Kansas City Missouri

Michelle Johnson's play, "Best Light," is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)
Michelle Johnson’s play, “Best Light,” is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)

by William Crum

Michelle Johnson is a local playwright. She was born in Kansas City, Kan., and has written numerous plays.

For this year’s Kansas City Fringe Festival, she came up with a new play, “Best Light.” This play deals with the trials and tribulations of life. The new play made its debut at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo., at this year’s Kansas City Fringe Festival. The play sold out and those who saw it say it is the best play that she has ever written.

Additional showings of “Best Light” are at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 24, and 8 p.m. Saturday, July 25. The 60-minute show contains adult language.

The Fringe Festival first started in Scotland. The term fringe means outside. The Kansas City Fringe Festival is known as one of the best in the nation and this year it is even bigger and better than ever.

Many people remember the days of vaudeville where entertainers would come to the city and perform. A lot of people view the Fringe Festival as modern-day vaudeville.

The Kansas City Fringe Festival has various places where you can see some of the best entertainment. They have all types of entertainment, including music, dance, theater and poetry.

There are a lot of people from Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County who volunteer at the Fringe Festival. If a person volunteers for the Kansas City Fringe Festival, they earn “fringe bucks” which allow them to see various shows and performances.

If you want to see some of the best entertainment, you should go to this year’s Kansas City Fringe Festival. The ticket office is located in the lower level of Union Station in Kansas City, Mo. Or you can order tickets on the website www.kcfringe.org.

Michelle Johnson's play, "Best Light," is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)
Michelle Johnson’s play, “Best Light,” is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)

Michelle Johnson's play, "Best Light," is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)
Michelle Johnson’s play, “Best Light,” is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)

Michelle Johnson's play, "Best Light," is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)
Michelle Johnson’s play, “Best Light,” is playing this week at the Fringe Festival at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo from Fringe Festival)

Two individuals fled from law enforcement officers this morning from a residence in Gladstone, Mo., in a chase that ended with a shooting death of a suspect on I-35 in Kansas City, Kan.

U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and Kansas City, Mo., police were involved in an ongoing investigation and were attempting to serve a warrant on two individuals at a Gladstone, Mo., residence at about 9:50 a.m. today, said FBI spokesperson Bridget Patton.

Before the officers executed the search warrant, two individuals were seen leaving the residence who matched the description of the suspects, she said.

As the two suspects entered the vehicle, law enforcement officers attempted a car stop, Patton said.

The suspects then attempted to elude police and fled in the vehicle, she said. A pursuit through downtown Kansas City then took place.

One suspect exited the vehicle and was taken into custody by Kansas City, Mo., police, she said.

A pursuit then continued to I-35 southbound, and ended at the 18th Street Expressway exit in Kansas City, Kan., she said, It appears the tire came off the suspect’s vehicle or the tire shredded on the vehicle at that location, she added, causing the vehicle to stop.

The suspect exited the vehicle, he was armed, and there was gunfire, Patton said. She did not have more details at this time about how the situation unfolded, and it is still an ongoing investigation, she added. The shooting is thought to have taken place after 10 a.m.

The suspect was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, she said.

Patton said the case involving the two suspects was a federal investigation in which law enforcement officers were executing a search warrant.

I-35 southbound has been closed for a few hours so that law enforcement can gather evidence at the scene, she said.

I-35 reopened around 1:50 p.m. today, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

A chase that ended with a shooting at I-35 southbound near 18th Street Expressway is at the left in this KC Scout photo. (Photo from KC Scout)
A chase ended with a shooting at I-35 southbound near 18th Street Expressway this morning. The scene is at the left in this KC Scout photo. (Photo from KC Scout)

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by Mike Sherry, Heartland Health Monitor

Advocates for expanding Medicaid coverage to more low-income Americans must refine their strategies to win over lawmakers in states such as Missouri and Kansas, which have resisted efforts to loosen eligibility requirements.

That was the message Saturday during a panel discussion at the National Council of La Raza annual conference at the Kansas City, Mo., Convention Center.

“I would say it is going to take more than what we have been doing,” said Laura Guerra-Cardus, associate director of the Children’s Defense Fund in Texas.

Also on the panel were Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, and Jared Nordlund, a senior strategist with National Council of La Raza in Florida.

The panelists agreed that get-out-the-vote efforts should be part of a Medicaid expansion campaign aimed especially at Latinos, a growing demographic group.

“I really can’t think of any community that is better poised to raise this issue,” Alker said. “You will make a difference – no question.”

According to figures presented at the discussion, nearly half the 4.3 million Americans who would gain coverage if Medicaid were expanded nationwide live in Florida or Texas. About 40 percent of the uninsured population in those two states are Latinos. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia so far have expanded Medicaid.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays the full cost of expanding Medicaid through 2016 in states that increase income eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). After 2016, the federal share phases down to 90 percent.

In Missouri, a parent in a low-income family can make no more than 18 percent of the FPL to be eligible for Medicaid. The comparable figure in Kansas is 33 percent.

Nearly 210,000 residents in Missouri and Kansas combined would gain coverage if those two states expanded Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Founded in 1968, La Raza is the largest national Hispanic civil rights advocacy organization in the United States. It has nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations.

Nordlund said La Raza in Florida has developed a detailed campaign strategy focusing on key lawmakers to pressure them into voting in favor of Medicaid expansion. He said a key win this year was getting one of its three targets to vote for Medicaid expansion.

“Our goal is that, if we can hopefully create enough action in the district, that they actually will hopefully vote our way,” Nordlund said. “If they don’t, we can always hold them accountable in the upcoming election.”
Highlighting personal stories of people who fall in the Medicaid coverage gap also is critical, Guerra-Cardus said.

“This is a very human issue, and stories help bring this out,” she said.
Saturday was the opening day of the four-day annual conference, which drew approximately 5,000 registrants.

An accompanying family expo, which is free and open to the public, is expected to draw as many as 24,000 attendees during the conference. The expo includes health screenings and more than 100 exhibitors.

The nonprofit KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor reporting collaboration. All stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to KHI.org when a story is reposted online.

– See more at http://www.khi.org/news/article/la-raza-outlines-strategies-to-expand-medicaid#sthash.XH7xHKuX.dpuf

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