Kansas City

Fast food workers prepare to march around a McDonalds restaurant, taking part in a massive one day fast food industry strike demanding higher wages in St. Louis on December 5, 2013.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Allan Katz has a pretty good idea of what St. Louisans should expect when the debate over raising the minimum wage begins in earnest.

(Courtesy; University of Chicago)

It’s Tuesday, the day when we poke our heads out of the offices of St. Louis Public Radio and review some of the other stories brewing in the economy that have piqued our interest.

First up is news that a very important economist has left this earth. Nobel Laureate Gary Becker died on Saturday. He is most notable for his economic theories that tried to explain human behavior, tackling questions that went way beyond supply and demand. The University of Chicago professor studied things like crime, racial discrimination and even romance.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Johnson County District Attorney said Monday that Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as F. Glenn Miller, could be charged with murder as early as Tuesday. In addition to state charges, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said that Cross could also face federal hate crimes charges, but those will be taken to a grand jury. Authorities said that their investigation was focused on Cross and they were not seeking any other suspects.

Mo. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

A Missouri State senator has filed a remonstrance that calls for the immediate resignation of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro.

Missouri Senate

A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area may be considered by the Missouri General Assembly next year.

comedy_nose / Flickr

Updated 5:06 p.m. with statement from Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

The Missouri Supreme Court has again upheld a law requiring unaccredited school districts to pay for students who chose to attend elsewhere.

(Mo. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education)

Two members of the Missouri General Assembly are calling on Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Chris Nicastro to resign.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Public schools in Kansas City, Missouri, will remain unaccredited.

The State Board of Education on Tuesday chose to take no action on a request by Kansas City Schools Superintendent R. Stephen Green to grant provisional accreditation, based on this year's assessment scores in which the district placed within the provisional range.  But State Board President Peter Herschend says there hasn't been sufficient improvement sustained over a period of time.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit that's delaying the implementation of the state's student transfer law in the Kansas City area.

A lower court ruling declared the transfer law to be an unfunded mandate for school districts in Independence, Lee's Summit and North Kansas City, but not for Blue Springs and Raytown.  Attorney Duane Martin argued Blue Springs' position before the High Court, saying the transfer law would be an unfunded mandate for them as well.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Despite an improved showing in this year’s performance report, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will not recommend that the Kansas City schools be upgraded from their current unaccredited status.

The decision opens the door for students living in the Kansas City district to possibly follow those in Normandy and Riverview Gardens and transfer to adjacent accredited districts under a law upheld in June by the Missouri Supreme Court.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: This time last year, the St. Louis Public Schools were pushing for an upgrade in their accreditation classification, making the argument that the latest state evaluation gave them enough points to climb out of unaccredited territory.

Chris Nicastro, who heads the department of elementary and secondary education, originally said the district had shown improvement, but not enough to win provisional accreditation.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Bidders will get a chance later this month to buy two weapons once owned by Bonnie and Clyde.

A tommy gun and a 12-gauge 1897 Winchester shotgun that were used by the infamous outlaw couple will go up for auction in Kansas City on Jan. 21.

The Joplin Globe reports that the weapons were among those seized during a raid of Bonnie and Clyde's apartment in Joplin on April 13, 1933. Until recently, the guns were displayed at the Springfield Police Museum.

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Joplin tornado top story in 2011

The May 22 tornado that killed 161 people and left much of Joplin in ruins was a unanimous choice for The Associated Press' top story in 2011 by editors across the state. That was followed by the intentional breach at Birds Point, which sent water rushing over southeast Missouri farmland in a bid to save the upstream Illinois town of Cairo. 

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s State Board of Education voted unanimously today to strip Kansas City schools of their accreditation.

The reasons for the action include a decline in meeting academic standards and a failure to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.  Chris Nicastro is Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Several civic leaders from Kansas City have gone to court challenging a voter-approved state law on municipal earnings taxes.

The ballot measure approved last November requires Kansas City and St. Louis to ask voters every five years to renew the city earnings taxes. The two communities are Missouri's only cities with local earnings taxes.

A lawsuit filed Monday in Cole County Circuit Court contends the Kansas City charter authorizes the local earning tax and does not require the periodic renewal vote.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

On Tuesday, voters in St. Louis and Kansas City will have their first change to determine the future of their cities’ 1 percent earnings taxes, which are imposed on the wages of everyone who lives or works in the cities.

It’s on the ballot following statewide approval last November of Proposition A.

The lead-up to the vote has been very different in the two cities.

Today, we have two reports.

Maria Altman will look at how quiet the campaign has been in St. Louis.

But first, Maria Carter of KCUR reports that things have been much more heated in Kansas City.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri is one of a handful of states applying for some $2.4 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail projects that Florida rejected last month.

Governor Jay Nixon was in Kirkwood today to announce Missouri's application for nearly $1 billion in new funding.

In recent months, rail projects have  become politicized with many GOP lawmakers calling for states to refuse the funds.

Tim Bommel / House Communications Office

A state representative has announced plans to introduce a bill to increase penalties for human trafficking convictions in Missouri.

Democratic Rep. Jason Kander said the measure he plans to introduce this week would boost Missouri penalties for human trafficking to the same level as federal statutes. He said federal penalties for human trafficking range from fines to five years and up to life in prison. Most Missouri human trafficking penalties go up to 15 years in prison.

Political activist Rex Sinquefield is donating $300,000 to a Missouri group's effort to remove the St. Louis and Kansas City police departments from state control.

The political action committee A Safer Missouri plans to collect the 150,000 valid signatures necessary to get the issue on the Nov. 2012 ballot.