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GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley is pushing for a major overhaul of the earned income tax credit, one of the federal government’s most popular programs aimed at helping the working poor.

In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Hawley said he wants to instead deliver a wage boost directly in the paychecks of low and moderate income workers.

During a statewide tour on Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he wants work with lawmakers to fix two bills during next week’s special session.

Parson vetoed a bill to increase STEM education in high school and another to expand alternative prosecution for drug abusers, known as drug courts. Despite the vetoes, Parson is making it clear he still supports the spirit of the laws and would rather see them reshaped than overridden by lawmakers as currently written.

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Kansas City’s rental inspection program officially went live on Tuesday, a month after voters approved its creation.

Under the new rules, all landlords must pay $20 to register for a permit. They will also be charged an annual fee of $20 per unit so the health department can hire inspectors to respond to tenant complaints. Additional fees would apply if inspectors have to return to the same property to address unresolved issues.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

The seven-year quest to bring the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to downtown Kansas City ended abruptly Tuesday when university officials issued a statement rejecting any downtown location.

Instead, UMKC will consider sites either on or within a 2.5-mile radius of the Volker campus in the next round of considering proposals, according to a letter from UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's popular entertainment district looked a little different this weekend. 

Westport officials announced Friday that the promised gun screening checkpoints, which the City Council approved in December, would finally be active over Labor Day weekend, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A Jackson County judge ruled Friday night that control of the violence prevention group COMBAT will fall to the county prosecutor -- a ruling that makes official what the county legislature first attempted to do last year.

In a statement, Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said she was pleased with the ruling, which she hopes will mark the end of a "lack of certainty in recent months" that has "been difficult for COMBAT administration, grantees and the public."

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, approved $162,000 of funding for a conviction integrity unit, $155,000 of which will go toward the salaries of the unit's three staff members.

The unit will be responsible for investigating alleged wrongful conviction cases, a task which previously fell on the district attorney's desk. 

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Friday defended the state's decision to weigh in on a case that could limit transgender rights.

Asked by reporters about Kansas’ decision to join 15 other states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender, Schmidt noted that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Kansas, has taken that position.

The Kansas Republican Party is cutting ties with state Rep. Michael Capps of Wichita after it was revealed that Capps was found guilty of child abuse last year.

A letter from the party released Friday said it asked Capps earlier in the week to withdraw from the race to keep his seat representing House District 85. The district covers parts of east Wichita.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

After Kansas City councilmembers voted in favor of privatizing sidewalks in Westport in December, new security measures are scheduled to start at the popular entertainment district. 

Starting Friday night, the first night of Labor Day weekend, patrons will have to pass through a metal detector at one of four checkpoints to enter the area, located at the intersections of Westport Road and Mill Street, Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue and Archibald Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue and the entrance to a parking garage.

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Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday officially called for a special session of the Missouri General Assembly next month. Drug treatment courts and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education will be among the items on the agenda.

“When I addressed the General Assembly nearly three months ago, I pledged that I would change the tone and work with the legislature,” Parson said in a statement. “This call is a step in delivering that promise. These two issues were a part of the General Assembly’s historic session as they passed a number of their priorities. By working together to come up with a more narrowly defined focus, we will have better served the people of Missouri.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

A proposal aimed at reducing panhandling on city streets has hit a nerve in Kansas City, Missouri, so city officials are taking a step back and plan to rework it. 

On Thursday, more than 70 people packed a room at City Hall to testify both in support and against the measure. Proponents argue panhandling has gotten out of control in their neighborhoods, while opponents say the measure would punish homeless people.  

Donald and Laurie Draughon

When a federal judge decided in July that the Veterans Health Administration was liable for the death of an Iraq veteran who was treated at the VA and later killed himself, it was thought to be one of the few instances nationwide where the VA has been held directly responsible for a veteran’s suicide.

Now the federal government is appealing that verdict.

A notice of appeal filed Wednesday said the United States is seeking review of the judgment by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, as well as her findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Kansas Attorney General's Office

Kansas has joined 15 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender.

Last week, the 16 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to overturn a federal appeals court's decision that it was illegal for a Michigan funeral home to terminate an employee who was transitioning from male to female. The appeals court ruled that Aimee Stephens’ firing violated Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex.

Wichita Public School teachers are receiving a more than a 3.5 percent increase in salary. In Topeka, the increase is nearly 8 percent, that district's largest in 26 years.

School districts across Kansas are raising salaries, restoring cut positions and adding new jobs.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Missouri health officials say they plan to renew the abortion license of Planned Parenthood’s midtown Kansas City clinic now that the clinic has secured an abortion provider.

The Department of Health and Senior Services had allowed the facility’s license to expire on Aug. 10 after its previous abortion physician left. The department said it was impossible to verify compliance with the state’s legal requirements without a physician on the premises.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 5:45 p.m. with remarks from Chiefs president Mark Donovan.

The Kansas City Chiefs announced changes to their tailgating policy this week, and it's left some fans as hot as their grills.  

Fans won't be able to tailgate in the parking lot after kickoff — they'll have to enter the stadium or leave, according to the Chiefs website.

It isn't clear whether it'll take effect for Thursday's preseason game against Green Bay, or whether it'll be on the Sept. 23 home game. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Business partners Ryan Maybee and Andy Rieger of J. Rieger & Co. announced Tuesday they are expanding their East Bottoms operations to the historic building next door. 

The Kansas City distilling company purchased the Ferd Heim Brewery Co. bottling facility last October, a building on the National Register of Historic Places, built in 1901, that long stood empty after Prohibition.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

A voting equipment vendor says a coding error is behind the delay in this year's primary election results in Johnson County, which left some statewide races undecided until the following morning earlier this month.

Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software (ES&S) issued an apology Monday, taking responsibility for the delay. Gary Weber, vice president of software development for ES&S, said it came down to a "non-performing" piece of software, which caused slow processing of the 192 encrypted master thumb drives that held the votes.

file photo / Kansas News Service

(This story has been updated.)

Gov. Jeff Colyer lost a nail-biter Republican primary for governor to Secretary of Kris Kobach and quickly backed the man who beat him.

At least one key member of his campaign, however, moved on Monday to jump ship from the party’s nominee.

Colyer campaign chairman and longtime former Kansas Farm Bureau president Steve Baccus threw his support to independent candidate Greg Orman.

If the experience of getting a bat stuck in your house or office isn’t unpleasant enough, Kansas health officials say it also means you should go get checked for rabies.

File photo / KCUR 89.3

A proposed pedestrian safety ordinance would have implications for individuals panhandling at Kansas City intersections. 

Councilperson Teresa Loar introduced the measure Thursday. It outlines new rules to increase pedestrian safety at intersections and crosswalks, reducing the amount of time permitted to cross, and limiting the roadside space permitted for walking.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

The self-proclaimed largest craft brewery in Kansas is shutting down. Tallgrass Brewing, based in Manhattan, will close its doors, at least temporarily.

Tallgrass Brewing was founded in 2007 and expanded in 2015 to a 60,000-square foot facility, which the company said quadrupled its capacity. Tallgrass has been distributing beer in 18 states, according to the website.

When reached by phone, an employee at the Manhattan facility confirmed that the brewery is suspending operations immediately. She couldn't provide any other details.

File photo

Planned Parenthood’s midtown Kansas City clinic can no longer perform medication abortions after its license officially expired on Aug. 10.

Clinic officials say they sought timely renewal of its license, but state health officials delayed it after saying they were unable to conduct a complete inspection of the facility in June.

The clinic had no abortion provider on the premises at the time, having stopped performing medication abortions on March 29 when its previous provider left.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Independent candidate for Kansas governor Greg Orman will stay on the ballot after state officials rejected a challenge to his candidacy Thursday.

Will Lawrence, a staffer for the state Senate’s top Democrat, had questioned thousands of the signatures Orman used to secure a spot in the race, saying they weren’t collected properly or notarized correctly.

The State Objections Board disagreed. The panel ultimately removed a few hundred signatures because they were collected by a convicted felon.

KGAN

Former KCTV Channel 5 anchor Karen Fuller’s age and gender discrimination lawsuit against the station can move forward, a federal judge ruled this week.

U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum determined that Fuller had produced sufficient evidence that she had been fired because of her age or gender, and denied KCTV’s bid to throw out the case.  

Fuller was a news anchor at KCTV from 2003 until 2015, when she was abruptly let go. She was 47 years old at the time and her lawsuit alleges Meredith Corp., the station’s owner, created an “age ceiling” for its female anchors but not for its male anchors.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Developers of the new terminal at Kansas City International airport may not be able to follow through on a promise to help fund initiatives for minorities and disadvantaged parts of the city.

The so-called Community Benefits Agreement is a package of initiatives that include free or subsidized transportation options and licensed childcare for workers, as well as an on-site health clinic, expedited payment and workforce training during the project.

Saundra McDowell via YouTube

A 2013 lawsuit in Kansas could play a key role in deciding whether the Republican candidate for Missouri state auditor stays in the race.

Candidates for auditor must be legal residents of the state for 10 years.

Big Stock

A measure that would allow alcohol to be delivered to your door was well received by a city council committee Wednesday.

The proposal would allow a person to order and pay for alcohol through an online app. Licensed liquor retailers that partner with the app would process the transaction, fill the order and deliver the booze to the front door.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media file photo

Updated Aug. 22, 2018 — Two research arms of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be moving out of Washington, D.C. Three of Missouri’s U.S. representatives and one from Kansas said Kansas City is the perfect place for those agencies.

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