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7:21 am
Mon September 1, 2014

A Vision of Kemper Arena As A Competitive Video Game Hub

Does the future of Kemper Arena involve competitive video games? Jase Wilson thinks it should.
Credit CC: SA2.5

The future of Kansas City’s Kemper Arena is murky. The city council is considering two proposals. One, from the American Royal, would see it torn down and replaced. The other, from the development company Foutch Brothers, would rehab it as the centerpiece of a youth sports complex. But last week, urban activist Jase Wilson wrote an open letter to the council last week with a novel proposal: Turn the arena into the Midwest’s only arena specifically designed to host competitive video game tournaments.

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Right To Farm
7:18 am
Mon September 1, 2014

'Right To Farm' Opponents Prepare For Recount

Wes Shoemyer says the Amendment 1 vote was close enough to warrant a recount.
Credit The HSUS

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has granted opponents to the so-called “right to farm amendment” a recount, but those hoping to overturn the amendment have modest expectations.

Amendment 1 passed by just less than a quarter of one percent of the popular vote. Nearly a million votes cast. It enshrines the right to engage in agricultural endeavors in the state constitution.

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Education
6:22 am
Mon September 1, 2014

KU Police Officers Now Wear Body-Mounted Cameras

A body-mounted camera made by Digital Ally, a Lenexa company.
Credit (Courtesy of Digital Ally)

The University of  Kansas Police Department began the new school year with eight body-mounted cameras that its officers are wearing on all patrols.

The department ordered the cameras last spring – well before the protests in Ferguson, Mo., when a police officer killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man. Since then, many have called for using the body-mounted cameras to keep police accountable.

The KU Police Department has used dashboard cameras for 20 years, said Capt. James Anguiano said. But those video cameras have limited use, for those officers in vehicles, he said.

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Breastfeeding
6:15 am
Mon September 1, 2014

New Missouri Law Loosens Restrictions On Breastfeeding

Breast feeding moms can can now be excused from jury duty, and they can't be charged with indecency laws for breastfeeding in public.
Credit Benjamin Magana

A new Missouri law shields breastfeeding mothers from indecency charges for nursing their children or pumping in public. Under the law, which went into effect Thursday, breastfeeding mothers also can be excused from jury duty by presenting a doctor’s note.

Anne Biswell, the communications director of the Mother & Child Health Coalition, says the law makes much more sense than and is less ambiguous than the previous statute that required women to exercise “as much discretion as possible.” 

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Poet Gearóid Mac Lochlainn Returns To KC For Irish Fest

Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, a native of Belfast, Ireland, has been described as a 'performance poet.'
Credit Michael McDonald/MKD Photography Ltd

Belfast bard Gearóid Mac Lochlainn is back in Kansas City, Mo. this weekend to perform at the Irish Fest. Known for his bilingual work with poetry and music, his most recent book and CD is called Criss-Cross Mo Chara

In 2008, after then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, honored him for his contribution to Irish arts, he talked with New Letters on the Air host, Angela Elam, about his first book and CD called Stream of Tongues.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Sun August 31, 2014

After 35 Years, A Nelson Security Guard Calls It A Day

Henry J. ("Hank") Raya, 82, watches over the museum's collection of South and Southeast Asian art Friday at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The oldest, and longest-serving, employee at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art retires on Aug. 31.

Henry J. ("Hank") Raya studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and worked for two decades as an illustrator at The Kansas City Star. Then he stepped into a new career: as a security guard at the Nelson-Atkins, where he's helped the visitors and protected the art for 35 years. 

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Government
7:56 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

NBAF Will Be Finished If Funds Come Through, Say Lawmakers

Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary Reginald Brothers got a tour of the NBAF site with Senators Pat Roberts and Tim Huelskamp.
Credit Laura Ziegler

Three members of the Kansas Congressional delegation were in Manhattan, Kan., Friday to see the first stage of construction on the $1.2 billion federal animal disease lab known as NBAF, or the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

Joining Senators Jerry Moran, Pat Roberts and Congressman Tim Huelskamp was Dr. Reginald Brothers. Brothers will oversee the facility as an undersecretary with the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Talking to reporters after the tour, Brothers said he was happy with what he saw.

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Health
5:49 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Unseasonal Virus Afflicting Kansas City Kids

Doctors advise thorough hand washing and cough etiquette to counter a rash of respiratory illnesses affecting Kansas City area children.
Credit Sean Winters / Flickr -- Creative Commons

If your child has been coughing or wheezing recently, it may have nothing to do with allergies or asthma.

In the past few weeks, Kansas City hospitals have seen an influx of children suffering from the symptoms of a rare respiratory virus during what is usually the low season for respiratory issues.

“Across the region, emergency rooms have been full, pediatric units have been near capacity across town,” says Dr. Mike Lewis, a University of Kansas Medical Center pediatrician.

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Health
5:20 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Switch To KanCare Complicates Medicaid Fraud Detection

The state’s privatization of Medicaid is complicating efforts to detect fraud and abuse, according to a recently released report from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office.

The 2014 annual report from the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division says the three private companies managing the state’s $3 billion Medicaid program — called KanCare — are not providing all the information needed for the state to conduct investigations.

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Arts & Culture
2:48 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Film Review: A Hotel Inspector Doesn't Exactly Enjoy Her 'Five Star Life'

Margherita Buy is a hotel inspector seemingly living 'A Five Star Life.'
Credit Courtesy Music Box Films

Everyone who’s ever stayed at a hotel turns into a hotel inspector as soon as the bellman closes the door. Does the bedspread look plush or threadbare? Is the bathroom gleaming or grungy? Will room service arrive promptly and hot or late and cold? In the new Italian film A Five Star Life, Margherita Buy wonders these and other things as a hotel inspector beginning to question the constriction and loneliness of a career that looks awfully glamorous from the outside.

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Government
2:11 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Brownback Appoints Former Chief Counsel To Kansas Supreme Court

KPR file photo of Governor Sam Brownback introducing Caleb Stegall when Stegall was appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals in January, 2014.
Credit Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has chosen his former legal counsel, a staunchly pro-life judge named Caleb Stegall to fill a vacancy on the Kansas Supreme Court. 

Stegall served as Gov. Brownback’s legal counsel early in his administration. Last year Brownback nominated Stegall to the Kansas Court of Appeals, and Friday boosted him onto the highest court in the state.

“I’d like to say on a personal note, I believe Caleb Stegall to be one of the most qualified people ever to go on the Kansas Supreme Court,” said Brownback.

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Royals
1:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

How Psychology Can Help The Royals Make The Playoffs

The Kansas City Royals, currently first in the AL Central Division, are making a pennant run for the playoffs for the first time in 29 years.
Credit Michael Zupon / Flickr-CC

There's good reason to be excited about the Kansas City Royals right now. The team is in a pennant race for the playoffs for the first time since 1985, and it actually looks like they have a good chance to move on.

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Food
11:55 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Desserts In Kansas City

Golden Boy Pies out of Overland Park, Kan., was one of our Critics' recommendations. You can get a slice at Town Topic.
Credit Julie Fallone / Town Topic

At some point, we all get a sweet tooth. For some of us it is a little more frequently than we would like, for others its an occasional craving.

Whether you are in need of a decadent mousse or plain old fashioned ice cream cone, our Food Critics are here to guide you (and your tooth) to the sweetest treats in the metro.

Here are suggestions from the Food Critics and listeners to Central Standard:

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Sports
11:54 am
Fri August 29, 2014

FC Kansas City To Face Off Against Seattle In National Championship

Kansas City's Amy Rodriguez and Seattle's Kendall Fletcher struggle for control of the ball. The two teams square off Sunday in the championship game.
Credit John Reiger / FC Kansas City

Move over, Royals – there's another local team that's hot right now.

Women's soccer club FC Kansas City will play the Seattle Reign at 2 p.m. CST Sunday in the National Women's Soccer League championship after beating the Portland Thorns last weekend in the semi-finals.

"We got knocked out early last year in the semi-finals at home against Portland, so we avenged that loss," says Scott Levinson, vice president of business operations. "The whole goal and mission for the team this year was to finish what we started last year, which is win a championship."

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Kansas City Schools
11:18 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Two Kansas City Area Schools Ranked In News Site's Top 25 List

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kan., ranked as one of The Daily Beast's top schools in the United States.
Credit The Daily Beast

News site The Daily Beast released an extensive review of United States high schools, and two of Kansas City's were ranked as "Doing the Most With the Least."

Out of 25 schools, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kan., and Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Mo., ranked 17th and 18th, respectively. 

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Health
9:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Physician Payment Data Puts Costly Eye Treatments Under The Microscope

Dr. Ajay Singh, a retina specialist at the University of Kansas Eye Clinic in Prairie Village, prepares to inject Phyllis Johnson of Topeka with a drug that treats a condition where abnormal blood vessels leak fluid or blood into the region of the macula, which is in the center of the retina.
Credit Todd Feeback / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

Spritzing perfume is how Judy Johnson realized her eyesight had gone bad.

At one point, diabetes had worsened her vision so much that the 69-year-old Lansing, Kan., resident had to squirt out a puff of her favorite scent just to find the opening in the mister.

“I looked at it this morning,” Johnson said Wednesday, “and I could see the hole.”

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Government
8:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Kansas City Council Repeals Outsourcing Of Ambulance Billing

Faced with a successful referendum drive that could force the repeal of plans to outsource Kansas City ambulance service billing, the city council has repealed the plan.

The issue was contentious from the start. City Manager Troy Schulte proposed having a private company manage the billing because, he said, it would increase revenues from insurance collections while saving money. 

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Arts & Culture
7:53 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Remembering Agustín Romero-Diaz, Leader Of The Loose Park Drum Sessions

Agustin Romero-Diaz died on August 21. He was 67.
Credit courtesy: Pat Conway

Agustín Romero-Diaz, a native of Cuba and Kansas City resident, died last week at the age of 67. A drummer and singer, he wasn't known for his performances in a band, or on stage. In his three decades in Kansas City, he shared his passion for Afro-Cuban music each week during afternoon drum sessions in Loose Park. 

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Education
6:18 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Scores Show Kansas City, Hickman Mills Schools Doing Better Than Expected

Credit Cynborg / Wikimedia-CC

Friday is the day almost every school district in Missouri waits for all year. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on Friday morning released its yearly evaluation of schools and districts in Missouri.

More like tax day than Christmas, the results produce winners and losers.

Kansas City Public Schools found out three weeks ago that it moved up to provisional accreditation. DESE bases its entire assessment on a complicated 140-point scale, based on everything from academic achievement to graduation rates and classroom growth year to year.

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Community
8:49 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

UMKC Students: 'We Are Michael Brown'

University of Missouri-Kansas City students participate in an 'I am Mike Brown' event in response to the police shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Mo.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

About 150 University of Missouri-Kansas City students marched across campus Thursday evening chanting "hands up, don't shoot" to show support for the unarmed teenager killed by police in Ferguson, Mo., earlier this month.

Seniors Danielle McFadden and Carly Jones organized the event, called "I am Michael Brown," to start a conversation at UMKC about police militarization and racially-motivated violence.

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Arts & Culture
2:42 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Kansas City Streetcar System Now Officially Named ... KC Streetcar

Willoughby Design's KC Streetcar logo without text.
Credit Kansas City Streetcar Authority

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority has released the name and branding for the city's new downtown streetcar line.

Created by Willoughby Design, Inc., the package approved by the Authority on Thursday includes a name, icon, color palette and other branding elements.

The transit system's now-official name — KC Streetcar — is "simple, intuitive and universal, giving Kansas City a place among the best transit systems in the world, ” says Tom Trabon, chair of the Streetcar Authority Board.

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Health
2:25 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New KDADS Chief To Focus On Home- And Community-Based Services

Kari Bruffett, the new secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

Kari Bruffett, who was confirmed Thursday as secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said one of her first goals will be to continue the transition away from institutional care for people with disabilities in favor of home- and community-based services.

The Legislature's Confirmation Oversight Committee approved Bruffett unanimously after she told committee members that her agency's mission fits neatly with a personal mission statement she formulated while working as a government affairs liaison at the University of Kansas Hospital.

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Health
8:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

KanCare Payment Delays Threaten Rural Hospital

With 60 employees and a $3 million annual budget, Hanover Hospital is more vulnerable to cash flow issues, says Dr. Roger Warren. It's one of two hospitals in Washington County.
Credit Andy Marso / KHI News Service

The rural hospital that Dr. Roger Warren leads in Hanover, Kan., is owed about $140,000 by the three insurance companies the state contracted with to administer Medicaid. And as he walks the halls, Warren is able to point out exactly what that money means to his full-service medical clinic.

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Politics
8:13 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Schodorf To Kobach: Release Tax Records

The Democrat running against Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach has released her tax records to the media, and she says Kobach should do the same.

Kobach is occasionally in national headlines for his legal work on immigration. At issue is how much time he spends on that work outside his job as secretary of state.

Former state Senator Jean Schodorf from Wichita, has questioned if Kobach spends too much time working on immigration issues. She wants Kobach to provide his tax documents because she says that would prove how he spends his time.

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Health
7:18 am
Thu August 28, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Jenny McKee

Jenny McKee is health educator and grant coordinator for the University of Kansas Student Health Services.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The University of Kansas fall semester started this week, and along with new classes comes a big change in lifestyle for thousands of students. Junk food, all-night study sessions, marathon parties – the college life has a reputation as being a less-than-healthy one.

For this month’s KC Checkup, KCUR’s Alex Smith spoke with KU health educator and grant coordinator Jenny McKee about the health of the latest generation of young scholars.  

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Community
5:08 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Judge Throws Out Case Against Lawyer Suing Owners Of Power & Light For Discrimination

The Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City, Mo., was at the center of multiple lawsuits.
Credit Missouri Dept. of Tourism / Flickr--CC

A federal judge has thrown out racketeering charges against the firm of Linda Dickens, the local attorney who is suing the owners of the Kansas City Power & Light District  for racial discrimination on behalf of African-American clients.

In a ruling handed down Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum said the allegations by The Cordish Companies Inc. did not amount to the kind of long-term criminal activity against which the racketeering law is aimed.

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Government
4:53 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

McCaskill: Police Departments Need To Invest In Body-Mounted Cameras

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, was in Kansas City Wednesday touring a manufacturing company. She talked about the events in Ferguson, Mo., and how police can better serve their communities in the future.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says after what happened in Ferguson, Mo., more law enforcement agencies should be equipped with body-mounted cameras.

"I believe with today's technology, body cams on police officers not only protect members of the community from somebody who might be overreacting, but it really protects police officers, also," says McCaskill, who was in town Wednesday visiting a Kansas City manufacturing company.

McCaskill says she would support legislation requiring the cameras for all police departments that receive federal funding.

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Northland Schools
4:48 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

New Way To Manage Northland Crime Tips

Credit Courtesy Crime Stoppers

Parents and students in Northland school districts  have a new, more efficient way to relay tips to Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers has promoted its 474-TIPS hotline number for 32 years. More recently, the organization started taking tips by texts. The Northland Safe School Task Force got so many texts that officials reached out to Kansas City Crime Stoppers to help manage the information from students and parents.

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Government
3:27 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Sen. McCaskill Says Not Reauthorizing Export-Import Bank Would Hurt Missouri Businesses

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, center, tours the Western Forms factory in Kansas City. The company, which makes aluminum models used to pour concrete houses, uses the United States Export-Import Bank to do business overseas.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill toured a Kansas City manufacturing company Wednesday before calling on Congress to reauthorize the United States Export-Import Bank.

The bank helps finance and insure overseas purchases of American-made goods.

According to McCaskill, 96 Missouri companies currently use the Export-Import Bank, including Western Forms. The Kansas City company sells aluminum molds to pour concrete houses and does about half of its business abroad.

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Harvest Public Media
7:53 am
Wed August 27, 2014

USDA Predicts Drop In Farm Income

Farmers’ can anticipate a sharp drop in income this year, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In fact, the USDA predicts the $113 billion earned in 2014 will be the lowest amount of net farm income in five years. That’s equal to about a 14 percent fall from last year’s record amount, thanks mostly to a massive drop in crop prices.

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