Missouri News | KBIA

Missouri News

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.

Missouri state Rep. Rebecca Roeber, a Republican from Lee's Summit, died Tuesday in her sleep. 

Few sounds in sports are more satisfying than the crack of the bat. But for too many baseball fans, it has come to signal something else: danger. Commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month’s edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

Snagging a foul ball is, admittedly, one of the greatest thrills in sports — the ultimate hands-on experience. Only at a baseball game do fans get a chance to grab the ball and take it home as a trophy. It’s the dream of every little kid with a glove.

But too often, tragedy happens.

Segment 1: Missouri's junior senator is 'playing for that long future.'

Copyright 2019 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Sleepy truck drivers cause hundreds of fatal crashes each year. Drivers work in an industry that rewards miles driven, not time on the clock, so many truckers push the envelope just to make a living.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration keeps drivers in check with so-called Hours of Service Regulations. The regs cap driving time at 11 hours a day. Truckers have to stop and rest for at least a half hour during that time, and no matter how much downtime they may have in between, they have to quit for the day 14 hours after they start.

Two healthcare giants are expanding a pilot program in the Kansas City area aimed at using their drug stores to provide primary care and other services to Medicare beneficiaries.

Humana and Walgreens announced on Tuesday that they plan to open two primary care centers in area Walgreens stores in addition to the two they opened last year.

While residents are in an uproar this summer over residential property assessments in Jackson County, Missouri, an equally important battle is underway in Johnson County, Kansas, where big box stores are successfully challenging major increases in their commercial property values.

The trend could significantly reduce future tax dollars for Johnson County schools, libraries and cities. Government leaders are worried and trying to plan for worst case situations.

A group of local teens made St. Louis proud earlier this month when they earned first place at the 2019 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in Las Vegas.

Selected through a months-long process under the umbrella of local nonprofit organization UrbArts, the six budding poets won the competition July 20. The festival draws about 500 young poets, their mentors, and leading artists and cultural workers each year for arts education, artistic expression and civic engagement.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with two members of the award-winning team: Zack Lesmeister, who is a graduate of Marquette High School, a freshman at Emerson College and a former St. Louis youth poet laureate, and Keana Fox, a graduate of Collinsville High School who is headed to Indiana University in Indianapolis this fall. Also participating in the discussion was one of the team’s coaches, Sahara Sista SOLS.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 3, 2012 - No matter how cool the air-conditioning in the ballroom of the Millennium Hotel downtown next week, no matter how determined 900 leaders of Catholic religious sisters are to be civil with well-modulated voices, many already are hot under the collar.

Cheryl Watkins-Moore has a vision.

Even though the building she’s standing in is empty, she points to spots where she can see a trendy coffee bar beneath a vaulted ceiling, retail shopping in the window front ⁠— and a medical marijuana dispensary in the back.

“People can come into the dispensary, take care of what they need to take care of and then be able to go on about their business,” said Watkins-Moore, the chief strategy and marketing officer of REAL Cannabis Co.

Dena Duffin, 53, pulls her teenage son close as she looks into the trailer stuffed with tables, tubs of housewares and whatever else they were able to salvage when the tornado ripped their home off its foundation the night of May 28.

“I gave that to my dad,” she says, pointing to a dented copper tub. “And there’s a stepstool and shelf my dad made for us. You can’t replace those kinds of things.”

Updated at 2:30 p.m., July 30 with comment from StarLake Holdings Managing Partner John Berglund — Mobile payment technology company Square will move its 500 St. Louis employees from the Cortex Innovation Community to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch building downtown over the next few years.

The newspaper is moving around the corner next month, to 901 North 10th Street.

Square signed a lease on the newspaper’s longtime home last week. The building has space for 1,400 employees, giving Square the option to expand its St. Louis presence.

LAWRENCE — Before starting his CBD company, Chris Brunin researched the competition, the labs they used, the products they sold.

He checked out ingredient suppliers and organic hemp farmers. He took everyone’s pitches with a heapful of salt.

“The hemp industry is like the Wild West and Wall Street had a baby,” said Brunin. “You have to vet everything and everybody … to make sure you’re not getting messed with or lied to.”

Segment 1: Documentary follows the Quinton Lucas campaign

Ater receiving unfiltered access to the Quinton Lucas campaign for mayor, KMBC reporter Micheal Mahoney saw things no one else got to see. He shared what Lucas was like off-camera, his personality quirks and his team's reaction to winning the election. 

Two years ago, a pair of public interest law firms filed suit against the state of Missouri, saying it had failed to provide “meaningful” legal representation for indigent defendants, as the U.S. Constitution requires. Because the public defenders’ office is overworked and underfunded, the ACLU and the MacArthur Justice Center argued, poor people charged with a crime are denied their constitutional rights.

The case has seen a number of twists and turns  and a great deal of drama in recent weeks. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we spoke with Amy Breihan, director of the MacArthur Justice Center, and Nicholas Phillips, a reporter at Missouri Lawyers Weekly, about these developments.

For decades, Missouri has ranked near the bottom of public defender funding. The state is 49th of the 50 states in per capita indigent defense spending, Breihan said. 

The Jackson County Board of Equalization (BOE) will decide Tuesday whether to yet again extend the deadline for property owners to appeal their reassessments.

As of Friday, some 9,500 appeals had been filed with the BOE and staff expected hundreds more before the deadline at close of business Monday.

St. Louis County has significantly reduced its jail population over the past year, as Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported last month. Officials say the drop from an over-capacity total of 1,242 inmates in July 2018 down to 965 as of May 2019 has a lot to do with justice reform efforts that began in the wake of Ferguson protests.

University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Beth Huebner has led research in collaboration with the county, its circuit court and service providers – an effort fueled by $4.5 million in grant funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Huebner joined host Sarah Fenske to discuss the progress she’s observed in the county system as well as aspects of it still in need of change.

Maddie Waldeck’s family has been entwined with the city of Kansas City, Kansas, for six decades. 

Her grandfather was an assistant fire chief and her dad spent 35 years at the Board of Public Utilities. Both of her brothers work for the city and her sister-in-law is a deputy police chief. 

So when Waldeck got a job at the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, in 2013, she was over the moon.

The St. Louis Department of Health and Division of Corrections are vaccinating 800 people at the city’s two jails to prevent a national hepatitis A outbreak from spreading among inmates.

Since 2016, more than 22,000 people have caught the highly contagious liver virus, which can cause nausea and jaundice and require long periods of hospitalization. Inmates are among the most at risk of contracting the disease, St. Louis Health Department Director Fred Echols said.

“This project at the correctional facilities is truly a preventative measure that we’re implementing to try and protect the population," Echols said. 

Soccer supporters in the region need to wait a bit longer before finding out if the top professional league in the country will award an expansion team to St. Louis. 

Major League Soccer officials say an announcement is not expected around this week’s All-Star Game in Orlando. In April, the league stated that it was looking to make a final decision on the next two expansion franchises before the contest on July 31.

At the edge of an open lot in St. Charles, tiny blades of grass are beginning to sprout.

A neighborhood once stood here — but the homes are long gone.

They were among the more than 5,100 homes demolished in Missouri since 1990 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s voluntary buyout program, which removes buildings from flood-prone land. After the homes are demolished, local governments are responsible for ensuring that no one rebuilds on the properties.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 1, 2012 - Tuan Lee was born in Vietnam but raised in Florissant. He works in St. Louis as well as Los Angeles. He’s a commercial photographer but his photos may soon also hang in an art gallery.

Swashbuckling across a diverse array of worlds, Lee relishes planning the next photographic adventure with his creative mates.

The longer a restaurant stays open, the more concerned it needs to be with keeping up its quality. 

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. 

For more than a month, an 8-foot inflatable rat has stood outside the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council on Hampton Avenue. 

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 are calling out the Carpenters union for working with a contractor they say pays unfair wages and benefits.  

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 29, 2012 - The job of St. Louis treasurer, says candidate Tishaura Jones, is about more than being “a parking lot attendant.”

But from a financial standpoint, that could be a point of debate. Parking is certainly central to the city treasurer’s office -- and to the political battle now underway to fill the job.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 31, 2012 - By last winter, Larry Mabrey knew that Avalon Theatre, the company he co-founded in 2005 with his partner, Erin Kelley, was nearing the end of its run. The company’s lease was almost up, and he and Kelley couldn’t afford to lease another space.

There was just one problem: What were they going to do with all of their stuff?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 30, 2012 - What will you do, what will you do? Whether this reminds you of Karl Malden’s ads for American Express Travelers Cheques or of Mike and the Mechanics, it is an apt question for Chairman Ben Bernanke and the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Open Market Committee. 

A state representative from Ferguson is stepping down to take a position in St. Louis County Executive Sam Page’s administration.

Cora Faith Walker is resigning from the 74th District House seat to become Page’s director of policy. The Ferguson Democrat first won election in the district that includes portions of north St. Louis County in 2016.

Pages