Kansas City

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.