TOPEKA -- Kansas Gov. Laura Kellys veto pen moved swiftly last week.
Transgender athlete ban? Civics and financial literacy requirements for high schoolers? Gun safety education for students using NRA materials? All vetoed. Kelly has rejected eight non-budget bills this year, more than any Kansas governor in the past 17 years.
On Monday, she added to her streak, vetoing 18 provisions in the proposed budget. They include items that would give legislative committees more power over allocation of federal relief funds and ban use of state dollars to enforce mask mandates.
In a statement, Kelly said she supported the majority of the budget but that some pieces were unnecessary or had been resolved in other bills. Others provisions should have been vetted more thoroughly, she said.
Relations between between the first-term Democrat and the Republican-dominated Legislature had already been strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, Kelly and GOP leaders clashed repeatedly over gathering restrictions and mask mandates.
Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article250957954.html
In 2019, an Overland Park city councilman spent $87.57 from his campaign fund at Mens Wearhouse in violation of state campaign finance rules.
The shopping trip ended up costing a little more than that. Now the councilman and his campaign treasurer will split a fine of $540.
The fine was imposed by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission after first-term Councilman Scott Hamblin and his treasurer, Tara Brune, skipped a hearing on the matter Wednesday.
The commission opted to fine Hamblin and Burke $270 each for misuse of campaign funds and $5,000 each for failure to file reports.
The $5,000 fine can be dropped to $1,000 if the reports are filed and the fine is paid within 30 days.
Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article251009549.html
Two teenagers were fatally shot late Friday in Kansas City, police said.
Officers were called at about 11:30 p.m. Friday to the area of East 8th and Olive streets on a reported shooting, Capt. Dave Jackson, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department, said in an email.
There, police found two juvenile victims with gunshot wounds just outside of an apartment.
Both of the victims were declared dead at the scene, Jackson said. They had both just left a late night Ramadan service.
Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article251091049.html
Four days after he fatally shot John Albers, an Overland Park police officer told investigators he fired his weapon because the minivan the teenager was driving was going to strike him.
Officer Clayton Jenison fatally shot the 17-year-old on Jan. 20, 2018, outside the Albers home. A nearly 500-page, long-awaited report on the shooting, which did not result in criminal charges, was released Thursday afternoon.
As part of that release, Overland Park also published interviews recorded on video by a Johnson County officer-involved shooting team that probed the killing.
That included an interview with Jenison, who fired at Albers as he backed the familys minivan down the driveway. Police had been called for a welfare check on the teenager, who was believed to be suicidal.
Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article251046104.html
Kansas state Rep. Mark Samsel was arrested on charges of misdemeanor battery on Thursday after getting into a physical altercation with a student while substitute teaching in Wellsville.
Samsel, 36, was booked into the Franklin County Adult Detention Center after 3:30 p.m. Thursday. He has since been released on $1,000 bond, Sheriff Jeff Richards said.
Superintendent Ryan Bradbury said that Samsel will no longer be allowed to work for the district.
On Wednesday, Samsel, R-Wellsville, was substitute teaching at the Wellsville school districts secondary school. Throughout the day, high school students began recording videos of the lawmaker talking about suicide, sex, masturbation, God and the Bible.
In one video shared with The Star, Samsel tells students about a sophomore whos tried killing himself three times, adding that it was because he has two parents and theyre both females.
It only gets worse: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article251069219.html
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. The bipartisan push to formally denounce the Missouri Supreme Courts Dred Scott decision is nearing the finish line this session.
A bipartisan resolution from Reps. Raychel Proudie and Dottie Bailey would formally condemn the high courts 1852 decision denying Scott and his wifes suits for freedom. The resolution was presented before the Senate by Sen. Steven Roberts Thursday before being unanimously adopted.
The Dred Scott decision outraged abolitionists who saw the Supreme Courts ruling as a way to stop debate about slavery in the territories, Roberts said. This resolution states that Missourians will forever affirm that all people are created equal.
Roberts sponsored a parallel resolution this session; it unanimously passed the upper chamber in March and is awaiting action on the House floor.
Read more: https://themissouritimes.com/senate-progresses-effort-to-denounce-dred-scott-decision/
Legal limbo: St. Louis County Council move leaves county scrambling to defend itself in several highLegal limbo: St. Louis County Council move leaves county scrambling to defend itself in several high-profile lawsuits
CLAYTON A long-running fight on the St. Louis County Council over the hiring of outside law firms came to a head this week, potentially upending the countys legal defense in several high-profile lawsuits alleging civil rights and employment discrimination.
Citing the crush of pending litigation, County Counselor Beth Orwick sought to renew contracts with four law firms to represent the county for terms of one year and a maximum of $400 an hour. Orwick said she needs the legal help: Her office employs 21 attorneys a number smaller than that of the city of St. Louis and other large jurisdictions and lacks the staffing and expertise necessary to handle the cases.
But on Tuesday, a council majority Chair Rita Heard Days, D-1st District; Councilwoman Shalonda Webb, D-4th District; Councilman Tim Fitch, R-3rd District; and Councilman Mark Harder, R-7th District rejected the request, insisting the council only approve the hires if it can set a final cap on the expenses. The group also called on the county to rebid the contracts in search of minority- or women-owned firms.
The minority Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-6th District; Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway, D-2nd District; and Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, D-5th District supported Orwicks request, warning a delay over upfront costs would put the county at risk of losing cases that could cost end up costing taxpayers millions in damages. The requirements the majority sought were discussed in closed-door meetings and found to be unreasonable, they said, preventing the county from the flexibility it needs to mount an adequate legal defense.
Read more: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/legal-limbo-st-louis-county-council-move-leaves-county-scrambling-to-defend-itself-in-several/article_f94b8e0b-7af8-53aa-b2b7-5bcdd1736495.html
St. Louis police officer faces multiple assault charges after striking female officer while on duty,
ST. LOUIS A male St. Louis Metropolitan Police officer is accused of assaulting a female officer multiple times while on duty, according to court documents.
Rashard C. Lovelace, 31, faces four counts of fourth-degree domestic assault for assaulting an officer with whom he was in a relationship, according to court documents. The alleged assaults happened in various city locations in July and August 2020. Witnesses in the charging documents include at least four St. Louis police officers.
Lovelace punched the officer in the chest two times, and two other times he put his hand around her neck in an aggressive manner, according to court documents.
A judge initially revoked Lovelaces bond, but he was released this week on his own recognizance. Part of the condition of his bond is to stay away from the victim. His next court date is set for May 18, and his attorney did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday.
Read more: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-police-officer-faces-multiple-assault-charges-after-striking-female-officer-while-on-duty/article_138feb1e-5410-5814-a096-15f082298fe7.html
It looks like the SLPD needs to clean up shop. The article mentions that two other officers were charged with rape earlier this year.
Long after he was forced out of office and sent to federal prison, the bills from ex-Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson's reign keep coming and they're not cheap.
Attorneys for the county in the Bootheel of Missouri filed a motion on Wednesday in hopes of capping the latest settlement tied to a wrongful death suit brought by the family of Tory Sanders at $2 million.
Sanders died in 2017 in the county jail after Hutcheson and a crew of jailers dogpiled on top of him, kneeling on him at times in a case that drew new attention last summer following the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, following the lead of his predecessor Josh Hawley, reviewed the case and declined to file criminal charges against Hutcheson. But the civil lawsuit continues. If a federal judge agrees to the $2 million proposal, the county will likely save some money. The family is seeking $3.5 million in addition to the $500,000 that the city of Charleston (where Hutcheson ran a notorious jail) has already agreed to pay in Sanders' death.
Read more: https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2021/04/29/rural-missouri-county-still-paying-the-price-for-rogue-sheriff
The story about Hutcheson's crimes is here:
Sheriff Cory Hutcheson Vowed to Clean Up His Rural Missouri County. Now He's the One Facing Prison
In Josh Hawley's first campaign for public office, he provided the world with a glimpse of who he is.
Hawley was facing off against state Senator Kurt Schaefer in the 2016 Republican primary for state attorney general. He would tragically win that contest and the general election that fall. And one of the nation's creepiest political beasts was unleashed.
In retrospect, Hawley's first splashy political TV commercial in July of that year was an ominous glimpse at the black hole inside Hawley where normally resides a soul. With the assistance of the "Tea Party Patriots," Hawley attacked Schaefer with an astonishingly xenophobic slander.
The ad, titled "Stop Helping the Chinese Buy Our Farms," depicts a moblike Chinese businessman in dark glasses along with his naive attaché speaking in Chinese. As he emerges from his limo onto a farm site, the English subtitles take over:
Read more: https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/hartmann-josh-hawleys-anti-asian-racism-isnt-new/Content?oid=35414569
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