Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Time Warner Loses Appeal Over Explosion That Destroyed JJ’s Restaurant In Kansas City

This story was updated at 1:59 p.m. to include a comment from the owner of Time Warner Cable. Time Warner Cable remains on the hook to pay $3 million in damages for the explosion that destroyed JJ’s Restaurant after an appeals court on Monday upheld the judgment. The Missouri Court of Appeals rejected the cable company’s arguments that the court wrongly instructed the jury and improperly admitted expert testimony.

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How Arguments Over Mental Health Hinder Solutions To Mass Shootings

Gun violence is complicated. Treating it simply as a mental health issue does not line up with statistical evidence and misses the bigger picture, researcher says.

Greitens’ bid to install new education commissioner fails

Updated at 2:15 p.m. with governor's comments — Missouri’s commissioner of education survived a rare move to oust her by appointees of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. The State Board of Education, though stacked with appointees by Greitens, did not vote in favor of firing Margie Vandeven in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. The board tied 4-4.

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Cory Weaver / Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Ten years ago, when Eric Rosen was angling for the job as artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre, he pitched a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol. It was something he'd wanted to do for years while running a theater company in Chicago. Now he's finally bringing it to the stage.

"It's sort of a dream project in the sense of having a scope and a cast and a capacity to make something huge that we don't often get to do," Rosen says. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

On Wednesday, the Kansas City Ballet opens the first of seven prestigious performances of “The Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., capping a year and a half of planning and meeting a massive logistical challenge.

Moving the entire production required four 52-foot semi trucks. Besides 30 company dancers, the Ballet brought along 12 second-company members and around 20 crew members and artistic and administrative staff.

Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is announcing his pick to succeed the beleaguered head of the state’s social welfare agency Wednesday morning. He will name Gina Meier-Hummel to succeed Department for Children and Families secretary Phyllis Gilmore, according to spokeswoman Kara Fullmer. The Kansas Senate will have to approve the appointment.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. with governor's comments —

Missouri’s commissioner of education survived a rare move to oust her by appointees of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

The State Board of Education, though stacked with appointees by Greitens, did not vote in favor of firing Margie Vandeven in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. The board tied 4-4.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Kansas’ energy-regulating agency will investigate nearly a decade’s worth of permits it granted to oil and gas companies after learning recently that some wells received permits without meeting certain state regulations.

The probe, announced Tuesday, will determine the number of wells approved since 2008 without the companies giving nearby residents accurate information about their rights to protest the wells.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback revealed Tuesday that in anticipation of his confirmation to a post in the U.S. State Department he has begun transferring major responsibilities to Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer.

Brownback said Colyer is developing the budget that the governor is required to propose at the outset of the legislative session, which will convene Jan. 8, 2018.

“He’s doing those and getting ready for the legislative session,” Brownback told reporters after taking delivery of a Christmas tree at the governor’s mansion.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Tyson Foods announced Monday it will build a chicken processing plant in Tennessee similar to one that had been planned for northeast Kansas. State officials say Kansas is still in the running for another facility.

The chicken plant in Humboldt, Tennessee, will be similar in size and cost to one previously planned for Tonganoxie. Plans to build that plant were put on hold in September after an outpouring of local opposition.  

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Kansas officials seeking to renew KanCare are asking people covered by the privatized Medicaid program to trust them to make it better.

In a series of recent public hearings, state officials have assured providers and beneficiaries that KanCare 2.0 will fix the administrative and service-delivery problems that have plagued the current program since its inception.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City International Airport is broadening its horizons, hosting a community design meeting for the new terminal in Johnson County after all and stepping up efforts to attract international air service.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR 89.3

After much deliberation, members of the Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ have decided to remove "Country Club" from the church's name. 

The Brookside church prides itself on being committed to social justice and inclusivity. Which is why, says minister Chase Peeples, the name had to change.

"'Country Club' seems to connote the idea of exclusivity and wealth," he says. "That's not the Jesus I encounter when I read the gospel."

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Meet The McFadden Brothers

Lonnie and Ronnie McFadden are horn players, singers and tap dancers. They learned how to tap from their father, and they've just received a 2017 Living Legends award. Hear their story.