Elle Moxley

General Assignment Reporter

Elle joined KCUR in 2014 as a general assignment reporter. Most recently, she covered Indiana schools as an education reporter for NPR’s StateImpact project.

Previously, she reported for The Examiner in Independence, Mo., and KBIA-FM in Columbia, Mo.

She is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

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Education
3:17 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Missouri Governor Wants More Math And Science Classes In Elementary Schools

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon meets with students at Upper Mill Creek Elementary in Belton, where students are learning about robotics.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

How do you get fifth and sixth graders to see a connection between what they're doing in school and their future careers?

Talk to them about Walt Disney.

"As a sixth grader, he was sketching mice and ducks in his art class," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told students during an assembly at Mill Creek Upper Elementary in Belton Friday.

The school is one of 34 across Missouri that's teaching elementary school students about math and science through Project Lead the Way, which Nixon hopes will inspire them to pursue those fields as adults. 

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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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Community
6:43 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Kansas City Looks For Answers After Drive-By Shootings Claim Lives of Kids

The office of civic leader Alvin Brooks is plastered with flyers like these, pleading with information about unsolved youth homicides in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo., ended 2014 with fewer homicides than the city had seen in nearly 50 years.

But that good news doesn’t lessen the tragedy of a death such as Angel Hooper’s. The 6-year-old was gunned down in the parking lot of a gas station at 107th Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard in October, the first of four child victims of drive-by shootings in the metro in recent months.

Emotions run high when kids become innocent victims of violent crime, but the number of drive-by shootings in the metro has not risen.

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Community
11:58 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Suicide Prevention Workshop Encourages Teens, Parents To Talk About Depression

The family of a Shawnee Mission West student  who committed suicide in 2011 is holding a workshop Monday night for teens and their parents to talk about depression.

Joe Karlin created the Tom Karlin Foundation in memory of his 17-year-old son.

When it comes to teen suicide prevention, "the biggest thing is not so much a resource issue but the stigma that surrounds depression and mental health," says Karlin.

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Government
2:16 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Metro-Area Kansas Politicians Say They're Watching Brownback's Tax Policy Closely

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback stuck by his aggressive tax policy during his State of the State address Thursday, outlining an ambitious list of legislative priorities for 2015.

But even members of the governor's own party say it's too early to tell what Brownback can accomplish during the session.

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Community
3:46 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Missouri Has Highest Black Homicide Rate, Nearly Twice The National Average

Missouri's black homicide rate is nearly twice the national average, according to a study released Wednesday from the Violence Policy Center.

There were 247 black homicide victims in Missouri in 2012, or about 35 deaths per 100,000 people.

"If you compare it to the overall rate of 4.5 per 100,000, basically all races across the country, it's seven times the number," says Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann.

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Elections
11:22 am
Mon January 12, 2015

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill Won't Run For Missouri Governor In 2016

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has represented Missouri since 2007.
Credit U.S. Senate

Putting an end to the speculation, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she won't run for governor in 2016.

The Missouri Democrat told KCUR's Steve Kraske she made the decision over the holidays with her family.

"At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if the job you're thinking about going for is better than the one you have, and can you do more?" McCaskill says.

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Crime
11:21 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Kansas City Black Gay Community Demands Attention After Possible Hate Crime

Dionte Greene, 22, was murdered in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 31., 2014. His family and friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.
Credit courtesy of Coshelle Greene

As the FBI investigates the murder of a young, gay, black man for a possible civil rights violation, friends of the victim are trying to start a broader conversation about race in Kansas City’s gay community.

Dionte Greene, 22, was found shot to death in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th Street and Bellefontaine Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning.

People who knew Greene remember him as a loving son, devoted father and a caring friend. They say he was the last person they expected to be in trouble.

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Transportation
4:09 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

'Roads Aren't Free,' Says Nixon As Missouri Considers Tolls Along I-70

Gov. Jay Nixon asked the Missouri Department of Transportation to study the possibility of tolling on Interstate 70 last month.
Credit Doug Kerr / Flicker -- CC

Missouri has always funded transportation through user fees, Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters Tuesday after an appearance in Kansas City.

"Roads aren't free," Nixon says. "I mean, they're not."

The governor is trying to drum up support for tolls along Interstate 70 as the 60-year-old road deteriorates. Last August, voters rejected a sales tax increase to pay for repairs — a plan Nixon also opposed.

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Education
1:55 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Northland Missouri Innovation Campus Captures Grant

Gov. Jay Nixon announces a $450,000 grant for the Northland CAPS Missouri Innovation Campus, which connects students with local employers for job training while they're still in high school.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Gov. Jay Nixon was in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday to announce $450,000 in grants for a metro-area Missouri Innovation Campus.

The Northland CAPs program connects high school students from six local districts to nearby employers, where they learn job skills while earning college credit.

"That's a win for our colleges and universities, a win for Missouri business and, more importantly, a win for our students," said Nixon.

National non-profit USA Funds awarded Missouri $1 million to expand the Innovation Campus program last fall. 

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Community
4:21 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

OSHA Investigating Construction-Related Fatality At Ford Claycomo Plant

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death Tuesday of a worker at the Ford Motor Co. plant in Claycomo, Mo.

Bonita Winingham, the acting regional administrator for the Kansas City office, says the contractor died in what's called a "struck by" accident after being hit with a piece of equipment.

There have not been any deaths at the Claycomo plant in recent years, Winingham said after checking the plant's history through 2010.

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Crime
9:54 am
Wed December 31, 2014

One Person Injured After Tuesday Evening Bus Shooting

The Kansas City, Mo., Police Department is investigating a Tuesday evening shooting on a Kansas City ATA bus.

KCPD Captain Tye Grant says police were dispatched to a bus at 39th and Prospect around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. He says shots were fired into the bus at an earlier stop, near Benton Avenue.

A 15-year-old girl was struck multiple times. Grant says she is at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Grant says the department is investigating to see if the intended victim may have been someone traveling with the teenager who was shot.

Economy
4:23 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Kansas City Metro Adds About 10,000 Jobs In 2014

Good news, Kansas City – the metro is almost back to pre-recession employment levels.

The latest job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the Kansas City area has added around 10,000 jobs since November 2013 and only lags April 2008 numbers by about 5,000 jobs.

"All signs are pointing to this being a pretty productive year, especially the second half of the year, in terms of employment in Kansas City," says Jeff Pinkerton, an economist with the Mid-America Regional Council.

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Government
2:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Senator Blunt Says More EPA Regulation Will Be Costly For Missouri

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt attends a legislative priority lunch at the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City, Mo., Monday afternoon.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

U.S. Sen. Roy  Blunt will meet with farmers in Plattsburg, Mo., Monday afternoon to discuss a pair of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations he says will have disastrous impact on the state.

Blunt says it's not just farmers but local officials concerned about changes the Environmental Protection Agency is considering to how it enforces the  Clean Water Act.

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Central Standard
1:18 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Halfway To Graduation: Class Of 2015 Check-In

Harold Burgos, Sache Hawkins and Ashwanth Samuel are on the brink of going places. But where?
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Central Standard is following three high school seniors through the trials and triumphs leading up to graduation. Catch up with Ashwanth Samuel, Harold Burgos and Sache Hawkins on internships, waiting to hear back from colleges, career dreams, school lunch, juggling coursework with outside interests, senior-itis, and what grown-ups don't know about high school today. Plus, one of these seniors surprised us with an early graduation in December.

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Education
11:31 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Lawmaker's Proposal Would Give Missouri Schools Letter Grades

Lamar Republican Sen. Ed Emery wants to give Missouri schools a report card – he's filed legislation to create an A-F letter grade system similar to those enacted in other states.

"I think if we can do this in Missouri, we'll have better informed parents and more involved parents, and as a result, we'll be moving toward an excellence in education that we all want," Emery said.

Florida was the first state to issue A-F letter grades to schools a decade ago under former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. Now, about a dozen states have similar systems in place.

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Government
2:32 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Kansas City Councilman Resigns Amid Violence Accusations

Mayor Sly James says the Kansas City, Mo., City Council could have a new person in resigning Councilman Michael Brooks' seat by the end of January 2015.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Updated, 5 p.m. Wednesday:

In the wake of Kansas City, Mo., Councilman Michael Brooks' resignation, Mayor Sly James says his focus is on filling the empty 5th district seat. 

"We're not looking for someone who can warm a chair. We're going to look for someone who can do the job," James said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

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Education
11:21 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Missouri State Board Selects Vandeven As New Education Commissioner

The Missouri State Board of Education has named Dr. Margaret Vandeven as the state's next education commissioner. She starts in January.
Credit Courtesy photo / Missouri Department of Education

Update, 2:15 p.m. Wednesday:

Missouri's next education commissioner, Margaret Vandeven, says the provisionally-accredited Kansas City Public Schools will need to continue to make progress to regain full standing with the state.

"We're monitoring the situation," says Vandeven, a current deputy education commissioner who will take over as Missouri's schools chief early next year. "We certainly have our regional team working with the school district ... and we just need to continue to see improvement at the individual child level in that district."

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Crime
10:11 am
Tue December 16, 2014

FBI Investigating Dionte Greene Murder For Possible Civil Rights Violation

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

The FBI is investigating the murder of a 22-year-old black man who may have been targeted because of his sexual orientation.

Dionte Greene, who identified as gay, was found shot to death in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning.

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Education
4:16 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Missouri Finishes Last In Federal Preschool Grant Competition

Missouri has fallen short in a bid for federal preschool dollars.

But last week's news gets worse for advocates of early childhood education – Missouri’s application finished dead last in the nine-state competition.

Sarah Potter, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,  says Missouri’s application for preschool development money didn’t do enough to address students with special needs.

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Government
1:17 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Independence, Missouri, Looks To Expand Renewable Energy Portfolio

The Independence, Mo., City Council wants to see a solar farm built in the northeast part of the city as part of its plan to decrease reliance on coal-fired power plants.

The city council passed a resolution this summer to have 10 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources by 2018. Independence Power and Light Director Leon Daggett says the city-owned utility already gets about 5 percent of its power from a Salina, Kan., wind farm.

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Government
7:20 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Kansas City To Extend Pension Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

Update, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11:

The Kansas City, Mo., City Council voted Thursday to extend city pension benefits currently offered to couples in conventional marriages to legally-married same-sex couples.

“So this is just one more example of our commitment to being inclusive to all of our citizens in Kansas City,” Councilwoman Jan Marcason said before the unanimous vote.

The original post continues below.

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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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Community
3:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Gas Station Attendants, Retail Workers Join Kansas City Fast-Food Strike

Fast-food workers march along Wornall Road in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday to call for a $15 minimum wage.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

About 150 Kansas City workers walked off the job Thursday to demand higher wages and better benefits.

Fast-food workers across the country have been calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage for two years. 

"Each strike we get bigger," says Dana Wittman, a 38-year-old Subway worker. "This strike includes retail workers, gas stations – we're expanding, and these companies are noticing it."

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Government
2:06 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

New Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Named

Terry Zeigler, center, is the new police chief in Kansas City, Kan. Unified Government County Administrator Doug Bach, right, and interim police chief Ellen Hanson, left, make the announcement.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Assistant Chief Terry Zeigler will take over the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, county officials announced Tuesday.

Zeigler, who joined the department in 1990, says he'll be continuing the work of interim police chief Ellen Hanson.

"We will continue using strategies like hotspot policing and intelligence-led policing to combat crime, but we will be open to new strategies if it will make our community safer," Zeigler said at a press conference at City Hall.

He beat out four other finalists for the job.

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Community
10:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Additional Murder Charges Filed In South Kansas City Shooting Spree

A man accused of killing five people in a south Kansas City, Mo., crime spree in early September now faces two additional charges of first degree murder.

Brandon Howell, 34, already faced three counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of 63-year-old Darryl Hurst, 88-year-old Lorene Hurst and 69-year-old Susan Choucroun.

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Education
7:50 am
Mon November 24, 2014

How The Common Core Is Changing Math Instruction For Elementary Students

Fourth-grade teacher Emily Callahan at Ravenwood Elementary School in North Kansas City, Mo., talks to her students about the different strategies they could use to solve a math problem.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

  If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve probably seen parents complaining that the Common Core has ruined math for their kids.

They’ll share comedian Louis CK’s bit about the incompressible homework his kids are bringing home.

“‘Bill has three goldfish. He buys two more. How many dogs live in London?,’” he tells David Letterman. “Or something like that.”

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Community
12:35 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Nixon Says State Trying To Balance Speech, Safety In Ferguson Response

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, center, along with Lincoln Preparatory Academy Principal Joseph Hesman, left, and Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green, right, speaks to students about the National Blue Ribbon award.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the state's response to an upcoming grand jury decision in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown will focus on ensuring safety while protecting civil liberties.

"We want to make sure that people who want to speak, want to say things, march and protest, have the right to do so in a protected way," Nixon said. "Safety-wise, we want to make sure people are able to stay safe."

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Economy
3:21 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Technology Company Plans To Add 100 Jobs In Historic Western Union Building

Peter Fullerton, CEO of the Kansas City, Mo., Economic Development Council, announces The Nerdery will add 100 jobs in Kansas City. With him are Mike Downing of the Missouri Department of Economic Development and Mayor Sly James.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Nerdery, a Minneapolis-based technology company, will add 100 jobs in Kansas City, Mo., over the next five years, the Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday.

The company, which designs websites and mobile apps, will also invest $4.3 million in the historic Western Union building downtown. 

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Education
3:15 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Missouri Auditor Points Out Problems In Charter School Closures

The state auditor blasted two Kansas City, Mo., charter schools Tuesday for mishandling their 2012 closures.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich gave both the Urban Community Leadership Academy and the Renaissance Academy for Math and Sciences "poor" ratings for wasting money and failing to keep adequate records as the schools shut down.

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