Government | KCUR

Government

Sherry Duffett, leader of Citizens For A Better Clay County, sits in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Problems in Clay County government prompted request. 

More than 9,000 Clay County residents are asking Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway to take a hard look on their county's government. This week the county administrator resigned, last year two other county officials were charged with tampering with public records, and there have been a number of questionable purchases made with tax payer dollars. Today we looked at how county government became so bad that residents went to the state for answers.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Clay County Administrator Dean Brookshier resigned Wednesday.

Brookshier will be paid more than $240,000 in severance pay, unused vacation pay and unused sick time. This is despite Brookshier not giving the county the 90 days of notice required by his employment contract. Under his employment contract, failing to give 90 days of notice meant that he wouldn’t be “entitled to any benefits in addition to those afforded him under the law and County policy.”

In a 2-1 vote in executive session Wednesday, the county commissioners waived this requirement.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Clay County is pledging $500,000 over two years to build a Law Enforcement Memorial Garden in Kansas City, Missouri, despite concerns over the budget.

The Clay County Commissioners voted 2-1 today in favor of the funding the memorial in a contentious meeting. Critics worried about pledging money before the 2020 budget process and donating to the memorial after reducing funding to the sheriff’s office.

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Updated May 30, 2018 — Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has resigned after coming under intense scrutiny over allegations of breaking campaign finance rules and participating in sexually coercive behavior and blackmail.

File Photo / Luke X. Martin KCUR 89.3

Kansas City residents will now be able to see more of how the city spends their money.  

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council voted unanimously to scale back the city manager's power to award contracts for city projects.

Councilman Quinton Lucas, who sponsored the ordinance, said it wasn't prompted by any single contract awarded by the city manager but rather a general effort to promote transparency. 

Before Thursday's vote, City Manager Troy Schulte could award construction contracts valued at more than a $1.3 million without public notice or council approval. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How Jackson County leaders are handling political and personal controversies, and rising crime rates.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How Kansas City is protecting its digital data from hackers.

In light of recent cyberattacks in Atlanta and Baltimore, data security is becoming a larger focus of municipal governments across the country. Today, we looked at Kansas City's own data security, and some of the measures the city has taken to protect against ransomware and other harmful technologies.

Doby / NPR

After House Speaker Paul Ryan announced today that he will not seek re-election in the fall, many are wondering who will next fill the role. NPR's Mara Liasson suggests the move signals a lack of confidence among Republicans who hope to maintain control of the lower chamber of Congress. Today, the veteran national political correspondent provided context for Ryan's decision, and helped untangle other complicated stories developing in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

File Photo / Luke X. Martin KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Why female voices are often overlooked by military historians.

Women make up approximately 15 percent of the military, but they still face obstacles different from their male counterparts. Today, we explored the history of women in the military, including the challenges American female service members have faced in recent years.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired on Tuesday morning in a tweet that followed a year of frequent tension between the two leaders.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: With an international shipping center up and running, the Edgerton mayor's job has gotten a lot more demanding.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former Kansas City mayoral candidate recalls facing racial and sex discrimination.

From her youth in rural Mississippi to growing up through the civil rights movement, to her eventual career in executive leadership, Janice Ellis spoke of her experiences navigating the political, corporate, and non-profit sectors as a black person, and as a woman.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How a redrawn border influences modern Mexican-American identity

When the U.S.-Mexico border moved at the end of the Mexican-American War, more than 100,000 Mexicans suddenly found themselves living on U.S. territory. Today, we considered how this history, more than 100 years in the making, impacts modern race relations.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Despite the raucous Republican reception Pres. Trump's State of the Union received, Kansas City's Rep. Emanuel Cleaver thinks the commander-in-chief missed an opportunity with his speech. Today, he shares his theory on why GOP members in Congress are eager to be seen supporting the president. Then, we get the latest word on the rainbow trout, zebra mussels, and Eastern spotted skunks that the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is keeping an eye on.

Roberto Cabello / Flickr - CC

When jazz legend Branford Marsalis calls you "the greatest American musician that no one's ever heard of," you're doing something right (even if your P.R. may need a little work). Today, we meet that musician, Marcus Roberts, and learn about his remarkable life.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3 file photo

A story overnight from KMOV revealing a pre-candidacy affair by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens overshadowed his State of the State Address, given just hours earlier. Included in the story was an allegation against the governor of blackmail. State lawmakers and political reporters recap the reports, and discuss how they could affect the Greitens' administration and the General Assembly. Then, a number of U.S. cities vowed to continue to fight climate change in the wake of Pres.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

When you think of a relaxing retirement, you don't normally consider hiking more than 2,000 miles. But you are not Deb Vacek, who took on the Appalachian Trail after leaving the professional world. Today, we meet the Kansas City adventurer.

Domestic violence happens privately at home, but it tears at the fabric of entire communities. A look at the impact of domestic violence over generations.

Then: the hallowed halls of government are supposed to represent our highest ideals. But what happens when civility breaks down? Why the rules of debate are important.

Guests:

Webber
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri Democratic Party announced an ambitious set of health care proposals Tuesday, including expansion of Medicaid and policy changes focused on veterans, women’s health and opioid abuse.

Republicans control the House, Senate and Governor’s office in Missouri, making it unlikely the proposals will be adopted. But Stephen Webber, the party chair, said Democrats still want to present a “positive proactive vision.”

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Hackers who breached a Kansas Department of Commerce data system used by multiple states gained access to more than 5.5 million Social Security numbers and put the agency on the hook to pay for credit monitoring services for all victims.

The federal government is the largest employer in Kansas City. Who are these employees and what do they do? A talk with federal employees in the Midwest, and what the government looks like from their perspective.

Plus, a local artist is reviving the video store. She operates a VHS lending library out of her bedroom, and she'll be going mobile to bring VHS tapes across the plains.

Guests:

Tomorrow is Independence Day, which makes us think . . . what's more American than voting? Back on Election Day, we took a trip down memory lane to the first elections many of us got to participate in: class elections. From elementary school to college, these early elections were an opportunity to practice being members of a democracy.

Join us for this encore episode of Central Standard

Guests:

As a new Evel Knievel museum opens in Topeka, we look back at the legacy of this all-American daredevil. 

Plus, a panel of local educators joins us to help make sense of civics and the separation of powers in the American government.

Guests:

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Things are running pretty smoothly the first Monday of the month of May during the city council meeting in Orrick, Missouri.

Roger Thomas is the mayor of the town, population 799,  just northeast of Kansas City.

Topping the agenda is addressing the water collecting behind Nathan Claypole’s  house. Next, there's a unanimous vote to spring for a new computer for Dale Bosely with public works. 

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ first special session was a success.

On Friday, the Senate passed a bill 24-5 designed to reopen an aluminum smelting plant once operated by Noranda, as well as to build a new steel plant nearby. The bill will take effect the moment the Republican governor signs it.

Rene Ehrhardt / Flickr - CC

Should doctors and judges be able to decide on an infant's end-of-life care, even if it goes against the wishes of the child's parents? Does a presidential adviser owe his or her personal loyalty to their boss?

Updated May 30 with news of appeal — Missouri's attorney general will appeal a federal court ruling that struck down parts of the state's limits on campaign finance.

In a statement released Tuesday, Republican Josh Hawley said it was his duty as attorney general to defend the laws and constitution of Missouri. A federal judge earlier this month kept in place donation limits, but threw out a ban on certain committee-to-committee transfers.

Seventy percent of voters approved the amendment in November.

A Nation Engaged: Power And The Presidency

Apr 27, 2017
Roy Inman / KCUR 89.3

As President Trump approaches the 100-day milestone of his administration, KCUR teamed up with NPR's for the latest A Nation Engaged conversation, moderated by Up To Date host Steve Kraske and NPR's Southwest correspondent, John Burnett. This time, we asked Kansas City-area citizens how much power they think an American president should be able to wield.

Sam Warlick / National League of Cities

Earlier this month Kansas City, Missouri, residents raised their own property taxes for 20 years in part to help pay for federally-required improvements to public buildings under the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Almost every town, no matter how big or small, has a mayor. But what it means to be mayor in a small town might be different than it is in a prosperous suburb of 35,000 ... or is it? A conversation with four Kansas mayors.

Guests:

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