Archive for the ‘kansas city’ Category

Kansas Voter Lawsuit Advances
August 26, 2015

(AP) – A Kansas judge is allowing two voters to continue pursuing a lawsuit challenging how Secretary of State Kris Kobach is enforcing a proof of citizenship requirement for registering.
Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis (Tice) also suggested in an order that Kobach exceeded his authority in declaring that voters who use a federal form to register can cast ballots only in federal races. The federal form does not require proof of citizenship.
Theis issued an order last week rejecting Kobach’s request to decide the case in his favor before a trial. But the judge also didn’t block Kobach from enforcing the law as he has for more than a year.
ACLU attorney Julie Ebenstein on Wednesday called the ruling encouraging. Kobach said it’s still very early in the lawsuit

Kobach & Hillary Clinton Clash Over Voting List
August 26, 2015

(AP) – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trading barbs over social media with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on voting rights.
The spat was sparked by Kobach’s proposal to throw out after 90 days names of more than 34,000 potential voters who registered in the state, but didn’t provide proof-of-citizenship documents like a birth certificate or naturalization papers.
Clinton’s campaign late Monday posted a comment on Twitter calling the plan a “targeted attack on voting rights,” including a link to a story from The Associated Press about it.
Koback retorted the next day on Facebook that it is not a purge as “left-wing knuckleheads” claim because those people just have to fill out another voter registration form again. He said Clinton is “getting her pantsuit in a twist over nothing.”

Brownback Says No to Gitmo Again
August 25, 2015

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are on the offense on Gitmo.
The two governors sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter Tuesday, warning the Defense Department (DOD) from transferring Guantanomo Bay detainees into Kansas or South Carolina.
The two Governors letter says they “will not be part of any illegal and ill-advised action by the Administration, especially when that action relates to importing terrorists into our states.”
The statement from Governor Brownback says DOD teams have been in Kansas to assess the possibility of transferring some detainees to the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
The other option under consideration is the U.S. Consolidated Naval Brig in South Carolina.
Brownback and Haley say bringing the detainees to anyplace in the United States is an insult to the people who died in the attack on September 11, 2001.

NOVA Stumbles at Start, But Improves
August 25, 2015

A new report says Kansas City, Missouri’s ‘ No Violence Alliance (NOVA) stumbled in its first year, but has steadied itself and is now working.

That report was the work Prof. Andrew M. Fox; Kenneth J. Novak; and Majid Buni Yaghoub of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Justice and Criminology.

The report says a combination of local police and prosecutors, teaming up with federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies tried to attack the city’s “stubbornly high violent crime rates”.

The report says between 2010 and 2014, Kansas City, Missouri averaged about 22 homicides per 1,000 residents.

The alliance came up with the concept of “focused deterrence” .

That is their description of plan to target some of the city’s hardened, repeat, criminals who investigators thought were responsible for many of the murders and violent gun-related assaults.

NOVA, however, got off to a slow start, according to the report;

“For several reasons, early implementation was uneven and faced numerous challenges,” the report states.

A key leadership group, ,the ‘ Interagency Enforcement Group ‘ was not authorized early and “was missing in action for all of 2013”, according to the report.

In March 2014, Kansas City, Missouri Police Chief Daryl Forte made a major shift in the command structure of the police force in order to implement the NOVA program goals.

Authors Fox and Novak says it was not until 2014 that NOVA started showing signs of progress.

In the first month of the year, there was a drop in the number of homicides reported in Kansas City, Missouri.

The drops continued for several months. Eventually it slowed in the second half of the year.

Fox said the steady drop in homicides in the first half of 2014 indicates the NOVA forces and its tactics were working.

In the second part of the 2014, however, that pace slowed down.

“Maybe the street is learning”, said Fox. He says NOVA has to continue to innovate to stay ahead of the criminals.

Lately NOVA has been taking it’s warnings to hardened criminals in prison who are about to be released.

They have also stepped up their warning to Kansas City, Missouri teenagers.

The report comes out just a few weeks after representatives of St. Louis started considering to try a NOVA-style program in that city.

“There is strong evidence NOVA is portable,’ said Prof. Ken Novak, a co-author, “but it will be a little different in every different city.”

Ron Berry Gets Old Job Back, But No Boss
August 25, 2015

(AP) – A Missouri Senate staff member was back at work Tuesday, a month after being fired by a senator who was facing allegations of sexually harassing interns.
Democratic Sen. Paul LeVota fired his chief of staff, Ron Berry, on July 24 shortly before LeVota announced his own resignation. Berry’s dismissal was immediate, but LeVota’s resignation didn’t take effect until this past Sunday.
With his former boss now gone, the Senate re-hired Berry as chief of staff for the vacant 11th Senatorial District, which covers LeVota’s hometown of Independence and other parts of the Kansas City area.
“Ron Berry has positive work experiences in state government and is locally connected to the 11th District,” Senate Administrator Marga Hoelscher said in a short written statement provided to The Associated Press. “Ron will assist current staff with constituent issues pertaining to the district.”
Under Senate rules, individual senators have authority to hire and fire their own staff. But when an office is vacant, employment decisions are made by the Senate. Hoelscher said she re-hired Berry with the support of the chamber’s top senators.
Berry declined to comment Tuesday about his re-hiring.

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