Former KC priest who was the subject of dozens of child sexual abuse lawsuits has died

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thomas Reardon, a former Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph who over the years was named in more than two dozen child sexual abuse lawsuits, was found dead Sunday in a south Kansas City senior living facility. Kansas City police told The Star that officers were dispatched with EMS personnel to Brookdale Wornall Place at 501 W. 107th St. on a dead body call just after noon Sunday. Upon arrival, they contacted employees who told them the victim was Reardon, a resident. Detectives and crime scene personnel responded to the scene, police said. Reardon...

Newly eligible for Medicaid in Missouri? Lawmaker wants you to work for your health care

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Republican lawmakers are again seeking to restrict the Medicaid expansion voters approved in 2020, proposing work requirements for the estimated 275,000 low-income Missourians newly eligible for the health care program. A constitutional amendment filed in the General Assembly this week by House Budget Chair Cody Smith would make funding for that group of recipients subject to annual review, separating them from overall support for the traditional Medicaid program. It is the latest attempt by Missouri Republicans to curb the expansion of the program to working adults witho...

Missouri woman pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges days after separate DUI arrest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five days after authorities say she caused a fatal crash while driving drunk on Interstate 44, Emily Hernandez pleaded guilty in federal court Monday in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot. Hernandez, 22, of Sullivan, Missouri — seen during the insurrection last year carrying a wooden name plate torn from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office — pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, a misdemeanor. The plea hearing was held via video conference in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Hernandez is scheduled to be...

Missouri GOP leaders unlikely to revise Second Amendment law at police group's request

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Republican legislative leaders appear uninterested in revising a new Second Amendment law at the request of a police group that says the measure makes it harder for local law enforcement to apprehend suspects in gun-related crimes. The Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) was a victory for GOP politicians and gun rights activists when it passed last year. It was buoyed by lawmakers' desire to push back on gun control measures promised by President Joe Biden's administration. SAPA declares certain federal gun laws "invalid" if they do not have an equivalent in...

On eve of Capitol riot anniversary, Kansas City Proud Boys' cases face another delay

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After spending nearly a year in jail awaiting trial on Capitol riot conspiracy charges, Olathe Proud Boy William Chrestman will have to wait even longer. A federal judge on Wednesday — the eve of the first anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection — approved the government's request for a two-month continuance in the case that involves Chrestman, three other Kansas City-area Proud Boys and two Arizona siblings. The six were indicted last February for allegedly conspiring to breach the Capitol. At a status hearing held via video conference in U.S. District Court for the D...

In Missouri, 2020 election conspiracies persist as Jan. 6 attack anniversary approaches

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A year after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, denial and conspiratorial thinking about the 2020 presidential election persists in Missouri, fostered by Republican officials and fringe characters who peddle falsehoods embraced by former President Donald Trump. The arrival of an Ohio math teacher in Missouri this week illustrates how the obsession with 2020 continues to simmer under the surface in the state, only to occasionally boil over into the open. Douglas Frank gained fame among die-hard Trump supporters for advancing widely debunked theories claiming to show the election...

US Mint set to start selling Negro League Baseball coin collection this week

Commemorative coins recognizing the legacy of the Negro Leagues and raising money for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will go on sale through the United States Mint on Thursday at 11 a.m. Central Time. The 2022 Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coin Program honors the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Negro National League and features $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar clad coins. Money raised after the cost of making the coins is covered will go to the museum. The Jackie Robinson silver medal coin mirrors the design of the Jackie Robinson Congressional Gold Meda...

Missouri AG says 'shocking' crimes led to charges against boarding school doctor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — David Smock, who has seen boys from Agape Boarding school at his southwest Missouri clinic for years, could face up to life in prison if he is convicted of the most serious charges alleging child sex crimes. "The details of the alleged crimes in this case are shocking and horrific," Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement released Wednesday morning, as Smock sat in an Arkansas jail. "And I look forward to working with the Special Prosecutor for Cedar County to obtain justice in this case. ... Protecting the citizens of our state, especially our children, is of para...

Here’s where officials said tornadoes possibly touched down in Illinois, Missouri

Tornadoes ripped through the St. Louis metro region Friday night, causing damage in at least five counties. National Weather Service teams were assessing damage Saturday in St. Charles and St. Louis counties in Missouri and Madison, Bond and Fayette counties in Illinois. Unseasonably warm weather met with a cold front, creating dangerous weather conditions. The storm hit the area around 7:30 p.m., setting off tornado sirens and wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour. Using radar, weather officials confirmed a tornado approaching St. Louis and St. Charles at roughly 7:45 p.m. The storm proceeded fr...

Bob Dole honored by presidents, family, friends in Washington National Cathedral

WASHINGTON — Bob Dole’s casket, draped in white, was carried through Washington National Cathedral on Friday. It passed under the 215 stained glass windows and high columns, past former staff members, friends, family, presidents, vice presidents, generals, senators and representatives and rested at the altar as people took one more chance to say goodbye to one of Kansas’ most notable sons. “Thank you for giving us time with Bob Dole, a Kansas star who truly shined through difficulty,” said former Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. Dole died in his sleep Sunday. He was 98. Dole lived a life that could ha...

More Missouri health departments halt COVID efforts after attorney general's threat

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A growing number of local health departments across Missouri are ending their COVID-19 response after Attorney General Eric Schmitt demanded the agencies comply with a court ruling that appears to severely limit the authority of local health officials. Since Thursday, more than half a dozen departments have announced they are suspending coronavirus-related work after Schmitt, a Republican campaigning for U.S. Senate, sent letters earlier in the week. The announcements come from health departments in mostly rural counties — none have been issued from the Kansas City or St. Lo...

Missouri Republicans, anticipating blow to Roe v. Wade, push anti-abortion proposals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Republicans, encouraged by an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision many anticipate will severely reduce or eliminate the federal right to end a pregnancy, are poised to push an aggressive new slate of anti-abortion measures in the General Assembly next year. Proposals include requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion, raising criminal penalties for illegal abortions and mandating medical care for babies "born alive" during the procedure. Other bills would strengthen existing prohibitions on public funding of abortion providers. Missouri, where Repu...

Donors around the world give more than $900,000 to Kevin Strickland

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A GoFundMe fundraiser to benefit Kevin Strickland grew to more than $900,000 two days after he was exonerated in a 1978 triple murder that he has always said he did not commit. The Midwest Innocence Project set up the online fundraiser in June, saying at the time it was confident he would be released but would face “many hurdles adjusting to life” on the outside. The organization was seeking donations to help Strickland pay for basic necessities and a place to live. By noon Wednesday, $381,616 had been raised from more than 6,500 donations, well in excess of the $150,000 goa...

‘Justice was gotten’: KC officer found guilty in 2019 fatal shooting of Black man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City police detective was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2019 killing of a Black man who was fatally shot in his own backyard. Jackson County Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs announced his decision Friday afternoon. Eric DeValkenaere, 43, was charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the Dec. 3, 2019, shooting of Cameron Lamb. He was convicted of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action. As people left the courtroom, family and friends of Lamb hugged and cried. Many cheered. One woman, when she hea...

Ready for air taxis? Aerospace engineers and entrepreneurs aim to change how we see the sky

The next time you are outside, look up. You might see houses, buildings, a few trees. Higher you may see some clouds, a commercial airplane, a military airplane. Maybe there’s a helicopter. In other words, not much. That’s changing. Aerospace engineers and entrepreneurs across the world are in a race to fundamentally change how we see the sky. They are working on new air vehicles — in an industry called advanced air mobility — that will be used to drop packages on your doorstep, transport people and cargo over shorter distances and could even give people the ability to call air-taxis. “It’s no...