Kansas City, MO – Judge Cordell Meeks, Jr. died suddenly at his home this week. He was 63. Meeks, a 26-year veteran of the Wyandotte County District Court, was respected by his colleagues and friends not only as a prodigious member of the bench, but also as a generous contributor of time and talent to many civic causes. With us to talk about the legacy of Cordell Meeks is Nick Tomasic, District Attorney for Wyandotte County for 32 years.
Kansas City, MO – Families for Adoption, an international and domestic adoption ministry at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty recently held a roundtable for people interested in adopting children from another country. We heard about it, and thought it would be an opportunity to take our own look at the subject. KCUR's Laura Ziegler spoke to some adoption experts, and dropped in on some parents with kids who come from other countries.
Manuel and Junior Vargas were born in Puerto Rico, and spent the first years of their lives listening to the rhythms of the Caribbean islands . . . merengue and rumba. But they discovered Tejano, or Tex-Mex, music when their family moved to Kansas City's West Side, and it became a passion.
Artist Ryan Humphrey brings the gritty, gearhead culture of cars into the gallery space at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in a solo exhibition called Empty Thoughts, Lame Excuses, and Decorative Lies. It's a title that mocks the names of other art shows.
Kansas City, MO – Tyrone Flowers was shot three times. Once in the hand. Once in his leg. And the third and final bullet went through his neck, nicking his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Perhaps this was the worse thing that could have happened to Flowers, who spent his childhood in foster homes, juvenile detention centers, mental health hospitals and cemented basements in houses he could never call home.
Kansas City, MO – It's hot . . . it's fast . . . it's the 8th annual ALMA Awards scheduled to air next Monday . . . June 5th . . . on ABC. The ALMA awards were created by David Chavez of Olathe, Kansas . . . to honor Hispanic artists in film, TV and music. The show is part Oscars, part Emmys, and part Grammys of Latin entertainment. And the buzz around it is loud, especially loud now that Desperate Housewives superstar Eva Longoria has signed on as host.
Kansas City, MO – In the fifth of a six part series on financial planning, David Jackson talks about pensions and planning for retirement. David Jackson is a financial planner for Waddell & Reed and writes a regular column for the Kansas City Call.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City area teens are reporting they are less optimistic about their futures and feel like community leaders aren't listening to them. According to this year's Kauffman Teen Survey , teens are ten percent less hopeful they'll be successful than last year. A University of Missouri senior and a research analyst from the Partnership for Children shared ideas on how to encourage and support Kansas City teens. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.
Kansas City, MO – Some members of the House of Representatives have been distancing themselves from the immigration enforcement bill passed in December. One provision of the bill makes being undocumented in the US a felony and criminalizes aid to illegal immigrants. Our regular contributor Angela Cervantes was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. Some aspects of the House immigration bill remind her of her own childhood.
Kansas City, MO – With its frequent use in rap lyrics, movies and even as a greeting among some young African Americans, the N-word seems to have reached new levels of acceptance in mainstream American culture. On Saturday, the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists will host a forum with reporters, academics and hip hop artists entitled "The N-Word, have we really come that far?".
Kansas City, Missouri – Matheno Frazier-Bey transferred to a new school in the middle of his fourth grade year. Anyone who ever moved or changed schools as a child knows the fear of having to meet all new classmates. He was timid, and predicted that he would be the outcast, but one girl changed that . . .
Kansas City, MO – Computer literacy is quickly becoming a necessity of modern life. But for children growing up without a computer in the home, it's hard to gain the ease and skill with technology that's necessary to compete. In what's called the digital divide - Black and Latino children around the country are less likely to have computers and access to the internet than white children.
Kansas City, MO – As final preparations are made for funeral services for Coretta Scott-King in Atlanta, police there are bracing for some unwelcome guests from Topeka.
Fred Phelps, and his Westboro Baptist Church has long exploited such public events for their virulent, anti-gay demonstrations. Law makers in more than a dozen state capitols are taking steps to neutralize the protests, but the controversial preacher argues that would take away his First Amendment rights. KCUR'S Frank Morris reports.
Kansas City, MO – On Wednesday, the basic bus fare in Kansas City went up a quarter, to a dollar twenty-five. Express route fares increased to 2 dollars and 50 cents and reduced fares went up from 50 to 60 cents. Michael Leahy hit the streets that day to see how people were reacting to having to dig in their pockets for the extra change.
Kansas City, MO – At least 156 people have died while in police custody in the United States following the use of a Taser, according to The Kansas City Star. Tasers or stun guns are used by law enforcement to tranquilize a suspect by shocking the nervous system. Last Saturday, Kansas City Missouri police used a stun gun to subdue a man who later died in a police holding cell. Witnesses say that 32-year-old Karl Marshall of Overland Park, Kansas was high on PCP and cocaine when police tried arresting him.
Kansas City, MO – Coretta Scott King, who died last Monday, was known as the strong, solid woman who stood behind Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., in life and after his assassination. Reverend Jesse Jackson described her as the glue that kept Dr. King's home and movement intact. To find out about being the wife of a preacher and activist, we turned to Dianne Cleaver, known by most people as the wife of 5th district Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. He was the first African American mayor of Kansas City and a long time civil rights activist.
Kansas City, MO – It's been two years since Kansas City Kansas native Janet Murguia was named president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, a leading Latino civil rights organization. She was in town on Friday to address young people at a leadership conference at UMKC. Sylvia Maria Gross asked her about some current challenges in educating Latino youth, both locally and nationally.