Joco spotlight

Watch DOGS volunteers lend a helping paw in Johnson County schools

The Watch DOGS — Dads of Great Students — puts volunteers in classrooms with the aim of being a positive male influence and an unobtrusive security presence. The national program, part of the Kansas City-based National Center for Fathering, was started in 1998 with the goal of making schools safer but has evolved to include academic support and direct interaction with students, catching on across the country in the process.

Mary Sanchez

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.

The Buzz

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.

Missouri legislature passes $620 million tax cut, Nixon signals possible veto

The Missouri House gave final approval Wednesday to a $620 million tax cut bill, setting the stage for a showdown with Gov. Jay Nixon. Nixon, a Democrat, is expected to veto the measure. But GOP legislative leaders are hopeful they’ll muster enough support for an override. Republicans hold 108 seats in the Missouri House, only one shy of a veto-proof two-thirds majority. Democratic Rep. Jeff Roorda of Jefferson County joined the GOP in support of the bill Wednesday.

C.W. Gusewelle

The city that holds our hearts

I confess to being fiercely devoted to this community that 464,000 Kansas Citians call home. At risk of being accused of boosterism, I consider this place at the prairie’s edge a collection of treasures.

Columnists

Dilemma in reporting on extremism: Ignore it, or expose it?

One of the central challenges in political reporting is figuring out how much exposure to give to people like Frazier Glenn Cross, aka F. Glenn Miller. The journalist’s usual answer is balance — expose what you can without overexposing the rantings of an anti-Semite. But sometimes balance is imperfect, too.

Nation & World

Politics

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.

816

Watch DOGS volunteers lend a helping paw in schools

The Watch DOGS — Dads of Great Students — puts volunteers in classrooms with the aim of being a positive male influence and an unobtrusive security presence. The national program, part of the Kansas City-based National Center for Fathering, was started in 1998 with the goal of making schools safer but has evolved to include academic support and direct interaction with students, catching on across the country in the process.

816 North

Northland sites keep history alive

History isn’t always framed or boxed or bound. It is alive in the Northland at sites like the James farm, Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site and Shoal Creek Living History Museum. 816 North set out to discover the area’s living history sites and the people who are breathing life into the tales of legendary and ordinary Missourians.

Wyandotte & Leavenworth

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.

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.”

Local Passover celebrations eclipse fear

Sunday’s mayhem erupted close by — the killing of three people allegedly by a man known to spout racist and anti-Semitic views. Still, as thousands of area Jewish families sat down this week for ceremonial Seder dinners, there were many hugs, laughs and moments of spiritual sharing. Across the area, the tragedy presented “an opportunity for conversation.”

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.

Kansas professors endorse proposed social media policy

More than 80 professors from several universities sent a letter to the Kansas Board of Regents saying a new proposed social media policy for Kansas universities “exemplifies the role of scholarship for public intellectuals in a democracy.”