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A licensed nurse in Johnson County is one of 10 nurses and aides accused of Medicaid fraud and other criminal charges in a statewide crackdown on Kansas health care facilities that get Medicaid funding.

In a complaint filed in Johnson County District Court, Catherine M. Santaniello is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, two counts of mistreatment of a dependent adult, and battery.

The complaint contains few details and the person she allegedly mistreated is not identified. 

Santaniello could not be reached for comment.

Olathe Health

Olathe Health, parent of Olathe Medical Center and other medical groups, has named an Arizona health care executive as its new president and CEO.

Stan Holm, currently CEO of Abrazo West in Goodyear, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, will replace Frank Devocelle, who is retiring after 47 years with Olathe Health, 43 of them as its CEO.

Devocelle is one of the longest-tenured hospital CEOs in the country. He made more than $1 million in 2016.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Parents whose kids attend Lee’s Summit schools are growing increasingly frustrated with the school board and superintendent as tensions escalate over issues of equity and race.

It was standing room only Tuesday night as parents demanded the Board of Education justify the need for professional development from a particular diversity consultant.

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.

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.

Olathe Public Schools

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Servcie

The ACLU of Kansas is now suing Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker to gain access to lists of 900 voters who filed provisional ballots and about 150 voters whose advance ballots were not counted in the August primary. 

Funding for running school buses in Missouri could return to state funding goals within five years if the state education department’s request to the legislature is fulfilled.

Missouri education officials outlined a $6.3 billion budget for the 2020 fiscal year to the state Board of Education Tuesday, which asks state lawmakers for more transportation aid and per-student funding as part of a $140 million increase in its budget.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The VA Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, has made a few changes after receiving a letter from U.S. representatives from Missouri and Kansas that detailed veterans' concerns about the quality of care.

Both of Missouri’s senators want their colleagues to investigate allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

It comes as Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court was expected to get a key vote later this week.

KCPD

In an unexpected move on Monday, the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners rescinded an award it had given to a pair of officers involved in the killing of Ryan Stokes as he was leaving the Power & Light District five years ago.

Stokes, 24, was shot by Officer William Thompson, a desk officer who was on special assignment that night in the busy entertainment district, which the KCPD flagged at the time as a "hot spot" with a high potential for crime. Thompson's partner, Officer Tamara Jones, also a desk officer, did not fire her weapon.

K. Trimble / Wikimedia Commons

Updated Sept. 14, 2018, with court ruling — The wide-ranging initiative petition that would change how Missouri draws its legislative districts and effectively ban lobbyist gifts won't be on the Nov. 6 ballot, a judge ruled Friday.

Once again, Republicans are raising questions about U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s personal finances – or rather, those of her husband, wealthy businessman Joe Shepard.

But this time, she’s accusing her GOP critics of being hypocrites because they’re not making the same demands of President Donald Trump.

Her Republican rival, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, contends that McCaskill wants to hide her family’s “dark-money’’ finances.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, has long prided itself as an affordable place to live. But a new study commissioned by the city paints a different picture.

The study, commissioned a year ago by the city council, shows that affordable housing options exist for people of high or moderate incomes. But for people who make less than $30,000 a year, options are scarce. 

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri Senate gained another Democrat on Wednesday, as former state Rep. Lauren Arthur took the oath of office.

But because Arthur is taking office before the 2019 regular session, which starts in January, she can only run for re-election once due to term limits.

Arthur was warmly welcomed by her new Senate colleagues after being sworn in during the special session, and said she’s looking forward to the new position.

Charlie's House

A Kansas City nonprofit group is building a house that its leaders hope will help save the lives of young children.

The Charlie’s House Safety Demonstration Home on Hospital Hill aims to provide a model for making a home safe for young children – everything from securing furniture to storing firearms.

“We believe that people learn by seeing and learn by first-hand,” says Cindy Mense, a board member of Charlie’s House, which is based in Kansas City.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Proposed home building regulations in Prairie Village, Kansas, are one step closer to taking effect, after being approved unanimously by the Planning Commission at a public hearing Tuesday night. 

The new rules were proposed earlier this year in response to many residents' concerns that a growing number of old houses in the area have been torn down and replaced with much larger houses.

More Electric Scooters Arrive In Kansas City

Sep 11, 2018
Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

Lime electric scooters are ready to ride in Kansas City, as the company placed 250 of its electric scooters around the city today.

Lime scooters cost $1 to unlock and then 15 cents per minute of riding. Bird, another electric scooter company, arrived in Kansas City in July. According to a press release from the city, revenue sharing from Lime and Bird will be used to build and improve bike lanes.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City had an opportunity to ask U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill questions during a campaign stop Monday. 

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Missouri can’t prevent any political action committee from donating to another political action committee.

The decision from the 8th District Court of Appeals could make it permanently more difficult to track the true source of donations to PACs — entities that have become much more powerful since the passage of campaign donation limits.

State lawmakers return to the Missouri Capitol on Monday for a special session designed to pass two pieces of legislation vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson.

And Wednesday they’re scheduled to hold their annual veto session, which may be relatively short and quiet.

Johnson County Sheriff's Office

An Olathe Republican vying for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives was arrested Thursday and charged with election perjury.

The complaint filed by the Johnson County district attorney’s office alleges Adam T. Thomas, 35, falsified an affidavit to election officials on or about May 31, 2018.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to decide within months whether state law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But the American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit that the Missouri Commission on Human Rights has determined that LGBTQ people are not protected.

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