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Like about 25 percent of major American cities, Kansas City and St. Louis have their own income tax - the Earnings Tax. The state legislature passed the law allowing the cities to tax income in the late 1940's.

Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts is running for re-election to a third term in a state long viewed as a Republican stronghold yet, the Democrats have found some people willing to take on the challenge to unseat Roberts.

Light Rail Plan Expands To 63rd & Prospect

Aug 1, 2008

Freedom, Inc., the Urban League, the NAACP and civic leaders were on hand Thursday to advocate for adding two miles of track, but ended up praising rather than cajoling. Councilman Russ Johnson opened hearing with by announcing that the route had been altered.

Not all the testimony at the hearing was positive. Residents of the Main Street corridor and Bill Bates of American Century Investments expressed concerns about parking, effects on traffic and property access. Attorney Clinton Adams, Jr. responded with an invitation that drew laughter:

Trolling For Votes. How Many Are Employed?

Jul 31, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

There's four lawyers competing to be the Democratic candidate for Missouri's Attorney General in next week's primary. They have similar ideas on how to protect Missourians from crime and consumer fraud. But the candidates are coming at the race from very different perspectives. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports.

Kansas City, MO – Steve Howe worked for 15 years in the Johnson County District Attorneys office as a prosecutor. Now, Howe is running against Phill Kline in the Republican primary for the top job in the office.

(courtesty of Johnson County District Attorney's office)>

Kansas City, MO – Phill Kline is currently the Johnson County District Attorney and formerly Kansas Attorney General. He's running to keep his job against Steve Howe in the Republican Primary.

Kansas City, MO – Steve Howe worked for 15 years in the Johnson County District Attorneys office as a prosecutor. Now, Howe is running against Phill Kline in the Republican primary for the top job in the office.

Kansas City, MO – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is making big efforts to win over traditional Republicans in Missouri, but he must fight to make conservative voters feel comfortable with his non-traditional background, said political commentators speaking with Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up to Date

Verbal Guns Loaded For Aerial Dogfight: KCI

Jul 29, 2008

Johnson County, Kansas – There haven't been many yard signs. You may have read an editorial or two in the newspaper. But the effort to renew a quarter-cent sales tax for public safety in Johnson County has been pretty low- profile so far. KCUR's Laura Ziegler reports on some of the arguments pro and con as the August 5th election draws near.

People spilled out of the courtroom door of Edwin Hall's dramatic hearing. Kelsey Smith's murderer was pleading his case the same day I was touring the Johnson County jail.

KC Light Rail Will Carry Heavier Burden

Jul 25, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

KCK Raises Minimum Wage

Jul 24, 2008

Kansas City, KS – Many employees in Kansas City, Kansas can expect an increase in their paychecks next week. Wyandotte County Commissioners unanimously approved a citywide minimum wage hike at a board meeting last night.

Light Rail Transit Plan Swirls Around Overseers

Jul 24, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – Moving to instill his philosophy into more machinery of Kansas City government, Mayor Mark Funkhouser has exerted control over the powerful Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA).

The agency has power to give tax abatements to developers. Eight of the fifteen members, including the chairman, are now hand picked by the mayor. Funkhouser has complained that city agencies have directed too much development money to wealthier parts of the city and vowed to change that.

Not Your Same Old Ways: Boosters Plot Blight Fight

Jul 21, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Civic, government and business leaders have tentatively forged stimuli to turn around distressed parts of Kansas City. Member of the loosely formed think tank intend to create a private investment fund as an umbrella under which to maneuver.

McCain Rouses Union Station Crowd

Jul 18, 2008

Kansas City, MO –
Missouri is a state where votes may count more. It's a fact recognized by the campaign of Republican Senator John McCain in his quest for the White House. KCUR'S Dan Verbeck followed a McCain appearance at Union Station.

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Kansas City, MO – The light rail starter route before the Kansas City council had its debut on the committee floor Thursday and met mixed reaction.

The ordinance proposed by Councilman Russ Johnson features 12 miles of track from Vivion Road through downtown to Cleaver Boulevard and East to Prospect. Johnson told the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee the public will vote for it and i eager for the chance to do so.

Kansas City, MO – With a cluster of Obama supporters gathered on the Liberty Memorial hillside across the street, Union Station packed in some 800 people to hear Senator John McCain in Kansas City, Missouri. Dan Verbeck was there.

Entry to the station was open to all. There were no hostile questions for the Senator. Some from the floor dealt with gas prices, gasoline taxes and drilling offshore.

Kansas City, MO – Arizona Sen. John McCain held a town hall meeting Thursday at Union Station. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee addressed approximately 800 people in a forum at Union Station's Sprint Celebration Plaza.

Six Million To Troost Transit

Jul 16, 2008

Kansas CIty, Mo. – More than one hundred Kansas City Area Transportation Authority buses will be replaced over the next five years with $6.1 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funds. The expenditure was part of the 2007 Omnibus spending bill and just announced this week as being confirmed. The funds are destined for the Troost Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. They were arranged by Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (D, fifth dist.) and Senator Christopher Bond (R, Mo.)

Photo by Teresa Sheffield

Kansas City, MO – First lady hopeful Michelle Obama reached out to women voters in Kansas City yesterday, as part of a two day swing through the Midwest.

She hosted a roundtable discussion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City about the economic challenges of working women. The event coincides with both the Obama and McCain Campaign's recent efforts to gain support from voters loyal to former rival Hillary Clinton. Some 300 people - most of whom were women - turned out for the UMKC event.

'Green' Tax Breaks In Missouri

Jul 10, 2008

It's now the law: The good part is there will be a one week tax break when you buy 'green' appliances in Missouri. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports, the timing could be better?

The tax exemption won't do you any good this year. The Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday will run from April 19th through the 25th every year.

Under provisions, the first $1500 of Energy Star certified new appliances will be exempt from Missouri state sales taxes. These would include such appliances as washers and dryers, furnaces and freezers.

Light Rail Vote In November Still Possible

Jul 10, 2008

Kansas City Missouri voters will decide on a light-rail starter route and the 3/8-cent sales tax to support in on November 4th if the process started today continues to fruition.

Councilman Russ Johnson introduced an ordinance that calls for a November vote on the sales tax and a resolution to use the tax for a light-rail starter route if voters approve it.

First Lady Hopeful Reaches Out To Working Women

Jul 10, 2008

Michelle Obama hosted a roundtable discussion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City today about the economic challenges of working women.

The aspiring first lady told a crowd 300 people that the struggles of balancing work and family are especially difficult for women today but her husband, Barack Obama, understands the plight of women and is best suited to take on those issues as President.

Kansas City, MO – Michelle Obama visited Kansas City in July to discuss the economic challenges facing families and women. This roundtable is one of a series of discussions with women that the wife of the Democratic presidential nominee has hosted across the country.
You can listen to the entire speech here.

Kansas City, MO – During a June gubernatorial primary debate in the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman labeled her Republican opponent, U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof, as a Washington D.C. insider. Hulshof struck back by suggesting that Steelman didn't understand how bills get passed in Congress.

Highway Horrors Face Funding Flaws

Jul 7, 2008

Missouri highway planners say there is no funding available for road and bridge projects valued at $5.5 billion. Missouri Department of Transportation is already considering a twenty year projection of needs that will cost $31 billion.

The intake of revenue over the same period is calculated at $13 billion. Long term projects include widening of Interstate 70 to eight lanes and turning South 71 Highway into a portion of Interstate 49.