KCUR
file photo / Kansas News Service

Take a look at the Kansas budget and one item looms large, eating up more state spending than anything else.

Schools swallow about $4.5 billion. That spending rose after an infusion of cash by lawmakers earlier this year in response to a court ruling in a long-running fight over whether state government does enough to support public education.

Jolie Justus

Kansas City councilwoman Jolie Justus has re-entered the race for Kansas City mayor in 2019.

The announcement comes one week after Jason Kander withdrew from the race citing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

In a video announcing the news, Justus first thanked Kander.

President Donald Trump’s administration will “unleash the power of E15,” allowing the 15 percent gasoline-ethanol blend to be sold year-round.

The announcement, made public this week at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is being welcomed by corn growers and biofuel groups. But it may take longer for farmers like Kelly Nieuwenhuis of Primghar, Iowa, to feel the positive impact of E15 than they would like.

Luetkemeyer and Rucker
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

The race to replace Missouri Sen. Rob Schaaf has come down to two millennials who knew each other while attending Mizzou.

One is Republican Tony Luetkemeyer, a soft-spoken attorney who’s seeking his first elective office and has deep political connections — he’s close to party leaders and his wife, Lucinda Luetkemeyer, was general counsel in the office of former Gov. Eric Greitens.

The other is Democrat Martin T. Rucker II, a former Kansas City Chiefs and Mizzou football player who co-founded a Democratic-leaning political club in the Northland and ran unsuccessfully for a state House seat in 2016.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Residents of the poorest parts of Kansas City are tired of city leaders making promises about investing in the city's east side.

file photo / KCUR 89.3

Missouri residents packed the driver's license office near the intersection of Cleaver and Troost Wednesday afternoon to beat the state's voter registration deadline for the November election.

Kyle Duyck moved to Missouri from Oregon two years ago. As someone who has regularly voted in previous years, Duyck said he does not want to miss this year’s midterm elections.

“I think there needs to be checks and balances,” Duyck said. “Keeping a Senate seat so we actually can get more moderate elections and get more moderate bills passed would be very important for me.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A local Kansas GOP official has resigned after making disparaging remarks about Kansas congressional candidate Sharice Davids, writing "Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation."

On Sunday night, Michael Kalny, former GOP precinct committeeman of Shawnee, Kansas, made the remarks in a private Facebook message to Anne Pritchett, a chapter president of the Johnson County Democratic Women.

Pritchett said she was surprised at first. 

Zenoir/Creative Commons

The tussle between community groups and bar owners in Kansas City over background checks for servers will continue for at least another week.

The city council's Neighborhood and Public Safety Committee has been struggling over various proposals that range from doing away with liquor cards to easing restrictions on who can sell alcohol to not changing a thing.

Bigstock

Kansas City and St. Louis have some of the worst-rated nursing homes in the country, while Topeka, Overland Park and Wichita have some of the best.

That’s according to rankings published by FamilyAssets, a New York-based company that offers assessments and planning for people seeking home health care services.

Kansas schools are still struggling to hire teachers.

There are more than 600 vacant teaching positions in Kansas, nearly 100 more than in the fall of 2017. Special education and elementary positions have the largest number of vacancies.

The Kansas State Board of Education received the update on Tuesday from the Teacher Vacancy and Supply Committee. The main reason for the open positions is a lack of applicants or qualified applicants.

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