Cass County | KCUR

Cass County

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Counties across Missouri hoped this was the year that the Department of Corrections would make headway on the $20-$30 million they’re owed for housing inmates who eventually go to state prisons.

But legislators allocated only $1.75 million more to address the backlog. Missouri's practice of reimbursing counties in this way is unique in the United States, and local sheriffs and county leaders say it’s time for a better solution.

Bruce Schuette

Vast amounts of prairie speckled with wildflowers once covered Missouri. But today, little remains of what was once 15 million acres. The loss has been devastating blow to the state's ecosystem.

"We have reaped the benefits of prairie soils, becoming an agricultural powerhouse," says Carol Davit, executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. But in doing so, she says, the state has also lost vital resources and part of its cultural history.

Segment 1: Race Project KC is educating high school students on structural racism in Kansas City.

Built off of Tanner Colby's book "Some of My Best Friends Are Black," Johnson County Library takes students on a bus tour to provide lessons on the ways that segregration is ingrained in the foundation of the city. Shawnee Mission East student Oliver Henry said the tour helped her better understand the lack of diversity at her school. 

Garden City Police Facebook

The last police officer in the tiny Cass County town of Garden City was fired Monday as he arrived at the office.

“I was met by the mayor, a sheriff’s deputy and an alderman and handed termination papers,” said 50-year-old Tom Albers, an 18 year veteran of the department.

The letter simply said "The City of Garden City Board of Alderman held an Emergency Executive Closed Session Meeting on November 15, 2018. Your employment with the City is hereby suspended without pay indefinitely."

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons file photo

President Donald Trump will headline a July 24 fundraiser for Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley, Cass County Republican Party chairman Bill Kartsonis told KCUR in an email.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Wells Fargo is investing $5.7 million in the Kansas City area to provide down payment assistance to eligible residents.

Residents in Cass, Clay and Jackson county will be able to apply for the $15,000 down payment assistance if they meet certain income eligibility requirements.

The program is a partnership with Westside Housing Organization and is part of the NeighborhoodLIFT program. This was created in 2012 to help provide financial assistance to low-income homeowners.

bigstock.com

It's election day in Missouri, but it's OK if you didn't know that. Compared to previous elections, this one is fairly low-key.

In Kansas City, voters will decide whether to renew a 1 percent sales tax for infrastructure maintenance, in addition to several school board races. And residents of several towns near the metro area will decide new mayors, including in Tracy, population 226, where no one filed to run for the job, so it'll come down to write-in votes. 

Want to know if you need to head to the polls? Here's a list: 

Missouri Department of Transportation / Flickr--CC

Harrisonville, Missouri, has too many special taxing districts – and according to Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway, they’re not generating enough revenue to pay for the projects they were created to fund.

“Overall, my team found a city that has overextended itself and overcommitted on a number of special taxing district projects across the city,” Galloway says.