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Waste and secrecy in Clay County

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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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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love with Trevor Grandin and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byron@kcur.org.