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crime

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Rosilyn Temple has been starting conversations about Kansas City's crime problem since 2014. Now, the U.S. Department of Justice is kicking in $75,000 to help her continue that mission for the next seven years.

"The community is angry," Temple said. "That's why we have so much violent crime today."

Segment 1: The Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods funds new initiative against violent crime in Kansas City, Missouri.

Segment 1: What is a non-disclosure agreement? 

After Sen. Elizabeth Warren publicly questioned fellow Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's use of NDAs, these contractual documents made headlines around the country. Today, we discussed what the agreements are, how they are used and who they benefit.

Screenshot from the Kansas Bureau of Investigations' website

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas is unmatched in its tracking of ex-convicts, resulting in more than 21,000 people convicted of sex, drug or violent crimes being registered on a public database.

One of them is Marc Schultz, who was convicted of manslaughter for hitting and killing a cyclist while driving drunk in 2010.

“I will forever live with the burden of taking a man’s life for a decision that I made,” Schultz said Monday. “But I didn’t intend for this to happen.”

For many farmers, 2019 was the first year of growing hemp, since it became legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. In addition to the normal challenges of farming, hemp growers have had to deal with a different kind of problem: theft.

 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says that without focusing on basic city services in 2020, any goodwill that’s been built up means nothing.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Lawmakers representing district in the Kansas City metropolitan area have introduced hundreds of bills to this year's session of the Missouri General Assembly. 

Some of the bills, like a statewide prescription drug monitoring program or banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, have been priorities for years but didn't get to the governor's desk. Other proposals, like those dealing with violent crimes, have come into focus with a climb in homicides

KCUR talked with eight local lawmakers to find out what they’re prioritizing this session.

Segment 1: Previewing 2020's public safety stories

Kansas City has been staring down a violent crime problem for years and officials at both the state and federal levels are primed to implement a myriad of solutions. But KCUR reporters said it could be months before we see any results.

  • Chris Haxel, Guns and America reporter at KCUR
  • Sam Zeff, metro reporter at KCUR

Segment 2, beginning at 25:56: Where fast food and black entrepreneuership meet

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The KCUR news staff presents the State of Kansas City series as a look ahead to 2020 on topics of importance to the region. Find the State of Kansas City report on other topics in the series as they are published each weekday, Jan. 6–Jan. 20. Follow coverage on these topics at KCUR.org and on 89.3 FM throughout the year.

Once again, Kansas City, Missouri,  finds itself in the midst of a climb in homicides.

Segment 1: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas reviews the year that was, and discusses his 2020 to-do list.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has only been in office for five months, and has been busy for the duration. He defended his record on curbing tax incentives, standing up for tenant's rights, and pushing to make bus service free in Kansas City. Lucas also answered questions on the city's soaring crime rate.

Segment 1: Chief Smith speaks to 'disheartening' amount of violent crime in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas

Nov 11, 2019

With more than 100 days in office, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas reviews his progress and future challenges.

Policing gets a lot of attention, but Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says addressing violent crime requires a holistic approach. To help find solutions and opportunities for the region's youths, Lucas says he's working closely with many local school districts. On the subject of tax incentives for property developers, the mayor who campaigned on reducing them says he's not "torpedoing every project," but they can't all be on the backs of taxpayers.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

Kansans reported more sexual assaults, domestic violence and stalking to the police in 2018, according to a report from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Compared to the previous year, it’s a 6% increase in domestic violence incidents, a 9% increase in rapes and a 27% increase in stalking incidents.

But the numbers don’t necessarily reflect an increase in those crimes being committed, KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said.

Segment 1: The Unified Government's chief executive discusses violent crime, economic development and local elections.

Jackson County Government

A Jackson County sheriff’s deputy has been charged after shooting a woman in the back while trying to arrest her in August. 

Jackson County prosecutors on Wednesdsay charged Lauren Michael, 29, with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

According to the charging documents, the shooting occurred after deputies tried to pull over a couple driving a Byrd scooter the wrong way down a street. The man was arrested but the woman fled.

Anonymous

A former high-ranking official of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced Wednesday for misdemeanor battery against a female employee. 

Former General Services Director Tib Laughlin faces 12 months of probation, and must attend anger management classes and continued mental health counseling.

Segment 1: Schulte talks of the progress and set-backs Kansas City faced during his term as city manager.

Troy Schulte's 10-year term as manager of Kansas City, Missouri, will in a few months come to a close. He said one of the hardest things about his job was finding a balance in handling pressing crises and working toward long-term goals. Schulte talked about things he's proud of, like the new airport terminal design, which is set to acheive net-zero carbon emissions. He also spoke of critical issues, like the overcrowding in city jails.

More2

Faith-based advocacy group More2 is demanding justice from the Kansas City Police Department following the fatal police shooting of Terrence Bridges in May. The group is calling for an indictment of the officer who killed him.

The KCPD said on May 26, they responded to 911 calls about a domestic violence incident involving a firearm. When officers arrived, police said the woman in the home told them her car had been stolen and her husband kidnapped.

Jackson County Executive Frank White Thursday blasted the audit of the COMBAT anti-crime tax commissioned by the prosecutor's office. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Over the last three years, millions of dollars generated by COMBAT, the anti-drug and anti-violence sales tax in Jackson County, has been spent with little or no oversight, according to a new audit.

The COMBAT sales tax was approved by voters in 1989, and it has recently generated more than $20 million a year. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker commissioned the audit after she took over the agency in 2018.

Overland Park Police

Police say the body of a missing Overland Park, Kansas, woman was found in Arkansas, a day after her husband was killed in a shootout with officers Kansas City, Kansas.

Overland Park Police say Sylvia Ussery-Pearson’s body was found in Benton County, Arkansas, Tuesday evening, after a note detailing where to find her body was discovered in her estranged husband’s Lenexa home.

KCK Fire Department Twitter

Updated Wednesday at 10:20 a.m. —

A man was killed by Kansas City, Kansas, police after a shootout near the Legends shopping center Tuesday morning. 

Anonymous

A high-ranking official of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has resigned after a jury on Tuesday found him guilty of misdemeanor battery against a female employee.

Dennis “Tib” Laughlin was director of General Services and worked for the UG for 21 years. According to the UG, he submitted his resignation in writing after the verdict was handed down Tuesday afternoon.

Anonymous

A Wyandotte County jury found a high-ranking official of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, guilty of misdemeanor battery against a female employee Tuesday.

Maddie Waldeck, a former Unified Government employee, said on May 1 last year that she was having a "light-hearted" conversation with colleagues after work when her boss, Dennis "Tib" Laughlin, grabbed her by the shirt and pushed her against a wall.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Grandview, Missouri, is hoping to decrease crime at apartments through a partnership with police and local apartment managers.

Key to the program: By signing a new lease addendum, a resident could be evicted if a guest in their apartment commits a crime. Also, the Grandview Police Department would inform apartment management if the resident is arrested. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Wyandotte Country District Attorney Mark Dupree is on the lookout for folks with criminal records. He wants to talk with them about the possibility of wiping clean that history and giving them a new chance.

Starting on Wednesday and continuing every Wednesday until August 14, his office is hosting expungement fairs at Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center as part of an effort to be what Dupree calls "smart on crime."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The day after Quinton Lucas defeated his fellow Kansas City Council member, Jolie Justus, in the city's mayoral election, Lucas said he had a roadmap for what he would consider a successful tenure. His three criteria are based on his major campaign issues of crime, infrastructure and housing.

Number one on his priorities list, he said, is creating a safer city.

“I want to see us get below 100 homicides for like two years in a row, not just one,” Lucas said. “I want to see us out of the top 10 most dangerous cities list.”

Segment 1: Mark Dupree wants to make the Unified Government's justice system more equitable.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree talked with us about the summer expungement program, a new conviction integrity unit and the prosecution of Lamonte McIntyre, and calls from community members to fire Police Chief Terry Ziegler. It all fits into his larger effort to correct past wrongs in his jurisdiction.

Segment 1: Candidates for 3rd District at-Large discuss plans for Kansas City

Missouri Rep. Brandon Ellington and Rev. Wallace Hartsfield talked about their approach to reduce crime east of Troost, provide access to education and jobs, and downtown tax incentives.  

File photos

The struggle is real for many Kansas City, Missouri, residents deciding who to vote for in the mayoral election on Tuesday, June 18. 

Candidates Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas are both current city council members with similar voting records. Both are Democrats and attorneys at notable law firms.

Both say the biggest issues facing the city are crime, affordable housing and equitable development.

But while the two agree on many things, there are key differences, including how to solve the city’s most pressing issues.

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