Kansas City, MO – For one thing, people are just driving less. The lousy economy and high gas prices earlier this year have pushed down what officials call "vehicle miles traveled" by about three and a half percent. But Mary Peters, the US Secretary of Transportation, says traffic fatalities dropped almost three times as much by 10 percent.
Ms. Peters: The improvements we seen in lower numbers of fatalities and injuries are disproportionate to that drop off in vehicle miles traveled which tells us that we're making progress.
Springfield, MO – With the state facing a potential 342 million dollar budget shortfall, lawmakers have asked public universities and colleges to submit reports on how they might make significant budget cuts.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education has sent an e-mail requesting all state universities and colleges to create budget cutting scenarios by December 18th. Schools must outline how they might cut their core budgets by 15, 20, and 25 percent for the next fiscal year.
Public radio commentator and author Sandra Tsing Loh talks with Steve Kraske about her new book Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!
By Up to Date, Dec 10, 2008
Kansas City, MO – Public radio commentator and author Sandra Tsing Loh talks with Steve Kraske about her new book Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!, her experiences in attempting to find a suitable school for her four-year old daughter and the major realization it brought her.
Richard Nixon was president when the Kansas City Ballet premiered its production of The Nutcracker, set to the music of Tchaikovsky. For thirty-six years running, audiences have been so swept up in the music and the movement that other crucial elements of the piece tend to get overlooked, and what would The Nutcracker be without its extravagant costumes?
Kansas City, MO – Missouri Transportation officials don't take a public stance on Santa Claus, but they're hoping an economic stimulus package being pushed by the President elect could be the next best thing.
RAHN: "Missouri has put together it's wish list and instead of sending it to the North Pole, we're sending it to Washington."
That's Missouri transportation director Pete Rahn. As KCUR's Maria Carter reports Missouri is hoping for an economic stimulus miracle after the holiday season.
Kansas City, MO – A judge has blocked a move to take the testimony of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt in an investigation into his office's e-mail practices.
Federal agents are still trying find who used Dallas post offices to send letters with a suspicious power to Matt Blunt and seven other governors. A Missouri state health lab found the powder appeared to be bleached flour.
Representatives from several state agencies and programs visited the Missouri State Capitol yesterday asking lawmakers not to cut their respective budgets.
Former Kansas City, MO employee Ruth Bates has more than doubled her settlement request in a discrimination suit against the city after Mayor Funkhouser made public negative remarks about her in "telling his side of the story."
Former Funkhouser aide Joe Miller has testified that the mayor twice gave him instructions that resulted in ethics violations.
Governor Matt Blunt calls a Sunshine Law suit against him "a wild goose chase and a waste of money."
Kansas City, MO – A backlog of child support and paternity cases in Missouri could take seven years to resolve, according to a new state audit. Marshall Griffin reports.
The audit cites various reasons for the backlog, including staff turnovers and heavier workloads. Audit Department spokeswoman Samantha Brewer says recommendations include improved training for case workers.
Kansas City, MO – The commercial baking industry is watching closely as Interstate Bakeries Corporation creeps back out of bankruptcy. It was a shock when the Lenexa-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankcruptcy four years ago. The owners of Hostess and Wonder Bread, among other familiar lines, had long been the largest commercial bakery in the United States.
Two weeks ago on KC Currents, we talked about some of the recent layoffs at the Kansas City Star. One of the people who had lost his job was editorial cartoonist Lee Judge, who had been at the newspaper for 27 years.
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – Lee Judge spoke to KC Currents' Sylvia Maria Gross about how he got into political cartoons in the first place.
Kansas City, MO – In 2006, UMKC's Black Studies program was de-stabilized after several faculty members left. Charges of institutional racism were leveled against the university. At the time, KCUR's Laura Ziegler spoke to the Black Studies director Don Matthews, who described what he saw as the problem.
Author Gloria Naylor began her award-winning novel The Women of Brewster Place while still a student at Yale. After winning the National Book Award for fiction in 1983, it was turned into a television movie 4 years later with the backing and starring power of Oprah Winfrey.
Vicki Myron discusses her best-selling book, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.
By The Walt Bodine Show, Dec 3, 2008
Kansas City, MO – We discover how Dewey the cat survived being abandoned on one of the coldest days of the year, to inspire those around him with his affection, enthusiasm and antics. Find out how, throughout his nineteen years, Dewey became not just a local but an international celebrity.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Supreme Court is expected to rule today on an abortion clinic's attempt to force a prosecutor to return patients' medical records that have become key evidence for criminal charges against it.
The Kansas City Council turned down a surprise proposal from Mayor Mark Funkhouser to settle the discrimination lawsuit filed by former mayor's office employee over remarks she says the mayor's wife made.
During the recent presidential campaign, Barack Obama, now the president-elect, became a potent source of artistic inspiration. And in this economy, one of the few segments still thriving is the Obama memorabilia business.
Kansas City, MO – Fireworks erupted again in yesterday's city council meeting over the so-called "Mammygate" lawsuit filed by a city employee over alleged remarks by the mayor's wife.
Forty minutes into an otherwise routine council meeting, Mayor Funkhouser announced that outside attorneys hired to defend him and his wife had come up with a settlement of the suit against the city and the council. The council could pay the plaintiff $135,000... and approve about another $40,000 in attorney's fees.
Kansas City, MO – A partnership involving Kansas Speedway and the Cordish company have pulled their bid to build a state-owned casino in Wyandotte county. Kansas Entertainment announced it was withdrawing it's application for the 705 million dollar casino and entertainment complex this morning, hours before a state deadline to finalize the project. Speedway spokeswoman Kelly Hale says group wanted to change the proposal by building the casino first and hotel and retail later.
Kansas City, MO – American businesses cut more well over half a million workers last month, the biggest monthly employment decline since 1974. KCUR's Frank Morris spoke to people in Kansas City out looking for work.
Leavenworth, KS. – Leavenworth and Lansing residents know how important prisons are to their economy. There are at least five penitentiary-type operations there. And people know what they don't want. KCUR's Dan Verbeck was in Leavenworth and filed this report.