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Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Kansas City MetroRegion Overnight News and Weather Report - Saturday, February 24, 2007

STORMS TODAY - SNOW SUNDAY

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THEIR MORNING "HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK" SAYS THERE IS A "SLIGHT CHANCE OF STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS LATER THIS AFTERNOON- MAINLY OVER THE SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE METRO." ON SUNDAY, "LESS THAN AN INCH OF SNOW."



BREAKING NEWS: WORKING FIRE IN TERMINAL B AT K.C.I. AIRPORT

AT 0715 CST- SIX COMPANIES OF KC-MO FIREFIGHTERS- PLUS HAZ-MAT- RESPONDED TO A FIRE "IN TERMINAL B" AT K.C.I..

THERE IS A CONFIRMED FIRE AND OPERATIONS IN THIS TERMINAL THAT SERVICES SOUTHWEST AIRLINES HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED.

THERE ARE NO REPORTS OF INJURIES THUS FAR AND NO OTHER INFORMATION AS OF THIS WRITING.

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* OVERNIGHT WEATHER *

Shower and thundershowers moved into the KC Metro overnight. Rainfall amounts werwe generally under 1/2-inch Metro-wide.
Winds that gusted as high as 35 m.p.h. at midnight had temporarily subsided as of dawn. Temperatures fell in the rainfall from the lower 50's into the middle-40's at dawn.

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PLEASE WATCH KSHB NBC41 - ACTION NEWS FOR THESE AND OTHER BREAKING NEWS STORIES.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Now, NBC Nightly Celebrity News- with Brian Williams

I found this post on the Larryville (Lawrence,KS) forum at http://www.forums.larryville.com/viewtopic.php?t=24413&sid=92da71efbfb2b4d29b5a11dde2068456. I couldn't have put the subject matter into better perspective.

It's little tidbits like these that only continue to confirm for me that this Administration is the worst of my lifetime.




Stupid Americans deserve what they get

Maybe We Deserve to Be Ripped Off By Bush's Billionaires


By Matt Taibbi, RollingStone.com. Posted February 20, 2007.

While America obsessed about Brittany's shaved head, Bush offered a budget that offers $32.7 billion in tax cuts to the Wal-Mart family alone, while cutting $28 billion from Medicaid.

"Now, after she shaved her head in a bizarre episode that culminates a months-long saga of controversial behavior, it's the question being asked by her fans, her foes and the general public: What was she thinking?"-- Bald and Broken: Inside Britney's Shaved Head, Sheila Marikar, ABC.com, Feb. 19

What was she thinking? How about nothing? How about who gives a shit? How's that for an answer, Sheila Marikar of ABC news, you pinhead?

I'm not one of those curmudgeons who freaks out every time that Bradgelina moves the war off the front page of the Post, or Katie Couric decides to usher in a whole new era of network news with photos of the imbecile demon-spawn of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I understand that we live in a demand-based economy and that there is far more demand for brainless celebrity bullshit than there is, say, for the fine print of the Health and Human Services budget.

But that was before this week. I awoke this morning in New York City to find Britney Spears plastered all over the cover of two gigantic daily newspapers, simply because she cut her hair off over the weekend. To me, this crosses a line. My definition of a news story involves something happening. If nothing happens, then you can't have "news," because nothing has changed since the day before. Britney Spears was an idiot last Thursday, an idiot on Friday, and an idiot on both Saturday and Sunday. She was, shockingly, also an idiot on Monday. It will be news when she stops being an idiot, and we'll know when that happens, because she'll have shot herself for the good of the planet. Britney Spears cutting her hair off is the least-worthy front page news story in the history of humanity.

Apparently, from now on, every time a jackass sticks a pencil in his own eye, we'll have to wait an extra ten minutes to hear what happened on the battlefield or in Congress or any other place that actually matters.

On the same day that Britney was shaving her head, a guy I know who works in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders sent me an email. He was trying very hard to get news organizations interested in some research his office had done about George Bush's proposed 2008 budget, which was unveiled two weeks ago and received relatively little press, mainly because of the controversy over the Iraq war resolution. All the same, the Bush budget is an amazing document. It would be hard to imagine a document that more clearly articulates the priorities of our current political elite.

Not only does it make many of Bush's tax cuts permanent, but it envisions a complete repeal of the Estate Tax, which mainly affects only those who are in the top two-tenths of the top one percent of the richest people in this country. The proposed savings from the cuts over the next decade are about $442 billion, or just slightly less than the amount of the annual defense budget (minus Iraq war expenses). But what's interesting about these cuts are how Bush plans to pay for them.

Sanders's office came up with some interesting numbers here. If the Estate Tax were to be repealed completely, the estimated savings to just one family -- the Walton family, the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune -- would be about $32.7 billion dollars over the next ten years.

The proposed reductions to Medicaid over the same time frame? $28 billion.

Or how about this: if the Estate Tax goes, the heirs to the Mars candy corporation -- some of the world's evilest scumbags, incidentally, routinely ripped by human rights organizations for trafficking in child labor to work cocoa farms in places like Cote D'Ivoire -- if the estate tax goes, those assholes will receive about $11.7 billion in tax breaks. That's more than three times the amount Bush wants to cut from the VA budget ($3.4 billion) over the same time period.

Some other notable estimate estate tax breaks, versus corresponding cuts:

* Cox family (Cox cable TV) receives $9.7 billion tax break while education would get $1.5 billion in cuts

* Nordstrom family (Nordstrom dept. stores) receives $826.5 million tax break while Community Service Block Grants would be eliminated, a $630 million cut

* Ernest Gallo family (shitty wines) receives a $468.4 million cut while LIHEAP (heating oil to poor) would get a $420 million cut

And so on and so on. Sanders additionally pointed out that the family of former Exxon/Mobil CEO Lee Raymond, who received a $400 million retirement package, would receive about $164 million in tax breaks.
(Italics mine- GKM)

Compare that to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which Bush proposes be completely eliminated, at a savings of $108 million over ten years. The program sent one bag of groceries per month to 480,000 seniors, mothers and newborn children.

Somehow, to me, that's the worst one on the list. Here you have the former CEO of a company that scored record profits even as it gouged consumers, with gas prices rising more than 70 percent since January of 2001. There is a direct correlation between the avarice of oil company executives and the increased demand for federal aid for heating oil programs like LIHEAP, and yet the federal government wants to reward these same executives for raising prices on the backs of consumers.

Even if you're a traditional, Barry Goldwater conservative, the kinds of budgets that Bush has sent to the hill not only this year but this whole century are the worst-case scenario; they increase spending generally while cutting taxes and social programming. They commit taxpayers to giant subsidies of already Croseus-rich energy corporations, pharmaceutical companies and defense manufacturers while simultaneously cutting taxes on those who most directly benefit from those subsidies. Thus you're not cutting spending -- you're just cutting spending on people who actually need the money. (According to the Washington Times, which in a supremely ironic twist of fate did one of the better analyses of the budget, spending will be 1.6 percent of GDP higher in the 2008 budget than in was in 2000, while revenues will be 2.6 percent of GDP lower). This is something different from traditional conservatism and something different from big-government liberalism; this is a new kind of politics that transforms the state into a huge, ever-expanding instrument for converting private savings into corporate profit.

That's not only bad government, it's bad capitalism. It makes legalized bribery and political connections more important factors than performance and competition in the corporate marketplace. Beyond that, it's just plain fucking offensive to ordinary people. It's one thing to complain about paying taxes when those taxes are buying a bag of groceries once a month for some struggling single mom in eastern Kentucky. But when your taxes are buying a yacht for some asshole who hires African eight year-olds to pick cocoa beans for two cents an hour ... I sure don't remember reading an excuse for that anywhere in the Federalist Papers.

I also don't remember reading much about this year's budget. It was a story for about half a minute when it came out two weeks ago. It barely made TV newscasts, and even when it did, only the broad strokes made it on air. There was some fuss about the Alternative Minimum Tax and a mild uproar over the fact that the 2008 budget failed to account for estimates of the costs for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But overall, the budget was a non-starter as a news story. As it does every year, it takes a back seat to hot-button issues like gay marriage, the latest election scandal, etc. Already, the 2008 election presidential campaign has gotten far more ink than the 2008 budget. As entertainment, bullshit politics always triumphs over real politics.

Here's the thing about the system of news coverage we have today. If the Walton family, or Lee Raymond, or the heirs to the Mars fortune actually needed the news media to work better than it does now, believe me, it would work better. But they have no such need, because the system is working just fine for them as is. The people it's failing are the rest of us, and most of the rest of us, apparently, would rather sniff Anna Nicole Smith's corpse or watch Britney Spears hump a fire hydrant than find out what our tax dollars are actually paying for.

Shit, when you think about it that way, why not steal from us? People that dumb don't deserve to have money.

Monday, February 19, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: FIRE IN KC-MO HIGH-RISE INJURES ONE

There is an occupant injury reported in a fire in an 11-story residential high-rise on the west side of KC-MO's Country Club Plaza

The KCFD has sent a "high-rise response" of 10-companies after the initial 0714 CST dispatch to 4712 Roanoke Parkway.

Fire is reported in a 2nd-floor apartment and one occupant from the 2nd floor who was injured was found in the lobby when firefighters arrived at 0716 cst..

Fire is under control in that 2nd floor apartment at 0727 CST.

Apparently heat & smoke have just affected the 2nd & 3rd floors and just the one injury heard thus far.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Kansas City MetroRegion Overnight News and Weather Report - Sunday, February 18, 2007

TWO INJURED - NONE SERIOUSLY - AFTER OLATHE POLICE CHASE

Olathe Police chased the suspect of a double vehicular assault who went the wrong way on I-35 and ended up in a crash.

It was just after 2 am Sunday morning when police responded to a disturbance at La Fiesta, 806 W. Old (U.S.) 56 highway. It was reported "a security guard was struck by a vehicle" there after officers arrived. MEDACT-EMS was requested at 2:09 am..

At 2:11 am, an officer at the incident reports "another (person) struck," apparently by the driver of the same vehicle - which officers say is "a 1991 Ford Explorer" who drove off.

Both victims of the assault at La Fiesta - both males - had non life-threatening injuries.

Yet another Olathe cop spots the suspect vehicle near Old 56 Highway and Sunset at 2:12 am- when the suspect manuevers onto I-35 - going northbound in the southbound lanes.

Officers pursue the suspect - I never hear at what speeds or if they too went the wrong way with the suspect - but at 2:15 am - one of the Olathe officers reports "a crash- (about 1/2-mile) south of I-435" that involved the suspect's Explorer, "an 18-wheeler and another car" which overturned.

Neither the driver of the suspect vehicle nor the car that overturned - both males in their 20's - were seriously hurt. No one was injured in the 18-wheeler.

The incident stopped or slowed traffic on I-35 here for about an hour.

Chase-crash scene (Photo courtesy of the KC Scout Traffic System)

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*MAN SUFFERS PAINFUL INJURY IN EAST KC-MO SHOOTING AND WRECK-

It was eight minutes after 3 am when the first call went out of a wreck at "Linwood and Van Brunt." .
When the fire department arrived two minutes later- they found "a 25-year-old male" who according to the transporting MAST-EMS unit had "a gunshot through and through to his scrotum and (thigh)."
The suspects got away in an S.U.V. and no one else was hurt.

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*HOUSE BURNS NEAR FRANKLIN-MIAMI COUNTY KANSAS LINE-

A "1-story" house was found "fully-involved" in flames just after midnight in the 36900 block of West 287th Street.
Wellsville, Paola and Louisburg fire departments sent equipment and crews - indications were the structure was vacant and no other injuries heard.

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*(DON'T) EAT IT-

OLATHE, KS firefighters & paramedics went to the aid of 3 people affected by "possible food poisoning" in the 11300 block of Parish just before 7 am. All the patients were expected to live to eat possible bad food again.

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* OVERNIGHT WEATHER -

Mostly clear skies and very light to calm winds prevailed overnight. Temperatures stayed in the 20 to 25-degree mark where the winds stayed light. Some areas where the wind went calm temperatures plummeted: 7-degrees at Lawrence, Ks and 15-degrees in south KC-MO..

Temperatures will go above normal this week. There is a chance of a significant late-week storm system affecting the KC MetroRegion.

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PLEASE WATCH KSHB NBC41 - ACTION NEWS FOR THESE AND OTHER BREAKING NEWS STORIES.