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By Steve Bell

Kansas City, MO – Jackson County officials announced a 25 year lease agreement with the Chiefs and Royals today. The agreements are contingent on Jackson County voters approving a 3/8-cent sales tax to pay for upgrades at the two stadiums. The sales tax would kick in $425-million for things like more bathrooms and wider walkways at the stadiums. In exchange for footing much of the bill, Jackson County residents will get a discount on tickets or parking, but sports authority chair Mike Smith says this part of the proposal is still being negotiated. The state of Missouri would chip in $50-million from tax credits for the upgrades, and the teams would add another $100-million.

A Tonganoxie teenager has settled a federal lawsuit with the school district in a case over a persistent anti-gay taunts he says he suffered at school. Tonganoxie schools will pay Dylan Theno 440-thousand dollars, most of which will be used to cover legal fees. Theno says in seventh grade his classmates launched a stream of anti-gay epithets against him that led to an emotional collapse he suffered at home in his junior year. A district official has said that insurance will cover the losses and that Tonganoxie schools will not be effected.

Employers in Kansas will collectively share in a $61-million tax break next year. A decrease in unemployment claims has triggered a Kansas law that automatically adjusts tax rates to cover benefits for jobless workers. Secretary of Labor Jim Garner says the average rate will drop by about $28 for each employee on whom an employer has to pay the tax.

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