Cody Newill

General Assignment Reporter

Born and raised in Independence, Mo., Cody is passionate about the Kansas City metro and its culture. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Cody has contributed to arts and culture publications such as The Bohemian Zine and completed an internship with KCUR's "Up to Date." He currently helms the Sunday morning newscasts and produces digital content for the station's website.

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Kansas City
10:51 am
Wed March 4, 2015

WATCH: Two Time-Lapse Videos That May Make Kansas City Lovers Cry

A still of Union Station from one of two time-lapse videos of Kansas City's sights.
Credit Dan Wood / Vimeo-CC

A wise man once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 

Luckily, there are two time-lapse videos of Kansas City's sights that will help you stop and look around our beautiful city. The first came out late last year, and the second just a few days ago.

Be sure to keep some tissues handy if you're the sentimental type:

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Community
8:15 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Long Abandoned Railway To Connect Kansas City To The Katy Trail

The Rock Island Railroad trail will provide a direct connection between the Kansas City metro and the Katy Trail.
Credit MoBikeFed / Flickr-CC

A recent federal ruling will help connect the Kansas City metro to the Katy Trail. 

The Surface Transportation Board issued its decision Thursday to allow 144 miles of the Rock Island Railroad tracks to be used as a bike trail. The railroad hasn't been used for more than 30 years.

Once completed, it will create one of the longest cycling trail networks in the country. 

Eric Bunch of BikeWalkKC says the connection will be a boon for both Kansas City and the entire state. 

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Community
8:15 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Citizens Speak Out Against Cuts At Kansas City Budget Hearing

Kansas City, Mo., residents had one of their last chances to speak out about the city's proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year Saturday.

The biggest issues were incoming cuts to cultural facilities like the American Jazz Museum and safety net health clinics. The Jazz Museum alone stands to lose $125,000 in funding.

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Football
2:30 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

NFL To Bring Hall Of Fame Exhibit To Union Station This Summer

The Lombardi trophy that will be part of the Gridiron Glory exhibit.
Cody Newill KCUR

The NFL's Pro Football Hall of Fame will be moving a portion of its collection into Union Station this summer. 

The "Gridiron Glory" exhibit is a self described "best-of" collection of the full Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. More than 200 items like former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway's jersey and vintage film footage of Super Bowls past will fill the exhibition.

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Up To Date
2:06 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Wyandotte County Mayor Mark Holland On Jobs, Development And Challenges In KCK

Unified Government of Wyandotte County Mayor and CEO Mark Holland focused on job growth during his State of the Government address.
Credit The Unified Government of Wyandotte County

Since he was elected in 2013, Unified Government of Wyandotte County Mayor and CEO Mark Holland has been able to boast some impressive developments and job growth in the county.

Holland reiterated those successes in his State of the Government address Tuesday, making particular note of 4,000 new jobs created in 2014. He said that number represents about 30 percent of all new jobs in the state of Kansas.

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Food Critics
12:43 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Food Critics: The Best Restaurant Ambiance In Kansas City

Even the old-timey advertisement on the side of The Rieger Hotel Grill adds to the ambiance of the restaurant.
Credit Wiki

When you walk into a restaurant, there is a certain je ne sais quoi that can make or break the experience.

Of course the food is of paramount importance, but poor lighting, decor and authenticity can make even an exquisite plate of duck confit look like a soggy KFC drumstick.

Luckily, our Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Jill Wenholt Silva know a thing or two about restaurant ambiance. Here are their picks for standout restaurants with great ambiance:

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Arts & Culture
9:46 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Check Out What Downtown Kansas City Looks Like In 'SimCity'

Billy Krest started creating this section of Kansas City's "Alphabet Loop" area of downtown in SimCity about four months ago.
Billy Krest Imgur

Billy Krest is a self admitted "road porn" enthusiast. (Author's note: be careful typing that phrase into a search engine.) He also loves playing SimCity, a game that allows players to create their own virtual towns and metropolises.

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Community
9:03 pm
Sat February 14, 2015

LGBT Activists Rally Outside Kansas Statehouse On Valentine's Day

Hundreds of activists gathered on Valentine's Day outside of the Kansas Statehouse to protest Gov. Sam Brownback's decision to take away protections for state employees based on gender and sexual orientation.
Cody Newill KCUR

Hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists gathered outside the Kansas State Capitol Saturday to protest Gov. Sam Brownback's executive order rescinding sexual orientation and gender expression protections for state employees.

The rally was organized by LGBT activist group Equality Kansas. Executive Director Tom Witt says that, despite being frustrated with Brownback's order, he remains optimistic.

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Beyond Our Borders
2:56 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

As Johnson County Grows, Should It Still Be Considered Suburban?

Depending on the definitions you use, Kansas City, Kan., and all of the cities around Kansas City, Mo., are suburban.
Credit Wikimedia - CC

It's common knowledge among Kansas Citians that much of Johnson County, Kan., is suburban, while Kansas City, Kan., proper is an urban core.

What might not be common knowledge is that Overland Park, Kan., has a larger total population count and higher employment density than KCK. So is it still a suburb?

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Central Standard
1:55 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

The Bloody History Of Mormonism In Jackson County

The Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Mo., was built in the 1990s, and symbolizes the church's core belief that the city is the site of Zion, the Garden of Eden and where Noah's Ark was constructed.
Credit Ecjmartin1 / Wikimedia Commons

For nearly 200 years, Jackson County has been home to followers of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Today, thousands of members visit the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Mo., which is a sacred destination for the faithful.

But if you take a look back at the early days of Mormonism, peace and joy weren't in abundance, as militia forces, settlers and the state fought against the church for nearly a decade.

The beginnings of Mormonism

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Arts & Culture
7:26 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Los Angeles Artist Re-Types Two Kansas City Novels

Los Angeles based artist Tim Youd types "Mrs. Bridge," a novel set in Kansas City.
Cody Newill KCUR

Los Angeles based performance and visual artist Tim Youd has taken up residence in Kansas City for the next three weeks to re-type two novels set in the city.

Youd is re-typing Evan Connell's novels "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge," two books that depict Kansas City's upper-middle class in the 1920s and 30s. The performance is part of a larger project where Youd visits a city and reproduces a book written or set there on just two pages of paper. 

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Community
1:57 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Will This Be The Last Chance For Kansas City Kids To Go Sledding?

Meteorologists say that Wednesday's snowfall likely won't be the last chance to sled in Kansas City this winter.
Credit Heather Prewitt / KCUR

The 2014-2015 winter season hasn't been particularly white in the Kansas City metro area, but Wednesday's expected 1-3 inch snow accumulation and early dismissals by some area schools has us wondering: will this be the last chance kids will get to go careening down (mostly) snow-covered hills?

National Weather Service forecaster Jared Leighton says probably not.

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Government
8:37 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Missouri Lawmaker Looks To Attract Super Bowl To Kansas City

If Missouri Sen. Paul LeVota gets his way, Arrowhead Stadium could be the site of a future Super Bowl.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Paul LeVota of Independence, Mo., has put together a task force that will be looking at how Kansas City can improve its infrastructure in order to attract the Super Bowl.

In 2006, Kansas City was turned down to host this year's game because voters didn't approve a tax to create a removable roof for Arrowhead Stadium. 

But last year, Super Bowl XLVIII was held in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, which doesn't have a roof. LeVota says that gives him hope that Kansas City can win over the NFL for the benefit of the area.

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Community
8:36 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Kansas City Transportation Authority Takes Over 'JO' Bus Line

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority now manages Johnson County, Kansas' "JO" bus line.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Johnson County's "JO" bus line is now managed by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, effective Feb. 1. The consolidation effort has been in the works for more than a year.

Jameson Auten of the KCATA says that the merger isn't a total takeover, but just a managerial shift. 

"Johnson County remains in control of policy decisions, but the KCATA is able to provide recommendations on how to better coordinate services," Auten says. "This arrangement does provide cost savings to Johnson County."

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Gender Equality
2:59 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Women's Foundation Releases Interactive Study On Gender Equality In Missouri

A new study from the Women's Foundation and MU shows deep income disparities for Missouri women when compared to men.
Credit The Women's Foundation & The University of Missouri / Community Commons

The Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City has released the full results of its collaboration with the University of Missouri examining gender equality in Missouri. 

The study identifies five main areas of inequity: income, child care, health insurance, poverty and representation. Each area can be further broken down by county and even local tract maps to give a better idea of what issues affect specific areas.

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Education
10:36 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Kansas City Students Put Hand-Crafted Robots To The Test At FIRST Tech Challenge

Student built robots attempt to capture wiffle balls and put them in tall bins at the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifier.
Cody Newill KCUR

Nearly 500 students from the Kansas City metro area competed in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, Tech Challenge qualifier Saturday. 

Thirty-seven teams of middle and high school students filled UMKC's Swinney Recreation Center. Each team brought a small remote-controlled robot to roll around small arenas. The students guided their robots to try to collect Wiffle balls and place them in tall bins.

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Community
10:31 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Second Section Of The Fairfax Bridge Demolished

The Fairfax Bridge is being demolished so a new bridge can be built in its place.
Credit MoDOT Photos / Flickr-CC

Kansas and Missouri's transportation departments demolished another section of the Fairfax Bridge Saturday. 

The section was the second to be taken down with explosives this year. Both KDOT and MoDOT say the bridge, which crosses the state line, can no longer bear the weight of cars and trucks passing over it daily.

Several dozen people parked off of the 7th Street Trafficway in Kansas City, Kan., to get a view of the explosion. David Dumler brought his son to watch as a familiar bridge from his childhood was taken down.

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Government
1:28 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

President Obama Takes State Of The Union Themes To KU

President Obama appeared confident and jovial during his speech at KU.
Bill Anderson KCUR

President Obama focused on child care reforms, his free community college proposal and reaching across the aisle in a speech at the University of Kansas Thursday.

He is the first sitting president to visit the Lawrence, Kan., school in more than 100 years.

Before he launched into the issues at hand, the president made sure to please the crowd with some Kansas love, saying how excited he was to visit Allen Fieldhouse before his speech.

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Beyond Our Borders
4:32 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

4 Small (But Kinda Big) Differences Between Kansas And Missouri

Liquor laws between the Kansas and Missouri are just one of the little differences between the two states.
Credit Greyerbaby / Pixabay / CC

The Kansas-Missouri state line is one of the easiest state borders to cross. In fact, it's one of the only state dividers that has an actual road lying on most of it

But as Kansans and Missourians know, there are plenty of differences between the states.

Here are a few of the technicalities when it comes to state laws governing everyday life:

Alcohol

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MLK Day
8:12 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations To Continue In 'Fuzzy' Thompson's Absence

The Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson's memorial service. Thompson had a big hand in Kansas City's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Leaders from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups in Kansas City are promising that the city's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations will continue in the absence of The Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson.

Thompson was laid to rest Saturday, just two days before MLK Day. The long-time civil rights activist had a big hand in organizing Kansas City's events honoring the life and work of King. 

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Community
11:36 am
Sun January 18, 2015

LISTEN: Remembering Rev. Nelson 'Fuzzy' Thompson

For nearly 50 years, the Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson fought for civil rights in America and abroad. Thompson was a follower of Martin Luther King Jr. and a major proponent of nonviolent protest. 

Thompson was laid to rest Saturday, just two days before Martin Luther King Day. We caught up with those who knew Thompson best at his memorial service. 

Voices:

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Beyond Our Borders
11:32 am
Fri January 16, 2015

How The Kansas-Missouri State Line Became A Road

The original Livestock Exchange building sat on State Line Road and 16th St. Its location is likely the reason the road was built in the mid-1800s.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collection / Kansas City Public Library

For the past four months, KCUR's Beyond Our Borders project has examined how the Missouri-Kansas state line affects the lives of those around it

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2015 Legislative Session
2:47 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Missouri Marijuana Activists Seek Reforms From 2015 Legislative Session

Missouri marijuana activist group Show-Me Cannabis will push state lawmakers to pass reforms on industrial hemp and medical marijuana this session.
Credit Aleks / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri marijuana activist group Show-Me Cannabis is planning to push lawmakers to reform marijuana laws in the 2015 legislative session.

The group is specifically interested in creating a medical marijuana program and lifting the ban on hemp production for farmers.

Show-Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne believes that the Republican supermajority in both chambers will be more likely to support hemp production, but a medical program shouldn't be counted out yet.

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Charlie Hebdo
7:18 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Kansas Islamic Activist Group Reacts To Charlie Hebdo Shooting

Demonstrators in Luxembourg assembled with signs reading "Je suis Charlie," or "I am Charlie," to show their support for Charlie Hebdo.
Credit Valentina Cala / Flickr-CC

The suspected shooters who killed 10 journalists from French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and two police officers in an attack Wednesday have been connected to Al-Qaeda by many sources.

The Council on American Islamic Relations cautions that jumping to conclusions about the attackers can deepen anti-Islamic sentiments both intentionally and unintentionally.

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Community
2:51 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Red-Light Camera Settlement To Give Missourians Partial Ticket Refunds

A class action lawsuit against Missouri's red light camera provider has been settled, which means those who were fined could get a little cash back.
Credit Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

Around 200,000 Kansas City metro residents who got caught running red-lights by traffic cameras are getting the chance for a partial refund of their tickets.

A class action lawsuit involving 27 municipalities across Missouri has been settled by American Traffic Solutions, the company that leases the state's red-light cameras.

The settlement requires ATS to pay 20 percent refunds to citizens who successfully apply for them. 

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Food Critics
5:08 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Food Critics: The Best Dishes Of 2014

Pizzabella's Brussels sprouts were among our Food Critics' favorite dishes of 2014.
Credit Pizzabella / Facebook

From happy hour treats to sumptuous desserts, Central Standard's Food Critics covered a wide swath of Kansas City cuisine in 2014. And what better way to test their culinary knowledge than with a "Best-of" list?

Here are the Food Critics' choices for the best dishes of 2014 in Kansas City:

Mary Bloch:

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Government
3:55 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

'Urban Opportunity Zones' Potentially Coming To Kansas City, Kansas

An offshoot of Kansas’ Rural Opportunity Zones program could be moving into Wyandotte County, pending approval from the state legislature.

Wyandotte County officials are optimistic that Gov. Sam Brownback will introduce the plan to the Kansas legislature soon. Brownback first debuted the idea for “Urban Opportunity Zones” on the campaign trail in August.

The zones would entice out-of-state residents to move into Kansas with a five-year income tax exemption, up to $15,000 in help for student loan payments, and significant property tax breaks for 15 years.

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Christmas Music
9:00 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Best Christmas Music You've (Probably) Never Heard Of

James Brown is mostly known for being the "Godfather of Soul," but he's on our list for best Christmas songs that you might not have heard before.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Besides food and presents, Christmas music might be one of the most important parts of the holidays.

From Bing Crosby to Brenda Lee, dozens of music artists have produced timeless classics that never lose their seasonal appeal.

That said, one can only tolerate "White Christmas" so many times before suffering a holiday breakdown. To keep that from happening, here's a list of more obscure Christmas tunes that are sure to brighten your spirits.

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Gasoline Prices
11:12 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Missouri Has Lowest Gas Prices In U.S.; Kansas City Second Lowest In State

Missouri's gas prices are the lowest in the nation, according to AAA.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

Missouri has the lowest average gasoline prices in the country at just $2.05 a gallon, according to AAA's daily fuel tracker.

On Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo., that average is even lower, at $1.97 a gallon.

The only city with lower prices in Missouri was Springfield, at $1.94 a gallon, according to AAA.

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Black Lives Matter Protest
9:31 am
Sun December 21, 2014

#Blacklivesmatter Protesters Arrested After Attempt To Block I-70 In Kansas City

#BlackLivesMatter protesters with activist group One Struggle KC begin their march through Parade Park to I-70.
Cody Newill KCUR

Seven people involved in a protest in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday were arrested as they attempted to block Interstate 70.

The protest was themed #BlackLivesMatter after the viral hashtag, which took off after the decisions not to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

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