No gap in Kansas law on hate crimes

One difficulty of hate-crime laws can be the high legal standards. Some call for proving not only that a murder had occurred, but at the same time that bias was the motivation. If reasonable doubt exists on either, the whole case could implode. Better to get the conviction and then offer the judge or jury the ability to upgrade the sentence if indeed the crime had been motivated by hate.

Kansas City chamber names its top 10 small businesses of the year

The top 10 were announced at a private event at Boulevard Brewing Co. The event — presented by Intrust Bank — was part of the chamber’s annual small business celebrations. One of the top 10 will be crowned the Kansas City 2014 Small Business of the Year and receive the Mr. K Award at a luncheon May 29.

Days after tragedy, Jewish Community Center reopens with a mixture of emotions

“I think it’s important for us to continue on as before,” Debby Winkel, 64, of Olathe said Wednesday, the first day the Jewish Community Center opened after two people were fatally shot there and a third person was killed at a second Jewish community site in Overland Park. “I think we owe it as a show of support for those families who lost loved ones and to show support for one another.”

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Armed robber was never told to report to prison

After he was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and told to await instructions on when and where to report to prison. But those instructions never came.

Royals rally, beat Astros 6-4 in 11 innings

Mike Moustakas’ home run in the 11th inning broke a 4-4 tie and the Royals won a wild game at Houston on Wednesday night. The Royals won for the second night in a row. With a victory on Thursday night, they can exit a road that begin in such hellish fashion with a .500 record.

Missouri lawmakers cut taxes as they ponder raising them

On Wednesday, the General Assembly passed a bill incrementally cutting taxes by $620 million over at least five years, a measure Gov. Jay Nixon will probably veto. On Thursday, a Senate committee is expected to back a bill asking voters to raise the state’s sales tax by a penny for 10 years to fund updates to transportation infrastructure — money likely to rebuild I-70 nearly from Illinois to Kansas.

Homicide victim predicted his own demise

Two days before Javonte Slayden was lured out of a relative’s house and fatally shot in Kansas City, he gave a photo of his alleged killer to a friend. If anything happened to him, Slayden told his friend on April 4, look for the people in the photograph to be responsible, according to court records. One of the men in the photo, Deandre Whitley, 22, of Kansas City, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Films step into the Middle of the Map spotlight

This year, Ink’s Middle of the Map Film Festival boasts a lineup of 28 features (and a collection of shorts). The entries exhibit a strong anchor in musical themes. But there is comedy, action, mystery and fantasy to be found as well. Among the highlights is “Every Everything: The Music, Life and Times of Grant Hart,” a documentary about the former drummer/vocalist of Hüsker Dü (pictured).

A two-time winner, Tom Watson returns to the Heritage

Tom Watson is going back this week to a place he’s had quite a bit of success. Watson will be playing in the RBC Heritage tournament in Hilton Head, S.C. Watson is a two-time winner of the event, having captured the title in 1979 and 1982.

Diabetes study shows a big decline in complications

Federal researchers reported the first broad national picture of progress in combating some of the most devastating complications of diabetes, which affects millions of Americans. Rates of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and amputations fell sharply over the past two decades. The biggest declines were in the rates of heart attacks and deaths from high blood sugar, which each dropped by more than 60 percent from 1990 to 2010, the period studied.

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