KBIA Newscast for October 18, 2011

Oct 18, 2011

One of U.S. Senator Kit Bond’s former aides is spending the afternoon in jail for accepting a trip to the World Series from lobbyists, and failing to report the trip as income on his tax return.

A U.S. District judge sentenced 37-year-old Trevor Blackann to a five hour sentence in the Washington federal courthouse jail. Blackann pleaded guilty to the tax charge three years ago. One of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's associates helped organize Blackann's trip to Game 1 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium in New York. Blackann was forced out of public policy work after his guilty plea. The Columbia City Council has approved Trial E for the city’s new ward reapportionment plan – the decision came in a 6 to 1 vote at last night’s meeting of the city council. Fourth ward council member Daryl Dudley was the one vote of opposition to the Trial E plan.

A large and vocal group of citizens – numbering nearly 300 people – engaged in public discussion before the vote, with most residents expressing support for the Trial E plan. Kip Kendrick is president of Benton-Stephens Neighborhood Association. He was one of many who spoke during the public hearing portion and commended the mayor and the council on its final decision. “I was concerned that if Trial E wasn’t chosen that it would divide the community because a lot of people were engaged in this conversation. I felt like if they would have walked away not feeling like they had been heard it could have been a problem,” Kendrick said.

Kendrick and other speakers expressed their approval of leaving the Third Ward unaffected by the redistricting – and many expressed what they saw as political reasons to change the makeup of the Third Ward.