Boilermakers union leaders receive lofty pay, benefits

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, an international union based in Kansas City, Kan., rewards its officers with big pay and top-flight perks. The Boilermakers say theirs is just like any other union, but labor watchdogs disagree, asking: Should a nonprofit be spending that way?

Special project: Failure to Protect

A little girl suffered for six years after the state of Missouri apparently believed she could be safely returned to her mother’s care. And the public is left to wonder how that decision could have possibly been made.

Kansas City Zoo: Penguins

For the first time in more than 50 years, the Kansas City Zoo will feature an exhibit full of penguins. Four different species will inhabit the zoo's new $15 million exhibit — its most expensive undertaking yet.

The view from Main Street in a small town

Pundits have been writing America’s small-town obituaries for decades, yet towns hang on for reasons that seem hazy from a distance. So a Kansas City Star reporter spent much of the year in a small Kansas town to see what keeps small towns going in 2013. What he discovered included poultry swaps, volunteer fire fighters and coffee at the BP.