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Health
2:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Olathe Medical Center Opens Facility For Final Stage Of Life

A new inpatient hospice that opened Wednesday at Olathe Medical Center features a screened-in porch. It faces west "so it gets beautiful sunsets in here," said Sally Lundy, director of hospice and home health for the medical center.
Credit Mike Sherry / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

 

Olathe Medical Center officials say they have added a building block to their vision of providing cradle-to-grave care.

On Wednesday, in front of a crowd of about 300 donors, employees and other well-wishers, the hospital officially opened a freestanding inpatient hospice on its land at Interstate 35 and 151st Street.

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Central Standard
12:42 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Bluegrass Meets Trashgrass At The Walnut Valley Music Festival

At the Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield, Kan., it's common to see an old pickup truck converted into a stage for acoustic musicians to perform in.
Credit Walnut Valley Music Festival

Since 1972, bluegrass, country and even Irish orchestral music have sounded from stages and campsites at the Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield, Kan. 

In a conversation with Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann, longtime festival goers Lowen Millspaugh and Kasey Rausch called in from Winfield where the 2014 festival is taking place right now.

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Arts & Culture
12:19 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

7 Nostalgic Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

Adult Prom at the Uptown is just one of many nostalgic things you can do this weekend in the Kansas City area.
Credit imeanwhat.com

Whether those who ignore history are really doomed to repeat it is a tough call. 

Either way, it’s safe to say that folks who refuse to acknowledge the past are doing themselves no favors in the fun department, because retro is where it’s at people — especially this weekend in Kansas City.

Get ready for a dose of yesterday, from sentimental celebrations of the Fab Four and Neil Simon’s pseudo-youth to a festive remembrance of the Show-Me State’s favorite 19th-century psycho outlaw.

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Beyond Our Borders
11:27 am
Thu September 18, 2014

When It Comes To Kansas City's State Line, It's Complicated

State Line Road winds through the industrial west bottoms as it divides Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

I’m someone who simply will just say "I’m from Kansas City.” But, sometimes people will ask "Kansas City, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri?"

Then I go into the convoluted explanation how I live in the suburbs of Kansas City, Mo., but in Kansas, not far from the state line. It gets kind of boring.

But State Line is anything but boring.

I recently found Blue Springs, Mo., resident D.J. Lee at Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que (formally known as Oklahoma Joe's) in Kansas City, Kan.

"To cross the street and be in a different state ... pretty awesome!" says Lee.

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Health
11:07 am
Thu September 18, 2014

700 Kansans, 1,700 Missourians To Lose Health Coverage Over Immigration Questions

This map shows the number of people expected to lose health insurance puchased through the exchanges because of citizenship or immigration expirations. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Discrepancies in immigration status data will cause about 700 Kansans who enrolled in health insurance plans through the online federal marketplace to lose their coverage at the end of the month.

Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said earlier this month they were attempting to contact some 1,800 Kansans whose immigration status was in question because of data differences in their online applications.

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Crime
10:54 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Charges Filed In Attempted Firebombing Of Cleaver's Office

A 28-year-old Kansas City man has been charged in connection with the vandalism of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II's Kansas City office earlier this month.

The U.S. Attorney' Office for the Western District of Missouri filed criminal charges against Eric G. King Wednesday. King allegedly threw a hammer through the window of the congressman's office and attempted to throw two Molotov cocktails through the broken window in the early morning hours of Sept. 11.

No fire damage was reported, and no one was in the office at the time.

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Agriculture
8:13 am
Thu September 18, 2014

U.S. Pesticide Levels Drop But Still Threaten Aquatic Life

Pesticide pollution in American streams has dropped over the last 20 years according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey, but scientists say aquatic life is still at risk.

Changes in regulation and the development of less toxic herbicides and insecticides have reduced the risk pesticide pollution poses to humans. However, the pesticide levels in some regions were high enough to cause harm to plants and animals that live in streams.

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Health
7:52 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Kansas To Share Suicide, Homicide Data With CDC

Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to help the CDC develop strategies to reduce the number of violent deaths, and the state will share homicide and suicide data with the National Violent Death Reporting System for five years.

The system delves into not just how these deaths happen, but why. It collects data on homicides such as the relationship between the victim and the suspect. In cases of suicide, it gathers details on depression, financial stress, and relationship problems.

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Education
5:11 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Missouri Amendment 3 Campaign Closes Down For Good

Amendmend 3 would limit teacher contracts to no more than three years and would prohibit teachers from negotiating any classroom evaluation system.
Credit www.audio-luci-store.it / Flickr--CC

Teach Great, the Rex Sinqufield-backed campaign to drastically change the way teachers are evaluated in Missouri, has shut down.

Last week, late in the day on Sept. 9, Teach Great spokesperson Kate Casas issued a statement saying the organization would not pursue the Amendment 3 campaign. She said that instead Teach Great would embark on a statewide listening tour and that it looked forward to working with elected officials on other grassroots efforts.

Instead, she now says, Teach Great is closing its doors for good.

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Economy
3:36 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Gates & Sons Can't Cut Benefits After Strike, National Labor Relations Board Says

The National Labor Relations Board says Gates & Sons shouldn't have cut free employee meals after workers at the Main Street restaurant went on strike.
Credit Brandon Burke / Flickr--CC

A three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board says Kansas City-based Gates & Sons Barbeque engaged in an unfair labor practice after workers participated in strike last summer.

According to the complaint, which was filed by the Workers' Organizing Committee on the employees' behalf, about a quarter of the Main Street restaurant's workforce informed their supervisor they planned to strike on July 30, 2013, and return to work the next day. The strike was part of an organized effort among Kansas City fast-food workers to ask for higher wages.

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Health
3:01 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

KanCare Payments To Rural Hospital Smooth Out

With 60 employees and a $3 million annual budget, Hanover Hospital was owed $140,000 by the three insurance companies Kansas contracted with to administer Medicaid.
Credit Andy Marso / KHI News Service

 

A small rural hospital in Hanover, Kan., is on more stable financial footing after one of the private insurance companies administering the state's Medicaid system paid its outstanding claims.

Roger Warren, a physician who runs Hanover Hospital, said last month that $140,000 in outstanding claims from the managed care organizations operating the state' Medicaid program, KanCare, were hampering his ability to pay bills. The $140,000 represented more than half of the facility's monthly operating budget.

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Health
2:52 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Medical PACs Boost Candidates With Health Care Ties

Brian Caswell is a Democrat running against a Republican incumbent for a seat in the Kansas House — a tall order in most of the state's 125 districts.

But according to Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission filings, Caswell, of Baxter Springs, raised more money than his primary opponent, Rep. Michael Houser of Columbus, before the primary races this year. And by the July 24 reporting deadline, Caswell's campaign was nearly as well-funded as Houser's, despite the incumbent's cash-on-hand head start.

Caswell's secret?

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Kansas City History
2:28 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

The Types Of Things Lurking Underground In Kansas City's Caves

This addition to the already enormous 6 million plus square foot SubTropolis underground complex in Kansas City, Mo., is currently under construction.
Tumblr - SubTropolis Hunt Midwest

You'd never find it by just looking around, but beneath the grounds of Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun is one of the largest systems of underground businesses in the country. 

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Health
1:11 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kansas Medical PACs Concentrate Spending On Incumbents

Political action committees for medically related groups in Kansas tended to throw their money behind incumbent House members before this year’s primary — even if those members did not support all of the groups’ political initiatives.

Fifteen medically related PACs raised about $253,000 and spent about $125,000 this year in the reporting period that ended July 24. Updated reports are due to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission on Oct. 23, before the upcoming general election.

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Up To Date
12:49 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Three Museum Directors On The New Plains Indians Art Exhibit At The Nelson

Museum directors (from left to right) Stéphane Martin, Julián Zugazagoitia, and Kevin Gover, talked to Up to Date host Steve Kraske.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The exhibition The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky, now at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., marks an international collaboration, years in the making. Three museums on two different continents, featuring nearly 140 objects from North American and European collections. 

Julián Zugazagoitia, director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins, says this builds on a museum tradition, started in the 1970s with Sacred Circles, of bringing Native American artwork to a larger audience.

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Health
5:00 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Kansas Seeks To Address Prison Guard ‘Correctional Fatigue’

A psychologist has coined the term "correctional fatigue" to describe the detrimental psychological effects of correctional officers' work.
Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr--CC

A new program in Kansas aims to improve conditions in prisons, but it’s not for inmates. The state Department of Corrections is one of many prison and jail systems around the country working to overcome “correctional fatigue” — the mental and physical stress that lead to corrections workers burning out.

From Orange Is The New Black to Shawshank Redemption to Cool Hand Luke, prison guards often have gotten a bad rap as some of the worst bullies featured on television and in the movies.

And that rankles John Bates.

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Ferguson
8:41 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Women Interfaith Leaders Call On Mothers To Promote Peace Post-Ferguson

Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon speaks at a prayer service for mothers who've been impacted by homicide and violence.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A group of Kansas City women clergy called for healing in Ferguson, Mo., during an interfaith service and prayer vigil Tuesday night.

Volunteers with the faith-based Communities Creating Opportunity went to Ferguson last month after the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown to help register voters and train community leaders.

"The African Methodist Episcopal Church has as a part of its motto that we are a liberating and reconciling church," says Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, whose church hosted the service. "So we are more involved in justice activities."

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Beyond Our Borders
6:13 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

State Line Living From Rosedale's View In Kansas City, Kansas

Philip Gardos, an active member of the Rosedale Development Association, lives on State Line Road in the Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Residing on State Line Road in the Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood of Rosedale can be puzzling at times.

As a former postal worker and resident of Rosedale since 1970, Philip Gardos recalls State Line neighbors hauling their trash across the street to Missouri or Kansas to take advantage of the other side’s trash day.

He’s seen Missouri and Kansas roads just feet away from each other receive very different treatment on snow days.

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Health
4:37 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Governor's Office Declines To Support Early Childhood Grant

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is not ready to support the Kansas Children’s Cabinet’s attempt to win a federal grant aimed at bolstering early childhood education.

The governor’s decision to withhold support for the grant application was explained to members of Children's Cabinet in a memo last week from Janice Smith, the group’s executive director.

Smith wrote that on Sept. 11, Brownback administration officials let her know that it would be “unwise to move forward” in applying for a Preschool Development Grant without first conferring with the Kansas Legislature.

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Community
2:51 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

PHOTOS: Remembering The Beatles Concert In Kansas City 50 Years Ago

The Beatles played a show in Kansas City in 1964 after Charlie O Finley paid them $150,000, around $100,000 more than cities that were on the original tour schedule.
Dave E. Dexter, Jr. Collection LaBudde Special Collections Department - UMKC

Fifty years ago Wednesday, The Beatles played a concert at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

The concert was not originally part of the band's first cross-country U.S. tour, but business man and owner of the Kansas City Athletics baseball team, Charlie O. Finley, managed to bring them to Kansas City.

Finley flew to San Francisco to talk to the band's manager, Brian Epstein, and offered $50,000 to bring The Beatles to Kansas City. They finally agreed on $150,000, and the Fab Four flew into Kansas City to play a show on one of their only days off from the tour.

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Health
2:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Praeger Favors Democrat Anderson To Succeed Her As Insurance Commissioner

Dennis Anderson, the Democratic candidate for Kansas insurance commissioner, on Tuesday received a campaign endorsement from incumbent Sandy Praeger, a Republican.
Credit Jim McLean / KHI News Service

 

The trend of Kansas Republicans crossing party lines to support Democrats running against GOP conservatives has now reached the insurance commissioner’s race.

Republican incumbent Sandy Praeger, who’s not running for re-election after three terms, endorsed Democrat Dennis Anderson on Tuesday at a campaign event staged at Brewster Place, a Topeka, Kan., retirement community.

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Election 2014
11:19 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Kansas High Court Considers Case That May Determine Who Controls Senate

Kansas Supreme Court justices peppered a lawyer representing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach with tough questions about how the law and the interests of Kansans are served by Kobach’s refusal to allow Democrat Chad Taylor to remove his name from the U.S. Senate ballot. 

Kobach maintains he refused to remove Taylor’s name because Taylor’s notarized letter to Kobach’s office did not expressly state he was “incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected,” as Kobach says the relevant law requires.

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Health
10:10 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Debate On Health Care Compact Article Heats Up

Tension built Monday as legislators who supported a health care compact bill that would free Kansas from federal health care regulations made a last ditch-effort to pressure a Johnson County advisory board not to publish an article critical of the compact in a county newsletter.

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Arts & Culture
7:50 am
Tue September 16, 2014

New NEA Chair Jane Chu Returns To Kansas City

The American Jazz Museum was NEA Chair Jane Chu's first stop of the day. The museum's CEO Greg Carroll (left) took Chu on a tour.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Monday marked Jane Chu's first official visit to Kansas City as the new chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chu's post at the NEA was confirmed by the Senate in June. Before then, she served as president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

During her tour of Kansas City, Chu gave a talk about creative leadership and attended a reception with the arts community. She started the day with visits to three arts organizations, including the American Jazz Museum. 

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Education
4:56 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Central Middle School Gets High-Tech Overhaul

Central Middle School math teacher Stacy Gilson says the school's focus on the 7th 8th grades will help students form a good relationship with education.
Credit Ben Palosaari

"That's the boys' restroom," Central Middle School 7th grader Camryn Jones says as she gives her family a tour of her brand-new school. 

"Is it different than the girls' bathroom?" her grandmother asks as she pokes her head through the door.

Camryn keeps walking. What she really wants to show off to her family is her math classroom at the end of the hall. 

“I can learn a lot from this room, because math’s my favorite subject," she says standing by her desk. 

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Up To Date
3:19 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Dr. Wes Crenshaw On How To Navigate A Blended Family

The Brady Bunch was a largely happy (though fictional) blended family.
Credit ABC Television / Wikimedia-CC

When families split and merge, the result isn’t always as seamless as The Brady Bunch. How to make yours a happy home when step-parents are involved depends largely on the example the adults set.

On Monday's Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw, a board-certified family psychologist and longtime guest on the show, offered advice on how to overcome the challenges of starting a blended family and tools to navigate the world of step-parenting.

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Health
3:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Praeger To Cross Party Lines And Endorse Anderson For Kansas Insurance Commissioner

Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, a Republican, will endorse Democrat Dennis Anderson on Tuesday, according to a news release issued by Anderson’s campaign.

Anderson is seeking to succeed Praeger as the state’s insurance regulator. He’s running against Republican Ken Selzer, who emerged from a crowded field to capture the GOP nomination in the August primary.

The release issued Monday says that Anderson will “announce the newest endorsement of his campaign,” and goes on to say that both he and Praeger will be available to answer questions.

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Health
2:09 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Specialists In South Dakota Use Telehealth System To Give ER Care In Kansas

Michelle Peak, a registered nurse, and other staff at Phillips County Hospital watch their new video link with Avera eEmergency.
Credit Bryan Thompson / Kansas Public Radio

 

A new nurse was on duty a few weeks ago in the emergency room at the Phillips County Hospital in Phillipsburg, Kan., when paramedics arrived with a critically injured patient.

She immediately pushed the red button on some newly installed equipment. Seconds later, a seasoned ER nurse and board-certified doctor sitting at a bank of monitors 380 miles away in Sioux Falls, S.D., were using a high-definition camera and other diagnostic equipment to monitor the patient, give advice and document everything the on-site nurse was doing to save the patient’s life.

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Education
12:19 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Missouri Education Commissioner To Step Down In December

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro is stepping down at the end of 2014.
Credit State of Missouri

Updated, 3:45 p.m. Monday:

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro is retiring at the end of the year, according to a statement out Monday from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Nicastro has led DESE since 2009. During her tenure, the department oversaw the first transfers under a Missouri law that allows students from unaccredited school districts to leave for neighboring accredited districts.

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Health
8:57 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Missouri’s E-Cigarette Veto Override May Lead To Showdown With FDA

Early last Thursday, Missouri legislators overwhelmingly overrode the governor’s veto of a bill governing electronic cigarettes and the nicotine-infused mixtures they deliver.
Credit Bigstock

Call them e-cigarettes, vapes, e-juices or e-liquids. Just don’t call them tobacco.

Early last Thursday, Missouri legislators overwhelmingly overrode the governor’s veto of a bill governing electronic cigarettes and the nicotine-infused mixtures they deliver. While the new law bans sales to minors, it also prevents e-cigarettes from being classified as "tobacco products."

“It was operating under the guise of protecting youth, but really it just created a special carve-out for a special interest,” says Traci Kennedy, executive director of Tobacco-Free Missouri.

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