Community

This timeline reflects the recent events that led to the loss of rental license by Rosedale Ridge, a low-income property in Kansas City, Kansas. This process was separate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's decision to terminate their relationship with Rosedale Ridge.

 

You can read the full story here.

 

Matthew Hodapp / KCUR

The Kansas City Police Department has quietly changed its training for responding to volatile situations, arming officers with something other than a gun: distance, discretion and diplomacy.

Even as the backlash from the high-profile police shooting in Ferguson continues to reverberate on the other side of Missouri, Kansas City has already instituted what’s called “tactical disengagement.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Star editor Mike Fannin makes decisions every day about what this community is going to know about itself, the region and even the world. In a changing news environment, with financial and staffing constraints, The Star, along with many news organizations, has been forced to examine its guiding principles and priorities.

Eric Baker / KCUR

Google will fund two temporary positions in Kansas City aimed at narrowing the digital divide, the company announced Thursday. The people hired for the positions will work to get people in low-income communities online.

Google Fiber came to Kansas City pledging to make the internet more accessible to everyone. It offered very low cost connections in some neighborhoods, but didn’t wire others, where interest in the service was low. The upfront cost of installing Google Fiber made it unattractive for many low-income renters.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

When Corinne Corley, 60, moved to Brookside two decades ago, her morning Kansas City Star came around 5:30.

“Now, it comes between 6:30 and 7,” says Corley, clutching her cup of coffee as she reads the headlines on her tablet. She has a digital subscription to the New York Times, but she still gets the Star delivered to her door.

“There’s just something about the feel of a newspaper in your hand,” she says.

Her paper arrives with a thud around 6:25 a.m. Corley waves to her carrier.

Eleanor Klibanoff / KCUR

Driving up the hill to the Rosedale Ridge apartment complex, it's hard to imagine that anyone lives at the top of this steep incline. But the steps cut into the side of the road tell a different story: 350 low-income residents live in six squat buildings and most them don't have cars. They walk up and down this hulking hill multiple times a day. 

But probably not for long — Rosedale Ridge is on the verge of being shut down because of terrible conditions. Residents have mixed feelings about their departure, if it even happens at all. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

For the fourth year in a row, Kansas City officials are pushing for teens and young adults to join Mayor Sly James' Club KC and Mayor's Nights events during the summer.

The initiative is meant to keep kids from causing trouble at places like the Plaza by hosting parties and sports tournaments at various community centers across the city.

Mayor James and several city council members were on the Plaza Saturday handing out fliers for the programs. James says that attendance is expected to match last year, which means less problems for law enforcement.

Katie Knight / KCUR

The year Chris Pollard was born, his father Dave bought a meat market. So, of course, Chris grew up there: stocking shelves, bagging groceries and hanging out behind the meat counter.

 

He’s 28, now, and Chris Pollard is about to take over The Store: Old-Fashioned Meat Market in Raytown.

 

You don't need a TV screen or a newspaper subscription to get your news anymore.

Gone are the days of waiting for a specific time or a delivery boy to check in on the day's weather or headlines.

Desktop computers and smartphones bring news to our fingertips via websites and apps, countless blogs and social media outlets.

So, do you need a quick hit of Twitter before starting your day or is the Huffington Post a must-read? What about your hometown newspaper or news stations?

Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office

A Johnson County judge agreed Thursday to let accused Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. represent himself in court, a decision that could have far-reaching implications as the state pursues its capital case.

Cross, a known anti-Semite who has bragged to the media about killing three people last spring at two Overland Park Jewish sites, has repeatedly told Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan he doesn't trust his lawyers and wants them fired.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

A newly appointed official with the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, said Thursday the facility’s main laboratory will be under construction within a month at the site in Manhattan, Kansas.

Marty Vanier told the Agriculture Business Council of Kansas City the release of several million dollars in funds from Washington finalized the federal government’s commitment, allowing The Department of Homeland Security to move forward with the lab.

The state of Kansas has committed more than $300 million in state funds.

Christina Lieffring

Little League teams across Wyandotte and western Johnson counties in Kansas are gearing up for spring, summer and fall sports.

That’s why Varsity Sports Sporting Goods in Kansas City, Kansas, is piled high with brightly colored T-shirts and hats, waiting to be silk-screened or stitched.

Jim Woods is the owner of Varsity Sports Sporting Goods.

"All these Little League teams ordering uniforms and stuff this time of year, gets kind of crazy for about a month and a half, two months," Woods says.

Jeff Mast / worldsoffun.org

One night out at the casinos, a withered old fellow named “Hombre” told my friend and I a story about how the decommissioned Worlds of Fun rollercoaster, the Zambezi Zinger, was partially buried in a nearby bend in the Missouri river.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Bobbi Lynn Frederick grew up in the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. She's an enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. 

Frederick graduated from Haskell Indian Nations University this weekend, and participated in the Haskell Commencement Pow-Wow.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City's downtown streetcar line is on schedule for its tracks to be fully laid out by mid-summer, according to streetcar officials.

KC Streetcar spokeswoman Donna Mandelbaum says that construction is coming to a head just under a year after the city officially broke ground on the project.

"This summer we'll see the completion of track construction, we'll be finished up on the electrical systems and our station stop construction," Mandelbaum said. "We really are in the home stretch now."

Paul Andrews

Eric Wesson of The Kansas City Call says that Kansas City's black community is like Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

"I am a man of substance," wrote Ellison's invisible narrator, "of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids -- I may even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

Wesson read those words for the first time in sixth grade, but didn't relate to them until he was in his 20s, at which point, he said to himself, 'Oh, I get it. We're here, but nobody sees us or pays attention to us.'"

Earthworm / Flickr--CC

As a nation we have been talking about race a lot lately. And with Mother's Day just ahead we thought we would pair two unlikely subjects.

"How did your mother talk with you about race?" we asked.

What you told us ran the gamut from “my mother didn’t talk to me about race,” to “she let us know her feelings, but indirectly,” to “she told us exactly what she thought and what she wanted us to know.”

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Driving past the building at 9th and Paseo in Kansas City without slowing down to look is hard. The facade of wavy, undulating metal soars upward and ends with an angled, round-ish top. 

But it's the mystery that really makes it hard to look away from — the building has no sign, and you have to turn onto 9th Street to find a door. This is the headquarters of A. Zahner Company, an award -winning engineering and architectural company that's been around for 118 years. 

Connecting for Good

Connecting for Good, a Kansas City-area non-profit that’s working to provide digital literacy and computer access across the metro, established a computer lab last year across from the Juniper Gardens Housing Project in Kansas City, Kansas. The organization recently added 25 computers, because the lab became so popular.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Jackson County officials thanked each other Thursday for the successful completion of a project to house Kansas City Police Department detainees on the ground floor of the county detention center.

County Executive Mike Sanders estimates the city will save up to $1 million annually using the Jackson County Detention Center rather than police headquarters to house detainees. The old detention center was in need of costly renovations to comply with American with Disabilities Act accessibility standards.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Six years ago, Teola Powell asked Kansas City, Missouri, City Manager Troy Schulte to take a tour of the grocery stores — or lack thereof — in her neighborhood around 31st and Prospect.

“It's important to me that we have a neighborhood that we can be proud of, and a supermarket that we can go to and feel good about shopping there," Powell said. "I shouldn't have to go to Westport or Walmart. I should be able to do it right here in my neighborhood.”

Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office

Lawyers for accused Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. want the state to strike evidence found in his car and suppress the statements of four witnesses who say they saw him carry out the attacks on April 13, 2014.

Though Cross, a known anti-Semite who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, has boasted in interviews he committed the murders at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, the motions his lawyers filed last week indicate they'll mount an aggressive defense.

Missouri Valley Special Collections / Kansas City Public Library

Between the world wars, as new subdivisions filled out the map of Kansas City, educators built schools to keep up with the growing and moving population. Two new high schools – Southwest and Southeast – would anchor what was then the southern end of Kansas City. In the minds of students, each would create its own version of the mythical Camelot.

We’re linking two slightly unlikely topics this week for our Tell KCUR question.

As we consider the unrest in Baltimore, Ferguson, and other places around the country and as Mother’s Day approaches, we thought it was a good opportunity to ask about race — and your mother.

Tell KCUR: How did your mother talk to you about race?

Did she talk to you about it at all, and if so, was it direct, coded, comfortable or uncomfortable?

Cody Newill / KCUR

Medical marijuana activists from Kansas and Missouri met at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain Saturday to rally for expanded medical marijuana legalization.

Activist groups Bleeding Kansas and Sensible Missouri organized the rally. Sensible Missouri founder Nick Raines says that lawmakers should allow citizens who are suffering from chronic illnesses the choice of medical marijuana.

Cody Newill / KCUR

In the wake of unrest in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri, the Kansas City Police Department held a community peace rally at Linwood and Prospect Saturday morning.

Mayor Sly James told the crowd of several dozen police officers, community members and city council members that keeping the city peaceful will require a continued cooperative effort.

"The issues that arose in Ferguson are not unique to Ferguson," James said. "The issues can arise here just as easily, just as quickly, if we are not vigilant."

Dirk Duckhorn/Flickr -- CC

La Crosse, Kansas is serious about barbed wire — it's the home to the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum and it even trademarked the phrase: "The Barbed Wire Capital of the World."

This weekend, La Crosse hosts the Antique Barbed Wire Swap & Sell, an annual event where collectors gather to buy, sell and trade the spiky, thorny wire.

The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum — the first barbed wire museum in the country— has a special relationship with Kansas: It's where the collecting hobby really took off in 1967. According to Brad Penka, president of the museum, there are so many different varieties of barbed wire and some are unique.

Matteo Merzi / Flickr-CC

Kansas City isn't exactly known for being a pedestrian friendly city. Downtown is overcrowded by parking lots, there have been books written about the city's automobile obsession, and it still only has a "bronze" rating from the League of American Bicyclists for its cycling friendliness.

But there are still Kansas Citians who go against the grain and make it a point to walk. In a conversation with Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann Wednesday, Pedestrian Path blogger Rhianna Weilert said her breaking point came after her car was totaled in a hit-and-run accident.

Kristin Conard

Spring is finally here and outdoor enthusiasts around the Midwest are ready to hit the trails and take in some fresh air. Acccording to authors Jonathan and Kristin Conard, the Great Plains offers a wide variety of hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails, ranging from simple beginner paths to more advanced ones. 

Naveen Vaidya, a math professor at UMKC, woke up in the middle of the night from a phone call from one of his relatives in the U.S. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake had hit his home country of Nepal, where his mother and sisters live.

"That's really one of the biggest moments in my life," said Vaidya. "I tried to call Nepal continuously for two or three days but it was really hard to get in touch with them."

He made occasional contact online but phone and internet have been unreliable. On Monday morning he was finally able to see his family's faces via Skype. 

Pages