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Education
6:47 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Kansas Board Of Education OKs Teaching License Changes

The Kansas State Board of Education has approved changes that will allow people with career experience – but no education degree — to teach in public schools. The changes will allow people with real-world experience to teach subjects including math, science and technical education.

The new regulations were prompted by a bill passed earlier this year by the Kansas Legislature, although the Board of Ed had already been considering some new rules. The changes easily passed on a 9-1 vote.

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Community
6:38 am
Thu June 26, 2014

World Cup Is A Mix Of Sport And Mourning For Kansas City's South Korean Community

Gwon Cheol Paek (left) and Sejun Song (right) show off their Korea team t-shirts as they watchi the Korea soccer team play Algeria at Chopsticks restaurant in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Most of the World Cup attention Thursday will be on the U.S. game against Germany. But there will be some Kansas City-area residents who will have their attention on South Korea’s game against Belgium.

Little Korea in Kansas

Tucked away off 103rd  St. and Metcalf Avenue, in a strip mall in Overland Park, Kan., there is a concentration of South Korean businesses where people gather to watch soccer.

“Kansas doesn’t have like a Korea town,” says David Ahn. “So this is kind of considered like a Korea Town.”

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Central Standard
3:45 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

The Awkward Business of Surveilling The Nelson Shuttlecocks

James Hymes, one of the guards at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, asks visitors to stay off the Shuttlecocks.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Kansas City residents have been known to, as Michael Cross likes to say, “cuddle,” on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

What many of these lovers may not realize, is that there are always guards monitoring the museum and the lawn, both on foot and via video cameras.

Michael Cross, manager of security facilities and visitor services for the Nelson-Atkins, has been keeping an eye on the grounds for seven years.

“As long as nobody’s interfering with the artwork we try to leave people alone,” Cross says.

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Health
2:10 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Children's Mercy Hospital Homes In On LGBT Health Disparities

Children's Mercy Hospital is the only hospital in the Kansas City area currently recognized as a 'Leader in LGBT Healthcare.'
Credit wikipedia.org

Different populations have different healthcare needs, and providing optimal care to the estimated 89,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Kansas City is an ongoing challenge for local hospitals and clinics.

Studies have identified the many health disparities faced by the LGBT community, and Kansas City is no exception. A 2012 report by the Missouri Foundation for Health says that LGBT Missourians are more likely to experience poor health outcomes than their heterosexual peers. 

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Government
8:42 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Schodorf Unveils Plan To Change Voter Registration In Kansas

A Democratic candidate for Kansas secretary of state has unveiled her proposal to revamp some voter registration rules. Kansas law requires proof of citizenship documents for people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas, and that requirement has put around 19,000 voter registrations on hold.

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Government
7:40 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Kansas City Out Of Running For 2016 GOP Convention

Mayor Sly James joined RNC committee members at a press conference during their site visit to Kansas City in early June.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Update, 1:10 p.m.

The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that Cleveland, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas, were finalists to host the 2016 Republican Convention. Kansas City and Denver have been eliminated.

Committee members were in Kansas City earlier this month to tour facilities and meet city officials. In a release, the committee says the decision was based on a review of bids and information gathered at site visits to each city.

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Health
6:24 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

KC Photo Exhibit Takes Aim At Stigma Associated With HIV And AIDS

Keith
Duane Cramer Duane Cramer Creative

This Friday is National HIV Testing Day, first created almost 20 years ago to encourage members of the public to learn their HIV status. Since then, what it means to be HIV-positive has changed dramatically.

Individuals diagnosed as positive today can expect to live as long as they would without the virus, as long as they receive treatment.

But many HIV patients, especially in African American communities, don't receive the treatment they need, and health advocates blame that on the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.

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Central Standard
3:46 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

KC Police Chief Darryl Forté On Response Times, His Faith And Social Media

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté visited with Gina Kaufmann about some of the problems that Kansas City faces.
Credit KMBC

When Darryl Forté was sworn in as Kansas City Police Department chief in 2011, it was a landmark moment. 

Forté is the first African American to lead the police department in the city's history.

Since then, Forté and the rest of the police department have had their hands full, with homicide rates that have routinely ranked within the top 10 worst cities in America

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Government
2:58 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Key Lawmaker Says Smaller Government A Goal Of Kansas Tax Cuts

Conservatives had two reasons for advocating deep cuts in state income tax rates, says one of the legislative leaders who championed them.

The first and most often touted by Gov. Sam Brownback was to lower taxes for business owners so that they could use the savings to create more jobs.

But a second and less talked about goal was to shrink state government by reducing tax collections and forcing legislators to cut spending, according to Senate President Susan Wagle.

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NBAF
12:53 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

K-State Says Proposed Funding For NBAF Is A Big Step Forward

U.S. Department of Homeland Security rendering of finished facility.
Credit courtesy photo / U.S. Department of Homeland Security

A U.S. Senate subcommittee has appropriated $300 million in funding for the National Bio and Agro- Defense Facility , or NBAF, in Manhattan, Kan.

Ron Trewyn, vice president for research at Kansas State University, says this week's appropriation for a top-security animal disease lab on Kansas State's campus will allow the Department Of Homeland Security lab be finished.

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Arts & Culture
10:00 am
Tue June 24, 2014

4 Films To See At The Kansas City LGBT Film Festival This Weekend

A scene from the film, 'To Be Takei.'
Credit Courtesy of Sundance Institute

As the march toward full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in America advances at varying speeds, there remains a sense that the LGBT community can still be marginalized in the movies. That's what makes film festivals like Out Here Now so relevant to the LGBT communities and their staunch allies.

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Education
8:11 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Kansas Universities, Colleges Sign Transfer Agreement

A new agreement signed by universities and community colleges in Kansas can help students earn associate degrees.

The program is aimed at helping students who transfer from a community college to a university, and puts in place a "reverse transfer" policy.

Students who can be helped by this include those who transfer to a university before finishing their associate degree at a community college. After the student earns the required credits for an associate degree at a university, the community college the student previously attended will automatically issue the degree.

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Lifeguards
7:43 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Why Fewer Teens Are Spending Their Summer Lifeguarding

It is getting harder for pools, like this one in Lawrence, Kan., to recruit teens into lifeguarding.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Temperatures are rising, but a shortage of lifeguards in some communities is keeping pools closed. 

Once a stereotypical way to make some summer cash, fewer teens are willing to go through expensive training for a minimum wage job.

And while the problem here isn't as pronounced as in Austin, Texas, which had to delay opening half its pools, there are still cities scrambling to recruit the needed lifeguards to keep swimmers safe.

It takes a lot of lifeguards to keep one pool safe

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Health
5:43 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Truman Med Could Get Hit With Penalty Over Infection Rates

Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill
Credit Wikimedia-CC

Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill is among 175 hospitals nationwide most likely to be penalized with the loss of Medicare payments because of high rates of infection and other complications.

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services calculated preliminary “hospital-acquired condition” scores from 1 to 10, with one being best and 10 being worst.

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Health
4:37 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Groups Question Changes To Kansas Nursing Home Disclosures

Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, has some concerns about a change in the state's nursing home inspection reporting process.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is changing the way it shares its reports on nursing home conditions with the public.

The new system, officials say, will make the reports more accurate and more accessible.

But for a group that supports nursing home residents and their families, the changes will make it harder to know which homes are the subjects of complaints and investigations of substandard care.

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Music
12:18 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

'American Idol' Bus Tour To Come To Kansas City

Hundreds of potential American Idol contestants wait for their chance to compete in Washington D.C.
Credit dbking / Flickr-CC

Popular singing competition show American Idol is coming to Kansas City this summer. On July 21, the Idol tour bus will pull into the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Volker campus to hold open auditions for the show's 14th season. 

In a press release, UMKC's Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mel Tyler says Kansas City will be a natural fit for the show. 

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Government
10:18 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Debate About Kansas Finances Previews Fall Election

A routine financial meeting last week at the Kansas Statehouse turned into a heated exchange between Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and some Democratic lawmakers. The two sides sparred over the state's financial policies, and the meeting previewed many of the arguments that are likely to be repeated on the campaign trail this fall.

The state of Kansas borrows money to help manage cash flow during the year, but the annual meeting soon turned to a debate over fiscal policy.

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Environment
8:27 am
Mon June 23, 2014

EPA Grants May Help Redevelop Parts Of Kansas, Missouri

The EPA has awarded $1.2 million for projects in a 15-county area of northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. The money will be used to redevelop underused or abandoned properties, and to train residents and help them land environmental jobs.

The grants are being administered by the Mo-Kan Regional Council. 

A revolving loan fund will of $1 million will help revitalize blighted sites that may contain hazardous waste or petroleum contamination. Executive Director Tom Bliss says there are nearly 400 eligible properties in the 15-county area.

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Harvest Public Media
7:58 am
Mon June 23, 2014

100 Years On, Panama Canal Still Vital To Midwest Economy

A loaded container ship passes through the Miaflores Locks on the Panama Canal in 2006.
Jean-Pierre Martineau Flickr -- CC

When it opened in 1914, the Panama Canal introduced the harvest from Midwest farms to the world and helped link U.S. farmers to the global economy. Nearly a century-old, the canal today remains an important connector of global trade, from the U.S. heartland to Asia.

“Obviously it’s one of our major achievements,” said Bill Angrick, a former state Ombudsman of Iowa who was born in the Canal Zone and has studied the engineering marvel. “It’s like going to the moon. It’s something we did well and did right.”

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Community
8:48 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Hillary Clinton Focuses Kansas City Talk On Women And The Economy

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, speaks with Rainy Day Books owner Vivien Jennings Sunday at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. Clinton was in town to promote her memoir, 'Hard Choices.'
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Ensuring human rights for women and girls can have a stabilizing effect impact on countries and economies, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Kansas City audience Sunday night.

"Of course I promoted women and girls as an integrated priority within our diplomacy," says Clinton, who was in town as part of a book tour. "But I could tell people's eyes would roll in many places when I said that."

And while Clinton says she sees the rights of women in developing companies as a moral issue, she used a different sales pitch on foreign leaders.

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Education
1:42 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

School District, Academie Lafayette Planning New Charter For Southwest Campus

Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent R. Stephen Green speaks at a press conference to announce a new charter school partnership with Academie Lafayette.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Public Schools is partnering with French immersion charter Academie Lafayette to open a new high school at the Southwest Early College Campus.

The new school will be both a public charter and a "signature" school, the designation KCPS gives to buildings with selective enrollment criteria. The district will provide the facility, and Academie Lafayette will run the school.

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Arts & Culture
1:37 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Kansas City Gay Pride Festival Relocates To West Bottoms

Credit Andrew Bossi / Flickr -- Creative Commons

  The three-day Gay Pride Festival opens Friday at 6 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo., this year in a new location — the West Bottoms.

Rick Bumgardner, who is the festival’s event co-coordinator, said relocating in the field near Kemper Arena offers ample parking, a trendy and up-and-coming location and a potential home for Pride in the future.

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Arts & Culture
12:15 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Artists Explore Possibilities Of Vacant Lots In Kansas City

LOTS of Love coordinator Dina Newman points to the future site of an orchard in the Ivanhoe neighborhood.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Artists have a reputation for moving into places others don’t – turning areas once full of empty buildings into thriving districts, such as the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Mo. So, it’s not surprising they’d take a look at the thousands of vacant lots and vacant houses in the city, exploring everything from sculpture parks to art galleries on some of the least desirable lots.

Creating a new space with a purpose

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Health
10:19 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Missouri Measure Would Enact ‘Right to Try’ Drug Program For Dying Patients

If you were dying and had exhausted all conventional treatment options, wouldn’t you want immediate access to a drug that might prove to be a miracle cure?

That’s the promise of legislation that, if signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, would make Missouri the third state in the country - after Colorado and Louisiana – to enact a so-called “Right to Try” law, which aims to get  investigational drugs into the hands of terminally ill patients as quickly as possible.

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Arts & Culture
10:06 am
Fri June 20, 2014

WATCH: In This Scene ... 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'

Jerry Jay Cranford plays Baron Bomburst and Julie Shaw plays his wife Baroness Bomburst in The Coterie production of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

In this scene from The Coterie's production of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," Baron Bomburst (Jerry Jay Cranford) and Baroness Bomburst (Julie Shaw) express their love for each other through song and a series of gags and tricks.

"We are the Baron and Baroness of Vulgaria. I am about to have my birthday party, and I am very excited about it and completely forget that she’s alive," explains Cranford, a Broadway veteran, with a laugh.

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Health
9:48 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Report: Expanded Liquor Sales In Kansas Could Have Health Consequences

Credit Matteo Paciotti / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Expanding liquor sales to grocery and convenience stores in Kansas could lead to more underage drinking, according to a new report from the Kansas Health Institute.

The report, called a health impact assessment, is designed to give policymakers information about the potential health consequences of expanded liquor sales.

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Community
8:46 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Kansas City-Based Organization Played Role In Presbyterian Same-Sex Marriage Vote

The ruling by the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination Thursday to allow its pastors to officiate same-sex weddings was a major victory for a Kansas City-based organization that has spent years trying to make the church more inclusive.

By a vote of 429 to 175, leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to initiate a process to redefine marriage in official texts as being between two people. They also voted with a smaller margin to allow Presbyterian pastors to decide as individuals whether or not to perform same-sex marriages.

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Government
6:59 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Kansas City To Outsource Ambulance Billing

City manager Troy Schulte and finance chair Jan Marcason said signing up with

Advanced Data Processing Inc., a company that already does billing for several cities in the metro, would save $800,000 and increase collections.

“For the taxpayers and for the city this is a good deal and I think we should approve it today,” Marcason told her council colleagues.

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World Cup KC
6:56 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Kansas City Man Highlights His Culture's Food And Sport During World Cup

Bella Napoli is Kansas City's headquarters for Italian soccer fans.
Credit Courtesy Bella Napoli.

  Italy didn’t even end up in the top four spots in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. For a nation that’s obsessed with soccer, that was basically an utter failure.

This time around, the Azzurri, as the Italian team is known by its fans, started the World Cup with a strong victory over England. 

Last Saturday evening, about two dozen mostly blue-clad fans of Italy’s men’s soccer team crowded into Brookside restaurant Bella Napoli to chow on pizzas, tapas and other authentic Italian food from the menu while watching their team defeat England 2-1.

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Government
4:45 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Cash-flow Loan Triggers Debate About Brownback’s Economic Policies

The state of Kansas is loaning itself $675 million to ensure that it can pay its bills as it transitions from one budget year to the next.

That’s not unusual.

For the last 16 years, it has been standard practice for the State Finance Council to approve certificates of indebtedness, which transfer money from a fund used to collect fees and pay off bonds to the state’s general operating fund.

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