Friday, November 28, 2014

Kansas City T-Bones re-acquire former MVP Blackwood from Winnipeg

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The Kansas City T-Bones announced they have acquired infielder Jake Blackwood from Winnipeg in exchange for relief pitcher Patrick Mincey.

Blackwood, a 29-year-old Kansas City native who’s played mainly third base and second base for the past three seasons, batted .321 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs for the Goldeyes in 2014.

He was one of the top players for the T-Bones during 2009-10, when the club still played in the Northern League. During those two seasons, Blackwood batted .315 with 210 hits, 124 RBIs and 114 runs scored in 162 games.

He was the Northern League MVP in 2010 after leading the league in home runs (31) and RBIs (86), and finishing third with a .331 batting average. Following the ’10 season, San Diego selected Blackwood in the Rule 5 Draft.

He spent the next three seasons in the Padres’ organization, reaching double-A San Antonio, where, in 2013, he led the Missions in RBIs (61), and was second on the club in hits (124) and doubles (24). Blackwood, who was a 16th-round selection by the Florida Marlins out of Maple Woods Community College in 2006, is a career .268 hitter with 92 homers, 488 RBIs and 424 runs in 899 games.

“Jake wanted to come back home and we’re excited to have him here,” said T-Bones manager John Massarelli. “Once we added (reliever Jonathan) Kountis last week, we had some flexibility to give up Patrick and improve ourselves both offensively and defensively. Jake gives us that veteran run producer presence in the middle of the lineup.”

“We’re thrilled to re-acquire Jake and I know our fans will be, too,” said T-Bones vice-president and general manager Chris Browne. “He will be an important piece as we move forward.”

The T-Bones acquired Mincey on July 23. He went 2-0 with one save and a 6.00 ERA in 19 games (24 innings) for Kansas City.

SPONSORED POST: This week's Happy Foods Ad

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Click "read more" to check out this week's Happy Foods Ad.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Brownback proclaims Nov. 29 as "Small Business Saturday"

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proclaimed Nov. 29 as “Small Business Saturday” in Kansas to highlight the importance of small businesses to the state’s economy.

“Small businesses are vital to our state’s economy, employing 75 percent of all working Kansans," said Brownback. "I encourage everyone to support the small businesses in their communities, both this Saturday and throughout the holiday season."

Small Business Saturday celebrates small businesses across the nation and encourages people to “shop small” on what is traditionally the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

For more information on Small Business Saturday, go to http://smallbusinesssaturday.com/.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) the holiday shopping season is crucial to small businesses.

Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday encourages people to support the local businesses that play an important role in their communities.

"Small and independent business owners are among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity," said Dan Murray, state director of NFIB. "Shopping locally is a great way for people to help their friends and neighbors create jobs and opportunities in the places where they live."

AGENDA: Board of Public Utilities, December 3

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Here is the Board of Public Utilities agenda for December 3, 2014.

Senior members of insurance department staff to leave with Praeger

By KHI NEWS SERVICE 
KHI News Service 

TOPEKA, KAN. — Several senior officials in the Kansas Insurance Department will be leaving their posts as Commissioner Sandy Praeger concludes her third and final term.

Four division directors have announced plans to retire, effective Dec. 5. Among them, they have more than 125 years of experience at the department.

Praeger, who was first elected in 2002, didn’t seek a fourth term.

Ken Selzer, an insurance industry executive from Leawood, will succeed her in January.

Selzer defeated four rivals for the GOP nomination and then defeated Democrat Dennis Anderson in the general election.

Praeger, a moderate Republican, bucked the party line in Kansas by generally supporting the Affordable Care Act. Selzer, a member of the GOP’s conservative wing, is opposed to the ACA. Selzer supports Kansas’ membership in a multi-state health care compact, which Praeger opposes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WYANDOTTE COUNTY TRAFFIC: Eastbound I-70 at K-7

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Eastbound I-70 right lane from 134th Street to K-7 will be closed for ramp construction work, 24/7 round the clock, beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, December 1 and reopening to all traffic at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, weather permitting.

This work is part of Phase 1 construction for the ultimate ten-phase K-7 & I-70 Interchange Project in Wyandotte County.

Updated daily traffic information for this interchange project and for the entire Kansas Metro Area can be viewed online at: www.ksdot.org/kcmetro/laneclose.asp.

Here’s a link to the February 2014 project handout that shows current construction underway for Phases 1 and 2A-2B: http://www.ksdot.org/Assets/wwwksdotorg/bureaus/kcMetro/pdf/K-7%20and%20I-70%20Phase%202B%20Project%20Handout.pdf  To find out more about the ultimate ten-phase K-7 & I-70 Interchange Project, visit the project website at: http://www.k7andi70interchange.org/

The Kansas Department of Transportation urges all motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and “Give ‘Em a Brake!” when approaching and driving through the project work zone.

The overall Phase 1 project work is scheduled to be completed by late Fall 2014, weather permitting.

Schmidt: U.S. Supreme Court will hear Kansas challenge to EPA regulation

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge brought by Kansas and 20 other states against new federal regulations that would drive up costs to Kansas electricity ratepayers, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

“The EPA just flat ignored the cost of its new regulation,” Schmidt said.  “In the real world, where Kansas homeowners and businesses live, the cost of electricity is always a relevant part of making decisions. The EPA cannot possibly have concluded that the benefits of its new regulation outweigh the costs since it didn’t weigh the costs at all.  I’m encouraged that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the states’ arguments that the EPA’s actions were unlawful.”

In 2011, the EPA released a final maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rule for electric utilities, known as the “Mercury and Air Toxics Standards” or “MATS.”

The rule imposes stringent limits on certain emissions from power plants that will require the installation of costly new equipment.

KANSAS CITY METRO TRAFFIC ALERT: Southbound K-7 to Eastbound K-10 Loop Ramp Closure


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Southbound K-7 to eastbound K-10 loop ramp will be closed to all traffic for guardrail repair work on Wednesday, December 3 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., weather permitting.

Advance message boards will alert traffic to the ramp closure. No marked detour will be provided. Suggested detour route: southbound K-7 traffic will travel to the next exit turn around and head back on northbound K-7 to eastbound K-10 entrance ramp. Drivers should expect delays and must use alternate routes during this weekday ramp closure.

Updated daily traffic information for this project and for the entire Kansas City Metro Area available 24/7 online at: www.ksdot.org/kcmetro/laneclose.asp.

The Kansas Department of Transportation urges all motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and “Give ‘Em a Brake!” when approaching and driving through the project work zone.

Kansas City Star photographer arrested by police during Ferguson protest

KANSAS CITY, MO. ---- A Kansas City Star photographer was arrested during a protest resulting from the events of Ferguson, Mo., earlier this week.

Photographer Jill Toyoshiba was arrested and ticketed by Kansas City, Mo., police officers, according to The Star. 

More information:
Jill Toyoshiba told newspaper editors that police arrested her after she had been taking photos of marchers on a sidewalk and stepped into the street to let them move past. 
She was released about an hour and a half later. Police spokesman Capt. Tye Grant said Toyoshiba had been given several warnings to get back on the sidewalk. 
Read more here.

TRAFFIC: Kansas Highway Patrol offers tips on Thanksgiving travel

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- This week, Kansas roads will be busy with holiday travelers going to and from their destinations.

The Kansas Highway Patrol will mobilize, along with other law enforcement organizations across the state, to participate in the annual Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). The enforcement program is courtesy of a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The Patrol and other agencies will focus on impaired drivers, child passenger safety laws, and seat belt use among travelers of all ages. Because of the STEP campaign funding, there will be more law enforcement officers on Kansas’ streets and highways during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period when travel increases in Kansas and across the nation.

According to preliminary KDOT stats, during the 2013 Thanksgiving reporting period, there were 569 collisions, resulting in 150 injuries, and six deaths.

KCK home health provider convicted on Medicaid fraud charges

By KHI NEWS SERVICE
KHI News Service

KANSAS CITY, KAN. — A Kansas City, Kan., home health attendant has been convicted in a federal case based on fraudulent Medicaid billing practices.

Doris Betts, 55, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in U.S. District Court. Her conviction was announced Tuesday by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, whose office is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to investigate home health care fraud in Kansas.

Betts' conviction is the first from the joint operation, dubbed “Operation No Show,” which focuses on abuse of Medicaid’s home- and community-based services program that pays personal care attendants to assist qualifying Medicaid recipients with general household activities and personal care.

The Attorney General's Office and HHS agreed to recommend a sentence of 18 months in prison for Betts, followed by three years of supervised release and $251,573.32 restitution to the Kansas Medicaid program. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2015.

STATE NEWS: Another Hunter Sentenced For Violating Migratory Bird Act

U.S. Department of Justice

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A hunter pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act when he and seven friends met in Kansas to hunt mourning doves, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

George Morgan, 52, Gordonville, Texas, was sentenced to a year on probation in which he is not allowed to hunt, fish or trap; a $2,000 fine; and $3,000 restitution to the state of Kansas.

Seven other hunters in the same party already pleaded guilty and were sentenced. The men admitted they violated the federal law protecting migratory birds when they participated in an annual opening weekend dove hunt in Graham County, Kan., on Sept. 1-2, 2013.