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Waste and secrecy in Clay County

A blistering new audit lays out a litany of abuses by former Clay County commissioners. Plus, a study by the Jackson County Health Department found that some students may be missing school because they can't afford period products.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway on Wednesday issued a blistering, 162-page audit that documents numerous failings by the Clay County government. The problems range from not seeking bids for outside contracts to shielding key decisions from the public to offering generous raises, benefits and severance payments to certain employees.

As NPR Midwest Newsroom investigative editor Steve Vockrodt reports, more than 9,000 Clay County residents had signed petitions demanding an investigation into suspected dysfunction and waste by county leaders.

Lacking access to menstrual products is sometimes referred to as "period poverty." The Jackson County Health Department found that the issue, which often impacts people in developing nations, is happening right here in Kansas City-area districts. KCUR’s Jodi Fortino reports on how schools, nurses and organizations are trying to give students the supplies and confidence they need.

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