Kansas City Star _MO_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2018
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61 US MO: More Serving Time as Taxpayers Foot BillSun, 09 Jan 2005
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Reeves, Gregory S. Area:Missouri Lines:201 Added:01/12/2005

Instead of the Show Me State, a better nickname for Missouri might be the Slammer State.

More people are behind bars in Missouri based on population than any state outside the South, according to new U.S. Department of Justice statistics analyzed by The Kansas City Star. Missouri now has the eighth-highest imprisonment rate in the nation.

Take inmate Gary Miller. He didn't kill, assault, or rob anyone. He didn't steal anything.

So why, you might wonder, is the 35-year-old plumber and roofer from House Springs, Mo., serving a four-year prison term at the Algoa Correctional Center? It's because he ignored court orders to pay $17,000 in child support for a son he had fathered nearly a decade ago.

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62 US KS: To Combat Meth, Kansas Mulls Restrictions On DecongestantsFri, 07 Jan 2005
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Klepper, David Area:Kansas Lines:58 Added:01/07/2005

TOPEKA - You may soon have to sign a form and show identification when buying popular decongestants in Kansas as part of the state's efforts to fight methamphetamine.

Lawmakers gathered Thursday to announce a plan to restrict the sale of over-the-counter tablets containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine, a highly addictive and dangerous illegal drug often called meth.

Sudafed, Actifed, Nyquil and more than 300 other products contain pseudoephedrine. The rules would not apply to those products when sold in gel-tab or liquid formulas, which are not easily used in meth production.

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63 US MO: Study Shows Support Among Missourians for Medical MarijuanaSat, 01 Jan 2005
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Farrow, Connie Area:Missouri Lines:125 Added:01/01/2005

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Now that Columbia has an ordinance allowing patients to smoke marijuana on doctors' orders, backers plan to push for the same medical relief for all Missourians.

A survey by Southwest Missouri State University indicates there may be growing support for legalizing marijuana as a therapy option for residents undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from illnesses such as AIDS and glaucoma.

A majority of Missouri residents support medical marijuana if it is prescribed to patients in extreme pain, according to the Springfield university's telephone survey.

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64 US MO: Column: For Those Who've Run Afoul Of LawThu, 30 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Stafford, Diane Area:Missouri Lines:76 Added:12/31/2004

Think it's hard to find a job? Try checking the "yes" box on an application that asks if you've ever been convicted of a felony.

In candor, human resource officers will admit that such applications move quickly to the reject pile. Hiring is hard enough without messing with people who've messed up criminally.

Job hunters with criminal records have a tough time returning to the work force after they've served time. It's hard, too, if they're on probation. Their records, which might show up in pre-employment background checks even if they don't admit it on applications, are likely to keep them from consideration.

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65 US MO: OPED: Taste Of State Politics Offers A Rush, Then A RealizationThu, 16 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Ryman, Morgan Area:Missouri Lines:126 Added:12/16/2004

Buzz kill

The rush started in my legs, and they kind of started twitching, making me want to scream as loud as I could at all the right-wingers in the room, but I ignored my base instinct and ignored the adrenaline filling my veins.

Hey, maybe it was only make-believe, but I take change seriously. I define change as altering the way things are.

Earlier this month I was one of about 700 students from across Missouri taking part in the annual Youth in Government program sponsored by the YMCA. For three days, we were Missouri's government in the capital, Jefferson City: the governor and the General Assembly.

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66 US MO: PUB LTE: Medical MarijuanaSat, 11 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Carey, Brian Area:Missouri Lines:27 Added:12/13/2004

I've been reading about the case before the Supreme Court regarding medical marijuana and the federal government's zeal to make an example of the two plaintiffs.

This is a classic example of the people being far ahead of the knuckleheads in power.

I also believe that, to an extent, this is a case of the government by, of and for the corporations, attempting to protect the multi-billion dollar drug testing and pharmaceutical industries.

Brian Carey

[end]

67 US MO: County To Use All Drug Tax SurplusSat, 11 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Benita Y. Area:Missouri Lines:76 Added:12/11/2004

The Jackson County Legislature has approved a $263.2 million budget for 2005 that will spend the county's entire $5.1 million anti-drug tax surplus fund. By spending the entire surplus, the county will be able to give $25 million next year to anti-drug programs.The county gave those programs more than $26 million in 2004. Most of the funding reduction is due to one-time expenses in 2004, including capital improvements at the jail and court computer upgrades. "We were . shorter (for 2005), but by working out the numbers, by moving some things back to the general fund, we were actually able to increase every line-item for anti-drug from the 2004 budget to the 2005 budget," said Legislator Dan Tarwater, chairman of the anti-drug committee. "That was not easy." But spending the surplus next year could mean less money for anti-drug programs in 2006. The surplus comes from agencies not spending all the money given to them from the anti-drug sales tax, and when the tax generates more money than expected. "We expect some amount in the surplus, but not another $5 million," county spokesman Ken Evans said. "There will be less to work with." During budget hearings this year, Tarwater said spending the surplus was in line with a 1995 county resolution to deplete the anti-drug surplus fund by 2001. Tarwater argued that the resolution reflected the intent of voters who renewed the anti-drug tax in 1995. Prosecutor Mike Sanders and County Executive Katheryn Shields debated during the hearings over how to spend anti-drug tax and other county money. The hearings culminated Thursday with an almost 7 1/2-hour session involving public testimony, a standing-room-only audience, last-minute negotiations and painstaking line-item transfers. County officials on all sides of the debate said they were pleased with the outcome. "This is my 11th budget," Shields said. "People expressed concerns that we wouldn't get a budget, but I assured everyone that we always get a budget. . Not everything I want, not everything the Legislature wants, but compromising between that, it's beneficial to the citizens of Jackson County." Legislature Chairman Scott Burnett said: "I feel good about it. . The county executive was exemplary in her work and her cooperation. . All of the department heads and the prosecutor all worked together and I think we came up with a good budget that covers all the important areas of the county." Overall, the county's 2005 budget is about $19.4 million less than this year. The decrease was caused in part by a drop in capital improvement projects. The 2004 budget included a $6.1 million renovation of the downtown courthouse that is nearing completion. However, the 2005 budget includes $1.5 million in capital projects, $5.6 million in road and bridge improvements and $900,000 for the county's general information mapping system. The sheriff also will receive an overtime increase for deputies to begin taking concealed-weapons license applications. Increases to Sanders' budget will pay for a new white-collar crimes unit support staff, additional prosecutors for domestic violence and a child-abuse prosecutor who previously was paid from a now-expired federal grant. The increase for the prosecutor will come from general fund dollars shifted from the corrections department, which Shields oversees.

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68 US KS: Anti-Meth Plan Aims At Allergy MedicationThu, 09 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Milburn, John Area:Kansas Lines:63 Added:12/09/2004

TOPEKA - Law enforcement officials are considering asking for a restriction on the purchase of certain allergy medications in an effort to reduce the number of methamphetamine labs in the state.

Since Oklahoma passed such a law, officials have noticed an increase in the number of customers from that state coming across the border to buy the medications in Kansas, which they then take back to Oklahoma to make meth, said Kyle Smith, a spokesman for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

"We're hearing stories about buses pulling up with people piling out to buy two and three packages at a time and heading home," Smith said.

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69 US MO: Prosecutor, Drug Tax Auditor Will SpeakWed, 08 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Benita Y. Area:Missouri Lines:62 Added:12/08/2004

The Jackson County Legislature will allow the auditor examining the county's anti-drug tax to be interviewed by county Prosecutor Mike Sanders.

Auditor David Cochran of Cochran, Head and Co. said Sanders had asked to talk to him about allegations that records were destroyed. Cochran said he did not know what information Sanders was seeking. But he said he needed the Legislature, which hired him, to waive a confidentiality agreement with him before an interview with Sanders.

"I have no problem speaking with the prosecutor, but I can't reveal my clients' information to anyone without their permission," Cochran said.

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70 US MO: Catching Up On COMBATSun, 05 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Benita Y. Area:Missouri Lines:157 Added:12/06/2004

Trying to follow what's going on with Jackson County's anti-drug tax, but having trouble following all the twists and turns?

What began with questions about how proceeds from the anti-drug tax had been spent has moved into other areas, including a wide-ranging federal grand jury investigation and a controversy over missing records.

The maze of issues involves scores of county officials, auditors and anti-drug programs.

Here is a primer to help sort it out:

A. The Community-Backed Anti-Drug Tax, known as COMBAT, is a quarter-cent sales tax that generates money for law enforcement, drug treatment and drug-use prevention programs. It is expected to raise about $19.5 million this year. Voters approved the tax in 1989, and it went into effect in April 1990. Voters renewed the tax in 1995 and in 2003.

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71 US: Drugs, Driving A Deadly Mix, Ads Warn TeensFri, 03 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO)          Area:United States Lines:36 Added:12/03/2004

WASHINGTON - Many teen drivers think it is less dangerous to drive after smoking marijuana than after drinking alcohol, a perception the government wants to change.

"Driving sober means no alcohol, no marijuana, no drugs," John Walters, the Bush administration's drug policy director, said Thursday as he showed a TV ad aimed at stopping teens from driving after smoking pot.

Walters' office is spending $10 million on efforts to teach teens about the dangers of drugged driving. Brochures are also being distributed. in schools and motor vehicle offices. Marijuana can affect concentration, perception and reaction time up to 24 hours after it is smoked, Walters said. Yet teens have gotten the incorrect message that it is a benign drug.

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72 US: Cocaine, Heroin Prices At 20-year LowWed, 01 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Bachelet, Pablo Area:United States Lines:56 Added:12/01/2004

WASHINGTON - Prices for cocaine and heroin have reached 20-year lows, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Washington Office on Latin America, which usually is critical of U.S. policies in Latin America, said the low prices called into question the effectiveness of the two-decade U.S. war on drugs. A White House official said the numbers were old and didn't reflect recent efforts in Colombia to curb drug cultivation.

The Washington Office on Latin America, citing the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the street price of 2 grams of cocaine averaged $106 in the first half of 2003, down 14 percent from the previous year's average and the lowest price in 20 years.

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73 US MO: Five County Employees Subpoenaed In InquiryWed, 01 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Benita Y. Area:Missouri Lines:96 Added:12/01/2004

Jackson County officials confirmed Tuesday that at least five employees had been subpoenaed in an investigation into allegations that records were improperly destroyed.

The officials said they had heard as many as nine subpoenas had been issued seeking documents and testimony for a Jackson County grand jury hearing scheduled for Friday. However, county spokesman Ken Evans on Tuesday had copies only of subpoenas served on five staff members.

Those receiving subpoenas included finance director Gloria Fisher, records director Robert Kelly and budget administrator Jeremy Willmoth. Kelly and Fisher declined to comment, referring calls to Evans. Willmoth could not be reached.

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74 US MA: Court Rules Against Ban On Pot Group's AdWed, 01 Dec 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Lavoie, Denise Area:Massachusetts Lines:56 Added:12/01/2004

BOSTON - A federal appeals court has ruled that Boston's mass-transit agency violated free-speech rights by refusing to display advertisements from a group that wants to legalize marijuana.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority rejected three ads submitted by the group Change the Climate in 2000, claiming they encouraged children to smoke pot. The transit authority argued that it has the right to protect riders from offensive or illegal messages.

But the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Monday that the MBTA, a quasi-government agency, does not have the right to turn down ads based on its viewpoint. Doing so violates the First Amendment, the court ruled.

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75 US: Medical Marijuana: Is It A Kindness Or A Crime?Tue, 30 Nov 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Greenburg, Jan Crawford Area:United States Lines:134 Added:11/30/2004

Justices Examine the Legal Foundations of State Laws, but the Myriad Issues Behind Those Laws Won't Go Away

"I THINK REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE SUPREME COURT DOES OR DOESN'T DO, MARIJUANA WILL ALWAYS BE USED FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES. SOCIETY WILL JUST HAVE TO COME TO TERMS WITH THAT," DAVID SAPP, A RETIRED COLUMBIA LAWYER WHO HAS HAD MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FOR 20 YEARS

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday debated whether allowing medical marijuana is a necessary kindness in a compassionate society or a dangerous move that undermines the fight against narcotics.

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76 US MO: Anti-drug-tax Surplus DebatedTue, 23 Nov 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Benita Y. Area:Missouri Lines:37 Added:11/25/2004

Jackson County Legislator Bob Spence urged colleagues on Monday to continue the anti-drug-tax surplus fund.

He said most agencies fail to spend money allocated to them from annual anti-drug tax revenues and did not need additional dollars from the surplus.

Spence said that for the past eight years only the county jail and the Kansas City Police Department spent all the money they received, and they did so for only two years.

Other legislators favored giving most of the surplus to the agencies.

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77 Colombia: In Colombia, Bush Promises More Aid To Help Fight Drug Tarffickers AndMon, 22 Nov 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Dudley, Steven Area:Colombia Lines:100 Added:11/22/2004

CARTAGENA, Colombia -- President Bush traveled to the heart of the international cocaine trade Monday to pledge America's help in the fight against narco-terrorism.

Stopping in Colombia on his way back from a 21-nation Pacific Rim summit in Chile, Bush said drug trafficking threatened the stability of the entire Western Hemisphere. He promised more U.S. aid to help Colombia fight an alliance of drug traffickers and guerrillas.

"The drug traffickers who practice violence and intimidation in this country send their addictive and deadly products to the United States. Defeating them is vital to the safety of our peoples and to the stability of this hemisphere," Bush said during a joint appearance with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

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78 Colombia: Extradition Of Drug Lords Could Boost AidMon, 22 Nov 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Dudley, Steven Area:Colombia Lines:65 Added:11/22/2004

BOGOTA, Colombia - When President Bush visits Colombia today for a brief stay, there are few bigger trophies he could carry back home than the extradition order for Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela.

Once the leader of the mighty Cali Cartel that controlled up to 80 percent of the world's cocaine market, Rodriguez Orejuela, 65, and brother Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, 62, are awaiting extradition to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.

The extraditions would be considered a huge victory for Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. After being peppered with allegations of connections to traffickers during his presidential campaign, Uribe has made his mark with the Bush administration by cracking down on them.

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79 US MO: Audit Finished, Not Yet IssuedTue, 16 Nov 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Benita Y. Area:Missouri Lines:70 Added:11/19/2004

Jackson County Drug-tax Dispute Looms

A possible investigation into records-tampering allegations surrounding Jackson County's anti-drug tax could delay auditors from issuing a report.

However the county Legislature on Monday approved a $30,000 increase in its contract with the auditing firm Cochran, Head & Co.

Auditor David Cochran said that although his firm had completed its audit, he was reluctant to issue findings until the records-tampering allegations investigation was complete. He said the probe could unearth additional records or information that could alter his findings.

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80 US MO: $255 Million Budget OutlinedTue, 16 Nov 2004
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Benita Y. Area:Missouri Lines:68 Added:11/17/2004

2005 Plan Wouldn't Include Surplus From Anti-Drug Tax

In the continuing controversy surrounding Jackson County's anti-drug tax, County Executive Katheryn Shields said she will not recommend spending money next year from the estimated $5.1 million surplus fund.

On Monday, she blamed a lack of direction from the county Legislature for her decision as she proposed her administration's $255.5 million 2005 county budget.

The anti-drug tax surplus fund has been a constant source of controversy this year, sparking an ongoing audit of the Community-Backed Anti-Drug Tax, known as COMBAT.

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