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NATURAL GAS | Recent blasts raise questions about pipeline safety


The University of Missouri’s journalism program uses these quad-copter drones to teach its students.

Gee whiz turns to uh-oh as drones soar Many want to cash in on the technology, but privacy concerns persist. By EDWARD M. EVELD and LEE HILL KAVANAUGH The Kansas City Star

Shutoff valves are supposed to stop the flow of gas in an emergency, but they’re often ignored in favor of other methods. Some experts wonder if that’s the best approach.

COLUMBIA | Tiger One sits on the ground like a hubcap-sized, fourlegged spider. Or maybe a Lego-colored prop for a sci-fi movie. In minutes, journalism students will try to pilot this thing they call a J-bot, but the world knows it as a drone. They’re not computer engineers or information technology experts. They’re future story-tellers learning how a cheap technology can enhance their reporting with a bird’s-eye view of a story. The national media has zoomed in on the University of Missouri journalism drone class in recent weeks. Is this yet another dimension of the coming of the drones, the future tool of the celebrity-chasing paparazzi? For now, the Federal Aviation Administration is holding them back, along with hundreds of other business applications, creating frustration over lost opportunities. In five years, experts predict, more

By STEVE EVERLY | The Kansas City Star


urn it. Stop a leak. Save lives and property. The role of an emergency shutoff valve on a natural gas pipeline would seem pretty straightforward. But shutoff valves, in the hands of pipeline operators and gas utilities, are often toothless bystanders in the prevention of deadly gas explosions. Regulations require their installation, but not their use in emergencies. Experts say that pipeline safety is governed by a mishmash of state rules and weak federal oversight. The natural gas industry, they say, has a torturous history with regulators, often working to delay reforms. In many areas, including Kansas City, the number of shutoff valves on the gas lines serving individual homes and businesses has drastically declined in recent decades. It’s only recently that regulators succeeded in making utilities put updated valves on those lines, and then only on new ones. Utility and gas industry representatives counter that they take safety seriously and that utility crews can plug leaks effectively — without using shutoff valves. But Jim Hall, former chairman of the federal National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates natural gas disasters, said shutoff valves are “as important as brakes on a car. ... “I’ve been waiting patiently for two decades for the industry to embrace safety.” The reluctance to use shutoff valves isn’t unusual, safety experts say. When closed, they deny gas service not to just the homes or businesses nearby, but to potentially hundreds of customers. Service then has to be restored by utility employees going around


Volunteers give vulnerable kids a voice in court Advocates are needed more than ever as child abuse and neglect cases increase in KC area. By LAURA BAUER The Kansas City Star

Brittany Stillwell grew up thinking Mrs. Stern was her godmother. Ann Stern — along with her late husband, Dan — was like family, always there for big events like birthdays and Christmas. Always encouraging the young girl when few others did. Yet Brittany never really knew how the Sterns had come into her life. Not until she was a teenager, filling out college applications. It was then a relative told her, “You know, you were once a ward of the state.” Mrs. Stern? She was Brittany’s voice in court, from newborn to toddler. Years later, long after the court proceedings were over,



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Lightsabers optional Visitors from long ago in a galaxy far, far away got an early start Saturday at the Planet Comicon event at Bartle Hall, which continues today. FRED BLOCHER | THE KANSAS CITY STAR


KANSAS LEGISLATURE | Lawmakers save big questions for May

TAX BILLS STILL ON HOLD State leaders have done much, but issues remain to be resolved. By BRENT D. WISTROM and DION LEFLER The Wichita Eagle



age 1 of Sports Daily in The Star on a recent day was dominated by discussion of the outrageous behavior by some big time college basketball coaches — men receiving salaries in the millions of dollars, but who have been investigated, censured and in some cases fired or forced to resign for verbally or even physically abusing their players. Occupying roughly half the page was a photograph of the latest offender, Mike Rice, head coach at Rutgers University. The image is arresting. Teeth bared, eyes bulging, it is the face of a man dangerously out of control — an individual in serious need of straitjacket or, maybe better, a couple of well-placed zaps from a stun gun. Rice’s behavior became national news after a video that was shot during team practices was released to ESPN by a former Rutgers staffer, provoking disgust and outrage at the university and beyond. It’s no secret that coaching at the major college level is a high-pressure profession. Expectations are great, and the rewards for success are lavish. But the price of failure can be correspondingly harsh. In three seasons, Rice’s teams had lost seven more games than they’d won, including eight of 13 conference games this year. Disappointment like that can fray the spirit. But it is no excuse for turning savagely on young men whose parents and the university had entrusted them to the coach’s leadership. My own experience in competitive sports was slight. I’ve heard grown men speak proudly of their high school and college “careers.” I had no career. I was too small and ungifted. But I was earnest and eager, and those qualities won me a place on the bench. The coaches I was exposed to were decent and understanding men. They were disciplinarians, but they led with advice and encouragement, not with blows and curses. They were teachers, underpaid as educators were then and too many still are. Nelson Dwight and Andy Nurski were the names of two of them. That’s been 60-some years ago, and of course they are long gone now. But I had the great luck, later on in adulthood, to come to know both of them well as friends. And I cannot help feeling a twinge of pity for the athletes who — whatever their success and glory on the court or playing field — must take with them from their school years the memory of abuse at the hands of men whose duty it was not to intimidate but to inspire.

For more of C.W. Gusewelle, go to


TOPEKA | Kansas lawmakers have wrapped up their regular session, but they still haven’t agreed on how to make last year’s big income tax cuts work in the future without painful reductions in state services. They did send Gov. Sam Brownback bills expanding the range of places licensed Kansans can carry guns, allowing drug tests for welfare and unemployment recipients suspected of drug

think about over their recess, most notably whether to extend a six-tenths of a cent sales tax hike due to expire in July. It would help them make up for a gaping budget hole in a few years. But it could be politically painful; many see it as a tax increase or a broken promise. Both tax bills could push budget problems caused by income tax cuts farther down the road and reduce the state’s ending balances. Here’s a look at where issues stand. ❚ Taxes. Lawmakers are deadlocked over whether to indefinitely extend the six-tenths of a cent sales tax set to expire in July. The extension is viewed by Brownback and many in the Senate as key to avoiding extreme cuts in

use, defining human life as beginning at fertilization, changing how appellate judges are appointed, deregulating big phone companies and letting Kansans legally wield switchblades. “We didn’t shy away from controversial subjects,” said Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican. Meanwhile, attempts to let grocery stores sell strong beer and wine, crack down on illegal immigration and restrict collective bargaining among teachers appear likely to drift for another year. Legislators saved big questions about state tax code and spending for a wrap-up session due to start May 8. That leaves lawmakers a lot to

state services after massive income tax cuts signed into law last year. The governor’s proposal to zap the mortgage tax deduction to help bring in more state revenue has been ditched in favor of phasing down the value of all tax deductions. The Senate plan would cut income tax rates more over the next few years, and then more whenever the state’s revenue grows more than 4 percent. The House views the sales tax extension as politically toxic; its proposal does not call for immediate additional tax cuts but instead favors modest income tax reductions triggered when state reveSEE LEGISLATURE | A8



The obstacle course at Saturday’s Ruckus KC race at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley included cargo nets, 8-foot walls, fields of tires, swinging ropes, a mountain of hay and — as 9-year-old Cole Clifton of Overland Park discovered — a mud pit.


Winter’s messy remains Saturday’s weather gave volunteers a chance to clean up parkland and streams. By GLENN E. RICE The Kansas City Star

Brothers Mickel and Phillip hope to be adopted by a family that likes sports and does things together. Mickel, 10, is good at basketball, soccer, drawing and reading. He would like to be a police officer or race car driver when he grows up. Phillip, 7, is good at fishing and reading. He enjoys art in school. Both brothers would benefit from a family that is structured. To learn more about adoption, visit or call 877-457-5430. The boy’s case numbers are CH-5871 & CH-5872. | | The Star

Volunteers fanned out to area parks, walking trails and streams in Kansas City and Lee’s Summit on Saturday to do some spring cleaning. The three late winter snowstorms that hit the area pushed tons of trash, rusted toys, tires, bottles and debris up and beyond the banks of area waterways, such as Indian Creek in south Kansas City, and onto parkland near walking and bicycle trails. “I have never seen it quite so bad. The snow hides the litter so people don’t see it,” said Leslie Alford, executive director of the Blue River Watershed Association. Alford helped organize a cleanup crew in south Kansas City. “It just sits there until now when it shows up.” On Saturday, volunteers met at the Trailside Center at 99th Street and Holmes Road and collected trash on the walking trail along Indian Creek. The pleasant weather on Satur-


Bob Beauchamp (left), Chris Campo and Eric Theis were among the hundreds of volunteers cleaning up along the Blue River watershed Saturday during the annual Blue River Rescue project.

day was ideal. Alford said it was important to collect the debris early in the season before poison ivy and other vegetation begin to grow. “If you don’t pick this up and everything grows, it just hides it and then next winter you see more of it,” she said. The cleanup area was expanded

because earlier this year participants with the Great Backyard Bird Count noticed dozens of bottles containing shampoo, conditioner and other haircare products had been dumped near the creek. “I wish people would be a bit more cognizant of their environ-







LEGISLATURE: Recap of bills FROM A4

nues grow by more than 2 percent year to year. These bills have been sent to the governor: ❚ Abortion. A bill passed Friday defines life as beginning at fertilization, which some contend could eventually lead to banning common methods of birth control. The bill also prohibits women from deducting abortion-related costs as medical expenses on state income taxes and prevents Planned Parenthood and others from providing information on human sexuality in schools. ❚ Drug tests. Legislation to require drug tests of welfare and unemployment recipients suspected of illegal drug use got strong support from lawmakers. Those who fail lose benefits until they finish treatment and job skills training. Those convicted of drug felonies can’t get welfare for five years. A second conviction results in a lifetime ban. ❚ Education reform. Lawmakers generally agree with Brownback’s push to improve reading, but his proposal to hold back thirdgraders who can’t pass reading tests failed. Teachers groups and other advocates said it could cause problems and that such efforts must start at a younger age. A revived version of the plan allows parents and school officials to decide whether to hold back first-graders who have reading problems. Another bill headed to Brownback’s desk lets 10 percent of the state’s schools try out innovative teaching efforts with less state regulation. ❚ Guns. School boards could designate teachers and other employees to carry concealed weapons. And concealed weapons could be carried inside any public building that does not have security guards and metal detectors at public entrances, although local governments would have four years to set such security up. A second gun bill aims to protect any guns made and kept in Kansas from federal regulation, despite concerns that federal law trumps state law. ❚ Human trafficking. Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt strongly backed a bill that would create a victims’ assistance fund and tough new penalties for selling kids into prostitution. The bill, which draws on methods used in Wichita, passed the Senate 38-0 and the House 120-0. ❚ Phone service. A bill written by AT&T relieves the company and some others from having to comply with minimum quality of service standards. The bill allows telecommunications companies to shut down wireline service to difficultto-serve rural customers and to opt out of serving poor customers receiving

Lifeline subsidies. It also pares back the authority of the Kansas Corporation Commission to regulate fraud and other abusive practices. Some legislation has al-

ready been signed: ❚ Judicial reform. Brownback used his first signature of the year to approve a bill that will let the governor pick judges, subject to Senate confirmation. Brown-

back’s administration and some conservative Republicans had hoped to pass a bill to let voters consider a constitutional amendment to provide the same selection process for state Supreme

Court judges. But the idea failed to gain traction. ❚ Rape. A new law eliminates the statute of limitations for rape and criminal sodomy and extends the statute for sexually violent crimes until 10 years after child victims turn 18. ❚ Unions. Public unions will no longer be allowed to

deduct money for political activity from the checks of workers who voluntarily allow such deductions. Supporters said they wanted the government out of the process of the deductions. Teachers unions saw the bill as the opening blow of a wider attempt to weaken unions.

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PIPELINES: Improved valves stop flow of gas automatically FROM A1

and relighting pilot lights. “It takes time and money, and they’re reluctant to use them, especially when there is cold weather,” said Richard Kuprewicz, president of Accufacts Inc., a Redmond, Wash., pipeline safety firm. In recent gas-leak blasts, shutoff valves weren’t used. Instead of shutting the valves when the smell of gas was in the air before the February blast that leveled JJ’s restaurant, Missouri Gas Energy waited for a backhoe to arrive from Raymore — more than 20 miles away — in a failed attempt to vent the leak. A waitress was killed and several people were injured. Last year, Kansas Gas Service took hours to stop a leak in Topeka instead of using a shutoff valve. In the follow-up investigation, state regulators wondered why the shutoff valves weren’t closed. Regulators and industry watchdogs have the same concerns about deadly gasleak incidents from California to Pennsylvania. Missouri Gas Energy and Kansas Gas Service declined to comment for this article. The industry has previously pointed out that pipeline safety has improved and that serious incidents and fatalities are down from a decade ago. In a safety statement posted on its website, American Gas Association, a trade group, said the highest priority is placed on safety.

Shutoff valves everywhere — almost

SHUTTING OFF THE GAS There are three main components in the natural gas network. Transmission, distribution and service lines transport the gas from wellhead to customers. Thousands of miles of natural gas lines crisscross the Kansas City region. Each section of the line has valves that can be opened or closed. Here are the shutoff valves in place for each: TRANSMISSION LINE Large, high-strength, welded-steel pipes transport gas from wells to local gas utilities in Kansas City.

DISTRIBUTION LINE Also called “mains,” these smaller steel, cast iron or plastic pipes carry gas thoughout the city in an underground network.

SERVICE LINE These even-smaller pipes are made from steel, plastic or copper. They carry gas into homes and businesses.



Service line

Gas flow Valve

Manually controlled valves are spaced out along the sections of pipeline. In some areas, technicians at control centers can remotely operate shutoff valves.

Shutoff valves are manually controlled. Workers can access valves at certain points along the network. A special tool reaches down to the valve to turn it off.

Shutoff valves used to be found at both the meter and curb. But utilities have been removing the curb valves. Newer lines at residences have a valve that closes automatically. THE KANSAS CITY STAR

@Go to

TYPES OF PIPES Area gas utilities are using more plastic pipe to transport natural gas. However, plastic pipe is more vulnerable to accidental damage from digging. NOTE: CP stands for cathodic protection (electric current to prevent corrosion).



CP bare steel 1,148 Shutoff valves are sprinCP coated steel kled along every part of the 3,569 country’s natural gas pipePlastic 3,481 line network. Plastic Cast iron 347 They stud the huge, high468,457 pressure interstate transmisCopper .12 sion pipelines that carry gas from wells to cities. They’re spaced along the distribuKansas Gas Service Other* tion lines that run down 114,632 streets and feed the individCP bare steel 1,863 ual service lines for your CP coated steel 3,849 home or business. They’re at the gas meters Plastic 5,137 that regulate the flow of gas Cast iron 107 to furnaces and water heatPlastic Ductile iron 2.3 ers. 512,701 In addition to the relucUnprotected bare 324 tance from utilities to use and coated steel them and the reduced num* Includes unprotected bare steel, unprotected coated steel, CP bare ber of curb valves, a review steel and CP coated steel. of the use of shutoff valves Source: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration by The Kansas City Star found other issues: THE KANSAS CITY STAR ❚ While utilities are required to have easily accesAfter the JJs blast, the utilsible shutoff valves on their toughen the federal stanity declined to say why its main distribution lines, loos- dards. The federal standards re- crew didn’t use the shutoff ely worded regulations govern the spacing of the valves, quire that utilities be valves, and it hasn’t disand that determination is of- “prompt and effective” cussed the explosion since ten left up to utilities. That when responding to gas then because it’s still under allows them to be spaced leaks, and utilities get plenty investigation. Utility workers are the only ones altoo far apart to quickly stop of practice. In 2011 on just their distri- lowed to turn the shutoff the flow of gas in a leak. ❚ Interstate transmission bution lines down streets, valves on those distribution pipelines that crisscross the Missouri Gas Energy and lines. country — there’s one run- Kansas Gas Service responning right beneath the Kan- ded to an average of six leaks Spacing is a key sas City area — rely on a week that were deemed to Knepper, who runs the manually operated shutoff be potentially hazardous to pipeline safety program for valves that have to be people or property. the New Hampshire Public cranked shut by hand. ReTheir response has to be Utilities Commission, said mote or automatic valves on 100 percent right, said Ran- many utilities are left to dethe high-pressure pipelines dy Knepper, vice chairman termine the spacing of shutwork faster, but many in the of the National Association off valves on their own. His pipeline industry have re- of Pipeline Safety Represen- state does limit the number sisted installing them. tatives. of customers that can be afIn 2010 in San Bruno, Cal“They’re the last people to fected when a shutoff valve if., a big transmission pipe make the tackle,” he said. “If is used. burst, and utility workers they don’t do it right, bad The spacing is important struggled for an hour and a things can happen.” because once the valve is half to shut down the pipe Shutoff valves have a place closed, it takes time for the with a manual valve. A huge in the emergency plans gas to bleed out of the isolatexplosion killed eight peo- crafted by each pipeline op- ed pipe. Pipeline software ple, a grim example of the erator, but utilities like Kan- programs calculate the time dangers, especially in pop- sas Gas Service call them an it takes for the gas to stop ulated areas. option. flowing and account for Some pipeline operators, Other methods are often such factors as the level of including the company in- preferred, including venting pressure on the line. volved in the San Bruno the leak so it won’t become The higher the pressure, blast, have dropped their op- combustible. Or digging the more gas there is in a position to remote or auto- holes to crimp both ends of section of pipe and the closmatic valves. But the indus- a pipe to stop the flow of gas er the valves need to be. try in general still questions to the leak. Federal regulations retheir usefulness. In most cases, those meth- quire only that valves need ods work well. But disasters to be spaced to reduce the Regulations not like JJ’s beg the question time to cut the gas flow. stringent about why shutoff valves on Missouri toughens the The Pipeline and Hazard- distribution lines aren’t used federal standard with some specifics. A shutoff valve ous Materials Safety Admin- more often. That leak, in a high-pres- can’t affect an area any istration, part of the Department of Transportation, reg- sure distribution line in the larger than it would take to ulates most of the transmis- street, exploded about 70 restore service in eight sion lines draining the minutes after it was first re- hours. That seeks to ensure country’s natural gas fields. ported, while MGE had just the valves are adequately It also sets minimum safety started digging holes to vent spaced, but the calculation is standards for pipelines oper- it. Another couple of hours still left up to the utility. elapsed as two holes were After a 1989 gas-leak inciated by utilities. But the utility pipelines dug and a block-long piece dent, Kansas required a are directly overseen by of pipe was plugged or shutoff valve for residential subdivisions of 25 or more state regulators, who could crimped.

for a photo gallery.

homes, but otherwise also lets the utility space the valves. But that stance is being reconsidered after a gas explosion last year in Topeka that killed an 81-year-old woman. Kansas Gas Service spent hours after the blast digging holes and plugging a pipeline instead of using shutoff valves. In some instances, that could have been enough time to allow gas to migrate to other homes and cause more explosions, said Leo Haynos, chief of pipeline safety for the Kansas Corporation Commission. The utility, in documents filed with the KCC, stated that its response to the leak was appropriate and that it had made checks to determine whether the gas was migrating. But Haynos said, “I’m a little concerned that four and a half hours is too long. That’s why we’re taking a hard look” at the spacing regulations. If Kansas Gas Service had used the shutoff valves, 419 customers would have been denied gas. The course it took affected 77. Haynos said the spacing requirement may need to be tightened so that a shutdown wouldn’t affect as many customers. That could encourage utilities to use them more often. One possibility: Places such as hospitals or schools would have shutoff valves on the main line within a specified distance. If a leak endangered a hospital or school, utilities could use those valves without affecting too many surrounding customers. “I think we’re headed in that direction,” Haynos said.

The curb valve debate When it comes to curb valves, the issue isn’t where they’re placed but whether they are placed at all. The federal standard requires just one outside shutoff valve before the service line enters a building. But Kansas City neighborhoods were once chock-full of shutoff valves on individual services lines — at the curb and at the meter. Gillis Werner, who installs and services heating and air conditioning equipment, was worried several years ago as he watched MGE replace old gas lines in his Midtown neighborhood and leave out the curb valves. “I thought that was a problem,” he said. In 2000, Missouri regulators endorsed the utility’s decision to drop curb valves when it replaced old lines or installed new lines. The issue, however, had the attention of a citizen group in Kansas City that included Werner. A natural

gas explosion in 1999 that in- ment studies conclude that jured 10 people had stirred the majority of injuries, concerns about MGE and a deaths and property damage committee under the um- occur so quickly after a huge brella of a community group rupture — in as little as 30 was formed to look at its seconds — that faster valves safety practices. wouldn’t make a difference. High-pressure gas lines The industry argues that the were being laid in various valves, costing as much as $1 neighborhoods, including million for the largest pipes, Hyde Park, and the lack of wouldn’t be cost-effective. curb valves was of particular But safety advocates said interest to James Duddy, that, especially in urban arthen an assistant fire mar- eas, using automatic or reshal for the Kansas City Fire mote-controlled valves inDepartment. stead of manual ones could Duddy, who was assisting limit property damage and the midtown committee in save lives. its review of MGE, died last Transmission lines have year. But he left behind doc- diameters measured in feet uments stating his view that and operate under very high curb valves were important pressure, making shutoff because a fire can make it valves, manual or automatic, difficult to reach the shutoff the go-to solution when valve on the meter, which is there is a leak. typically close to the buildFederal regulators don’t ing. mandate which type of shutThe committee ap- off valves must be used, but proached MGE about its they do require a minimum concerns but nothing much spacing. In densely packed changed. In retrospect, said urban areas, there has to be one committee member, one at least every five miles. while there also were other In other areas, they can be concerns about the utility’s 10 to 20 miles apart. pipelines, the shutoff valves The country’s network of were a big one. transmission lines is exten“It boils down to enough sive. Southern Star Central valves and not being scared Gas Pipeline, which serves to use them,” said Larry the Midwest, has 870 miles Dade, who also owns several of pipeline in Missouri. apartment buildings in the Their customers include area. MGE and Kansas City PowSafety experts say a quick er & Light, which uses natushutoff for the service line is ral gas to generate electriciimportant because among ty. other things they can be Southern’s route through nicked by excavators. the area includes segments As for removing curb that go through Raytown valves, Kuprewicz, the pipe- and Independence and unline safety consultant, asks: der Interstate 70. Another “Is it legal? Yes. Is it risk- goes across northern Wyanier? Yes.” dotte County. As the industry removed In the last decade, the curb valves, an improved re- company had two pipeline placement for them was de- ruptures in Kansas serious layed by the industry for enough to report to federal several years. regulators: one in Reno After a series of natural County, in a pipeline built in gas incidents in the Kansas 1929, and another south of City and Topeka areas in Lawrence. Neither incident just a few months in 1989, caused deaths nor injuries. the National Transportation Those leaks were stopped Safety Board proposed that with manual shutoff valves, so-called excess-flow valves although the company now be installed near the curb on uses remote shutoffs in individual service lines. some locations and said it Those valves can sense plans to install some in the the increased flow of gas Kansas City area this year. when a line breaks and then “This can reduce response automatically snap the line times to address pipeline inshut. cidents, particularly in areas But the safety board’s 1990 where traffic or pedestrian call to mandate them met congestion or weather with fierce opposition. might be a factor,” said Rob The industry, including Carlton, vice president and the American Gas Associ- chief compliance officer for ation, a trade group, blasted Southern. the idea, saying they cost too But the industry overall much and there were no as- still opposes any mandate to surances that they would use them. work as promised. MGE, in a The Interstate Natural letter to the citizen commit- Gas Association of America, tee, said they wouldn’t im- in a letter to federal regulaprove pipeline safety. tors late last year, reiterated The industry opposition that most of the damage is delayed the change until done in the first few sec2008, and then only for new onds. Faster valves would allines — either new replace- low firefighters earlier acment lines or lines to new cess, and that could prevent homes. some property damage but The valves turned out to would do little to protect cost as little as $20 installed, people. but their use remains spotty, In addition, it said, the in part because many utili- cost savings from preventties had largely completed ing property damage would replacing lines. be relatively small, although MGE and other utilities the association acknowlhave now begun installing edged the loss of a home to them, but their numbers re- its owner is catastrophic. main relatively small. “This difference in perMGE, which has more ception needs to be adthan 500,000 customers, had dressed,” said Dan Regan, installed 7,668 of the valves the association’s regulatory by the end of 2011. attorney, in a letter. Kansas Gas Service, which But the explosion in San has more than 600,000 cus- Bruno that killed eight peotomers, has 127,000 of the ple and injured several more valves installed. may have shifted the debate Industry support to ex- over faster valves. Federal pand the mandate beyond regulators are now mulling new lines remains qualified. over making the faster The American Gas Asso- valves mandatory, if feasible. ciation says its “commitAfer that blast, the NTSB ment to enhancing safety” blamed Pacific Gas & Elecincludes support for ex- tric for taking 95 minutes to panding the use of excess- stop the flow of gas. It said flow valves to new and/or the use of either automatic replacement lines to small or remote-controlled valves apartment buildings and would have reduced the risk small commercial buildings to people and limited propwhen “economically, techni- erty damage. cally and operationally feasiPG&E had been an oppoble.” nent of the faster valves. But in 2012, it installed 46 of Transmission line them and this year plans to dangers install another 75 automatic If a large transmission or remote-controlled shutoff pipeline carrying gas into a valves. “We can’t have another city ruptured, it would seem that a really quick shutoff San Bruno,” said Brittany Chord, a spokeswoman for valve would be a good idea. But most pipeline oper- the company. ators contend that it really To reach Steve Everly, call wouldn’t matter much. 816-234-4455 or send email Both industry and govern- to





DRONE: Debate over privacy concerns versus benefits rages on FROM A1

than 10,000 drones will be working overhead for American businesses. Some say the number might soar as high as 30,000. That’s a lot of cameras staring down, some with infrared imaging, swiveling to see ever more. Every day advancements are made in the technology. As the machines become more weather-proof, with longer battery life, lighter, smaller, even bug-sized, the list of possible uses — and concerns — grows. Drones for “commercial” use are strictly banned, and the FAA has a certification process for applications beyond hobbyist uses. Several hundred certificates have been issued, mostly to government entities and to commercial operators and universities for “experimental” purposes. “Europe and Asia are flying rings around us,” said Patrick Egan, a director at the Remote Controlled Aerial Photography Association. Already, he said, Japan has issued 14,000 drone permits — mostly used for farming. Last month in London, 30 quad-copters flew in formation above the darkened London Bridge. Their mission? Create a glittering logo in the night skies promoting the next Star Trek movie. This could not be done over Hollywood or New York Harbor. The FAA is under orders to open U.S. skies to commercial drones by late 2015, and it’s in the process of writing the rules. But two years is an unprofitable eternity for an industry already exploding in other countries. A recent report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts an economic impact of $13.6 billion in the first three years of the integration of drones into our airspace. No wonder more rogue drones are appearing week after week. “Some people are taking their chances and doing it anyway,” said Egan. “The FAA’s enforcement is inconsistent, but people are finding the loopholes in the rules.”

Current drone images Jump on YouTube to see all the dizzying angles, the sweeping visuals that hobbyists are filming with drones. Drones circle the Statue of Liberty and dart under the Golden Gate Bridge; one locally made video comes from buzzing the Gardner water tower. Last week, the FAA grounded a Minnesota business, Fly Boys Aerial Cinematography, after someone alerted the agency. On March 25, some people say the first published drone photo in a newspaper (at least in Missouri) appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The photographer, Chris Lee, an unmanned aerial vehicle hobbyist, used his own machine and his


University of Missouri students guide a quad-copter drone off the ground at Columbia's Hinkson Field. Students also must learn federal aviation regulations.

With guidance from a professor, an MU student steers a quad-copter during practice flights.

Bill Allen, assistant professor of science journalism at the University of Missouri (center), discussed story ideas with his students as part of the drone journalism program at Mizzou.

personal camera on his day off to take a panoramic shot of a sledding hill. But a few years back, the News Corp’s iPad newspaper used what was called “a journalistic secret weapon” to record flooding over Alabama, Missouri and North Dakota. The FAA sent the group a letter with a warning, according to Reuters. That was hardly as serious as the FBI investigation about a drone that last month came within 200 feet of a commercial jet landing at New York’s JFK airport. (Or as serious as the case of the Massachusetts man who plotted to load the explosive C-4 on three remote-controlled airplanes for an attack on Washington, D.C. He got 17 years in prison.) Last year, the NFL petitioned the FAA to speed up regulations for commercial

users. The Motion Picture Association of America has been lobbying the FAA for access for years. Television viewers already are watching drone-recorded video, experts say, such as in shows like “Survivor,” filmed in other countries. Rumors began late last year that TMZ, the television tabloid gossip site, was seeking drones. “While drones are, in fact, awesome,” TMZ responded, “it just ain’t true.” Mizzou’s journalism drone course — where the students practice with smaller toys that they call Baby Jayhawks because they crash all the time — is not the first. The University of Nebraska began teaching theirs last year. “You are pioneers,” says Bill Allen, an assistant professor of science journalism

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at Columbia, where journalism ethics are drilled into the ground pilots along with federal aviation regulations. “You don’t want to blow it by flouting the FAA rules.” At another point, he said, “Years from now, I don’t want to hear about a reporter who crossed the line and then find out that he was one of ours.”

The issue of privacy The Senate Judiciary Committee held drone hearings about two weeks ago, and the hot topic was privacy. More than 30 state legislatures, including in Missouri and Kansas, are looking at new laws to regulate unmanned aerial systems, particularly those launched by government agencies but also by commercial businesses, the media and individuals. To Missouri state Rep. Casey Guernsey, a family farmer in northwest Missouri, drones are a threat. “It’s very exciting to see

how all of these applications tems industry has a different can be used in the business message: Privacy issues are of farming, especially in the overblown, and drones can state of Missouri,” he said. deliver jobs. The report by the Associ“But in terms of government surveillance, that’s a whole ation for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International prodifferent ballgame. “An individual’s privacy is jects more than $82 billion sacred and needs to be kept in economic impact by 2025, sacred. We can’t do too with 100,000 new jobs. That assumes the adoption of much to protect that.” He proposed a bill, the “sensible regulations.” Kansas is among the top “Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance 10 states expected to reap Act,” in response to news the most benefits. (A prolast year about the Environ- gram at K-State in Salina is mental Protection Agency’s competing to be one of the aerial surveillance of cattle six test sites authorized for farms in Iowa and Nebraska. drones by the FAA.) Regions with established However, the EPA said its observations were made aerospace industries are from piloted planes, not projected to do well, and 90 percent of the promising drones. The measure, which commercial markets are in passed the House by 87-66 precision agriculture and Thursday, would make it il- public safety. Now is the time to prolegal to use drones for surveillance of individuals or mote unmanned systems, property without consent, not hamper them, especially except for certain law en- in the face of international forcement purposes. The competition, said Michael measure also restricts the Toscano, AUVSI president use of drones by news orga- and CEO. Although privacy issues get the most attennizations. Testifying in favor of the tion, the potential benefits Guernsey bill was the Amer- of drones need to be emphaican Civil Liberties Union of sized, he said. “This technology allows Eastern Missouri, a group the Republican typically us to extend our eyes and doesn’t expect as a support- ears and hands — and our minds as well,” said Toscaer. But the ACLU isn’t the on- no, who recited all the ways ly privacy group unsettled he’s seen it work. Robert Blair, an Idaho by drones. Amie Stepanovich is the director of the do- farmer, is tired of naysayers mestic surveillance project who only see a boogeyman for the Electronic Privacy in the technology. UnInformation Center, a leader manned aerial vehicles “are in calling for new privacy a platform to gather data. We need this technology now. protections. Drones, said Stepanovich, Our government has gotten “are almost a breeding in the way.” Blair writes a blog called ground for surveillance. Automatic license plate read- the Unmanned Farmer, and ers, motion detectors, the he sees drones as the next list goes on. And they are evolution of precision agriculture, which uses technolcheap to own and operate.” Seattle police dropped a ogy to gather a cascade of planned drone program in information that reduces February following a com- costs, increases productivity munity outcry over privacy and reduces environmental concerns. Bills in Indiana impacts. Farmers only get a look at and Nebraska would restrict some law enforcement uses a small proportion of their fields by observing on foot of drones. When technology is or driving around them. cheap, people tend to use it Drones can provide aerial more, and that’s one of the surveillance of crops at a chief reasons additional pri- fraction of the cost of pilotvacy protections are needed, ed planes. “We’ll be able to see gradStepanovich said. Brookstone sells a quad-copter for ual changes in crops, insects, disease, weeds, overall plant $300. There’s also the matter of health,” he said. Just tweaking fertilizer degree. Some argue that public cameras are watching rates based on information us all the time anyway, but from drones can easily save Stepanovich says even a 20 to 25 percent in nutrient string of building and street- costs, Blair said. Multiplied level cameras have an “end- over several thousand acres of farmland, that’s tens of ing place.” “And drones can do it in a thousands of dollars in savway that’s quiet, unseen, un- ings. To him, drones are on a noticed by the individual,” par with Eli Whitney’s cotshe said. Although there are statu- ton gin and John Deere’s tes and case law that cover plow. “There are few points in privacy matters, it would be best for all if the laws were history when someone in an written specifically to this industry can see a long-lasting change like this.” technology, she said. “You could promote the To reach Edward M. Eveld, technology while still mak- call 816-234-4442 or send ing sure people’s rights are email to protected,” she said. To reach Lee Hill Kavanaugh,

Potential benefits The unmanned aerial sys-

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April 7, 2013

the mag interview BY CINDY HOEDEL


Mental Health America of the Heartland, The Beyond the Blues fundraiser ( that benefits the organization is April 20. This conversation took place at Lewis’ office in Kansas City, Kan. You serve nine counties in Kansas and Missouri. How much of your job is being in Topeka and Jefferson City, working with the two legislatures, and how much is serving mentally ill people? We do not offer services in the form of psychiatrists and case workers. We help people get connected to those services and to support and recovery groups. We have a library of books and brochures people can borrow to learn more about mental illness. That said, we do offer direct services in the form of housing. We own and operate four supportive housing complexes that serve people who have a disability and are homeless. Can you give an example of someone who recently called for help? I got a call from a gentleman last week who lives out of town, but his mother lives here. She is having profound difficulties with mental health issues as well as menopausal issues and trauma. He’s trying to figure out where she can go for help, and who will take her insurance. That is probably 70 percent of our work. I spend an average of 10 to 15 hours a week in Topeka or Jefferson City or working on national policy issues. How are the cultures different at the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City? That is the world’s most loaded question. I’ve been in this position 15 years and when I first got here, Kansas was a star in comparison to Missouri in terms of services and initiatives. It has gone back and forth over the years. I used to say one of the two states was misguided and the other one was mean, and it seems to have


April 7, 2013

flipped. Part of what is going on is, it takes a very long time to get new legislators to understand how mental illnesses work. It is something that is incredibly common, but it isn’t something you see, like you see someone using a wheelchair. Particularly you don’t see the people with mental illness who are doing well. (Mental illness affects) one in four of us. The word “recovery” causes problems because legislators think people are “fixed,” so they shouldn’t require services. They don’t understand it is a life-long condition like diabetes. What did you think when Gov. Sam Brownback said that after Sandy Hook he was ordering a review of what Kansas is doing for mental health? I’m very glad that he’s reviewing this. It is crucially important. It is equally important to recognize that we do know what works in mental health. A significant part of our problem is that we have dramatically cut funding. It is like saying we are going to cut insulin supplies by 50 percent and insist that diabetics manage with that. The funding that we’ve cut is primarily the funding that supports the uninsured. And that is not the guy on the street who smells bad — that guy probably has Medicaid or Medicare. The uninsured are the lady checking out your groceries at Wal-Mart and your waitress who probably has three jobs and your truck driving father-in-law who may have gotten laid off from another job and can’t afford COBRA premiums. These are the folks who have suf-

fered the most in the economic downturn, and because stress intensifies mental illness, they need services now more than ever. The $10 million that has been discussed is money that was already there and scheduled to be cut. At minimum, restoration of the cuts that have been made previously is essential. Otherwise you are just moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. What are the results you are seeing on the ground in Kansas as a result of the cutbacks over the past few years? Long waiting lists to get a psychiatrist appointment. You can get a walk-in crisis appointment, and I’m glad of that, but you can’t get a hospital bed. We would not tolerate that for any other medical condition. What is the state of things in Missouri? We are doing a lot better on the Missouri side. In Missouri, we have a governor who grasps that this is not just about mental health — it is about the economy. How so? How much Missouri and Kansas taxpayer money are you willing to send to New York City because they are expanding mental health care — and creating jobs doing it? Our federal tax dollars will go straight to New York City to help the working uninsured poor there instead of the working uninsured poor in Missouri and Kansas. Reach Cindy Hoedel at Follow her on Facebook, or Twitter @cindyhoedel.

MORE HELP For information on mental health services in the metro area, call 913-281-222. For the Compassionate Ear support talk line, call 913-281-2251 from 4 to 10 p.m. daily.




TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013

Our annual ranking of public companies shows which ones are hitting their targets and scoring big.

SPORTS DAILY Reliever Greg Holland gave up a run in the ninth and the Royals let one slip away 2-1 to the White Sox. | B1



PARTY BUS TRAGEDY | Interstate scoured for clues to fatal fall

In an instant, death struck

SENATE BACKS ONLINE TAX Supporters say change is needed to even playing field between stores and online-only businesses. By LINDSAY WISE The Star’s Washington correspondent



Investigators restricted Interstate 35 traffic Monday from 18th Street to Southwest Boulevard to map the location where a passenger fell out of a party bus Saturday night. The accident killed Jamie Frecks of Kansas City, Kan.

It now seems likely that at least four vehicles struck the victim after she landed on the roadway. By MARK MORRIS The Kansas City Star

With steady traffic closely following behind, Jamie Frecks didn’t stand a chance after she tumbled out the emergency door of a party bus on Interstate 35 Saturday night, police and witnesses said. Four or more vehicles likely struck Frecks, 26, after she landed on the pavement, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper said. Authorities intensified their investigation Monday by restricting traffic on the interstate from 18th Street to Southwest Boulevard to map the site, and issuing a call to any driver who could help reconstruct the accident. Statements from more than

a dozen riders on the Midnight Express conflicted about the number of vehicles that struck Frecks, said Trooper Howard Dickinson. But it likely was “up to four or more times,” Dickinson said. The initial report had suggested three hits. One driver stopped, Dickinson said. “We have some witness statements, but it happened very fast,” Dickinson said. “She was there and then she wasn’t.” Little has been released about what activities were going on inside the party bus before the incident, but such buses often are used to ferry groups of partiers to bars and restaurants while keeping them from behind the wheel

KC chef is now Midwest’s best Colby Garrelts takes home the prestigious James Beard award.

“Cars were following too close. When she fell out she was doomed.” BILL ALLEN, MOTORIST

INSIDE Authorities searched for answers Monday to what sparked a limousine fire and why five victims could not escape the flames. | A2

after they’ve been drinking. The buses are popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate events, weddings and even proms. Motorist Bill Allen of Kansas City said he and his wife came upon the accident about two minutes after it happened just before 10 p.m. “Cars were speeding by us, and we were traveling the speed limit, and the cars were

Seven is chef Colby Garrelts’ lucky number. Champagne corks popped simultaneously in New York City and Kansas City as Garrelts — who owns Bluestem and Rye with his wife/pastry chef Megan Garrelts — celebrated his first James Beard win as Best Chef of the Midwest. The annual James Beard Garrelts awards gala held Monday night at Lincoln Center is the culinary world’s equivalent of the Oscars. The red carpet crowd included such legendary name-brand chefs as Jacques Pepin, Ma-

Jessica Ratcliff figured her family’s home was worth more than it was listed for on the tax rolls. But five times more? That’s what Jackson County contends as Ratcliff and other property owners this week began receiving assessment notices. For some of those who had received a visit from the assessor’s office, the results were jaw-dropping. “No way is it worth that much,” Ratcliff said of her three-bedroom house, which the county says is worth $229,000. It was on the rolls




INSIDE THE STAR Three women who went missing separately about a decade ago, when they were in their teens or early 20s, were found alive in a residential area in Cleveland. | A7

Startled Jackson Countians see boosts of more than 50% — sometimes a lot more. By MIKE HENDRICKS The Kansas City Star



bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes for online purchases passed the Senate on Monday with bipartisan support, but it faces a tougher hurdle in the House. The Marketplace Fairness Act sailed through the Senate 69-27 without going through the usual committee process. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, took the legislation directly to the floor last month, bypassing the Senate Finance Committee, which is led by a prominent opponent of the bill, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. But in the Republican-ruled House, members will be more reluctant to vote for anything that looks like a new tax, and the legislation will have to clear the House Judiciary Committee. Its chairman, Republican Rep. Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, has expressed concerns that the bill could hurt small businesses and, as written, is too complicated to navigate. “While it attempts to make tax collection simpler, it still has a long way to go,” Goodlatte said in a statement. President Barack Obama has conveyed his support for the measure. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has not commented publicly about the bill, giving supporters hope that he could be won over. Current laws allow states to collect taxes only from retailers with physical presences

Homeowners stunned by assessments

By JILL SILVA The Kansas City Star


following too close,” Allen said. “When she fell out she was doomed.” Also Monday, troopers obtained warrants allowing them to conduct a full safety inspection on the 1999 Ford shuttle bus, which had been outfitted as a party bus with stereo, a cooler storage area and dance pole, according to the bus company’s website. Some area party buses feature tinted windows, dance floors, bright lights and loud music. Legal-age riders can bring their own alcohol. Frecks, a new mother engaged to be married, was part of a bachelorette party that included 15 other women, all in their 20s and 30s, according to a preliminary accident report. Midnight Express owners did not return calls from The






James and Jessica Ratcliff were stunned when their home assessment soared from $48,000 to $229,000. With them are daughters Josephine (left) and Pearl.

for $48,000 in 2012. The Ratcliffs aren’t alone in feeling stung. Their next-door MOVIES D2


neighbor, Mary Jones, saw her valuation double, and so it has gone across a large swath of




Kansas City, as well as pockets of Lee’s Summit, Grandview and Blue Springs. By the end of the week, roughly 70,000 homeowners will have learned whether the county assessor’s office felt the need to increase, decrease or hold steady the market value of their houses for tax purposes, said county spokesman Jeph Burroughs-Scanlon. Roughly the same number got the bad or good news during the last reassessment cycle in 2011, while another 70,000 will be reassessed in 2015. The three-stage program begun under County Executive Mike Sanders is meant to bring taxable values in line with market realities after SEE HOMES | A6


133RD YEAR | NO. 232 | 4 SECTIONS


TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013



They’re just having a field day About 2,000 students are competing in the annual Shawnee Mission School District Olympic Festival for sixth-graders, being held Monday and today at the Shawnee Mission South stadium. Visit for a photo gallery.



FATAL FIRE | Victim was desperately searching for children, who were pulled safely from inferno






new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine shows that expanding Medicaid might ease financial worries for its newly covered recipients, but would not necessarily make them physically healthier. “Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes in the first 2 years,” the authors concluded after studying Oregon’s Medicaid system. “It did increase use of health care services.” Some have disputed the findings, and the study did show some benefits: Doctors found diabetes earlier, potentially making patients healthier in the long run. Depression was also reduced. State legislatures — including those in Kansas and Missouri — have spent the spring arguing about expanding access to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor. Republicans across the country say the Oregon study shows the fallacy of an expansion: It would cost billions, they say, without helping people get better. The study certainly suggests that. But it may show us something more: that while the entire Affordable Care Act may change the way we pay our medical bills, it won’t change the health care we receive. Medicaid isn’t health care, after all. It’s health insurance. So the Oregon study really implies no health insurance, public or private, actually improves health outcomes. That seems absurd. It means those with insurance coverage are no healthier than those without. In a weird way, though, it makes sense. Doctors and other providers treat patients. They either do a good job or they don’t. There has been a lot of hand-wringing this spring about the lack of preparation for the coming of Obamacare. You hear the phrase “train wreck” a lot. But even if officials could implement Obamacare perfectly, it seems we’ll still be sick — as sick as we would be without Obamacare’s goal of insurance coverage for almost everyone. That’s the real train wreck. Ten years from now, after spending hundreds of billions of dollars, we’ll all have more insurance, but we’ll be as sick as if we had changed nothing. America’s nearly $3 trillion health care industry is confusing, opaque, expensive and unfair. It lands at the intersection of poor personal choices, obscure fee-forservice pricing, profit motives, a byzantine regulatory structure and accidents of history. Obamacare does nothing to cure that, which Oregon may know, and we’re all about to discover.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to


An early morning fire gutted a one-story home near East 54th Street and Chestnut Avenue on Monday, causing the death of a Kansas City man. Friends and family later gathered to mourn outside the house. The victim was 31-year-old Terence Mosby Jr.

Family mourns the loss of a rap artist who “chose to stay close to God” in his music, relatives say. By BRIAN BURNES and ROBERT A. CRONKLETON The Kansas City Star

T Firefighters and investigators sifted through the remains of the burned-out house Monday. A family member attributed the fire to a space heater.

wo cousins ran through the fire and smoke, trying to save two children as their Kansas City house burned Monday. Phillip Mathis III found the two boys, ages 5 and 9, and led them to safety. But smoke apparently overcame the boys’ 31-year-old father, Terence Mosby Jr., who died. “My son tried to get back in and save them,” said Mosby’s

mother, Teresa Mosby. “He didn’t know that Phillip had taken the two boys out the back window.” Both men are heroes to their families and friends. Mathis was being treated at a hospital Monday for smoke inhalation, Teresa Mosby said. The fire also injured Brandi Mosby, the wife of Terence Jr. and the mother of the two boys, Teresa Mosby said. She was being treated in the intensive care unit of the University of Kansas Hospital burn center, she said. Brandi and Terence had been married for 12 years, she said. The children escaped without SEE FIRE | A6

Murder suspect Google Fiber makes inroads found dead in jail By GLENN E. RICE The Kansas City Star

A 45-year-old man accused in the slaying of a South Carolina pediatrician was found dead in a jail cell Monday, according to Johnson County authorities. John Meredith Hodges, who was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Franchesca D. Brown, was discovered unresponsive by deputies around noon. Jail medical staff and Med-Act workers tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him. Hodges No other details surrounding the death were immediately available. The incident is being investigated as a suicide, according to Master Deputy Tom Erickson. Brown, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., was in Overland Park in early September to attend a medical conference at the Hawthorne Suites, 11400 College Blvd. She was last seen, accompanied by a man, at a Sept. 3 opening social gathering for the conference. Brown was expected home in South Carolina on Sept. 8. When she did not arrive, her family contacted police. Authorities discovered her body Sept. 12 in a wooded area near the hotel. Police said Hodges and Brown had an off-and-on relationship, and she may have invited him to meet her at the conference. Hodges later told detectives that he strangled Brown during a spontaneous argument inside her hotel room. Brown’s hands and feet were bound with zip ties, and her body was wrapped in multiple layers of plastic bags, duct tape and a tarp, according to court testimony. Authorities said Brown died from either strangulation or suffocation. Hodges was arrested in South America. In addition to murder, Hodges faced eight charges of identity theft, one charge of computer crime and two charges of credit card fraud relating to the use of Brown’s identity.

Survey says it’s reaching a good proportion of homes.

By SCOTT CANON The Kansas City Star

Google Fiber, by an estimate released Monday, has been sold to roughly a third of the homes in the few neighborhoods where it’s offered. Bernstein Research surveyed about 200 homes in the narrow areas where the high-speed Internet and TV service is offered, or where it

soon will be. It found that of the third subscribing to Google Fiber, an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent took the “free” service — relatively slow broadband provided for seven years after a $300 installation charge. The others took higherend packages. Bernstein analyst Carlos Kirjner wrote that Google Fiber is largely seen by Kansas Citians as an attractive alternative to packages sold by cable and telephone companies for Internet and TV sub-

scriptions, even though the newcomer doesn’t offer landline phone service. Roughly half of homes have dumped their landlines, the analysis estimated, and consumers no longer see it as a critical service. Kirjner also wrote that although incumbent competitors such as Time Warner Cable have been increasing their Internet speeds, Google is less likely than other “overbuilders” — compaSEE GOOGLE | A5

TEST DRIVE Kansas City Art Institute illustration students were challenged to invent and test-drive cardboard “vehicles” down an 80-foot-long rail on the campus Monday. Adam Soyring (top) made an emergency exit outside his vehicle, which he called a submarine. For a photo gallery and video from the event, go to JIM BARCUS | THE KANSAS CITY STAR



victim had left vehicle Police on Monday identified a man found shot to death on a sidewalk in the 3500 block of Benton Boulevard as Leonard D. Charles Jr., 21, of Kansas City. Charles was shot shortly after he and several other people got out of a vehicle about 1:45 a.m., said homicide Sgt. Joe Mabin. Investigators aren’t sure whether the gunman left the vehicle with him or was waiting in the area. The vehicle left the scene. Police released no information about a possible motive. | Christine Vendel, KANSAS | Watch


highway work Two road projects on the Kansas side are expected to cause delays for motorists: ❚ Crews will close the ramp from northbound Interstate 35 to northbound Interstate 635 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today so they can replace a damaged safety device.

❚ On Wednesday and Thursday, the left lane of westbound Interstate 70 on the Lewis & Clark Viaduct will be closed for bridge inspections. The right westbound lane will be closed Friday. The inspections will take place between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day, weather permitting. | Robert A. Cronkleton, OLATHE | 12,000 images in child porn case

A 45-year-old Olathe man, who authorities said stored more than 12,000 images and 26 videos of child pornography, pleaded guilty Monday to a single federal charge. Prosecutors said James Christmas pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography. The case surfaced in September 2010 when Christmas’ estranged wife alerted Olathe police that she found child pornography on computer media belonging to Christmas. | Glenn E. Rice,

Two dead on Kansas farm Two bodies were found on a farm in rural Franklin County, Kan., authorities said late Monday. The bodies were discovered around 12:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of Georgia Road near Ottawa. The names of the victims and how they died were not released. Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said the investigation is in its early stages and few details are being released. Authorities are in-

vestigating the deaths as homicides, Richards said. The Johnson County Sheriff's Department has been summoned to assist with the investigation. A news conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. today. Anyone with information about the deaths should call 888-311-TIPS (8477) or send a text to 274637 and start the message with the word “Franklin.” | Glenn E. Rice,

LOTTERIES Monday’s winning numbers: ❚ Missouri Pick 3 Midday: 9-1-5 Evening: 8-2-7 ❚ Missouri Pick 4 Midday: 6-6-0-1 Evening: 0-2-2-6 ❚ Missouri Show Me Cash: 19-23-27-34-37. Next jackpot:

$50,000. ❚ Kansas Pick 3: 6-4-8 ❚ Kansas 2by2: Red 7-10, white 13-20 ❚ Super Kansas Cash: 3-1617-24-26, cash ball 25. Next jackpot: $120,000. Please confirm numbers with state lottery officials.


TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


County legislator pushes for pardon By STEVE KRASKE The Kansas City Star

Jackson County Legislator James D. Tindall is seeking a presidential pardon stemming from his 1999 felony conviction. Tindall told The Star on Monday that he wants to clear his name. He said he doesn’t need the pardon to seek re-election next year. The Justice Department on Monday confirmed the existence of a “pending par-

jury in 1999 don application” from Tinfor filing dall. false income “It is currently under tax stateconsideration, and there ments. He has been no final decision,” was sensaid Wyn Hornbuckle, a tenced to Justice Department spokesTindall three years man. in federal Hornbuckle said Tindall has applied on his own be- prison. Tindall was first elected half. Tindall has been elected to the county Legislature in to two four-year terms — 1982 and served until 1996, in 2006 and 2010 — since a span that included a stint his felony conviction by a as chairman.

Despite his felony conviction, Tindall was certified to run for election two more times because of vague election rules. Those rules make it unclear who enforces state law that bars those convicted of a felony or federal misdemeanor from running for office. The Star’s Mike Hendricks contributed to this report. To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312 or send email to

GOOGLE: Purchase numbers look strong FROM A4

nies who wire neighborhoods already served by another company — to fail in the market. It said the new service’s staying power comes from Google Inc.’s vast resources, which give it ability to withstand a price war. Of those residents offered the service, 77 percent were

considering a switch to Google Fiber and 60 percent were highly likely to do so, according to the Bernstein survey. “These very high purchase intent numbers do not allow us to rule out the possibility that Google will indeed achieve very high penetration of homes passed, well in excess of the

typical 20 percent to 30 percent that overbuilders have achieved historically in their most successful markets,” the report said. Bernstein speculated that Google’s high-end package, $120 a month for two years for 1-gigabit-per-second Internet hookups and a cablelike TV package, will draw the most customers. It said

the company isn’t likely to make much on the TV deal, but that it will tempt people to the Internet service. The companies that traditionally provide Internet service have regularly said consumers have shown little demand for significant increases in upload and download speeds. Said Bernstein’s report, just wait.

Star wins dozens of Kansas press awards The Kansas City Star has won the sweepstakes award in its division of the 2013 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence contest. In addition, Judy L. Thomas won the association’s Victor Murdock Award, which recognizes outstanding journalistic standards, for “United in Largesse,” a story about the Boilermakers union based in Kansas City, Kan. The awards were presented Friday and Saturday in Topeka. Newspapers that accumulated the most points received sweepstakes awards. The Star won 19 firstplace awards of excellence in categories including best

series, best photo package, best special section and news and writing excellence. Individuals who won firstplace awards: Laura Bauer, best series; Mark Davis and Diane Stafford, local business story; Sarah Gish, feature story; Lee Hill Kavanaugh, religion story; Ian Cummings and Chris Hong, news story; Joe Robertson, youth story and education story; Kent Babb, sports feature story and sports column writing; Keith Myers, news photo; Allison Long, feature photo; David Eulitt, photo package and environmental portrait; Thomas, investigative story; Eric Hibbeler and Neil Nakahodo, in-

fographic; and Star staff, news and writing excellence, best use of photos, special section and newspaper website. The Star also won 17 second-place awards in categories including best news story, best investigative story and best sports column. Individuals who won second-place awards: Bauer and Dawn Bormann, news story; Mike McGraw and Alan Bavley, investigative story; Mark Morris and Brian Burnes, series; Barbara Shelly, editorial writing; Steve Everly, local business story; Jill Wendholt Silva, agricultural story; Robertson, education story; Mary Sanchez, column writing; Sam Mellinger, sports

column; John Sleezer, sports photo; Long, photo package; Myers, photo illustration; Rich Sugg, environmental portrait; Rick Montgomery and Eulitt, best story/picture combination; and Star staff, best front page, special section, and design and layout excellence. The newspaper also won six third-place awards. Those who won third-place awards: Donald Bradley, news story; Morris and Thomas, religion story; Montgomery, agricultural story; Kavanaugh, youth story; Tammy Ljungblad, photo illustration; and Silva, Ljungblad and Gentry Mullen, feature package. | The Star

Can the Constitution keep pace with modern America? Let’s hit the road to find out.





TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


ONLINE: Senate OK’s plan to allow tax on Internet purchases FROM A1

in the buyers’ states, resulting in the loss of a projected $23 billion in annual sales tax revenue nationwide, according to a university study. The bill would require all businesses that make more than $1 million in out-ofstate sales to charge state and local taxes for remote purchases made on the Internet or by catalog. The businesses then would have to remit the taxes to the appropriate state agency. In recent years, California and other states have stepped up their efforts to collect sales taxes for online purchases by their residents. In 2011 California enacted a law expanding the definition of an in-state presence so it could begin collecting sales tax from some large online retailers, notably Inc. Amazon initially fought such efforts but then agreed to start collecting sales taxes and now supports the legislation. Supporters of the bill say the change is needed because brick-and-mortar stores are at a competitive disadvantage to online-only businesses that don’t have to charge sales tax. Technically, online or catalog shoppers are supposed to declare any out-of-state purchases on their state tax returns, but few do. Retailers applauded the Senate’s passage of the bill Monday. “Congress needs to address this sales tax disparity and allow retailers to compete freely and fairly,” Stephen Sadove, chairman of the board of the National Retail Federation, a Washington trade group, said in a statement. “Retailers of all shapes, sizes and channels deserve a level playing field.” The legislation’s House sponsor, Republican Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, said, “After 20 years there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for our brick-andmortar businesses. “Saving local retail business depends on it,” he said, “and it’s now up to the House to act.” Other groups such as the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Tax Reform oppose the bill, arguing that it would create a compliance nightmare for small businesses, which would have to keep track of almost 10,000 state, local and municipal tax codes. “The main concern here is that this would institute regulation without representation,” said Curtis Dubay, senior tax policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation. “This would conscript businesses that have no dealings within a state — other than having customers there — to collect sales taxes for this state. … We don’t think that states have the power to regulate businesses that do not reside within their borders.” Supporters say the bill makes it relatively easy for Internet retailers to comply. States must provide free computer software to help retailers calculate sales taxes, based on where shoppers live. States must also establish a single entity to receive Internet sales tax revenue, so retailers don’t have to send it to individual counties or cities. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a chief Senate sponsor, said the legislation would help struggling state and local governments, and would exempt 99 percent of small businesses. “It’s about the way commerce has changed in America,” Durbin said. “Bookstores, stores that sell running shoes, bicycles and appliances are at a distinct disadvantage. They’ve become showrooms.” One of the legislation’s biggest critics is eBay Inc. The Internet auction site has been lobbying lawmakers to increase the smallbusiness exemption either to $10 million in annual outof-state sales or to 50 employees. “Our concern is that there are many small businesses that would now face significant new tax compliance

eral government for years for the authority to collect sales taxes from online sales. The issue is getting bigger for states as more people make purchases online. Last year, Internet sales in the U.S. totaled $226 billion, up

burdens and that the Internet would be a harder place for them to grow,” said Brian Bieron, senior director of global public policy for eBay. Many governors — Republicans and Democrats — have been lobbying the fed-

nearly 16 percent from the previous year, according to Commerce Department estimates. States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn’t collect taxes on out-of-state sales, accord-

ing to a study by three business professors at the University of Tennessee. About $11.4 billion was lost from Internet sales. The rest was from purchases made through catalogs, mail orders and telephone orders,

the study said. The study was done for the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.

WHY DO I HEAR... BUT NOT UNDERSTAND? Study by Cambridge University in England Reveals Key Answer Until recently, there was no practical way to identify dead regions of hearing cells in the ear. However, a new Britishdeveloped procedure using standard test equipment now allows for identification of dead hearing cell regions. The study suggests that the presence or absence of dead regions may have serious implications in the fitting of hearing aids. This research reveals that amplifying dead cells is a mistake which will result in poorer speech understanding in noise. A new type of digitally programmable microcircuit is now available using nanoScience technology that can be programmed to bypass the dead cells. As a result, the patient’s usable hearing cells receive amplification, thereby improving speech understanding in noise.

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013



BUSY CHEF Celina Tio has opened Collection, where Kansas City Cafe was on Grand. CITYSCAPE | C3


HITTING SWEET SPOTS Our annual rankings of public companies show who’s in the right sectors. Cerner, a leader in the shift to digital medical records, takes the top spot again. But which other niches are hot? | C5 Mini profiles of some rising companies. | C8 Stock awards and bonuses, rather than straight pay, have made CEOs even more wealthy. | C10 Who’s off to a good start this year when it comes to stock performance? | C12 A list of past winners. | C15



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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013

STARWATCH CONSUMER sale, the agency said. The agency also said it would accept public comments on the proposed order for 90 days.

Viagra available online now Men with erectile dysfunction will now be able to go online to order the popular treatment Viagra, avoiding any embarrassment at the drugstore while ensuring they’re getting the real pill. Drugmaker Pfizer just started selling its blue, diamond-shaped pill at, offering significant savings on the first two orders. They’re being filled by national drugstore chain CVS Caremark.

More oversight of tanning beds Tanning beds would be forced to warn young people of the dangers of skin cancer and face tighter oversight under a proposal from U.S.

BMW recall


Pfizer has started selling Viagra on the Internet.

regulators. The Food and Drug Administration proposed Monday that sunlamp products recommend against use by those younger than 18 years old and warn frequent users to regularly screen for cancer. The proposed order would also require sunlamp products seek FDA clearance before

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BMW is recalling 45,500 3 Series sedans in the U.S. and Canada because their passenger air bags may not inflate properly. The recall affects 3 Series from the 2002 and 2003 model years. The defective air bags have an inflator housing that can rupture during deployment and send shrapnel flying into the vehicle. The 3 Series is one of 3.4 million vehicles being recalled worldwide by six different automakers, including Toyota, Honda and General Motors. All the companies used passenger air bags made by Takata Corp. BMW says it has had no reports of injuries because of the issue. It will contact owners and replace the air bags for free.

FAA safety reviews questioned The government’s oversight of hundreds of domestic and overseas repair stations that service U.S. airliners is ineffective and doesn’t target the factors most likely to present safety risks, the Department of Transportation’s inspector general said Monday. The Federal Aviation Administration’s supposedly risk-based safety inspection system “falls short of being truly risk-based,” especially for foreign repair stations, a report by the inspector general said. Among the inspector general’s criticisms is that the FAA’s oversight lacks the rigor needed to identify safety deficiencies

and verify that problems are corrected once identified. To save money, U.S. airlines have increasingly outsourced their aircraft repair and maintenance to repair stations in countries where labor rates are cheaper. The FAA annually inspects 559 repair stations worldwide, while aviation authorities in France, Germany and Ireland inspect another 162 stations under agreements with the U.S.

Mortgage settlement complaint New York’s attorney general on Monday accused Wells Fargo and Bank of America of violating the terms of last year’s national mortgage settlement by failing to process hundreds of refinancing requests promptly. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has notified the national monitoring committee established to enforce the five-bank agreement, citing complaints of 210 prompt-processing violations by Wells Fargo and 129 by Bank of America. If the committee defers taking action, Schneiderman said he will sue for compliance. Under the settlement, the banks are required to respond to mortgage modification requests within 30 days. Schneiderman said delays put homeowners further into debt from missed payments and penalties, pushing them closer to foreclosure. Bank of America spokesman Richard Simon said through March it provided mortgage relief for more than 10,000 New York homeowners totaling more than $1 billion. | The Star’s news services



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To advertise: Michelle Kelly 816-234-4179


Fortune 500 lists four from area Four regional companies, including three headquartered in the Kansas City area, were ranked in this year’s Fortune 500 listing of the nation’s largest public companies. The highest-ranked area company was Sprint Nextel. The Overland Park telecommunications company was number 87 on the magazine’s list, up three spots from 2012. It was followed by Merriam-based Seaboard Corp., the food, energy and transportation conglomerate, which was ranked number 411. It climbed 16 spots from last year. O’Reilly Automotive, the auto parts retailer based in

Springfield, was ranked 412th, up from number 424 last year. Finally, YRC Worldwide made the list — but just barely at number 498. That was down from 487th in 2012. Unlike some rankings based on a formula weighing several factors, the Fortune ranking of publicly traded companies is based simply on their 2012 revenue. Atop the Fortune list this year: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., followed by energy giants Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Phillips. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was fifth, and Apple rose to sixth. | The Star

‘Mom’s work’ value dips in yearly index By STEVE ROSEN The Kansas City Star

Moms might not like this Mother’s Day message: You’re not valued as much as you were a year ago. According to the 2013 Mother’s Day Index, Mom’s value in the household slipped to $59,862. That’s down from $60,182 in 2012 and $61,436 in 2011. The cold, hard cash facts are courtesy of, the insurance information site that devised the index. It uses a list of common household tasks, such as cooking, yard work, cleaning and handling family finances, and calculates the value with wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Average wages for typical Mom jobs have been dropping, pushing down Mom’s annual value,” said Amy Danise, editorial director of Most mothers who were surveyed by place their own value under $40,000 a year, according to, which interviewed 500 women with children age 12 or under living at home. A similar question posed to 500 men by also placed mothers’ value at less than $40,000. Mothers listed cleaning up, yard work and family finances as their least favorite tasks. The tasks they liked best? Taking care of the children, cooking, and shopping for the family. If they could hire someone to do their household jobs, mothers said, they’d spend extra time with family, traveling or exercising. To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


Local Business Might as well stay Kansas and Missouri residents who want to stay put when they retire have some numbers to back them up. In a new study based on practical measures, Missouri ranked No. 11 and Kansas No. 13. Besides cost of living, for which Kansas ranked No. 4 and Missouri No. 12, the survey accounted for crime, taxes, access to medical care, and average annual temperatures.


Vote of confidence Clearwire Corp., which operates a wireless data network, sent shareholders a letter on Monday that urges that they vote May 21 for the offer by Sprint Nextel Corp. to buy out the minority shareholders of the company for $2.2 billion. Several large investors oppose the deal, saying it undervalues Clearwire’s assets. Clearwire says the industry reality is that major carriers have consolidated their spectrum positions through other means, and aren’t very interested in Clearwire.

NIC earnings NIC Inc. on Monday reported sharp increases in firstquarter revenue and profits, reflecting increased demand for its electronic government payment and processing services. The Olathe-based company generated total revenue of $61.2 million for the three months that ended March 31, up from revenue of $48.7 million a year earlier. Profits climbed to $10 million in the quarter, compared with $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2012. Operating income increased 62 percent in the quarter to $15.7 million. “Online (government) services remain the backbone of our business and once again helped produce strong financial results,” said Harry Herington, NIC’s chief executive and chairman. | The Star

HOUSTON FIRM BUYING INERGY Both focus on energy ‘midstream’ of storage and transportation. By STEVE EVERLY and STEVE ROSEN The Kansas City Star


nergy LP, the Kansas Citybased gas pipeline operator, on Monday agreed to a merger valued at $7 billion with Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, a Houston company.

The buyout, involving a series of cash-and-stock transactions, will result in Crestwood Holdings LP, an affiliated company, taking over Inergy and a related company, Inergy Midstream LP. The two Kansas City companies have a higher total market value and more employees than Crestwood, but it was Inergy that had been looking for a deal to become larger. “This is a partner we sought

out,” John Sherman, Inergy’s chairman and CEO, said in an interview. “We feel very good about this deal and what it could mean for the entire company.” Both Crestwood and Inergy are in the midstream sector of the energy business, which includes such things as storage and transporation of natural gas and crude oil. The opprtunities are floursihing with the growth of energy production in the U.S., but Sher-

man said Inergy needed a combination with another company to take take advantage of those opportunties. The transaction, which requires Crestwood shareholder and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the third quarter this year. The name of the combined company will be determined closer to the compleSEE INERGY | 18

CHEF KEEPS BUSY IN CROSSROADS elina Tio wants to to Tio’s days at the Westcreate a new Cross- town School in Pennroads gathering sylvania. It’s a Quaker place, so she’ll keep a boarding school where least one door open daily students and faculty from early gather each morning morning in until late at the Collecnight. tion Room for anThe James nounceBeard ments, Awardbirthday winning acknowlchef took edgments, CITYSCAPE over manfellowship agement of and the like. Kansas City Cafe in late November while buying Tio’s Collection will be a the building at 1532 Grand place for people to gather Blvd. and a showcase for what she calls “American feelThe first of her two food good” food. operations, Collection, opened last Thursday. That includes starters like spinach salad with apricot Collection is an homage




Celina Tio has opened Collection, where Kansas City Cafe had been. She was cooking and serving lunch Monday, its third day of being open.

dressings, goat cheese and garbanzo beans, along with house-ground burgers with house-made ketchup; pulled roasted

chicken on a Farm to Market hoagie; and Spanish mac ’n’ cheese with Serrano ham.

Under entrees, Tio has such items as baked rigatoni with tomato, houseSEE CITYSCAPE | 18



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


Main Street bridge to be replaced this fall Closed span over I-670 will give drivers something else to cope with this year. By KEVIN COLLISON The Kansas City Star

Downtown Kansas City drivers will face another obstacle later this year when the Main Street viaduct spanning Interstate 670 will be replaced, shutting down the busy crossing for at least 45 days. City engineers say they’ll try to time the project to steer clear as much as possible of Missouri Department of Transportation work that will disrupt Interstate 35 bridges and ramps downtown for most of the year. Sean Demory of the City Public Works Department said the closing should occur this fall and be completed by the end of the year. The work also will require single-lane closures of Interstate 670, also known as the South Loop, to allow repairs


The new Main Street bridge over I-670 is expected to look like this.

to the retaining wall and construction of the bridge support columns. “We’re anticipating staying clear of the MoDOT construction,” Demory said. “There will be some overlap, but it should be minimal.” The $3.6 million bridge project has stirred a small communication controversy because the timing of its replacement is linked to construction of the new street-

car line that will follow Main Street for much of its route between Crown Center and the River Market. At one point, el dorado, the architecture firm working on the project, said one reason the bridge was being replaced was to support streetcars. That assertion clashed with earlier claims by streetcar backers who said a significant advantage of their plan was it would

not require reinforcing existing bridges, making it cheaper to build than a heavier light-rail line. City engineers, however, say the Main Street bridge, which was built when the downtown freeway loop was constructed in the 1960s, had about 10 years left of useful life. Rather than replace it after the streetcar line opened, the decision was to do it now to avoid disrupting the new system. “If it wasn’t for the age, we’d put the streetcar on it,” said Ralph Davis, a city public works official working on the streetcar project. “You don’t want to put a streetcar on it and run it for five or six years and then replace it.” The city’s assessment about the bridge nearing the end of its useful service was supported by the Missouri of Department of Transportation. Davis also pointed out that the Main Street bridge crossing Interstate 70 into the River Market, which also will be used by the

streetcar, is not being replaced. The confusion about why the downtown bridge was being replaced has caused some political stress for Kansas City Councilman Russ Johnson, a fervent supporter of the streetcar plan. Johnson was among those who pointed to the advantage of lighter streetcars’ not requiring significant improvements to bridges and streets. “El dorado was saying it was due to weight and people found an earlier quote from me,” he said. “Now it’s being used to attack my credibility.” David Dowell, the el dorado principal working on the bridge project, could not be reached for comment. Johnson said the backlash was one reason he’s taking a lower profile on the proposal to replace the terminals at Kansas City International Airport with a single-terminal design. Johnson is chairman of the council Trans-

portation Committee, and the airport is in his district. The city will pick up some additional expenses for both the new Main Street bridge over I-670 and its other crossing to the River Market. Both bridges were owned and maintained by the state, but after the replacement project is completed, those responsibilities will be transferred to the city. The new bridge over I-670 will include some important improvements for pedestrians. Besides the decorative trim being designed by el dorado, the sidewalks will be widened from the current 6 feet to 8 feet on the west side and 18 feet on the east side. HDR Engineering also is part of the bridge design team. “We’re looking at making it a very walkable bridge,” Demory said.

ing arts center, roughly between Wyandotte and Main streets from 16th to the foundation that bears 17th streets. The other site her mother’s name were the would include sections of driving financial force bethe blocks at the northwest hind the Kauffman Center and southeast corners of for the Performing Arts that 17th Street and Broadway, opened in September 2011. also next to the Kauffman Between them, more than Center. $105 million was donated for So it would make sense for the arts center. the Muriel Kauffman FounFrom the beginning, addation to take the lead in vocates of moving the conhelping a venture that servatory downtown have would only enhance the said it had the potential of value of both — and would establishing the same kind boost the diversity and of wonderful symbiotic vitality of downtown as relationship with the Kauff- well. man Center as the Juilliard “It has the potential to be a School has with Lincoln really big project on so Center in New York. many different fronts,” Lady Both possible sites for the said. UMKC arts campus are near He said no dollar amount the Kauffman Center. had been identified for a One covers two blocks possible donation from the directly east of the perform- foundation.

“A big piece is public support and public dollars,” Lady said. “There needs to be a move there before the private side gets excited.” The Missouri General Assembly has approved legislation that would cover 50 percent of capital costs, but no funds have been allotted. John Martellaro, a UMKC spokesman, declined to discuss specifics about fundraising for the downtown arts campus, saying it was premature. “We are continuing to pursue funding opportunities for that, and these processes do take time,” he said, “and we remain confident this will become a reality.”

SOME MOMENTUM FOR UMKC ARTS MOVE? t’s been 22 months since the University of Missouri-Kansas City revealed an ambitious plan to move its Conservatory of Music and Dance to downtown Kansas City. Two possible sites for what’s being billed as a downtown arts campus have been identified in the Crossroads Arts District. Peter Witte, chairman of the conservatory, has made the rounds to anyone who’ll listen, championing the proposal that could bring


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more than 700 students and faculty downtown. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce named the project to its “Big 5” list of community goals in 2011. But the word on the OLATHE: 109 S MUR-LEN (SANTA FE & MUR-LEN) PRAIRIE VILLAGE: 7510 STATE LINE RD, SUITE B



street until recently had been the endeavor had not gained serious traction with the deep-pocket local philanthropists needed to make it work. Backers want to identify at least $44 million in possible funding, about half the cost of the first phase, before “taking it to the next level.” Last week, Dave Lady, president of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, said the organization was seriously considering helping the endeavor. “It’s fair to describe it as we’re in a due diligence stage,” Lady said. “We continue to evaluate the opportunity. There’s a lot that’s unknown at this time.” Julia Irene Kauffman and

To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to Follow him on Twitter @kckansascity.

To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to Follow him on Twitter @kckansascity.



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


Ranking the region’s best performing public companies CERNER NO. 1 AGAIN | Solid growth, stock performance

COMPANIES IN ‘SWEET SPOTS’ THRIVE Medical software, energy, rail transit, online government services all have edge. By DIANE STAFFORD, STEVE EVERLY and MARK DAVIS The Kansas City Star


t was a safe bet that Cerner Corp. would once again lead the The Kansas City Star’s rankings as the region’s top-performing public company. Cerner, the nation’s second-largest company that helps hospitals and doctors’ offices convert paper files into computerized medical records, is in a sweet spot. At a time when national health care law mandates switching to digital health records and “interoperability” of systems between health providers and insurers, Cerner is in the right business at the right time. The health care law and the health care economy – aggressively in pursuit of cost savings – “absolutely play to Cerner’s strengths,” said Matthew Swindells, Cerner senior vice president for population health and global strategy. “The use of information and technology has caught up with what Cerner leadership has been


The energy midstream sector, involving facilities such as CorEnergy’s storage facility in the Pinedale gas field in Wyoming, is doing well.

saying for 30 years.” Cerner isn’t the only area company The Star picked out as being in a sweet spot for 2012 performance and poised for 2013 growth. CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. and the tandem of Inergy LP and Inergy Midstream LP are carving out a place in the nation’s oil and

gas boom. In fact, being in a hot sector can make a company a merger target. Inergy and Inergy Midstream announced Monday that they were being bought out by a Houston firm, Crestwood Midstream Partners LP. Kansas City Southern has tapped into Mexico’s rejuve-

nating economy and the U.S. rail industry’s renaissance. And NIC Inc., the Olathebased builder of websites for more than half the 50 states, faces no real competition in what it does.

Cerner Cerner tops the Star 40 performance list thanks to a

combination of strong revenues and profits as well as an increasingly valuable stock. And its success shows in other ways. “In the last two years we’ve added 3,000 associates just in the Kansas City area,” said Marc Naughton, Cerner’s chief financial officer. “Worldwide, we’re approaching 13,000 associates, with approximately 9,000 in the Kansas City area.” The company now works in 24 countries and in four languages. Swindells said it can claim title to being the only genuinely global health care IT company, thanks to the worldwide push to switch to digital health care records. Investment adviser Barry Randall said Cerner’s strength is its ability to keep pace with a rapidly expanding industry. “They’re not the lumbering giants; they’re the fast moving giants,” said Randall, a Covestor investment model manager in St. Paul, Minn. More visible in the Kansas City area is Cerner’s sizable footprint in three locations — its headquarters’ campus in North Kansas City, its

“Three Trails” campus in south Kansas City, and its under-construction “Legends” campus in western Wyandotte County. A year from now, Cerner expects to have 4,000 associates working at the third location. And within three to five years, “We’ll keep the three campuses and add more,” Naughton forecast. That construction and job growth have a sizable ripple effect on the Kansas City area’s economy. There’s also a strong financial ripple for Cerner stockholders. “Given that we’re near an all-time record high for the stock price, our investors tend to be happy with us,” Naughton said. And because of the longterm demand to do what Cerner does, he added, Cerner investors tend to take a long-term positive position on the stock. “When we look at the future of population health management” — everything from fostering fitness to providing timely and cost-effective care — “we think it’ll be worth more than our total business today,” Naughton said. SEE SWEET | C6


TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013



SWEET: Strong-sector niches are the place to be FROM C5

CorEnergy A U.S. energy boom is reshuffling global oil and natural-gas markets, and that is flowing into the nooks and crannies of the country’s economy, notably at three Star 40 companies. CorEnergy Investment Trust Inc., based in Leawood, and Inergy LP and Inergy Midstream LP, based in Kansas City, have found their sweet spots in the business of moving and storing fuel. They ensure the growing volumes of domestic oil and natural gas get to where they’re refined, processed or eventually used. It calls for pipelines, storage and other infrastructure, and that’s the need targeted by these three area companies. They each focus on the socalled midstream sector of the burgeoning energy industry by buying storage and transportation facilities and giving investors the opportunity to participate. These midstream assets are sprinkled around the country. In December, CorEnergy completed its biggest acquisition so far by paying $229 million for about 150 miles of pipeline and other facilities in Wyoming that gather natural gas produced in that state. Its purchase highlights a shift in what CorEnergy does. Since its founding in 2005, CorEnergy bought investment securities tied to energy. It has been liquidating those and funneling the money into real assets, such as the Wyoming operation. That accounts for the company’s unusual ability to generate more profits than revenues. It’s still earning money from the securities it hasn’t sold yet. Future asset buys won’t necessarily be restricted to

oil and gas. It already owns part of an electric transmission line in New Mexico which fits with its mission. The company’s name is a play on being a “corridor” for energy. CorEnergy — in an interesting twist — is housing its midstream assets in a real estate investment trust. “We will own real estate assets in the energy right-ofway,” said David Schulte, the company’s CEO and cofounder. Richard Green, the former head of the defunct Aquila Inc., is the other founder of CorEnergy. Schulte is also a founder of Tortoise Capital Advisors which is also in Leawood. It offers energy investments in closed-end funds, mutual funds and separate accounts.

Inergy Inergy LP in 2005 was a growing U.S. seller of retail propane when it bought a natural-gas storage facility about 150 miles northwest of New York City. That facility turned out in a few years to be near one of the most prolific shale-gas plays in the country. “It seems to have worked out very well,” said Brooks Sherman, president of Inergy. “That was our first big step into the midstream area.” Other steps that followed have essentially remade the company into a midstream company. It still has a wholesale propane business but last year it sold its retail propane business. Inergy Midstream LP is a subsidiary of Inergy LP, and between the two they share the assets including U.S. Salt. That’s a profitable business of mining salt, which also leaves behind caverns suitable to store natural gas. The company decided to sell its retail propane business because of volatile pric-

As the economy has recovered, rail traffic has increased, benefiting companies such as Kansas City Southern.


es, which created a risk, and a couple of warm winters, which curbed sales. What propane it owns in the wholesale business is hedged against price volatility, said Sherman. Its midstream assets include its Colt facility in North Dakota that serves the prolific Bakken oil shale play. The facility has storage for 720,000 barrels of crude oil. There also is a hub for rail cars to load the oil, and it is capable of delivering 120,000 barrels per day to the East and West coasts. The company also had aimed to grow through acquisitions, to make the most out of its assets, but instead it’s being acquired in the big merger it announced Monday. “This is a partner we sought out,” John Sherman, Inergy’s chairman and CEO, said in an interview. “We feel very good about this deal and what it could mean for the entire company.”

Kansas City Southern In late March, the head of BNSF Railway said rail carriers were investing heavily to take advantage of the energy boom and the revival in steel, chemicals and other industries it was triggering.

“All those things have put the railroads into a great sweet spot for what’s next in this economy,” Matthew K. Rose, chief executive of BNSF, told The Wall Street Journal. Money manager Fred Russell agrees. He holds shares of Union Pacific, CSX and Norfolk Southern. And his shares of Berkshire Hathaway – Warren Buffett’s company – adds exposure to BNSF, which it bought in 2009. The one rail stock missing from his portfolio is Kansas City Southern, though it too will share in the industry’s bounty. What’s the problem? Too expensive, said Russell, of Fredric E. Russell Investment Management Co. in Tulsa. Kansas City Southern shares cost much more compared with the company’s earnings per share than other rail stocks do. The opposite was true two years ago when Russell bought Kansas City Southern shares. Then, the market saw the company as damaged. Russell saw it in a sweet spot. “That’s when you can make a fortune,” he said. Russell’s shares nearly doubled by the time he sold.

With big profits to protect, Russell said he “got worried” about Mexico’s drug traffic. But he still likes the company’s strategic Mexico rail business and its service to the key port of Lázaro Cárdenas, which provides Asian manufacturers access to Mexican and U.S. markets.

NIC Inc. NIC Inc. in Olathe builds and runs websites for state governments, including Kansas. It has signed deals with 29 states, five of those in the last year and a half. Two more – Washington and Wisconsin – probably will sign this year, said Peter Heckmann, an analyst at AvondalePartners LLC. The contracts require NIC to spend its own money to design and operate the sites as well as handle user questions. Payback comes through convenience fees that the sites’ users – from state residents to companies retrieving state records – pay on top of the state’s fees. So where’s the sweet spot? There are only 50 states. NIC has hitched its revenues to the online bandwagon. As more and more residents and businesses go online to renew driver’s licens-

es, retrieve driver safety records, buy fishing licenses and handle other transactions with state governments, NIC’s revenues climb. Of course, sweet spots have to be defended. Washington’s state Legislature is working toward imposing limits on some of the add-on fees that would accompany an NIC-run website should the state sign a contract. And a Pennsylvania lawmaker complained when that state hired NIC without competitive bidding. “They don’t have any real competition,” Heckmann said, noting that NIC’s rivals essentially do project work and send a bill to the state. Covestor’s Randall likes NIC’s unique business and the certainty it brings to its revenues. “It has the most perfect business model I’ve ever seen,” Randall said. If there’s a downside to being in such a sweet spot, it’s that those companies may not be the best place for investors to shop. Heckmann, for example, rates NIC’s shares neutral at prevailing prices. Each share costs more than 40 times what the company earns per share, which is a relatively high earnings multiple. Cerner’s stock similarly commands a premium earnings multiple, and Kansas City Southern’s premium keeps it out of Russell’s portfolio. “When you’re in your sweet spot, that’s when your (earnings) multiple is at its highest,” Heckmann said. To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to To reach Steve Everly, call 816-234-4455 or send email to To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


A quick look at some top Star 40 companies Here’s basic information on the five top-ranked companies and others in economic “sweet spots” this year.

1. CERNER CORP. Neal L. Patterson, chairman, president and CEO ❚ Headquarters: 2800 Rockcreek Parkway, North Kansas City, MO 64117 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 816-221-1024 ❚ Ticker Symbol: CERN on Nasdaq ❚ Founded: 1979 2012 Revenues: $2,665.4 million (9) Revenue vs. 2011: 21% (5) 2012 Income: $397.2 million (4) Income vs. 2011: 30% (18) 2012 Market Value: $13,338.6 million (2) Market Value vs. 2011: 28% (10)

2. DST SYSTEMS INC. Stephen C. Hooley, president and CEO ❚ Headquarters: 333 W. 11th St., Kansas City, MO 64105 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 816-435-1000 ❚ Ticker Symbol: DST on NYSE ❚ Founded: 1969 2012 Revenues: $2,576.6 million (10) Revenue vs. 2011: 8% (15) 2012 Income: $324.0 million (7) Income vs. 2011: 77% (8) 2012 Market Value: $2,684.6 million (14) Market Value vs. 2011: 34% (8)

WORKING WITH MOST OF THE STATES Businesses such as NIC that help governments be more efficient are in a good position even in a tight economy. NIC has partnerships with the 29 states shaded in orange here. And four others, shown in red, are seeking proposals from companies such as NIC to help them provide online government services.

Source: NIC




David S. Haffner, CEO ❚ Headquarters: No. 1 Leggett Road, Carthage, MO 64836 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 417-358-8131 ❚ Ticker Symbol: LEG on NYSE ❚ Founded: 1883 2012 Revenues: $3,720.8 million (6) Revenue vs. 2011: 2% (25) 2012 Income: $248.2 million (11) Income vs. 2011: 62% (10) 2012 Market Value: $3,868.0 million (7) Market Value vs. 2011: 20% (16)

David L. Starling, president and CEO ❚ Headquarters: 427 W. 12th St., Kansas City, MO 64105 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 816-983-1303 ❚ Ticker Symbol: KSU on NYSE ❚ Founded: 1887 2012 Revenues: $2,238.6 million (13) Revenue vs. 2011: 7% (18) 2012 Income: $377.3 million (5) Income vs. 2011: 14% (25) 2012 Market Value: $9,193.8 million (4)

Need a

Market Value vs. 2011: 23% (13)

Tie 4. O’REILLY AUTOMOTIVE INC. Greg Henslee, president and CEO ❚ Headquarters: 233 S. Patterson Ave., Springfield, MO 65802 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 417-862-6708 ❚ Ticker Symbol: ORLY on Nasdaq ❚ Founded: 1957 2012 Revenues: $6,182.2 million (3) Revenue vs. 2011: 7% (17) 2012 Income: $585.7 million (1)

17. CORENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE TRUST INC. David J. Schulte, CEO ❚ Headquarters: 4200 W. 115th St., Suite 210, Leawood, KS 66211 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 913-387-2790 ❚ Ticker Symbol: CORR on NYSE ❚ Founded: 2005 2012 Revenues: $10.6 million (46) Revenue vs. 2011: 228% (1) 2012 Income: $12.3 million (30) Income vs. 2011: 323% (4) 2012 Market Value: $145.6 million (31) Market Value vs. 2011: 97% (3)

19. INERGY LP John J. Sherman, chairman and CEO ❚ Headquarters: Two Brush Creek Blvd., Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64112 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 816-842-8181 ❚ Ticker Symbol: NRGY on NYSE ❚ Founded: 1996 2012 Revenues: $1,776.8 million (15) Revenue vs. 2011: -20% (45) 2012 Income: $572.3 million (2) Income vs. 2011: 1186% (1)

2012 Market Value: $2,396.4 million (17) Market Value vs. 2011: -8% (37)

20. NIC INC. Harry H. Herington, chairman and CEO ❚ Headquarters: 25501 West Valley Parkway, Suite 300, Olathe, KS 66061 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 877-234-3468 ❚ Ticker Symbol: EGOV on Nasdaq ❚ Founded: 1991 2012 Revenues: $211.1 million (31) Revenue vs. 2011: 17% (7) 2012 Income: $26.3 million (25) Income vs. 2011: 15% (23) 2012 Market Value: $1,056.0 million (24) Market Value vs. 2011: 24% (12)

21. INERGY MIDSTREAM LP John J. Sherman, president and CEO ❚ Headquarters: Two Brush Creek Blvd., Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64112 ❚ On the Web: ❚ Phone: 816-842-8181 ❚ Ticker Symbol: NRGM on NYSE ❚ Founded: 2011 2012 Revenues: $193.4 million (33) Revenue vs. 2011: 13% (8) 2012 Income: $54.6 million (21) Income vs. 2011: -8% (35) 2012 Market Value: $1,910.7 million (19) Market Value vs. 2011: 36% (7)

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


THE STAR 40 Shows top performers among public companies ranked in six categories, focusing on three facets of each company: revenues, earnings and stock market value. A perfect score is one, ranking first in every category. ’12 rank 1 2 3 4t 4t 6 7 8 9 10 11t 11t 13t 13t 15t 15t 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26t 26t 28 29 30t 30t 32 33 34t 34t 36 37 38 39 40

’11 rank Company 1 18 10 2 4 3 24 11 7 5t 46 13t 13t 28t 9 26 17 28t 12 27 22t 8 15 25 5t 32 28t 20t 35 39 20t 19 40 37 47 41 31 34

Cerner Corp. DST Systems Inc. Leggett & Platt Inc. Kansas City Southern O’Reilly Automotive Inc. Seaboard Corp. Novation Companies Inc. Jack Henry & Associates Inc. Westar Energy Inc. Garmin Ltd. NASB Financial Inc. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. Great Plains Energy Inc. Epiq Systems Inc. H&R Block Inc. Sprint Nextel Corp. CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. UMB Financial Corp. Inergy L.P. NIC Inc. Inergy Midstream L.P. Kansas City Life Insurance Co. EPR Properties Euronet Worldwide Inc. Commerce Bancshares Inc. Great Southern Bancorp Inc. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. Monarch Cement Co. Ferrellgas Partners L.P. Compass Minerals International Inc. Landmark Bancorp Inc. MGP Ingredients Inc. Capitol Federal Financial Inc. Empire District Electric Co. Layne Christensen Co. YRC Worldwide Inc. Management Network Group Inc. Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. Elecsys Corp. Alco Stores Inc.



Star 50 score

Revenue in millions Rank

North Kansas City Kansas City Carthage, Mo. Kansas City Springfield Merriam Kansas City Monett, Mo. Topeka Olathe Grandview Overland Park Kansas City Kansas City, Kan. Kansas City Overland Park Leawood Kansas City Kansas City Olathe Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Leawood Kansas City Springfield Wichita Humboldt, Kan. Overland Park Overland Park Manhattan Atchison Topeka Joplin Mission Woods Overland Park Overland Park Jefferson City Olathe Abilene, Kan.

Medical information technology Data processing services Diversified manufacturing Transportation Auto parts & accessories Food production, processing, shipping Appraisal, financial services Computer-integrated systems design Electric utility GPS technology & products Banking Financial services Electric utility and energy businesses Legal software and services Tax and financial services Communications Energy infrastructure Banking Midstream energy eGovernment services Midstream energy Life insurance Real estate investment trust Electronic transactions processor Banking Financial services Aerospace design, manufactduring Building products Propane distributor Mining and minerals Banking Grain-based ingredients, distillery products Banking Electric utility Drilling and exploration services Transportation Management consulting Banking Custom electronics, communications Retail

8.00 10.33 12.50 13.00 13.00 14.83 16.00 16.50 17.17 17.83 18.00 18.00 18.83 18.83 19.00 19.00 19.17 19.33 19.50 20.33 20.50 21.33 21.50 21.67 23.00 23.50 23.50 25.17 25.33 26.00 26.00 27.33 28.17 28.33 28.33 28.83 29.83 31.83 33.00 33.33

$2,665.44 $2,576.60 $3,720.80 $2,238.60 $6,182.18 $6,189.13 $196.12 $1,072.61 $2,261.47 $2,715.68 $120.78 $1,173.81 $2,309.90 $373.09 $2,706.41 $35,345.00 $10.57 $797.81 $1,776.80 $211.14 $193.40 $439.93 $321.79 $1,267.60 $1,083.92 $233.17 $5,397.70 $151.77 $1,993.17 $941.90 $34.56 $334.34 $344.75 $557.10 $1,075.62 $4,850.50 $53.01 $58.84 $23.93 $492.60

9 10 6 13 3 2 32 20 12 7 36 17 11 26 8 1 46 22 15 31 33 25 29 16 18 30 4 35 14 21 41 28 27 23 19 5 38 37 43 24

Revenue growth Rank 21% 8% 2% 7% 7% 8% 43% 8% 4% -2% 12% 5% 0% 32% -8% 5% 228% 5% -20% 17% 13% 5% 8% 9% -2% 1% 11% 24% -22% -15% 9% 20% -7% -3% -3% 0% -16% -6% 1% 3%

5 15 25 18 17 16 2 13 23 33 9 22 29 3 40 21 1 19 45 7 8 20 14 11 34 27 10 4 46 43 12 6 39 36 35 30 44 38 28 24

Income in millions Rank $397.23 $324.00 $248.20 $377.30 $585.75 $282.31 $59.19 $162.96 $275.15 $542.40 $21.49 $150.95 $199.90 $22.43 $355.71 -$4,326.00 $12.35 $122.72 $572.30 $26.34 $54.60 $39.87 $121.56 $20.54 $269.33 $48.71 $34.80 $3.16 $25.83 $88.90 $6.37 $1.62 $73.29 $55.68 -$36.65 -$140.40 -$1.19 $2.82 $1.43 $1.31

4 7 11 5 1 8 19 13 9 3 28 14 12 27 6 46 30 15 2 25 21 23 16 29 10 22 24 34 26 17 32 37 18 20 44 45 42 35 38 39

Income Market value growth Rank in millions Rank 30% 77% 62% 14% 15% -18% 662% 13% 20% 4% 359% -14% 15% 86% 5% -50% 323% 15% 1186% 15% -8% 53% 5% -44% 5% 61% -82% 103% 176% -40% 42% 51% 7% 1% 35% 60% 73% -1% 24% -21%

18 8 10 25 21 37 2 26 20 31 3 36 24 7 29 44 4 22 1 23 35 13 28 40 30 11 46 6 5 39 16 14 27 32 17 12 9 33 19 38

$13,338.62 $2,684.58 $3,867.96 $9,193.77 $10,101.19 $3,029.94 $56.72 $3,381.45 $3,620.54 $7,970.37 $168.13 $2,983.34 $3,118.19 $458.01 $5,056.97 $17,066.70 $145.57 $1,767.74 $2,396.37 $1,056.02 $1,910.71 $421.01 $2,161.98 $1,164.01 $3,209.12 $346.03 $2,438.54 $81.08 $1,344.86 $2,485.79 $58.12 $61.34 $1,778.23 $865.83 $480.99 $53.84 $16.70 $36.29 $16.31 $30.68

2 14 7 4 3 12 36 9 8 5 30 13 11 27 6 1 31 21 17 24 19 28 18 23 10 29 16 32 22 15 35 34 20 25 26 38 42 39 43 40

Mkt. value growth Rank 28% 34% 20% 23% -1% 23% 41% 16% 0% 3% 100% 41% 5% 7% 5% 143% 97% 17% -8% 24% 36% 13% 6% 25% -5% 9% -18% -15% -11% 9% 12% -33% -8% -2% 1% -21% 55% 29% 5% -4%

10 8 16 13 33 14 5 18 31 28 2 6 26 23 25 1 3 17 37 12 7 19 24 11 36 22 41 40 39 21 20 45 38 34 29 43 4 9 27 35

How we rank the companies for Star 40 By MARK DAVIS The Kansas City Star

The Star 40 formula focuses on business basics, using yardsticks that measure any public enterprise’s success. This year’s rankings mark the 13th year under our current method — and the first as Star 40, rather than Star 50. For the third straight year, the companies meeting our criteria fell short of 50, so we now list the top 40 companies. They are among 46 that are based in Kansas or Missouri (excluding the St. Louis area), that publicly report financial results, and whose shares trade publicly. We lost two companies since last year through

mergers — Collective Brands Inc. and Mediware Systems Inc. — and two because they de-registered their shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission — Blue Valley Ban Corp and First Bancshares Inc. We added two: Inergy Midstream LP and CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. have become eligible. But now Inergy Midstream and its parent Inergy are merging into a company based in Houston. And two more already were on their way off the list: Layne Christensen Co. and Alco Stores Inc. have both announced plans to move their headquarters to Texas. We gathered data from the

companies’ SEC filings with help from Bloomberg. The rankings compared the eight quarters of financial data for each company that most closely matched calendar years 2012 and 2011. Star 40 ranks companies by their revenues, their earnings and their stock market value, and by the change in each of those values from the previous year. A company’s Star 40 score consists of its average rank in the six categories. A perfect score would be 1, ranking first in every category. To calculate a company’s growth in net income, we compared the change in its earnings with the absolute value of its 2011 net income.

The formula subtracts the 2011 results from the 2012 results. We divided the result by 2011 income. If a company lost money in 2011, the minus sign produced nonsensical results, so we stripped away the minus sign before the division. Analysts faced with such nonsense typically ignore the result, but that would force us to knock a company out of Star 40 contention if it had a loss in the prior year, even if it had posted a fabulous 2012 profit. Our approach gives that company credit for rebounding after a bad year. To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION | Value of stock awards, bonuses rises



any top executives in the Kansas City region’s public companies gained multi-million-dollar wealth last year. The 2012 fiscal year was, said Mercer compensation expert Spencer Fields, a “perfect storm” to plump up executive pay. One force was the pay-for-performance trend, born of pay regulations designed to align executive rewards with shareholder interests. That force has pushed dollars from straight pay to bonus pay and stock options. Then came sterling stock market growth in 2012. As a result, the value of the executives’ stock and option compensation mushroomed along with their companies’ stock prices. Many executives realized big gains last year by using previously granted stock options to buy shares at below the prevailing stock market price. Many realized gains on their vesting days — the dates they obtained personal control of previously restricted shares granted to them by the company. To better show just how generous their 2012 total wealth accumulation was, Star 40 this year added a second “Wall Street Payday” executive compensation chart, on this page. The new chart digs into the corporate proxy reports to show the combined snapshot values of all their share gains, through both stock and options awards previously granted by the companies. And it wasn’t just chief executives who raked in these rewards. The top five officers at O’Reilly Automotive Inc., for example, realized more than $27 million in value from shares they collected through previous restricted stock grants and stock option awards. Chairman David O’Reilly accumulated about $12.9 million of that total, easily the biggest gain among Star

WALL STREET PAYDAY Executives of many area companies rode 2012’s strong stock market to big gains from their stock options and stock grants. Executive



Value realized

David O’Reilly Thomas A. McDonnell Michael R. Haverty Neal L. Patterson Greg Henslee Angelo C. Brisimitzakis David M. Brain David S. Haffner Daniel R. Hesse Thomas McFall Zane M. Burke

Chairman Retired CEO Executive chairman Chairman, president, CEO President and CEO Retired president, CEO President and CEO Chief executive officer President and CEO Executive vice president, CFO Executive vice president, client organization Executive vice president, CFO Executive vice president, COO President and CEO Senior vice president, CIO

O'Reilly Automotive Inc. DST Systems Inc. Kansas City Southern Cerner Corp. O'Reilly Automotive Inc. Compass Minerals International Inc. EPR Properties Leggett & Platt Inc. Sprint Nextel Corp. O'Reilly Automotive Inc. Cerner Corp.

$12,910,340 $8,908,010 $7,249,503 $7,137,250 $6,788,514 $6,598,504 $6,332,896 $4,785,605 $4,091,250 $3,899,772 $3,838,619

Cerner Corp. Cerner Corp. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.

$3,430,150 $3,404,121 $3,287,921 $3,131,826

Marc G. Naughton Michael R. Nill Jeffrey L. Turner Philip J. Sanders

These amounts represent the value the executive realized by using stock options to purchase shares below market prices, or by gaining full control of previously restricted shares granted by the company. Source: company proxy statements

40 companies’ executive ranks. Last year, 42 executives in the Star 40 companies each gained at least $1 million worth of stock through these prior awards, corporate reports show. It’s important to note that the new “realized values” chart is just one measure of wealth accumulation. It doesn’t say whether the executives sold their shares and pocketed cash or continue to hold the stock and ride their companies’ share prices up or down. In other words, for executive pay, there isn’t an annual takehome pay number printed in a box like on most workers’ annual Form W2s. But that’s where the traditional Star 40 CEO compensation chart has tried to come close. The Star 40 CEO pay tally – the larger chart on the next page that includes most of the Star 40 CEOs — tells what the companies listed on their corporate books as their compensation expenses at the time the restricted stock and stock


option grants were made to their CEOs. That’s different from the values the executives eventually realized, which is the value the smaller chart on this page shows for some. The big chart shows that million-dollar base salaries – as paid to Cerner Corp. CEO Neal Patterson and Waddell & Reed Financial CEO Hank Herrmann – are only the beginning. For most of the bigger-company CEOs, stock awards, options and “non-equity incentive” compensation dwarf their base pay. Column after column are filled with multimillion-dollar numbers. For some, like H&R Block CEO William C. Cobb, about $9 million in stock and options awards far outclassed his $951,200 base salary and more than $1.7 million in bonus and incentive pay. That kind of compensation structure is consistent with the pay-for-performance intent to link executive pay with corporate performance. Cobb may

or may not collect that $9 million later; that depends on what happens to the value of Block stock. For others, such as CEOs Daniel Hesse at Sprint Nextel and Herrmann at Waddell & Reed, and former CEO Thomas McDonnell at DST Systems, multi-million-dollar numbers appear as “non-equity incentive” pay. Such incentives can be figured differently by different companies, but basically they’re a bonus tied to performance. Seaboard Corp. classified Steven Bresky’s $1.2 million added pay solely in the “bonus” column. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings divided Jeffrey Turner’s performancebased pay into both the bonus and non-equity incentive columns. Other items of note: ❚ Some longtime Star 40 executives besides David O’Reilly were big payday winners last year because of previous stock and option awards. McDonnell, who retired from DST, and Michael Haverty, executive chairman of Kansas City

Southern, benefited greatly by such gains. McDonnell’s gain was nearly $9 million, and Haverty’s more than $7 million. ❚ Other Star 40 CEOs who each realized more than $3 million in stock gains last year were Patterson at Cerner, Greg Henslee at O’Reilly, Angelo Brisimitzakis, who retired as Compass Minerals International CEO during the year, David Brain at EPR Properties, David Haffner at Leggett & Platt, Hesse at Sprint, and Turner at Spirit AeroSystems, who also has retired. ❚ It wasn’t just CEOs who benefited. Thanks to vesting, other $3 million-plus wealth accumulation reported by Star 40 companies went to Thomas McFall, chief financial officer at O’Reilly, to Philip J. Sanders, chief investment officer at Waddell & Reed, and to Marc Naughton, Michael Nill and Zane Burke, other top-five executives at Cerner. ❚ David O’Reilly was by far the biggest wealth accumulator among Star 40 executives last year, but because he is chairman he isn’t on the CEO pay chart. On the CEO 2012 pay chart, Cobb, at H&R Block, topped the list. ❚ Look for at least six new Star 40 CEOs in 2013. Clifton Pemble has succeeded Min Kao at Garmin Ltd.; Steve Hooley has followed McDonnell at DST; Fran Malecha now has the job at Compass Minerals, Terry Bassham is CEO at Great Plains Energy, Larry A. Lawson heads Spirit AeroSystems, and Paul L. Thomas recently became CEO of NASB Financial Inc. ❚ Kao, who co-founded Garmin and whose wealth is estimated at well over $2 billion because of his Garmin stock, announced his retirement in December. His reported 2012 pay? Less than $600,000. To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


TOP CEO COMPENSATION REPORT Ranks chief executive officers by total compensation for 2012, according to filings for the company’s most recent fiscal year. Not all reports cover the same 12 months. Rank


Chief executive


H&R Block Inc.


Sprint Nextel Corp.


Non-equity incentives

Pension & deferred earnings


2012 total































Stock award Options award

William C. Cobb




Daniel R. Hesse




Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.

Hank Herrmann




DST Systems Inc.

Thomas A. McDonnell*



Seaboard Corp.

Steven J. Bresky



Leggett & Platt Inc.

David S. Haffner


Cerner Corp.

Neal L. Patterson


Compass Minerals International Inc.

Angelo C. Brisimitzakis*


Kansas City Southern

David L. Starling



Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc.

Jeffrey L. Turner*



Commerce Bancshares Inc.

David W. Kemper



Great Plains Energy Inc.

Michael J. Chesser*



Euronet Worldwide Inc.

Michael J. Brown


Percent change

2011 total

Star 40 rank

















6 3


















































































24 4


O'Reilly Automotive Inc.

Greg Henslee












Jack Henry & Associates Inc.

John F. Prim













EPR Properties

David M. Brain













Kansas City Life Insurance Co.

R. Philip Bixby













Epiq Systems Inc.

Tom W. Olofson













Westar Energy Inc.

Mark A. Ruelle













Ferrellgas Partners L.P.

Stephen L. Wambold













UMB Financial Corp.

J. Mariner Kemper













Capitol Federal Financial

John B. Dicus











33 20


NIC Inc.

Harry H. Herington












YRC Worldwide Inc.

James L. Welch













QC Holdings Inc.

Darrin J. Anderson













Great Southern Bancorp Inc.

Joseph W. Turner













Empire District Electric Co.

Bradley P. Beecher











34 32


MGP Ingredients Inc.

Timothy W. Newkirk












Novation Cos. Inc.

W. Lance Anderson













Butler National Corp.

Clark D. Stewart













Garmin Ltd.

Min H. Kao*













Southern Missouri Bancorp. Inc.

Greg A. Steffens













Hawthorn Bancshares Inc.

David T. Turner











38 30


Landmark Bancorp Inc.

Patrick L. Alexander












Inergy L.P.

John J. Sherman













Guaranty Federal Bancshares Inc.

Shaun Burke











43 37


Management Network Group Inc.

Donald E. Klumb


NASB Financial Inc.

David H. Hancock*






















Elecsys Corp.


Karl B. Gemperli













Monarch Cement Co.

Walter H. Wulf Jr.













Digital Ally Inc.

Stanton E. Ross













Torotel Inc.

Dale H. Sizemore Jr.












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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


Most companies off to a good start Sprint, Block among those whose shares have healthy gains. By MARK DAVIS The Kansas City Star

Seven years ago, a big merger drove a local company to the top of our annual rankings of publicly traded companies. Since then, the deal that created Sprint Nextel Corp. has been ranked among the worst corporate consummations ever. The Overland Park wireless phone company is in the late stages of shutting down the Nextel network it gained. And Sprint, after years of recovery work, is on the precipice of taking another big leap.

Will it merge with satellite television operator Dish Network Corp. or exchange 70 percent ownership for a pile of cash from Tokyobased SoftBank Corp.? The battle for control of Sprint has helped push its stock up 26.1 percent this year through Friday’s close. And, as we’ve mentioned in years past, a strong stock can be a harbinger of better rankings in what we now call Star 40. It had been Star 50 but we no longer have that many publicly traded companies to rank. Higher stock prices lift a company’s market value, which is one component of our ranking. Market value is a company’s stock price times the number of shares it has in the hands of share-

holders. Rising stock prices also often reflect improving profits, or growing revenues, the two other factors that decide where companies land among the Star 40. One year ago, we noted that H&R Block’s shares were doing poorly, and the company’s ranking slipped to No. 15 this year (in a tie with Sprint) from No. 9 a year before. This year H&R Block shares are soaring, up 54.1 percent and easily the best showing among the larger Star 40 contenders. Another sign the company may be doing better is that it survived what was a chaotic tax season shortened by government-induced delays. Shares of No. 1 Cerner

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Corp., a repeat winner from last year, have climbed 24.7 percent this year. That’s a leg up on what would be an unprecedented “three-peat” first finish should it come to that next year. No. 4 Kansas City Southern doesn’t have far to climb to a top ranking, and its shares’ nearly 32 percent advance this year help the cause. Cerner and Kansas City Southern also are among a few Star 40 contenders we’ve identified as being in a sweet spot in the economy. But a lot of local stocks are doing well this spring. Nearly two thirds of our Star 40 contenders’ shares are beating the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Leading the pack is tiny Digital Ally Inc., the Overland Park seller of surveillance equipment to law enforcement and others. Digital Ally missed this year’s cut, ranking 44 among 46 companies we compared. Small is a big disadvantage in Star 40. Half our calculations are affected by the size of a company’s revenues, profits and market value. A smaller company’s rankings depend greatly on increasing those totals, which accounts for the other half of our comparisons. Digital’s management spent the first half of 2012 fixing the problems that had made 2011 “clearly a bad year,” as chief executive Stan Ross described it in a conference call with analysts in late March. New products, a push for more non-government customers, and a nearly complete marketing overhaul, including replacing sales reps with sales employees, have begun to show results. Revenues and profits both improved greatly in the first quarter, one reason the stock is doing well. Overland Park-based YRC

STAR 40 STOCK UPDATE Here’s how the companies rank by the increase in their stock share price this year through Friday. Company Digital Ally Inc. YRC Worldwide Inc. Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. H&R Block Inc. Guaranty Federal Bancshares Inc. MGP Ingredients Inc. Elecsys Corp. Euronet Worldwide Inc. Kansas City Southern Management Network Group Inc. CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. Sprint Nextel Corp. EPR Properties Cerner Corp. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. O'Reilly Automotive Inc. Inergy L.P. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. Leggett & Platt Inc. Westar Energy Inc. Ferrellgas Partners L.P. Great Plains Energy Inc. Jack Henry & Associates Inc. Compass Minerals International Inc. DST Systems Inc. Dow Jones industrial average Southern Missouri Bancorp. Inc. UMB Financial Corp. Commerce Bancshares Inc. Standard & Poor's 500 Empire District Electric Co. Nasdaq composite Inergy Midstream L.P. Seaboard Corp. Monarch Cement Co. NASB Financial Inc. NIC Inc. Landmark Bancorp Inc. Torotel Inc. Capitol Federal Financial Great Southern Bancorp Inc. Butler National Corp. EPIQ Systems Inc. Kansas City Life Insurance Co. QC Holdings Inc. Garmin Ltd. Novation Companies Inc.


Friday's close $6.38 $10.95 $11.87 $28.62 $9.91


Percent change 83.33% 62.22% 58.27% 54.12% 43.83%

Dec 31 2012 $3.48 $6.75 $7.50 $18.57 $6.89

$4.76 $5.725 $31.33 $110.15 $2.95

39.18% 36.93% 32.75% 31.95% 27.71%

$3.42 $4.18 $23.60 $83.48 $2.31






$7.15 $57.71 $96.67 $43.26 $109.89 $22.30 $20.50

26.10% 25.16% 24.72% 24.24% 22.89% 22.59% 20.80%

$5.67 $46.11 $77.51 $34.82 $89.42 $18.19 $16.97


$32.84 $34.22 $19.95 $23.95 $46.00 $86.83

20.65% 19.57% 18.40% 17.92% 17.17% 16.22%

$27.22 $28.62 $16.85 $20.31 $39.26 $74.71


$69.36 14,973.96 $25.64

14.46% 14.27% 14.21%

$60.60 13,104.14 $22.45


$50.04 $39.99 1,614.42 $22.96 3,378.63 $24.55 $2,763.44 $21.80 $22.92 $17.01 $20.49 $0.41 $11.83 $25.67 $0.19 $12.63 $36.57 $3.10 $34.81 $0.49

14.19% 14.06% 13.20% 12.66% 11.89% 10.34% 9.23% 7.92% 7.25% 4.10% 3.02% 2.50% 1.20% 0.86% -0.73% -0.98% -4.17% -4.32% -14.58% -20.97%

$43.82 $35.06 1,426.19 $20.38 3,019.51 $22.25 $2,529.88 $20.20 $21.37 $16.34 $19.89 $0.40 $11.69 $25.45 $0.19 $12.75 $38.16 $3.24 $40.75 $0.62

Worldwide Inc. ranked 36th among the Star 40 but second for its stock performance this year through Friday. Most of its 62.2 percent stock gain came on Friday when the company’s firstquarter operating profit lifted shares by 41 percent. The trucking giant is still losing money thanks to its big interest expense on debt,

but the earnings report showed it had come a long way from two reorganizations that basically allowed it to avoid bankruptcy. “The whole thing here is continuous improvement,” said David Ross, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


More ways to look at the Star 40 statistics REVENUE LEADERS



Ranks companies by revenue, generally for the calendar year 2012, and then shows their revenue growth and how that ranked.

Ranks companies by net income, generally during the calendar year 2012, and then shows its growth rate and how that ranked.

Ranks companies by stock market value at the end of calendar year 2012, and then shows how much that value increased, and how that change ranked.

Rank Company

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

Sprint Nextel Corp. Seaboard Corp. O'Reilly Automotive Inc. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. YRC Worldwide Inc. Leggett & Platt Inc. Garmin Ltd. H&R Block Inc. Cerner Corp. DST Systems Inc. Great Plains Energy Inc. Westar Energy Inc. Kansas City Southern Ferrellgas Partners L.P. Inergy L.P. Euronet Worldwide Inc. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. Commerce Bancshares Inc. Layne Christensen Co. Jack Henry & Associates Inc. Compass Minerals International Inc. UMB Financial Corp. Empire District Electric Co. Alco Stores Inc. Kansas City Life Insurance Co. Epiq Systems Inc. Capitol Federal Financial Inc. MGP Ingredients Inc. EPR Properties Great Southern Bancorp Inc. NIC Inc. Novation Companies Inc. Inergy Midstream L.P. QC Holdings Inc. Monarch Cement Co. NASB Financial Inc. Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. Management Network Group Inc. Butler National Corp. Southern Missouri Bancorp Inc. Landmark Bancorp Inc. Guaranty Federal Bancshares Inc. Elecsys Corp. Digital Ally Inc. Torotel Inc. CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc.

Revenue in millions

Revenue growth


$35,345.00 $6,189.13 $6,182.18 $5,397.70

5% 8% 7% 11%

21 16 17 10

$4,850.50 $3,720.80 $2,715.68 $2,706.41 $2,665.44 $2,576.60 $2,309.90 $2,261.47 $2,238.60 $1,993.17 $1,776.80 $1,267.60 $1,173.81

0% 2% -2% -8% 21% 8% 0% 4% 7% -22% -20% 9% 5%

30 25 33 40 5 15 29 23 18 46 45 11 22




$1,075.62 $1,072.61

-3% 8%

35 13

Rank Company

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19




$797.81 $557.10

5% -3%

19 36

$492.60 $439.93

3% 5%

24 20

$373.09 $344.75

32% -7%

3 39

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

$334.34 $321.79 $233.17

20% 8% 1%

6 14 27

$211.14 $196.12

17% 43%

7 2

$193.40 $180.57 $151.77 $120.78 $58.84

13% 2% 24% 12% -6%

8 26 4 9 38

32 33 34 35





$52.40 $41.59

-1% -6%

32 37

$34.56 $32.25

9% -10%

12 41

37 38 39 40 41 42

$23.93 $17.62 $11.62 $10.57

1% -10% -1% 228%

28 42 31 1


43 44 45 46

O'Reilly Automotive Inc. Inergy L.P. Garmin Ltd. Cerner Corp. Kansas City Southern H&R Block Inc. DST Systems Inc. Seaboard Corp. Westar Energy Inc. Commerce Bancshares Inc. Leggett & Platt Inc. Great Plains Energy Inc. Jack Henry & Associates Inc. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. UMB Financial Corp. EPR Properties Compass Minerals International Inc. Capitol Federal Financial Inc. Novation Companies Inc. Empire District Electric Co. Inergy Midstream L.P. Great Southern Bancorp Inc. Kansas City Life Insurance Co. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. NIC Inc. Ferrellgas Partners L.P. Epiq Systems Inc. NASB Financial Inc. Euronet Worldwide Inc. CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. Southern Missouri Bancorp Inc. Landmark Bancorp Inc. QC Holdings Inc. Monarch Cement Co. Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. Guaranty Federal Bancshares Inc. MGP Ingredients Inc. Elecsys Corp. Alco Stores Inc. Torotel Inc. Butler National Corp. Management Network Group Inc. Digital Ally Inc. Layne Christensen Co. YRC Worldwide Inc. Sprint Nextel Corp.

Income in millions

Profit growth


$585.75 $572.30 $542.40 $397.23 $377.30 $355.71 $324.00 $282.31 $275.15 $269.33

15% 1186% 4% 30% 14% 5% 77% -18% 20% 5%

21 1 31 18 25 29 8 37 20 30

$248.20 $199.90 $162.96

62% 15% 13%

10 24 26




$122.72 $121.56 $88.90

15% 5% -40%

22 28 39










$54.60 $48.71

-8% 61%

35 11







$26.34 $25.83 $22.43 $21.49 $20.54 $12.35

15% 176% 86% 359% -44% 323%

23 5 7 3 40 4




$6.37 $5.37 $3.16 $2.82

42% -47% 103% -1%

16 42 6 33




$1.62 $1.43 $1.31 $0.53 $0.39 -$1.19

51% 24% -21% -47% -66% 73%

14 19 38 41 45 9

-$1.97 -$36.65 -$140.40 -$4,326.00

50% 35% 60% -50%

15 17 12 44

Rank Company

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

Sprint Nextel Corp. Cerner Corp. O'Reilly Automotive Inc. Kansas City Southern Garmin Ltd. H&R Block Inc. Leggett & Platt Inc. Westar Energy Inc. Jack Henry & Associates Inc. Commerce Bancshares Inc. Great Plains Energy Inc. Seaboard Corp. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. DST Systems Inc. Compass Minerals International Inc. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. Inergy L.P. EPR Properties Inergy Midstream L.P. Capitol Federal Financial Inc. UMB Financial Corp. Ferrellgas Partners L.P. Euronet Worldwide Inc. NIC Inc. Empire District Electric Co. Layne Christensen Co. Epiq Systems Inc. Kansas City Life Insurance Co. Great Southern Bancorp Inc. NASB Financial Inc. CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. Monarch Cement Co. Southern Missouri Bancorp Inc. MGP Ingredients Inc. Landmark Bancorp Inc. Novation Companies Inc. QC Holdings Inc. YRC Worldwide Inc. Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. Alco Stores Inc. Guaranty Federal Bancshares Inc. Management Network Group Inc. Elecsys Corp. Butler National Corp. Digital Ally Inc. Torotel Inc.

Market value in millions

Market value growth


$17,066.70 $13,338.62 $10,101.19 $9,193.77 $7,970.37 $5,056.97 $3,867.96 $3,620.54 $3,381.45

143% 28% -1% 23% 3% 5% 20% 0% 16%

1 10 33 13 28 25 16 31 18




$3,118.19 $3,029.94 $2,983.34

5% 23% 41%

26 14 6

$2,684.58 $2,485.79

34% 9%

8 21




$2,396.37 $2,161.98 $1,910.71 $1,778.23

-8% 6% 36% -8%

37 24 7 38

$1,767.74 $1,344.86 $1,164.01 $1,056.02 $865.83

17% -11% 25% 24% -2%

17 39 11 12 34

$480.99 $458.01 $421.01

1% 7% 13%

29 23 19




$168.13 $145.57

100% 97%

2 3

$81.08 $73.12

-15% 0%

40 30

$61.34 $58.12 $56.72

-33% 12% 41%

45 20 5

$55.67 $53.84 $36.29

-19% -21% 29%

42 43 9

$30.68 $18.77

-4% 22%

35 15




$16.31 $11.11 $7.08 $2.21

5% -50% -27% 0%

27 46 44 32



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


Look for Star 40, other business and financial news online For the online version of this year’s Star 40, go to The online edition includes the data on the re-

gion’s publicly traded companies, and it can be sorted by company and data field. The Star 40 articles also can be read online and

emailed to others. Besides the Star 40 report, click on Business at Kansas to find breaking business news and reports

on local companies every day. In addition, stock quotes are available on the Business page by putting in their ticker symbol.




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Nation★World Ground zero plus

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Workers on Monday placed the first piece of steel above ground at the World Trade Center’s new transportation hub, which when completed in 2015 will be shaped like enormous white wings.

Corn prices dropped the most in five weeks on speculation that drier weather will allow U.S. farmers to accelerate planting this week.



T-bill rates down The Treasury Department auctioned $29 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.040 percent, down from 0.050 percent last week. An additional $24 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.76 percent, down from 0.80 percent last week. The average yield for one-year Treasury bills edged down to 0.11 percent from 0.12 percent.

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Spain, Italy make plea The premiers of Spain and Italy teamed up Monday to push the eurozone to focus more on spurring economic growth instead of just reducing debt – a move they hope will reduce high youth unemployment and speed up a banking reform effort aimed at stabilizing Europe’s financial system.

Migraine meds warning U.S. health regulators are telling doctors and women of child-bearing age that half-a-dozen medicines used to treat migraine headaches can decrease children’s intelligence if taken while their mothers are pregnant. The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that the drugs, including Depakote and Depacon, should never be taken by pregnant women for the prevention of migraine headaches. The pills, which all contain the ingredient valproate sodium, already carry a boxed warning about the risk of birth defects. | The Associated Press

By BRIAN STELTER The New York Times


Warren Buffett was interviewed Monday for the Fox Business Network. Bill Gates, a Berkshire Hathaway board member, was in Omaha for the annual shareholder meeting.

Buffett says stocks reasonable, bonds hard to hold right now By JOSH FUNK The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. | Investor Warren Buffett said even though the stock market is soaring, prices appear reasonable, and stocks would be a better investment than bonds for most people. Buffett was interviewed Monday on CNBC and the Fox Business Network cable channels after a weekend full of events in Omaha for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. “Bonds are a terrible investment right now,” Buffett said. Buffett said bond prices are artificially inflated because the

Federal Reserve continues to buy $85 billion of bonds a month, and owners of longterm bonds may see big losses when interest rates eventually rise. Buffett said inflation is also likely when the Fed stops buying bonds. He said the average investor should keep enough cash to be comfortable and invest the rest in equities. But Buffett said most investors pay too much attention when the stock market reaches record highs. The Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep interest rates low

have helped the stock market soar, Buffett said, but the improving economy has also played a role. Buffett said he remains a fan of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He also reiterated his support of JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. He said that bank, which he has invested in for his personal portfolio, has the right CEO. Buffett said the current low interest rates continue to make long-term borrowing like 30-year mortgages attractive, but he expects significant inflation eventually.


ouTube this week will announce a plan to let some video makers charge a monthly subscription, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The overwhelming majority of videos on YouTube, a unit of Google, will remain free to all, but the plan will let the company’s partners try out a second source of revenue, analogous to the flexible pay walls that some newspapers and magazines have adopted. There will be subscription channels for children’s programming, entertainment, music and many other topic areas, according to the people with knowledge of the plan, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had been asked by YouTube not to comment publicly yet. Some channels will cost as little as $1.99 a month. These won’t be channels in the television sense of the term; rather, they will consist of libraries of videos on demand, much like the thousands of free channels already on YouTube. Some of the video makers who have worked with YouTube on the subscription option want to convert existing fans to paying customers; others hope to distinguish themselves by selling archives of old TV episodes.



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013

Boulevard setting up charity giving

Boulevard Pilsner has been renamed KC Pils. Some of its sales will go to benefit various charities.

will get 20 percent each. The process will repeat itself every three months, so a dozen organizations will receive funding each year. The first three “10% for KC” charities will be announced June 1, with the sales running July 1 through the end of September. The public will be able to submit nominations at Boulevard recently rebranded its popular Boulevard Pilsner, an all-malt lager. It is now called KC Pils.

the quarter, members of the public also can vote for their favorite charity among the three. The charity getting

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC.

By JOYCE SMITH The Kansas City Star

A portion of the sales of Boulevard Brewing Co.’s popular pilsner will soon benefit local charities. Under the “10% for KC” program announced Monday, the brewery will donate 10 percent of the sales of its KC Pils each quarter to three different charities. Employees from Boulevard and Ripple Glass, the area glass recycling company, will select the first three charities to kick off the program. Then employees will select three different charities for each quarter from public nominations. During the last 10 days of


the most online votes will receive 60 percent of the available funds raised during that quarter; the runners-up

CITYSCAPE: Women’s clothier coming to Plaza FROM C3

made sausage and housemade ricotta cheese, Campo Lindo chicken breast, and scallops with asparagus, crab and Hollandaise. Desserts include pineapple cheesecake and “cake and coffee” almond cake. She has changed the decor a bit, including the addition of a large wooden banquette made by her husband, Ken Buch. She has also replaced the yellow awnings out in front for bright orange but kept the floor-to-ceiling windows along Grand, which bathe the restaurant in natural light during the day. She still hopes to decorate one wall of Collection with her customers’ high school photos. Another will likely have the Collection moose head logo. Collection is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and for dinner from 5 p.m. to close Thursday through Saturday. It also will be open for dinner on other nights when there are spe-

cial events at the Sprint Center or the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The second food operation in the building? It’s called the Belfry, taking its name from another place on Westtown’s campus where students hang out and order snacks. Tio is taking that name for the back of 1532 Grand, creating a “casual neighborhood joint” serving French press coffee and grab-and-go lunches, along with a dinner and late night menu. She also hopes to serve her own beers made on site. The Belfry will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday with an entrance on 16th Street. It is scheduled to open in about six weeks. Tio also continues to own and operate her Julian restaurant in Brookside. “I like to keep busy,” she said, while prepping a Faroe

Island salmon on Monday. “I answer the phone, and it seems to people like I am at both locations all the time, and I kind of am. It’s fun.”

corner of 47th Street and Broadway on the Plaza, and plans to open Friday.

Crown Center shuffle


INERGY: Growing company bought out by Houston firm FROM C3

tion of the buyout, the companies said. When the transaction is complete, the headquarters will be in Houston, with executive offices in Kansas City and Fort Worth. Robert G. Phillips, Crestwood’s chairman and chief executive, will head the newly merged company. John Sherman and R. Brooks Sherman Jr., president of Inergy, will step down from day-to-day management. However, both will maintain their investments in the partnership. Inergy has 800 employees including 130 in its Kansas City office. Sherman said he expects the number to stay the same or grow. Crestwood Midstream is controlled by the private equity firm First Reserve,

which owns Crestwood Holdings and 43 percent of Crestwood Midstream. Together, the combined company will provide pipeline and other services in some of the biggest oil and gas drilling areas in North America, including the Marcellus, Bakken and Eagleford shale formations. “We view this transaction as a merger of equals through which we are creating a larger, more diversified operating platform that will be highly attractive to investors, customers, creditors and employees,” Phillips said. To reach Steve Everly, call 816-234-4455 or send email to To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to

Learn more than theory... Become a better teacher and increase all student learning.

Two longtime Crown Center retailers — sister companies Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works — plan to close this month in Crown Center. Corporate officials had no comment on the closings. The locally owned Sage & Daisy, another bath and body shop, also plans to close May 26. In other Crown Center news, Juice Stop is to open in the center this month.

New Plaza retailer The Country Club Plaza will get another exclusive store. Eileen Fisher, a women’s clothing store chain, plans to open a 1,383-square-foot store this summer at 417 Nichols Road, the former site of Coach. Eileen Fisher is described as “an American designer known for blending trend and timelessness.” The company was founded in 1984 and it now has 57 stores across the United States as well as a store in Vancouver, B.C., and three stores in London. Coach is relocating to the

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC.

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Settlement sends bank sector higher; overall market flat The Associated Press

Bank of America led a rally in bigbank stocks in mostly quiet trading on Monday. Stock indexes ended little changed following a record-setting run last week. News that Bank of America and MBIA, a bond-insurance company, had reached a settlement over a longrunning dispute propelled both companies’ stocks up. Bank of America will pay $1.7 billion to MBIA and extend the troubled company a credit line. MBIA soared 45 percent, or $4.46, to $14.29. Bank of America gained 5 percent, or 64 cents, to $12.88, making it the leading company in the Dow Jones industrial average. The Dow slipped 5.07 points and closed at 14,968.89. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index crept up 3.08 points to 1,617.50, a gain of 0.2 percent. Six of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose, with financial companies in the lead. No major economic reports came out Monday, but a handful of companies reported their quarterly results. Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest meat-processing company, fell 3 percent, the biggest drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, after saying its net income sank as costs for chicken feed rose. Tyson’s stock lost 83 cents to $24.10. Companies have reported solid quarterly profits so far this earnings season. Seven of every 10 big companies in the S&P 500 have beat the earnings estimates of financial analysts, according to S&P Capital IQ. But revenue has looked weak: Six of 10 have missed revenue forecasts. “Yet again, corporations continue to do more with less,” said Dan Veru, the chief investment officer of Palisade Capital Management. Veru said the trend was likely to lead to more mergers in the coming months, as cash-rich companies look for ways to raise their revenue. A wave of mergers could shift the stock market’s rally into a higher gear, he


For stock quotes and other financial and markets information go to

Regional movers YRC Worldwide: $15.44, up $4.49, or 41% Inergy L.P.: $23.75, up $1.45, or 6.5% Sprint: $7.20, up 5 cents, or .7% Cerner: $95.59, down $1.08, or 1.1%

said. The stock market cleared new milestones Friday after the government reported that employers added more workers to their payrolls in recent months. The unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, the lowest in four years. That news sent the Dow through the 15,000 mark for the first time, while the S&P 500 closed above 1,600, another first. In Monday trading, the Nasdaq composite rose 14.34 points to 3,392.97, an increase of 0.4 percent. The price of crude oil edged up 55 cents to $96.16. In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year note inched up to 1.76 percent from 1.74 percent late Friday. Berkshire Hathaway rose 1.3 percent, or $1.36, to $110. Warren Buffett’s company turned in earnings late Friday that trumped analysts’ estimates for both profit and revenue. Berkshire reported strong gains from its insurance units, Geico and General Reinsurance, its BNSF Railway company and other investments. In a round of television interviews on Monday, Buffett said that the stock market still appears reasonably priced even though major indexes are at alltime highs. But he said bonds were “a terrible investment right now.”

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013


The Markets REGIONAL STOCKS These companies have headquarters or operations with at least 250 employees in the region. Name

Monday’s Close Chg. Div

AGCO Corp Alcatel-Lucent Alliance Data Alliant Techsys Am Eagle Outftrs Ameristar Casino AMR Corp Arkansas Best Assurant Inc AT&T Inc Atmos Energy Bank Of America BE Aerospace Berkshire Hath-A Berkshire Hath-B Cabela’s Inc Capital One Fin’l Capitol Federal CBIZ Inc Cedar Fair LP CenturyTel Cerner Corp Cintas Corp Citigroup Coca-Cola Ent Colgate-Palmolive Commerce Banc Compass Minerals ConAgra Foods Convergys Corp Crown Media CVS Caremark Deere & Co Deluxe Corp Digital Ally Dillards DineEquity DST Systems Elecsys Corp Empire Dist Enterprise Financial Entertain Prop Enterprise Bancorp Epiq Systems Euronet FedEx Corp Ferrellgas-LP Ford Motor Co Garmin Ltd General Electric General Motors Great Plains En Great Southn Guaranty Fed Banc H&R Block Inc Harley-Davidson Harte-Hanks Inc Hawthorn Banc Highwoods Home Depot Inc Honeywell Intl Hooper Holmes IBM Illinois Tool Works Inergy Intl Paper Intl Speedway Isle Of Capri J. B. Hunt Trans J.C. Penney Co

54.48 0.29 1.31 -0.02 172.66 -1.29 72.70 -0.27 19.17 0.16 26.34 -0.03 4.42 0.09 14.73 4.18 47.92 0.47 37.09 -0.25 44.40 -0.09 12.88 0.64 63.75 0.11 164990 2086 110.00 1.36 65.91 1.20 59.05 0.53 11.88 0.05 6.52 0.12 42.27 0.29 37.05 -0.09 95.59 -1.08 45.11 -0.14 47.48 0.51 37.04 -0.18 120.20 -0.95 40.36 0.37 87.09 0.26 35.43 -0.23 17.49 -0.08 2.04 -0.01 57.94 -0.70 91.13 0.59 37.45 0.47 6.70 0.32 85.04 0.70 72.21 0.85 69.12 -0.24 5.80 0.08 22.63 -0.33 14.65 0.18 58.09 0.38 16.22 -0.02 12.60 -0.03 30.97 -0.36 96.23 1.71 20.09 0.14 14.09 0.26 35.28 0.47 22.58 0.01 31.82 -0.28 23.75 -0.20 26.51 0.84 9.91 0.00 28.46 -0.16 55.16 0.81 8.00 -0.14 11.64 -0.23 40.69 0.51 75.26 1.30 76.08 0.84 0.43 0.00 202.78 -1.73 65.75 0.04 23.75 1.45 45.89 0.27 33.93 -0.09 8.10 0.03 71.81 1.19 16.92 -0.34

Wkly% 52-wk P/E chg. High Low

0.40 10.4

6.3 -1.5 24.6 2.5 1.04 8.5 -1.4 0.50 13.6 0.3 0.50 14.7 -0.1 5.2 0.12 27.5 0.84 10.0 1.6 1.80 15.7 -0.6 1.40 19.7 0.6 0.04 14.8 4.0 20.3 2.5 19.8 3.3 3.2 21.8 2.3 1.20 9.8 2.7 0.30 25.3 -0.2 9.9 0.9 2.50 20.0 0.6 2.16 23.4 -1.1 40.3 0.8 0.64 18.6 0.7 0.04 11.4 1.4 0.80 16.2 1.6 2.72 22.2 0.7 0.90 13.9 1.3 2.18 29.1 5.5 1.00 17.8 0.1 0.24 17.7 5.2 6.8 -0.5 0.90 17.1 0.9 2.04 11.4 2.6 1.00 10.6 -1.6 51.6 0.20 13.6 2.9 3.00 23.3 2.4 1.20 15.4 0.9 15.7 -0.9 1.00 16.1 -1.7 0.21 9.2 2.8 3.16 23.0 3.0 0.46 12.5 0.8 0.36 24.2 -9.4 34.0 2.9 0.56 15.6 2.6 2.00 54.3 1.7 0.40 10.6 3.1 1.80 12.7 0.1 0.76 14.8 1.4 11.7 3.3 0.87 18.0 -0.8 0.72 9.6 1.6 26.8 -0.4 0.80 23.9 1.8 0.84 18.3 0.7 0.34 13.6 2.4 0.20 57.6 -1.4 1.70 65.6 0.0 1.56 24.5 2.2 1.64 15.4 3.1 7.5 3.80 13.1 1.8 1.52 16.9 1.4 1.16 14.8 8.9 1.20 15.7 -2.8 0.22 23.4 4.1 57.9 10.5 0.60 27.3 -0.6 -1.6

55.15 1.79 175.45 74.97 22.97 27.18 4.52 14.83 48.50 39.00 44.85 12.94 64.56 166869 111 66.43 62.92 12.17 6.59 43.00 43.43 98.22 45.94 48.05 37.64 122.40 40.93 87.68 36.31 17.82 2.15 59.37 95.60 42.50 7.00 89.42 78.40 71.50 5.98 23.35 15.04 61.00 18.19 14.40 31.97 109.66 21.85 14.30 47.18 23.90 32.44 24.18 31.81 10.61 29.68 55.68 9.81 12.05 41.12 75.37 76.17 0.71 215.90 65.96 24.64 49.10 34.30 8.19 75.73 34.99

38.09 0.91 119.56 43.08 17.01 15.04 0.36 6.43 32.41 32.47 32.10 6.72 36.51 118000 78 33.10 47.99 10.52 5.07 25.00 32.05 67.64 35.41 24.61 26.05 96.21 33.10 68.22 23.64 12.40 1.46 43.30 69.51 22.08 2.32 57.34 41.49 47.88 2.84 19.59 9.94 40.04 14.52 10.13 15.91 83.80 15.21 8.82 32.52 18.02 18.72 19.59 22.37 6.29 14.35 37.84 5.14 7.04 30.62 46.37 52.21 0.33 181.85 49.07 13.32 27.29 23.18 4.75 50.56 13.55


Monday’s Close Chg. Div

Jack Henry JPMorgan Chase Kansas City Life KC Southern Kellogg Co Keycorp Kohls Corp Kroger Co Laboratory Corp Landmark Bancorp Layne Christensen Leggett & Platt Lowe’s Cos Inc Macy’s Inc Marriott Intl McClatchy Co Meadwestvaco Mgmt Netwrk Gp MGP Ingredients NASB Financial Natl Bank Holdings NIC Inc Northrop Grmn O’Reilly Auto Olin Corp Oneok Inc Owens Corning Pentair Inc PepsiCo Inc PNC Financial Procter & Gamble QC Holdings Inc Quest Diagnostic Saia Inc Sanofi Avent ADR Seaboard Corp Sears Holdings Smithfield Foods Southern Missouri Southwest Air Spirit AeroSystems Sprint Nextel Co SPX Corp Standard Motor Staples Inc State Street Corp Swift Transport Target Corp Teva Pharm Time Warner Cable Time Warner Inc Tortoise En Cap Tortoise En Infra Tortoise NA UMB Financial Union Pacfic United Parcel UnitedHealth Grp US Bancorp VF Corp Waddell & Reed Walgreen Co Wal-Mart Stores Walt Disney Co Wells Fargo & Co Westar Energy Xerox Corp YRC Worldwide

46.37 48.18 36.55 109.23 63.44 10.14 48.24 34.50 93.55 20.52 20.40 32.61 40.81 46.00 43.11 2.42 34.57 2.94 4.69 22.75 18.11 16.59 77.06 110.27 24.04 47.19 43.01 54.50 82.50 68.26 77.75 3.05 57.94 42.06 53.04 2745 52.08 25.44 25.98 14.25 20.75 7.20 73.99 30.75 13.87 59.53 15.33 70.03 38.31 96.23 60.64 33.68 44.60 30.10 50.78 151.40 87.04 60.20 32.89 177.36 43.65 47.84 78.83 65.06 37.90 33.93 8.76 15.44

0.37 0.61 -0.02 -0.92 -0.22 0.11 -0.07 -0.21 0.74 0.03 -0.06 -0.23 1.22 -0.23 0.10 0.21 0.07 -0.01 -0.07 -0.17 0.03 -0.42 0.22 0.38 0.19 0.09 0.19 0.28 -0.33 0.15 -0.44 -0.05 0.73 0.38 -2.60 -18 0.63 -0.18 0.34 0.18 0.25 0.05 0.63 -0.61 0.35 0.08 0.23 -0.47 -0.19 -0.11 0.21 0.12 0.00 0.32 0.74 1.97 0.95 1.28 0.12 -0.19 0.39 -0.18 -0.42 0.26 0.16 -0.29 0.22 4.49

Data from Bloomberg

0.80 1.52 1.08 0.86 1.84 0.22 1.40 0.60

Wkly% 52-wk P/E chg. High Low 23.3 8.1 17.1 31.7 19.9 11.5 11.5 13.1 14.9 9.4

2.7 -1.5 1.7 1.5 -3.1 2.3 1.9 0.1 0.0 0.76 -1.3 -0.1 1.16 19.9 0.9 0.64 23.5 6.7 0.80 13.1 2.1 0.52 23.3 3.6 3.6 -1.2 1.00 32.5 0.1 -2.0 -3.7 0.05 8.3 -0.2 0.6 0.20 34.6 -5.4 10.3 2.8 22.2 2.4 0.80 12.3 -2.2 1.44 28.6 -7.8 38.6 1.3 1.00 51.4 -0.1 2.27 20.1 -0.2 1.76 11.4 -0.2 2.41 19.0 0.1 0.20 4.6 0.7 1.20 13.6 3.1 20.0 5.8 1.86 -2.7 3.00 11.7 0.7 4.3 12.3 -1.0 0.60 9.2 4.9 0.04 21.8 5.2 8.3 3.0 1.1 1.00 31.4 -0.8 0.44 14.8 0.0 0.48 15.8 7.4 1.04 14.2 2.4 16.7 9.4 1.44 15.4 -0.9 1.28 -1.1 2.60 16.4 2.1 1.15 17.4 0.8 1.69 1.5 2.28 -0.6 1.59 2.5 0.86 18.5 1.3 2.76 17.8 2.7 2.48 19.1 0.9 0.85 11.7 0.3 0.78 11.2 -1.2 3.48 17.2 1.5 1.12 18.6 4.0 1.10 19.9 -3.2 1.88 15.7 0.6 0.75 21.1 3.3 1.20 10.7 0.1 1.36 15.9 -2.2 0.00 9.0 3.7 110.9

46.63 51.00 39.95 112.25 66.84 10.26 55.25 35.24 95.92 21.49 25.11 34.07 40.88 46.45 43.56 3.46 38.39 3.54 5.90 25.39 20.25 19.35 77.79 110.52 26.05 52.46 43.88 54.98 84.32 69.65 82.54 4.48 64.87 42.36 55.77 2934 68.77 27.33 26.90 14.32 25.87 7.35 85.82 32.18 15.24 60.78 15.67 70.99 44.77 102.00 60.96 33.73 50.63 36.26 52.61 151.74 87.55 63.95 35.46 178.91 44.62 50.35 79.50 65.59 38.20 34.96 9.38 15.59

32.17 30.83 30.59 61.36 46.33 6.80 41.35 20.98 81.56 18.00 17.42 19.26 24.76 32.31 33.93 1.50 26.15 1.91 2.98 14.90 17.69 10.34 56.59 75.61 18.40 39.32 25.70 36.31 65.68 53.36 59.07 2.88 53.25 18.05 33.03 1875 38.40 17.55 21.07 8.00 13.96 2.32 56.31 11.94 10.57 38.95 7.47 54.68 36.63 73.52 33.62 23.89 36.17 22.81 40.27 105.14 69.56 50.32 28.58 129.53 25.76 28.53 58.27 43.09 29.80 27.33 6.10 5.01



TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013

Solar manufacturer turns profit as orders increase First Solar Inc., the largest U.S. solar manufacturer by shipments, reported a firstquarter profit as sales from new power projects surged. Net income was $59.1 mil-

lion, or 66 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $449 million, or $5.20 a share, the company said Monday. Sales climbed 52 percent to $755.2 million.



Excluding some one-time expenses, earnings of 69 cents were six cents less than the average of 17 analysts’ estimates. | Bloomberg


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SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013



Kentucky Derby winner Orb is the heavy favorite to take another step toward the Triple Crown today at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. | B1

Gasoline prices have been soaring in the Midwest, including the Kansas City area, but some relief may be ahead. | A14



“I’m not trying to get in there and be the legislature.” GOV. JAY NIXON


The death penalty in Kansas has cobwebs Although the state allows capital punishment, no one has been executed there since 1965. By DAVE HELLING The Kansas City Star


During a day full of meetings with aides and deliberations on bills, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon also spoke with leaders of Lincoln University and Linn State Technical College on Wednesday in Jefferson City.

Despite what some Missouri lawmakers say, Nixon is deeply engaged behind the scenes.

helpful to have him around more during the process.” But at 9:47 a.m. Wednesday in his Capitol office, Nixon was plowing into House Bill 159, an obscure piece of legislation about high school residency requirements. Nixon wanted to know if the bill might make it possible for a parent to game the system and unfairly send a son or daughter to a favored school. “How is the word ‘family’ defined?” Nixon asked his team of five aides huddled around a conference table. Six hours spent with the twoterm governor — just two days

By STEVE KRASKE The Kansas City Star

JEFFERSON CITY | Jay Nixon is a hands-off governor. That’s the word in the statehouse. He’s out of sight, disconnected, a distant presence rather than a dominating force, Republicans and more than a few Democrats say. “We just don’t see Jay,” said Rep. Chris Molendorp, a Belton Republican. “It sure would be

Republicans call the Missouri legislative session a historic success. Democrats call it a historic failure. | A4

before final adjournment — revealed a chief executive anything but disengaged. In a rapid-fire series of briefings, conversations and a public event, the Nixon governor’s office resembled NBC’s “The West Wing” — all bustling pace, steady focus and witty asides amid a constant procession of aides quickly scooting into and out of his office. Mental health. Government

reorganization. Public education. Taxes. The issues rolled at Nixon in waves. At one point, he was asked to pick between pale blue or green T-shirts for an exercise challenge this summer. “The staff is split,” an aide told Nixon as he stared at mockups of the two T-shirts. Nixon tabled that decision but made others, sometimes polling staff members one by one for their views on legislation. The meetings toggled between serious-mindedness, levity and Nixon’s own stories of SEE GOVERNOR | A12


Even TV can’t leave work behind

It may be weeks before Kansans know if prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Kyle Flack, accused of killing four people in Franklin County this spring. It will take far longer — 10 years or more — before anyone in the state is actually put to death for a crime. And that time gap, advocates on both sides of the death penalty debate say, suggests the state remains deeply uneasy about the punishment — an ambivalence that muddies its value. “When a law isn’t applied, it isn’t really a law,” said David Muhlhausen, a death penalty supporter and expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation. Capital punishment opponents aren’t eager to speed up executions, of course. But they say the state’s lengthy death penalty procedure is costing taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees and other expenses without significantly improving public safety. “Constituents have said to me, ‘We have a theoretical death penalty, but we don’t carry it out in practice,’” said Mary Sloan, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. “So if we’re not going to carry it out in practice, why do we pay all that cost?” No one has been put to death in Kansas since 1965. “Kansas is 10 years and $20 million SEE KANSAS | A16

Three risk lives to keep woman safe Good Samaritans stop on a shoulderless highway to help victim of hit-and-run driver. By CHRISTINE VENDEL The Kansas City Star

Shows in many genres keep returning to workplace themes, and viewers keep tuning in. By DIANE STAFFORD The Kansas City Star

When “The Office” crew clocked out Thursday night, the workers had been at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. for nine seasons, or about twice as long as the average job tenure for most Americans. But even as everyday workers tend to complain about their jobs and bosses and quickly jump ship for better opportunities, viewers have shown remarkable loyalty to TV programs about the workplace. Whether they’re sitcoms, “mockumentaries” such as “The Office” or so-called reality TV, programs set where people work dot the network and cable channel spectrum.



Only a week after Savannah Nash got a car for her 16th birthday, the Harrisonville High School freshman was killed in a wreck. | A4 FYI CHRIS HASTON | NBC

“The Office,” whose cast included Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly Halpert and John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, signed off Thursday night after nine seasons. It’s one of many recent shows revolving around the workplace.

Collectively, millions of viewers are watching such shows daily — whether it’s a rural Southern family that makes duck calls, a boss who goes undercover to do his employ-




ees’ jobs, or a cast of fake parks and recreation department employees. Clearly, Americans are hapSEE WORKPLACE | A12



A boyhood of poverty and brutality is recalled in the Book Club selection “The Boy Kings of Texas.” | C1

Save some bucks on great deals available now! See Ad on Page A8.



The difference between drivers couldn’t be more stark. One driver, suspected of being drunk, crashed into a pedestrian, ripping off her lower leg, then drove away, leaving her to die. But three other drivers stopped on the darkened, shoulderless If motorists are highway and stranded and risked their can't get to a own lives to safe place, help the critiKansas City cally injured police advise woman. motorists to stay Cate Squires, in their vehicles, 23, of Springpreferably still field, remains buckled, until in very critical help arrives. condition from injuries she suffered that night, May 7, in the northbound lanes of U.S. 169, north of the Richards Road ramp. But she has a chance to survive because of the Good Samaritans who came to her aid, Kansas City Police Sgt. Bill Mahoney said. SEE ROAD | A12




133RD YEAR | NO. 243 | 6 SECTIONS


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013



WORKPLACE: Networks and viewers can’t seem to get enough FROM A1

py to devote their leisure hours to watching shows about the workplace and the characters who inhabit it. “Here are all the people who are uncomfortably close approximations of people in your workplace,” said television critic Aaron Barnhart. “They’re popular because you can connect with the characters and have permission to make fun of them.” The flood of workplace shows, which turn everyday hassles like jammed copiers and incompetent managers into half-hour plot lines, builds on a theme well established by the Dilbert comic strip. All it took to make appealing programs, according to TV reality show producer Mark Burnett, was to put “interesting people in ordinary circumstances.” That’s what endeared fans to “The Office.” Greg Daniels, the show’s developer and executive producer, has called it “a show with a lot of micro-moments.” And peo-

ple liked the cast members. But the micro-moments of everyday work life are hardly enough to sustain viewer interest. So people who perhaps are bored with their own jobs are finding escape with adrenaline-infused shows about fishing in Alaska, coal mining and overthe-road trucking. They have also become eyes on the wall in a hair salon, a mortuary, a motorcycle shop and many restaurants. “Most re-create real life with versions of people we know,” Barnhart said, adding that the shows work well when they balance authenticity with occasionally over-the-top situations. That balance sometimes is tough. Donald Trump fires contestants in clearly fabricated business situations. But the Fox network is tipping to the authenticity side with a show scheduled to debut later this month. “Does Someone Have to Go?” promises to hold reallife employees’ futures in the balance. According to the show’s website: “The un-

scripted series gives employees a voice in assessing how their company is functioning, inviting them to make recommendations on how best to solve their issues in order to make their company better and giving them the power to determine the fates of their fellow staffers.” Previews show a company where owners have agreed to hand over the management reins for a few days and allow cameras to record the high drama when workers find out what each other makes and weigh in on which co-workers should be fired. It can be squirmy stuff to see pink slips handed out — far different from watching the flirtations and petty squabbles on “The Office.” Susan Ryan, an associate professor of communication at the College of New Jersey, has written about what she calls “the paradox of labor in reality TV.” Over the last few years, when millions of Americans have lost their jobs or dealt with stagnant wages, she observes, “full employment” has dominat-

ed television programming. “The irony of labor becoming spectacle at a time when workers struggle daily to remain employed would be almost comic if it were not for the insidious way that these shows obscure real power relations under the guise of entertainment,” Ryan wrote in a Web posting. In the end, most workplace reality shows are “manipulated authenticity,” she said. Pepi Leistyna, a professor in applied linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Boston who specializes in cultural and media studies, has criticized TV depictions of working people as “clowns or social deviants” — labels that could be attached to the characters of Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute on “The Office.” So there’s a good offset, Leistyna notes, in creating the man-against-nature stars of workplace reality programs such as “Deadliest Catch.” The Alaskan fishing show points the camera at

real people fighting real odds, and viewers took the bait. The show became the Discovery Channel’s most watched series. That’s the formula followed by Thom Beers, whose company has produced more than a dozen reality shows dominated by dangerous or dirty workplaces. In an interview last year, Beers said his programming works because Americans “want to watch real people, having real-life experiences, facing true challenges.” “Duck Dynasty,” a realpeople look at a Louisiana family that makes millions making duck calls, shattered viewing records last year on the A&E cable channel. Its 6.5 million viewers beat out popular network competition “Survivor” and “The X Factor” by one head-to-head measure. As ascendant as they are, workplace shows have far to go to challenge the reigning reality kings, “American Idol,” “The Voice,” “Dancing With the Stars,” and “Survi-

vor,” in viewership. Given the plethora of channels and viewing experiences, those performance and star-studded shows are top draws with just 12 million or so live viewers. And few job-focused programs gain the notoriety of family and relationship programming like “Jersey Shore,” “The Real Housewives,” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” But against the entertainment odds, workplace shows have carved a niche. After all, for a majority of American adults, work consumes one-third, or maybe more, of their daily lives. They can relate to on-screen jobs or revel in someone on TV having it worse than they do. As the character of Pam said to close “The Office” finale about Dunder Mifflin’s nine mockumentary years: “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?” To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to

ROAD: Three tended victim, made sure traffic didn’t hit them FROM A1

“They were risking the same thing that happened to the woman,” Mahoney said. “I don’t think you can overstate how important it is, what they did.” Squires, who was headed to her parents’ Northland home, had rear-ended a pickup truck that was having engine problems on the Broadway extension. The truck’s driver pulled off at a later exit, aware it was dangerous to stop. The highway is sandwiched between a wall and oncoming southbound traffic. He thought the other driver would follow him. But Squires didn’t have that luxury, police said. Her car had pingponged against the concrete barriers and conked out in the left lane. She had stepped out to call for help when a van pummeled her and her car, police said. Robert M. Hill, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, was driving home about 10 p.m. when vehicle brake lights starting to flash in front of him. He slowed, moved to the right lane and saw a woman with a badge tending a woman on the asphalt. “Do you need help?” he asked. But the woman with the badge, later identified as an off-duty agent with U.S. Im-

migration and Customs Enforcement, didn’t answer. She was busy dragging the victim away from traffic. Hill pulled over. The agent already had called 911. She immediately announced a plan: She would make sure they didn’t get hit and he would help the victim. She fetched a flashlight and waved it at drivers so they wouldn’t plow into them, or into the back of the disabled car, at 55 mph. Hill found Squires against the concrete median in front of her wrecked car. That’s when he noticed her left leg below the knee was missing. A broken bone protruded from the large open wound. “Did you know her leg was severed?” he asked the ICE agent. No, she didn’t. Hill whipped off his belt and wrapped it around the woman’s leg, just above the wound. He pulled tight and held it. There were no holes to keep the belt cinched. Though conscious, Squires could not talk. Still, she reacted to Hill’s commands. “Please sit up,” he told her, and she sat up. He worried that she would go into shock. He asked her name, but all she could muster was a groan. Hill asked her to lean

against him, and she did. Hill gripped the belt with one hand and held Squires with the other. They sat huddled together as clusters of traffic passed by. A third driver stopped and provided a large sterile bandage. They placed it between Squires’ severed leg and the ground, to try to keep the wound clean. Other drivers slowed to offer help, but Hill told them, “No, thanks. We got it.” Meanwhile, Squires remained calm. “She did not cry. She did not scream out,” Hill said. “She seemed to will herself to contain herself despite what had just happened.” After about 10 minutes, Hill said, a flood of first responders arrived. They applied a tourniquet to Squires’ leg and loaded her on a gurney, causing her to moan loudly. By now, police had found Squires’ severed limb about 200 feet north of the wreck site. About 1,600 feet north of that, police found the suspected hit-and-run driver on the side of the road, trying to change a flat tire. Blood stained his van’s front bumper, and a piece of Squires’ T-shirt clung to the plastic where the driver’s side mirror had been, court records said. Police found a


Robert M. Hill pulled off the road May 7 when he saw Cate Squires and another Good Samaritan near a wrecked car. He used his belt as a tourniquet for Squires’ leg and helped keep her safe until first responders arrived.

jail Tuesday detached mirror at the after posting wreck site. a $30,000 The 53-year-old driver bond. seemed confused and disSquires’ oriented, court records said. family memHe told officers at the scene bers declined that he saw a wreck, tried to to talk to The avoid it and got “clipped by Roberts Star. They something.” He was taken to a hospital, where a specially have been keeping vigil at trained DUI officer asked her bedside. Her left leg had him to perform various so- to be amputated above the briety tests. The officer knee, and she suffered head noted he was swaying, stag- and internal injuries. Squires gering and glassy-eyed and graduated from Oak Park his breath smelled of alco- High School in 2008 and hol. He refused to provide a Missouri State University in blood sample to determine 2012. She recently had his alcohol content and de- moved to Springfield for a clined to talk to the DUI offi- job as an event manager. Her relatives told police cer without an attorney. Prosecutors later charged they eventually would like Stanley J. Roberts of Kansas to meet Hill, who is humble City with second-degree as- about his efforts. “I didn’t really do very sault. He was released from

much,” he said. “One message I’d like to get out is that several people did stop. … I think it proves that teamwork is absolutely necessary.” Remarkably, the recent wreck wasn’t the first time Hill has helped a motorist along that same shoulderless stretch of highway. Last year, a young man who apparently had been drinking crashed into the barrier and was wandering in the roadway. Hill pulled over, kept him safe and called police. “I just want drivers to know it’s worth stopping and helping out,” he said. To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to

GOVERNOR: Nixon bemoans legislature’s ‘non-centrist agenda’ FROM A1

Missourians he’s met around the state. At one point, Nixon joked that staff members should tell legislative aide Daniel Hall, who had temporarily left the office, that he was the swing vote on an issue on which the staff was actually in agreement. “Don’t do that to me,” the returning Hall said when Nixon asked him a short time later while other aides laughed. The Nixon dichotomy — deeply engaged behind the scenes, criticized for doing too little with lawmakers — bewilders even legislative veterans. But Nixon, a former state senator representing Jefferson County, offers a simple explanation. “I’m not trying to get in there and be the legislature,” he said in an interview. Critics see that as a false premise. They see room, and advantage, for a Democratic governor to get more directly engaged with the veto-proof Republican majority in the legislature. Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, said Nixon provides so little feedback during the session that some lawmakers strive to pass bills early enough that Nixon has to sign or veto them

while the General Assembly is still in town. If there’s a problem, the bill can be revised in time to pass it again. Silvey said that’s exactly what happened with a bill Nixon signed Wednesday aimed at halting the sale of North Kansas City Hospital. “He would have opportunity to see progress on more issues,” Silvey said, “if he engaged sooner.” But Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat, said the 57-year-old governor is threading a political needle as he deals with a legislature dominated by members of the opposite party. Show up outside House and Senate chambers too much and he’ll be viewed as meddling. Show up too little and he’s portrayed as out of touch. “There have been complaints over the years about folks in statewide office who meddle too much … and need to mind their own business,” Justus said. Nixon pointed out that former Senate president pro tem Charlie Shields, a Republican, once said the governor engaged at the right times. “People may not be able to figure me out,” the governor said, “but I’m consistent.” Throughout his governor-

ship, Nixon has taken pride in his staff, which includes several veterans who have worked with Nixon going back to the early 1990s when he was attorney general. “For whatever reason, I’ve been able to have people with me a long time,” he said. “They’re a good group.” Those long ties allow Nixon to talk in shorthand at times with the likes of chief of staff John Watson or Edward Ardini, his top lawyer. “I’m more concerned about the other side of it,” Nixon said about one bill, a reference to possible unintended consequences that Ardini and others immediately understood. Nixon expresses great pride in a bill review process he describes as a hunt for unintended consequences. On Wednesday, five staffers joined him in his office for freewheeling discussions about several pieces of legislation. The conversations usually began with an aide outlining what the bill seeks to do, followed by Nixon’s questions and then a call for recommendations. He often dives deep. In an after-lunch discussion about an income tax cut bill aimed at helping Missouri compete with the big cuts in Kansas, the conversation turned to

ramifications that lawmakers apparently hadn’t considered. One had to do with the impact on programs set up to encourage development, such as the big IRS headquarters in Kansas City or the East Village project near City Hall. Those projects were financed in part by siphoning off state income taxes from newly hired workers. If income taxes are cut, fewer dollars will flow to those programs, and that could trigger problems, Nixon is told. “Which goofball gave the IRS a tax break?” Nixon laughed at one point. Nixon already had hinted that he will veto the bill, sponsored by Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican. The governor’s daily routine includes waking at 6 a.m. and making coffee at the nearby governor’s mansion, then diving into a pile of Missouri newspapers and a daily briefing book. That book contains bills to be reviewed, reports from department heads, his weekly schedule (updated daily) and speeches to be given (Nixon’s rule: All scripts must be in his hand 48 hours ahead of time). The challenge is to stay

abreast of the load. “If you come to a meeting unprepared, it’s a waste of everybody’s time,” he said. “And then you have to reboot it and do it again.” The 2013 legislative session, he said, has been one of “missed opportunities.” The General Assembly’s refusal to expand Medicaid, with its $2 billion infusion of funds from the federal government, was particularly frustrating, given how vigorously Nixon campaigned for it. Republicans say the bill never had a chance, and Nixon knew it. The governor also bemoaned what he called the legislature’s “non-centrist agenda,” with its focus on guns, private-property rights and worries over Islamic Shariah law. “They could do better,” Nixon said. He pointed to the steady legislative efforts this year to repair the state’s beleaguered Second Injury Fund for workers hurt on the job and said he wished lawmakers had “10 projects like that.” “Clearly when we have a system with unlimited campaign donations, term limits … the hyperpartisanship, it’s a narrower path to get reasonable, rational things

done,” he said. “There’s still a path, though. That’s my point to folks. There’s still a path, and I try to be involved in rewarding people who see that path and walk down it.” He admitted he works to keep his mouth shut more often than he did early in his career as a young, crimebusting attorney general, when Nixon was known to challenge almost any charge thrown his way. The one part of the job that’s still a struggle: “You have to steel yourself to the hyperscrutiny.” Case in point: At a technical school commencement Nixon attended in southern Missouri, the governor was momentarily confused when it came time to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because he couldn’t spot the flag. As a result, he was still turning around when the audience began to recite the words, and Nixon missed the first few. Later in the ceremony, one of the graduating students came forward to shake the governor’s hand and asked, “Why did it take you so long to put your hand on your heart for the pledge?” How did Nixon respond? “I said, ‘God bless America.’” And Nixon laughed.



SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013


Motor City milestone Shares of General Motors on Friday topped their initial public offering price of $33 for the first time in more than two years and closed up 3.2% at $33.42. That is good news for the U.S. Treasury, which has been selling its GM holdings from the $49.5 billion bailout of the automaker in 2008 and 2009.

Dollars & Sense 15354.40 DOW +121.18

3498.97 NASDAQ +33.72

1667.47 S&P 500 +17.00

996.28 RUSSELL 2000 +10.94

18772.48 BATS 1000 +198.50

1.951 10-YEAR T-NOTE +.070

96.02 OIL +.86

1359.55 GOLD -26.45

1.2839 $ PER EURO -.0043



MIDWEST FEELING GAS SHOCK Refinery and pipeline troubles pushed prices up, but spike could be easing. By STEVE EVERLY The Kansas City Star



n the quest to make college education more affordable, the University of Dayton has made a loud statement.

The private Catholic university, with an enrollment of about 11,000 in the city made famous by the Wright brothers, made a series of decisions this spring that give prospective students the clearest picture yet of the bottom-line costs of attending college there. The incoming fall class of just under 2,000 freshmen will be the first beneficiaries.

he big runup in gasoline prices that has hammered Midwestern motorists appears to finally be taking a breather. Gas in the the Kansas City area has climbed 60 cents a gallon in the last month, averaging $3.80 on the Missouri side and a few cents higher on the Kansas side. That’s bad news for


Gasoline prices are up in the area, including at this station at 79th Street and Wornall Road.

area drivers, and it was even worse in some other parts of the Midwest. In Minneapolis, for instance,

gas prices set a record Friday at $4.22, according to AAA. The regional spike — gas

prices in other parts of the country are about the same as a month ago — is being attributed to lower than normal gas stockpiles, refinery outages and a glitch in a pipeline serving the region. But wholesale gas prices in the Midwest actually declined Friday, raising hopes that the runup is running out of steam. “I think we’ve seen the worst,” said Steve Mosby, a partner in Admo Energy, a Kansas City company that buys fuel for retail stations to resell. Wholesale gas prices af-

fecting most of the Midwest fell about 13 cents per gallon Friday, with most of that decline expected to reach wholesale terminals by the evening, including in the Kansas City area. “I think relief is coming,” said F.J. Cronenwett, a wholesale manager with Robson Oil, which serves the Kansas City area. How quickly the decline will reach retail pumps is unclear. The price spike shows that even with overall ample supplies of fuel in the SEE GAS | A15

“We won’t make it up in May. We will have to make it up in June — if we have a mild summer.” MATT STUECK, SUBURBAN LAWN & GARDEN

Dayton calls its innovative tuition and financial aid plan a net price guarantee. It’s not a tuition freeze. Instead, the university is promising that the net tuition costs — after accounting for scholarships, grants, loans and other forms of financial aid — will be the same freshman year through senior year of college. The goal is to make the costs of a college degree more “transparent so families can make the best financial decisions,” said Sundar Kumarasamy, Dayton’s vice president for enrollment management and marketing. Some lab fees and other charges have been eliminated or folded into the tuition cost. In addition, first-year students who file Free Application for Federal Student Aid by March 1 and make an official campus visit will receive up to $1,000 per year ($4,000 over four years) to offset the cost of textbooks. But another key element of Dayton’s program stood out to me. Under the plan, meritbased scholarships and grants will grow each year to match tuition increases dollar for dollar. For example, if your daughter earned a $10,000 scholarship as an incoming freshman and tuition increases 10 percent her sophomore year, her scholarship will grow by $1,000 for year two. Short of a free ride, that’s a heck of a deal. It’s also very rare, according to Mark Kantrowitz, a national expert on financial aid and scholarships. To attract prospective students, many schools offer generous amounts of scholarships and grants to incoming freshmen — remember this is free money that doesn’t need repayment. But here’s what parents and students often lose sight of after filing away the financial aid awards letter: The scholarships generally don’t go up in value in later years as tuition rises. As a result, said Kantrowitz, “tuition as a college senior will be about one-fifth greater than tuition as a college freshman.” It’s the equivalent of having your pay frozen by your employer as health care SEE ROSEN | A15


Landscaper Rick Ray (right) and Steve Heichel (background left), a landscape designer with Rosehill Gardens, finished up a landscaping makeover on Friday in Leawood for homeowner Barb Zima, who got the work as a Mother’s Day present.

Landscapers scramble to catch up KC Southern attractive for takeover, analysts say Rail business is good and its Mexican line is in a high growth area. But stock is already highly valued. Bloomberg News

No North American railroad is a more alluring, or expensive, takeover target than Kansas City Southern. The railroad is poised to boost sales by 48 percent through 2016, faster than every peer for whom estimates are available, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The increase is being fueled by the $13 billion company’s operations in Mexico — where the economy is expanding at almost twice the U.S. rate — and booming American oil production that’s already sent crude shipments by rail to a record. Kansas City Southern’s growth prospects may lure suitors even though its stock trades for the highest value among peers, according to Hodges Capital Man-

agement Inc., which sees Union Pacific Corp. as a potential acquirer. Desjardins Group said Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway are the most logical buyers, while FBR & Co. said Berkshire Hathaway’s BNSF Railway could be better positioned to buy the company. “If you talk to anybody that’s familiar with this industry, it’s no surprise that KSU would be an attractive asset to almost any” big railroad, said Justin Long, an analyst at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock, Ark., referring to Kansas City Southern by its stock ticker. “They have a very attractive cross-border network that goes into Mexico, and there’s still a very long runway of growth.” Kansas City Southern on Friday declined to comment on the analyst speculation. Kansas City Southern has climbed 40 percent this year, the SEE RAILROAD | A16

April rain and May snow pushed back the outdoor planting season and tightened time frame. By JOYCE SMITH The Kansas City Star

Mother Nature didn’t do lawns any favors with last summer’s drought and this winter’s heavy snowstorms. But with all the resulting dead trees, shrubs and lawns, she was setting up lawn companies for a stunning spring sales season. And then she struck again. The April rains and first measurable May snow in more than a hundred years have pushed back the outdoor planting season several weeks. Now that nicer weather is becoming the norm, lawn and garden retailers and landscapers are scrambling to make their sales goals in a much shorter period and before summer’s soaring temperatures. “We do 60 percent of our sales for the year in a six-week period in mid-April to May,” said Matt Stueck, vice president of Suburban Lawn & Garden, with retail locations in south Kansas City, Lenexa and Overland Park. But sales were down

43 percent from February to April compared with 2012, he added. Sales have turned around in the last week at the south Kansas City location, which sold three semi-truckloads of bedding plants on the Saturday before Mother’s Day alone. That was a record day. And the store almost did it again on Mother’s Day. “We won’t make it up in May,” Stueck said. “We will have to make it up in June — if we have a mild summer. If we don’t, we won’t.” Landscapers also are fielding calls as homeowners are realizing some of their trees and shrubs won’t be budding again. But before taking new clients, they are trying to finish current contracts, some that should have been knocked off their list weeks ago. Early 2012 weather was mostly so mellow that landscapers at Rosehill Gardens could clean up clients’ yards in February and March and head right on into spring planting in April. But now, in mid-May, they are still finishing winter cleanup and scrambling to get spring SEE LAWNS | A16





SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

DOLLARS & SENSE BANK RATE WATCH CD & Deposit Guide Yields Available to Kansas City Area Residents Institution/Phone


ADVERTISEMENT Int Chking Money Mkt Acct Acct Min Min

Bank of America NA 800-432-1000 NA Specials: Call for special rates.

0.04 25

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3 mo CD Min

6 mo CD Min

12 mo CD Min

18 mo CD Min

24 mo CD Min

36 mo CD Min

0.01 1,000

0.01 1,000

0.03 1,000


0.10 1,000

0.15 1,000

60 mo CD Min

0.25 %

0.26 %

4.04 %

3.96 %

13.23 %

National avg:

Kansas City avg:

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0.55 1,000

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Mazuma Credit Union 9300 Troost Avenue 816-361-4194 Specials: Call for special rates.

0.06 100

0.13 1,000

0.16 500

0.24 500

0.26 500


0.47 500

0.66 500

The Federal Savings Bank 7900 College Blvd. NA 0.60 0.20 0.30 0.50 0.60 0.65 0.90 913-928-6188 NA 100,000 500 500 500 500 500 500 Specials: Kansas City welcomes The Federal Savings Bank. Call today for available rates and lending products.

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Doral Direct The Nat’l Republic Bk of Chicago Colorado Federal Savings Bank EH National Bank Ally Bank 2.5-YEAR CD Lone Star Bank The Nat’l Republic Bk of Chicago Discover Bank Intervest National Bank USAA 5-YEAR CD First Internet Bank of Indiana AloStar Bank of Commerce Discover Bank Intervest National Bank Ally Bank

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0.96 0.95 0.95 0.95 0.94

713-358-9400 312-738-4900 888-728-3151 212-218-8383 800-583-8295

1000 1000 2500 2500 1000

1.10 1.06 1.05 0.95 0.85

888-873-3424 877-738-6391 888-728-3151 212-218-8383 888-906-2559

1000 1000 2500 2500 0

1.60 1.55 1.55 1.52 1.51

Phone 1.25 MMA/SAVINGS 1,000 Colorado Federal Savings Bank 877-484-2372

1.23 500 1.35 500


Standard Credit Card

New car 48-mo

1-year CD

Yield (APY) 0.85 0.85 0.84 0.80 0.80

KANSAS CITY RATES VS. NAT’L AVERAGE Kansas City % 0.11 0.04 0.15 0.26 0.45 0.84 3.64 2.90 3.96 4.25 4.54

MMA Int. checking 6 month CD 1 year CD 2.5 year CD 5 year CD 30 year mortgage 15 year mortgage New car Used car HELOC 30K

National % 0.11 0.05 0.15 0.25 0.38 0.78 3.71 2.92 4.04 4.69 5.12

KANSAS CITY MORTGAGE AND LOAN RATES 30 year mortgage 15 year mortgage New car HELOC 30K

This week

Last week

3 mo. ago

Rate payment 3.64 753.88 2.90 1131.54 3.96 496.35 4.54 113.50

Rate payment 3.57 747.39 2.81 1124.44 3.96 496.35 4.54 113.50

Rate payment 3.73 762.27 2.98 1137.87 3.96 496.35 4.52 113.00



Legend: Rates effective as of 5/16/13 and may change without notice. All institutions are FDIC or NCUA insured. Rates may change after the account is opened. N/A means rates are not available or not offered at press time. Yields represent annual percentage yield (APY) paid by participating institutions. Fees may reduce the earnings on the account. A penalty may be imposed for early withdrawal. Banks, Thrifts and credit unions pay to advertise in this guide which is compiled by®, a publication of Bankrate, Inc. © 2013. To appear in this table, call 888-768-4243. To report any inaccuracies, call 888-509-4636. •

FLASH FORWARD MONDAY: Treasury security auction; earnings from Argosy Property, Campbell Soup. TUESDAY: Earnings from Best Buy, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot. WEDNESDAY: Existing home sales; Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes; earnings from Lowe’s, PetSmart, Staples, Target, Zale. THURSDAY: Initial jobless claims; new home sales; Kansas City Federal Reserve manufacturing index; earnings from Buckle, Hormel, Sears. FRIDAY: Durable goods orders.


30-year fixed

15-year fixed

5-year ARM







3 months ago

Economic reports lift stocks The Associated Press

Encouraging news about the U.S. economy extended the stock market’s rally Friday. A gauge of future economic activity rose more than analysts had expected, as did a measure of consumer confidence, adding to evidence that the economy is steadily recovering. Stocks closed higher for a fourth straight week. Indexes are at record highs after surging this year on optimism about the economy and record corporate earnings. The market is also being supported by stimulus from the Federal Reserve, which is keeping long-term borrowing costs at histori-

cally low levels. approved the repurchase of “This slow but relatively another $4 billion in stock steady growth, that keeps in- and that it plans to buy back flation in check and keeps a quarter of its outstanding interest rates low, is actually shares by the end of 2015. a pretty healthy environThe Dow Jones industrial ment for the stock market,” average rose 121.18, or 0.8 said Liz Ann Sonders, chief percent, to 15,354.40. The ininvestment strategist at dex gained 1.6 percent for Charles Schwab & Co. the week and is up 17.2 per“Right now we are very opti- cent for the year. mistic.” The index started higher, General Motors rose $1.03, then drifted through the rest or 3.2 percent, to $33.42. The of the morning. The index automaker’s stock is trading added to its gains in the afabove the $33 price of its No- ternoon, climbing about 70 vember 2010 initial public points in the last two hours offering for the first time in of the day. two years. The Standard & Poor’ 500 Northrop Grumman index rose 17.00, 1 percent, to gained $3.17, or 3.2 percent, 1,667.47. The gauge is up 2 to $82.19 after the defense percent this week and has contractor said that its board gained 16.8 percent this year.

GAS: Midwest spike could be easing up FROM A14

Credit card ranking Kansas City sits atop the nation in at least one unhealthy money category: an average credit card balance of $2,743.09, based on data collected as of April 1 by, an online personal finance business. Manilla, based on its customer data, ranked the top 10 markets with the highest credit card balances. After Kansas City came San Diego at an average balance of $2,667.75 and Baltimore at $2,451.53.

NBA on Twitter Twitter has teamed with the National Basketball Association to stream video clips of game highlights as the blogging service expands. NBA Digital, a joint venture between the sports league and Turner Broadcasting System, will post game snippets on Twitter during the playoffs with the hashtag #NBARapidReplay, said Adam Bain, president of global revenue at Twitter. Short advertisements will appear alongside the clips.

Consumer confidence climbs The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer confidence rose to 83.7 in May, the highest since July 2007, from 76.4 the previous month. Cheaper gas and an advancing stock market helped. | Staff and wire reports

These are the average area loan rates as of Wednesday according to Bankrate. com®. Home equity line (HELOC): variable rate on $30,000 line, 80% LTV. Newcar: $22,000 fixed-rate loan, 48-month term, 10% downpayment. Mortgage: $165,000 loan, 80% LTV. For more information visit

U.S., there can still be parts of the country where supplies tighten and prices rise. Gas stockpiles were already below normal when the situation was made worse by unplanned refinery outages, including one still going on in El Dorado, Kan. The Midwest by the end of last week had the lowest percentage of refinery capacity being used in the country. As James Williams, an energy economist with WTRG Economics, put it, the Midwest had “a combination of not having enough and not making enough.” The problem deepened a week ago when the Explorer pipeline, which was transporting gas to the Midwest from refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, had a pump problem and other glitches

that slowed deliveries. That had some wholesale suppliers with contracts to provide fuel to their customers bidding up the price of the fuel still available. A report Friday that the Explorer tie-up was easing was credited by some analysts for part of the drop in wholesale prices. The question now is whether that price drop and any additional relief will lower retail fuel prices by Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer vacation season. Retail gas prices in the Kansas City area are 40 cents a gallon higher than a year ago. “Hopefully the increase will be of short duration,” said Mike Right, a spokesman for AAA. To reach Steve Everly, call 816-234-4455 or send email to

ROSEN: Dayton’s aid rises with tuition FROM A14

premiums, groceries and other costs of living shoot higher. Not surprisingly, Kumarasamy said, the response from parents of students who will be in this fall’s freshman class has been overwhelmingly positive. After all, shouldn’t you know before enrolling the bottom-line billable expenses of a four-year investment in college, rather than just the first-year hit on your wallet? Though price transparency has become a popular notion in financial aid offices, I doubt many other schools will follow Dayton’s experiment. For one, money will be an issue, since endowment funds may need to be

tapped to help scholarships keep pace with tuition inflation. Still, the tuition program has stirred the dialogue, and that’s always a good thing. Until more schools adopt Dayton’s plan, here’s the best thing your student can do to boost his scholarhip money to keep up with tuition inflation: Because the process is driven by documentation, the more information you can provide the school about your grades and your family financial situation, the better your chances of getting an adjustment. It never hurts to ask. To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to

REGIONAL MOVERS ❚ Commerce Bancshares: $43.10, up $1.34, or 3.2% ❚ H&R Block: $29.64, up 81 cents, or 2.8% ❚ YRC: $19.19, up 52 cents, or 2.8% ❚ Cerner: $98.83, up $2.45, or 2.5%

After some lackluster reports on the economy Thursday, including slowing manufacturing and an increase in applications for unemployment benefits, Friday’s reports were a tonic for investors. The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6 percent last month after a revised decline of 0.2 per-

cent in March. The index is intended to predict how the economy will be doing in three to six months. The University of Michigan’s preliminary survey of consumer confidence climbed to 83.7. Economists had predicted that the gauge would climb to 76.8. The Nasdaq composite climbed 33.72, or 1 percent, to 3,498.97.

Thanks Appreciation We’re building a world of difference. Together. For 17 years, we have played together in a spirit of camaraderie and generosity to raise funds for Children’s Mercy Hospital. Thanks to the many sponsors who have contributed to the ongoing success of this tournament, which raised $350,000 this year and has generated over $2.5 million total.

DIAMOND SPONSORS Aon Risk Services, Inc. Bank of Kansas City Bentley Prince Street, Inc. BMO Capital Markets C. J. Coleman & Company LTD Henkels & McCoy, Inc. Hittle Power Technologies Howden North America HP Image Flooring, LLC Lockton Companies Studley, Inc. Talley Inc. Wulfsberg Reese Colvig & Firstman Xerox Corporation PLATINUM SPONSORS Aerotek Babcock Power International Commerce Bank FDH Engineering, Inc. Garney Construction Hamon Corporation Husch Blackwell LLP JA Lee Electric Inc. JE Dunn JLT Park Ltd. OVIVO USA Polsinelli Shughart PC R. D. Engineering & Construction Rasmussen, Willis, Dickey & Moore, LLC Rosenberger Site Solutions, LLC Tessco The Kenrich Group LLC Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP Wells Fargo Zurich North America


GOLD SPONSORS 360 Architecture Airosmith Development, Inc. Aliantel, Inc. Alliant Energy Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. Anixter Inc. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Bank of America Merrill Lynch Cardinal Point Partners Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Colormark CSI Leasing, Inc Dell Emerson Process Management / Power & Water Solutions Inc. Fairbanks Nijhuis Fibrebond Henderson Engineers, Inc. Houlihan Lokey HSBC Bank US, N.A. IHI Inc. Infilco Degremont, Inc. JLT Specialty John A. Marshall Co / Herman Miller Lockton Companies UK Merrill Iron & Steel, Inc Microsoft Near Cal Corporation Nooter / Eriksen PCL Industrial Construction Company Primus Electronics Corporation Pro Print Digital Siemens Power Generation, Inc. Severn Trent Services Sprint



Structural Steel Services, Inc Techsico Companies The Hessler Company The Shurtleff & Andrews Corporation Towers Watson U.S. Bank Wachter, Inc. Wartsila North America, Inc. SILVER SPONSORS Abatix Ace Environmental, LLC AIG Lexington Insurance Benes & Krveger, S.C. Brown Services LLC City Wide Maintenance Co., Inc. Classic Industrial Services, Inc. Davies Electric Co., Inc Design Mechanical Inc. Enloe Enterprise LLC Erected Steel Products of Alabama, Inc. Foster Wheeler Fry Wagner Moving & Storage GreatBanc Trust Company Johnson Controls Kansas City Equipment Company Linacre Associates LTD Odyssia Global Communications Corporation R.E. Pedrotti Company, Inc Robert True Creative Services Sabatino Family Foundation SBA Communications Corporation Sleeth Electric Inc. Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C. Underground Construction Co., Inc Wigen Water Technologies



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SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013



RAILROAD: KC Southern attractive, analysts say FROM A14

biggest gain among railroads in the Dow Jones transportation average, after reporting record annual revenue of $2.2 billion for 2012. Kansas City Southern is the fifth-biggest U.S. railroad by sales and got almost half of 2012 revenue from Mexico, a country that exported a record $278 billion in goods to its northern neighbor in 2012. That helps Kansas City Southern, which operates a 3,100-mile network in Mexico through Kansas City Southern de Mexico. Mexico’s gross domestic product will expand 3.5 percent this year, compared with a 2 percent gain for the U.S., according to the median of economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Kansas City Southern can take advantage of that expansion and could be attractive to a suitor seeking to bolster its own sales, FBR’s John Mims said.

Kansas City Southern, which has extensive operations in Mexico, would be a good takeover target, some stock analysts say.


A renaissance in U.S. energy production is also helping railroads. U.S. rail shipments of crude oil rose to a record 233,811 carloads last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Kansas City Southern

LAWNS: Crazy spring for business FROM A14

flowers planted before an early Memorial Day. “We are a full month behind and booked up deeper than quite awhile,” said Steve Heichel, landscape designer at Rosehill Gardens. “We’ve brought on two crews to try to manage the load, and we are working Saturdays.” Along with six more landscape workers, Rosehill also has hired additional workers in maintenance and irrigation, as well as plant pulling at its farm just south of Kansas City. It now has about 20 more employees, or a 10 percent increase over the 2012 season. “We all rely on each other to get through the crunch,”

Heichel said. “If we can get the flowers in by Memorial Day and the landscaping by June and early July, then it depends on how hot it gets.” After putting in a geothermal heating and cooling system that took a toll on its lawn last year, the Forman family of Prairie Village planned to have the yard nearly back in shape by now. “We were going to transplant some hedges, put some new greenery in, replace a Japanese maple and reseed some major bare spots,” said Mary Forman. “I’m trying to be patient about it. We have a contract so I guess (the landscapers) will get to it when they can.” To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to

benefits by serving Port Arthur, Texas, home to refineries run by Motiva Enterprises and Valero Energy Corp. Sales at Kansas City Southern are forecast to jump 48 percent from last year to $3.3 billion in 2016,

the biggest increase among North American railroads valued at more than $1 billion, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The two biggest Western U.S. railroads, Union Pacific

and BNSF, could make sense as buyers because their networks match up well with the smaller carrier’s system, and they would find its Mexican operations attractive, said Eric Marshall, an analyst with Dallas-based Hodg-

es. Tom Lange, a spokesman for Union Pacific, based in Omaha, and BNSF’s John Ambler declined to comment on whether their companies would be interested in Kansas City Southern. Canada’s two largest railroads, Montreal-based Canadian National and Calgarybased Canadian Pacific, could also be lured into bidding for Kansas City Southern because of the opportunity to expand geographically and increase shipments of oil, according to Brandon Snow, a money manager with Cambridge Advisors. Both Canadian railroads have lines that extend into the U.S. and connect with Kansas City Southern’s network. Ed Greenberg, a spokesman for Canadian Pacific, and Canadian National’s Mark Hallman declined to comment on whether their companies are interested in Kansas City Southern.


Done deal Sprint Nextel Corp. completed its $480 million purchase of a piece of U.S. Cellular’s Midwest operations, the Overland Park-based carrier said Friday. The deal involves about 420,000 U.S. Cellular customers in Chicago, St. Louis and other markets. They are being asked to switch to Sprint in the coming months, which will require them to get new phones compatible with Sprint’s network. Sprint’s announcement said it is offering discounts and incentives so customers will be able to get “a similar or better” phone — including its Sprint, Virgin, Boost and PayLo brands — “for little or no cost.” U.S. Cellular customers won’t face an early termination fee for switching to a new carrier, Sprint said. They also can continue using their current phones on Chicago-based U.S. Cellular’s network during the transition. Sprint also is gaining wireless spectrum in the deal.

Discrimination suit The former CEO of Tuesday Morning has filed a discrimination lawsuit

against the discount retailer, saying she was fired just months after revealing she had breast cancer. The lawsuit by Kathleen Mason follows a discrimination filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mason’s lawyer, Rogge Dunn, said she was fired during a phone call last June, even though she had overseen the company’s growth during her tenure. Dunn has said that Mason informed the board of her cancer so they wouldn’t be alarmed if she began losing her hair or growing gaunt as a result of treatment. But he has said the board’s attitude toward her began to change soon after, with members contacting her subordinates directly. At one point when Mason was wearing a wig, Dunn said one board member made a sarcastic comment about how nice her hair looked. Tuesday Morning Corp., which sells closeout housewares and home decor, stood by its ousting of Mason on Friday. The company said in a statement that Mason’s allegations are “without merit” and that it intends to “vigorously contest” any allegation to the contrary. | Star news services


R. Crosby Kemper Jr., longtime civic leader and former head of UMB Bank, received an honorary doctor of philosophy degree Friday from UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton at commencement exercises at the university.

KANSAS: State remains ambivalent about capital punishment FROM A1

away from its first execution,” predicted lawyer and capital punishment opponent Sean O’Brien of Kansas City. But death penalty supporters say the state’s ultimate sanction shouldn’t be judged solely by the number of times it’s used. The mere threat of death — or decades locked in isolation, waiting for death — plays an important role, they say, in the state’s justice system.

An uneven history Kansas lawmakers reinstated the state’s death penalty in 1994. Since then, 13 men have been condemned to death for murder. All remain alive. Only nine sit on the state’s death row, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections’ website. The others’ sentences were reduced after appeals and plea agreements, or have been vacated pending a new trial. Since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court validated rewritten capital punishment laws, only two states with death penalty statutes — Kansas and New Hampshire — have not executed a single inmate. The long gap between capital crime and capital punishment in Kansas is the result of several interlocking factors, experts say. The state’s death penalty law is narrow, providing a way for even the most brutal killers to escape the punishment. Some prosecutors use the death penalty more as a negotiating tool than a criminal sanction, and some politicians remain ambivalent about executions, as do many residents in the state. And the courts play a critical role. All death sentences in Kansas are automatically re-

viewed by the state’s Supreme Court. It’s uniquely allowed to “scour the record” for trial and sentencing errors in capital cases, even those not raised by defense lawyers. That further raises the chances for delays. In January, the state Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Phillip Cheatham, who faced the death penalty for a 2003 double homicide in Topeka. Cheatham, the court found, was poorly defended by his lawyer. Kansas Sen. Greg Smith of Overland Park — whose daughter Kelsey was murdered — holds the state’s judges responsible for the lack of executions in Kansas. “It’s constitutional,” he said. “It’s just we have a lack of judicial will to use it.” The state’s highest court delayed executions in the last decade by deciding the Kansas death sentencing procedure was constitutionally flawed. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overrule that opinion and reinstate capital punishment in Kansas. “The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment … outweighs the risk of error,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the case. “It is no proper part of the business of this Court, or of its Justices, to secondguess that judgment.” But the decision didn’t entirely settle the matter. This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider Kansas death row inmate Scott Cheever’s case — he claims his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination was violated during his trial and sentencing for killing a sheriff. Lawyers who work with death penalty defendants say those multilevel appeal

“The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment … outweighs the risk of error.” SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, IN THE RULING REINSTATING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN KANSAS

rights in state and federal courts are important and unavoidable, regardless of length. “These cases are looked at closely, for due process,” said Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. “If there’s any problem, it has to be done over.” That means sharply higher legal costs, for investigations, defense lawyers and appeals arguments. In 2003, a legislative audit examined the state’s death penalty expenses in the previous decade. Kansas, the audit found, had spent or would spend almost $20 million on its 14 death penalty cases, including cases where the death penalty was sought but not granted. By contrast, taxpayers spent $6.3 million on eight cases where the prosecutors did not ask for death in a murder case. “Nobody in his right mind defends the death penalty because it saves money, anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances,” O’Brien said. “Because it doesn’t.”

Continued debate Arguments over safety versus cost play out regularly in state legislatures across the country. This month, Maryland repealed its death penalty statute. Nebraska’s repeal effort

the use of the death penalty.” Brownback’s views on capital punishment in Kansas, though, may be less important than they appear. Even if he is re-elected in 2014, it’s unlikely he would still be in office when any death row clemency requests might be filed. But they do suggest many Kansans, even some conservatives, are uncomfortable with the ultimate sanction. “It represents an ambivalence in the state about the death penalty,” Dieter said. “It may be wanted on the books, but carrying it out is problematic. And so it’s delayed.”

fell short this spring because of a filibuster, even though a majority of the state’s onehouse legislature indicated support for repeal. Today, 32 states have a capital punishment statute, as does the federal govern- Death’s leverage Some prosecutors and ment. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia do supporters, though, say not. keeping the death penalty Missouri has executed 68 on the Kansas books repeople since 1976, according mains important. Studies show the death to the Death Penalty Information Center. Currently, 48 penalty is still a deterrent, inmates face capital puni- Heritage’s Muhlhausen said, shment in the state. although the effect drops in A bill abolishing the death states that don’t actually carpenalty and replacing it with ry it out. Other experts dispute his life without parole was introduced in the General As- conclusion. The Kansas sembly this year, but it was murder rate is 3.5 per not debated. 100,000 people, according to Kansas lawmakers also in- the Death Penalty Informatroduced death penalty re- tion Center. In Missouri, it’s peal bills this session, but 7 murders per 100,000. Both they went nowhere. The have the death penalty, but state’s last serious debate on only Missouri has carried it death penalty repeal came in out in recent years. Iowa has no death penalty. 2010, when it fell a vote Its murder rate is 1.3 per short in the Senate. Gov. Sam Brownback said 100,000 people. But even the threat of caplast week that his view on capital punishment has ital punishment can focus a changed in recent years, put- defendant’s attention on ting him to the left of most plea agreements that spare in his Republican Party. He victims’ families from long now believes it should be re- trials, some lawyers say. In served for inmates who pose most agreements, almost all a future threat to society, us- future appeals are waived, ing Osama bin Laden as an ending the trauma of court appearances and media stoexample. “You’re always looking to ries about the crime. Additionally, death penalprotect life,” he said. “That’s a very narrow definition of ty defendants have more to

worry about than death. Paul Cramm represented Edwin Hall, now serving a sentence of life without parole after pleading guilty to murdering Kelsey Smith. Clients, Cramm said, are often as worried about the conditions of death row as they are about the execution chamber, which encourages plea deals. Death row inmates are kept in El Dorado, Kan., in isolation from almost all other prisoners. Most defendants realize “the likelihood of an acquittal or a finding of not guilty is not real high,” Cramm said. “The likelihood of being executed in your lifetime is not real high. So I guess what we’re negotiating for is, what sort of life do you want to have while you’re incarcerated?” Death penalty opponents also suggest the long wait for death is itself cruel. Supporters, though, say those complaints are misplaced. A prisoner can’t take advantage of every delay the law allows, they say, and then complain about how long it takes to die. If Kansas ever executes a condemned prisoner, it will take place in the state prison in Lansing. Only death by lethal injection is authorized. Asked if the gap between sentence and execution in Kansas is too long, Brownback hesitated. “I’ve been at the chambers in Lansing, where the death penalty would have to be administered,” he said. “That’s a very sobering place to see. “But I think it’s kind of actually worked for the state,” he added. “Most Kansans would look at it as wanting this to be very, very, very sparingly used.” To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to

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