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Heartland Health Monitor
4:01 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Deadline Nears For Kansas Nursing Homes To Join Malpractice Fund

Cindy Luxem, president and CEO of the Kansas Center for Assisted Living, urged the inclusion of adult care facilities in the stabilization fund.

Hundreds of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in Kansas will be required to participate in a fund meant to spread the risk of malpractice lawsuits starting next month. Advocates for those facilities say the change is a plus, but it has insurance agents scrambling to find liability coverage for their assisted living clients in a limited market.

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Education
4:00 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Missouri Denied Federal Early Childhood Development Grant

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received some bad news Wednesday.

Its application for a $17.5 million grant to boost the number of children in state-funded early childhood education programs was turned down by the U.S. Department of Education.

The grants were announced in conjunction with a Dec. 10 White House summit on early childhood development. Eighteen states will share $226 million in federal grants to either develop state pre-kindergarten programs or expand existing programs.

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Community
3:41 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas City Response To Ferguson Calm But Tensions Simmer

Students and civil rights leaders marching the day after the Ferguson decision was released.
Credit Laura Ziegler / K

Kansas City, like many cities across the world, saw a public outcry to what many felt was an injustice in the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.

As anticipated, the decision set off immediate violence in the St. Louis suburb. The ruling reverberated with demonstrations and protests from New York to San Diego, and as far away as Sydney, Australia.

Here in Kansas City, the response was quick and vocal, but mostly peaceful.

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Arts & Culture
3:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas City's New Director Of Creative Services Names Her Top Three Priorities

Megan Crigger has been appointed the first Director of Creative Services for Kansas City, Mo. She starts on January 5.
Credit courtesy of Artist INC.

Kansas City, Mo., officials announced the first director of creative services Wednesday. 

Megan Crigger is an arts professional with nearly 20 years of experience in Austin, Texas. Most recently, she served as that city's cultural arts division manager with a focus on tourism, arts and culture. 

"Things that are my priority so align with what Kansas City is focused on that it just feels like a great natural fit," Crigger says. 

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Community
3:03 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Body-Mounted Cameras Have Been A Useful Tool For Lenexa Police Despite Complications

Officer Dawn Layman is a Major with the Lenexa Police Department.
Credit Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In the wake of the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama earlier this month called for $75 million to provide 50,000 body-mounted cameras to police departments across the nation. 

Several Missouri police departments have recently started using the devices, and more will likely follow if the federal funds move forward.

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Community
1:53 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Concern Over Firefighter Suicides Prompts KCFD To Seek Resources, Help

Firefighter Kimble Cowan sits with station dog Lucky as they head to refuel their fire truck.
Esther Honig KCUR

Sirens flash and wail as the 17-ton fire engine barrels down Independence Avenue in Kansas City's Historic Northeast. The four firefighters on board gear up in their flame retardant boots and jackets as they rush to the scene of a call.

“After 25 years I’ve seen just about everything you can image,” says firefighter Dan Utt, shouting over the blaring sirens. “Probably more than I’d like to recall to be honest.”

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90.9 The Bridge
1:47 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas City Music Guy Chris Haghirian To Host All Local Radio Show

90.9FM The Bridge's new music show "Eight One Sixty" is set to launch this January and focus on all things local in Kansas City's music scene.
Credit 90.9FM The Bridge

Kansas City community radio station The Bridge is launching a new hour-long music program this January hosted by local music aficionado Chris Haghirian.

"Eight One Sixty" will debut on Jan. 6 and air weekly on Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. The show will play all local music and feature interviews, news and live performances from Kansas City-based artists. 

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Government
7:55 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Brownback Unveils Plan To Reduce Kansas Deficit

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration has released a plan to fix a budget deficit in the current fiscal year. Cuts to highway funding and the state’s public retirement system will be key to balancing the Kansas budget.

Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says the administration started by trying to find ways to reduce spending while minimizing the effect the cost-cutting would have on services.

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Beyond Our Borders
6:45 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas, Missouri Continue To Struggle In Health Rankings

Credit Marius Mellebye / Creative Commons-Flickr

New health rankings  show Kansas stuck at No. 27 among the 50 states, the same slot it occupied last year. But there was a time – not that long ago – when the state ranked much higher than the middle of the pack.

The annual United Health Foundation rankings are a snapshot of 30 health measures ranging from clinical care to behavior and environment to state policy. Dr. Rhonda Randall, the foundation’s chief health advisor, says there’s no mistaking the trend.

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Government
5:50 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Brownback Announces Cuts To Close Budget Gap

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced Tuesday he will use his power of allotments to make fee transfers and spending cuts to close a $280 million budget gap in the current fiscal year.

Brownback said in a prepared statement that the allotments come from recommendations made by budget director Shawn Sullivan.

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Community
4:24 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

University of Kansas Announces $58 Million Gift From Estate Of Al And Lila Self

The University of Kansas has received its largest private donation ever. The $58 million gift from the estate of Madison "Al" and Lila Self was announced by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little at an event on Tuesday.

"This gift, in combination with what they've given before, totals $106 million," Gray-Little said.

Al and Lila Self died last year, both at the age of 91.  They were both KU alums, having met as students at the university. Al Self graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1943; they were married that summer.

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Beyond Our Borders
1:32 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

For Neighbors, Construction On Kansas City Church Is Good News

Ivanhoe resident Mrs. Martha Tolbert welcomes construction at the Linwood Presbyterian Church and community center.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Martha Tolbert has lived directly across from the Linwood Presbyterian Church and adjacent Harold Thomas Center for more than 50 years.

The massive complex at Linwood Boulevard and U.S. Highway 71 has been an architectural icon in the Ivanhoe neighborhood since its construction around the turn of the century.  

But for decades, the buildings have been vacant, the majestic bell tower crumbling and the brick walls  increasingly dilapidated.

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Government
8:01 am
Tue December 9, 2014

ACLU Wants Kansas Agencies To Recognize Same Sex Marriages

The ACLU wants all state agencies in Kansas to recognize same sex marriages. The group is now asking a federal court to make it happen.

The court filing specifically names several state officials, including the secretary of revenue. It says people in same sex relationships have been denied state benefits, like joining their spouse’s health insurance or filing joint taxes.

Thomas Witt, with the group Equality Kansas, says the courts have let same sex marriages go forward in Kansas, and that means they should also be recognized by state agencies.

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Arts & Culture
7:52 am
Tue December 9, 2014

For Kansas City Art Institute Film And Animation Students, It's Showtime

A still from 'Dictum,' by Kansas City Art Institute filmmaking student Ayah Abdul-Rauf.
Credit Ayah Abdul-Rauf / Kansas City Art Institute

Film and animation students at the Kansas City Art Institute get some big-screen time – and a chance to see how their work goes over with a live audience – at their end-of-semester show on Wednesday at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

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Heartland Health Monitor
1:37 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

KCK ‘Healthy Campus’ Another Step Closer To Reality

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., in October unveiled this master plan for the development of a 'healthy campus' west of downtown Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

 

A multimillion-dollar plan to transform downtown Kansas City, Kan., into a national model is one step closer to reality.

The Unified Government Board of Commissioners last week unanimously approved a new master development plan designed to help improve the health of Kansas City and other Wyandotte County residents by providing a state-of-the-art community center, more green space in which to exercise and access to healthy foods at a 30,000- to 35,000-square-foot urban grocery store.

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Central Standard
12:24 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Lauren Krum Of 'The Grisly Hand' Picks Her Favorite Country Christmas Songs

Lauren Krum is a vocalist with The Grisly Hand.
Credit thegrislyhand.com

The incessant upbeat of canned Christmas music can leave even those who love the holidays with a feeling of cheer fatigue.

Kansas City-area singer Lauren Krum of The Grisly Hand, whose DJ alter-ego Lorna Kay spins classic country tunes all year long, shares some grittier winter songs to fill out the emotional spectrum this December.

Lauren's Picks:

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Harvest Public Media
8:16 am
Mon December 8, 2014

For Ranchers, A Grass Land Rush

Cattle take a drink from a tank filled by a windmill. Rancher Dave Wright was hoping to buy part of a neighboring ranch to expand his herd, but it sold for extreme prices.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

After getting pummeled by drought and low cattle prices, many ranchers are across the Midwest are eager to grow their herds. As they do, grass is turning into a hot commodity.

The national beef herd is down to the size it was in 1951. Shoppers know that beef is more expensive, which has people switching to chicken and pork. To raise more cattle and perhaps bring down meat prices, ranchers need more pasture. The trouble for many ranchers is grass has grown expensive.

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Community
7:50 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Hundreds Attend Memorial Service For Slain Kansas City Teen

Hundreds of members of the Islamic Somali community and other faith organizations came to honor the memory of Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

Several hundred people packed into the Somali Center of Kansas City Sunday to honor the memory of the teenager who was killed in a hit and run last week.

More than a dozen faith-based organizations and some civic leaders attended the memorial service for Abdisamad "Adam" Sheikh-Hussein to show their solidarity with his family and the Somali community.

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Arts & Culture
5:26 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Once Again, The Kansas City Symphony Lets Tubas Take Over Christmas

Just a few of the tubas and euphoniums at the Kansas City Symphony's 2014 Tuba Christmas.
Credit Eric Williams / Kansas City Symphony

It’s not often that tuba players get to be the ones on melody.

That changes once a year, though, when the Kansas City Symphony puts on Tuba Christmas, where hundreds of tuba players from all around the metro gather to play traditional holiday songs. Because of popular demand, there are now two Tuba Christmases.

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Community
10:07 am
Sat December 6, 2014

In Kansas City's Racially Divided LGBT Community, Few Mourn Black Murder Victim

Dionte Greene, 22, was murdered in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 31. His family and friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.
Credit courtesy of Coshelle Greene

Dionte Greene's friends remember a sweet kid, a devoted son, a loving father – memories they're struggling to rectify with the 22-year-old's shooting death on Oct. 31.

Greene was found in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning. His killer hasn't been identified. And his friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.

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Flu Shots
5:56 am
Sat December 6, 2014

CDC Warns Flu Shots May Not Be As Effective This Year

The CDC and doctors countrywide are warning that flu vaccines might not be as effective as planned, but still will help prevent people from getting the flu.
Credit Steven Depolo / Flickr-CC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that this season’s flu shots may not be as effective as last year’s due to a mutation of the H3N2 flu virus.

The H3N2 flu strain has "drifted" as doctors say, into a new subtype. So this season’s vaccinations will only be about 48 percent effective at preventing people from catching the H3N2 flu strain, according to the CDC.

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Arts & Culture
8:24 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Intimates Store For Transgender People To Open In Kansas City's Crossroads District

Danielle Meister and Peregrine Honig announce their next business venture.
Credit Paul Andrews

Peregrine Honig and Danielle Meister, the co-owners of Birdie's Panties in Kansas City, Mo., plan to open a second store catering specifically to transgender shoppers in 2015.

The store, to be called All Is Fair, will open in the Bauer Building on West 18th Street in the Crossroads Arts District.

Honig announced the plans on KCUR's Central Standard during a conversation about her work and her art.

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Crime
6:14 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

FBI Investigating Death Of Kansas City Teenager As Possible Hate Crime

Muslim community members gather for prayer at the Somali Center in Kansas City Friday.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

The FBI is investigating the death of a 15-year-old Muslim boy who was run down with a SUV outside the Somali center in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday night.

He later died of his injuries.

The center doubles as a mosque where the teen’s father is a teacher.

The FBI is looking into the death as a possible hate crime, but the suspect was well known to the those Kansas City’s Somali community. Ahmed H. Aden, 34, of Kansas City was charged with the crime Friday. Prosecutors are requesting a $250,000 bail.

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Arts & Culture
5:57 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

A Thomas Hart Benton Painting Returns To Missouri

President Harry Truman, a native of Missouri, acquired Thomas Hart Benton's 'The New Fence,' so the college could present it to Sir Winston Churchill.
Credit courtesy: National Churchill Museum

It's been away for nearly 70 years, but this week, a Thomas Hart Benton painting called "The New Fence" returned to Missouri. 

In 1946, Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., gifted the Benton painting to Sir Winston Churchill. It was Churchill’s request, in lieu of payment, for a college lecture that later became known as the historic “Iron Curtain” speech.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:17 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Attempt To Lift Pit Bull Ban In Wyandotte County Fails

Residents of Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County stand to indicate their position on a proposal to lift a county ban on pit bulls during Thursday's meeting of the Unified Government Commission.
Credit Jim McLean / KHI News Service

 

The Unified Government’s commission chambers were jam-packed on Thursday night.

It wasn’t a controversy over a multi-million bond issue that brought people out. It wasn’t even the final step in the approval process for the city’s “healthy campus” downtown redevelopment plan.

It was a proposed change in the way the city deals with feral cats, stray dogs and pit bulls.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:14 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Costs May Limit Use Of Meningitis B Vaccine

Financial considerations might influence use of a newly approved vaccine targeted at a strain of bacterial meningitis that often strikes college campuses, according to speakers at a conference Thursday in Kansas City, Mo., sponsored by the Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC).

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:10 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Vaccination Push Continues As Flu Appears In Kansas

As flu cases begin to appear in Kansas, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist urged providers to continue distributing the flu vaccine while also preparing antiviral medications for high-risk patients.

William Atkinson, a doctor who spent 25 years at the CDC and is now associate director for immunization at the Immunization Action Coalition, said there's still time to inoculate more of the population before the flu season peaks.

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Women's Rights
3:00 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

New Study Shows Deep Gender Inequalities In Missouri

This map from the National Women's Law Center showed that Missouri women make around 77 cents per dollar that a man does. A new study is showing that they actually make around 71 cents per dollar.
Credit National Women's Law Center

A new study on gender inequality in Missouri has identified five major areas where women are treated unfairly: income, child care, health insurance, poverty and elected offices.

That’s where women face a significant disparity compared to men, according to the Women’s Foundation and the University of Missouri. At a preview conference on Friday in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the groups shared key findings.

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:46 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Moser To Lead Heart Disease, Stroke Collaborative At KU Hospital

Dr. Robert Moser, who resigned last month as secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, has a new job.

Earlier this week, Moser was named executive director for the Kansas Heart and Stroke Collaborative at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Bob Hallinan, a spokesperson for the hospital, confirmed the hiring late Thursday afternoon.

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Arts & Culture
2:19 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Submit Your Story Or Poem To WORD

Poet Raja Nelson (at right) performs at a Jazz Poetry Jam in the Blue Room, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Eric Baker, former KCUR intern

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