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Missouri

The Republican chairman of the now-defunct House panel that investigated then-Gov. Eric Greitens has filed a formal complaint with the state Ethics Commission accusing Greitens of running an illegal shadow campaign operation to avoid the state’s campaign-donation laws.

“With the ethics complaint that has been filed based on the work of the House investigative committee, the Missouri Ethics Commission has overwhelming evidence to conclude that Eric Greitens, his campaign committee and affiliated dark-money organization broke state campaign-finance laws,” said Democratic committee members Gina Mitten and Tommie Pierson Jr.

Missouri charter schools will now be able to give preference to poor or struggling students in its lottery admissions system.

That change was part of an omnibus education bill signed into law last week by Gov. Mike Parson. Some charter schools in St. Louis have struggled to maintain their mission as they increased in popularity and surrounding neighborhoods gentrified.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

The Canadian consul general to the Midwest is urging Missouri farmers to voice their support for renegotiating the North American Free-Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Thirteen-year-old Makenna Farnsworth had just been to the top of the Gateway Arch.

“It’s really cool to be up there,” she said, looking back at the stainless-steel monument looming above her, gleaming in the hot sunshine.

And she knew the answer to the top Arch trivia question: How tall is it?

“Six-hundred-thirty feet!”

That sums up all Makenna knew about the iconic monument, which on Tuesday will open a revamped museum with all new exhibits.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Of the 38,000 people in Missouri who wound up in immigration court since 2002, 55 percent did not have lawyers. Kansas saw less than half that number of people in immigration court, but similarly, just over half of those immigrants went without lawyers.

NICOLAS TELEP/KCUR 89.3

Kay Barnes served as Mayor of Kansas City for two terms, from 1999-2007. Her name is now affixed to the Grand Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The convention center sits between the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Municipal Auditorum, spanning Interstate 635 near Downtown Kansas City. In a ceremony Friday morning, the ballroom's new name was unveiled along with a bronze statue titled "Woman Walking Tall," by metro-area artist Tom Corbin.

Tatiana Vdb / Flickr-CC

Segment 1: Leaders of the Kansas and Missouri chapters of the ACLU discuss their organizations' goings-on.

With a federal court ruling Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's voter I.D. laws unconstitutional, the ACLU has something to celebrate. In the meantime, they're still fighting restrictive abortion laws in Missouri and for more funding of the state's public defender's office. Today, they updated us on these lawsuits and more.

Credit Harley-Davidson

President Donald Trump spent part of Tuesday morning tweeting about Harley-Davidson, specifically calling out the motorcycle giant's plant in Kansas City.

Eric Greitens’ resignation as Missouri governor earlier this month has now officially brought to an end the mission of the House committee that’s been investigating him, but the chairman still plans on filing an ethics complaint.

In a letter sent Monday to members of the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said that the House does not have “inherent authority to investigate anything it wants.”

JASON ROSENBAUM/ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO FILE

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander will join the already-crowded field of candidates vying to replace outgoing Kansas City Mayor Sly James in 2019. 

Last week, a Kander spokesperson told KCUR that Kander was "deciding how he can best serve." On Monday, Kander's camp confirmed the one-time U.S. Senate candidate will run for mayor.

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is looking to throw his hat into the race to be the next mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

A source told KCUR on Thursday morning that the Democrat is considering joining an already-crowded race for the 2019 election. U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's staff told KCUR in an email that Cleaver, a Democrat who was Kansas City's mayor from 1991 to 1999, "did speak with Jason Kander about his mayoral plans."

A Kander spokesman said in a statement only that Kander is "deciding how he can best serve."

Rural hospitals are more likely to close in states such as Missouri that have not expanded Medicaid.

A recent report from the pro-Affordable Care Act organization Protect Our Care analyzed 84 rural hospital closures since 2010. It found 90 percent of those hospital closures were in states that had not expanded Medicaid coverage. Missouri remains one of the 14 states that hasn’t amended its program to cover people who earn up to 138 percent above the poverty line.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

If you can imagine Las Vegas, a county fair and the TV show Hee Haw mashed up and spread out along an old Ozark highway, then you’ll have an idea of what the main strip of Branson in southern Missouri looks like.

Miles and miles of all the miniature golf, bumper cars, fudge shops, custard stands and music theaters that a vacationing family could hope for. 

Shannon works as a waitress in one of those places – a Branson restaurant – and says she loves being part of the action. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Updated June 19, 2018 — Valley Oaks Steak Company obtained a necessary water permit to expand its cattle feedlot and meatpacking business from fewer than 1,000 cows to nearly 7,000 cows.

The feedlot is near the town of Lone Jack and Kansas City's closest botanical garden, Powell Gardens, and the proposed expansion has raised the ire of thousands of people in the area who are concerned about water and air quality issues.

File photo by Dan Verbeck / KCUR 89.3

The Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children who cross the border without legal permission has become a divisive issue across the United States and in Congress.

The policy spurred U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, to demand Monday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions "take immediate action to end the practice" that's divided nearly 2,000 families since April. There's also a Senate bill, known as the Keep Families Together Act, that would ban the separation tactic and has only Democratic backing.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Bruce Carney raises cattle, poultry and a few sheep on his 300-acre farm in Maxwell, Iowa. He no longer grows any grain, but is preparing for new crops of a different kind.

Orange flags dot what was previously a cattle lot, with a ridge (or swale) built around it to manage water flow. The fruit trees Carney will be planting at each of the flags later this year will also help.

Kevin Cook

Sept. 3, 2009, was a date that was 14 years in the making for Air Force veteran Kevin Cook.

He first entered a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center for help treating his depression and alcohol and drug use in 1995.

“I would come into treatment, I would get all of this help and everything and then I would leave back out the door thinking that I can do this on my own,” Cook says. “And it never dawned on me that this is ... a lifetime change and this is something that you have to stay engaged in.”

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Updated 1:45 p.m. June 15, 2018, with new amount due — The state of Missouri won't pay more than $120,000 to two attorneys former Gov. Eric Greitens' office hired ahead of possible impeachment proceedings, the state Office of Administration said Thursday.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Decades after most of the buildings were dismantled, newspaper articles raved about the beautiful vistas from a hilltop in Clay County: “One of the finest views of Missouri River countryside in all directions that may be found,” the Kansas City Journal wrote in 1941.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Golfers in this week’s U.S. Open will be trying to avoid hitting a ball into the sand. But at courses in Harrisonville, Missouri, or Leonardville, Kansas, finding the sand is equivalent to a day at the beach.

The roster on the Missouri State Board of Education is deep enough to hold a meeting for the first time since December.

Gov. Mike Parson appointed two people to the board Tuesday morning, ending six months of paralysis in which the school board — short of a quorum — was unable to vote or advance education policy in the state.

2017 KANSAS AND MISSOURI CONSUMER HEALTH ACCESS SURVEY

A quarter of Kansas working-age adults and a third of the state’s children live in households dealing with medical debt.

That’s one of the takeaways from a new report commissioned by five Kansas and Missouri health foundations, believed to be the largest survey to date of health consumers in the two states.

In Kansas, about 2,600 adults and minors were included. The survey answers point to problems with access to dental and mental health care, among other services.

A new Missouri law orders the state to create guidelines for testing, processing and storing rape kits, which collect DNA evidence from victims of sexual violence.

Wikipedia / CC

It's official: There are not enough workers for all of the new jobs in the United States. The number of job openings exceeds the number of job seekers for the first time on record, the U.S. Labor department said this week.

In Missouri, employers struggle not with the quantity of workers but how qualified they are, says Jeff Pinkerton, senior researcher with the Mid-America Regional Council.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Democratic rising star Jason Kander on voting rights, Missouri politics and the 2020 presidential race.

While he may have lost his 2016 bid to unseat Missouri's Republican U.S. Senator, Roy Blunt, Democrat Jason Kander certainly hasn't disappeared from the political stage. Today, he tells us why he's turned his sights to expanding voting rights. Plus, Steve Kraske asks him why he's spending so much time in Iowa and New Hampshire lately.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. June 8 with comments from Jean Peters Baker — A special prosecutor has decided not to charge former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in connection with an affair he had before he became governor.

A large crowd of people outside. They are holding up fists at a protest and there are people with cameras near them.
Tyler Adkisson / KBIA 91.3

Segment 1: With only three of eight seats occupied, Missouri's Board of Education has gone months without a meeting.

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens wasn't short on contentious relationships in Jefferson City. One of them? The state's Board of Education, which lost its commissioner in December and has operated without a quorum since. Today, we learned what the vacancies have meant for the state's public and charter schools, and got some insight about how new Gov. Mike Parson may handle the situation.

University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright, Vice Chancellor Rhonda Gibler for Finance and Interim Provost Jim Spain announced budget cuts for the upcoming 2019 fiscal year, which begins July 1. This included a general revenue reallocation of $45 million, with cuts ranging from 5 to 12 percent across departments at MU.

Nicolas Telep / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri Department of Transportation is getting set to temporarily close all lanes of I-70 in both directions for about seven miles through Kansas City and Independence.

The highway will be shut down between I-435 and I-470/MO-291 from 10 p.m. Friday until about 5 a.m. Monday. The closure runs approximately from the Truman Sports Complex to Independence Center. All on-ramps between the two points will be closed as well.

Kevin Corlew, Lauren Arthur

Democrats have taken a Missouri Senate seat previously held by Republicans in the first electoral test since the resignation of GOP Gov. Eric Greitens last week. 

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