There's more bad news this week surrounding the closest nuclear reactor to Kansas City after regulators determined that a contractor for the Wolf Creek Generating Station was fired in retaliation for calling out unsafe practices there.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on May 15 published an order to reinstate an unnamed employee for Enercon, a contractor for the nuclear power plant 80 miles away near Burlington, Kansas. Enercon, which does engineering work at Wolf Creek, had workers dig a trench directly over pipes that circulate water to keep the reactor working within normal temperatures. The trench was dug in order to install a security fence. But the employee noticed that the trench was dug deep enough and close enough to those water pipes that it violated safety protocols about how much soils should cover the pipes.
Police have cleared the scene at Union Station, where a suspicious package was discovered earlier today. The Star reports the package was found at 7:30 this morning. The police blocked off all traffic from Pershing Road, which runs directly in front of Union Station between Main Street, and Kessler Road just west of the station.
When I drove by on Main Street at about 9:30 this morning, employees were standing on the sidewalk across the street. I heard a loud boom, but I couldn't tell where it came from. When I returned about 15 minutes later, police were pulling down tape and driving away. At least one KCPD squad car was being towed from the parking lot.
KSHB reports a source telling them the package was "rendered harmless." We'll update when KCPD releases more information.
In 1984, Kansas City's Gay Pride Festival was little more than a halfhearted little carnival set up in the parking lot behind the since-razed Dover Fox saloon, at 43rd Street and Main. Over the past 29 years, the event has gotten much bigger, much grander - with the occasional financial scandal here and there.
This year, after a 2012 turn in the Power & Light District, the Gay Pride Festival is "scaling down, going back to basics," says the festival's chairman, Mason Hakes. Instead of a lavishly mounted production featuring nationally known performers, this year's Pride Festival returns to Westport on May 31 and June 1 and has booked only local performers, organized by Kansas City drag queen Moltyn Decadence.
It could be a long, long show: "NO ONE will be turned away that wants to showcase their talents," writes Ms. Decadence on the Facebook page for the Kansas City Diversity Coalition, the new organization sponsoring the event.
Also like his act, the book forswears profanity - not least because Dad Is Fat isn't just kid-friendly but kid-centered. But now an unexpected oath hangs in the air: the W-word. He wonders why people keep saying his contribution to goofy-father lit feels so ...
"Sentimental?" he asks. "Does wistful mean, I don't know, a sentimentality, a sincerity?" I make some fumbling defensive noises while scrolling through a mental thesaurus for a more flattering alternative, something less Proustian. But Gaffigan isn't really complaining. This comic, whose lens is perhaps second only to Jerry Seinfeld's in terms of clarity and polish, is just doing what he does: observing.
Friends of KCI just announced plans to start an initiative petition to prevent the advancement of a new airport terminal without the approval of voters.
"We do not need to spend $1.5 billion on a new airport," reads Friends of KCI's statement. "We believe there are better options."
Friends of KCI is something of an ad hoc group of Brookside residents with an ear to the ground under City Hall. It is focused against a single-terminal version of Kansas City International Airport.
The jury in the Petro America case has returned guilty verdicts for all defendants in the Petro America trial.
The trial, which started April 17, went to the jury around noon Tuesday. Deliberation lasted nearly 24 hours.
Isreal Owen Hawkins was the CEO of a Kansas City company that held itself out as a natural-resources company which had generated $284 billion in revenues.
Paul Bax was asleep when he got the call. It was May 8, and he'd finished working his graveyard shift for the U.S. Postal Service. He was being summoned to testify in one of the oddest trials in Kansas City memory.
Bax wasn't blowing off a subpoena. Rather, this was his first notice that Isreal Owen Hawkins was trying to get him on the stand. By then, the prosecution had rested its case against Hawkins, the founder and CEO of Petro America, who is accused of securities fraud ("Fleecing the Flock," October 28, 2010).
So Bax, a proud father of two straight-A students and an investor in Petro America, hopped out of bed, donned a two-piece suit and zipped downtown to the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. He was Hawkins' first witness - but not the first sign that Hawkins was in trouble.
It's been a crappy spring for news about youth sports coaches. A few weeks back, soccer coach and popular party DJ Joel White was charged in federal court for allegedly taking nude photos of children. On Tuesday, a grandfather in Clay County Googled his son's basketball coach, Darin Mason, and found that he was a sex offender barred from coaching youth sports.
According to various reports, Mason pleaded guilty in 2001 second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy after he had sex with a 15-year-old player on the basketball team at Oak Park High School. He was coaching the team at the time.
The Johnson County District Attorney can't make a legal case against an unsourced campaign mailer that took Roeland Park mayoral aspirant Linda Mau to task for codes violations and bounced checks.
The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that the anti-Mau flier that went out to Roeland Park residents just before the April 2 general election did not violate Kansas campaign laws.
The Pitch predicted early in April that the district attorney's investigation wouldn't unearth legal wrongdoing because Kansas laws that forbid anonymous campaign materials don't apply to "second-class" cities like Roeland Park.
The Rhodes wrestling family has spilled a lot of blood in rings around the world, including Kansas City. Patriarch "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes was a champion in the 1960s, '70s and '80s (holding the NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship in '68, and dropping the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to Ric Flair in September 1981 at Memorial Hall).
Cody Rhodes was destined to follow his father and his half-brother, Dustin "Goldust" Rhodes, into the business. As a teenager, he refereed matches for his dad's now-defunct independent promotion and sneaked into mini matches when he thought his dad wasn't looking. "I never imagined doing anything else," Rhodes says.
The second-generation star is keeping his family tradition alive in the world's biggest wrestling company. On May 20, Rhodes is one of the featured grapplers on Monday Night Raw, broadcasting live from the Sprint Center on the USA Network. After a lengthy tour of the United Kingdom, Rhodes called The Pitch from his home in Johns Creek, Georgia, to talk about his memories of Kansas City, his mustache and his challenge to Morgan Freeman.
For someone like Jack, the world must be a confusing and terrifying place.
Billy Sims Bar B Que
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