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Missouri taxpayers generally have no say and little information about some 400 tax districts across the state, according to a new report from the state auditor.

“The law allows for sales taxes to be charged without a vote. The law allows for a lack of transparency and a lack of accountability," Auditor Nicole Galloway said Wednesday during a news conference in Kansas City.

Legal experts say independent candidate for governor Greg Orman faces at least a potential threat to lose his spot on the ballot in Kansas' general election.

An objection filed with the Kansas Secretary of State's office on Monday targets the signatures Orman gathered for ballot access. The letter was filed on behalf of William Lawrence, the chief of staff for Democratic state Senate Leader Anthony Hensley.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Troubled Medicaid contractor Maximus could soon have a new contract with Kansas officials that pays it more to do less.

State officials say that appears to be the price of getting the job of processing applications for the privatized Medicaid program, KanCare, done right.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Updated, 10:11 a.m. Wednesday.

Note: This post contains racist content.

A Westport security guard has been let go after a Facebook post detailing a racist incident in Westport gained traction Monday.

According to the post, the bartender, who goes by Alobar Bandaloop on Facebook, says the alleged incident occurred over the weekend, when Mike Dargy went to Buzzard Beach and ordered a "Trayvon Martini" from him. Trayvon Martin was the unarmed black teenager shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City attorney and abuse victims are calling on the attorneys general of Kansas and Missouri to launch investigations into clergy sexual abuse, similar to the grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania.

Attorney Rebecca Randles said she has hundreds of clients who allege they’ve been abused by a member of the Catholic Church.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

One of the biggest names in Jackson County politics will be sentenced in federal court in a month for a kickback scheme.

Mike Sanders was Jackson County Prosecutor, county executive and former Missouri Democratic Party chairman.

He’ll find out how long he will spend in prison, how big a fine he might pay and how much of his ill-gotten gains will be forfeited on September 19.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3 file photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says she intends on asking Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about campaign finance, health care and corporate consolidation when she meets with him Tuesday.

McCaskill said the high court’s 2010 Citizens United decision has led to a flood of spending from outside groups, ones that may spend tens of millions of dollars ahead of the November midterm, when she is up for re-election.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Friday he will temporarily table his plans to fund pre-K education with a 3/8-cent sales tax, a quick reversal of his impassioned push to get the issue on the November ballot.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Performance space, more check-in areas and restroom doors that swing out — those are some of the concepts incorporated into the latest design renderings for the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

Caroline Kull

A sweeping proposal to revive the eastern side of Kansas City, Missouri, received support and skepticism from neighbors Wednesday at a public hearing.

Despite an income downturn in July, Missouri budget director Dan Haug says the state is starting its new fiscal year in stronger shape than it has seen in years.

That’s because the fiscal year that ended June 30 saw a last-minute surplus of $350 million that is providing an income cushion.

So unlike his recent predecessors, Gov. Mike Parson hasn’t had  to impose additional spending cuts.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Public Library will ask voters in November to increase the property tax that helps fund its operations.

Library officials announced Wednesday morning that they would seek an 8 cent increase to the 47 cents the library system now receives for every $100 of assessed valuation.

Courtesy of the Syed Jamal family

Syed Jamal, a Lawrence, Kansas, scientist arrested in January for overstaying his visa, will be able to present his case to an immigration judge, preventing his imminent deportation.

Updated 6:02 p.m. with plaintiffs’ announced appeal - Missouri residents will have the chance in November to vote on a gas tax increase.

Associatate Circuit Judge Robert Schollmeyer in Osage County on Tuesday tossed out a lawsuit seeking to strip Proposition D from the ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would gradually raise the fuel tax from 17 cents to 27 cents a gallon by the year 2022.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Cafeteria workers at Center Middle School are getting ready to cook up protein-rich breakfasts when kids come back on Wednesday.

“So this here is our egg muffin,” says Marjorie Rice, the kitchen lead at Center Middle School. “What this consists of is peppers and cheese and egg, and it’s a full serving of protein. We cook that, and it puffs up like a muffin, and then we wrap it and it goes into the bag with either salsa or hot sauce.”

Turns out, the hot sauce is pretty key to getting kids to eat the breakfasts.

Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office

A former Leavenworth, Kansas, police officer has been indicted in the fatal shooting of a man last year, the county prosecutor announced on Monday.

Matthew Harrington, 25, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 47-year-old Antonio Garcia, Jr.. Harrington shot Garcia last year while responding to a domestic dispute call. Harrington was fired in January for violating the police department’s use of deadly force policy. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Mayor Sly James is ready to fight for a 3/8-cent sales tax to improve access to quality preschool in Kansas City.

“Only 35 percent of the kids in this city are engaged in quality pre-K. We have 40 percent of zip codes in deserts where there is no quality pre-K,” James said Monday on KCUR’s Up To Date.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

In the latest in an ever growing pile of legal challenges, the principals behind a questionable lab billing scheme at 10 small rural hospitals in Missouri, Kansas, and three other states have been sued by a Mission Hills couple for fraud and conspiracy.

The couple, James and Phyllis Shaffer, allege the defendants fraudulently took majority control of a company, HMC Hospitals, that owns the hospitals and used them as “instrumentalities in the operation of an illegal billing scheme.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Students in the EMT class at Manual Career and Technical Center were honest when Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell asked if they were excited or scared to be back at school.

Scared, said Jayla, a senior. “I just don’t want to fail,” she told Bedell, “and I don’t want to disappoint anybody. Because I refuse to fail.”

Bedell, who made stops at several KCPS schools Monday morning, nodded sympathetically.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Hundreds of people in T-shirts reading "Art is the voice of freedom" fanned out along either side of Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday in anticipation of a so-called Defend the Flag demonstration. 

Clay Mead, owner of Hog Holler Saloon in Ozawkie, Kansas, organized the Defend the Flag event, which he told KCUR, was not a demonstration or a protest.

Rebekah Hange / KCUR 89.3

A new property tax to help seniors stay in their homes seemed like such a good idea in April that the entire Jackson County Legislature co-sponsored the ordinance to put it on the November ballot.

Now it is likely that legislators will repeal the ordinance at its Monday meeting, killing the program before it gets off the ground.

Scott Burnett, chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, says there was little chance voters would approve it.

“It polls so poorly,” he says, “that you couldn’t go to funders” for money to mount a campaign.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

It was back to school Friday for some Johnson County students.

For many years now, the Shawnee Mission School District has had a transition day for students moving into a new school building. According to Shawnee Mission West Principal Steve Loe, having just ninth graders on the first day lets new high school students meet their teachers and get acquainted with the building before they have to share the halls with upperclassmen.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Now that the slate is set, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is campaigning for the general U.S. Senate election in earnest. And he’s bringing his trailer with him.

Bird App

Just over a week after Kansas City officials reached an agreement with California-based company Bird Rides Inc. to allow up to 500 of their dockless, motorized scooters on city streets, a popular retail district has banned them.

Bird officials confirm the Country Club Plaza is now a “no-ride zone.” 

In an e-mailed statement, a Bird spokesperson tells KCUR that company officials are in touch with the city “and are working together to ensure Bird is operating in accordance with city guidelines.” 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Just hours after winning the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District of Kansas, political newcomer Sharice Davids stood on stage with her former rivals. All of them pledged to work together to oust incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder in November.

“I think the 3rd District is seeing a candidate they’ve never seen before,” Davids said after the rally.

Kansas City, Kansas, Residents Vote To Renew Public Safety Tax

Aug 7, 2018
Tyler Silvest / Flickr

Updated August 7, 2018 at 9:50 p.m.

Kansas City, Kansas, residents voted to renew a 3/8 cent public safety sales tax — 60 percent voted in support, while 40 percent opposed tax which was set to expire in 2020.

David Alvey, mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, told KCUR he was thankful to voters "for having confidence in the Unified Government to use the revenue well to take care of basic needs across the county."

Revenue from the tax is divided between the fire department, the police department and neighborhood improvement projects.

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By working with neighboring school districts and community health partners, Olathe Superintendent John Allison thinks Johnson County might actually be able to change the conversation on teen suicide.

“Each of the Johnson County school districts has taken a little different approach,” Allison says. “I think that’s been key to our conversation that started last spring, is to learn from each other to try to see what’s worked and at the same time to blend our limited resources to best support each other.”

From E. coli in romaine lettuce to potential salmonella on Goldfish crackers to a parasite in salads and wraps, food recalls are in the spotlight this year. But things may not be as bad as they sound, according to Lana Nwadike, a food safety specialist with Kansas State University and the University of Missouri. 

Johson County Sheriff's Office

Editor's note: Offensive language is used in this story.

A federal judge on Tuesday handed down three consecutive life sentences to an Olathe resident who pleaded guilty to hate crimes in May for killing an Indian national and wounding two other men.

Farmers in a federal class-action lawsuit filed two main complaints this week against agro-chemical giants Monsanto and BASF regarding the herbicide dicamba, which is blamed for millions of acres of crop damage, especially to soybeans, over the last couple years.

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