Special elections scheduled for next Tuesday will fill two vacancies in the State Senate and another in the House. The contest in the 22nd District, in northern Jefferson County, is being held to find a successor to Steve Stoll, who stepped down from the Senate to become the City Administrator of Festus. A current and a former member of the House – both from High Ridge – are in the running to replace Steve Stoll in northern Jefferson County. Democratic Representative Rick Johnson says residents think the budget cuts put forward by Governor Matt Blunt and the Legislature go too far. Former Representative Bill Alter, a small businessman, agrees the truly needy should not suffer from cuts in programs and services. He feels a Republican in a Republican-controlled government can best make the case. Two independent candidates are in the race, as well – Harold Selby of Cedar Hill and Zip Rzeppa of Barnhart. Elsewhere in the state, a Senate contest is being held in mid-Missouri and a House seat is up for grabs in Kansas City.
Archives for March 2005
Legislation described as critical to some major economic development projects in Missouri has gotten first round approval in the State Senate. Sponsors say it’s designed to create and keep high-end jobs by requiring certain salary levels and benefits for companies that want the tax incentives to come to Missouri or to grow here. St. Joseph Senator Charlie Shields says Missouri has to be competitive for jobs with Kansas – which has an aggressive incentive program. Another part of the bill is designed to make southwest Missouri more competitive with Oklahoma in attracting service companies. The Senate will send the bill to the House next week.
A big victory in the House for the nursing home industry, which succeeds in keeping nursing homes from provisions of the insurance reform bill. Bill sponsor Richard Byrd of Kirkwood argues unsuccessfully during floor debate that nursing homes should be required to have at least $500,000 in medical malpractice insurance. Byrd says too often nursing homes set up shell corporations to hide their assets, preventing injured parties from collecting damages. Byrd fails to keep the provision in the bill. Some legislators say the requirement is too high, that rural nursing homes wouldn’t be able to afford it. Byrd counters that the nursing homes wanted the protections provided under litigation reform, then wanted out of the requirements of insurance reform; litigation reform’s companion bill.
One of the nation’s biggest pasta-makers is being sued – charged with lying about its low-carbohydrate pasta. St. Louis resident Tom Dykas and two people from North Carolina are suing American-Italian Pasta Company of Kansas City. The suit claims American-Italian claimed its pasta had half the carbs of regulatr pasta when it actually had 76 percent of the carbs of regular pasta.
The State Senate advances an effort to keep homeowners from suing contractors before the contractors have had a chance to make things right. The proposal requires the homeowner to offer arbitration to the contractor first. It requires the contractor to respond to the concerns. But the bill lets the homeowner go to court if the contractor does not respond, refuses to make repairs, or refuses to make the repairs within a reasonable time. Sponsor Chris Koster of Harrisonville says it’s an effort to cool things down when anger and frustration sometimes lead to premature lawsuits. Governor Bob Holden vetoed a bill last year that made mediation mandatory which would have tied up homeowners for months. Koster says this year’s bill is much simpler and establishes a procedure that operates more quickly. To prove it, he has passed out a flow chart showing how the process would work. Last year’s chart had 31 boxes linked by 39 arrows. This year’s bill has a flow chart of 16 boxes and 22 arrows. An amendment has been added to the bill requiring contractors to give customers a copy of that procedural chart.
For three of them, this is nothing new, for another one it is completely new. Tom Izzo, Rick Pitino and Roy Williams have all made at least four trips to the Final Four. This will be the fourth time for Izzo and Williams and number five for Pitino. Illinois head coach Bruce Weber finds himslef in the semifinals for the first time ever. The four head coaches talked about what they expect out of the 2004 Final Four in St. Louis in a teleconference with the media on Wednesday. The following are excerpts from that teleconference:
The Cardinals finalized their roster yesterday by keeping relief pitchers Bill Pulsipher and Randy Flores. In eleven innings of work, Pulsipher allowed eight hits and three runs but didn’t yield any runs. He worked the 10th inning on Thursday and worked around two hits. Flores had a 7.27 ERA in 8 2/3 innings this spring.
Abraham Nunez made the Cardinals’ 25-man roster earlier this week and on Thursday he said thanks. His RBI triple in the ninth inning tied the Cardinals and Orioles at 5-5 and after ten innings that was the final score. Nunez, who is a lifetime .238 hitter, is hitting .340 this spring. Reggie Sanders, who returned from an appendectomy earlier this week, hit a two run homer.
On the mound, Jeff Suppan was the starter and he allowed three runs—two earned—off five hits and three walks over five innings.
The Cardinals will play the Orioles again today, then break camp. They’ll play two games against the Springfield Cardinals on Sunday and Monday before opening up the season in Houston on Tuesday.
Brian Anderson pitched five scoreless innings on Thursday, as the Royals topped the Mariners 5-3 to win their third straight spring training game. Anderson’s only blemishes were three harmless singles, as he lowered his ERA to 2.08. Tony Pena used five more pitchers over the final four innings and Mike MacDougal got the win, despite allowing a run off two hits and a walk in the seventh inning.
With the Royals leading 3-2 in the ninth, Donnie Murphy and Joe McEwing drove in runs with singles to give them a 5-2 advantage.
The Royals meet the Rangers today for their final game in Arizona. On Saturday and Sunday, they’ll wrap up the exhibition season with two games against the Astros in Houston, before heading to Detroit to open the regular season on Monday.
The Arena Football League is coming to Kansas City. The AFL is expected to bring a franchise to Kemper Arena in 2006, and then move to the new downtown arena once construction is completed in 2007. The Kansas City marketing company, K.C. Arena Sports and Entertainment Group, has applied for a franchise and has received preliminary approval. Background checks on its investors will need to be done before they’re given the final thumbs up.
The AFL currently has 17 teams and hopes to expand to 20 in 2006. As it stands, there are three midwest cities with franchises—Chicago, Columbus, Ohio and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
UMKC has two very interested recruits ready to sign on the dotted line. David Nurse, who is a 6-2 guard from Kearney, Missouri, has given head coach Rich Zvosec a verbal commitment. So has 6-9 Johnson County (Ks.) Community College transfer Kyle Spears.
Nurse averaged 18 points per game for Kearney this past season, while Spears averaged 7.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Both players are expected to sign a letter of intent once the late signing period begins on April 13.