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By Steve Bell

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City resembled Florida in more ways than the weather this week. On Wednesday, residents of upscale living development Loch Lloyd said they had spotted an alligator swimming in the community's lake. The reptile was spotted and shot this morning by security guards. It turned out to be an alligator, as reported, and a big one - 7 feet from nose to tail tip. The beast some are calling the Loch Loyd monster has been taken to a taxidermist. No one has put forth a theory on where a gator that big came from in this part of the country.

The Shawnee County judge who ruled in Governor Kathleen Sebelius' favor in an open meetings lawsuit became her newest appointee to the Kansas Supreme Court today. Sebelius announced her selection of District Judge Eric Rosen during a news conference at her office. Rosen is Sebelius' second appointment to the seven-member court. Rosen has been a district judge for 12 years.

Kansas City, Missouri residents will have a new express bus service along its central north-south corridor starting Sunday. The new Metro Area Express, MAX for short, will replace the Metro's #56 Country Club service, and will run from 74th Terrace and Broadway in Waldo to the River Market. MAX busses will run every 9 minutes during rush hours, every 1 minutes middays, and every 30 minutes nights, weekends and Holidays. Each of the 12 GPS-equipped busses cost $321,000. And the GPS feature will allow them to prolong green traffic lights if the bus gets more than a minute behind schedule.

Kansas City-based Birch Telecom today laid off 87 employees, including 32 in Kansas City, and closed sales offices in six cities. Birch closed offices in Topeka, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Birch is limiting new sales activity while it evaluates its sales and marketing strategy. A spokeswoman said customers won't experience a disruption in service.

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