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Health
4:09 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Hundreds Learn Mental Health First Aid At City-Wide Training Events

Warren and Eyvette Carter follow mental health first-aid lessons taught by Cadi Sanchez.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

At the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center on Thursday afternoon, Eyvette Carter struggled to carry on a basic conversation with her husband, Warren.

She was distracted in no small part by Karl Chaney whispering in her ear.

“Don’t trust him. Is he looking at you? Why would he want to talk to you?” Chaney said.

The group was taking part in an auditory hallucination simulation, designed to demonstrate the experience of a psychotic episode.

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Health
3:42 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Missouri Creates Unique Medical Classification: Assistant Physician

Assistant physicians will be allowed to practice primary care in rural and underserved parts of Missouri.
Credit Adrian Clark / Flickr--CC

 

Missouri now boasts a new category of medical licensee: assistant physicians.

Despite strong opposition from some healthcare groups, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday signed into law a measure that would allow medical school graduates who have not completed residencies – or even obtained medical licenses — to practice medicine.

Nixon, however, issued signing statements warning of the need for additional safeguards to ensure that patients are not placed in jeopardy.

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Health
2:40 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Dental Funds For The Poor Caught In Missouri Budget Battle

Medical experts, including professionals at the Mayo Clinic, argue that good oral health goes beyond caring for teeth and gums.
Credit Byrle Gross

Roughly $18 million that would restore basic dental benefits for hundreds of thousands of low-income Missouri adults is in limbo because of a sweeping budget action by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Acting under what he termed his constitutional duty to balance the state budget, Nixon late last month restricted or vetoed approximately $1.1 billion in spending for the fiscal year that began July 1.

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Health
2:22 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Feds Demand Medicaid Backlog Fixes In Kansas

Kaiser Health News 

Tired of waiting for states to reduce their backlogs of Medicaid applications, the Obama administration has given Kansas and five other states until Monday to submit plans to resolve issues that have prevented more than 1 million low-income or disabled people from getting health coverage.

Besides Kansas, the targeted states are Alaska, California, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee.

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Voting
12:12 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Need A Birth Certificate To Vote In Kansas? Douglas County Promises Help

Kansas' voter ID law went into effect in 2012. But Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew says some residents have had trouble securing the documents they need to prove they're citizens.
Credit Cle0patra / Flickr-CC

The Douglas County clerk says his office will offer financial assistance to residents who need an out-of-state birth certificate to prove their citizenship and comply with Kansas' voter identification law.

County Clerk Jamie Shew says the current law creates two classes of Kansans: Those who were born in-state and can get a free birth certificate, and those who were born out-of-state and must pay to get a birth certificate.

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Harvest Public Media
9:40 am
Thu July 10, 2014

EPA Promotes Water Rule To Farmers

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks to reporters at Heffernan Farm in Rocheport, Mo., July 9, 2014.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is touring farm country, trying to assure farmers that the agency isn’t asking for more authority over farmers and ranchers’ lands.

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Sports
9:05 am
Thu July 10, 2014

LISTEN: World Cup Songs From Around The Globe In Kansas City

If you were one of the 10,000-plus people who were at the Kansas City Power and Light District cheering on the U.S. national team, then you may know the I Believe chant well.
Credit Sporting Kansas City / YouTube

 

Of the 32 national soccer teams that made it to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup this year, Germany and Argentina will face off at 2 p.m. Sunday.

KCUR has been covering soccer fans cheering on their teams since the tournament began about a month ago.  (See our recent coverage on how international communities living in Kansas City are rooting for their teams.)

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Arts & Culture
8:30 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Parting Questions For The Rep's Kyle Hatley

The Rep's associate artistic director, Kyle Hatley, is moving to Chicago in August.
Credit courtesy: Kansas City Repertory Theatre

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre announced this month that Kyle Hatley, associate artistic director, plans to relocate to Chicago in August.

Hatley, a 33-year-old native of Memphis, started working at the Rep in 2008. During his time in Kansas City, Mo., he's earned a reputation as an energizing force in the theater community — as an actor and director, as well as the creator of innovative new works at the KC Fringe Festival and the Living Room.

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City Council
6:46 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Power And Light Building Could Become Apartments With Council Vote

The iconic Kansas City Power and Light building could be repurposed as apartments. The skyscraper, which was built in the 1930s, is mostly empty.
Credit Noah Jeppson / Flickr--CC

 Updated 6:11 p.m.:

The Kansas City City Council has postponed the vote on the Power and Light building so city officials can conduct another hearing on the proposal's financial implications.

The original post begins here:

The Kansas City City Council votes Thursday afternoon on declaring the historic Power and Light Building and several blocks surrounding it a blighted area.

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Sports
6:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Futsal Soccer Catches On In Kansas City

Children play a game of futsal soccer, which involves fewer players and a smaller field, at Wyandotte High School.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

The soccer craze in the Kansas City area wasn’t just captured in the Power & Light District watch parties for the World Cup games.

It’s evident on full-size soccer fields on both sides of the state line. But the metropolitan area's newest soccer passion may be churning up on mini-courts in Kansas City, Kan.

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Child Care
2:35 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Missouri To Step Up Oversight Of Child Care Providers

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon speaks to a student at Operation Breakthrough, a Kansas City day care center, before signing legislation tightening the rules for child care providers.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

There are roughly 2,300 child care providers in Missouri that don't have to follow any kind of health and safety regulations – a huge problem for parents trying to find suitable day care for their children.

"There are some folks out there who, either through negligence or circumstance, should not be in the business of providing child care," says Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, "and there's very little to stop them from setting up a sign,  throwing a swing set out back and calling themselves a childcare provider."

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Beyond Our Borders
12:52 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

The Story Behind Kansas City's House Of Cards

As a part of a community effort to eliminate neighborhood eyesores, artists transformed this abandoned apartment building into a house of cards in 2012.
Cara McClain KCUR

Have you ever driven through the Historic Northeast neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., and seen a building with playing cards instead of windows? 

That's the house of cards, an abandoned apartment building at 7th and Indiana streets, that community members used to create public art. After a couple of years of dormancy, there's now some renewed interest to continue the effort.

Here's the story of how that project began: 

A couple years back, the Historic Northeast neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., had a problem.

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Health
10:41 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Brady Group Sues Over Kansas Law Voiding Federal Gun Rules

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is challenging a Kansas law, titled the “Second Amendment Protection Act,” which exempts all guns manufactured in Kansas that haven’t left the state from federal gun control laws.
Credit Wikipedia -- CC

A national gun control group on Wednesday challenged the constitutionality of a Kansas law that nullifies federal gun laws in the state.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence alleges the law’s provisions are “unconstitutional on their face under long-standing, fundamental legal principles.”

“Neither the Kansas legislature, nor any state legislature, is empowered to declare federal law ‘invalid,’ or to criminalize the enforcement of federal law,” the complaint asserts.

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Harvest Public Media
9:38 am
Wed July 9, 2014

My Farm Roots: Touch The Ground

Though he grew up without designs on farm life, Elisha Pullen has embraced rural living on his farm near Bell City, Mo.
Credit Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

As a young man, Elisha Pullen never imagined he would spend his days on the farm.

Growing up near rural Bell City in southeastern Missouri’s “Bootheel” region, Pullen longed to leave the farm and get an education.

“I grew up in the day and time when we had to do a lot of chopping and stuff like that. Hard labor,” Pullen said. “I’m going to college, I’m getting my degree and I’m going to work in the air conditioning.”

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Higher Education
9:27 am
Wed July 9, 2014

KU's Edwards Campus To Add Five New Advanced Degree Options

Students sit in a lecture hall at the University of Kansas' Edwards campus. The Overland Park-based extension will be expanding its programs this fall.
Credit City of Overland Park, Kan. / Flickr-CC

Professionals seeking advanced degrees from the University of Kansas will have five new opportunities from the Overland Park-based Edwards campus starting this fall. 

The five new degree programs are for graduate students in education, business, accounting and international studies.

Christine Falk, Edwards campus marketing coordinator, says that new academic programs should help spur a sense of community and personal growth in the area. 

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Arts & Culture
9:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

WATCH: 'The Winter’s Tale’ Set Comes Down

Crew members pull down 'The Winter's Tale' set.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The sound of power drills pierced the air on a humid Monday morning as several dozen crew members dismantled the set of "The Winter’s Tale" in Southmoreland Park in Kansas City, Mo.

The evening glow from the set’s blue and gray spires had long faded. From a grassy hill, Greg Mackender, resident composer and musician for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival stood taking photographs on his camera phone before packing away his instruments.

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Education
5:27 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Some Missouri Immigrants Can Tap Into Scholarship Fund

Immigrants receive information on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program to provide documentation for people brought to the United States illegally as children, from a community group.
Credit Neighborhood Centers Inc. / Flickr--CC

The Missouri Department of Higher Education is opening up a community college scholarship program to young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

That means students who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will be able to trade tutoring hours for two years of tuition reimbursement through the A+ Scholarship Program. 

The deferred action program is tied to an Obama administration initiative that started in 2012. 

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Community
3:50 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Immigrants Bring Power Soccer To Kansas City's Historic Northeast

Angel Ponce, of Mexico, Jean-Luc Kamin, of the Ivory Coast, and Soemoe Oo, of Burma, all play soccer with Coach Foday Kamara.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

Coach Foday Kamara is proud that countries in the World Cup are represented among the immigrants living in the Historic Northeast neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo.

Kamara — an immigrant from Sierra Leone - has been in the United States for nine years. He was a professional soccer player before he came. 

Now he's trying to form a soccer league in Kansas City's Historic Northeast. He says the area's diverse population lends itself to some excellent soccer.

"Everybody here is playing soccer." Kamara says. "All the immigrants ... (grew up) playing soccer."

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Education
3:38 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Kansas Schools Won't Get Report Cards After Hackers Stymie Tests

Most students in Kansas now take their standardized tests on computers. Marianne Perie with KU's Center for Education Testing and Evaluation says even paper and pencil tests aren't foolproof: This year, a box of tests fell off a truck and was destroyed.
Credit biologycorner / Flickr--CC

The Kansas State Board of Education agreed Tuesday to throw out data from this year's math and reading exams after hackers disrupted the spring standardized tests.

The decision means the state won't be issuing school report cards this fall.

"We just didn't have faith that the data were going to give an accurate picture of where the students in Kansas are in relation to the new cognitive standards," says Mariane Perie, director of the Center for Education Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas. 

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Community
11:47 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Kansas City’s Former GOP Convention Hopes Go To Cleveland

The Republican National Convention in 2016 will take place in Cleveland, a selection committee announced Tuesday
Credit truthout.org

Kansas City’s ex-suitor, the Republican National Convention, has selected Cleveland to host the 2016 conference.

Kansas City had been in the running for the GOP event through late June, when the convention dubbed Cleveland and Dallas as finalists, knocking Kansas City out of consideration.  

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Health
11:18 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Some Veterans May Lose Needed Health Care If VA Pilot Program In Kansas Ends

Hugh Steadman, a World War II veteran who lives in Great Bend, Kan., used to have to drive two hours to the Veterans Affairs medical center in Wichita, pictured here. That commute shortened to 10 minutes when a pilot program paid for him to see a doctor in Great Bend.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

 

A pilot program in Kansas allowing veterans who live far from Veterans Affairs hospitals to get care from local doctors may end, threatening veterans like Hugh Steadman with the cutoff of needed medical care.

Steadman, who flew combat missions over Germany as a bombardier during World War II, lives in Great Bend. He used to have to drive two hours to the VA medical center in Wichita, a trip that was getting more difficult for him to make.

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Harvest Public Media
9:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Medical Association Seeks Stricter Rules For Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Low doses of antibiotics are often delivered to livestock in their feed.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

The largest association of U.S. physicians is calling for tighter rules on antibiotic use in livestock.

The American Medical Association (AMA) says there should be an outright federal ban on using antibiotics to plump up farm animals. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily phase out the use of antimicrobial drugs that promote growth in livestock.

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Harvest Public Media
9:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Soybean Acres Up, Corn Down In This Year's Planting

Farmers have planted a record number of acres in soybeans this year, while planting fewer in corn.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Farmers planted a record number of soybean acres this season. But corn is flat in several Midwestern states, while down slightly in others.

Those are some of the takeaways from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report on planted grain acres for the season, which offers the first glimpse of production for 2014.

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Weather
9:54 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Thousands Still Without Power Across Kansas City Metro

This map shows how many people in the Kansas City metro area were without power, as of 9:50 a.m. Tuesday. Green zones mean 1 to 49 people are without power; yellow means 50 to 499; orange means 500 to 999.
Credit kcpl.com

Updated, 1:30 p.m.

According to an update on the KCP&L website: "We have restored nearly 90 percent of our affected customers. During the span of the storm, we had approximately 73,000 customers without power...Currently, we have approximately 6,500 customers remaining without power."

Our original post continues here:

Although there were no serious injuries reported in Monday night’s severe storms, rain and powerful wind gusts knocked out power for thousands across the Kansas City metropolitan area.

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Sports
9:41 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Missouri 340 Canoe Race Postponed Due To Flooding

Contestants at the 2007 Missouri 340 race cast off from Kansas City on a long journey to St. Charles.
Credit Marek Uliasz / Flickr-CC

For hundreds of paddlers, the Missouri 340 race is a true test of endurance, but flooding along the Missouri River has put the competition on hold.

The popular canoe race runs 340 miles from Kansas City to St. Charles. Organizers said they felt that heightened water levels would introduce too much debris and keep racers from being able to reach shore when they needed a break. 

Scott Mansker, race director, says postponing the race isn't ideal because people already have taken time off work to race. But the delay ultimately won't kill the competition, he says.

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Harvest Public Media
6:02 am
Tue July 8, 2014

On The Farm, Chefs Learn The Basics Of Food Production

Farmer Kate Potter shows chef Terrah King how to gut a chicken at Chef Camp in Livingston County, Ill.
Sean Powers Harvest Public Media

With farm to table restaurants springing up left and right, cooks are having to go beyond the grocery store. That’s why about a dozen chefs from Chicago and central Illinois recently gathered for a two-day crash course on where their food comes from – the farm.

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Government
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Kansas City Opens 'Dead Letter Office'

Kansas City is trying to clean out outdated laws from the books.
Credit CC Google Images

Last month, the city of Kansas City, Mo., opened what they’re calling a 'Dead Letter Office,' which is actually a website where the residents and business owners can petition to repeal out-of-date city regulations.

Assistant City Manager Rick Usher focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurship. He says due to Kansas City’s long history, some of the old rules are still in the books.

“Kansas City you know we’re over 150 years old. The city has weathered every economic, political, social, environmental crisis that has occurred through those times,” Usher said.

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Health
3:48 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Rural Kansas Hospital Bolsters Recruitment By Enticing 'Missionary' Doctors

Kearny County Hospital CEO Benjamin Anderson has been to Zomba, Zimbabwe five times in the past four years doing medical mission work. He is pictured here with one of the children from the village.
Credit Tim Walter

Although 25 percent of Americans still live in rural areas, only 10 percent of doctors do, according to the National Rural Health Association, and finding physicians and other medical professionals willing to work in the hinterlands remains a serious, growing problem in Kansas and other parts of the United States.

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Government
3:33 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Overland Park Expected To Green-Light Google Fiber

Credit Neerav Bhatt / Flickr--CC

The Overland Park City Council will vote Monday night on a pair of plans to bring Google Fiber to the Kansas suburb, months after striking a preliminary deal.

Google Fiber walked away from that discussion after several council members asked about liability for city-owned utilities such as light poles, even though they ultimately wanted to approve the plan. 

That shouldn't be a problem moving forward, says Councilman Paul Lyons.

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Health
3:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

KU Medical Center Tests Promising Alzheimer's Drug As Part Of Trial

Dr. Jeffrey Burns uses a PET scan to screen patients for an international drug trial.
Credit Stefani Fontana / KCUR

It’s a form of dementia that afflicts as many as 5.2 million people in the United States. It has no cure.

And as the population ages, the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to quadruple over the next 35 years, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

That means that by 2050, 1 in 85 people will be living with the disease.

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