Community

Central Standard
4:57 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Reflecting On The Civil Rights Act Of 1964

Civil Rights March in Alabama
Credit Peter Pettus

July 2nd is the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. This historic piece of legislation outlawed race based discrimination, enfranchised voter registration rights, and desegregated businesses, public spaces, and schools.

On Wednesday's Central Standard, Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson and Anita Dixon share their unique first hand experiences with the Civil Rights Movement in and around Kansas City, then and now.

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Holiday
12:26 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Your Guide To Fourth Of July Festivities In Kansas City

KC Riverfest fireworks light up the Missouri River next to the Christopher Bond Bridge to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Credit MoDOT Photos / Flickr-CC

Whether you're rocking a Stars and Stripes jumpsuit or merely soaking in the patriotic atmosphere, Independence Day is a time for celebration.

But with so many displays, parades, and other festivities, it can be a little daunting to decide just how to celebrate.

That is why we've decided to plan out your itinerary for the entire day. Here are some of the best places in the metro area to make your Fourth of July a real humdinger:

Morning activities

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Beyond Our Borders
11:19 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Neighborhoods In Kansas City's Historic Northeast Move Beyond City Ordinance

Neighborhoods say there are hundreds of homeless camps throughout the woods along historic Cliff Drive.
Credit Laura Ziegler

The Historic Northeast has a concentration of social services such as soup kitchens, shelters and health centers.

And the services tend to draw large numbers of the homeless to the area.

During the past year and a half, residents have been organizing to deal with some of the accompanying issues, like excess trash, sanitation and property damage. 

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Up to Date
10:45 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Kansas City's TEDxKC Challenges You To Participate

Credit TEDxKC

Since 2009, Kansas City has hosted its own extension of the TED lecture series, TEDxKC. This year, something new has been introduced: members of the public are invited to submit their own lecture ideas, for the chance to win a place in the lineup of presenters.

On Tuesday's Up to Date we talk about this year's TEDxKC - this year's theme, the challenge, why a spot on stage is up for grabs, and how you can participate.

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Community
10:33 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Kansas City-St. Joe Diocese To Pay $1.1M For Failing To Report Abuse

The Kansas City-St. Joesph Catholic Diocese has been ordered to pay $1.1 million to victims for failing to follow through on their promise to improve how they deal with sexual abuse.

The ruling from an arbitrator says the diocese is responsible for the damages after concluding that it did not promptly report a priest who had produced child pornography, the New York Times reports.

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Tell KCUR
9:38 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Tell KCUR: What Are Today’s Biggest Challenges For Civil Rights?

What are today's biggest challenges for civil rights and how can we overcome them? Tweet us your answers with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit File photo / KCUR

As Kansas Citians gear up for a holiday weekend celebrating the United States’ Independence Day, civil rights advocates also are commemorating another event in our country’s history.

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, ending, among other things, the existence of “whites only” bathrooms and drinking fountains.

A lot has changed since 1964.

We want to know what civil rights issues the United States and Kansas City still face today.

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LGBT Rights
2:59 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Douglas County Grants Same-Sex Divorces Despite State Ban On Same-Sex Marriages

A couple holds their marriage license in Iowa, a state where same-sex couples can go to get legally married.
Credit Alan C. / Flickr-CC

Kansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage hasn't stopped same-sex couples from getting divorced in Douglas County.  

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sat down with David Brown, a family lawyer in Lawrence who has personally helped two same-sex couples divorce. 

Brown says that the Kansas state constitution has to do with public policy, not the court's legal recognition of gay marriage.

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Tell KCUR
4:39 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Kansas Citians: Keep The Chiefs Name, But Ditch The Tomahawk Chop

Many Kansas Citians defended the Chiefs name, but said fan rituals and clothing tied to American Indians, such as headdresses and the tomahawk chop, were offensive.
Credit Jeremy Brooks / Flickr--CC

 As controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins’ name shines a light on Kansas City’s professional football team, many Kansas Citians are sticking by the Chiefs.

The Tomahawk Chop, a popular fan ritual at games, is another matter, however.

When the Redskins lost their trademark because of American Indian claims that the name disparages them, the debate tied to the appropriateness of the Chiefs came back to life.  

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Community
2:18 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

How Would You ‘Make Me Beautiful?’

Here's the original, unaltered photo of Esther Honig. Now, use your photo-editing skills and send us your "beautiful" version of this photo.
Credit Courtesy photo / estherhonig.com

When our contributor, Esther Honig, asked graphic artists at 25 countries to “make me beautiful,” she didn’t expect her cross-cultural examination of beauty to go viral.

Using Photoshop, the artists all manipulated Honig’s raw image to their country’s ideal. (See a slideshow.)  

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Central Standard
1:52 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Food Critics: Best Unleaded Drinks In Kansas City

The Food Critics have plenty of favorite refreshing summer drinks in the Kansas City area.
Credit Mitch Altman / Flickr-CC

The dog days of summer are upon us and everyone is looking for good ways to keep cool. Though cocktails might do the trick, not everyone wants to get intoxicated while they sip a cold drink.

On Friday's Central Standard, guest host Charles Ferruzza is joined by the Food Critics to find out where the best refreshing non-alcoholic drinks in the Kansas City area are. 

Here are their picks:

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Community
11:28 am
Fri June 27, 2014

KCUR To Expand News Coverage With Kauffman Grant

Nico Leone, KCUR general manager
Credit File photo

KCUR plans to ramp up its coverage of education and entrepreneurship after a financial boost from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the University of Missouri-Kansas City announced Friday.

The $100,000 grant from the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation will help KCUR increase the number of in-depth stories it produces “on two important topics, which touch the majority of Kansas City-area residents,” KCUR General Manager Nico Leone said in a written statement.

Leone said KCUR plans to hire at least one additional reporter as a result of the grant.

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Beyond Our Borders
10:37 am
Fri June 27, 2014

School Slated For Demolition In The Historic Northeast Gets Community Support

Community leaders in the Historic Northeast want to preserve the 115-year-old Thacher School off Independence Avenue. But the district is ready to demolish the school, which closed in 2009.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A rusted metal "No Trespassing" sign hangs on a post outside the boarded-up Thacher School in the Historic Northeast in Kansas City, Mo.

On the other side of the tall fence, the grass is neatly trimmed and the empty parking lot is litter-free. The brick exterior, once a popular canvas for graffiti artists, has been scrubbed mostly clean. A single blue doodle is the only evidence of vandalism neighbors say was once common at the vacant school.

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Community
4:21 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Kansas City Woman's Project On Beauty Standards Goes Viral

Argentina
Esther Honig estherhonig.com

This week, KCUR freelancer Esther Honig had a giant shock when her project Before & After, a cross-cultural examination of beauty, went viral.

Honig sent an unaltered image of herself to freelance graphic artists in more than 25 countries and asked them to perform one task: make her beautiful. The result is more than 40 images that together tell a complex story of global standards of beauty. And the response has been enormous.

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Community
4:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Going To Kansas City: Retiring As A Chief

Credit file photo

Wide receiver Eddie Kennison played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams and Denver Broncos before ending up as free agent for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001. This move upset many Broncos fans who are division rivals with the Chiefs, but Kennison says that when he moved to Kansas City he felt right at home. Kennison signed a ceremonial contract with The Chiefs in 2010 so he could retire as a member of the team.

Here is more about Kennison and his "Going to Kansas City" story:

Name: Eddie Kennison

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Central Standard
3:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Let's Talk About Death, Baby

At the Death Cafe, conversations about mortality are an important part of a life well-lived.
Credit Will Taylor / Flickr, Creative Commons

It's one of life's great inevitables, and we don't mean taxes.

Death Cafes, where people get together to hang out and talk about death and dying, have started popping up in cities worldwide. Locally, we have two Death Cafes: one in St. Joseph, Mo. and another in Kansas City, Mo. 

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Economy
12:34 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Johnson County Ranked One Of The 'Easiest' Places To Live In U.S.

This map from The New York Times ranks counties based on quality of life indicators such as median household income and obesity rate.
Credit The Upshot / The New York Times

Johnson County, Kan., is one of the easiest places to live in the United States, according to a new study by The New York Times

The New York Times ranked counties based on six criteria: education, unemployment rate, median household income, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity rate.

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Central Standard
11:42 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Balloon Launch Combines Space Exploration And A Treasure Hunt

Volunteers keep the balloon steady as Paul Verhage prepares for launch.
Credit Christina Lieffring

For Bill Brown, the “father” of high altitude ballooning, it all started when he saw a documentary of a man who parachuted from 100,000 feet above ground.

“The description he gave of being able to see for hundreds of miles in all directions and see the blackness of space and the curve of the earth … I wanted to see that for myself,” he said. “Some people strapped a bunch of balloons to a lawn chair, but that seemed a little risky, so I decided to come up with a camera and a small video camera to put up in a small weather balloon.”

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Community
6:38 am
Thu June 26, 2014

World Cup Is A Mix Of Sport And Mourning For Kansas City's South Korean Community

Gwon Cheol Paek (left) and Sejun Song (right) show off their Korea team t-shirts as they watchi the Korea soccer team play Algeria at Chopsticks restaurant in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Most of the World Cup attention Thursday will be on the U.S. game against Germany. But there will be some Kansas City-area residents who will have their attention on South Korea’s game against Belgium.

Little Korea in Kansas

Tucked away off 103rd  St. and Metcalf Avenue, in a strip mall in Overland Park, Kan., there is a concentration of South Korean businesses where people gather to watch soccer.

“Kansas doesn’t have like a Korea town,” says David Ahn. “So this is kind of considered like a Korea Town.”

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Up to Date
11:02 am
Wed June 25, 2014

St. Michael's Gives Homeless Vets Transitional Housing, Counseling

St. Michael's Veterans Center provides transitional living quarters for homeless veterans.
Credit Jonathan Greenwald / Flickr-CC

It's difficult to go from living on the street to living in what most of us consider to be normal housing. That's a real challenge many homeless vets face.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about the St. Michael Center and how it's helping veterans make that difficult life transition.

Guests:

  • Eric Verzola, director of Veterans Services Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph
  • Art Fillmore, St. Michael’s Veterans Center Board Member
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Central Standard
3:46 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

KC Police Chief Darryl Forté On Response Times, His Faith And Social Media

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté visited with Gina Kaufmann about some of the problems that Kansas City faces.
Credit KMBC

When Darryl Forté was sworn in as Kansas City Police Department chief in 2011, it was a landmark moment. 

Forté is the first African American to lead the police department in the city's history.

Since then, Forté and the rest of the police department have had their hands full, with homicide rates that have routinely ranked within the top 10 worst cities in America

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Tell KCUR
3:52 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Tell KCUR: Should The Kansas City Chiefs Change Their Name? Why Or Why Not?

Should the Kansas City Chiefs change their name? Why or why not? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit KCUR

Recent controversy tied to the Washington Redskins’ name is revitalizing a longtime debate about the name of Kansas City’s professional football team, too.

Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoked the trademark of the NFL’s Washington Redskins.  This came after five Native Americans claimed the name disparages them.

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Wes Crenshaw: Marijuana Use Among Young People

On Monday's Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw talks with Steve Kraske about college marijuana culture.
Credit Chuck Grimmett / Flickr-CC

Marijuana has been part of college culture for a long time, but is the drug’s legalization in Colorado changing the way college kids use it? Some see it as a way to relax occasionally, but others make it a daily habit that can have destructive consequences.

On Monday's Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw joins us to talk about the shift in pot culture among college students, especially when it comes to our western neighbors.

Guest:

Dr. Wes Crenshaw, psychologist

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Environment
8:27 am
Mon June 23, 2014

EPA Grants May Help Redevelop Parts Of Kansas, Missouri

The EPA has awarded $1.2 million for projects in a 15-county area of northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. The money will be used to redevelop underused or abandoned properties, and to train residents and help them land environmental jobs.

The grants are being administered by the Mo-Kan Regional Council. 

A revolving loan fund will of $1 million will help revitalize blighted sites that may contain hazardous waste or petroleum contamination. Executive Director Tom Bliss says there are nearly 400 eligible properties in the 15-county area.

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Community
8:48 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Hillary Clinton Focuses Kansas City Talk On Women And The Economy

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, speaks with Rainy Day Books owner Vivien Jennings Sunday at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. Clinton was in town to promote her memoir, 'Hard Choices.'
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Ensuring human rights for women and girls can have a stabilizing effect impact on countries and economies, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Kansas City audience Sunday night.

"Of course I promoted women and girls as an integrated priority within our diplomacy," says Clinton, who was in town as part of a book tour. "But I could tell people's eyes would roll in many places when I said that."

And while Clinton says she sees the rights of women in developing companies as a moral issue, she used a different sales pitch on foreign leaders.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Art Of The Car Concours: A Classic Car Lover's Dreamland

"Jake's Coupe" is just one of the hot rods on display at the Art of the Car Concours this Sunday.
Credit Art of the Car Concours

Hot rods first hit the scene in the 1930s. Their enduring popularity drives owners and fans to preserve and enhance these mobile pieces of history. This Sunday, The Kansas City Art Institute once again transforms the campus into a classic-car lover’s dreamland for its Art of the Car Concours event. On Friday's Up to Date Steve Kraske talks with the event organizer and an automotive expert about the rare autos at this event and the long road of hot rod history.

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Community
8:46 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Kansas City-Based Organization Played Role In Presbyterian Same-Sex Marriage Vote

The ruling by the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination Thursday to allow its pastors to officiate same-sex weddings was a major victory for a Kansas City-based organization that has spent years trying to make the church more inclusive.

By a vote of 429 to 175, leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to initiate a process to redefine marriage in official texts as being between two people. They also voted with a smaller margin to allow Presbyterian pastors to decide as individuals whether or not to perform same-sex marriages.

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History
3:20 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Then And Now: A Look Back At The Battle Of Westport

The Harris House Hotel that stood at Westport Road and Pennsylvania Avenue served as Union Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis' command post.
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library

If you've ever noticed plaques in Kansas City's Westport district describing Civil War-era events, then you have at least a little background on the Battle of Westport, a series of battles that ended in a decisive Union victory and emancipation for slaves in Missouri.

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Tell KCUR
1:52 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Kansas Citians Share Their Best And Worst Summer Jobs

What was your best or worst summer job? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Andy Oakley / Flickr--CC

As the hunt for summer jobs heats up, we asked Kansas Citians to walk down memory lane this week.

We asked: What was your best or worst summer job? What did you learn from it? 

Kansas Citians shot back a plethora of of cool summer assignments, from brewery tour guide to acid rain researcher.

They fondly remember more typical posts, too, like lifeguard and ice cream scooper, according to feedback we received in our “Tell KCUR” question of the week.

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Kansas City Zoo
12:47 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Kansas City Zoo Hopes To Limit Crowds With Revamped Free Admission Program

The Kansas City Zoo is changing its admission system for free zoo days.
Credit Shawn Kincaide / Flickr--CC

The Kansas City Zoo is rolling out a new system for free visits after more than 20,000 people overwhelmed the zoo during a free admission day in March.

Some guests became unruly – and shots were fired in a parking lot as people left the zoo.

"We want everybody to come to the zoo, but what wasn't working was everybody coming on that one day we designated free day," says Kansas City Zoo executive director Randy Wisthoff.

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Community
11:35 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Meet The Man Behind Kansas City's Pollen Count

Dr. Charles Barnes, director of research for Children's Mercy's allergy, asthma, and immunology department, is the man behind the pollen count for Kansas City.
Cody Newill KCUR

Every morning, Dr. Charles Barnes treks up to the roof of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., to pull a collection slide out of the hospital's spore trap, a small machine consisting of a vacuum pump and wind main.

The little plastic slide may not look like much, but it provides an accurate pollen count for the entire Kansas City metro area.

"We've had this same technology and process for the last 24 years," Barnes says. "It's really pretty simple."

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