an attorney with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (OCDC), came at the end of two days of often combative testimony before the panel, which will recommend whether and to what extent to punish Zahnd.

Bigstock

A judge has ordered federal prosecutors to produce grand jury materials in an ongoing probe of the audio- and video-taping of attorney-client meetings at the Leavenworth Detention Center in Kansas.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson last year named a special master to conduct the investigation after criminal defense lawyers learned that some attorney-client conversations at the prison had been recorded. Such conversations are supposed to be off-limits to the government.

Kelsey Borch / Flatland

Two recent cases involving prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas City, Kansas, point to a problem that some criminal defense lawyers say has been building for a long time:

For years, they say, a small group of federal prosecutors in KCK has run roughshod over the rights of criminal defendants.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas is the top federal prosecutor in the state, overseeing 50 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 50 support staff based in offices in Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas.

As one of 93 U.S. Department of Justice outposts nationwide, it often works with local law enforcement officials on drug cases and other major state and federal crimes.

The office has a rich history. One former U.S. Attorney, Cyrus Schofield, left in the 1870s under a legal cloud that entailed taking bribes from railroads.

File photo

A federal judge in Kansas City on Friday denied Planned Parenthood’s request to block a Missouri regulation requiring its clinic in Columbia to have a so-called complication plan for medication abortions.

The Legislature enacted the requirement this summer after Gov. Eric Greitens called it into special session. Later the Department of Health and Senior Services issued a rule that an OB-GYN had to be on call 24/7 to treat complications from a medication abortion.

No one at the hospital in Fulton, Missouri (population 12,790) had ever heard of a management consultant named Jorge Perez until he showed up at its potluck in September.


File photo / KCUR 89.3

Thwarted in its attempt to block one part of Missouri’s newest abortion law, Planned Parenthood has now filed a second lawsuit challenging another part of the law, one involving medication abortions.

agilemktg1 / Flickr — CC

There’s some good news and some bad news for Missourians purchasing marketplace healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act.

The good news: Those eligible for premium subsidies will see no increase in their premiums. In fact, a 40-year-old non-smoker earning $30,000 a year will see a 2.7 percent reduction of his or her premiums to $201 a month.

The bad news: Those not eligible for subsidies will see premium increases ranging from 12 percent to 50 percent for the benchmark silver plan.

File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Newly unsealed testimony given by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach suggests he knew that the federal motor voter law might have to be amended for states to require proof of citizenship for voter registration.

Joe Gratz / Flickr — CC

A Missouri court ruled for the first time Tuesday that Missouri law bars employment discrimination based on a failure to conform to gender stereotypes.

While Missouri doesn’t prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City found that stereotyping can be evidence of sex discrimination, which state law does prohibit.

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