Matt Hodapp

Intern, Central Standard
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Jarrod Ousley from Merriam, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

The Kansas City Council voted Thursday in favor of a ride-hiring ordinance that Uber says will force them to suspend operations in Kansas City. The adopted legislation marks the end of Kansas City's long regulatory debate with ride-hiring companies. 

Spokespeople for Uber have re-titled the legislation an "anti-technology ordinance" and Uber's general manager for Kansas City, Andy Hung, says it creates a model that won't work for drivers.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, what we've seen so far in the Kansas Legislative session, and what we can expect when we return from spring break. 

Guests:

Courtesy / Lyft

The Kansas City council committee for transportation and infrastructure unanimously passed a controversial ride-hiring ordinance Thursday.

Ride-hiring company Uber has said if the ordinance is adopted it will force them to suspend services in Kansas City.

Revisions to the ordinance decreased the vehicle permit cost for TNC (transportation network company) drivers from the already lowered $150 fee to $100 as long as the company pays a $40,000 base fee. TNC drivers will also have to pass a physical, complete exams, and acquire a business license and a chauffeur's license at their own expense.

Democrat Kansas Rep. Dennis "Boog" Highberger from Lawrence, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Dennis "Boog" Highberger from Lawrence, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Uber drivers rallied outside City Hall in Kansas City Thursday morning to oppose an ordinance draft that would regulate ride-hiring companies similar to taxi companies.

The proposal would require drivers to pay a $250 vehicle permit fee, or $150 if the parent company pays an annual $10,000 fee. The city says they need to make sure drivers have proper insurance, vehicle inspections and background checks.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Tom Phillips from Manhattan, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

Guests:

Kansas Legislature

Republican Kansas Rep. Barbara Bollier from Mission Hills, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

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Republican Kansas Rep. Lane Hemsley from Topeka, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Sen. Marci Francisco from Lawrence, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

Guests:

Republican Kansas Sen. Jeff Melcher from Leawood, Ks. joins Statehouse Blend to talk policy, politics, and his personal life.

This is an excerpt from an episode of Statehouse Blend. You can hear the full version here.

Guests:

  • Jeff Melcher, Senator for the 11th District, Kansas Legislature
  • Carson Tappan, Citizen voice and documentary film maker
  • Steve Vockrodt, Reporter, The Pitch
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In 2014, Kansas City, Mo., officials began the process of rewriting its taxi code, citing public safety concerns about ride-hiring companies such as Uber and Lyft, and a conflict concerning fairness in the cab industry. The response to a draft of the proposed changes has been mixed.

City permits

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Sen. Jeff Melcher from Leawood, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democratic Kansas Sen. Pat Pettey from Kansas City, Kan., provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Sen. David Haley from Wyandotte County provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Heartland Health Editor, Dan Margolies, fills in for host Sam Zeff.

(Disclaimer: We apologize for any clicks in the audio file. Our recording equipment has been experiencing some technical difficulties.)

Guests:

A proposal presented to the Kansas City, Mo. City Council Thursday would make it easier for ride-hiring services like Uber and Lyft.

It would require drivers that work for the companies to get city permits. Also, it lowers the cost of the permits from $300 to $250.

CJ Janovy / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Linda Gallagher from Lenexa provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

Guests:

  • Linda Gallagher, Representative for the 23rd District, Kansas Legislature
  • Bruce Smith, citizen voice
  • CJ Janovy​, Arts Reporter, KCUR
Kansas Legislature

Kansas Rep. Melissa Rooker joined KCUR reporter Sam Zeff for the inaugural episode of Statehouse Blend to talk about her experience in the Kansas Legislature and her decision to move back to Kansas from Los Angeles. 

The Catholic Church is located in Vatican City, an ocean away and then some. But what happens in Rome affects the lives of Catholics living in Kansas City, and what happens here reverberates all the way up to the top. This conversation explores whether a perceived shift in the Catholic Church affects the priorities and attitudes of Catholics in our region. 

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Melissa Rooker provides an insider perspective on the historic legislative session underway in Topeka.

Guests:

  • Melissa Rooker, Representative for the 25th District, Kansas Legislature
  • Brian Schmid​, citizen voice
  • Matthew Long-Middleton, producer, Central Standard
Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

Water levels within the Ogallala Aquifer, a wide source of groundwater in western Kansas, have been declining to dangerously low levels for the past few years. 

The Verge

"Science fiction is a laboratory for experimenting with ideas," says Chris McKitterick.

The film Interstellar stretches scientific knowledge to spark our imaginations and address not-so-fictional problems. What were the dynamic take-aways for an astrophysicist, a science fiction expert, and a movie critic?

The hardest part of asking for financial assistance is often recognizing that your own hard work and resources may not be enough to turn the situation around. In Kansas City, multiple agencies provide services, from meeting immediate needs to addressing chronic poverty. 

Here is a list of agencies you can reach out to if you need help:

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.

A grand jury's recent decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has thrown a spotlight on the legal institution of the grand jury:

What’s the prosecutor’s role in grand jury proceedings? Who brings the charges? What are the standards of proof?

Kansas is ranked in the top ten most charitable states in the country, according to a study released by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Kansas tied narrowly with Idaho to rank third in the nation. Utah came in first place and South Dakota came in second.

According to the publishers, the purpose of the study was to foster holiday competition between the states to increase their charitable activities.

WalletHub ranked the states using eight criteria:

Big questions are being asked about the recent grand jury hearing about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, for example, whether justice was served. But there are simpler questions, too: When and why is a grand jury called? What's the prosecutor's role, in a grand jury hearing and otherwise? Who are the jurors, and why is their selection process a secret?

Guests:

After gaining independence, the people of Ireland used pageantry to express their heritage. These thematic recreations of historical and mythical events were subversive acts of forging a new national identity. In All Dressed Up: Modern Irish Historical Pageantry, Joan Dean explores the public imagination of history.

Guest:  

Found Footage Festival

An earnest woman in a peach blazer teaches you how to facercise, or exercise your face, in a truly bizarre VHS recording. Where did this video come from? A thrift store in Kansas City. It's part of a curated, touring collection of found video footage, originating mostly from the 1980s and 1990s.

Guest:

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