Kansas City Week in Review – March 21, 2014
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One of Kansas City’s favorite attractions turned into an ugly scene Tuesday with some visitors saying they were forced to run for their lives.
There were reports of shots fired in the parking lot of the Kansas City Zoo and groups of teens engaged in fistfights inside and outside the gates. Police tactical units were called in to restore order on what was the first of four free attendance days for residence of Jackson and Clay Counties, part of an agreement with voters who approved a sales tax election to improve the zoo back in 2011.
REMEMBERING A PHILANTHROPIC TITAN
One of Kansas City’s biggest philanthropists and the man who put the metro on the life science map has died. James Stowers, Jr., founder of Kansas City-based American Century Investments who went on to create the Stowers Institute for Medical Research died of natural causes. He was 90.
The Stowers Institute crafted this tribute video that chronicles his personal and professional life.
FRED PHELPS DIES …
The pastor and founder of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka has died at the age of 84. A church official says Rev. Phelps died of natural causes. The small Kansas church had become notorious for picketing military funerals and other public events and calling the deaths of soldiers and even children killed in school shootings punishment for the nation’s acceptance of homosexuality. The church accused the media of “gleefully anticipating” Phelps’ death after he recently entered hospice care.
BI-STATE BUSINESS BORDER BATTLE ESCALATES
The Bi-State business border battle is showing no signs of letting up. A big benefits and financial firm in Leawood is the latest border hopper. CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann is looking to take its 400 plus employees to bigger digs on the Missouri side of state line. And according to the Kansas City Star is eying the Country Club Plaza, and more specifically, the Plaza Steppes building recently vacated by the Polsinelli law firm.
Meanwhile, the business border war is now playing out in a pair of new TV ads running in Kansas City that has Kansas City Mayor Sly James seething. One of the 30-second spots encourages businesses and families to move to Johnson County to avoid Kansas City’s punitive earnings tax.
KC’S NEXT ICONIC WORK OF ART…
This year marks 20 years since the arrival of the shuttlecocks on the lawn of the Nelson Atkins Museum. If it’s taken you awhile to become accustomed to them, get ready for a new iconic addition to our foremost institution of art. An all glass labyrinth is going up on the south side of the Nelson lawn. The work, called ‘Glass Labyrinth’ is by Kansas City native Robert Morris and weighs more than 400 tons. It’s made up of dozens of 7-foot-high, 1-inch-thick glass panels that will form a massive triangle with a maze of interior glass walls. You get to walk through it starting in May.
DISSECTING THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Dana Wright, Newsradio 98.1 FM KMBZ
Kevin Collison, Kansas City Star
Eric Wesson, The Call
Dave Helling, Kansas City Star