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KCK Holland Launches Diversity Task Force, Cites ” Disconnect” In Police & Fire Minority Hiring
August 29, 2014

KCK Police officers gather for roll call.

Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland says there is a disconnect between his citizens and their police and fire departments.

Holland announced Thursday he’s starting a task force to correct the diversity problems within both agencies.

“I want a community task force, who are folks working toward that direction of making sure there is not a disconnect in our community,” Holland told KMBC News.

According to statistics from the City, 40% of KCK resident are white; 28% are Hispanic and 27% are Black.

7% of the population ae made of other races.

But neither the Fire or the Police ranks reflect that make-up.

12% of KCK’s police officers are Black; 11% are Hispanic.

7% of the firefighters are Black; 6% Hispanic.

Both agencies are dominated by males (Police: 88%; Fire 95%).

Holland says the disparity was illustrated for him last November at a Fire Recruitment graduation ceremony. Of the 42 graduates, none was African American and only one was a woman.

In January during a speech observing Martin Luther king’s birthday, Holland promised to tackle the issue. He got assistance from the US Attorney Barry Grissom and the Department of Justice.

Holland says the task force needs to figure out how to solve the disconnect between local residents and public safety jobs.

Holland says KCK firefighters start at around $50,000 a year.

“Our citizens should be clamoring for these jobs,” the Mayor said, “These are great careers”

Commissioner Ann Brandau-Murgia says some residents may not have to pass the entrance tests.

She does not think some have the adequate the academic skills.

Holland wants an expanded Diversity Task Force to report back with suggestions in April 2015.

Nixon Says Race Not a Factor In Appointing Isom
August 27, 2014

Missouri’s New Public Safety Director Dan Isom (left) listens to Gov Jay Nixon at a Jackson Co. news conference Wednesday.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says race was not a factor in the appointment Dan Isom as the new Director for the Public Safety Department.

Isom is the former Chief of the st. Louis Police Department. His is currently the only African American in the Governor’s cabinet.

Nixon called Isom, “a smart, tough cop”.

When asked if race was a factor, the Nixon quickly replied, “absolutely not”.

Isome cited his 25 years on the St. Louis force ,as well as two master degrees and a Ph. D in law enforcment, stating that made him very qualified for the job.

Nixon Also shielded Isom from making any comments to reporters about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri where things remain tense, but calm.

“Guys, he’ll take office September 1, you’ll have lots of shots at him after that,” Nixon said.

“But we’re not going to begin, in my view, having him cross examined about something that he was not situationally or operationally involved in,” Nixon added.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said she did not “understand the background of the appointment of Isom.

She thought former Director Jerry Lee ”had a great record”

Lee retired recently after three years on the job.

Governor Nixon stated Lee retired, and was not forced out.

McCaskill Rips Tea Party For Blocking Ex-Im Renewal
August 27, 2014

Claire McCaskill at Western Forms plant in Kansas City.

Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is blaming tea party Republicans in the House for jeopardizing renewal of the Import-Export Authorization that is coming up for renewal.
During a stop at the Western Forms company in Kansas City, McCaskill said,”the very people who want to preach free market, want to hamper the country that is showing the rest of the world how to do free market.” She accused Tea party republicans of holding the re-authorization hostage.
McCaskill says they’re do not understand the principles behind the Import-Export measure.
McCaskill says the measure has the US bank assists private business in arranging business deals with foreign nations and companies.
McCaskill added no taxpayer money is at risk with the Export-Import back. She says the project actually returns money to the US treasury.
Some Republicans object to the measure. They say the US government should not be in the business of choosing which business win overseas business competition and which ones do not get the business.
McCaskill toured the Western Forms business on the City’s east side. The company says they do about half of their business overseas building pre-fab concrete homes. They told reports they think the measure should be re-authorized

Brownback Launches Education push in JoCo
August 25, 2014

Ks. Governor Sam Brownback stumping in Johnson County Monday.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is pledging to make education a second term priority.
Brownback came to the key battleground of Johnson County. He acknowledged education was an important issue to the area.
The Governor brought a charter. With him showing what he calls “a record level” of spending on schools since he took office.
His campaign say the Brownback Administration has added $270 million to the school budget since it took office in 2011.
Brownback’s running mate, Lt. Governor Jeff Coyler blasted Democratic opponent Sen Paul Davis.
He accused Davis of being a “status quo politician” more interest in lawyer and unions rather than Kansas educators. After, Brownback agreed with Coyler’s blast.
Brownback noted that Davis cast votes against bill that would equalize school spending I. Kansas and allow voters to incease their own taxes to provide school money. Davis’s campaign said Davis has a consistent record supporting public schools.
They say the votes the Governor refers to also contained measure Davis thinks would have been bad for Kansas teachers. A spokesman says Davis voted for different versions of the equalization and local option budget bills

Michael Brown’s Funeral Set for Monday Morning
August 25, 2014

(AP) — Since Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer, protesters have taken to the streets of a St. Louis suburb night after night, calling for change and drawing national attention to issues surrounding race and policing.

Monday will be a day for his family and community to finally focus on mourning the 18-year-old who had been eager to start college, as he is laid to rest at a public funeral at a St. Louis church.

His father, Michael Brown Sr., has asked protesters to take a break Monday and observe a “day of silence” so the family can grieve.

“Tomorrow all I want is peace,” he told hundreds of people in St. Louis’ largest city park Sunday during brief remarks at a festival that promotes peace over violence. “That’s all I ask.”

Brown, who is black, was unarmed when he was shot Aug. 9 by Officer Darren Wilson, who is white. A grand jury is considering evidence in the case and a federal investigation is also underway.

Police have said a scuffle broke out after Wilson asked Brown and a friend he was walking down the street with to move. Police said Wilson was pushed into his squad car and physically assaulted. Some witnesses have reported seeing Brown’s arms in the air – an act of surrender. An autopsy found Brown was shot at least six times.

Family members denounced a video police released of an alleged theft by Brown that authorities say shows him snatching some cigars in a convenience store just before he was killed. In the video, the person said to be Brown is shown grabbing a clerk by the shirt and forcefully pushing him into a display rack.

Family and friends say Brown was an aspiring rapper with a gentle, joking manner who dubbed himself “Big Mike.” He was good at fixing things, liked computer games, Lil Wayne, Drake, the movie “Grown Ups 2,” and the TV show “Family Guy.”

Brown’s great uncle, pastor Charles Ewing, will deliver the eulogy at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, and the Rev. Al Sharpton is also expected to speak.

“We don’t want anything tomorrow to happen that might defile the name of Michael Brown,” Sharpton said as he stood next to Brown’s father on Sunday. “This is not about our rage tomorrow. It’s about the legacy and memory of his son.”

President Barack Obama is sending three White House aides, and Gov. Jay Nixon said he will attend.

Monday will also mark the first day back at school for students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Classes were scheduled to begin Aug. 14 but postponed due to safety concerns.

School personnel have received training in how to deal with students who may be experiencing stress related to the shooting.


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