KC Currents
5:04 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

KCMO City Hall Turns 75, What Triggers Murder-Suicides, Suburban School Series: Shawnee Mission

The 29-story Beaux-Arts skyscraper was built in 1937 during the Pendergast era.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

12-09-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below

City Hall At 75
City Hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, turns 75 this year. It’s one of several city landmarks, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, designed by the architecture firm, Wight and Wight.  On a recent windy afternoon, Dr. Bill Worley stood on the front steps of City Hall. Worley explained that the building was one of the projects created during a Depression-era public works program called The Ten-Year Plan - the brainchild of political boss Tom Pendergast, City Manager Henry McElroy, and then-Judge Harry Truman. The idea: to create jobs during the Depression.

A Look At What Triggers Murder-Suicides
Murder suicide is rare, but on the rise across the country. Missouri is in the top ten for women killed by intimate partners, and murder-suicide has increased in Kansas.  When murder-suicide occurs, it leaves loved ones and friends with many unanswered questions. Amid the shock, anger and grief, people ask themselves, “Why?”  They wonder, “What did we miss?” Or, “What could we have done?”  For answers, we turned to Overland Park Forensic Psychologist Dan Claiborn.

KC Currents Suburban School Series: Shawnee Mission School District
In recent years, the very conservative Kansas legislature has taken a hard line strategy to cut taxes and limit spending. This frugality and lower state revenue has resulted in less funding for schools. In the past 4 years, the Shawnee Mission District has seen budget reductions of 25 million dollars. The district has responded by closing 6 schools since 2007, and laying off 400 staff members since 2009. But things aren’t about to get easier anytime soon.

Small Natural Food Store In The Ozarks Weathers Recession Gracefully
On East Main Street in West Plains, a stone’s throw away from the quaint town square, Meadowbrook Natural Foods sits sandwiched between an insurance agency and a title company. When you step inside, the aroma of spices, herbs, and vitamins hits you. Owners say while they saw a dip in profits initially, overall it has been a steady stream of business since 2008.

Ron Simonian Takes Leap Of Faith With ‘The Soul Collector’
Kansas City playwright Ron Simonian had his first play produced in 1992 in a warehouse in the Crossroads District. When it moved to an Off-Broadway house in New York, Simonian assumed he had the world on a string. But as the world premiere of a new plays opens this weekend, he reflects on how his career hasn't always progressed in traditional ways.

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