Community

Cody Newill / KCUR

A Lee's Summit fireworks stand that was blown over by a tornado has reopened just before the Fourth of July. 

High winds caused the tent to collapse Wednesday evening, ruining at least $20,000 worth of fireworks. The stand is run by volunteer students and Parent Teacher Student Association members at Lee's Summit North High School.

PTSA member Rebecca Fisher said there was a little grumbling, but the students got the tent back up and running within 24 hours.

Cyrus Farivar / Flickr--CC

White trash, bigotry, honor and home.

Those were just some of the words that Kansas Citians used to describe the Confederate flag when we asked, "What does the Confederate flag mean to you?" in our online and on-air Tell KCUR poll this week.

The sentiments echoed a national discussion on the Confederate flag in light of recent shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, which has provided a polarizing debate.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It doesn’t take long to drive a car across the Missouri River.

Depending on traffic, the roughly half-mile trek can take just one minute. But if you don’t have a car, the Missouri River can seem like a much larger obstacle.

According to the U.S. Census, about 84 percent of the Kansas City metro population drives alone to work. That leaves the other 16 percent commuting by other means, like carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or just working from home.

Mid-America Regional Council

Kansas City metro-area seniors are healthier and wealthier than their parents, though their spending habits are most aligned with a different generation – millennials.

“Young folks and older folks kind of want the same things,” says Frank Lenk, director of research for the Mid-America Regional Council. “They want lots of amenities near them. They want to be able to have a walkable community with open space and parks around them.”

Cody Newill / KCUR

A new emergency shelter for children in Wyandotte County opening up this summer got a little help from the community Saturday.

The proceeds from the "Luau with Love" at St. Patrick Catholic Church will help fund Robert's Place, a shelter where children in abusive homes can be taken after police have intervened.

KCUR

The shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, have ignited a national discussion on one of our country's most controversial remnants of the past — the Confederate flag.

Lawmakers are pushing to remove the Civil War-era battle flag from the South Carolina Statehouse, shining a light on Confederate symbols across the United States.

@mayorslyjames / Twitter

For some Kansas Citians, Friday's Supreme Court decision that same sex-couples have the right to marriage meant holding back tears at work.

That was the case for Twitter user Nicolette Martin (@nicoletteemma).

For Josh Neff, the decision meant breaking "the news to my LGBTQA daughter."

Julie Denesha / KCUR

As KCUR begins an exploration of how the Missouri River unites and divides the Kansas City metro, we must first consider our unique congregation of bridges. There are 10 of them, if you include the highways. Thirteen if you count the rail tracks that go over the river. And each one — though probably many people can't identify them by name — offers a unique perspective and connection for travelers.

As part of the Beyond Our Borders project, we'll soon take a look at the current state of the bridges and how we use them. But for now, we offer a little bit of history.

christina rutz / Flickr-CC

A Kansas City Council Committee has determined that it should no longer be illegal to keep Vietnamese potbellied pigs as pets.

An amendment to a 1995 ordinance going before the full city council would allow for up to four potbellied pigs to be kept in residentially zoned areas as long as they are neutered and remain under 95 pounds.

Residents who want to keep potbellied pigs will have to keep them leashed or fenced when outside. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR

A private developer interested in the old Bannister Federal Complex fielded questions Wednesday night from south Kansas City residents concerned about environmental remediation efforts.

CenterPoint Properties is in the middle of an 18-month study to identify possible future uses of the site, which operated as manufacturing plant in World War II before housing the General Services Administration starting in the 1960s.

Caroline Kull / KCUR

More than half of Kansas City —  51 percent — is located north of the Missouri River, in the area widely referred to as the Northland.

Standing in Berkley Riverfront Park looking across the Missouri River, the Northland is just a stone’s throw away. Yet from south of the river, the Northland can feel like another city altogether.

To figure out why, I spoke with people both close to and far from the Missouri — in the River Market area near downtown Kansas City and at Oak Park Mall across the state line in Overland Park, Kansas.

forbes.com/IRS

Moving to a new place can be hard and exciting. It can be a good decision — or the worst of your life.

Kansas City residents may love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, restaurants, the Royals, four distinct seasons and summer thunderstorms. But they may also resent the allergies, car culture, crime and the absence of mountains and a coast.

So what makes our city a place people want to live — or leave?

Kansas City Mayor Sly James recently honored a World Series bet he made with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee while in California over the weekend. James sang "Amazing Grace" at Reverend Cecil Williams Glide Memorial Church. James was in San Francisco over the weekend for the 83rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

In the aftermath of the shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, faith leaders in Kansas City are focused on moving forward.

At Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church,  the message during Sunday's Father's Day service was simple: the church will continue to welcome members and visitors regardless of the tragedy.

Courtesy of the Hands

“Leaving Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of why people decided to live somewhere else. It follows our series “Going to Kansas City.”

Gunnar Hand and his wife Ashley have lived in New York and Los Angeles. They moved to Kansas City five years ago to start a family in Gunnar’s childhood home in Kansas City's Brookside neighborhood.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Lori Dollman hooks her muscular arms beneath her mother’s and begins to count.

“One, two, three,” Lori says, helping 86-year-old Regina plod slowly into the living room of their south Kansas City home. In a nursing home, Regina would be a two- or three-person carry. Lori lifts Regina alone.

“We don’t need hospice,” says Lori. “We’re doing quite well. She now walks out of her room with me holding her. I wish I had another me, but there isn’t. So I hold her in the front, and we walk, slowly, out of the room.”

Maria Carter / KCUR

 This story was updated on June 17 at 4:32 p.m. 

A federal judge has thrown out a race discrimination suit against Cordish Companies Inc., operator of the Power & Light District in Kansas City.

U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith ruled earlier this week that the case brought by Dante A. R. Combs and Adam S. Williams was not supported by the evidence.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Tom Paolini makes custom suits for a living, so it stands to reason that he goes out and about in Kansas City wearing spiffy, fashion-forward suits.

"I'm looking forward to the day where I'm wearing a suit and I don't get a compliment," Paolini said on Central Standard. "Right now, you're more the exception."

Cody Newill / KCUR

In 2014, more Kansas City voters over the age of 90 showed up to the polls than those under the age of 30 did, according to a voter analysis by civic engagement group mySidewalk. But there are a few groups in town that are trying to change those numbers.

The Raucous Caucus event at the Barney Allis Plaza Friday brought together city council members, hopeful candidates and dozens of millennials to talk about the issues in the coming municipal election. 

KCUR

KCUR is northbound. And we need your help.

For the next few months in our Beyond Our Borders project, we're turning our attention to one of Kansas City's most prominent dividers — the Missouri River, which separates the Northland from the urban core.

As we begin to take our reporting across the river, we want to know more about why you already cross it.

Tell KCUR: What's your favorite thing to do north of the Missouri River? 

Updated, 5:15 p.m. Wednesday: The accused Jewish Community Center shooter was scolded by a judge Wednesday when he tried to ask several witnesses if they were Jewish at a pre-trial hearing.

Johnson County District Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan warned Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. that his anti-Semitic outbursts could be grounds for a mistrial once the jury is seated.

Most witnesses did not have to answer when Cross, who is representing himself, demanded to know if they were Jewish because the district attorney objected on the grounds of relevance.

Colonel Bob Moore, Commemorative Air Force (CAF)

During World War II, 18-year-old Mary White spent her days soldering wiring on the instrument panels of B-25 Mitchell bombers at North American Aviation in Fairfax, Kansas. A true Rosie the Riveter, White never thought of it as a sacrifice — it was her duty to her country. She also never thought she would be recognized for her work, certainly not 70 years later.

Maria Carter / KCUR

Talking about the Johnson and Wyandotte County border in Kansas for the past few months literally has hit close to home for me — I live just a few blocks north of the county line in Wyandotte. As I found out since moving there, I'm closer to home than I realized.

I never really thought I’d live in Kansas. I grew up a Missourian. My parents fled the Johnson County suburbs for the Missouri Ozarks after I was born.

Esther Honig / KCUR

It was a tearful, dramatic day five years ago, when the school board of Kansas City Public Schools decided to close 21 buildings in order to adjust to a shrinking student population. That was in addition to nine previously closed schools, leaving the district with 30 surplus buildings.  

Cody Newill / KCUR

The Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri participated in a national event Saturday to get area residents interested in their family history.

The Global Family Reunion is based in New York City, but satellite events were held all over the country. The Genealogy center had music, crafts and introductory steps for amateur genealogists to find out more about their ancestry.  

The number of low-income Johnson County parents receiving employment preparation help from the state of Kansas has dropped more than 50 percent in the past three years.

Roughly 319 adults enrolled in the federal Temporary Assistance For Needy Families program received employment preparation services each month from the state between July 2013 and June 2014, down from 750 in 2011.

Kansas Citians Say The Minimum Wage Is 'Not Enough'

Jun 5, 2015
Caroline Kull / KCUR

We wanted to know how Kansas Citians feel about a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City to $10 an hour, so we took to the streets.

We talked to folks at the Country Club Plaza, Troost Avenue and Westport and asked, “What’s your minimum wage story?”  

Most of the people we talked to were in favor of an increase.

“It’s really not enough,” said Emmitt Fennell, a retiree who used to work as a cook.

He said he’s always earned more than the minimum wage, but he watched his lower-paid co-workers struggle.

“For the time and the work you put in, to get seven or eight dollars an hour?” he said. “If you support a family, you can’t live off of that.”

Several business owners were supportive of a wage increase — at least a modest one.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

If you ask almost anyone from the community of Argentine in Kansas City, Kansas what to see in their neighborhood, they’ll tell you to go see the mural.

The landmark that stretches across a block of Metropolitan Avenue is a point of pride for the residents — it’s only been tagged with graffiti twice since it was painted 17 years ago.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s move to reimagine Interstate 70 as the “road to tomorrow” raises more questions than it answers about the state’s central transit corridor.

“We’re making Interstate 70 across the midsection of our state available to the nation and to the world as the laboratory to construct the next generation of highways,” Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Chairman Stephen Miller announced Wednesday.

Meet Shelby Winslow, Missouri's Own Katniss Everdeen

Jun 3, 2015
Patrick Quick / KCUR

With the recent success of The Hunger Games book and movie series, competitive archery has become a rapidly growing sport with young women across the U.S. Missouri even has its own Katniss Everdeen — the series' main character — her name is Shelby Winslow.

The Great Olympian Indoor Archery Range in Lee's Summit, Missouri is where the 3-time state archery champion, who is 16, practices her prowess.

 

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